‘The White Lotus’ Season 2, Episode 3 Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Did Cameron Invite Ethan To Sicily?


In the third episode of “The White Lotus” Season 2, we get a glimpse of Valentina’s life outside of White Lotus. Her morning routine involves getting a quick espresso before starting her day at the hotel. She is tired of men trying to have small conversations, and she makes it clear that she is only there to have coffee in peace. Valentina is not the overly accommodating, ever-smiling hotel manager; she tries her best to serve the bizarre requests of her guests, but sometimes she cannot help but express her amusement. She is blunt with her words and does not care about putting up a perfect image. The episode also delves into the odd dynamics of the two couples (Harper, Ethan, Daphne, and Cameron). Daphne decides to spend the night with Harper, leaving Cameron the option to go wild for a night. Ethan was never a party animal, and he struggled to keep up with Cameron. Dom curses himself for his lack of self-control after spending the night with Lucia and Mia. While Albie hopes to develop a meaningful connection with Portia, she has her eyes on someone else.

Spoilers Ahead

The De Grasso Family

While Albie was visibly excited during breakfast the morning after they kissed goodnight, Portia was just tired. In some ways, he regretted not spending the night with her, wondering if he should be more assertive in expressing himself. Meanwhile, Portia is lost in her own world of misery. She hates her job and wants to find something better to pursue. She had mostly spent her workdays crying in her house; she thought traveling to Italy would make her happy, but she was stuck in the same rot. Portia wanted to experience adventure—something unexpected that would pull her out of her depressive thoughts. Albie realized that his presence was not affecting Portia the way he would have preferred, but he chose not to give up on her yet.

Meanwhile, Bert established that he was aware of the two sex workers Dom had paid to spend the night with. Dom denied the allegations and made it clear that Albie must never know about them. Bert planned to visit all the locations where “The Godfather” was shot; he believed it would be educational for Portia, who had not watched the film franchise in its entirety. “The Godfather” brought forth an interesting discussion between the members of the De Grasso family. Albie believed that films such as “The Godfather” were the reason behind the popularization (or at least the general acceptability) of male fantasy that involved resolving conflict through violence, disloyalty, and suppressed women who never complained about their husband’s sex life. Dom did not agree with Albie; he believed that films are a mere reflection of what people feel and that such fantasies existed even before films were made. Therefore, according to Dom, the films were not influential; they rather document human (male) desire. The debate came to an end when Albie stated that gender is a construct. Bert had nothing more to add; he simply believed Albie’s education was a waste. Even though Albie knew how stubborn Bert and Dom were, he never gave up trying to make them realize how problematic their thought process was. In a way, it shows Albie’s persistence in educating the male members of his family and not giving up on them. When Portia left to tend to Tanya’s crisis, Albie accused Bert and Dom of being the reason behind Portia’s sudden disinterest. Bert was offended by Albie’s dismissal of them as disrespectful and offensive.

After returning to the hotel, Dom spoke privately to Albie. He tried to prove how much he supported women and resorted to the obvious “I am a feminist” statement. Albie’s approval was important for Dom since Albie was the only way he could go back to his wife. He wanted his son to believe that he was a changed man and report it to his mother. But Albie saw his father for who he was, he knew that it was all words and no action for Dom. He asked his father to change for real. Dom was confident that he could become the man his wife wanted him to be. That night, for the first time, Dom stuck to his words. He went up to Lucia and made it clear that he wouldn’t be spending the week with her. He surely found her attractive, but he needed to fix his marriage, and that was his priority. It was not easy for Dom to abstain from his temptations, but he managed to deal with them for the night.

By the end of the night, it seemed Portia had started growing an interest in a young British man she saw swimming in the pool before being interrupted by Albie. Albie kissed Portia with all his affection, but she barely felt anything for him. While Albie wanted to spend the night with her, she excused herself, stating that she was too tired for it. Clearly, the Albie-Portia romance will eventually fade, but who is this new man taking an interest in Portia? He seems to be the man Portia envisioned falling in love with when in Italy—not as intellectual as Albie, but insanely attractive.

Daphne And Harper: What Did Harper Learn About Daphne In Noto?

Harper was determined to be the most lovable version of herself. She promised to be more enthusiastic and participate in every possible fun activity. Donning a headband, Harper was set to become people’s favorite. For the first time on the trip, Daphne and Cameron argued over how they wanted to spend the day. While Daphne wanted to relax in Noto, Cameron was feeling adventurous and wanted to jet ski. Daphne gave up on convincing Cameron and decided to travel to Noto alone, though having Harper with her would be a treat. Harper would have said no if she had not promised to participate. This was a real challenge, and Harper had to live up to it to prove that she was not a snob. After reaching Noto, Harper realized that this was not a spontaneous trip; it was something Daphne had planned all along. She rented a palazzo for the night without consulting Harper. Harper was not that close to Daphne and spending a night with her at an enormous palazzo was not how she had imagined spending her time in Italy. By staying the night at the palazzo, Daphne was punishing Cameron for not coming along with her to Noto. She wanted him to believe that she and Harper were having such a great time that they suddenly decided to book a breathtaking palazzo that they came across. Even though it was all well planned, she wanted Cameron to feel like it was spontaneous and that he missed out on having a great night.

Exploring Sicily with a woman exposed Harper to a completely different experience. While waiting alone in the streets, she felt a thousand eyes staring at her lustfully. As they were enjoying their wine, men seated at the next table bought drinks for them. As Harper was getting accustomed to the new experience, Daphne offered her edibles. Daphne would often resort to edibles when she felt overwhelmed while managing her toddlers. While discussing men, Daphne stated that she sympathized with them because she could never imagine being a man. Men, according to her, were clueless beings wandering around, thinking what they were doing was significant. She could not think about living her life alone, without comfort, while constantly competing to get a spot. Harper did not have much to add; she listened to Daphne with amusement. Meanwhile, the clueless, ever-suffering men were having the time of their lives. The jet ski scene signified a sudden adrenaline rush and the ultimate satisfaction that Ethan and Cameron experienced. There was a sense of immense competitiveness with an underlying romantic brotherhood tone. 

Daphne planted a seed of doubt in Harper’s mind. She wondered if Ethan had changed after his success, though Harper believed Ethan could never cheat on her. Daphne discussed how men who seemed innocent before turned into vicious cheaters once they accumulated wealth. Though Daphne made it clear that Cameron was not like those men, he was what she described as “naughty” but not as dirty as his friends. A few hours later, she confessed that Cameron had cheated on her once, or at least that was the only one she knew about. But she immediately stated that she was not a victim. She had found a way to deal with it; she does what keeps her happy. Daphne could not stand anyone thinking less of her or saying that she was suffering. She desperately wanted to believe that no matter what Cameron did behind her back, it did not affect her, and even if it did, she, too, would have her own bit of fun and entertainment. The way Daphne dealt with adultery was toxic, to say the least. Instead of seeking help or confronting the problem, she found indirect ways to come back at him and continued to stay in the marriage, pretending nothing had changed between them.

Tanya: How Did The Fortune Teller’s Reading Affect Tanya?

Tanya found it difficult to accept that her husband would be leaving for two days in the middle of their vacation. She wondered if it was the prenup that turned him bitter and decided to terminate it if it was affecting the way Greg felt for her. She was madly in love with him, but she knew there was something that was bothering him. She thought maybe, now that he had recovered, he no longer needed her help, and the thought of living with her forever was suffocating him. According to Greg, he was not good at marriage; he had been married three times, and Tanya was his fourth wife. He agreed to discuss their relationship once he returned from his trip.

Tanya was devastated after Greg left, and she decided to consult a psychic to understand whether her marriage would last or not. Tanya was impressed by the methods used by the fortune teller. But after hearing the negative readings, she decided she was not good enough. The fortune teller warned Tanya that her man was being deceitful and that there was a beautiful woman in his life already. Tanya was looking for reassurance, but now she had all the more reasons to worry about her marriage. She was a woman who dreaded being alone, and the thought that her marriage could end anytime soon made her feel empty. She asked Portia to stay in her room even when she was going to sleep. Maybe Tanya had anticipated that there would be moments during the vacation when she could feel lonely, and that was the reason why she brought Portia along. While Tanya was mostly lost in her thoughts, when she listened to how Portia felt about Albie, her only advice was to stay away from emotionally unavailable men. She knew that Portia was missing that element of thrill with Albie, but she was also aware of how that thrill always led to heartbreak. By the end of the night, Tanya saw a group of men admiringly staring at her; she smiled at them and was surprised by the sudden appreciation for her beauty. The mystery of Greg continues to build, though the words of the fortune teller can be taken as a hint. But can meeting his mistress be an emergency that he needs to tend to during his vacation with his wife? Did he really travel to Denver?

‘The White Lotus’ Season 2, Episode 3: Ending Explained – Why Did Cameron Invite Harper And Ethan To Sicily? How Did The Night Affect Ethan?

Harper had suspected Cameron had a hidden motive from the start. Cameron was indeed disappointed that Ethan never mentioned the possibility of selling his company. As a financier, such information meant everything to Cameron, and the fact that Ethan kept it a secret offended him. Nonetheless, he was now aiming for the future; he wanted Ethan to invest in their company and allow Cameron to help him grow and make him money. Ethan was never really sure whether Cameron had a purpose behind planning the trip. He might have wanted to believe that his friend from college wanted to spend time with him, and why not? He was now a popular elite. Cheating on partners seems to have become a common topic of discussion in the White Lotus world. Cameron brought up the topic, hinting at how everyone who got rich cheated on their wives. Cheating was simply a matter of opportunity, and with money, that opportunity is easy to land. Though he preferred sex workers, they were less demanding yet satisfying. Ethan was struggling to keep up with Cameron. He was always considered the nerd guy in college. Now that he had money, he wanted to live the relaxed lifestyle of Cameron, but the more he learned about it, the worse he felt. He could not imagine lying to Harper, and he chose to be faithful to her no matter what, but Cameron was making him doubt his morals.

Lucia was desperate to find a new client after Dom refused to participate in their arrangement. She knew that White Lotus was booming with wealthy people from all across the globe, and she would find someone to pay her for the night. She was relieved when she noticed Cameron waving at her to join him at his table. She took Mia along with her, and the four were ready for a wild night. Even though Ethan was a part of the party, he kept his distance. He was in conflict; he knew that Cameron could make fun of his high morals, but at the same time, he did not wish to cheat on Harper; that was not the kind of person he was. Cameron asked Mia to take care of Ethan, and even though Ethan kissed Mia back, he stopped himself and made it clear that he was not interested. He watched Cameron make out with Lucia from a distance, and he realized that he never truly wanted to be a part of it. Harper called Ethan, but he did not notice it. Harper wondered if, now that they were wealthy, they would change and become like Cameron and Daphne. Harper and Ethan are new to the elite class, and they fear losing their identity and beliefs just because they have money and are influential. We can expect the events of the night to affect the dynamics between the couples. Daphne might as well not react to it, given how messed up she is.

The third episode of “The White Lotus” Season 2 also hints at Valentina’s crush on Isabella, the receptionist. Isabella admired Valentina for her confidence and management skills. Valentina was a lonely middle-aged woman who preferred having lunch with cats to humans. She had a distaste for men and preferred keeping her sexuality a secret. When Isabella expressed her admiration for her, she was pleasantly surprised. Episode three ends with multiple possibilities. Portia may have found the man she was looking for, but the group of men who admiringly stared at Tanya remain a mystery; Greg and his secret have yet to be revealed; how the night will affect Cameron’s life is debatable; and will Dom become a changed man remains an open question. 

See More: ‘The White Lotus’ Season 2, Episode 4: Recap & Ending, Explained – What Is Happening Between Albie And Lucia?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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