MTV’s ‘Siesta Key’: a love triangle and Pauly’s new beginning

Recap of Tuesday’s episode of the reality TV series set in Sarasota County.

On “Siesta Key” this week, we got the the closest the show comes to comedy and a new love triangle no one asked for.

The latest episode of the Sarasota County-based television show on MTV didn’t feature a single scene between Alex and Juliette. But it did feature drama surrounding their breakup, as well as some Chloe-induced, Juliette-fanned chaos between my new favorite couple, Cara and Garrett.

Here are the highlights of this week’s episode, from Pauly’s not-so-heroic attempt at working out to Brandon pivoting quickly from self-care to going after Madisson again.

The friendship triangle

While getting their hair done at Fresh Salon and Spa in downtown Sarasota, Cara tells Chloe that she went over to Alex’s house. Even though nothing happened, the fact that Cara went over there at all is clearly going to make Juliette mad. Not wanting to be subject to Juliette’s wrath once again, Chloe immediately tells Cara that she put her in an uncomfortable position by divulging this information. Now Chloe has to tell Juliette — she doesn’t have a choice.

At Chloe’s apartment, she tells Juliette about the Cara/Alex encounter and immediately, Juliette’s self-preserving, vindictive, mean girl instincts kick in. She decides to burn down everything around her by texting Garrett and telling him that his girlfriend was spending time with her former fling. It seems clear that when Juliette is upset, she wants everyone else to suffer too.

Brandon is focusing on himself — or is he?

Brandon is single now, and he’s been busy with his tour, but he misses Madisson. When Kelsey tells him that Madisson and Ben have called it quits, he can’t even hide his excitement. The two of them have a past, of course — their relationship ended with him cheating on her. But his mom reminds him that he doesn’t know where she stands as of right now. Maybe have a conversation, his mom tells him. Who knows what could happen?

Meanwhile, Jared is kind of thinking the same thing. He tells Canvas while the two of them are playing pool at Livingston’s Amusements in Sarasota that he wants to be with Madisson. She’s easy to talk to, he says, and besides, he’d be loyal to her.

Personally, I think Madisson can do better than both of these guys. Brandon has a wandering eye, and Jared needs to work on himself a bit. But anyway …

It seems like Brandon has the upper hand in this love triangle. He and Madisson chat at Bayfront Park and he suggests they be “single together.” It looks like he’s going to try to make a move, but he actually ends up being pretty sweet toward her, telling her he’s there for her. At the end of the episode, we see him leaving Madisson’s house, just as Jared is about to drive up with a bouquet of flowers.

Dejected, Jared throws them out in a very strategically-placed trash can after he spots her and Brandon together. Sorry, Jared. Hopefully you’ll eventually catch a break with one of these Siesta Key ladies.

Pauly’s blank slate

Pauly, or at least, the person he presents himself to be on the show, is the stuff TV writer stoner comedy dreams are made of. I mean, if someone was writing a television show about a drunk, stoned, trust-fund kid who refuses to fully commit to a job or even really look for one, you would probably create a character with long, stringy hair, an $80,000 car and a T-shirt that says “Drunkmillionaire.”

He does everything he can to prevent his — or should I say, his grandmother’s — car from being seized from Alex’s driveway. He tries to get Alex to stop it, but Alex knows there’s no case — it is Pauly’s grandmother’s car after all, and she has iced him out of the trust fund following his arrest. Pauly is determined to at least show his grandmother that he’s trying to get his life together — “show” is the key word there.

He tries to get a job at Alex’s mom’s company, So Staged Event Rentals, and he even gets Garrett to help him start working out. He’s doing some cardio and he says “I need my Rocky music right now,” but MTV ignores his request, instead using a soundtrack that probably wouldn’t be too out of place in “A Goofy Movie.” Well done, MTV.

Cara and Garrett

Juliette and Cara resolve their drama — sort of. Juliette asks Cara why she thought it was OK for Cara to go to Alex’s house. Cara said she wasn’t really concerned with Juliette’s opinion. After all, they’re not friends, and Juliette has never been nice to her. Juliette is clearly proud that she texted Garrett and disrupted his and Cara’s relationship. Only when Cara apologizes for going over and says that she regrets it does Juliette back off and apologize for her part in it.

They strike a deal — Juliette will stay out of Cara and Garrett’s relationship if Cara stays away from Alex. They both seem satisfied with this conclusion, but I’m sure someone will eventually break their word.

The saddest part comes during Cara and Garrett’s talk at what looks like the Art Ovation rooftop in downtown Sarasota. Garrett has been ignoring Cara’s texts ever since Juliette texted him about Alex. He seems to believe Cara when she says she and Alex didn’t do anything, but that doesn’t seem to matter. And I get it. Garrett has had two other relationships disrupted by Alex. He says he doesn’t want another relationship where Alex is involved. Cara says this whole experience has made her realize how afraid she is to lose him. Garrett needs some time, though.

I get why Garrett is ambivalent about dating someone who has history with Alex. He’s been burned before. But unlike Kelsey and Juliette, Cara seems to be able to learn from her mistakes and take responsibility for her actions. I’m rooting for these two.

Final thoughts

Where is Kelsey lately? Have Brandon and Camilla reunited, as Instagram indicates they may have? Will Alex and Juliette get back together again? How has Juliette been underage this whole time? Isn’t that a bit problematic? And where are Ben and Tawni? (I can answer that last one myself, actually — who cares?) We have two more episodes left. How’s everybody doing? Okay? Good. See you next week.

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