Jeff and Will’s deep dive discussions on the sexy supernatural series Dante’s Cove continues as they talk about season 2, episodes 3 and 4, “Come Together” and “Spring Forward.”
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- Heartstopper on Netflix
- Dante’s Cove Recap
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Jeff: Coming up on this episode, it’s time to return to the supernatural hijinks of “Dante’s Cove” as we recap two episodes from season two.
Will: Welcome to episode 379 of the Big Gay Fiction Podcast, the show for avid readers and passionate fans of gay romance fiction. I’m Will, and with me as always, where else would he be? He’s right here. It’s my co-host, and it’s husband. It’s Jeff.
Jeff: Hello! Yes, I am right here.
Hi there, rainbow romance reader. It’s great to have you here for another episode.
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Now, before we go any further, I really want to give a huge thank you to Netflix. This past Friday, it was announced that they picked up “Heartstopper” for two more seasons. Oh my God. I really could not be more happy. Can’t wait for more of Charlie and Nick and Elle and Tao and Tara and Darcy and Isaac and just everybody else. Oh, it really made my Friday to see that they had picked up the show for two more seasons because you know what folks we’ve already watched it for a third time this past week. So, yeah, the “Heartstopper” love just continues.
Will: Now, as Jeff mentioned, this time we’re going to be discussing episodes three and four of season two of “Dante’s Cove.” And in this deep dive, we’re going to gain some insight into Kevin’s sexual history. We’re going to be paying our very first visit to The Lair. And we’re also introduced to the weird, wonderful drugs, Saint. Truly, there are certain characters that should have just said no.
Dante’s Cove: Season 2, Episode 3 – “Come Together”
Will: All righty. Let’s talk about season two, episode three of “Dante’s Cove.” This episode is titled “Come Together.”
Jeff: I wonder why?
Will: You know exactly why.
Jeff: I guess it was the end.
Will: Yeah, the end. We’ll get to that. Okay. So…
Jeff: I will just say upfront and we’ll discuss it as we go that this was the most disjointed “Dante’s Cove” episode of what we have watched so far. And we’ll just unpack that as we talk about this.
Will: So as this episode opens, Diana is sauntering down a country road,
Jeff: She just wants to saunter, she’ll saunter down the beach, she’ll just randomly go down the country road. She’s a walker.
Will: So Bro drives by his fancy car and he gives her a lift, and they helpfully have an expository dialogue exchange, keeping us up to date on what’s happened so far, and their primary area of concern is the Libra Solstice. Yada yada, yada. Okay. Adam, Toby’s best friend who we haven’t really seen a whole lot of so far this season, he is having a relapse, and he’s looking to score some drugs, and word apparently has it that the new owner of the local sex club has got what he’s looking for. So he goes to The Lair and Colin is a very giving guy, passing out party favors. He gives Adam a taste of some Saint.
Now in this scene, there’s a lot to unpack. First of all, it’s our introduction to The Lair, which will eventually become the spinoff series of “Dante’s Cove.” Colin is played by Dylan Vox. And for those of you who enjoy adult entertainment might know him better as his time performing under name Brad Benton. And we’re introduced to his character as he’s fucking his friend/business associate. I’m not sure who he is in a relationship context. He’s played by adult film star Jacob Slater listed in the credits for this episode as Josh Collins. Up until this point in the series history, all of the sex scenes have been of the softcore bump and grind variety, very much focused on the visual eroticism of what’s going on. Here as we’re introduced to these characters and The Lair, they are most definitely fucking they are banging each other real good.
Jeff: Yes, they are. I had forgotten exactly how much The Lair factored into “Dante’s Cove.” We know, from the coming attractions after this episode that we see The Lair again in future episodes, and I had forgotten how tied together they were. I knew there was, like, a connection to the series overall, I remembered that. The whole drug plotline was something that I’d completely forgotten about in the intervening years. Poor Adam, just say no.
Will: Yeah, after Colin gives Adam his hit of Saint. He invites him to join in on the fun, but he demures. He’s not into that.
Jeff: He might be the only so-called straight person in”Dante’s Cove”.
Will: If you’ll remember, at the end of the last episode, things were not going well with our three musketeers, Kevin, Toby, and Van were all well and truly pissed off with one another.
Jeff: Doors were slammed.
Will: And as we pick up here, Kevin, is hanging out H2Eau while Toby is working his bartending shift. Kevin is, sort of, kind of trying to apologize but Toby shuts him down. Kevin makes us sad puppy-dog face.
Jeff: No one’s chin quivers quite as good as Kevin’s does. He’s got the ultimate sad puppy-dog face in multiple scenes in this episode.
Will: Kevin, is so sad that he has a flashback montage to happier times. Bro, meanwhile, is stalking Kevin, again. And when he sees Adam looking at Kevin the wrong way he drags him into a Cabana, and Adam shares some Saint with him.
Jeff: Do you think it affected Bro at all? I couldn’t really tell if the drug did anything for him or not?
Will: Well, okay, here’s the thing. So inexplicably, Bro acts kind of rapey, and the conclusion of the scenes find the two of them taking a tumble into the pool. And what I thought was sort of interesting is that this stunt is actually prominently featured during the opening credits of the show. But within the context here in this episode, the drama is just sort of meh.
Will: I mean, visually, it looks kind of fun and outrageous and like in a dynasty catfight kind of way. But yeah, contextually it just sort of happens and then it’s over, which is a problem with almost every interaction in this episode.
Will: Jeff mentioned at the beginning that this…what was the word that you used? Disjointed?
Jeff: Yes, it was a very disjointed episode where one scene to the next didn’t really connect. It’s likely didn’t have a through-line for this episode. Usually, there’s at least one plot that kind of starts at A, gets to B within a “Dante’s Cove” episode. For this one, for every set of characters none of it really seemed to connect one scene to the other. The thinnest of threads were there with Toby and Kevin trying to get through their apology, but for everybody else’s interaction, it’s like, what?
Will: There is an air of randomness going on in this episode that I can’t explain. I looked up the writer for this episode, and he really has no other credits. So I can’t really…
Jeff: Was this is his one “Dante’s Cove”, episode?
Will: I can’t really guess at to, you know, the quality of what he’s able to produce.
Jeff: It was like, a bunch of vignettes, is really what it felt like.
Will: Exactly. Traditionally, and in previous episodes of this television show, scenes have all had a traditional beginning, middle, and end. Here, we’re treated to just a series of vignettes. And most of the dialogue has an almost noncommittal quality. They’re, saying words, and they’re talking about stuff, but what does any of it mean?
Jeff: Yeah, and there’s few other classic examples of that coming up, looking across the episode as a whole, other than Toby and Kevin, which I think was meant to be the A storyline for the episode, getting them kind of put back together again, the B and C stuff is all over the place in terms of what they’re trying to do. It’s like, I just don’t know. Did you take the script and spread it on the floor and, like, scotch tape back together again?
Will: Who knows what went on behind the scenes. So yes, of course, this interaction with Bro and Adam is incredibly random, and the dialogue that they have in this Cabana is sort of strange and meaningless. Bro is putting the moves on Adam, I guess because he’s just hanging around until Kevin comes to his senses. We don’t completely understand his motivations in this particular moment. At any rate, the owner of H2 Eau, Marco, has had enough with all of the shenanigans.
Jeff: He’s a very uptight person.
Will: Up until this moment, we haven’t really had cause to mention Marco. He’s appeared briefly in previous episodes. He’s played by actor Gabriel Romero, who it’s worth noting played the first openly gay character on a Telemundo sitcom a few years prior. Now Marco was frustrated. So he goes back to his office to chill out where he finds the ever-helpful Brad, played by Adrian Quinonez. In this particular instance, “chill out” is a euphemism for hardcore sex.
Jeff: And this is another one like what we saw earlier in The Lair, where it’s just flat out fucking.
Will: I find it really charming that Adrian Quinonez seems perfectly willing to drop trou at the drop of a hat without any provocation. It’s so charming and refreshing, and he seems so relaxed about it. It’s like, “Yeah, you need some frontal nudity. Don’t worry, I got you covered.”
Jeff: He’s pretty, so it’s nice that he’ll just do that to, you know, add something to the show.
Will: So since Toby, is still pissed off at her, Van is hanging out all alone at a cafe with her sketchbook, and Diana saunters up and she sits down with Van, and they have an odd inconsequential conversation, as everyone is doing in this particular episode. And Van starts drawing Diana. And when Van shows hers that sketch, it’s not what I would call bad, but it does have sort of, like, a boardwalk cartoon quality to it. Diana gives her, like, a lot of money she says, “This is wonderful. You’re so talented.” And it’s like, “Uh, is she really?”
Jeff: It reminded me of, like, something you draw, you know, for like the old ads of like, “Can you draw this? Can you draw a tippy turtle?” You know? And that might get you into the Art Institute of America or something. It was not Van’s best work, especially given what they’ve set up with Van already for how good she’s supposed to be from what we’ve seen in previous episodes. It was an easy 100 bucks though for her.
Will: And Van offers to clean her house because, apparently, that’s her side hustle.
Jeff: I turned to Will when we ware watching this episode, like, because Van just like, “I clean houses.” I’m like, “You do?”
Will: No, it sort of comes out of nowhere.
Jeff: I don’t know what I thought she did. But I don’t know, that was a very random kind of answer to have. It got her in Diana’s house though. So that’s not for nothing, I suppose.
Will: So whilst all the other characters are having these strange interactions, it should be worth noting that Michelle, Van’s ex-girlfriend who can no longer remember her because of a spell put on her, she is working at H2Eau as a waitress. And she spilled some cocktails because she’s both sad and stressed out because she’s having these flashes of memories with Van, and she’s freaked out and disconcerted, for good reason. Apparently, the spell isn’t working super great. And she’s getting…
Jeff: Wearing off perhaps?
Will: It’s wearing off and she’s getting flashes of this life that she had with Van, but she can’t remember it. And Van has been aggressive with her. She’s in a difficult place, right now? Toby and Kevin decide to go on a camping trip together.
Jeff: Which really only means they went to run on the beach. I didn’t really understand that.
Will: Well, yeah, it’s another very odd moment. If by camping, you mean day trip, sure. But the thing is, is that Toby has this backpack that’s as big as he is. It’s for, like, trekking over the Himalayas. And it’s like, “What did you put in there?”
Jeff: And Kevin comes with, like, a school bag. I mean, the size of his backpack is, like, normal.
Will: It’s like, yeah, it’s a little Fisher-Price, you know, backpack. It’s, yeah, so strange.
Jeff: Why did you make Toby carry everything? What the hell is he carrying?
Will: Toby gives him a speech about found family. And then there’s this other scene where they’re running along a different stretch of beach.
Jeff: I did notice that. It’s like they got a moment to be on a different piece of the beach.
Will: Or they just turned the camera the other direction, I don’t know. But Kevin, for some reason that we’re not quite sure of, is running both figuratively and metaphorically, away from something. And Toby tells him he’s gotta stop running. If he wants to live his life. Something, something, I don’t really know.
Jeff: Yeah, we’re getting ready to learn some new stuff here and it’s coming out in a very awkward way.
Will: Grace is chilling with Van in her room. And like everything else in this episode that doesn’t really make any sense, she has Van go into a Tresum trance while she’s sketching.
Jeff: It does not improve her artwork, to do that.
Will: And when Van, shows Grace, her sketch, Diana appears alongside Grace in the drawing. She is pissed that Diana is back in the Cove because apparently, she’s her sister.
Jeff: That’s what they said.
Will: So Grace pays her sister a visit and they have a brief expository dialogue exchange that explains, but doesn’t explain, their history together. From a magic perspective, Grace is definitely her mother’s daughter, but Diana was a daddy’s girl. We are getting a few hints and clues at their history, but right now let’s just suffice it to say that it’s complicated.
Jeff: Yeah, it does expand a little bit on what we know before from, supposedly, Grace getting a lot of power from her mother and her mother killing their father and that screwed up Diana’s side. And apparently everything that Grace has been doing with Bro has disrupted the Tresum power and blah, blah, blah. Something I did notice as they arrived for this scene, ,aybe a clue on why Diana saunters everywhere, Bro and Grace both have these nice cars. Diana’s tooling around in a beat-up Honda. Like, you couldn’t get some Tresum magic for yourself to get a better car?
Will: Oh, no.
Jeff: Maybe that’s why she walks so much, because embarrassed by this car situation?
Will: Possible. Later that night Grace and Van are moon-gazing. And with a dramatic wave of her hand, Grace changes the color of the moon from silver to blue.
Jeff: How does that not freak out every resident of “Dante’s Cove?”
Will: I don’t know, it’s the least of their worries. And Grace monologues that maybe it isn’t too late for her to have an heir.
Jeff: Such as Van, sitting over there in the chair.
Will: Yeah, an heir to her power, like, the whole passing down of the Tresum whoopty doodle. Toby, and Kevin, return from their day trip and are back at the Hotel Dante. Toby, it seems is willing to forgive and forget. He says that he chooses Kevin, but Kevin won’t commit and say I choose you in return. So it’s night time and Toby is asleep alone in his bed when Kevin kind of sneaks in and cuddles up next to him and sort of tries to explain why he’s having this sudden issue with commitment. Like we said earlier, most of the conversations are kind of oddly disconnected. And in the case of Kevin and Toby, this sort of bump in the road of their relationship seems manufactured, and I don’t quite understand what the big deal is.
Jeff: I don’t know how we got from Bro being Bro and causing trouble. Because this whole last kind of fight deal is because Kevin was caught with his co-worker because Bro whammied the co-worker, blah, blah, blah. And how we’re moving into this whole other I don’t know how to commit thing is a little out of left field. I mean, we know Kevin’s got some issues in his past with his family because they’re like, homophobic jerks and stuff. But I don’t know quite where this other stuff is coming from.
Will: Yeah, because this episode is being the way that it’s being, Kevin attempts to explain some things that have happened in his past. Apparently, he’s been with a whole lot of other men, but has never been on the receiving end. He’s a pretty blonde twink who has never bottomed. He’s saving that for someone special. And tonight he decides that Toby is the one, he’s going to take his virginity. So there’s that.
Jeff: And yet I thought Toby and Kevin had pretty much-done everything in season one. So I assume somebody checked the continuity on that?
Will: So Adam is still strung out. And even though he got into a fight with Bro, he asked Bro if he knows where he can find some more Saint. And He goes, “Sure I know exactly the place. There’s this spring in the woods, you can find it there.”
Jeff: You would think that The Lair would have that source material a little more locked up for their purposes instead of just having it, like, this fountain in the woods. I don’t know.
Will: Yeah, this spring is going to have some magical connection to Tresum. And the spring itself is a pointy rock formation created by the prop department. It’s covered in artificial flowers. And there’s some Stonehenge rock formations nearby, kind of trying to give you the impression that this is an ancient and magical place. So Adam takes some of the Saint and is like all into it. And he’s like, “Woohoo, I’m the king of the world.” And he starts making out with Ambrosius.
Jeff: As one does. I don’t understand how…if Bro wants Adam so bad, why he just hasn’t whammied him. I kept waiting for, like, him to like cast his spell of some kind. But here he seems more intent on letting Adam come to him as opposed to what he’s done with Kevin and Cory in the past. Maybe his Tresum was under maintenance that day or something, I don’t know.
Will: I don’t know, maybe he’s just a diversion. Let’s talk about drug usage on “Dante’s Cove.” Okay, for whatever reason, the show decided not to use any real drug, like maybe coke, or ecstasy, or what have you. They wanted to create this fictional substance that presumably will do whatever the story needs it to do. So Adam goes out searching for this ultimate party drug called Saint. And when Colin gives it to him, it is in this little tiny matchbox. And, inexplicably…I’d be curious to know what the decision-making process was behind the scenes, because Saint itself is literally just moss.
Will: That’s all it is. It’s not a pill or a manufactured substance, it’s just moss. Like, the props department went to the floral section of the crafts store and said, “That’s it. That’s going to be our Saint.” So what Saint actually does is also sort of amorphous.
Jeff: And we’ve only seen it with Adam so far.
Will: So yeah, it’s sort of difficult to describe. He takes the Saint and he eats it, or he puts it under his tongue like it’s LSD. I don’t know.
Will: Did a lot of thought go into this? I’m not sure. At any rate, Adam is eating this floral moss and getting high and turned on, so.
Jeff: And yet he wasn’t turned on by Bro before. There’s a throwaway line that’s in there that is more like, getting it from the source as he’s done makes it more potent perhaps. And to the point of the matchbox, he also loads this new stuff into his matchbox, you could have taken much more had you brought like a ziplock bag or something, I don’t know. With this little matchbox, you’re gonna be coming back to this rock formation often.
Will: It doesn’t make any sense at all. Anyway, so Grace decides to cast a horny spell.
Jeff: Or something. It’s not really clear what she’s doing.
Will: The power of Tresum frees us, that is essentially the extent of the incantation that she’s enacting. So Kevin is with Toby getting down with some anal sex for the very first time, Adam is hooking up with Bro.
Jeff: I would assume, for his first time with the guy, because he’s always been portrayed as straight.
Will: He’s exploring his bisexuality. Van is perfectly happy all by herself in her bed, she’s having a grand old time. And Grace is pouring water all over herself.
Jeff: Down her dress.
Will: Like she’s in some sort of Whitesnake video. I don’t even know what she’s doing. And what’s interesting, as we’re intercut between each of these couples and, you know, all of them going at it, we return to the gothic, thunder and lightning mode of “Dante’s Cove.”
Will: In the sex scenes earlier in the episode, it’s sort of like hot and sexy club music that’s playing underneath the sort of like thump, thump, you know, eroticism going on. But this time around, it’s sort of like weird and spooky and…I don’t know, maybe it’s because they’re all turned on because of magic or?
Jeff: Who can say?
Will: It’s very difficult to say. At any rate, once Van has brought herself to completion, she awakens on the beach with Diana standing over her.
Jeff: Yeah, Diana has sauntered some more.
Will: And that’s the end of the episode. It just sort of stops.
Jeff: To be continued. I assume, much like Grace has the ability when she chooses to just show up, that Van has discovered the ability to transport herself elsewhere. Now why she’s on the beach, I don’t know. Her power may have like freaked out there as she finished herself off. It’ll be interesting to see if episodes, going forward, get back to proper storytelling structure, or if they’re gonna be disjointed forevermore.
Will: Yeah, it’s hard to say. Anyway, that is our hot take on season two, episode three, “Come Together”
Dante’s Cove: Season 2, Episode 4 – “Spring Forward”
Will: Let’s dive into season two, episode four, “Spring Forward.” Last time the episode actually ended with Van waking up on the beach, and Diana hovering over her. And it wasn’t entirely clear if this was some sort of dream what was actually happening. And at the beginning of this episode we find out that yes, Van actually woke up on the beach for some reason.
Jeff: It was the anti-est cliffhanger moment ever because it was like, “Oh, you’re at the beach. Looks like you had a bad night,” and then that was that.
Will: It was like, they don’t… Does Van sleepwalk after she has horny magic-inspired sex in her room at the… I don’t know. Let’s not try and dig too deep into the logic of this particular show. So Diana finds Van on the beach and in her specifically seductively whispery way, thank you, Thea Gill, she invites Van to come on over to her place later. Meanwhile at The Lair, Colin and his boy, Tory are watching an orgy because yet, you know, that’s what you do.
Jeff: Yeah. More that full frontal that we’ve gotten into a lot here on “Dante’s Cove” looking at The Lair, yet another pretty explicit sex scene. We’ve gone from Skinemax more towards something else with the introduction of The Lair into these episodes.
Will: We’ve spoken about the audio commentary that’s available on some of these episodes in this particular season. We’ve talked about that before. In this particular episode, Sam Irvin and star, Charlie David, are discussing this particular scene. And I’m going to connect a few dots because they don’t say so explicitly, but it is inferred that all of the scenes with The Lair were added later. Now we know this for a fact because Sam Irvin says so, all of The Lair scenes were shot in LA after all of the Hawaii location work was finished. But Charlie mentions that when he saw the early screener for these episodes, he was surprised because there was no mention of The Lair in the original scripts. So connecting the dots, it seems that the idea of the spin-off and the concept of The Lair itself was added in later.
Jeff: It would certainly explain why we never see any of the people who inhabit The Lair anywhere on the island, that Adam is the only connective tissue to that when he shows up there randomly. It begs the question though the original script, who is giving Adam the Saint and turning him on to that if not the people at The Lair.
Will: Well, we already know that Saint is available at H2Eau, and Ambrosius was giving it to Adam as well.
Jeff: Oh, you’re right. Yeah. That’s me forgetting things, but your dot connecting helps to make other things make sense like, why those poor people are never anywhere else on the island.
Will: Diana is going through some old artifacts back at her place and she flashes back to her troubled childhood. Her mother is focusing all of her attention towards Grace because she’s going to be the future of Tresum, while their father has his hopes pinned on Diana. While Diana is at Diana’s place, she purloins an ancient piece of parchment and an old porcelain doll given to Diana by her father.
Jeff: Van is extremely overt. She is not the best purloiner in the world, very haphazard in the way that she does. I’m shocked she got out of the house with it, frankly, because it was just a little too overt that she’d done it. But Diana also sometimes doesn’t really pay attention either. So all worked out in her favor.
Will: Michelle is still sad and freaked out. So Adam gives her some Saint and she gets stoned, and hooks up with a pretty surfer boy. Toby has a chat with Van on the beach. He’s worried about Adam and invites her to an intervention.
Jeff: Because that’s what you do for your friends who are high on things. And poor Adam, I just don’t know.
Will: This particular scene on the beach were shot during the golden hour. So not only other actors are gorgeous, but the location is gorgeous, and the lighting is gorgeous.
Jeff: They really scored with that particular scene because it’s one of the most gorgeous scenes in the entire season. They were like, right place, right time, right camera angles. It was nice.
Will: In the morning, Van, Toby, and Kevin confront Adam in the kitchen of the Dante. What makes this scene slightly amusing is that the three of them are lined up sitting at the kitchen table like a well meaning tribunal and the poor actor playing Adam is slicked down with a ton of glycerin. This particular scene was shot early in the schedule and the makeup people hadn’t quite yet figured out the ratio of sweat they were going to need for this season. If you recall, everyone was super shiny and sultry in season one. They decided to eventually tone that down in season two, but, Adam is super slicked up.
Jeff: He’s an addict. He’s having a moment.
Will: So the intervention doesn’t go well. Does it ever? And that night Van follows Adam to the spring in the woods to see where he’s at least getting part of his stash. The next day, Kevin and Toby are having a romantic picnic on the beach. But Toby cuts things short because he has to go to the internet café.
Jeff: This just made me laugh so hard. These little flashbacks to the internet café when you had to go somewhere to get your internet. I was sad we didn’t get to take a trip to the internet café with him to see what it would look like on the Dante’s Cove.
Will: Ambrosius casts a spell using a napkin from H2Eau that has Kevin’s sweat on it and the spell sort of initiates a Kevin’s greatest horny hits montage. And it’s during this moment that Bro learns of a very special friend from Kevin’s past. Bro pulls up at the Dante in his fancy sports car and asks Kevin if he wants to play chess. And that’s not a euphemism, he actually wants to. So they end up playing together and end up having a conversation. And it’s then that Ambrosius learns about Kevin’s special friend, his name was Darren. And once he and Kevin were outed, Darren was sent off to military school. And it’s during this discussion of coming out and walking down memory lane, that we once again get a flash back to Episode 1 when we see Bro getting bonked by his super sexy butler.
Jeff: That’s the scene that will not die. It must surface itself every few episodes just to remind us that it happened.
Will: In bed, Toby is pissed that Kevin has accepted an insanely ugly bracelet from Bro which is bewitched and Van tells him that it is essentially a Kevin LoJack. So he tosses it into the ocean.
Jeff: It was ridiculously ugly. That is like, it reminded me of like, what you might find in your grandmother’s jewelry box from, like, 1950 something. High style maybe at the time, but really just a clunky sad looking thing. It’s like, why would you wear that, Kevin? And Bro, why would you come up with such an ugly thing? Because apparently you can bewitch anything you want. Make it stylish.
Will: Bro saunters up to the bar at H2Eau while Toby is working his shift, and Toby says he knows exactly what Bro’s up to. And he better stay away from Kevin. Gosh, darn it.
Jeff: He always makes these grand like, “Stay away from my boyfriend,” and yet he has no power to back it up with at all. This isn’t one that’s gonna go down in the street brawl or something. He has no power in this situation, but he fights for his man anyway which I appreciate.
Will: Adam’s movie of the week, downward spiral, continues as he attempts to hook up with some random guy in the bushes outside of H2Eau. And when Adam refuses to go bare back, the guy punches him in the gut. So what does Adam do? Well, he goes to the local sex club. Colin welcomes him back after a nice hit of Saint, and he joins the festivities where there are lots of porn stars, circa 2005, they’re all humping away having a grand old time, which is kind of setting a precedent when you’re talking about The Lair.
Previously in the audio commentary, the director has talked about the difficulty of finding actors who are comfortable with the nudity required to do a show like “Dante’s Cove ” And when the producers eventually moved forward with shooting “The Lair” in LA, most of the actors they would eventually end up casting on that particular show previously worked in the adult entertainment industry seemingly comfortable with the nudity that was required. In the morning, Adam stumbles home to the Dante and Toby puts him to bed. Adam says, “I love you.” And in a moment that I thought was actually kind of funny because Toby is the nicest nice guy there ever was. He essentially says, “I got Kevin.” It’s like, “Dude.”
Jeff: Yeah, because Adam was not meeting this in a Bro kind of away. He was meeting it as “I love you and, you know, ditch Kevin, let’s go off and do our thing.” Which is exactly what Kevin has been kind of talking about over these seasons about the connection that Adam and Toby have, and Toby is always like, “He’s just a friend. We’ve known each other forever, blah-blah-blah.” And now even that it’s been put into his face in this moment that Adam loves him in a different way perhaps, I was surprised that Toby was a little more caring in his drug addled state to be like, “It’s okay. This is all okay. We’ll get you help,” etc. because this will come back and be a problem later of course.
Will: Diana meanwhile is telling Ambrosius, “It’s the Libra Solstice, it’s the Libra Solstice.” And he’s like, “I know, I know.” So apparently it’s in three days and Diana has got really big plans because shit is gonna go down, and if we don’t get the upper hand, Grace will. It’s during this conversation that some of the vagueness is cleared up. Apparently not only are they going to unblock some sort of magical power during the Libra Solstice, apparently the ceremony or magic itself is going to enable them to go back in time and right something that has gone wrong.
Jeff: But apparently one thing, you get to pick one thing, pick wisely.
Will: It’s inferred that Ambrosius would like to go back in time and keep his sexy Butler from being killed by Grace. Diana would prefer that her father would not be killed by her mother and shifting the power dynamics within their family when it comes to the power of Tresum.
Jeff: Two things struck me about this particular thing. First of all, if Diana and Bro are essentially after the same goals, why aren’t they scheming together more often? Because sometimes they seem totally at odds with each other, but sometimes it seems like they should be more working together. But two, in terms of this thing that will happen with the magic to get to go back in time, does everybody who comes out on the winning side get to go back and fix one thing or is there only one person who gets to go back and fix one thing? And who does that get to be? Many questions came up even as things were revealed.
Will: Meanwhile, Michelle is still tripping and she almost drowns in the pool at H2Eau. Adam is going through some very dramatic movie of the week withdrawal, highlighted through a meaningful montage.
Jeff: It was a very montage heavy episode in some ways.
Will: Toby is there for his friend through it all. And when a new day dawns, Kevin tells Toby that he respects what a good friend that he is. So to celebrate, they make out.
Jeff: Of course.
Will: Van goes to Saint spring in the woods and what she has been sprinkled by the magical water feature, she can now read the ancient text in the Book of Tresum, including that page that she stole from Diana earlier.
Jeff: Yeah. That was a magical mystical moon water right there.
Will: And so she can now read that page, she knows all about the Libra Solstice and the magical shenanigans Grace is trying to put into place. And once Van realizes what she is up to, she of course, goes to Grace and tells her that’s fucked up.
Jeff: Perhaps not exactly her best moment to go and tell off the person who, you know, has a lot of the power here. Although, you know, as we’ve discussed before, Van’s power seems to manifest in interesting ways and on an as needed basis. So you know, she might be an important tool here in the Solstice depending on whose team she decides to come down on.
Will: Michelle goes to Van for some help and some guidance, but Van essentially pushes her away because at every turn she seems to fuck things up when it comes to Michelle. So from her point of view, Michelle is definitely better off without her. This of course is not what Michelle needs and she is in so much despair that we end this episode with a long shot of Michelle walking into the ocean, never to return.
Jeff: I was disappointed with Van on this.
Will: Why would you say that? She didn’t know her former girlfriend was going to commit suicide.
Jeff: Well, no, but we know from the past two or three episodes that the spell that Van put on her has really messed her up with the flashbacks and everything. Toby’s made it clear that she’s messed up and Van should be doing something. Control the spell, let Michelle break up with you, and let her move on that way. Just restore what you took away so she’ll storm off and be like, “Fuck you, Van. I don’t like your magic and I’m gonna go.” Because this whole thing started because she didn’t want to be broken up with necessarily because Michelle had issues with the magic. So I expected a little more empathy and help from Van to get her back in the right mind. So I was disappointed.
Will: And with that disappointment, we end this particular episode. Coming up next is the finale of season two. Lots of crazy stuff is going to go down and I can’t wait to see what happens.
Jeff: Yeah. Bring on that Libra Solstice.
Jeff: If you’d like to check out “Dante’s Cove” for the first time, or maybe revisit the episodes, they can be found streaming on Amazon Prime Video. And of course, if you’ve watched “Dante’s Cove” in the past, or maybe just checking it out now because we’re talking about it, we would love to know what you think. So, let us know by leaving a comment on the show notes page.
And I do want to let you know that our “Dante’s Cove” recaps are going to be back in July. We’re going to take June off from the goings-on at the Cove while we celebrate Pride month.
Will: This episode’s transcript has been brought to you by our community on Patreon. If you’d like to read our conversation for yourself, simply head on over to the show notes page for this episode at biggayfictionpodcast.com.
Jeff: And if you’d like to keep up to date with the show and recent releases in our genre, we hope you will check out the Rainbow Romance Reader Report, the weekly dispatch that delivers the latest news right into your inbox every Friday. Go to biggayfictionpodcast.com/report for more info.
Will: All right, I think that’ll do it for now. Coming up in episode 380, author Emma Alcott is going to be joining us.
Jeff: You may remember that Emma’s book “Bad Boy” was the January Big Gay Fiction Book Club selection. You may also know that Emma Alcott also writes under the pen name of Piper Scott. We’re going to be talking about how she got started writing, the books that she is writing under both pen names, and of course, we got to find out a lot more about the “Masters of Romance of which “Bad Boy” was book number one.
Will: On behalf of Jeff and myself, we want to thank you so much for listening, and we hope that you’ll join us again soon for more discussions about the kind of stories we all love, the big gay fiction kind. Until then keep turning those pages and keep reading.
Big Gay Fiction Podcast is part of the Frolic Podcast Network. Find more shows you’ll love at frolic.media/podcasts. Production assistance by Tyson Greenan. Original theme music by Daryl Banner.