Editor's note: this post contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 6 of HBO’s The White Lotus, "Abductions."
Let’s go lesbians!
Mike White’s darkly funny and sexy HBO series The White Lotus is known for its wild sex scenes, and now, in the second to last episode of the second season, the lesbians have gotten their own scene to be proud of.
While the first season took place at a White Lotus resort in Hawaii, the current season follows a resort in Sicily, where uptight and no-nonsense Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) is the hotel manager.
While Valentina can be a bit harsh to both her employees and to guests, we’ve been slowly falling in love with her over the season. As we’ve gotten to know her, it became clear that she’s gay, and was harboring a crush on one of her employees, Isabella.
In the second-to-last episode of this season, her feelings for Isabella came to a head. After buying Isabella a starfish brooch at a jewelry shop (‘a star for a star’ she tells her subordinate) and inviting her out to dinner to celebrate her birthday, Valentina learned that Isabella is actually engaged to Rocco, a male coworker.
It’s a heartbreaking scene, but not the only one Valentina had in the episode. When she’s busy getting drunk in the hotel bar after learning of her crush’s fiance, sex worker Mia comes up to her to talk.
Earlier, Mia had gotten a chance to play piano in the hotel’s bar after accidentally drugging the former piano player, and offering to trade sex with Valentina for a chance to play. “You’re gay, right? I’m a little bit gay too. Give me this job, and I promise you and I can have some fun,” she says.
At the bar, Valentina admits to Mia that she’s never been with a woman before, and Mia takes her up to one of the hotel’s empty rooms.
“I remember what I felt. I was not acting, I was living the conflict of this character in a very deep way,” Impacciatore said about filming the scene. “It made me understand, how do people that don’t accept themselves live their lives?”
Seeing Mia take control and push Valentina down onto the bed and climb on top of her was a great role reversal for the normally bossy and pushy hotel manager. Impacciatore said that in the moment, she felt her character was breaking free.
“In that moment of vulnerability, there’s this meeting of a lifetime with Mia. Even if they’re not going to be together, who cares? There is a click,” she told Vulture. “Mike [White] was very passionate about this moment; he came to me and said, ‘Sabrina, Valentina can’t be sad when she understands she is not going to have a relationship with Mia.’ Mike wanted to really affirm the fact that the hookup makes Valentina finally free. That was really touching to me. I cried a lot off-camera with this character. Even now I get emotional. I love her so much.”
Now that Valentina is free, we can’t wait to see what happens in the season finale of The White Lotus, debuting on HBO this Sunday, December 11.