Here is the exclusive recap from BPR's own "Resident Philosopher," Dr. Don!
THE 13TH (UNINVITED) GUEST ARRIVES AT THE PARTY
There were wonderful touches throughoout this episode, many quotable remarks, many intimate windows that opened to reveal previously-hidden, endearing personality quirks and flashes of intelligence but in the end they were all filler, all preamble, all (however touching or traumatic) diversionary.
The REAL drama began more than halfway through the show. For when the trip finally got to the "surprise 13th", the designers' trial-by-fire (think the Labours of Hercules here), everything suddenly, effortlessly fell into place. Finally you could see the rationale behind the whole season--that every twist annd turn, evey triumph and stumbled step along the path (and there were many) was an integral part of an inevitable journey that brought them to this particular moment, to this particular place of extreme testing of both their individual characters and their elemental skills as designers, just as fate brought Oedipus, however he struggled to avoid it, to the lonely crossroads where he would kill his father. No one, fortunately, would be killed, however, except the demons of their own self-doubts.
Daniel vocalized their internal stress, breaking points reached, and sense of unfairness, betrayal even (that they all must have been feeling at this point) best. So modest and silent all season but noticably more testy, confrontive and mouthy in recent episodes, he had become the greek chorus, the channel of their Collective Unconscious.
"They were going to rain on our parade. You could just tell."
And later: "It was a ball of emotions. Two days left before the show, and they drop the bomb." All the earlier crises and meltdowns we've shared on PR this season
pale in comparision with this one.
But first let me capsulize the episode up to the surprising and alarming arrival of "the 13th guest", when in my opinion, PR entered new and, at least emotionally, uncharted territory even by its own standards.
Tim does his signature visitations, packing his charm in his luggage and enplaning crosscountry, LA to Houston and back to New York.
Santino's was the most revelatory, almost confessional. Certainly none of the other designers have ever exposed themselves and opened up their private psychic wounds to the degree Santino did (and probably never will). It is sometimes almost too painful to watch and, almost mysteriously, just as necessary in order to understand his dynamic, which has become, wisely or unwisely, like it or not, the engine that runs the show.
"I came across as arrogant, a crazy egomaniac --the Santino Rice you love to hate, but underneath I have major insecurity."
You hear fragments torn from his in-depth conversations with Tim of how difficult his life has been, and he adds that he's "thought all these criticisms he'll get from other people a hundred times himself". Then he finishes with "I see people give up their dreams every day, and I'm not ever going to do that. Really. I'll die trying." And you believe him. (By the way, Santino twice speaks of death, if only metaphorically, in this episode.) I feel that he has undergone a death-and-rebirth transformation this last year, and this is probably not the first time in his life, nor last either. Tim is unusually supportive, encouraging, almost congratulatory of Santino's work. "You're taking a risk, which I applaud. It's not safe--and there's an element of refinement I didn't see before."
"It's great work. You should feel very proud." Santino, the bad boy, has done his "detox" and is finally going straight.
(Quotes are not always verbatim, they come so fast, and are sometimes hobbled together.)
Continued in the comments section....