It’s unfortunate when a couple realizes they aren’t meant to be after a visit to Love Prison. When they realize it on day one, it makes for a looooooooong week.
Meet Nicole, a 30-year-old sales manager from Westchester, New York. She calls herself a social butterfly, enjoys going to the beach and listening to music, likes romantic guys, and took to online dating in the hopes of finding her Prince Charming. Spoiler: that’s about as deep as things will get with Nicole.
Meet Lawrence, a 27-year-old aspiring Mr. Olympia from Hoboken, New Jersey. Wait a minute. Westchester is vague geography-wise, but they both live in the Greater New York City area. They couldn’t find one Saturday in the six months they’ve been talking with each other to meet for lunch in the city? I have a feeling this Love Prison visit is doomed before we get started. Lawrence’s intro segment ends with “Dating online is like playing Russian Roulette, you never know what you are going to get.” I forgot that Forrest Gump was in The Deer Hunter.
Nicole is first to arrive and looks instantly uncomfortable. She isn’t a fan of all the cameras in the house. Did she not know what she signed up for? She meets Lawrence outside and they smooch hello. He says she looks like her photos, which is something that all three couples so far have commented upon. It kind of makes me hope there’s an episode where one or both halves of the couple have faked their profiles.
After Lawrence helps Nicole with her 80-pound luggage1, the couple head to the dining area to chat. After some bland pleasantries and a few compliments, there’s a lot of awkward silence. Once Nicole realizes there isn’t a radio or any other electronics, she asks “What are we going to do this whole time?” “Drink?” Lawrence offers. It’s going to be a long week.
Lawrence and Nicole get to use their hour of yard time and head out down to the water. They wade in, but the water is too cold for swimming. Their feet get stuck in the mud and they share some giggles. Lawrence decides to get comfortable and takes off his shirt…and his trunks. He asks if Nicole is interested in some skinny dipping, but she’s too busy muttering “That’s fucked up” to herself. Nicole doesn’t believe that is appropriate behavior for a first date, which is fair. He apologizes at dinner, but you can tell she does not forgive him.
As they get ready for bed—Nicole on the top bunk and Lawrence on the bottom—he apologizes again. She calls him a douche, then Lawrence interviews in the confessional he didn’t expect to be called a douche this early in the week.3 Nicole reveals in her own interview that Lawrence is pushing her buttons the same way her ex did, and she doesn’t like it.
Lawrence apologizes once more when they wake up. Nicole says they are cool4 and crawls into bed for some cuddle time. Later, they hang out in the living room and Lawrence continues to offer compliments and some questions for Nicole. She give much of a response to either. I’m wondering if Nicole is playing hard to get, but has forgotten the part where you make some kind of handle to grab on to. This is not helped by the Instigating TV playing video of Nicole describing her dislike of muscleheads. Lawrence is jacked, but he’s not as extreme as Schwarzenegger back in the day. He’s a little miffed, but Nicole assures him that he is height/weight proportional.
Lawrence makes steak and pasta for a dress-up date with Nicole. As they eat, Lawrence asks how she feels about the distance if they decide to continue after this excursion. Nicole mumbles something but doesn’t answer the question.5 Lawrence gets the read on the situation and speculates that maybe there isn’t a spark. Cut to an interview with Nicole about how brutal her ex was. You know, as intense as Love Prison might be, this seems like a perfect opportunity to work through that 80-pound baggage. Lawrence seems to like her, but Nicole balking at these not difficult questions is the reddest of flags.
The evening ends with Lawrence explaining his “maleset,” a male corset that holds in his gut. Um, sure. The two make out in the bottom bunk.
Lawrence and Nicole enjoyed the makeout session. Neither one is a morning person, but Nicole makes breakfast. Lawrence thanks her for the eggs, but that’s the extent of conversation. Later, a delivery arrives containing weights and other calisthenics equipment. Lawrence is grateful for the opportunity to get a workout in and tries to do some training with Nicole during yard time. Nicole is not so into it, and her bustiness makes jumping rope a concussion hazard. While Lawrence works on his burn, Nicole pops a squat on the porch and lights up a cigarette. Lawrence is horrified by this, especially since Nicole told him that she was trying to quit. This proves to be the dealbreaker as sleeping arrangements have now become passive-aggressive.
Nicole uses her hour of yard time to smoke like a chimney. Lawrence decides he will embrace the naked time he enjoys in his day-to-day. I hope the couples who filmed after these two are enjoying seeing him sprawled out on the couch. There’s a well-placed lamp allowing for a camera angle that doesn’t require blurring.
“It’s my last day on the fucking love island,” Lawrence interviews. He says he was duped by the persona Nicole constructed. Nicole says she felt disrespected and that Lawrence has no class. The two bicker on the dock, Lawrence telling her she’s no fun and Nicole calling him a douche. There is one thing they can agree on: they will each be traveling back to shore alone. Thank God.
- Remember, Lawrence is a bodybuilder, so Nicole’s bag must be ridiculous if he’s commenting. ↵
- The timeline gets a little murky here. The show says this is Day 2, but Lawrence references the events as Day 1. I’m not sure if he is counting the first full day, or if production felt the need to cut a day to put these two out of their misery. Er, spoiler. ↵
- His words, not mine. ↵
- Or “rolling with the homies.” Ugh. ↵
- Or she does, depending on your interpretation. ↵