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‘The White Lotus: Sicily’ goes full frontal, introduces us to Niccoló and his giant… pupils

Image Credit: HBO

In The White Lotus: Sicily‘s penultimate episode, things are almost unbearably tense as a few of these characters—but we don’t know which!—careen toward certain death. Thankfully, HBO’s dark satire knows how to cut the tension with a little partying and a whole lot of man. Let’s get into it…

Spoilers ahead for episode six, “Abductions.”

Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) didn’t sleep well after accidentally walking in on Quentin (Tom Hollander) getting railed by his “naughty nephew,” Jack (Leo Woodall). She tries to caution Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) about her Essex playboy, but the two are quickly pulled apart, which is an early sign that these gays might not have the best intentions.

After a day of heavy drinking, a sloshed Jack—in some tiny underwear—reveals a little more than he should, mentioning that Quentin is strapped for cash, while implying he’d be coming into more money soon. Interesting. Notably, we don’t get confirmation whether or not the two are actually related, but Jack says his “uncle” once got him out of a very dark hole. (“What kind of hole?”) Portia starts to wonder if she shouldn’t have abandoned her hapless employer.

Image Credit: HBO

Back at the palazzo, Tanya gets all dolled up for the extravagant party thrown in her honor. Quentin wastes no time in introducing her to some arm candy in the form of Niccoló (Stefano Gianino—scroll down below to see even more of him), a gorgeous Sicilian man who maybe has Mafia connections and definitely is hung like a horse. Tanya partakes in some recreational drug use, comments on Niccoló’s beautiful giant pupils, then cuts a rug with the gays and old money Italians. She’s the center of attention, and she looks completely blissed out.

By the way, one of those great Italian pop songs that plays during these sequences is “Ciao Ciao” by La Rappresentante di Lista—which was absolutely snubbed in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest!

We digress. After going a little too hard on the powder, Tanya is easily coaxed back to a bedroom by Niccoló (hard to blame her!). While he undresses, she catches a glimpse of a surprising photo: A young Quentin alongside her husband, Greg (Jon Gries)—all but confirming the popular theory that he was the “American cowboy” the gay socialite mentioned being in love with an episode back.

Suddenly pieces are clicking into place, and we were right to be suspicious of these gregarious gays! Quentin is in cahoots with Greg, working to scam Tanya out of her money, right? A pre-nup had been mentioned, so killing her wouldn’t do the trick, but some fans have wondered if they might have included an infidelity clause that could render the agreement moot. Either that, or Quentin is secretly recording Tanya’s hook-up and plans to blackmail her with it.

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Of course, you’re not here for theories, are you? You just want to know more about this Niccoló fella, right?

It’s been a sex-fueled season of The White Lotus, but, until now, the show has avoided going full hog (we don’t count that fleeting glimpse of Theo James’ prosthetic from the premiere). Well, Niccoló changes all that, sauntering into the bedroom completely nude, and honestly being very sweet to Tanya who is clearly nervous—oh, and also very much on drugs. The episode ends with a shot of him between her legs, and—if we weren’t certain there was a camera recording them for the aforementioned blackmail—it’d be a pretty beautiful moment. Like a modern-day Renaissance painting!

Niccoló is played by Italian actor Stefano Gianino, a relative newcomer with only a few credits to his name thus far. There’s a very good chance Niccoló’s not sticking around for the morning after, so that may be all we see of Gianino on The White Lotus, but the actor sure left a lasting impression.

If you want to see more of Gianino, well, there’s plenty to go around on his Instagram:

 

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A post shared by Stefano Gianino (@_stefanogianino_)

 

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A post shared by Stefano Gianino (@_stefanogianino_)

 

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A post shared by Stefano Gianino (@_stefanogianino_)

Elsewhere in the episode, the little family reunion for Di Grasso men gets thwarted by Lucia’s (Simona Tabasco) presumed pimp and a distant relative with an artichoke. When Lucia returns to Albie (Adam DiMarco) that night, she’s seems shaken, but is anyone else wondering if she’s being coaxed to milk this “nice guy” for all the money she can?

Meanwhile, Harper (Aubrey Plaza) plays mind games with her husband, Ethan (Will Sharpe), flipping the tables so now he‘s the one left wondering if his partner has been unfaithful, and he really doesn’t handle it well. There’s been a homoerotic undercurrent to his bromance with Cam (Theo James), but now things just feel aggressive. If you’ve been holding out hope for these two dudes to hook up, well… We’re starting to think these two might wind up “pounding” each other in a different way.

Related: Discover this awesome new queer comedy series flying under the radar

And, lastly, this one’s for the sapphics: Hotel manager Valentina (Sabrina Impacciatore) receives an unwelcome birthday surprise, when she learns the female employee she’s been pretty openly crushing on is engaged… to a man. Drinking her sorrows away at the bar, she’s spotted by Mia (Beatrice Grannò), who has already propositioned her once before for a spot at the lounge piano. When Valentina reveals she’s never even been with a woman, Mia convinces her to use her managerial power and “book” a room. It feels like a cathartic moment for Valentina, but knowing The White Lotus—the hotel and the show—it probably won’t last long.

How will this dream/nightmare Sicilian vacation end? There’s only one more week until we find out, when the finale airs on December 11! Read on for some of our favorite Twitter reactions, and share you theories in the comments section below.