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The White Lotus Season 2 debuted on HBO in 2022. A worthy successor to its award-winning debut, it follows a group of tourists at another White Lotus resort — this one in Sicily, Italy. Show creator Mike White has created a new set of intriguing characters and storylines that keep fans entertained every week, one of the best being the awkward dynamic between Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) and Albie (Adam DiMarco). And though they look like they’re headed for romance at first, Richardson thinks it’s best they don’t go that direction with the characters. (Spoilers for ‘The White Lotus: Sicily’ through episode 5, “That’s Amore.”)

Portia and Albie’s lack of chemistry speaks to the bigger themes of ‘The White Lotus’

Albie and Portia both arrive at the titular hotel at the behest of other people. Portia is there as Tanya’s (Jennifer Coolidge) assistant. Albie is traveling with his dad Dominic (Michael Imperioli) and grandpa Bert (F. Murray Abraham) to explore their ancestral roots in the city. 

Neither of them is happy to be there and they develop a relationship mostly to get away from their personal problems for a time. But what appears to be a story about young love turns into something else when Portia and Albie start to reveal who they are and what they’re looking for.

Portia’s dreams of an Italian summer fling don’t really jive with Albie’s (somewhat suspicious) “nice guy” routine. (His “wounded birds” comment really raised some red flags.) Neither of them appears to be overtly bad people, nor do they treat each other horribly. They just have no spark whatsoever. 

Haley Lu Richardson thinks their romance would be a disaster

haley lu richardson the white lotus
Haley Lu Richardson attends the Los Angeles Season 2 Premiere of HBO Original Series “The White Lotus” at Goya Studios on October 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Richardson appeared on an episode of Vanity Fair’s Still Watching podcast off the back of the fourth episode of The White Lotus Season 2 (titled “In the Sandbox”) to talk about Portia’s state of mind and her relationship with other characters. 

This is the episode where she and Albie begin to go their separate ways. Portia connects with Jack (Leo Woodall), an easygoing English lad whose uncle Quentin (Tom Hollander) is weaving a similar spell on Tanya. For his part, Albie finds comfort in the arms of Lucia (Simona Tabasco), at first unaware (then unconcerned) that she is a sex worker who slept with his dad a few days earlier.

Richardson strongly believes the relationship would only get worse if they tried to make it happen. “I do think that in another world, Albie could be so great for Portia in so many ways, but she would also just ruin him,” the actor said. “There would be so much resentment there.” 

What’s next for Portia and Albie?


‘The White Lotus’ Season 2: Every Clue That Portia Dies (So Far)

Portia and Albie’s bliss with their new partners did not last very long.

Portia travels to Palermo to spend more time with Jack in Quentin’s mansion. What starts as a passionate day trip takes a turn for the weird when Jack forces them to skip out on a meal, saying he forgot his wallet. Then, Jack drops her off at her room at the end of the night, saying that he has to “do something for his uncle.” That something is the big revelation of the episode. Tanya walks through the manor late at night and walks in on Jack and Quentin having sex. Suffice it to say, Portia likely isn’t aware.

Meanwhile, Albie realizes what Lucia’s profession is and remains enthralled with her vibe. But knowing the business side of their relationship doesn’t make things any less murky. Lucia tells him about a man named Alessio who is shaking her down for money and the fact that Cameron (Theo James) owes her cash from their previous night. Is she being vulnerable with him because she views Albie as a potential meal ticket? Or do they have a real emotional connection to each other? Considering the show, it’s probably a mixture of both. 

This season of The White Lotus began with dead bodies being fished out of the ocean and most of the cast remains a plausible suspect (or victim) of the crime. With just two episodes remaining, there’s a lot more to this story.