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Party Down South insider spills on the first explosive brawl of the season

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?

It's been a rough couple of weeks for everyone's favorite rural rabble-rousers. From an unexpected exit to a heartbreaking rumor, the Party Down South crew has certainly seen better days. But, hey, you can't have rainbows without a little rain, right? Brighter times are surely headed their way!

Only, nope. Because, nope. Just nope.

As it stands, Lyle is still equal parts heartbroken, mad as hell (mainly at Tiffany and Lauren at this point) and blindingly smitten by his allegedly adulterous fiancée, Santana.

More: Party Down South's final season starts rocky for one heartbroken housemate

Of course Tiff is a talker, so she decides to hold an impromptu house meeting to hash things out. Walt, who is quickly becoming my favorite redneck jedi of wisdom, breaks it down for her, saying, "Honestly, who the f*** am I to tell him what's up? He made his decisions and I'm gonna be there to support him, because I'm there for him and he needs to make his own decisions."

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?
Image: CMT

Which is all well and good, except for the fact that girls and guys have very different ideas about supporting their guy friends — particularly when it involves another girl.

Meanwhile, Mattie is trying to stay out of the fray by going to bed early. Not to pass out. Not to pretzel anybody or be pretzeled. Mattie is just going to bed because she's got work in the morning, y'all. That's some growth right there. Perhaps Martha is dormant for good?

Maybe, says Sally Ann Salsano, 495 Productions president, and founder and creator/executive producer of Party Down South. "The whole Mattie/Martha thing is a lot like that Incredible Hulk guy," Salsano told us in an exclusive interview. "At first, she couldn't control it when Martha came out, but now she can to a certain extent. Is Martha dormant? You'll see how it shakes out this season, but I will tell you it's up to Mattie at this point. She knows how to avoid the triggers and how to get the triggers going."

The next morning, Mattie has awoken refreshed and ready to shake her, er, sell some peaches and other fruits. Of course, first she has to figure out which produce is fruit. After a comical crash course in tomatoes, though, she feels ready to clock in.

Since Lyle had such a rough night, he sleeps in.

"Poor Lyle. He was being torn in two different directions, meaning Santana was pulling one way and his roommates another way, and neither side was being calm or nice about it. So it was really hard on him. He didn't know what to think or believe and had a super-hard time sleeping at all. He was having doubts, but he was also still in love so, for him, it was a super-difficult experience," said Salsano.

So while Lyle gets some much needed sleep, the rest of the gang heads off to meet their new bosses. Daddy brings a funnel, because Daddy.

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?
Image: CMT

Luckily, their new bosses at the produce stand are super chill. Heck, I predict they might even give one of Daddy's funnels a try before all is said and done. But not even that could top what happens during their new job orientation: Murray comes back! Is it just me, or does anyone else want to give Sugar Bear all the hugs?

His mom, Barb, basically told him he'd be a huge punk if he left the house and to get his ass back and finish strong. Hell yeah, Barb — I like this lady's style.

More: Party Down South insider opens up about [SPOILER]'s shocking exit

Of course, Murray has no idea what kind of hornet's nest he is walking into. Finding Lyle all bummed out in bed during the middle of the day gives him some indication, though. So after hearing the whole story, Murray promises to get Lyle some one-on-one face time with Santana at the house.

Murray gives her a ring, she agrees to come and I start stocking my fallout shelter because I'm pretty sure there's about to be a reckoning of apocalyptic proportions. Ain't no way Tiff and Lauren are going to sit idly by while Santana strolls into that house.

Or will they?

Everyone is so excited to see Murray that Tiff doesn't even jump down his throat when he tells her what he did. Was she pissed? Yep. Kinda short with him? Sure was. But she didn't flip her shit, which is a good sign.

At the club that night, Tiff decides to channel the force for good by being Walt's wing woman. There was just one problem — Walt didn't want a wing woman. Perhaps pointing out the girl he was chatting up was "real pretty and I think Walt should bang her" wasn't the most wing-woman-y thing to do.

Things are going much better for Murray, who falls down and wastes no time smushing faces with some chick at the bar.

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?
Image: CMT

Admittedly, things tail off considerably when he takes her home and then proceeds to pass out on the couch. Womp, womp.

Tiff is still all worked up about Santana, and Daddy manages to drunkenly fall off the bar while she's in the middle of her spiel. Mind you, this was not the first, nor undoubtedly the last, time Daddy has fallen off, over or around a bar. But this time he managed to mess up his ankle.

Or, according to him, get an unequivocal sign from the party gods that it was time to hit the sack. Good call, buddy.

The next day, Murray has no recollection of the chick from the bar (although Salsano hints "she might" be back 'cause Murray "can reel in a marlin with the best of them"), but he does remember the promise he made to Lyle. As a diversion, he signs the housemates up for a Pedal Tour of Savannah.

Tiff manages to "disrespect" Lyle before they even leave, which is an impressive feat considering it was, like, not even 9 a.m. and also because she wasn't distracted by Murray's super seck-sy Spandex ensemble.

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?
Image: CMT

Shortly after they leave, Santana shows up. She cries, Lyle cries, the baby pigs in the yard were probably crying. It was a total tear-fest for a second there.

But, don't worry, they pull it together in time to squeeze in some afternoon makeup sex.

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?
Image: CMT

When the gang gets back, Tiff runs to pee before proclaiming she has her sunshades on "so haters don't see me." To be clear, they've all been drinking. All day. She seems chipper enough, though. Was there a chance things weren't going to get ugly?

"Yeah, hell no," Salsano said. "Tiffany, God bless her, but she's intense when she's sober. To add day drinking to that emotional bonfire, we knew there would be no relaxing the entire time Santana was there — and we knew Lauren wasn't going to be shy about sharing her opinion day, night, sober or drunk. So we were for sure ready."

It's a good thing, too, since Lauren decides calling Brandon and getting "confirmation" is a good idea. And, hey, it kinda was considering he seemed pretty adamant he was telling the truth about his tryst with Santana.

More: Party Down South sneak peek hints that Lyle's proposal doesn't go as planned

Lyle and Santana retreat to the hot tub, but Santana can't help but focus on Tiff and Lauren raisin' a little hell on the porch. She's a bit too giggly for a girl being accused of cheating on her future husband, if you ask me, and maybe Lyle picked up on that, too — he insists they go inside and call Brandon.

Only, as soon as Santana supposedly starts to dial, she leaps up and goes tearing into the kitchen to pick a fight with Lauren. Hmm. Suspect.

"Get the f*** out of my face, you ugly, fat bitch," she yells at Lauren, shortly before Lauren punches her in the back of the head and — you guessed it! — the shit officially hits the fan.

Party Down South: Can Lyle and Santana's relationship survive tonight's fight?
Image: CMT

To make matters more intense, as all of this season's drama was unfolding, Mother Nature wasn't exactly playing nice either.

"Summertime in Georgia is intense weather, and we got lots of crazy rainstorms with thunder and lightning," revealed Salsano. "During one of these storms, the loudest lightning I've ever heard cracked in the backyard and a tree came down. Luckily no one was hurt, but that scared the hell out of everyone on set."

Oh, and if you're worried about Lyle following this majorly suspenseful cliffhanger, well, you've got good reason. Warns Salsano, "Let me put it this way: It doesn't get any easier for Lyle anytime soon."

Ah, nothing spells relaxation like a good vacation, eh?

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