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Hey! Isn’t it bad manners to start this show 15 minutes late? Oh well. It’s time to learn more about etiquette (or lack thereof) from the self-proclaimed queens of manners, the Real Housewives of PotomacSo far this season, we’ve learned that when the cameras start rolling, all bets are off with so-called friends. Like in the case of Gizelle Bryant and Karen Huger, who claimed to be pretty good buds before the show taped, but are now at each others’ throats over who-sat-where-in-a-damn-booth. Or Gizelle and Charrisse Jackson-Jordan, whose argument at the clam boil went to level 10 over some cabinet-banging and dragging “the help” upstairs. (Both of these arguments came to us courtesy of Karen and Charrisse, in my opinion, with Gizelle getting caught in the cross-wigs.) What happened to a few episodes of “getting to know you” housewifery fluff before all hell breaks loose? And where are the gorgeous homes and high class lifestyles of which we were foretold!? <wipes tear> In short, Dear Bravo: Where Are The Wives You Promised Us!?!? 

Alas, we are left with this bunch. But the introduction of younger, less etiquette-obsessed Ashley Darby may just breathe new life into what is already becoming a stale manners-off among this group of confused socialite wannabees. And tonight’s episode does thankfully fill in some much-needed gaps of real backstory on our key players. First we begin with Katie Rost, who’s meeting with Washington Life Magazine to talk about how her modeling career has changed since she’s become a mother. She’s not getting many modeling jobs these days, so she’s using her “good looks and charm” to raise money for charities, specifically for her family’s Rost Foundation – of which she’s director. Coming from a legacy of philanthropic work within her family, Katie has big shoes to fill. She’s got it all, except a husband, as the Magazine rep she’s meeting with so kindly points out. (Did we just get transported back to 1954?)  

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Karen is tragically dressed in her teenager’s ironic camo crop pants and tank top to meet Gizelle for coffee. Gizelle is also decked out for battle in some camo of her own. Karen comes straight out of the gate with another etiquette lesson about grown women embarrassing themselves in public, as she and Charrisse basically did last week in their lunch with Gizelle. Not about to go round and round with Lady Eloise about the rules of proper decorum, circa 1700, Gizelle says she’s ready to put this matter to bed. They agree to disagree and hug it out. But Gizelle is not, as Karen suggests, about to apologize to Charrrrriiissssse for the twelfth time. 

Ashley and her hubby Michael are out to dinner with Katie and not-fiance Andrew. Ashley is a round the way girl, and is more into whiskey and beer than champagne and manners. But she’s willing to make an effort with this new group of ladies in order to gain access to their “connections.” Katie finds it exciting to hang out with an interracial couple. (Exciting? Alrighty, then.) Ashley is not excited about hearing that Gizelle called her a THOT upon first meeting her. But Katie warns her that Gizelle may be the least of her problems, as Ashley has yet to meet Karen. Andrew aptly describes Karen of the Farm as “older, more haggard, and more stuck up” than all of the other women combined. Katie is simply thrilled shocked to hear such derision come out of angelic Andrew’s mouth! #SomeoneHadToSayIt

Over at Robyn Dixon’s house, she and ex-husband Juan (who still sleeps in her bed and raises children with her) are getting ready for their day. Their shared life is no different than it was when they were married, Robyn admits. Juan is committed to being a strong dad to make up for the lack of a solid father figure in his own life. Robyn welcomed Juan back into their home post-divorce because she wants him in the kids’ lives (and in hers?), but has her guard up about their relationship. Juan’s potential coaching job could take him away from the family soon, though, so things may be about to change. Robyn admits they’re recovering from financial difficulties, so the job is essential. If he goes out of state, she may consider moving with him.

Juan asks Robyn about her wedding dress, which she was eerily wearing one day (with Gizelle) when he popped in. Instead of ribbing her about it too much, he kind of sweetly recalls seeing her in it the day they were wed, and even laughs about her falling asleep in her gown at the hotel on their wedding night. I don’t know, man. These two seem to be in love. The cameras only show us a diced up version of events, yes, but there’s something here. No? #TeamRobynAndJuan!

Karen’s 17-year old daughter Rayvin (who is truly beautiful!) is getting her hair and makeup done for prom, a Potomac “mom” event which Karen is ready to go all out for. Karen admits most moms fade into the background after their kids graduate. But make no mistake: Karen will not be fading into anything anytime soon. Rayvin descends the steps to meet her date, and she looks stunning. The fact that Rayvin is going to prom with a white boy is no biggie, says Karen, who claims interracial dating in Potomac is par for the course. So, why are some of the other women so obsessed with the subject, then? Interesting. 

At a bridal shop, Robyn is turning over her gown. (Wasn’t she selling it on eBay a minute ago?) Her mom is along for support and a walk down memory lane about Robyn and Juan’s wedding. Robyn knows they had a true love story, and her own parents took Juan on as a son too, despite Juan’s very different upbringing. It’s time to let go of the dress now, in any case. Although bittersweet, Robyn needs to finally sell it. And frankly, she needs the money.

Hold up! Why are we finding Charrisse and Karen in a bikini shop next? Did they make a wrong left turn and miss the hair salon which they desperately need, ending up here instead for a surreal conversation about Gizelle in front of racks of Forever 21 two-pieces? Karen tells Charrisse she had a “really good talk” with Gizelle. Charrisse responds with her best stank face, hand on hip pose. Karen says she encouraged Gizelle to reach out to her too, but Charrisse wants no part of it. She feels Gizelle took advantage of her hospitality, so she’s done with her for good.

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Ah! Now it’s becoming clear why the bikini shop is in play: Ashley and Katie are here to Zoolander each other out in a Bikini Off! They enter, and Karen plays nice meeting Ashley for the first time, as she’s heard Ashley is married to a “prominent real estate developer” and is a former Miss DC. The premise we’re supposed to buy here is that Ashley and Katie are present to try on bathing suits for Rayvin. Okay. We’ll bite…I guess! Karen tells Ashley she’s a “breath of fresh air,” so Ashley invites her to a whiskey tasting. In exchange for this invite, Karen gives her some Aunt Dot Lipton Tea Wisdom: Earn your place in our circle; don’t expect to get in just ’cause.

Karen and Charrisse do their best to valiantly suck down the bile creeping up their throats as Katie and Ashley trot their bangin’ bods out in bikini after bikini. And, to their credit, both grandma and great grandma don’t cut a b*tch for being young and thirsty. Instead, they clap and fake-giggle and keep their shade to a bare minimum. #NiceRestraint #EtiquetteRule402

Meanwhile, Gizelle is at home with her girls, who she’s letting pick out her getup for Ashley’s whiskey tasting. Since they’re closer to Ashley’s age than she is, Gizelle snarks they know more about what she should wear. 

Katie and Andrew are heading to a a gala in DC for Washington Magazine, so she’ll miss the whiskey tasting. Never one to waste a moment begging Andrew to marry her, Katie pressures Andrew on how she should introduce him to the crowd? FIANCE? CAN I CALL YOU MY FIANCE!?!?!? Katie subtly suggests. No. Andrew prefers boy toy. Or the dude roped into taking care of three children so he can fool around with their mom. 

Back in Potomac-ish-areas, Ashley is getting ready at the Barrel Restaurant for the ladies to arrive to her Whiskey Shakedown. Karen arrives first “dressed to the nine” (yes, nine), followed by Robyn, Gizelle, and finally, Charrisse – who is dressed to the TWO. (Did she literally just wake up from a nap in this jumpsuit and crawl here on the freeway?)

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The ladies are all nonplussed about the venue and the drinks being served up. They snort and scoff and trash talk the drinks laid out before them, wishing they could just get back to the pristine Formica and corded phones of their respective palaces. Not one to be hated on lightly, Ashley stays chipper, offering a toast – complete with backhanded compliments – about getting to know one another better, even though she’s younger. She likes Karen and Charrisse so far, seeing Gizelle and Robyn as her primary haters. 

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Gizelle sort-of-finally addresses Charrisse about the beef between them, but Charrisse is not interested in forgiving and forgetting. She cannot let this thing go, whatever this perceived “thing” is. Gizelle claims they are better friends than this ridiculous argument, and wonders why Charrisse is holding on to it with such a death grip. Charrisse, who, um – how should I put this? – is seeming slightly Kim Richardsy right now, mumbles and stares vacantly toward where Gizelle is sitting as she takes this all in.  

In DC, Katie is trotting Andrew around “The Best of Washington” gala like a brood mare, hoping someone – anyone – asks them when they shall marry. She needs to frequent events like this one in order to work the room, making connections she can levy into money for future Rost Foundation fundraisers. She does her Girl Scout best to meet and greet as many hopeful donors as possible, but the moment she’s been really waiting for finally happens when a stranger asks Andrew and her, “So, are you engaged?” Katie smiles cunningly at him, asking, “Are we engaged?” Because that public question ALWAYS goes over well with one’s boyfriend. (Did this girl read The Rules in the early millennium and just memorize that sh*t by heart, or what?) 

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Back at the Barrel, Charrisse is still trying to string a sentence together defend herself about manners and disrespect and…oh God. Make it stop! Before they can get anywhere, Ashley jumps in to confront Gizelle about calling her a THOT. Gizelle says she saw “ho-ish behavior” in her, but apologizes anyway. They put it to bed quickly and efficiently after that. Good. 

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Charrisse, inspired by Ashley and Gizelle’s maturity in squashing their issue at lightning speed, gets up from the table to walk around and hug it out with Gizelle. So, she’s suddenly ready to let go? #BlameItOnTheAlcohol Gizelle says she and Charrisse have history, so there’s no reason to let such a silly argument turn into a lifetime feud. The group is relieved to be done with this infantile matter, and to have more whiskey in their glasses. 

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As Katie and Andrew get ready for the night after the gala, Katie can’t help but bring up her desire for Andrew to POP THE QUESTION ALREADY…and braid her hair. Because, you know, 50 Shades of Grey and all. Ain’t no better way to get an engagement ring than demand a man braid your hair, thinks Katie of the Too Many S & M Movies and Romantic Comedies. 

Katie tells Andrew he’s never had the pleasure of seeing her pregnant and “it is a JOY.” That might be the weirdest line I’ve ever, ever heard. On so many levels. She wants Andrew to get her knocked up and propose – in that order? Andrew: you need to wear 2. Not 1. TWO. You catch my drift, brah? Seriously though, Katie wonders, when is Andrew going to lock this thing down? Andrew jokes that a 5 or 6 year engagement sounds about right, but Katie is not to be trifled with right now. 

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Katie says Andrew is basically 44 (he’s 43), and she wants to know what his actual opinion is about this. She’s a single mom with three small children, so if he isn’t interesting in marrying her, he’s wasting her precious time. If she hadn’t been harping on him the past 6 months about getting married, Andrew retorts, he would have already asked her. Now pissed, Katie tells Andrew he “needs help” and slugs her wine in an effort to numb out the #TRUTH. 

TELL US: DO YOU THINK GIZELLE, KAREN, AND CHARRISSE WILL MOVE FORWARD NOW? IS ASHLEY A GOOD ADDITION TO THE GROUP? IS KATIE GOING ABOUT THIS ENGAGEMENT THING ALL THE WRONG WAY? 

Photo Credit: Bravo

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