Last night, Marissa Hermer rejoined the Ladies Of London ranks, and not-so-subtly aligned herself with this season’s official Caroline Stanbury haters. Julie Montagu seems especially relieved that her co-conspirator is back in the saddle, ready to ride or die for the cause – as long as that cause is talking trash about Caroline.
When Marissa meets Julie, Sophie Stanbury, and Adela King for lunch, the anti-Caroline camp closes ranks quickly, musing about how unhinged their nemesis has become lately. Sophie plays dumb about why Caroline is being so meeeeean! And Marissa smirks that she thinks Caroline just has her panties in a wad about Sophie becoming friends with Julie. She also snarks that Caroline’s move to Dubai will be challenging, given her inability to make or keep friends easily. Ouch.
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At Baroness Caroline Fleming’s London pad, she’s whipping up some sort of experimental cuisine, destined for her newest cookbook venture. She’s written three cookbooks already, and hopes to wander through the mushroom and blueberry fields of her mind to dream up more recipes – recipes which she needs to put food on the table, people! Caroline scoffs at the stories circulating about her getting a $400 million settlement from her divorce. Bah! Where do these stories come from? she muses. “I have to work,” she states plainly. Well, that’s news to me!
Meeting hubby Cem for lunch, Caroline S discusses his recent Paris trip, which has her looking forward to spending more time as a family when they move to Dubai. Caroline tells Cem she feels Sophie’s disloyalty keenly. Cem points out how Caroline has been witness to some of Sophie’s lowest moments, and that Sophie is likely not maliciously “going after” Caroline now. She’s just trying to please everyone and getting alliances twisted up in the process. Caroline knows she’s stubborn, but simply can’t understand how her sister in law could suddenly switch allegiances to a pack of friends she’s just met over her.
At Julie’s home, she and Luke are washing dishes (with a Mapperton tea towel, one presumes) and stressing about their eldest daughter, Emma, departing for the University of Edinburgh soon. Julie dreads the day when she’ll be stuck at home with all boys soon. And by home she means Mapperton. And by Mapperton, she means A TITLE. (Lest we forget.)
Across town, Marissa and Matt are enjoying time at home with their boys and baby Sadie, who apparently made it through her time away from mommy and daddy in one piece. After the nanny takes over, they head outside to discuss Marissa’s anxiety – especially about Matt’s sudden urge to move back to the States. She doesn’t want to pick up their lives and split to LA! Her life is in London now, and this year has brought enough adventure already. Matt is not on the same page. He wants to cut and run NOW.
At Caroline S’s home, she and
surrogate husband Luke are visited by Rania, former business partner and current friend. Rania brings clippings of Gift Library stories to remind Caroline of the mess they made of their business. Wow. Rania is either the worst friend on the planet or she gives no f–ks. Either way, she sort of rocks.
Caroline can’t look back on this mess for a hot minute before diverting her attention to Dubai, which she sees as a clean break. She swears she’s not running away from her problems though, as legal issues follow you everywhere! Even to the Middle East! She is especially side-eyeing Marissa for smearing her lately, as Matt has his own kettle of fish to boil. The very public brawls at his club, Boujis, for example, should be enough to silence Marissa on all things public sh*tstorm.
Back at Julie’s, she’s helping Emma get ready for the Leaver’s Ball, a mash up of our prom/graduation with a lot of binge drinking added in for extra spice. What could go wrong?! Emma tries on her dress, which is simple and beautiful, and which makes Julie cry. Not a tough feat, admittedly, but perhaps the tears this time are warranted. Julie can’t believe she only has four months left with her daughter. It’s a Seasons In The Sun moment, ya’ll!
In Denmark, Caroline F and old buddy Ulrich are visiting her family estate, Valdemars Slot. Which sounds very Game Of Thrones yet looks like the “after” shot of Mapperton – if Mapperton were suddenly gifted four billion Euros for remodeling and blown up to ten times the size. It. Is. Stunning. And this is why Ladies Of London cannot be canceled, Bravo – like, ever. We are being served ESTATES here! Things called VALDEMARS SLOT are scrolling across our screens, and I don’t even care what a SLOT is at this point. I just want more of them!!! #ReleaseTheSlots!
What was that business about Caroline F having to sling cookbooks for a living? Because this estate does not look like anyone within reach of it needs to sully their fingers in dough mixes and arugula. But Caroline claims that, yes, today’s nobility do need to do such things to maintain their estates. In the days of yore, agricultural tenants
who were taxed within an inch of their sorry lives would support the hamlet. But today, the royals gotta go all gang signs on their cushy past, renting out buildings for weddings and selling gift shop chotchkies – and cookbooks! – to pay the massive bills for upkeep.
Caroline wants to ensure that her children inherit a successful, profitable estate, not pile of bricks that become chains around their tiny titled necks. (Cough, cough – Crapperton!) So, her stockings and recipes will save the day? Hmm.
Back in London, Adela and Sophie are taking a stroll and discussing Sophie’s strained relationship with her ex, Alex. Adela can sympathize, as she’s gone through a painful separation with her ex well. Chat turns to Caroline S, who neither woman thinks is being a very good friend at the moment. Adela is going through two court cases related to custody of her children (at least it sounds like that), and Caroline is nowhere in sight to support her these days.
Adela has struggled with addiction and rehabs over the years, facts that her ex has used against her when it comes to the kids, she claims. Why isn’t Caroline supporting ME? wonders Adela. Sophie calms her down, reminding Adela that Caroline just can’t cope with her own life right now. Especially without her “army of people” supporting her.
Marissa has decided to host an event for the ladies to celebrate her post-natal self. This celebration includes panty party favors, watermelon martinis, and possibly the most tragic blue jumpsuit I’ve ever seen. (Did Juliet Angus advise this look!?!?) When Julie arrives first, she wonders aloud why Marissa is so cheery? Didn’t homegirl just “almost die” and everything? Downing a shot, Marissa maniacally cackles that she’s FINE! Really. Just fine.
As they ride to Marissa’s soiree, Juliet and Caroline S dread their first event with Marissa, who neither of them trust. Marissa likes to come off as sweet as pie, muses Juliet, but she’s actually a sourpatch b-tch. I don’t think either of them have to worry about Marissa today, though. After they see that jumpsuit, they’ll understand that fashion karma has already served its cold vengeance. Dayum.
In another car, Sophie clutches a tiger stone close to her chest, a talisman to ward off evil Caroline S spirits that might visit her at Marissa’s party! Adela laughs that Sophie might actually need a real tiger. For all of Sophie’s histrionics about “positivity” and “no drama,” she sure as sh*t seems to be focused on how awful Caroline might be to her rather than how awful she equally was to her own sister in law (which began this entire mess, incidentally). Adela just seems generally freaked out. Rightly so.
As the ladies assemble at Marissa’s bar party, things start off light and fun. Marissa suddenly just “loves” Adela, who is conveniently on the outs with Caroline S at the moment. So – bonus! When Caroline and Juliet arrive at the party, kisses are exchanged all around, except between Caroline and Sophie, who thinks her stone (and Marissa-gifted sage) is protecting her. Adela is also deftly avoiding Caroline, but knows she must eventually have a conversation with her. And here it comes…right now!
Off to the side, Adela apologizes for upsetting Caroline S at Mapperton. Caroline feels like Adela is trying to prove something to this new group of girls. She wonders where this spiteful tone is coming from? She doesn’t expect a constant a$$ kissing, but she does expect their long time friendship to trump these new hussies. Adela blames her recent moods on personal issues, which include a moment in court with her ex who told her she has no chance of getting her children back. Which, if true, sounds hideous.
In tears, Adela admits she’s in a state of rage right now. She’s in pain, but Caroline doesn’t want her to take that pain out on her. “I’ve tried so hard to change,” sobs Adela, who doesn’t want to be in a fight with Caroline. She’s got deeper things going on in her life that need attention. Caroline advises Adela to stop fighting so hard for something that her children (who are apparently old enough to decide which parent they want to see) make their feelings known. I kind of get Caroline’s point here, but once again, her delivery leaves a lot to be desired. Adela doesn’t want to hear these cold, hard facts right now. She just wants a friend to comfort her.
Caroline does come around to the comforting bit finally, promising Adela it will all work out in the end. And that Adela will meet a fabulous guy one day who makes her forget this nightmare ever happened. Calmed down a bit, Adela admits her 25-year friendship with Caroline goes deeper than any of these trite issues among the ladies do. And that Caroline does have a huge heart…deep down. “We don’t get to see much of it, but she’s definitely got one somewhere,” Adela jokes.
As for Sophie and Caroline, well…their status is “to be continued,” it seems. They’re in a cold war, and those wars often involve tall, impenetrable walls.
TELL US: CAN CAROLINE S AND ADELA GET BACK ON THE SAME TEAM NOW? WILL MARISSA’S RE-ENTRY INTO THE GROUP MAKE WAVES? IS CAROLINE F AS BROKE AS SHE CLAIMS?
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