I have officially been Southern Charmed. This Shakespearean comedy of errors continues to grow on me from week to week, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that I was lucky enough to pop in on Cooper Ray’s recent fashion show promoting his Social Primer line. The vibe was Risky Business, with chiseled models in Oxfords and undies sporting his whimsical designs. Who knew one could make classic seersucker and madras so cutting edge? Cooper was a gracious and genuine host, and he revealed that he styled NYC Prep’s Sebastian for the Paper Magazine article I harped on a few weeks ago. Did someone say “kindred”?
Last night’s episode begins with Kathryn Dennis tending to the adorable Kensington as Thomas Ravenel struggles to move a crib into the new downtown nursery. Cameran Eubanks is working the real estate market, and, not surprisingly, Craig Conover and Shepard “Shep” Rose are snoozing through a beautiful morning. Shep admits he doesn’t do anything productive before noon, citing that he once broke up with a girl who tried to start his day at 9:30. No thank you. Patricia Altschul is perusing Garden and Gun (but of course) as the OG butler plays veterinarian to her pampered pooches. She dials up son Whitney Sudler-Smith who regales her with his European vacation plans–Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!–with his German reality star girlfriend, giggling at how pretentious his travel agenda sounds. He relays that he will be attending a party thrown by Winston Churchill’s grandson at a pristine castle. It’s all so gauche I can hardly stand it!
Kathryn and T-Rav head to Upper King to buy out Morris Sokol for their downtown abode. I once took out a loan to buy a throw pillow there, but the store’s furniture is absolutely stunning. Thomas is beyond thrilled that the new house will keep Kathryn preoccupied with decorating and coffee dates and ladies who lunch, but Kathryn thinks the closer proximity to Thomas’ office will allow for more couple time. T-Rav humps a temperpeadic (“I like it, it’s quiet…”) and claims that they will have plenty of opportunity to work on their relationship once his election is over. Until then, he needs to focus on the campaign trail.
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Out on Sullivans Island, Whitney is chastising Shep for purchasing one-ply toilet tissue, and Shep jokes that only Whitney would need a high thread count for his bum. Shep is planning a get-together to celebrate his 35th birthday. Sure, his twenties and early thirties have flown by, but he loves the life he has. He hasn’t even had a mid-life crisis yet! Against his better judgment, Shep has enlisted Craig to help him organize a shindig, and Whitney waxes poetic about his life at thirty-five…it involved a lot Hollywood struggles, long hair, and jean jackets sans shirts. Shep is sporting a new haircut (presh), and while he knows his portfolio is nowhere near as cushy as his roommate’s, he’s thankful that his dad taught him to spread out investments and collect checks. How did I not know about mailbox money? I love lounging on the beach with a Corona! Shep admits that after a slow start, the Palace Hotel is finally bringing in some revenue. He doesn’t want to be running around at Whitney’s age trying to hook up with twenty-somethings, although that opinion is obviously subject to change.
As if Shep’s happy-go-lucky Peter Pan persona isn’t adorable enough this season, he’s decided to adopt a dog. Swoon. I know, I know, it’s likely another ploy to snag chicks (because being a ridiculously wealthy Bravolebrity isn’t enough). Oh wait, it isn’t Shep that wants a fur-ever friend, it’s Cameran. Shep is just helping Cameran find the perfect canine in an attempt to push back her husband’s baby-making timeline. She knows that Jason will fall head-over-heels if she can find a standard poodle they can use as parenthood practice, but the poodle she first meets seems more attracted to Shep’s leg. Cameran realizes that when it comes to bitches, Shep may not be as into the this variety as he is the Republic set. The Pet Helpers employee trades the poodle for a three-legged mutt who has totally stolen my heart. Shep questions whether Cameran thinks that the tripod pup will placate Jason’s immediate need for children. She shares that her husband wants two kids, but she’d be fine with just one. Shep warns her that an only child could end up like Whitney, and he says he can envision a family in his (distant, very distant!) future. He hopes that the right girl could curb his partying and help him catch up on Netflix. A nostalgic Shep reveals that he has been truly in love one time, and he knows it was love because he couldn’t breathe or function if he thought his girlfriend wasn’t happy. Can I get a collective “Awwww”? But alas, he was twenty-three, and said girl is now married with children. His lost love is beautiful, and he keeps up with her as her kids are in the same playgroup as his sister’s children. Shep doesn’t pine for her like he once did, and he’s hopeful that he’ll find that feeling again. The pair leave Pet Helpers with Cameran promising to bring back Jason to meet the three-legged wonder dog.
Whitney drops by T-Rav’s office, and the friends catch up regarding Thomas’ recent move. He tells Whitney that his campaign manager wants him to reside at the plantation while Kathryn stays downtown. T-Rav knows that Sandy Duncan’s suggestion isn’t going to fly with his young girlfriend. Thomas summons Sandy, and she and Whitney bicker over the impact of the “Raise the Roof” campaign ad. Whitney argues that Thomas should beat skeptics to the punch who don’t take him seriously, but Sandy is a broken record with her “but this is South Carolina” lecture. In her mind, the people don’t want T-Rav, they want Thomas. Newsflash…they apparently didn’t want either. Whitney takes offense to Sandy bad-mouthing his work, and he snarks that if she’d like to waste his friend’s money, so be it. Thomas has had reservations about the appropriateness of Whitney’s vision, and he’s glad to let Sandy play the role of messenger. However, Whitney is appalled by Sandy’s lack of campaign experience and determines her time would be better spent uploading cat memes to her blog. As the two butt heads, T-Rav takes a call from a political media expert, and he asks her recommendation on the ad. She’s team Sandy all the way, and Whitney is huffing and puffing a more severe part into his hair. He decides to disassociate himself from his friend’s campaign, lamenting that Thomas went from running for Senate to a running joke. Are someone’s feelings hurt?
With the Founders’ Ball looming on the horizon, Landon, Cameran, and Kathryn are meeting with a local jeweler to find some ridiculously expensive baubles (on loan, sadly) for the big event. Landon feels for Kathryn, as she knows how lonely it is having a partner that is too busy to make time for his significant other. The ball is Cooper’s stylish innovation, and the girls joke about it being his societal coming out party. Ladies, you’re prepping for the fete like it’s the Academy Awards, so I hope you leave your sardonic comments on the red carpet! Carmeran encourages Kathryn to check out engagement rings, as she believes Kathryn and Thomas are perfect for one another. Kathryn loves the options presented, but she’s hesitant to try on any of the diamonds. Landon applauds Kathryn for trying her best to make things work with T-Rav. After all, what are her other choices? Is she going to be a secretary with a baby on her hip? The girls ooh and ahh over the ring selection, but they know Thomas is probably hoarding a drawer full of heirloom pieces just waiting to adorn the ring finger of one special lady. Back at her downtown pad, Kathryn leaves a message for T-Rav, asking if she can bring him some lunch as he works. She’s met with a text from Sandy Duncan tersely reminding her that Thomas is preparing for a debate and will be unavailable for the next three days. Really, Sandy? I liked you much better as Peter Pan.
At Pat’s mansion, Whitney is working with an instructor to train Monty, his rare lagotto romagnolo. A-thank-you-very-much, Google. There are only two breeders in the country who produce this truffle hunting hound, and I hate that I just made an animal sound like an uncommon zucchini variety. Whitney isn’t fooled by his mother’s gift…he recognizes that she loves adding to her menagerie while patiently waiting on the grandchildren Whitney may never give her. Patricia loves her pets with all of her heart, and she’s even employed a landscape architect to create a pet cemetery in her expansive yard. Across the peninsula, Craig has finally risen from his slumber (it only took him half the episode–impressive!). Kathryn visits her new neighbor and teases him for calling in sick to work. It’s okay though, y’all. He isn’t required to go into the office. Neither am I…it’s only necessary if I want a paycheck. Craig appeases his guest with a mango freezer pop, and he is glad that they have overcome their past scuffles and built a true friendship. As they dish on Cooper’s ball, Craig can’t deny that Kathryn is going to look super-hot in her chosen
moment gown. She confides in Craig about her issues with Sandy Duncan micro-managing her relationship with T-Rav.
It’s official, Sandy Duncan has wedged herself between Thomas and poor Kathryn (she’s my new protagonist, for sure. Never say never, I guess), and she has T-Rav rehearsing his new ad lines. Thomas is running on fumes given his recent lack of sleep, and I can totally relate. Sandy recommends that T-Rav get some rest and focus, and he’s on board. If he can’t count on Kathryn to be supportive and care for their daughter around the clock, why is she even a part of this scenario? As Kathryn folds laundry and keeps the man’s house in order, Thomas calls to relay the news that he’s going to bunk in a hotel to get some zzzzs. No worries though, he’ll be by in the morning to pick up a fresh outfit. A tearful Kathryn calls her mother to see if she can watch Kensie so Kathryn can partake in a much needed night out on the town. Already enjoying the nightlife, Shep is celebrating his milestone birthday with Cameran, Landon, and the few remaining friends in his dwindling social circle. Marriage and children can sure suck the life out of the party circuit. Even his trusty sidekick Craig is missing in action. He’s busy stopping by the Ravenel household to escort Kathryn to the festivities, and he’s sad to see that his friend has to weather her family responsibilities alone.
At Henry’s, Jennifer Snowden arrives just in time for shots, and Kathryn is ready to raise a roof that isn’t regulated by Sandy Duncan. Cameran toasts the birthday boy, garnering laughs for her line, “A girl his own age would do him well, but I think he’s holding out for Kensington Ravenel.” Shep does the math in his head, and he’s not totally opposed to having an eighteen-year-old bride when he’s in his fifties, complete with a mother-in-law he once bedded and father-in-law in the loony bin gumming applesauce. Landon presents Shep with a boob cake which he promptly motorboats before washing down the icing with half a handle of Johnny Walker. The hypocrisy isn’t lost on Craig. It seems that the only difference between his worrisome conduct and Shep’s party persona is a fat bank account. When Kathryn receives a voice mail from Thomas, Danni urges her friend to return his call. Kathryn is so spent given recent events, and she’s hellbent on enjoying a night out with her friends. Shep takes no issue with her downing cocktails like a rock star, but he hopes she realizes that her behavior tonight isn’t going to feel very good when she has to return to reality in the morning. At least Craig is excited about the chance to tie one on with the old Kathryn, and she’s happy to oblige his inner James Franco.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? SHOULD THOMAS STAND UP TO SANDY DUNCAN? DOES HE EVEN WANT TO?
Here I am with the dapper Cooper Ray who is honestly one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. I spied Landon in some fierce booties, but she was on her way out as I was arriving. Most of the cast was fulfilling interview obligations in New York–probably a good thing, as the evening only solidified the notion that this blogger should never hobnob with reality stars…I literally squealed when Ms. Pat favorited this picture on Twitter. Such are the trials of a fan girl…
[Photo Credit: Bravo]