When it comes to being a good friend, Whitney Sudler-Smith didn’t raise the bar very high for himself when he and Shepard “Shep” Rose went with Craig Conover to visit his family on last night’s Southern Charm. Speaking of bars, Craig’s pals are concerned that he’s spending so much time frequenting them, he’s going to have a tough time passing the one that is most important. Sadly, if Craig did sit for the February bar, he didn’t pass, as results were posted on Friday. It breaks does break my heart for him because the test is so subjective–I have no clue how I passed the first go round, and I have no clue how some of the smartest folks I know had to take it multiple times. UPDATE: Craig didn’t take the February bar, tweeting earlier, “Just so everyone knows — I did not take my Bar Exam in February — I’m excited to announce that I finally get the chance to take it in July!” Good luck to him this summer! Last night’s episode begins with Extreme Akim doling out some tough love as he bids his former employee adieu. Craig is embarrassed that his mentor, who once had such high hopes for him, believes he needs to reign in his behavior.
Landon Clement is facing the fact that she no longer has the safety net of her ex-husband’s income. She has a plan to sell “a lifestyle,” but she’s going to start with a test run pop-up shop in a local home. Her vision is that everything in the house is handpicked from local merchants and is for sale–from the artwork on the walls, the designer clothes in the closets, and the vintage cars in the garage. Shep reminds Landon that she can’t focus too much on work, and she assures him that she’s going to make time to socialize. In fact, she’s planning to invite the crew to Jekyll Island the following weekend. Despite their recent rough patch, she wants to include Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Dennis as well. Shep looks like he wants to pat Landon on the head and whisper, “oh sweetie, no,” as I would envision Patricia would do, poo-pooing the footman’s vermouth pour. He thinks Landon is naive when it comes to T-Rav and Kathryn’s relationship. Shep believes the duo needs to cut their losses, go their separate ways, and amicably co-parent baby Kensington. In other words, they don’t need to drag down the fun quotient on any upcoming mini-vacays.
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After being reamed by Akim (new show?), Craig Ubers home with his tail between his legs. No amount of PacSun tanks, icee pops or Fireball will be able to lift him from this funk.
Just wait until he learns that he didn’t pass the bar. Down the street Danni pops in on Kathryn to rehash T-Rav’s humiliating behavior at the Founders’ Ball and at other points throughout his campaign. Kathryn is rocking her bangs, citing that a woman who changes her hair may be on the verge of changing her life. Kathryn is second guessing her choices to put her life on hold for Thomas. She tells Danni that perhaps she isn’t as content playing the waiting game as T-Rav would like to assume. She’s tired of being the only person making an effort to work on their relationship. New bangs equal a whole new Kathryn.
Poor Craig can’t even take the time to find a goblet to drown his sorrows in cheap wine, so he settles on a regular ol’ water glass. I am so glad Patricia isn’t here to witness his faux pas. On cue, Whitney calls, and he’s less that shocked to learn that Craig and Akim have parted ways professionally after a long and on-going dialog regarding their differing opinions as to Craig’s work responsibilities. Basically, Craig doesn’t believe he has any, and Akim didn’t become the legal brand he is today by giving out money for nothing to his law clerks. Whitney forgoes the “I told you so” route which is nice and unexpected, and he encourages Craig to take this opportunity to really focus on studying for the bar. That’s no fun, whines Craig, plus, it’s hard to maintain a normal schedule when you party with people who don’t have to hold down any kind of nine-to-five situation. Life is just not fair.
I’m sorry, but no one will ever look as chic sitting in their grand, chintz-swathed parlor wearing dark sunglasses as Patricia Altschul. Are the shades necessary? Of course not, but I get the feeling that nothing Ms. Pat does is out of necessity. She informs her butler that the chilled rosé needs to be flowing as Whitney will be bringing his darling girlfriend Larissa over for cocktails. Patricia would like her usual afternoon medicine as she espouses the importance of grandchildren upon her manchild and his young European arm candy. According to Patricia, Larissa is perfection, and it’s highly doubtful anyone else has received such a high compliment from the matriarch of Birkins and Bentleys. A stone’s throw away, Whitney and Larissa are chatting in Battery Park when he drops the bomb (ironically next to a pile of Revolutionary War cannon balls) that the two should move in together. Larissa isn’t ready for such a big step, and she wants to be financially independent and continue pursuing her career. The pair arrive at Patricia’s manor, and her face lights up upon greeting Larissa. Whitney compliments his mother for an ensemble that matches the wine, and Patricia bypasses the small talk. She wants grandchildren, and she wanted them years ago. What’s the hold up, son? Whitney changes the subject by sharing that Craig lost his job, and Patricia urges her son to enlighten Criag’s parents of this turn of events on their bro trip to Delaware. Parents need to know these things, she coos, but secretly, I think it’s payback for Craig interrupting her at her lavish dinner party. Pat, one, Craig, negative fifteen.
Things are worse than I imagined for Craig, who has found far too much unemployment solace in a neon tank and sofa dwelling. He knows he needs to break the news to Cameran Eubanks before she hears of his termination from Whitney or Shep. He grabs a plaid shirt and his trusty Visine before hopping in Cameran’s car to partake in the McDonald’s value menu. When she inquires why he’s still sleeping till noon and isn’t at work, Craig explains that he and his firm have “parted ways.” Cameran wasn’t born yesterday, so she know that’s code for he got canned. She tries to cheer him up with a happy meal, but he needs to watch his figure for his other career as a model. Whitney is less than thrilled about having to leave Larissa for a weekend in Delaware with Craig and Shep. Craig grew up in a resort town that booms during the summer months but becomes a ghost town in the off-season. Shep knows they’re above the Mason-Dixon line because of all the bird-flipping and honking from fellow drivers. He’s apparently never been driving too slowly in front of me on King Street. Craig begs his friends not mention his amicable estrangement from Akim’s firm. He feels it would be selfish for his parents to worry about him when they want to host a enjoyable time for his bros. He is nothing if not considerate, right? Craig gives his friends a quick tour of his home, and Whitney is impressed with the amount of honors and awards housed in Craig’s childhood bedroom. It’s basically a shrine to a one-time soccer star who excelled in academics, electric keyboarding, and being all-around fratastic. Whitney finds the array of trophies and accolades to be admirable, and he hopes Craig can find his way back to the hard-working, successful person he was before becoming a jaded reality star.
Back in Charleston, Kathryn is making baby food from scratch when Landon calls to extend the invitation to Jekyll Island, promising it will be a relaxing and laid back weekend. Kathryn can’t wait. T-Rav will be busy with his campaign, and she’s more than ready for a mini-escape with her friends. In Delaware, the boys are enjoying their time with Craig’s family, and his parents couldn’t be sweeter. Shep shares that he has a “friend” who may stop by to say hello later. Having a girl in every state on the eastern seaboard is good for one’s ego, especially after Shep’s Founders Day Ball date gave him the shaft
(before he could give it to her), citing monogamy as a turn on and his playboy reputation as a giant red flag. As Craig preps a feast, his doting parents regale in his childhood feats. Remembering that he’s cast himself as this season’s villain, Whitney makes several passive aggressive digs about Craig’s current state of affairs causing Craig to break into a sweat as his protective mama bear side eyes her house guest. Shep wishes that for once, Whitney would stop acting like Whitney and appreciate the hospitality being shown by the Conovers. It’s one thing for Shep and Whitney to rail Craig about his childhood pictures out of Mama Conover’s earshot, but it’s quite another to insult her grown son to her face.
Shep’s “friend” Nikki arrives for dinner, and Craig blesses the food before the crew digs into the massive meal. Whitney is taken with Craig’s Norman Rockwell-esque middle American family. When Craig’s parents ask about his job and his bar study, Craig dismisses both subject with obvious frustration. Whitney chimes in regarding Craig’s less than stellar work ethic and partying ways as Shep tries keep the peace, reminding Whitney that he’s not one to lecture on punctuality. Undeterred, Whitney chides Craig’s parents about the need to give their once highly motivated and accomplished son a swift kick in the rear to get him back on track, suggesting (jokingly?) that they send him to an institution where he is sheltered from the temptation of Charleston’s night life. I think the Conovers are second-guessing their decision to open their home to Craig’s seemingly rude and judgmental friend, but Whitney swears he only has the best of intentions.
Back in Charleston, Cameran is hard at work when she receives a phone call from Shep detailing the awkward dinner and Whitney’s deplorable behavior documenting Craig’s partying fails. If Shep is uncomfortable, you know it’s bad! Cameran is appalled by Whitney’s tactics. She’s worried about her friend, but she would never humiliate him in front of his parents, especially when they are hosting their son’s closest friends for the weekend. Cameran urges Shep to take Craig aside to make sure he’s alright, and Shep begrudgingly agrees to be the adult in the situation. It’s a first. Shep and Craig’s brother rouse the wayward law grad at noon so as not to miss their tee time. On the golf course, Shep checks in with Craig in light of Whitney’s deplorable dinner time small talk. Whitney admits that he could have been a bit more diplomatic in his delivery, but he gets defensive when Craig confronts him about throwing him under the bus. Shep intervenes, asserting that the group is worried about Craig. While it may seem unfair that they can have the lifestyle he’s living without the same consequences, Craig doesn’t have the same nest eggs and trust funds that he and Whitney are blessed to have. It pains Shep to see his once motivated and successful friend throw away his future on mindless partying…even if he’s made a life doing the same.
An angry and embarrassed Craig admits for the first time that he’s struggling even more than his friends are aware, and he hates to disappoint them because he looks up to both Shep and Whitney. The guys encourage Craig to be honest with is parents because they are clearly worried about him, and both Whitney and Shep assure him that he should never be ashamed to come to them with his problems. It’s actually a sweet interaction which seems truly genuine as far as reality show scenes go. The following night, Whitney’s demeanor has done a one-eighty, and he’s sincere and polite as he bids the Conovers farewell. Shep hopes that Craig will take the opportunity to open up to his folks in their absence. Craig tells his parents that he “parted ways” with his firm, and he admits that he struggles to keep up with the Joneses in his group of friends…and who can’t relate to that on some level? He’s also very regretful that his parents gave him every opportunity growing up to be successful, and he feels like he’s thrown it all away. The wonderfully kind and down-to-earth Conovers assure Craig that he hasn’t failed them, but they also remind him that issues with drinking run in the family and he needs to be mindful of his behavior and his health. Cheers to Conovers, charming for sure!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? DID WHITNEY HAVE CRAIG’S BEST INTERESTS AT HEART OR WAS HE JUST STIRRING THE POT FOR HIS OWN ENTERTAINMENT?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]