On last night’s Ladies of London, we were treated to all the fabulousness that the London elite social scene offers. Like headstands in cocktail dresses and humping in onesies! After last week’s (best)friendship-ending tea between Marissa Hermer and Juliet Angus, it’s time for a bit of light hearted fare, no? But tensions rise this week between Juliet, Julie Montagu, and Caroline Stanbury as Caroline’s “sharp tongue” – and pajama antics with husbands who aren’t married to her – rub both ladies the wrong way.
It’s Christmas in London, and the ladies are decking the halls with merriment, and what looks like a tropical vacation for Juliet and family. Annabelle Neilson meets Julie out for tea to catch up after the holidays and chat about Julie’s new business. She’s created “JUB” which stands for “Julie’s Unbelievable Balls” (Heeee! Am I thirteen years old? Because I love this…), an energy snack for workouts. She admits that teaching yoga won’t fund Mapperton, so mama’s gotta get those coins elsewhere. Meanwhile, Annabelle is developing a children’s book series about feelings. Annabelle grew up feeling suffocated, lonely, and fearful about school. She was sent to 20 childhood therapists to work through her anxiety, but is now finding solace in creatively expressing her struggles through books she hopes will help other children with their feelings. (Well, Annabelle: consider one book pre-ordered by me for my very own anxious kindergartner. Thank you!) Julie comments that because Annabelle is so private, she never knew this deeper side of her, or the struggles she’s faced. I have to say, these two women seem to be forging a genuine friendship, which is refreshing to watch unfold!
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Marissa and her husband Matt are out previewing the space for their next restaurant, which will be Marissa’s own venture: Top Dog. It will feature organic hot dogs, milkshakes, and fries. Which sounds weird, but could be a hit. (London folks, what’s the verdict?) Marissa knows American street food, and Matt knows the restaurant biz, so she thinks it’s a no-brainer.
Juliet and Julie are getting their zen on with a private yoga session, followed by a chat about balancing it all: motherhood, friendships, and New Year’s Eve. Juliet has a notion to throw a New Year’s party at the Cafe Royale (of which she’s a private member), and pledges to invite everyone because “it’s the nice thing to do.” Uh, she’s lookin’ at you, Marissa Hermer!
At Caroline S‘s Gift Library, she hears the Christmas numbers, which are not good. She needs to raise money to stay afloat, but weighs the option of saying enough is enough and simply bailing out on the business. After her employee notes that bailing out sounds like she doesn’t care, Caroline snaps that she does care very much. It’s her name on the business if anything goes wrong, she insists, and she well knows that people want to watch her fail. She’s built the company “from zero,” but given the events that we know came after Christmas for the Gift Library, it looks like she’s heading back to zero once again.
At Julie’s house, she’s drinking brown rice milk to overcome a nasty cold (that she caught from Annabelle?). She has a big meeting coming up with Caroline S about ideas for JUB, so needs to suck up the snot and bike out the door regardless. Caroline wants to lend advice to Julie “quickly” because so many people helped her when she started her business, but she “can’t be a full time mentor.” Julie, for her part, sees Caroline as a bulldozer powerhouse in the business world and wants some of her good juju to rub off on her.
At their lunch meeting, Caroline bats Julie around a bit for huffing around on a bike with all of the crazy London drivers, and for “not being the sharpest tool in the shed” while doing it. Ouch. They discuss JUB, which Julie is talking to potential investors about soon. Julie nervously shares her business plan, practice-pitching to Caroline as Caroline snaps at her (with plenty of astute points) throughout. Caroline understands Julie’s aspirations, but knows Julie needs more than the $150K she’ll be asking for to really get JUB off the ground. Caroline also sagely advises her (probably from her current precarious position in selling off her own company in the very near future) that once Julie lets investors take over her company, she ain’t getting it back. Unless she comes up with her own money, that is, which doesn’t seem likely. Is it just me, or does Caroline seem to be working through her own fated business failings all over poor little startup Julie right now?
Juliet and hubby Gregor are getting their New Year’s Eve party set up. Caroline Fleming thinks 2015 is going to be “SEN-sational!” As she and the other guests prep and primp at their respective pre-party locations, Julie admits she feels alone with her husband out at Mapperton, and just hopes she doesn’t get left out tonight. Caroline S formally introduces us to her stunning sister in law, Sophie, who we’ve seen in the last few episodes and who seems to be filling the “friend of” role on LOL thus far this season. Sophie was Caroline’s friend first before her brother “stole her.” They doll up with Caroline’s jewels before heading out. Caroline “intends to behave appallingly” at the party, as that’s what New Year’s party behavior is meant to be. And that is why I love Caroline.
Annabelle is bringing her good friend Leo, one of the few people she trusts, along to the party. She’s ready for a new year, new start. Juliet is rocking enormous hair rollers and a push up bra while her guests assemble in the outer chamber, all cheek-kisses and low-drama thus far. Arriving fashionably late, Juliet enters in full tinfoil ensemble with saran wrap hemline. (Seriously, what the WHAT is that!?) The air is a bit chilly between Marissa and Juliet as Juliet toasts to open the party, but no shots fired yet.
The guests assemble for a beautiful dinner, and even Caroline S is impressed by what Juliet has “managed to pull off.” They cheers and chat, while Juliet introduces Gregor to Baroness Caroline F. Caroline S sees the *shocking!* introduction and calls it out as social grasping, snarking that Juliet is always trying to wedge her way into London’s social circles. While Caroline S always knows the owner, she snipes, Juliet usually knows the busboy. The irony that Caroline F doesn’t want anything to do with the London social scene is also lost on Juliet, apparently. “She’s barking up the wrong tree,” says Caroline S.
It’s that time of the night when double-dog-dares are trotted out, and Julie is never one to eschew a dare. The dare in question is who can do a yoga headstand in a cocktail dress, which both Caroline F and Julie good-naturedly perform on the dinner table sidelines. Julie takes longer to get into position, which Caroline S jokes is ironic considering she’s the yoga teacher. Sensitive Julie tries to defend her moves with talk about proper breathing and such, but Caroline S is over it. Julie admits Caroline’s sharp tongue can be funny at times, but also feels like a “dagger in the heart” at others.
Julie breaks down in tears in another room to Annabelle, feeling like Caroline S‘s public dig at her was uncalled for. Annabelle comforts her friend, admitting that Caroline’s got a mean side she tries to cover with humor, but it doesn’t matter when “she’s still being a cow.” Annabelle retrieves Caroline from the dinner table to apologize to Julie, but Caroline is incredulous that Julie is taking her “joke” so seriously. She does apologize to the sobbing Julie, but reiterates that she was simply joking, and can’t even do yoga herself. “Suddenly the woman is crying like the Titanic has taken her children,” jokes Caroline, baffled by the level of hysteria her comment evoked in Julie. Apologizing once more for good measure, Caroline’s done all she can do here, so she exits while Julie gathers herself.
Back at the dinner table, the group disbands. Marissa and Juliet high-five to the fact that they’re not the one’s fighting for once. So, there’s that! Outside on the balcony, Caroline S avoids a still-emotional Julie while the Americans bond over their new London New Year’s traditions. At midnight, kisses are exchanged – even between Sophie and the Baroness! – and the party heads back inside.
Because nothing good happens after midnight on New Year’s Eve, Caroline S hauls out an enormous pile of animal themed onesies for the ladies to slap on. Caroline F becomes one with her fuzzy cow, while Caroline S becomes one with humping Juliet’s husband in her fuzzy unicorn. “Did you just STRADDLE my husband on the couch!?” a shocked Juliet asks Caroline after she, er, dismounts Gregor. “Yeah, and he said he loved it,” deadpans Caroline. Juliet says that she loves Caroline and understands her humor, but this is crossing the line. Hmm, what do you think?
TELL US: WHERE DO YOU THINK THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN CAROLINE S AND JULIE IS HEADING? IS JULIET JUSTIFIED IN BEING UPSET ABOUT CAROLINE ‘HUMPING’ GREGOR?
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