On last night’s Ladies of London, Julie Montagu decides the to keep her friends close and her enemies closer by extending an olive branch – of sorts – to Caroline Stanbury. Which Juliet Angus is not too pleased about. While Julie’s busy HSP-ing her way through a sales pitch to potential investors for her JUB business, Marissa Hermer is hoping Annabelle Neilson can wave some of her magic fairy dust over her own new venture, Top Dog. Meanwhile, the real queen of all things fairy dust and clouds and rainbows, Baroness Caroline Fleming, is basking in the warm glow of her blossoming romantic relationship with a younger man who has a very, very big…heart.
We begin with Juliet heading over to Caroline S‘s Gift Library to do damage control. She confesses that she told Julie about Caroline telling her she was going to “wipe the floor” with her. And – oops! – now Annabelle knows too. Caroline is pissy about Juliet starting more idle gossip, and comments that Juliet is a cave person who bashes everything up with a club, then walks away. Caroline demands that Juliet fix all of this before her sister in law, Sophie Stanbury‘s, upcoming birthday. Juliet will of course strap on her best minion overalls to do Caroline’s bidding.
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Marissa and her husband, Matt, are out to dinner – at the chef’s table, which she notes they *always* get anywhere they go – to discuss issues with Marissa’s new venue for her wiener restaurant, Top Dog. Matt encourages Marissa to take the reins, but Marissa is understandably nervous about juggling family and career. Above all, she doesn’t want to disappoint Matt.
Meanwhile, Annabelle and Julie are at a local juice bar discussing the aftermath of Juliet storming out of their last lunch together. Julie is shocked that Juliet is upset over Julie spilling the tea about Caroline S‘s supposed “threat.” Annabelle astutely points out the absurdity of Julie and Juliet fighting each other instead of both confronting Caroline together. Annabelle is also disappointed that Caroline retracted her apology (in part) for taking a jab at Julie’s yoga skills. Julie is not about to confront Caroline, however. But if she doesn’t confront Caroline, nothing will be resolved.
Caroline F is hosting her therapist, Caroline Dolby (Ok, London. Enough with the Carolines! Are there no more names available!!??), at her home for a regular appointment. The Baroness notes that losing her mom at such a young age was a massive loss and has left her adrift without a life guide. Her life is an open book, though, and she praises the virtues of therapy in helping her travel the right path through it. The therapist doesn’t do a whole lot except let the lovely Caroline chatter on about her “antennae being up” about the new relationship in her life with a “new friend” who is younger, energetic, and makes her feel sixteen again. Not much life advice is being doled out on the therapist’s end of things, but the Baroness is just so charmingly kooky and giddy and happy right now, it’s all good.
Julie is back home packaging her JUB (Julie’s Unbelievable Balls) orders, with her daughter, Emma’s, help. She explains her HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) gene again, which causes her to shrink away from confrontation and take huge offense to slight…well, slights. Julie tells Emma that Annabelle wants her to confront Caroline S, but wise-beyond-her-years Emma knows Julie would never do such a thing. She advises her mom to just let it go instead.
Caroline S is out for coffee with Sophie before her birthday soiree. They discuss the shocking! nonsense! that the Americans brought to New Year’s Eve. Sophie would never get rattled over headstands, and Caroline refuses to get rattled over anything in her personal life these days, period, as her professional life is circling the drain. She admits to Sophie that the Gift Library has bitten off more than it (she) can chew. She has a loan from an original investor that needs to be paid back soon, but she fears the business will go under due to lack of revenue before then. She doesn’t know who she is without her business, which she built from nothing, says Caroline. But, I guess she’ll find out.
Top Dog plans are rolling along as Marissa chooses artwork for a T-shirt and branding that fits the zeitgeist of what she’s going for. Annabelle has given Marissa some solid advice about branding, for which she is grateful. But she’s still panicked about all of the moving parts of her new business that she’s forgetting. The venue space, the marketing, the social media campaign – it all means nothing if no one likes hot dogs as much as Marissa does.
In another less well-funded business across town, Julie meets with potential investors to flub through a sales pitch for JUB. What she lacks in presentation, she has in moxie, as she whips out her balls and impresses the gang with a taste test. She’s the sales person who, like the Energizer Bunny, will not stop! Will they go into business with her? Yes, ma’am, they will! Aww. Props to Julie for schlepping her balls all around town on that dang bike. She calls Annabelle afterward to deliver the great news to her first, excited about her dream finally becoming a reality.
As Juliet preps for Sophie’s birthday party, she’s still feeling unsettled about Julie and Caroline S. Annabelle and Julie are sharing a taxi, in which Julie admits she has a present tonight not only for Sophie, but for Caroline as well. Annabelle questions why Julie is extending the olive branch
instead of beating her upside the head with it, but Julie just sighs, “because that’s the kinds of person I am.” A doormat? Julie confesses she’d much rather have Caroline Stanbury as a friend rather than an enemy. It’s just a shame she has to sell her soul to do it. #FreeJulie! #HSPsArePeopleToo!
As the crowd assembles at Sophie’s party, Julie feels ill at the thought of confronting Caroline S. But she carries her shaking legs into the lion’s den, doles out the expected cheek-kisses, then makes her peace offering to Caroline anyway (in front of an open-mouthed, incredulous Juliet!). Ughhhhhhhh. This whole scene is just painful to watch and takes me back to the very worst moments of my middle school “Love me! Love me!” moments among packs of nasty mean girls.
Caroline opens the gift, which is a “Kale” t-shirt, a very forced metaphor for Julie extending the “kale branch” to her excellent friend and kind-hearted supporter, Ms. Stanbury. “Are we okay?” Julie begs, to which Caroline tosses off a, “Yeah, yeah, we’re fine now.” Ah, Julie. In this moment, you certainly do NOT have unbelievable balls. Juliet is miffed that Julie is sucking up to Caroline in the most public and desperate of ways after basically egging Juliet on to confront Caroline herself. For her part, Juliet has already cried “Uncle!” and crumpled in a heap at the feet of mighty Caroline, so she shouldn’t be shocked at seeing her behavior reflected back at her.
After a bit of partying, pinatas, and table fires, the gang is all riled up and primed for a brawl. Marissa hilariously nipple-clamps Juliet’s mouth shut to preserve “peace and harmony” in the land, but not long enough! Because next thing we know, Juliet is approaching Julie to discuss their issues. Juliet is upset that Julie spread news of Caroline’s “threat,” but mealy-mouthed Julie is no match for Juliet and can’t defend herself with mere reason. Marissa notes that arguing with Juliet is an art, and Julie is just going to keep getting shouted at until she shouts back. Word.
Annabelle notes that it’s interesting how Julie and Juliet are at each other’s throats while Caroline S has simply slithered away from the entire debacle. As Juliet spins the story, Julie becomes more confused. Juliet notes it’s insane to be fighting with Julie over fighting with Caroline…which she’s not doing. Hmmm. Insane? Yes. Then why is Juliet keeping this fight going? Annabelle thinks both ladies need to find their way out of the matrix of insanity on their own, as they’re certainly not getting any place useful together.
As for Caroline S, she’s done with the drama. She never looks back, and encourages Juliet to do the same. Juliet (in a very Julie-themed grovelling manner) apologizes to Caroline and Sophie if she “ruined” the party. But, frankly, the Stanbury sisters don’t look as if they give a toss.
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF JULIE’S GIFT TO CAROLINE S? DOES JULIET HAVE A RIGHT TO BE UPSET WITH JULIE?
Photo Credit: Bravo