Before we begin, let the royal court take a moment of silence to remember a season of castles and crowns, barefoot baronesses and earls of sandwiches, stiff upper lips and loose Julie Montagu lips. Ah, Ladies of London! You’ve given us more than grown women in onesies carping at each other; you’ve given us a fun and fancy trip around London and its outer banks, complete with eye candy shots we just can’t get in the OC, Atlanta, or even Beverly Hills. So, Bravo, if you’re listening: We want more! Let’s see a season 3 for Ladies of London, please. But let’s give it a shot in the arm next time, eh? Like a better time slot, solid promotion, and a little editing magic to really dress this Cinderella up for the ball she deserves!
Okay, let’s take our final stroll down this season’s lane all together now, shall we? After our opening montage shows the ladies getting ready for their day ahead, Annabelle Neilson calls on Baroness Caroline Fleming for a lunch visit. Caroline wonders if Annabelle has recovered from Denmark? Annabelle is feeling as if Julie has not been a good friend to her lately, but hasn’t broached the issue with her yet. But Juliet Angus and Julie join them next, so the conversation is bound to take a turn for the dark side soon.
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Julie says she loved Denmark, which Caroline is surprised to hear. She tells Julie she heard that Julie called a “friend” up asking why Caroline was joining her friend circle because “she is a really terrible person.” HUH? This is news to me, and apparently, news to Julie (at least she’s acting as if it is). The friend in question that Julie called? It’s Caroline Stanbury. Julie maybe-kinda-sorta-said that months ago, but evades confirming the statement as solid fact.
Since Julie’s already facing the firing squad, Annabelle takes aim next. She gets pissy when people don’t show their true colors, and accuses Julie of turning into a new person who she just “doesn’t get” anymore. She doesn’t feel love or tenderness from her as a friend anymore, and she’s not sure who this new Julie is. As proof of her authentic friendship, Julie picks up her phone and reads the text of apology she sent Annabelle after her tough time in Denmark. Who cares about a text? Annabelle wonders. She was right in front of her on the trip, but Julie never made a supportive move.
The Baroness steps in to coach Julie on the error of her ways, which Julie responds to by bawling her eyes out. She comes undone at the table, telling Annabelle how very strung out she is lately with the stress of her family, launching her JUB business in order to save Mapperton – it’s all just too much. She sends texts because that’s all she has time for these days, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry I’m not the good friend I wanted to be for you, but I am frantically busy!” ends a fully melted-down Julie. Annabelle takes it all in, coming to tears herself, but doesn’t react otherwise. Juliet pipes up to offer that she has seen Julie be there for her as a friend. So, there’s that.
Later that day, Julie meets Marissa Hermer for dinner. She’s still reeling from her lunch at Caroline’s, and she needs to decompress. Julie explains what went down at lunch. Marissa empathizes with Julie; having a husband and multiple children to manage, not to mention the launch of a business, is something Annabelle can’t understand. Julie also divulges that Caroline F knows what Julie said to Caroline S about her way-back-when. Ah, so it is true! Julie anoints Caroline S the new Loose Lips B*tch in the group and plans on calling her out for it as soon as possible. (We’ll see about that.)
Speaking of Caroline S, we travel to her home in Surrey, where she’s spending all of her time since Gift Library went up in smoke. She knows she lives a privileged life, but it doesn’t make her business failure easier. She says in England, you’re brought up to find a rich husband who you make a nice home for by day and give blow jobs to by night. That’s no life for Mrs. Stanbury, though, and never will be. The job of raising children is one you can never go home from…annnnnnd she’s just realizing this now? #thisisnotbreakingnews #momswithoutnanniesUNITE!
Sometime later, Marissa meets Annabelle at Bumpkin to discuss an upcoming reading she’s hosting for Annabelle’s “Me Me Me” children’s books. They chat about the Annabelle/Julie conflict, which Annabelle says had to happen. She feels everything that needed to be said was said. Period.
Meanwhile, Juliet is getting back into her fashion blog work, which is a starting point in launching herself as a “fashion guru.” Ahem. Alrighty then! “I’m a fashion fairy godmother,” claims Juliet. Fashion fills her soul, and this year, Juliet says she’s finally hitting her stride.
For Denmark Debriefing #101, Caroline S and Annabelle meet for tea. Annabelle updates her on the book reading, which Caroline will have to miss. They discuss how Annabelle is feeling with the group. She’s not sure. “You are petrifying” to some of the ladies, says Caroline, noting how Annabelle’s aloof behavior can come off as scary and snobbish at times.
Annabelle admits that she was acting a bit more strangely than usual, yes, but that was only because she was going through an emotional upheaval. “It probably comes across like I’m a cold cow, but I’m not!” says Annabelle. She does like the ladies – for the most part – but still feels separate from the group. Caroline doesn’t want to push her out of their friend circle, but she wants to see the “whole Annabelle,” not a mere suggestion of friendship from her. Annabelle vows to be more open with the group. She admits she does need people, but hates to give off the vibe that she needs them.
Back at Caroline S’s home, Nicole the party planner pops by to discuss the pool party Caroline wants to throw for the ladies. Caroline is thinking chic, but Nicole is thinking Hawaiian Tikki Bar. In any case, there will be hot pool boys in bootie shorts. So, much like the editing of this show, the party is a disjointed hot mess of ideas. But fun all the same!
It’s the day of Annabelle’s book reading at Bumpkin, and she strolls in with an uncharacteristically upbeat attitude to prepare. The room is transformed into Annabelle’s book characters-come-to-life, and it is super cute. Annabelle’s grandmother and sister arrive, followed by Julie and her son, Will. Annabelle and Julie kiss, but their issues still hang uncomfortably in the air between them. Sophie Stanbury and Juliet arrive, as do a gaggle of children ready to hear Annabelle read. She plops down in front of them and, in a quite tender moment, reads “Angry Me” to the group of moms and tots with flourish. Annabelle takes a moment to thank her grandmother and sister, then her friends, for supporting her on this ride.
The ladies prepare for their transition from Angry Me to Pool Party Me as they head to Caroline S’s soiree. Marissa and Julie cab it there together, while Juliet and Annabelle (who’s really going for it with her swimsuit attire tonight!) share a ride. Caroline S is thrilled with the half naked man-boys that Nicole has furnished for all of the “desperate housewives” arriving soon. But on their drive to Caroline’s, Juliet is deflated to learn that Annabelle plans to hash things out with Julie yet again at tonight’s party. Annabelle is clearly not over it, whatever “it” is. (Is there a Grudge-Holding Me?)
As Annabelle prepares her mental notes in the car, Caroline S tells the rest of the ladies about her ultimatum with Annabelle: be friends with us 100% or not at all. Otherwise knows as “sh*t or get off the pot.” Julie is exhausted with tip-toeing around Annabelle’s feelings. But she has no idea what’s in store for her tonight.
Annabelle walks in and, for now, hugs Julie and chats about fashion to break the ice. Things get serious quickly though as Annabelle again accuses Julie of changing. She feels deserted and betrayed, considering how much she’s been there for fragile Julie as she’s navigated this tough group of women (looking at you, Caroline S!). Something tells me this entire argument/hurt/betrayal/whatever is more about Annabelle and Caroline S vying for HBIC among the women, with Julie as each woman’s prize mascot. Julie seems like mere collateral damage, in a way.
Admitting she’s retreated from their friendship since Denmark, Annabelle says she doesn’t know how to move forward. Julie admits she acted selfishly in Denmark and apologizes for not being there for her friend. She loves Annabelle and doesn’t want to lose her over this. They hug and make up.
Outside at the pool, Caroline S makes a speech about new beginnings. She loves everyone here and considers her friends her second family. And with that, it’s everyone into the pool, sink or swim!
Next steps for these women? Well, Julie’s balls haven’t saved Mapperton yet, but she’s still working on it. Marissa wants it all: family, business success, and hot dogs. Caroline F feels healed, and hopes her “journey of healing” can help others. Juliet is all about her blog, which is giving her a new voice in the industry – and keeping her out of trouble. Annabelle is thrilled to have launched her Me Me Me series with the first book “Angry Me,” which is just the beginning of things to come.
Caroline S has no idea what’s next for this group of women. As for her, she says she’s “going back to the drawing board.” (Cue Coldplay song, and me wiping a tear now.)
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Photo Credit: Bravo