Real Housewives Of Potomac Recap: All Shades Of Shade

After Ashley Darby’s husband Michael broke up the last night of their girls’ trip, lines have been drawn among the Real Housewives of Potomac ladies. Karen Huger threw the biggest most pointless fit of all, so it looks like she’ll be the one Ashley has to squash the beef with first. That is, until Karen sends her own protrusion-in-his-pants representative, hubby Raymond, to do her dirty work. 

But first, Gizelle Bryant is at the “Skincare Chemist” – whatever that might be! – to discuss starting a makeup line. She says being a light skinned black woman doesn’t mean she can’t address the skincare needs of all African American women. Natasha, the specialist, suggests offering at least seven shades. Gizelle is well versed in shade, and can throw seven of them together in her sleep. In order to launch the line, she will need to gather a focus group, develop a name (Caramel Cutie? Just Buy It?), and brand her product. Gizelle ponders the idea of using the ladies as her focus group. Yes! Let’s go ahead and release the seven shades of hell all over that.  



Katie Rost, meanwhile, is pretending to be clowning around with her three kids, nanny, and boyfriend Andrew, who comes bearing balloons. Which Katie will pop one by one, in a metaphor for the last vestiges of her dignity. Katie says Andrew has given her everything she wants – including in the sack – except for a ring. So, a sandwich of thanks is in order. As Katie attempts to throw a ham sammy together, she fills Andrew in on Gizelle grilling her about being on drugs. Andrew supports Katie 100%. And he wants that sandwich. 

Being the poseur she is, Katie says she’s going to “postpone” her fundraiser. But when it does happen (like fetch), she’ll only be inviting people SHE likes. So, there! Harrummmmph. No one wanted to help poor Katie throw together her ratchet fundraiser in 3 weeks with no venue, no sponsors, and no coin. So she’ll show them! By not throwing it at all…? Her focus will now be on hosting DC Swimweek. Which seems fitting. Katie will also not be attending Gizelle’s little makeup group “thingie” as she says she has no time for her phony ass.

Speaking of phony asses! Karen Huger is lounging around in her living room waiting for her personal assistant Emy to brew up some Lipton Tea. They discuss Karen’s upcoming event, The O Gala, in memory of her late mother in law Odessa Huger, who had Alzheimer’s. Karen’s mother was just sadly diagnosed with early onset dementia as well, so the cause is near and dear to her heart. The event will raise money for awareness, and as Karen runs over the prep list with Emy, it seems like she (unlike Miss Rost) actually understands what she’s doing.

Raymond pops in to consult on the event, but the Black Bill Gates isn’t really feeling any of the musical options Emy suggests. He’s also not feeling the size of the event, which has ballooned out of control. Karen respects his wishes, and vows to stop the presses on future RSVPs. But she’s not uninviting anyone – although she’d like to. <cough, cough: Ashley>

At Gizelle’s makeup focus group, she’s prepping the food and drinks at a local venue. Assorted friends, stylists, and Ashley arrive first. Ashley asks Gizelle if she’s still upset with her over Michael crashing. Gizelle says it’s not about Michael; it’s about how Ashley handled it. “Ya’ll are not easy!” laments Ashley, but she’s willing to attempt a fix here.

Charrisse Jackson-Jordan and Karen arrive next, followed by Robyn Dixon. After Charrrrrrrriiiiissssse accepts apologies from Gizelle’s hairstylist, who dared to poke fun at her, then – gasp! – WALK UPSTAIRS at her crab boil, Gizelle launches into her pitch. She reflects on growing up light skinned – how it came with its own baggage of bullying and prejudices within her own black community. Because of her experiences, she wants to design a line of makeup that will offer every black woman – no matter their shade – a quality product. Robyn and Ashley are like “Preach!” as Gizelle pitches. They understand where she’s coming from. As the ladies rotate around makeup stations, they play along with trying on Gizelle’s shades.

Katie-the-no-show is elsewhere tonight co-hosting her swim event, which she deems “real work.” She’s introduced as an “international model” by the emcee before calling up the, um, current models to strut their stuff. Katie snarks that most models last only a season, whereas she had a decade long career. I don’t know if Katie is trying to beat out Karen in the award for Most Insufferable Windbag, but she’s definitely in the running for First!


Back at the makeup party, Ashley takes Karen aside to hash out their issues. Karen claims Ashley was a fab-u-luss host, but she didn’t appreciate Michael busting in. Ashley argues that Karen could have gone in her room and shut the door if she was so uncomfortable, and that her toddler tantrum was out of line. Boom! In the fashion of King Henry VIII, Karen suggests the men handle it from here. Ashley’s like, WTF!? Are they gonna have a duel!? 


Sniping at Ashley that her immaturity is to blame, Karen refuses to hear reason. Gizelle is struck with drama migraine from all of this bickering, so she goes in to break it up. She tells Karen and Ashley to let the men deal with it and keep it moving. Okay, let’s pause here. What does the Black Bill Gates have to do with this AT ALL? Karen is taking her self-importance to a whole new level with this move. 


In a much cooler, albeit confusing, household Robyn and her kinda-sorta-ex-husband Juan are putting together a storage bin from Home Depot. She laughs about her beach trip and the twin beds she shared with Gizelle, which made her nostalgic for the old days. When she and Juan were sleeping in twins? Alrighty then.

Juan jokes about back in the day when Robyn was just an unknown stalker at his games and they dished about their fave soap opera, Y & R, together. Little does Juan know that she was actually at his games stalking another dude, Robyn reflects. No matter! They found each other in the end. 


Robyn and Juan walk down memory lane, talking about being the loves of each other’s lives. It’s obvious at this point that their relationship is far from over. Though they divorced because Juan cheated, he wants to move forward with her now. But Robyn isn’t ready to fully commit yet. If their on-screen chemistry tells the truth, these two seem definitely meant to be. It’s sweet, and I’m still 100% #TeamDixon! #FixItJesus! 


In an effort to bring back the gilded age, Karen and Ashley have dragged their husbands out on a grown man confrontation play date…at the golf course. After a bit of fake small talk and swinging clubs, Raymond addresses the Aussie in question. 

Michael asks what the problem is here? Raymond says he doesn’t expect a guy to intrude on a girls’ weekend, especially because the girls (can we please stop calling them “girls” now!?) might be walking around in “skimpy outfits” and showing their lady bits. Michael and Ashley literally try their best not to bust out laughing as Ray insinuates that Michael – or, let’s be real: ANYONE – would relish the sight of Karen Huger tiptoeing around in a g-string.

Michael still doesn’t see the issue here, laughing it off in the end. The group disbands to continue golfing, while Ashley ponders whether Lady Huger has taken her meds today. For her part, Karen is pleased as punch with how Ray “took it to Michael,” though doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that Ashley and Michael are basically laughing their asses off at these two caricatures of social propriety in the next golf cart over. Michael does agree to shake hands with Raymond in the end, and Ashley is (kind of) back in Karen’s good graces. For the moment.

Over at Charrisse’s house, her kids are hanging by the pool while she ponders turning 50, and learning how to swim. She prays on the edge of the pool, then hops in the shallow end to practice her kicks. Having almost drowned before, she’s scared. But this is the new Charrisse! And she’s ready to take life by the balls. Tackling her fear of swimming: step one. Finding out where her man is: step two. 

Shopping for flowers for her Alzheimer’s event, Karen and Emy consult with a florist about cherry blossoms. Which are not available except in the spring. Because…duh? Does this lady not live in the DC area? Seems like common knowledge is not Karen’s forte. She settles for another choice, as long as it’s big and dramatic and over the top. Just like her!

Fast forward to the day of Karen’s O Gala, which has turned into the low key event that Raymond demanded suggested. As guests arrive, Karen mingles with the unwashed hordes, including Katie and Andrew. Katie snarks that a living room cocktail party does NOT a gala make, and can’t believe this is what prevented Karen from helping her with her fundraiser. Hmmm. Perhaps a clue is suddenly dawning on Katie of this simple fact: No one wanted to help her, regardless of their “other” side projects. Oh, grasshopper. The delusion is strong with this one. 

Gizelle calls Katie out immediately for being a no-show at her makeup event, but Katie doesn’t care about Gizelle’s makeup. Or Gizelle. After Robyn arrives, Karen tells her and Gizelle all about Raymond’s golf-duel with Michael. Gizelle is pleased with this news, only wishing she’d been there to see it. Spoiler alert, Gizelle: it wasn’t all that. 

As Karen and Raymond make their speech, the doorbell repeatedly DING-DONGS in their ears. Robyn is cracking up at this faux-pas, which comes to us courtesy of Ashley and Michael showing up late. Lady Huger is not pleased. 

Once inside, Ashley sets the record straight with Charrisse and Gizelle about what really went down at golf. Ray didn’t really give Michael the bizzzzzness as much as Michael just laughed in his face. Gizelle’s interest is piqued as Ashley continues on her snark train, noting how nice Karen’s hair looks…tonight. “It’s been slipping a bit,” she shades, but seems to be at least passable for this event. Gizelle smiles, “That’s not niiiiice.” But she is actually loving this seven shades of Ashley that she’s seeing.


Stirring the pot to a rolling boil, Ashley then tells Gizelle, Charrisse, and Robyn how Karen is keeping her daughter away from them because they’re a bad influence. We flashback to Karen telling Ashley on their drive to Bethany Beach how “teenagers are off limits” for her because they don’t need any outside influences shaping them.

Now whether that translates to Karen simply not wanting these women to interact with her daughter on TV, or whether she doesn’t want them around her period is unclear. I’d guess the former. But Ashley is not here to analyze nuance. She is here to WIN! So she riles the group up about their unfit selves.


Karen sidles over to see what this coven of witches is brewing. When Robyn asks whether Karen said she doesn’t want them around her daughter, Karen denies it outright. She clarifies to Ashley: she doesn’t want her daughter hanging around with HER, specifically. And with that, she says she’s gonna button this up. “I’m done with you,” she tells Ashley. “Goodnight!”

Incredulous, Ashley is left wondering what Karen’s many, many problems are. The ladies all gather their purses and try to slink out, but not before Charrisse encourages Ashley to apologize to Karen. Ashley instead finds Michael, wondering if she pushed a little too hard? She leaves without apology. 

Meanwhile, Karen reiterates to the remaining ladies that she never said her daughter was not allowed to mingle with them. Just Ashley. And now that Ashley is claiming otherwise, she wonders if she has an agenda? Whatever the case may be, Karen ends the rant with the most beloved empty threat all Housewives love best: “I’m done!”

We’ll see about that.  


Photo Credit: Bravo

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