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It seems like The Real Housewives of Potomac are not only obsessed with etiquette, but also race. Last night, the tension that has been brewing all season came to a head between Katie Rost, Gizelle Bryant, and Robyn Dixon at Charrisse Jackson-Jordan’s 50th birthday party – with none other than Ashley Darby’s husband Michael (and honorary housewife, at this point!) – at the center of the debate. Meanwhile, Karen Huger is just trying to figure out what her identity will be now that her youngest child is flying from the nest. 

Robyn and Gizelle meet for lunch to review the future of Robyn and (ex hubby) Juan’s relationship. Gizelle spoke with Juan recently and was suspicious of his intentions with her bestie. Are they in it for the long haul? Will they reconcile? Robyn loves Juan (and he, her), but she doesn’t trust him 100% yet. His cheating past haunts her. Gizelle thinks that no matter what Robyn and Juan do, they need to stop lying to their children – who think mommy and daddy are still married.  

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Over in the land of delusion, Katie is catching up with her friend to discuss how the entrapment things are going with Andrew. He’s not ready to propose, but he is playing a lot of golf. And men who play golf are ready for marriage! Huh? Um, perhaps he’s simply trying to escape the insta-family Katie has foisted upon him? 

Karen and her hubby Raymond are in the garage drinking their Lipton, discussing how successful her “gala” launch party was. Cut to Katie dogging Karen’s event, snarking that Karen needs her help more than Katie needs Karen’s. (As cray-cray as Katie is, I have to almost agree with her on this point.)

Karen recaps what went down with Ashley at the end of her event. “Shaka,” Karen’s alter-ego, was ready to slap Ashley. But the Beautiful And Glamorous Karen – self dubbed title, of course – stayed in check, merely tossing Ashley out the door instead. 

A pouting Katie is over ALL of the women now that they’ve summarily rejected her and her faux gala planning. She thinks they’re obsessed with race, and she’s still smarting from Robyn and Gizelle grilling her on owning her mixed race heritage. They’d prefer she check the black box, she thinks.  

In a far more lighthearted scene, we find Ashley picking up her mom for a cruise in her birthday Porsche! Their conversation turns serious once they get to lunch though, as they discuss her mom’s bankruptcy. Ashley offers financial help, but mom is too proud to accept it. Not hearing her mom’s answer, apparently, Ashley announces that she and Michael will be buying her a house. Mom is not comfortable with this, but Ashley wants to share her husband’s blessings with her mother. “I just don’t want to be your burden – ever,” her mom cries. But she thanks Ashley and Michael for the gift in the end. 

At a crossroads of her own, Charrisse is facing her 50th birthday soon. She’s planning a huge birthday party and has hired a photographer to take pics of her children and her for the birthday slideshow. After their photo session, Katie pops over to share some champagne, style advice and…Judaism lessons? They discuss the party, which will involve dancing and drinking. But no Eddie Jordan (Charrisse’s husband). Despite his absence, Charrisse is going to make the best of the situation. And Katie plans to bring her “white girl moves” to the dance floor. Hmmm. Now, who’s obsessed with race?

Back at the Black Bill Gates Estate, the Hugers are prepping for their daughter Rayvin’s goodbye party, as she’s leaving for college soon. As Raymond picks up balloons at Stop-N-Shop (just like the REAL Bill Gates!), Karen is confused by the hired bartender who shows up. Who hired this lady in the United Flight Attendant reject uniform? So, the planning is going well! Maybe ya’ll should just head to Applebees? 

Post-bartender meltdown, the family toasts Rayvin’s journey. Karen’s first son, Brandon, offers some sweet words, and Aunt Dot throws some shade about Karen being a hot mess when Brandon left for college years ago. After the guests depart, Karen sobs on Raymond’s shoulder about the momentous shift they’re all about to experience. Despite Karen’s diva attitude, I can’t help but feel for her in this moment. These look like real tears, not #BravoTears, and my heart goes out to her. It’s a bittersweet time for any mom. 

Speaking of motherhood, Gizelle has gathered her three daughters to discuss her dating life. Seems totally appropriate! Unlike Robyn, Gizelle doesn’t want to keep secrets from her kids. How do her kids think about her dating? They want her to join Match.com. Gizelle’s like, Hell to the No! Men ask her out all of the time. No need for the internet. 

Charrisse stops by Gizelle’s to further discuss her dating scene, which is going to get very active in the next week when her girls go stay with their father. Alrighty, Gizelle – we get it. People date you! You date people! #ThisIsNotNewsworthy

Charrisse’s love life isn’t so active these days, considering Eddie has been out of the picture for years now. Is he coming to her 50th birthday party? Gizelle wonders. No, Charrisse admits, although she’d love for him to be there. Frankly, Charrisse looks downright miserable, but is going to take her revenge out on Eddie’s wallet to soften the blow. He allotted her $80K for her soiree (WHAT!?), so she’ll be sure to spend every penny! #HitEmUpStyle

In an effort to discuss the fate of their future, Robyn and Juan meet out for lunch. Juan aspires to be a head coach, but to work his way up the ladder, he may need to move out of state. For now, there’s not much opportunity out there for him. Their financial state is shaky, but Robyn doesn’t want to see Juan move away. Despite their divorce on paper, this couple is obviously still in love. And they look a lot damn happier than most married couples that grace our Bravo screens, franchise-wide. 

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Whoa – it’s suddenly the night of Charrisse’s 50th! Before sucking face with Andrew (which WILL happen, so preview pic below…you’re welcome!), Katie b*tches about staying far, far away from Gizelle. Meanwhile, Ashley is ready to face her frenemy head-on, greeting Karen with a perky smile as soon as she enters the party. Promptly turning her back on Ashley, Lady Huger delivers the message that she is not trifling with Ashley tonight. How did she become the bad guy in this group? Ashley wonders.

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Ashley admits she may have gotten the details wrong about Karen forbidding the women from hanging out with Rayvin (it was only about Ashley, not all of them). But she’s young! She’s ditzy! She’s confused! At least, that’s what Gizelle chalks it up to, who tries to smooth the waters over with Karen – to no avail. Gizelle doesn’t trust Ashley though, regardless.

Because no one puts Baby in a corner, Ashley says she’s not scared of any ole’ Karen Huger! So she marches right up to confront her nemesis. Karen tries to play Ashley off with some shady backwards etiquette, ala: I’m enjoying the night with my husband, so scram b*tch! But Ashley presses: Why does it have to be so hostile? she demands. Stomping away, Karen reiterates how DONE she is with Miss Ashley.         

Charrisse’s daughter, Skylar, offers a sweetly giddy toast to her mom, followed by a three-tiered birthday cake. Unofficial housewife Brynee then asks Charrisse to bust out her rap skills, which – she hilariously does! It’s Housewife slow jam meets Biz Markie meets…oh, who knows? But I am weirdly loving it! Heeeee!

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Also loving the vibe of this party is a probably drunken Michael, who is getting down so hard he decides to grab a butt. Not any old butt. Andrew’s butt! Gizelle and Robyn bear witness to this act and are like, HUH!?!??!?!? They call Ashley and Katie over to discuss the butt-grab, which is all kinds of shady and bizarre, in their opinions. Ashley plays it off as no big deal, which is her go-to reaction for all things Michael (pants dropping on the yacht, crashing girls’ night, and now, unsolicited hiney grabs).

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Oh, no. Robyn takes the conversation alllllllll the way left when she asks, “Is that like a white guy thing?” Reminiscent of wondering whether Ashley grinding up on her on the dance floor was due to her hanging around “too many white people,” Robyn’s remark is starting to reveal a disturbing pattern in her thinking. Aw, man, Robyn! I am liking you so much this season, don’t take it here! Alas, take it here, she does.

Katie jumps all over Robyn’s comment, claiming that Michael’s indiscretion has nothing to do with him being white. She argues that black guys hit each other’s butts all of the time! Which is no less of a ridiculous, misguided argument. But it’s Katie we’re dealing with now, so. Yeah.

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Katie then gets all up in Robyn’s face about her probably being biracial, even though she says she’s not, because who is this blonde (um, dye job, Katie!) with green eyes!!?? Katie is flailing around, finally snarking at Robyn, “You don’t end up looking like this if you’re straight out of Africa!” Oh, God. There’s not much to say about this entire exchange – on either of their behalves – except that it’s unfortunate the conversation had to devolve in this manner.

Side note: It’s interesting that this franchise, unlike Atlanta, has harped on race as much as it has in its debut season. But I wonder if the tension partly has to do with the relatively small number of African Americans in Potomac, which more than one woman has commented on. This situation is worlds away from the Atlanta community, which may feel small when it comes to rumors and drama, but is decidedly strong in actual numbers – at least when compared to Potomac. Just a thought. (But NOT an excuse.)

Offended, but somehow managing to take Katie’s incendiary comments in stride, Robyn laughs her off as ignorant. Katie walks off in a huff after tossing out a final insult about Robyn and Gizelle not understanding who their ancestors are. But wait – how did the issue of Michael grabbing Andrew’s butt turn into a forum on racial heritage? Ashley continues to defend her husband’s consistently strange behavior as just “Fun Michael!” so Robyn and Gizelle drop it for now.

As the ladies go their separate ways, Katie corners Brynee and Andrew to dish about Robyn and Gizelle – the most racially obsessed duo she’s ever met. Meanwhile, Ashley confronts Michael about groping Andrew. Which he outright denies! Then he kinda-maybe admits he “may have patted” Andrew’s bum as they were dancing. “It’s not a big deal!” chirps Ashley. Though Gizelle and Robyn wonder if it’s because he’s white that he thinks this behavior is normal, she confides to him. Michael, who is feeling no pain at the moment, just smiles his creepy smile and brushes their comments off as not worth discussing. AintNobodyGotTimeFoThis! He’s got bums to pat, girl! 

After Katie’s foolishness, Gizelle says it’s time for her to go. She peaces out with Robyn, bidding adieu to Charrisse outside, who is enjoying every dollar of this $80 grand birthday bash – husband, or no husband.

Back inside, Michael tells Ashley that when they first got together, they had to learn to accept each other’s differences – and it had nothing to do with color or race. If the other ladies have an issue with him based on their racial biases, he doesn’t give a whit. Ashley is his sexy young thang, and he loves her very much. 

Katie is over these ladies as well, fit to be tied over no one taking her seriously. As mad as Katie is, Robyn and Gizelle seem to have let her comments roll off their backs as they crack up out on the curb over Michael enjoying a little too much of Andrew tonight. Hmmm. Maybe that’s what Katie’s really upset about, no?   

TELL US: WHAT DID YOU THINK OF MICHAEL’S LATEST ANTICS? ARE GIZELLE AND ROBYN RACE-OBSESSED? WERE KATIE’S COMMENTS OUT OF LINE?

Photo Credit: Bravo

 

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