After last week’s lighthearted fun-fest, it’s only natural that the reality TV gods demand some meaningless drama from our Ladies Of London. And this week, that drama finds its way to the Henley Royal Regatta, where Adela King just can’t take another moment of playing nice with Juliet Angus. Also, Julie Montagu continues to hold a grudge against Sophie Stanbury for quitting the role of Caroline Stanbury Hater #2. But Sophie isn’t about to jump into Julie’s stew of resentment anymore. I guess Julie will just have to bathe in her own royal-ish mess. (Perhaps she’ll dry off with a Mapperton tea towel?)
There’s also a steady theme of mothers and daughters woven throughout last night’s episode that, I’m not ashamed to say, really touched me. It was subtle and unexpected and, after it all came together in the final scene, seemed to elevate this show to a new level in my view. Bravo to Bravo for airing a show that while petty at times, never lets petty actually take the wheel. But it’s still a bumpy ride, folks…so, let’s get to it!
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First, Caroline S pays a visit to her parents for tea. Considered the black sheep of her family, Caroline still maintains a close relationship with her much more traditional parents. Caroline also considers herself a daddy’s girl, but gets her emotional walls from mama. Indeed, after strangely long silences during tea, Caroline couldn’t feel more at home. Even hugging, like emotions, is considered ridiculous with this lot. Leave the hugging to the Americans!
Speaking of Americans, Juliet is hanging with her family relishing in her emotional openness – which also includes crass impropriety, in her case. She’s also studying for her British citizenship, which is no easy feat. She’s got to brush up on her spotted dick deets! Juliet, while feeling at home in the UK, is bummed that bestie Caroline is moving away
and with it her own relevance on this show. Juliet’s daughter is, as always, the MOST ADORABLE child ever, as she razzes Juliet about not bothering her in college someday. Girlfriend’s got boundaries!
Marissa Hermer, who’s paying a visit to her doctor soon to address her postpartum concerns, first pays a visit to Caroline Fleming. Caroline is throwing a midsummer’s night party soon to celebrate prancing and nature and all things magical Danish Baroness! The ladies discuss Caroline’s father, who’s going through surgery. Not knowing any of the details surrounding her father’s surgery is killing her, but Caroline admits she’s scared to reach out to her family for information. Their relationship is broken.
Marissa encourages Caroline to confide in her, but Caroline is wary. She met Marissa through her sister, who is Marissa’s close friend. Though she suspected Caroline was a money grubbing hustler at first (!!), Marissa SWEARS she just looooooves her now. Mmmkay. As proof of her undying loyalty, Marissa even summons tears when Caroline receives a text that her father came through surgery. The friends hug, though Caroline admits she’s not fully on board with this total-trust just yet. She’s wary. As she should be.
At the makeup store, Adela attempts to give Julie a much-needed makeover while they discuss her current status with Caroline S and Sophie. Adela thinks Sophie extracting herself from the Julie/Caroline drama is smart, and even a gift to Julie, who needs to frankly do the same. Juliet nods yes, but her crazy eyes say “NEVER!” Adela is more concerned with Juliet, however, who she describes thusly: “Juliet makes me physically ill.” So…not her fave gal, then, hey? Adela can’t stand Juliet’s judgmental, insecure a$$. And likely will tell her so next time they meet. Yay!
It’s the day of the Henley Royal Regatta, and the ladies show up in their finery and feathered hats to drink alcohol out of pineapples. No, that was not a Mad Libs sentence. Everyone is in attendance except for Caroline S, who Juliet is probably roundly cursing after Adela takes her to task, sans wing-woman. But Caroline is missing the event because of sad events – her father was taken to the hospital with chest pains, which resulted in him getting stents.
As the rowers whiz by, the group awkwardly plays it cool while Adela silently seethes. Julie also fakes it with Sophie, though she feels “hurt.” (Question: When does Julie not feel hurt? A headstand criticism sends this chick into hysterical sobbing, as I recall.)
Juliet tells Marissa she looks better – not that she looked bad! But um, so what’s up with looking better? she wonders. As she fumbles her words, per usual, Marissa laughs it off and says she is doing alright these days.
But after one pineapple too may, the ladies encourage Adela to go ahead and confront Juliet in front of the group. Why not? These sort of scenes always turn out well! Stone cold sober Adela is ready for the moment, encouragement or not. She prefaces her words by telling Juliet “This is not an attack!” Um, that may not be the best entry point.
Adela basically tells Juliet that she’s too abrasive, but before she gets more than ten words out, Juliet defends that she is just being real! She used to be a try-hard, but now she’s just letting her freak flag fly! Juliet just doesn’t want this sh*t swirling around behind her back, but Adela reiterates that’s why she’s telling Juliet to her face what she thinks of her. Boom.
Their beef sort of fizzles out, but lo and behold, Julie (OF COURSE) takes the opportunity to air her own garbage with Sophie, who she goes all air-quotes on about “making a pact” and how it’s “hurting” her!!! Sophie manages a half-hearted eye roll before putting it to bed with a final: yeah, I’m not talking behind backs anymore so get over it. Julie cannot stand the idea that Sophie has boundaries, which Adela states plainly. She does make a solid point that Caroline can still talk smack about her to Sophie though, so it’s not really fair play. Oy! Whatever. Caroline is moving to Dubai soon, Julie. And you’re headed off to Mapperton to wring your hands like Lady Macbeth as you wander the halls at night in a tattered gown. Go get your life, girl!
Sometime later at her doctor’s office, Marissa discusses her postpartum emotional roller coaster. She’s been alternately numb and sad, and admits she didn’t want to connect with her baby, Sadie, after she was born. She’d trained herself to be ready for something terrible to happen to Sadie or her, given the difficult pregnancy and birth. The doctor (who is so kind and sweet – and sort of dreamy!) also offers that many women who are coming to terms with not having another baby after hysterectomy surgery go through these sort of emotional upheavals.
Marissa is physically okay, but wants to understand her feelings. Postpartum depression is normal, says doc, and Marissa may have had symptoms, but she isn’t looking for a prescription to help her at this time. UK Dr. McDreamy encourages Marissa to call if the blues return. She promises she will.
In a lighter moment, Caroline F and Juliet visit the island where Caroline will host her midsummer’s party. Only one concern: The Baroness has heard that this island is filled with exiled spirits from all of the saged houses in London. So. Is that a problem? she asks the totally freaked-out event rep. He’s like, ahhhh, I’ve never heard that. Yeah, but you can’t unhear it now, can you, fella? Bwahahahahaha! Oh my. Caroline Fleming is #AMAZING. Her freak flag is simply my favorite. Juliet’s, however, needs to be burned to the ground.
After christening herself, Juliet, and the poor event planner dude with Vatican-approved holy water, Caroline approves the grounds. She remembers throwing these parties with her mother, and planning this event brings her childhood memories to the forefront. It’s also her first midsummer’s party since her mother has passed, which causes her to tear up. She holds a lot of pain inside about her mother’s passing and her estrangement from her family, but it wells up at times like these. To her credit, Juliet refrains from saying anything hideously inappropriate, and just holds her instead. “You deserve to celebrate,” Juliet tells Caroline. She agrees.
At Sophie’s house, Angela, Sophie’s mom, stops by. As the boys play, Angela and Sophie catch up. Their relationship is a close one, and Sophie even confides in her about the details of her divorce – which will begin with a legal separation. Sophie’s boys don’t know about the divorce yet though, a fact which Angela advises Sophie to remedy soon. “They need to be told, they’re not stupid,” she tells her daughter. Sophie is struggling with how to deliver the sad news though. Angela wants Sophie and her ex, Alex, to present a united front for the boys’ sake, which Sophie agrees with. It’s a tough situation for any parent, to be sure.
Back at Caroline’s parents’ house, she’s visiting her mother while her father is still in the hospital. He had four stents put in one side of his heart, and might need more in the other. He avoided a heart attack, but just barely. Caroline confesses she’s shocked, but is grateful for the Stanbury trait of “don’t think about it!” Caroline and her mother laugh about their stiff upper lips, which have served them well over the years. In truth though, Caroline and her mother are shaken up about the news, as anyone would be. She won’t be finding a shoulder to cry on in this house, however. She instead jokes that maybe her mother won’t be so annoyed with dad’s grumbling anymore.
Now that she’s moving to Dubai, Caroline is worried about being far from her family. Her mother, finally tearing up, confesses that she’s sad about the move too. Especially if something would happen to Caroline’s father. There will be no hugging in this mother-daughter moment of vulnerability, however. Caroline doesn’t see the point, nor was she trained that way. She does hold her mother’s hand. And it’s this brief moment of tenderness, coupled with the women’s unbreakable boundaries separating them from one another, that perfectly highlights why Caroline is the way she is. She was raised to feel things, but not to show them.
As Marissa makes her way home from the doctor’s appointment, she updates hubby Matt via phone about her status, then goes home to feed Sadie. Mom and baby will be fine as long as Marissa takes care of herself, she thinks. Across town, Sophie and her mother play with the boys out back. And in her parents’ garden, Caroline and her mom cut flowers and process their feelings silently. It’s a poignant montage of mothers and daughters and, I don’t know exactly why, makes me a tiny bit verklempt. (What is happening to me!?) It must be an American thing.
TELL US: WILL MARISSA BE OKAY WITHOUT PPD TREATMENT? CAN JULIE RESPECT SOPHIE’S BOUNDARIES? WILL CAROLINE F. FIND A WAY TO MAKE PEACE WITH HER FAMILY?
Photo Credit: Bravo