It’s Caroline Stanbury’s final week in London before moving to Dubai, and last night she attempted to circle the wagons of her “real” friends – Sophie Stanbury and Adela King (what!? No Juliet Angus!?) by bonding, slumber party style. Alas, a peaceful departure is not in the cards for the Ladies Of London queen bee, as Caroline Fleming’s explosive Midsummer’s Eve party displayed. In other news, Juliet
tries to create a storyline explores her Polish roots, Marissa Hermer continues to be smugly annoying, and Julie Montagu hangs on by the thinnest wisp of an emotional thread. Thus, all is normal!
With Cem and the children already in Dubai, Caroline S is holing up in the Westbury Hotel for her last week in London. Sophie joins her for a massage, telling Caroline that she’s relieved they’re back to being buds again. Caroline thinks that says a lot about her. Something tells me she isn’t all in with the rebirth of the Stanbury Sisters just yet.
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Meanwhile, Caroline F and her friend Nicole are dumpster diving for flowers on the city streets. Because that’s how this Baroness rolls. Once inside the actual shop whose dumpster releases her from its spell, Caroline reflects on her mother, the inspiration behind the Midsummer’s party. Caroline hasn’t celebrated it since she was 10 (and she has the adorable photo to prove it!). Sadly, 10 years old was the age Caroline was when she lost her mother.
Back at the hotel, Adela arrives for her Westbury slumber party with Sophie and Caroline S. She’s even brought her Hooters girl apparel along for the ride! In serious matters, Adela talks about her custody case. Her children are 13 and 16, and she’s fighting to see them, but her ex is using Adela’s history of addiction against her. It’s a tough situation all around. Caroline and Sophie seem at a loss about what to say to comfort their friend. So, to lighten the mood, Adela obliges in showing Caroline the reverse-cowgirl sex position on Sophie.
Over at Julie’s house, she’s micromanaging her son’s onion chopping skills. And at Marissa’s place, she’s getting some sort of psychic reading/bell ringing/clairvoyant hoodoo done on her. Because, blech. Who knows why? I just can’t with Marissa anymore. Meanwhile, Juliet is home with her family welcoming her mother for a visit. Juliet’s parents are from Poland, having immigrated to Chicago when Juliet was very young. Feeling close to her Polish roots, Juliet claims she can still speak fluent Polish…although her sausage ordering skills at the local Polish deli beg to differ!
Adela pops by Julie’s house to help see her daughter, Emma, off for the Leaver’s Ball, which is like prom plus legal alcohol. No contraband hooch up the skirts of these underage Brits! This next statement will be quite shocking, so prepare yourself: Julie’s emotions are on edge. She can’t believe Emma is almost off to Scotland for college, and she’s not ready to let go just yet. It’s Adela who tears at the heart strings though when she can barely breathe through her interview, confessing the pain of losing a daughter (though in vastly different circumstances than Julie’s). Emma and her friends look fresh faced and beautiful, finally leaving Julie and Adela to sing Sunrise Sunset in their heads as they reflect on motherhood in the kitchen.
As Gregor makes a lovely home cooked dinner, Juliet wears a frock from her mother’s younger days (and it may be just about the best thing she’s worn all season #RaidMomsCloset), then forces her mom to look at her blog. (You know, the one she complains about working on TWICE a week?!) Juliet is close to her mom, and feels she’s following in her mother’s footsteps in a way – moving to a new land and putting down roots. Her family, especially her father, hasn’t always presented an easy relationship path for Juliet, so she’s grateful for what she and her mother share.
At her island party location, Caroline F is doing things that make sense – like breaking bamboo with one’s feet and building maypoles! She chats with friends about her father’s health, which is not good. She wishes she could be surrounded by family on this Midsummer’s Eve celebration, but it’s just not reality. So, she’ll make the best of it with friends.
Back at Marissa’s, she and Matt discuss Caroline F’s party (for which she’s making ALL of the food! Go Baroness!!). As Marissa gets her hair professionally braided into a temporary Pippi Longstocking ‘do, she reflects on her improved relationship with Caroline F. Hmm. Not sure if Caroline feels the same? In any case, Marissa’s general mood seems improved, and she’s looking forward to the party. “I think it will be nice.” Famous. Last. Words.
It’s the day of the Midsummer’s Eve soiree, and Caroline F greets her guests with a flower crown, an amazing spread of food, and vines for all! The ladies twist their crowns into shape as Caroline looks on, encouraging them to let go! Just feel the nature seep into their pores! And thus far, her light touch and free spirit is rubbing off on the group. Then the bread twisting is visited upon them.
As the ladies roast their “bread dicks” over the fire, Caroline S and Marissa finally arrive, kind of shocked that the group is so happy. Juliet is glad she can get her hippy shtick on, while Caroline S thanks the baby Jesus that they are on an island where “no one can see this ridiculousness.”
At the dinner table, Caroline F welcomes her guests with a simple toast, then closes her eyes to the sun. Which is magical to her…as are all elements, no doubt. The guests rave over the food, all made by Caroline’s loving hands – all but Caroline S, that is. She’d rather push her mustard herring around and feign fullness instead. Now, on to the may pole dancing! “I’d rather throw myself onto a very, very blunt object,” snarks Caroline S, who will not now or ever be dancing around any pole but a stripper’s.
Making the evening decidedly more unpleasant for Caroline S, Julie awkwardly asks her “out on a date.” Caroline mentally checks her schedule and is like, um NEVER, but thaaaaaaaaanks! She thinks Julie is a snake in the grass, using people to lift her up, then abruptly dropping them when she’s high enough. Yup. Sounds about right. So, why the urgency to play nice now that Caroline’s only got 5 days left in the country? Caroline still has issues with Julie – and others – at this table. A week won’t fix that.
Before Julie can answer, Adela jumps in to ask what Caroline’s issues are with her? Caroline feels “stabbed” by Adela, who got in bed with the likes of Julie over snarking on her long-time friend. Incredulous, Adela thinks Caroline is pathetic for holding this grudge for so long over nothing. But it’s not nothing. Caroline felt ganged up on by her closest friends at a vulnerable time in her life. Did she handle it terribly? Yes. Was her anger justified though? In my opinion, absolutely.
Now enraged, Adela whips off her flower crown, stomps away from the table, and eventually screeches about her feelings to Sophie – who Adela can’t believe is Caroline’s BFF again. Wait? What happened to that slumber party mood?! These three need a therapist who specializes in narcissism and codependency.
When Caroline S goes over to talk to Adela, she explains how she can’t have any meaningful conversations with her lately because Adela is in such a fragile place with her legal/familial battles. Growing more unhinged by the minute, Adela confesses that Sophie told her that Caroline was writing “vile texts” about her back when they were all fighting. Things like Adela choosing money over her kids – yeah, that vile.
Caroline doesn’t deny it, claiming she just can’t agree with what Adela has done. (Apparently, the backstory is that Adela hooked up with a man, post-divorce, who had money, but whom her kids despised. This did not sit well with her ex or her children.) Adela fires back that she can’t agree with Caroline “always leaving” her kids either. So, touche’! Shocked, Caroline just stares at Adela while she screams that she’s trying to change. Caroline thinks Adela needs a dose of reality, and that she hasn’t been a good friend – plain and simple.
Explaining again why she felt betrayed, Caroline ultimately admits she was embarrassed and excluded by Adela turning on her. Adela apologizes, and Caroline tells her that they will put it to bed, that she will always love her, and finally…”I’m sorry” (although that sad little whisper was a bit hard to hear – speak up, apologetic Caroline!).
Back at the table, Caroline F just wants the drama to take a permanent turn around the may pole and leave her magical evening the hell alone! She’s got food to eat, yo.
TELL US: WILL SOPHIE, ADELA, AND CAROLINE S. BE OKAY NOW? DOES JULIE DESERVE A SECOND CHANCE FROM CAROLINE?
Photo Credit: Bravo