The Real Housewives of Potomac are having relationship issues.
Between Charrisse Jackson-Jordan’s notice of divorce by mail and Robyn Dixon’s refusal to believe that playing house with her husband/not husband might not be the healthiest thing for a marriage/not marriage, the ladies of Potomac don’t even have time to talk about etiquette anymore – they are too busy just trying to pick up the pieces of their broken hearts and bank accounts.
Now enter Ashley Darby, who spent so much time judging everyone else’s relationship, forgot how messed up her own marriage was at home. Tonight we pull back the curtain to reveal that Oz himself isn’t an almighty, powerful ruler to be feared, but rather an insecure, over-aged Aussie who doesn’t understand what the general American public likes to eat when they dine out.
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We open at Oz, and Little Miss Ashley has decided that kangaroo cakes and emu enchiladas aren’t going to pay the bills. So she’s making the executive decision to change up the whole menu. Only one teensy tiny little problem with that – she’s not the executive here. Michael is, and he doesn’t let a moment, or menu change, go by without trying to demonstrate that. When Ashley informs him that she has this brilliant idea to change the menu and host a critic’s choice dinner to come and taste it, Michael is not happy.
Not only did Ashley decline to run it by him, but he just cannot let go of the idea that no one gives a flying koala bear about keeping the essence of Australian in the menu. Literally, no one. You would think that all the money (his money!) that they are losing would make him more open to the idea of changing it up, but he argues that this could totally ruin their
already ruined restaurant reputation.
Under normal circumstances in a partnership, of course you would inform your business partner of such a major change being underway. But given that Michael has refused to hear Ashley out any step of the way and keeps hanging over her head that it’s his restaurant, despite the fact that it’s her full time work, I can see why she forged ahead with her own plans and didn’t bother to bring it up until the last minute. Unfortunately for Ashley, she is trying desperately to be her own business woman while playing with her husband’s money. Despite all the push back from Michael, Ashley knows the show must go on and decides the ladies have to be a part of it. They all receive invites to show up and offer their two cents on the menu, which is pretty hilarious since they all react to the fact that they have way more than two cents to give.
Karen Huger is all about making peace these days. Peace with the fact that she is downsizing, peace with her being an empty nester, and peace that she needs to take a backseat in the world of Potomac housewives so the younger, more fiery housewives can carry the show into this century. No one wants to watch an hour of Karen doling out antiquated protocols she learned in between churning butter and milking cows on a rural farm. Nay, women who watch housewives want to see the drama and well, right now Karen doesn’t have any of it. So she has no choice but to play peace facilitator between the feuding cast mates if she wants to stay relevant. That’s obviously just my two cents, or is it three cents?
So in full peacemaker mode, Karen invites Monique FIVE HOUSES Samuels and Ashley to the driving range to tell them to squash the issues they have – Monique with HBIC Gizelle Bryant and Ashley with well, everyone. Monique should be happy someone is taking up for her outside of her the family members she pays to be on her staff, but shades Karen’s “old lady” golf attire because you know, who would wear practical golf shorts and cleats to the driving range when you could have your cleavage hanging out while balancing on top of five inch stripper heels? Correction, wedges. Ashley also didn’t get the memo and shows up to smack around golf balls in high heels and skin tight acid washed….jeans? I’m not 100% certain what those pants are.
When Ashley explains what happened with Gizelle and Robyn and Charrisse, Karen is quick to point out how wrong Ashley was in her handling and Ashley rolls her eyes in disagreement. Miss Mo is also not very keen to accept Karen’s suggestion to make amends with Gizelle, especially not after Gizelle snubbed her and didn’t readily give out her phone number when Monique demanded it. But Karen isn’t about to let these little biddies, who don’t even know how to dress at the driving range, off the hook. Karen wants peace within the group and dammit, she’s going to get peace. She’s also going to get props from me for that chic little bob in her talking head – she needs to wear her hair like that more often!
Karen isn’t done with her quest to be the most useful housewife on the show – she joins Gizelle and her current flame, Kevin, for a go karting double date. She’s ready to bestow all of her marital wisdom and advice on this new relationship, right after she laps them all on the track. Once she’s done, she doesn’t even bother to take off her go karting issued stocking cap to chat up Kevin and find out what his intentions are with Gizelle. He handles her rapid fire questions smoothly and with a smile, also allowing her to flirt shamelessly with him.
Across the way, Gizelle is stuck taking advice from Karen’s husband, who she has nicknamed Uncle Ben. Did I say advice? I actually meant shade. The BBG tells Gizelle in so many words that not only is she not getting younger, but she’s not going to stay cute forever so she better get married again now so she isn’t alone at sixty. In the BBG’s world, all women want to get married and in Gizelle’s world, looks don’t fade. So they are both fighting against each other’s own alternate reality of a world.
Gizelle is still reeling from the BBG’s assessment when she shows up at Karen’s house to help out with the sexy photo shoot Karen has planned for herself. So much so that she upstages Karen in a skin tight leopard cat suit, serving straight up body! Gizelle has so many cat suits I’m starting to wonder if she’s moonlighting as Cat Woman herself, prowling the Potomac streets at night, fighting crime, and peddling makeup for every skin tone along the way. Karen, in an attempt to be sexy for the photo shoot, busts out her collection of cliché attire – an oversized men’s dress shirt, black fishnets, and a felt fedora perched on her head. It’s all very…..Chicago. Well, Chicago off Broadway. Off off Broadway, that is.
The big night of the Oz event has arrived and Ashley is sweating with good reason. Not only is it and hour before the event and none of her servers are there, but her husband is busy sabotaging all the hard work she has put into the night, all at the last minute. All Ashley is looking for is for her husband and business partner to show some support but instead, he is throwing an epic hissy fit, refusing to come into the restaurant and staying parked outside while they argue on the phone.
Ashley finally storms outside and Michael doesn’t want this to be filmed, so he angrily waives away the cameras and then proceeds to fight with his wife in broad daylight, only partially obscured by a few parked cars. But if Michael thought he was going to flex his daddy muscles and shut it down, he sorely underestimated his wife – Ashley informs him that if he tries to shut down her event, their marriage is over. She storms back inside to handle the task at hand and Michael, like a boomerang, just keeps coming back, trying to establish some kind of control by getting an apology he definitely doesn’t deserve.
Michael finally drops it and just supports Ashley in her efforts by cutting up menus and greeting guests. They are in a power struggle of epic proportions right now, but what Michael needs to learn is that sometimes you have to take a backseat to your wife in order to keep harmony in your stupid marriage. That’s the only way it’s gonna work, buddy.
Monique shows up with Big Drawers, ready to eat. The other ladies arrive and take a table together, with Gizelle refusing to give Miss Mo anything more than a curt hello. With no choice but to flee from the frost, Monique claims she would rather be with Big Drawers and runs back inside.
Just as we think we narrowly avoided the drama, Ashley comes out to greet the women and gets a literal cold shoulder from Cha Cha. While Ashley maintains she doesn’t have time for any more drama tonight, she can’t help herself and asks Charrisse what the problem is. That kicks off a whole lotta mess and it’s time for Charrisse, Robyn, and Gizelle to unload on Little Miss Ashley Talks Too Much.
Robyn questions how genuine Ashley is by reminding her that she previously gossiped about her financial problems so obviously, she would be extra unhappy with Ashley talking about her marriage situation. Ashley acknowledges it, but doesn’t apologize. She does give a halfhearted apology to Charrisse for how dirty their dress shop argument got, but since Ashley is so defensive, it’s hard for anyone to take her seriously. Karen realizes much more is going on here and tries to get to the heart of the matter. Ashley admits she is going through a tough time with her marriage and the restaurant, which you would think would have made her that much more sensitive when it came to judging everyone else’s relationship, but Ashley is not that deep, y’all. You could get to the bottom of Ashley’s depth quicker than the bottom of a bloomin’ onion.
The night wraps up with Ashley giving an awkward speech about how you shouldn’t work with your spouse and then collects feedback from the food bloggers and critics. More importantly, Ashley got some serious feedback about her marriage tonight – that Michael holds the reins and if this continues, she won’t stick around for the ride.
Photo Credit: Bravo