Shep Rose

Southern Charm Reunion Recap: The Perils Of Barbecue Throat


I’m not going to lie…I’m still kicking myself for not going to the Southern Charm Reunion viewing party hosted by Gentry bourbon last night, but alas my day job got in the way. At Gentry’s finale party, Shep and Craig were there to watch with fans, and there was even a guest appearance by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. What? I am a closet NASCAR fan. Only in the south, y’all! Of course, it may have been harder to watch with the cast before snarking on their ridiculous behavior, so perhaps it was for the best!

As last night’s conclusion begins, Kathryn Dennis is still on the rampage regarding perceived indiscretions between Thomas Ravenel and Jennifer Snowden, and T-Rav is at the point of exploding. Kathryn then defends herself against the negative viewer reactions to her lunch with Jennifer while she sat like an ice queen glaring as Jennifer cried over her son’s health issues. Kathryn flips the switch and blames her assumption that Jennifer was using her tears to manipulate future editing of the scene. Jennifer is appalled that anyone would think she’d use her son for personal gain with plans, and it’s Kathryn’s turn to switch on the waterworks. Craig Conover reminds her that in rehab she probably learned she pushes people away as a defense mechanism. Yes, that’s right. Kathryn was in rehab. She’s on a journey. It’s about forgiveness talking about learning to do difficult things and realizing what battles are worth fighting. In case you’re wondering, grudges about handkerchiefs fall in the latter category.

After his forehead veins calm down a bit, Thomas lightens up as he addresses criticism for keeping his kids in the guesthouse. Um, you guys,he lives back there with them and makes them breakfast every morning on his nanny’s one day off a year.  Fatherhood has changed his life, and T-Rav is looking to leave his downtown compound and find a more family friendly neighborhood, where his yard is comprised of grass, not marble. Give the man a sandbox! Kathryn seems a tad ruffled by this revelation, but I don’t understand why. I also don’t think he’ll ever leave that house. He’ll just buy another in the ‘burbs. Whitney Sudler-Smith appears out of nowhere. I’m not quite sure where he came from or why he’s there, unless it’s to arch his eyebrows at comments like a cartoon villain. Don’t mind him. He’s just here for the tea.


Andy Cohen turns the conversation to Landon Clements’ trip to New England to meet with Shep Rose’s business partners, and she maintains her innocence regarding the whole, “I don’t hang with millionaires, I hang with billionaires” fiasco. Landon claims to have been lured to the meeting with promises of a nice comped hotel, but she arrived to no room, just an invitation to bunk on their yacht. Before you go judging Landon for not being able to slum it on a boat, remember, she lived on that itty-bitty sailboat her entire first season. She stands firm that she never said the billionaires comment, but Shep counters that even her friend and business partner was embarrassed Landon’s behavior with the yacht entrepreneurs. Landon lashes back that as a woman in the work force, she felt it was highly inappropriate for these strange men to assume she’d be fine bunking with them upon their first introduction. Girlfriend makes a valid point, but Shep keeps interjecting that her business partner (I’m going to bet “former” business partner after the reunion) was not on board (yacht puns, y’all!) with how Landon acted.

Andy asks Austen Kroll if Landon ever says anything that sounds a bit ridiculous. Austen starts to hedge around the question, but Landon interrupts to say she stands by her comment that she wants a man who has expensive luggage with which to travel the world. Austen basically throws up his hands in defeat, and Landon is confused. What else would a girl look for in a romantic partner? Andy reminds her of the gold digger label she earned this season, but she accuses fans of just hating on her out of jealousy. Cameran Eubanks is all, well, yeah, but…and brings up the luggage statement again. Her husband is a wonderful man with cheap, crappy suitcases. He cares about other things. Landon is confused. Cheap luggage? With nary a shred of self-awareness, Landon keeps espousing all the pretentious and snobby remarks that originally caused a national eye roll.

After recapping T-Rav and Landon’s dinner date, Andy swears up and down that the interrupting drunk lady who claimed the two were soulmates was not a production plant. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m not buying it. The duo’s embellished romance reminds Kathryn of why she has so much disdain for dolphins. Kathryn and Landon argue over the Valentine’s weekend trip (it wasn’t Valentine’s Day! No, but it was!), and Kathryn still believes something happened between the pair. Kathryn has never known Thomas to spend the weekend with someone of the opposite sex and not test his boundaries, and even T-Rav can’t argue with her logic. She doesn’t necessarily care anymore, but she feels justified in her jealousy. Landon, who can’t quite decide which personality she wants to showcase, now understands why her actions may have seemed shady to Kathryn. She’s got perspective now, and she wants the fans to like her, by God. She’s empathetic, y’all!. This mini-revelation is good enough for Kathryn, and the two exchange tepid apologies. This segues quite nicely into the fallout between Landon and T-Rav in Key West.


Landon had quite the about face while in Florida, going from bashing Kathryn’s recovery and mothering skills to backing her against T-Rav’s bad attitude. She knows what she says was hurtful and tells Kathryn she’s very sorry. Both girls acknowledge that their make-up wasn’t the most genuine, but they appreciate the other’s efforts. Well I’ll be damned!T-Rav takes to quoting Pride and Prejudice again when responding his unraveling friendship with Landon. He’s no Mr. Darcy though…he’s not virtuous enough. He admits that he and Landon are still close friends, and she follows that up by saying she just took him to a wedding in Santa Barbara. Thomas is no fool, and he tries to gloss over the admission. They were at the same wedding in California. Yes, Landon concurs, because she invited him to be her date. Kathryn’s side eye cuts through those magenta bangs sharper than Chelsea’s stylist shears. Their truce is short lived.


Speaking of, Chelsea Meissner joins the group, and she jokes that it was much harder watch this season of Southern Charm then it was to watch herself on Survivor. When Andy wonders about Cameran’s match-making attempts between Shep and Chelsea, Chelsea admits that she’s known Shep for longer than any of the other folks on the show–almost a decade. When Cameran is pressed about her own chemistry with Shep, she responds he’s like her brother. Maybe the brother from Flowers in the Attic? Cameran tries to maintain that she only pushed Shep towards Chelsea because she didn’t know that Austen was pursuing Chelsea. When both Austen and Shep call her out on this claim, Cameran cops to maybe, perhaps, just a little bit, she was simply sticking with her original plan. She didn’t know how serious Austen was for Chelsea. Chelsea doesn’t deny a connection with Shep, but she wanted less party boy, more lunch date. She shares that she and Cameran chatted about the fact that Cameran always hung out with lunchtime Shep or coffee Shep or first drink at happy hour Shep. As the only married cast mate, she was home with her husband long before nighttime Shep emerged…and nighttime Shep was the Shep Chelsea saw the majority of the time.

Shep apologizes for going after Chelsea and jeopardizing his friendship with Austen, and Andy wonders if he feels guilty trying to create a whole lot of nothing regarding Austen’s facetiming friendship with Landon. Austen admits that he did spend more of his day gabbing with Landon, but it was purely platonic. Everyone seems to think Austen didn’t cross any lines with her banter with Landon, but she may have turned up the giggling to a slightly inappropriate level. If I’ve learned two things about Landon, it’s that she’s not a gold digger, and she’s not going to apologize for her personality. I know these truths because she just repeats them over and over again until I conceded she must mean it. She has a flirty personality, and she is coy with everyone (well, maybe not the yacht guys or poor people). Landon doesn’t apologize for flirting with Austen regardless of his relationship status with Chelsea. When Chelsea challenges her, Landon blames Kathryn and Chelsea’s insecurities, not her behavior. Oh HELL NAH! Before Kathryn can even think of a comeback, Chelsea is telling Landon like it is, and Austen secretly smiles. He sees through Landon. Austen is precious.


The explosive boys’ night out is revisited, and Shep is all jokes until the topic turns to the night that Shep allegedly tried to force a kiss on Chelsea against her will. Austen knew he had to stand up for his lady friend, but he admits the thought of losing Shep’s friendship was a hard pill to swallow. Chelsea stands firm on her version of events, telling Shep he was way out of line. Like he did in Key West, Shep apologizes to both of them. Andy brings up that Whitney got a lot of criticism for defending Shep, but Whitney’s all, “Hey, he’s Shep!” Everyone is confused as to why Shep gets a pass just for being Shep. If another guy acted that way, he wouldn’t get the same support. Chelsea doesn’t think Shep’s behavior that night is being blown out of proportion. She concedes (and Cameran agrees) that nine times out of ten, Shep’s somewhat aggressive make-out attempt would make the young girls putty in his hands. I’ve seen this first hand any time I’ve spotted nighttime Shep at a bar–and to clarify, I’ve not seen any kind of boorish behavior when spying on him from my old-folks booth, but girls do tend to throw themselves at all of these yahoos. There is a lot of discussion on the double standard. Shep and T-Rav are aging playboys who close on site with much younger ladies, and everyone is amused. Chelsea hooks up with Shep and Austen and she deserves a scarlet letter. Kathryn can certainly relate.

Andy asks the burning question, and not, Austen and Chelsea are no longer together. They are both still so googly-eyed with each other, it’s hard to figure out who put an end to things. Shep looks excited, but both Austen and Chelsea are quick to say they aren’t opposed to a future reconciliation. I really want those crazy kids to make it! Shep’s drunken behavior (in Key West specifically) is revisited, and Shep downplays choking on a chicken wing at the airport claiming he was just suffering from barbecue throat. Cameran recalls that a stranger came up to her and said, “Your friend came and ate a fry off of my plate.” Shep feigns shock when his friends insinuate he probably should have been arrested in the airport for public drunkenness. Austen seconds that he’s surprised Shep got through security. The banter gets awkward when Shep seems to warn Austen to keep his mouth shut. Andy jumps on the perceived tension which confuses Shep. He clarifies that he got through security because Austen told him to keep his mouth shut.


Craig realizes he’s not getting enough air time and piggybacks on Shep’s slight vulnerability. Shep wants to be married with children, and Shep says he’s fine how he is. It earned him a spin-off, didn’t it? Shep accuses Craig of needing kid glove treatment from those in his inner circle. He’s got thin skin, just like Trump. Andy agrees. Craig argues semantics when Shep states he (Craig) thinks he can do no wrong. Craig is just killing it. If that’s being perfect, so be it. At least he’s not a drunk, wasted alcoholic asshole like Shep. Shep takes offense. Craig is a bit a drunk himself. As their whining escalates, Andy reminds them they are both, in fact, drunk assholes.

There is still a bit of a spark between T-Rav and Kathryn, although Smokey the Bear would hope they never act on it as it would destroy everything in its path. They tease a bit about the off screen kiss that was the topic of the finale. T-Rav jokes it was a kiss on the cheek. When Kathryn corrects him that is was on the lips, he teases, “on the butt cheek.” His devilish ways still clearly work on Kathryn. As the reunion wraps, Craig is adamant he would have finished law school despite the pressure from Shep and Naomi, and Landon shares she’s still “working” on that lifestyle website while also “working” for her father. Cameran promises she’ll make time to baby-sit her friends even after her little one arrives. I’m going to miss these guys…but wait! They’ll be making cameos on RelationShep, which looks exactly like my kind of train wreck.


Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman/Bravo