The reunion venues for the Shahs of Sunset are getting bigger and so are the accusations. We barely make it through Andy Cohen greeting everyone before the gloves come off, or as Asa Soltan Rahmati observes, the Uzis come out. Asa was of course, a big, pregnant target this season and even in the glow of new motherhood, her cast mates aren’t about to let her off the hook. Even Vida, who usually likes to reserve her most blistering commentary for her own daughter, comes for Asa and trust me when I say her Uzi was fully loaded for that exchange.
Before we go there, I feel like I’m sitting down with a totally different cast than what I saw this season – long gone are any blonde highlights from Mercedes “MJ” Javid and Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi. Instead, their hair is dyed as black as their little hearts. Another thing that’s gone is Reza Farahan’s mustache, along with 43 pounds, to be exact. Mike Shouhed and Shervin Roohparvar are bringing the 90s back, with Mike’s emo eyeliner and Shervin’s slicked back little ponytail with the sides shaved.
Andy, always starting with a fluffy, yet colossally shady question, asks everyone to raise their hands if they have had work done. When MJ’s hand stays stubbornly at her side, Andy asks her incredulously how she hasn’t had work done. MJ huffily says that’s something she doesn’t feel like she has to address, and Andy points out the hypocrisy of her accusing Asa of not being transparent all season. Yeah, but it’s different, MJ argues. You know, because it’s about her body confidence and dealing with mean people on the internet, like she’s the only one subjected to it. Asa, senses weakness and jumps in, asking MJ if her lips are real because she knows people she went to high school with that would say otherwise. Sigh. MJ is floating on an island of denial and we are worried about whether or she can admit her lips are real? Focus, Shahs!
But since Asa spoke up, now would be a great time for Andy to ask her about her new motherhood, which she describes as both magical and super hard. That’s fair – it’s a lot like being high and coming down at the same time and I guess it’s nice to know even Asa can admit that it’s not ALL magic. I was a little worried she would pull a Lisa Wu and say that having a baby is energizing or something. So, when can we see some pictures of the little bundle of joy? Not anytime soon since Jermaine is against sharing his child publicly and Asa wants to respect that. She may be on a reality TV show but her man’s wishes for privacy come first, if that makes any sense.
Andy wants to know if she thought she was being demanding this season with her pregnancy at all and Mike and Reza graciously jump in and answer for her, saying they think she was rightfully demanding in her pregnancy. Despite this little life preserver thrown to her, Asa isn’t willing to let go of Mike’s line of questioning at the start of the season, when he asked her about why she and Jermaine had been together all these years and still haven’t gotten married.
You see, when Mike said that, he also threw in the not so insignificant statement that Jermaine is black and in Persian culture, dating outside of your race is a big deal. Asa feels like just the fact that Mike is bringing up Jermaine being black, when everyone else is in an interracial relationship with a non-black person, is issue enough but no one else can seem to grasp her point. Personally, I think Asa’s point is that if Mike wanted to know why they have been together for so long and not gotten married, why didn’t he just ask that, minus any mention of race? Which is a completely valid point. But valid points on Shahs are about as good Mike’s baby shoe line – not really necessary to anyone and just a big waste of time.
Mike goes into full defense mode, saying Asa is as fake and phony as they come and Asa counters with the fact that Mike had his ex-wife convert to Judaism just to cheat on her. How ‘bout them apples?! Mike does apologize, saying he never meant to offend her family and Asa accepts, but goes on to call the whole thing “casual racism,” prompting MJ to randomly and very casually be offended.
Moving onto the Israel trip, Andy points out how historic it is that the Shahs are the first Bravo cast to travel as a whole to Israel and that seems a tad over-dramatic but OK, Andy, have your moment in history.
We start with how offended GG was that Reza said “eff Iran” before their trip and he maintains that as a gay man that would be stoned to death in the streets of Iran for being open about his sexuality, no one has any right to tell him what he can and can’t say on the matter. Of course everyone is still going to try, with Shervin jumping in to say that the KKK doesn’t approve of his life choices either but that wouldn’t give Reza the right to say “eff America.” Oh, Shervin, you sweet little pony-tailed man child, your comparisons are best left for the comments section of some random corner of the internet and one can’t help but feel like Shervin is as out of touch as his new haircut with that statement. Reza explains that the KKK doesn’t run America and if it did, he would most certainly say eff this place too.
I also have a hard time understanding why everyone is so offended that Reza would make such a random statement like “eff Iran” when they would all dress up and attend the cultural offense-fest that was his “Peace in the Middle East” party at the start of the season! But sigh, why do I try to make sense of Shahs? They talk more about the trip but the only additional part worth mentioning is the behind the scenes footage of them all getting kicked out of dinner as the restaurant owner goes apes**t and yells at them that he’s not a chump.
When we come back from commercial, Vida and Tommy Feight, my new favorite person on this show, have joined us and the cast gives them a warm welcome, which I’m assuming is mostly directed at Tommy. Andy asks MJ point blank what she was smoking when she decided to move into the same condo complex as her mother and MJ mumbles something about her father’s health.
We get to relive the epic fight between MJ and Tommy about their decision to have kids and for once, MJ is reflective in a mature and well-thought out manner. She realizes in seeing that episode how much Tommy loved her to put up with her being so irrational about the whole thing. Vida still isn’t ready to become a grandmother, which is no change from the last reunion, all because she doesn’t think MJ realizes what a 24/7 responsibility a baby is. I think that’s a fair statement given that MJ can’t even be bothered to clean her own feet on a regular basis but as a grown adult, that’s her own cross to bear. Reza thinks Vida is projecting her own experience of motherhood on MJ and we find out that’s pretty accurate with Vida’s admission that her pregnancy with MJ was not planned. Goodness, that is quite the bomb to drop on a reunion couch!
But that’s nothing compared to the bomb that Vida drops next: she likes Tommy. Jaws drop across the couches as she tells them all how Tommy always cooks her exotic food and they walk their dogs together. Tommy promises everyone that Vida is hilarious. Ha! Hilarious as GG’s knife collection, maybe. When Vida says if MJ doesn’t marry Tommy, she will, Andy almost falls out of his seat but manages to stay in there to ask her who has changed for the better and the worse this season. Vida says Mike has changed for the better, thanks to how much he has calmed down.
For the worst, Vida holds nothing back and says Asa is ungrateful to the show when she came here with nothing and it gave her everything. She also points to how Asa says she doesn’t even watch it and if anyone criticizes her, she claims they are jealous. The second the segment is over, Asa whines to Andy that they brought Vida out to sh** on her but Andy doesn’t even indulge her in her self-importance, citing that she just told the world that her own daughter was a mistake.
Destiney Rose, who I forgot all about AGAIN, joins us and tells us about how she went from criticizing Mike’s marriage on The People’s Couch to an actual cast member. Despite the sexual tension everyone is picking up on with her relationship with Mike, Destiney maintains that she would destroy him instead of date him, whatever that means. Destiney doesn’t strike me as much of a man eater, or I guess not much of anything at all since she’s bringing nothing to the table here.
Somehow, Destiney denying she would ever want to get with one of her cast mates brings us to Shervin and his relationship with the Blunder from Down Under, Annalise. Shervin is now claiming that he never cheated on her, but was rather in and open relationship that Annalise was fully aware of, but didn’t want everyone to know about. So he took the cheater wrap, rather than out the fact that his girlfriend was cool with him sleeping with other people. You know what, I actually believe this. Annalise didn’t really seem to care when MJ mentioned cheating rumors and when they “broke up,” she could barely manage a frown out of her lip injections. It seems possible that they thought it would be easier to deny cheating rumors rather than admit their relationship is more for a story line than anything. As proof, Shervin pulls up his iPad with Annalise on FaceTime and she says it would be foolish of her to expect him to remain faithful to her when
they are in a fake relationship she lives half way across the world. No one believes them and MJ was actually so annoyed during this whole exchange, she walked off stage to much on a pickle and pass the time.
When MJ comes back, we have to talk about her whole beef with Asa this season and why she insisted on using the phrase “bastard child” to refer to Asa’s baby and babies born out of wedlock. MJ refuses to back down from her statement under the guise that the word is accurate by definition but she had no malicious intend behind it.
Because Asa knows she will get nowhere fast with MJ and doesn’t even want to waste her time, she decides her bone to pick is with Reza for not defending her when MJ was saying those things. Especially when MJ did it at their lunch at the Dead Sea in front of everyone. Reza tries in vain to explain that he was so floored that Asa admitted she froze her eggs, after her had been keeping that secret for so long, that he couldn’t possibly switch gears to defending her from MJ’s statements in that moment. Sounds like a pretty lame excuse if you ask me but now we are deep in the weeds, getting completely lost in egg freezing and IVF when we are supposed to be talking about why calling your friend’s kid a bastard is something you should defend.
Andy finally moves on to how Asa’s pregnancy came to be, asking her if she can understand why the Shahs might assume she did IVF when she admits she froze all male embryos and then ends up having a baby boy. Sigh, I hate to break it to everyone but it’s really not all that magical that Asa ended up having a boy through a natural pregnancy. It is a 50/50 chance after all! Asa tries to dance around it but when Andy insists, she admits that she can see why everyone is suspicious but insists she only did IVF as insurance and ended up conceiving naturally, mostly because she wanted to try for a girl on her own since she didn’t have any female embryos.
Andy wants to know who on this couch believes that Asa conceived naturally. Mike immediately says he does, while MJ, Shervin, and GG admit that they don’t believe it and we are left with just Reza, whose answer will be dragged out until next week’s conclusion to the reunion. We have that to look forward to, plus Shalom makes a surprise appearance, causing GG to use her acting skills and ask for the paramedics. Will you guys be watching?
Photo Credit: Nicole Weingart/Bravo