Southern Charm New Orleans is proving itself to be a Bravo contender. The combination of beautiful people stirring the pot has always been a winner, but throw in some voodoo and a level of self-absorption that defies the norm, and I’m certainly going to watch.
After the explosive end to Reagan Charleston’s jewelry launch, Tamica Lee, Reagan, and outlying friend Rachel are brunching at Nicelle’s home. In the French Quarter, Barry Smith is stewing in his bad judgment and the slur he spouted during his screaming match with Jon Moody’s friend. He’s lunching with Justin Reese and Tamica’s brother while rehashing the night. When he tells his friends what he said, Justin is floored. You can’t say that word unless you’re British and asking a cigarette or you’re looking for a bundle of sticks. Barry recognizes it was wrong, but the guy still continued to get in his face even after apologizing. Justin still can’t wrap his head around it. To him, it’s the equivalent of a white person using the n-word. A derogatory slur is a derogatory slur.
At Nicelle’s brunch, Tamica is telling the same story from her point of view. The second she heard her husband name call in the manner, she was done. She has no patience for spewing ignorance, just pot stirring. Reagan chalks it up to what happens when you try to cause drama at what should normally be a drama-free event. She’s peeved at Tamica for beefing with Jon about the party and butting into Justin’s business. Justin agrees, telling Barry about his wife’s interference with Kelsey. Outlying friend Rachel questions Tamica about Kelsey being visibly uncomfortable. Tamica is on the defensive. She was telling truths to Kelsey about her situation with Justin. Perhaps the venue was inappropriate, but she doesn’t dispute it needed to be said. When no one agrees with Tamica’s honesty tour, she storms out of the brunch. She calls Barry to complain about her friends putting her on blast. She is adamant that belittling Kelsey was necessary. Kelsey needs to know what she’s getting into with her relationship with Justin. Barry advises his wife to leave that decision up to Justin, and Justin takes a lot of satisfaction being privy to the conversation on speaker phone. He’s relieved that Reagan has spoken up in regard to Tamica’s behavior.
A few days later, Justin is meeting with a structural engineer to renovate his childhood home in light of post-Katrina-decade-old damage. The foundation shift is bad, but it is reparable, which is great news for Justin…and the bank. Meanwhile, Tamica is dining with her cousin Jared who she considers her right arm. As she goes off on her friends’ inability to accept her truths, Jared wonders if perhaps she is picking the wrong time to share her views. She needs to apologize to her friends. This isn’t the advice Tamica wants to hear. She can dish it AND she can take it, and by “taking it” she can flee the scene anytime someone tries to talk to her the way she talks to everyone else. Tamica heads back to Nicelle’s to make sure that their friendship is still good. Tamica doesn’t technically do “sorry” but she can at least admit that it was classless to leave the brunch in such a huff. Nicelle is a certified swamp tour guide, a title bestowed on her solely for the number of swamp tours she’s taken herself. She plans to help Tamica plan a floating dinner where all the group can air their grievances…with no escape.
Barry accepts a call from his wife’s nemesis Gian, and he’s thrilled to hear from his business mentor. They make plans to meet at a local playground. Gian has heard the rumors stemming from Reagan’s party, and she wants to hear the story straight from the source. Gian heard the slur that Barry used, and she’s hesitant to align herself with him on a business level due to this turn of events. Barry understands her point of view, but he’s peeved that she’s basing her decision on something that had nothing to do with her and third-party information…even though that information was accurate.
Nicelle and her personal chef Benny Poppins are working overtime to organize and prep for the Out of Africa themed riverboat cruise. Um, no. The crew piles into a van and debates whether alligator is more poultry or seafood. Tamica practices her Cajun accent with the captain, and I recall the fun fan boat ride I took the last time I was in New Orleans–except this tour will be nothing like that. Gian is Jon’s plus one, and Tamica likens her to an STD…she got her high school, Barry got her a few months ago, and she’s now so contagious Jon’s gotten her. Tamica addresses the group with a half-assed apology, but she hems and haws about her actions without actually uttering the “sorry” word. Her pals should be used to her behavior by now, right? None of her friends are surprised, this is textbook Tamica. She doesn’t apologize. Barry tries to defend himself with the f***** comment, and Gian urges him to reconsider his stance. Tamica interrupts to remind Gian that she’s not perfect either. Funny how she felt the same was as Gian until Gian went in on Barry.
In response to Barry’s excuse, Jon recognizes that he grew up homophobic, but as he matured, he realized just how wrong he was. Jeff Charleston interjects to explain how that kind of macho attitude plays out in the NFL but it doesn’t make it okay. Jared then gives a tearful speech about the impact of that word on himself as a gay man. There’s not a dry eye on the boat. Once the laundry is aired, the mood is much lighter, Jared’s friend would like to plan a group outing to the most haunted plantation in the world. Tamica says hell no to that suggestion. After his breakdown in last week’s episode, Jeff announces that he’s made an appointment with a therapist. His friends are proud of him for taking this step, and Rachel pulls Reagan aside to express how important her support will be to Jeff. Reagan doesn’t need to spend most of her time living apart from Jeff in her French Quarter apartment. Whoa, hold up there, outlying friend Rachel! Reagan loves and supports her husband, but she prefers to do it from a distance.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE OF SOUTHERN CHARM NEW ORLEANS? DOES TAMICA NEED TO LEARN HOW TO GIVE BETTER APOLOGIES?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]