After two drama filled episodes of Southern Charm, it was time for a calm catch-up wasn’t it? Last night’s episode was just that, with a little dose of puppeteering from a guy who loves to pit women against one another. And no, I’m not talking about the brew master!
Austen Kroll’s girlfriend has hung up on him after spying Naomie Olindo’s Instagram story that shows him sitting a tad too close for comfort with Chelsea Meissner. Ashley Jacobs wants to hit the hot tub with Whitney Sudler-Smith who jokes she should soak with her new friends. As she cackles, Kathryn Dennis and Naomie sneak out of the kitchen before Ashley gets any ideas. Austen pulls Chelsea aside to share Victoria’s rage. Chelsea hates that Austen is being forced to choose between dating Victoria and maintaining a friendship with Chelsea, but that seems to be what is happening. He doesn’t understand. If Chelsea was hurt by his relationship and wanted him back, it would be one thing, but that’s not the case. Is it? IS IT? Austen certainly wishes it was.
The following morning, the crew is packing up to leave. Danni Baird is trying to rouse Kathryn from her chocolate coma. Girlfriend was doing some serious nighttime snacking! Whitney wakes the sleeping beauties Austen and Craig Conover. Craig drags his half-naked self into the den, mumbling that he dreamed he still had a girlfriend. He groggily asks Naomie if they are back together, and the group laughs when she says NOPE. Shep Rose heads off to see his family as Whitney wrangles his car poolers. Chelsea wants to take her friends on a tour down memory lane as they head out of town and back to Charleston. Ashley and Thomas Ravenel are the last to rally, and they are shocked to learn everyone has already left…even Austen! And with T-Rav’s after-shave! How will they ever find him to get it back? Ashley’s anxiety level is at an all time high. What if her man has to revert to something common like Old Spice?
Shep’s mother is adorable as she tries to feed her son some healthy snacks. He’s disappointed by the state of the pantry, but his parents have been gone for the last five months. He wants to get a French bulldog, but his mother reminds him he has absolutely no business getting a dog. He is aware of this fact as well. Shep has enlisted Kathryn to drive him to and from his knee surgery, and he reveals to his mom that he sees a lot of good in her. He enjoys seeing the best in people. He’s optimistic like that. His mom questions what happened to his nose, and he teases that no one beat him up…except for that case of beer and glass door. Shep tells him mother that just like his life isn’t conducive for a dog, it’s probably not ready for a serious relationship. Shep is unconventional, but his mother already knew that.
Across town, Chelsea takes her friends to her childhood home where she lived with her mom and stepfather. She calls him her stepdad because they were so close, but he never actually married her mother. As they walk up towards the house, Chelsea becomes overwhelmed with emotion. She starts crying and hightails it back to the car, leaving the girls wondering what they just witnessed. Back in the car, Chelsea tells her friends that her stepfather passed away when she was eight. However, because he and mother never married, her mom lost everything and was forced to move her kids into a tiny duplex where Chelsea and her brother shared a twin bed. Chelsea believes that watching her mother struggle with three jobs after the man she relied on was gone is what makes her so hesitant in relationships. She needs to be able to take care of herself instead of allowing someone to help.
Back in Charleston the charmers are settling back into their routines. Is Craig making a mood board? Amazing. Kathryn is taking Shep to his knee surgery, and she invites Shep to Saint’s birthday party. She admits that she texted T-Rav asking that Ashley not be around the children right now and Thomas agreed. I could watch an entire hour of Shep in his purple socks, paper dress and hair cap spouting love to the nurses thanks to some wonderful pain meds. That evening, Austen gets take out from Five Loaves (delicious!!) to share with Victoria as they discuss that fateful Instagram story. He’s never dealt with such a level of jealousy in a relationship. She asks about Hilton Head, and Austen shares that he informed Chelsea that he and Victoria had gotten back together. He is honest about not wanting to sacrifice his friendship with Chelsea, and Victoria can deal with that…as long as he can admit that Chelsea’s body language on the infamous boat ride was disrespectful to his current girlfriend. Austen insists that Chelsea wasn’t being romantic, and Victoria is incensed he is once again defending Chelsea. Austen promises that his friendship with Chelsea has never crossed any boundaries, but Victoria doesn’t feel the same. They agree to disagree for the sake of ending the argument.
On the mend, Shep calls Cameran Eubanks who has just welcomed baby Palmer after twelve hours of labor. She jokes that while Shep is icing his knee, she’s icing her vagina. Meanwhile, Craig is meeting with his life coach. The mood board was a homework assignment, and it shows Craig’s absolute lack of direction. He admits that he’s having an issue designing the pillow for Patricia Altschul’s home decor line because he can’t bring himself to focus on one idea. His life coach then calls him out on his B.S. He is self-sabotaging adulthood by not fully committing to it. It’s Peter Pan syndrome. Craig doesn’t deny her claims, but he does add to them, citing himself as a master manipulator and amazing liar. He can profile people in order to sway them in whatever direction he chooses. I don’t doubt it. His life coach is shocked. She is going to capitalize on his vulnerability whether he likes it or not.
The morning of Saint’s birthday party, Kathryn gets both children ready while contemplating how much has happened over the past year. She’s thrilled to be hosting her son’s party instead of being a guest like she was the previous year. Kathryn gushes over her children, wondering how she and Thomas could create such normal human beings. At T-Rav’s house, Ashley is sullenly questioning Thomas about the party. She’s just going to relax because she doesn’t feel well. The emotional stress from the weekend getaway has taken its toll on her physical health. He wonders if going after Kathryn was worth it for her. Ashley coos that she was just protecting Thomas, but he finds her tactics counter-productive. Ashley wanted to go to this party to prove she’s not a loose cannon. Too late for that, sweetie! Instead, she has Kathryn texting Thomas that Ashley is hateful and mean and shouldn’t be around the children. T-Rav shows no sympathy. Kathryn and the kids will always be a part of his life, and whoever he is with needs to respect that. Ashley lets it slip that the real reason she wants to go to the party is that she doesn’t trust Kathryn. Thomas warns her that she needs to get a thicker skin, and Ashley starts to turn. She spits that Kathryn is pure evil. Thomas starts playing games with her. He wants her to chill and he tells her she has certain expectations that he may not fulfill. T-Rav needs Ashley to chillax.
Kathryn and Thomas arrive with their children for the party. She feels it is important for the kids to see them having fun together. It’s actually pretty hilarious to all the charmers mingling and crafting at a two-year-old’s birthday party. Danni wonders where Craig is because finger painting is right up his alley. Naomie checks the trusty Craig-tracker on her phone. He’s at home. Craig has enlisted his roommate to help him wrap Saint’s present. This is true adulting. The group teases Craig upon arrival, and he immediately asks if the psycho is in attendance. Saint opens his presents, and the charmers are thrilled to see Kathryn and Thomas getting along so well. T-Rav reveals that he is very proud of how Kathryn has stepped into motherhood.
The producers are trying to tease a Shep and Kathryn romance. She stops by to check on him with a care package and homemade soup. Shep loves hanging out with Kathryn. They have so much fun together. Kathryn loves their friendship, and there is a tiny part of her that wonders if they could ever make it work. Nah. Downtown, Ashley brings over lunch for Thomas how is refreshing his cocktail and making one for her. The joys of day drinking with subs. She asks about the party, and Thomas is quick to compliment Kathryn’s party planning skills. Ashley wants to know if anyone missed her while making a snide remark about Kathryn. Ashley goes off about how Thomas was never in love with Kathryn and that their kids weren’t planned. T-Rav interrupts to lecture her. If Ashley disrespects the mother of his children, she is essentially disrespecting him and his kids. She doesn’t have to be mean or nasty about Kathryn. Ashley just needs to back off and take it down a notch. Ashley then starts in on Thomas for staying out late with his friends. She threatens to not come back when she goes home to Santa Barbara to visit. Ashley doesn’t get the response she’d hoped.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? WILL THOMAS AND ASHLEY’S RELATIONSHIP LAST?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]