Last night’s Southern Charm was like an SNL review from Stefon. It had EVERYTHING. Butt cracks and callousness, polo and pettiness, and after dark, this plantation rages with the owner of the Boar’s Nest, insecure Florence Nightengales, and one very promising comeback kid. There is so much to recap, I’ll just dive into the craziness. It’s why we’re all here, right?
Craig Conover is still suffering from the great butter knife incident of ’17, and it is making it very difficult for him to follow his dreams to master the Singer. He recruits his roommate for help while whining about Patricia Altschul not giving him one more day to produce the pillow that would knock her caftan right off–alas, Ms. Pat does things on principle…like not extended already greatly extended deadlines. She’s so rigid!
On Isle of Palms, Shep Rose is making meatballs and hosting new mom Cameran Eubanks who is stunned by his home’s chic but bacherloresque redesign, but not necessarily his cooking skills. He asks for her assistance to make meatballs, and the entire scene turns into an advertisement for a website that touts crafts and cooking. Bravo, do you think we are that dumb not to notice? As Shep parades his ass crack around the kitchen, Cameran jokes about being a personal servant to her parasite baby while chastising Shep’s lack of culinary skills. Over raw meat and panko, the duo discusses Craig’s recent make-up sesh that was peer pressured by Austen Kroll. The smooch was inspired by The Little Mermaid’s “Kiss the Girl” which is exactly what Craig is, Cameran exclaims. Such. A. Girl. The conversation shifts to Shep’s love life. Cameran believes if he is content, there is no longer a rush to find the one. His suggestion that he marry Kathryn Dennis is met with an eye roll.
Patricia is hosting Thomas Ravenel for a cocktail. Over Hamptons Gatorade/rose, Patricia informs him of her upcoming ball. He invites her to his next polo match. T-Rav is considering giving up the sport. He doesn’t want to risk serious injury now that he’s a dad. Ms. Pat brings up Ashley’s recent drop-in, suggesting that the princess on his payroll isn’t happy with the state of his relationship. Thomas concedes that there may be resentment on both of their parts. He wishes she would focus on a career and get some hobbies other than smothering him, but she thinks he’s too good a provider to leave the nest. Patricia knows what that means. She’s listened to Kanye before.
After her disappearance on last week’s episode, Kathryn meets Shep on the pier at Folly. The pair toasts with corn dogs before being attacked by a bird. Is he the same little guy that wreaked havoc on Andy Cohen during the Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion a few years back? He must have flown south for the winter! Shep expresses his concern over Kathryn’s absence, and she explains that she suffers from depression. Having been in a good place for a long time, Kathryn assumed she no longer needed her meds, so she stopped taking them. Anyone who has been in that very common scenario knows that decision can go quickly downhill. Tearing up, Kathryn understands that everyone’s immediate “go-to” was that she’d fallen off the wagon, but she hates that is such a big part of her story. Shep admits it was his first thought but he also reminds her that everyone who was worried truly cares about her. He invites her to go off the grid whenever she’d like, but just give him a head’s up first.
Kathryn cries, telling him she hasn’t felt worthy of her recent friendships because she feels she has nothing to contribute. Shep looks like he may cry too, but I think he’s actually just squinting because it’s so sunny and he forgot his #diffeyewear. After a bear hug, Shep asks if she’ll be heading to T-Rav’s Edisto Plantation to witness Thomas’ last ride as a polo player. Kathryn has so many mixed emotions about the house where she lived for a year in the basement with her newborn daughter so far from the city where she’d formerly resided. It was an incredibly lonely time in her life, and she believes it where she first started to experience the throes of depression. Kathryn is concerned that going to the match will dredge up a dark time in her life. Shep promises to be there to support her. She can just hang with him and they can make fun of all the other attendees together. You know, I thought this whole Shep/Kathryn thing was completely #manufacturedbybravo, but I ship it now. No refunds. C.O.D.
Downtown, Chelsea Meissner is meeting Austen for some aphrodisiacs at a local oyster bar which name I won’t attempt to spell (and I’m too lazy to Google…Rappa-some river in Virginia). The exes are googly-eyed with compliments for each other before starting in on the oyster shooters. Chelsea had a blast at Austen’s beer thing-y (do you have a better way to describe it?). She liked his brew and got a bit little tipsy. Austen reveals that Victoria went ballistic when he told her about Chelsea’s hug-and-straddle, although Austen takes the blame for instigating the second half. He shares that Victoria tossed a drink at him and the rest is history. Chelsea defends Victoria, saying that Austen wouldn’t appreciate his girlfriend hanging out with her ex. However, Austen reminds her that their situation is different. He asks about her relationship status, and she cites that she finally feels safe and happy being by herself. Austen finds relief in her statement. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be with him, it’s that she isn’t ready to be with anyone. They gush about the importance of their friendship, and she asks him to Patricia’s fete. He grins…is she asking him out? Hell no, she just doesn’t want to go alone. They celebrate their non-date with more oysters.
The following day, Chelsea is shopping with Naomie Olindo who has rescued a kitten on her way to their outing. She’s housing it in her pocketbook. The girls are searching for polo match attire and wonder whether Kathryn will return to the Ravenel plantation. Kathryn’s friends are ready to champion around her if she starts feeling icky. Meanwhile, on the way to Edisto, T-Rav and Ashley are sharing a very awkward car ride. Ashley loves the idea of a quiet life on the plantation, but she chides that Thomas isn’t ready to give up his partying ways. T-Rav starts to think that maybe women aren’t attracted to him for the right reasons. You don’t say! Thomas lords over his barn while sadly reminiscing about his polo life and leaving it all behind for the sake of his kids. Ashley listens somewhat intently before interjecting that this property would be the perfect place for events…specifically a wedding. He goes in on how her career made her attractive to him, but now he feels like a sugar daddy. Ashley sullenly listens while barely defending herself. She’s scared to get a job where she’ll have to work weekends because she won’t be able to monitor his nightlife. Ashley hasn’t worked since she relocated to Charleston, and she hates he’s asking her to change by getting a job. She’s not asking him to change by not bankrolling her. It’s a legitimate comparison. Thomas is wary about the future of their relationship with leaves Ashley in the throes of hair flipping.
On the day of his final match. T-Rav is waxing poetic about his polo career. Back in Charleston, Kathryn and Danni Baird are hesitantly prepping for the day after a girls’ sleepover. Kathryn isn’t quite prepared for what is in store. The plantation holds a lot of darkness for her. Kathryn dons a wardrobe she borrowed from the set of The Crown, but honestly, it works. The boys convene at Thomas’ country home, and the gang’s all here for the first time since that Hilton Head debacle. Chatter turns to Patricia’s ball, and Shep announces that he’s taking Kathryn as his date. He’s thrilled that Ms. Pat is finally warming to the idea of Kathryn. The match begins, and Ashley immediately corners Shep to whine about their relationship woes. If Ashley broke up with T-Rav, would Shep date her? She needs a reason to stay in South Carolina if things go south with Thomas.
J.D. Madison has completed his Boss Hogg transformation as he ponies up (pun intended) to the field. Kathryn and Danni aren’t far behind, and Kathryn is a ball of nerves. She exchanges pleasantries with Thomas, thanking him for inviting her. Kathryn’s past with Thomas is hitting her in the face like a ton of bricks. Her friends converge on her in a gauntlet of support as Ashley stands in the corner hating Kathryn’s existence. Ashley turns to J.D. to unleash her insecurities. Thomas’ dad is impressed with her staying power even if T-Rav isn’t on board. Shep compliments Kathryn’s Downton Abby attire, as Chelsea starts pairing off the old gang. For Patricia’s formal, she’s taking Austen, Shep is escorting Kathryn…it’s only natural that Craig and Naomie go together. Naomie seems open to the suggestion, but Craig needs some convincing. He’s open to the idea if it means they are working towards a reconciliation. He’s making so many excuses, and Austen understands. Craig already has a date, but he’s not willing to admit it. Dern, Craig.
At the oyster roast following the match, Kathryn is surprised by how peaceful she feels in the place she thought she’d once live happily after with T-Rav and their first child. This trip may be the closure she needs. The charmers gorge on oysters, and Thomas laments to Craig and J.D. about his current situation with Ashley. He’s tired of being just a wallet to her. Craig interjects that he doesn’t want to stir the pot (oh, okay), and he shares that Ashley may have sort of hit on him at Austen’s beer thing-y (y’all still haven’t given me a better term!). Craig wants to be transparent with his friend as he relays that Ashley teased she’d date Craig if he were just older and more established. J.D. opines that T-Rav’s girl talking about a backup plan is troubling, and I swear it’s the only time in my life I’ll ever agree with this doofus. Craig inquires as to whether Thomas is still excited about the relationship. Thomas responds that he’s smart enough not to be looking at the sky while walking through a cow field. T-Rav makes my skin crawl more than poison ivy, but I’m still going to be incorporating this adage into my everyday vernacular. Amazing. No shit. 😉
As the party ramps up, Kathryn finds herself complimenting Thomas on the event. Across the yard, Ashley is talking to whoever will listen about respecting T-Rav’s choice in women. He loves the alpha woman, and she is one…but she’s not scary like Kathryn, right? RIGHT, STRANGER?? Thomas confides in Kathryn that he is nervous his pairing with Ashley won’t end well. Kathryn reminds him that their coupling ended poorly, but it’s working out okay. Thomas knows that he gets to a point in a relationship where he turns a corner and becomes a person he isn’t proud of, a person he doesn’t want to be. He did it with Kathryn, and he’s doing it with the chick who is currently shooting eye daggers in his direction.
Kathryn diagnoses T-Rav in a matter of sentences. Thomas is too open, he’s too fast to get along without questioning motives, and he needs to be more protective of his heart. He doesn’t need drama. Sure, he and Kathryn have had quite a colorful past, but they are fine now. Kathryn notes that this conversation doesn’t warrant Ashley’s death stare. Damn! Tis’ the season for Kathryn and her wisdom. T-Rav takes it one step too far in agreement, quoting (or misquoting…I wasn’t an English major) Shakespeare. Kathryn teases that T-Rav must find her less psycho given his current state of events, and we’re treated to Ashley barging into the house yelling, “Am I the only loser in here?” Kathryn has learned from the best and she can now play T-Rav’s game better than he can. She assures him that she’s always available if he needs a friend to lean on before exiting gracefully. You go girl.
Thomas heads inside to find a sulking Ashley. She pointedly questions him about his conversation with Kathryn, and he’s far too amenable for her liking. I like that he and Kathryn are getting along, but he is totally using that as leverage to mess with Ashley–I don’t care for her one bit, but it’s a gross manipulation on his part. He ticks off Kathryn’s good qualities which are the same traits he’s verbalized to Ashley that she is lacking. She retorts that she’s gotten J.D. and Shep’s opinions on their relationship, and she can no longer pretend that their status is perfect. Thomas gets teary, he needs to be true to himself. Ashley has no regrets even if they end things right now, but she wants one more chance to try to work out their issues. Thomas looks defeated. He thought he had his out, but now he’s forced to concede to one more try…
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S EPISODE? ARE THINGS FINALLY SETTLED AND DECENT BETWEEN THOMAS AND KATHRYN? DO YOU FEEL BAD FOR THOMAS AS HE NAVIGATES HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH ASHLEY?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]