Were you suffering from Southern Charm withdrawals last week? I know I was. While the last episode gave us friendship and butt crack, last night was all about drama and formality. It certainly delivered, although Bravo sure knows how to gloss over current events, doesn’t it?
Craig Conover is still living like a college student (and that statement is an insult to college students), and he welcomes Cameran Eubanks into his halfway house. She’s critical of the space, which is well-deserved, but she puts on airs when she sniffs the box wine he offers. She grills him about practicing law, but he counters that he’s yet to be sworn into the bar. He’s still working on the Character and Fitness portion of the application. As someone who went through this a while ago, the bar is basically making sure he doesn’t have an errant DUI (a regular one is fine…I don’t know that first hand, but I have some friends…) and isn’t an ax murderer. Clearly, Bravo reality whore ranks up there as a reason one wouldn’t be fit to practice law–in South Carolina. That’s a hard feat given the lawyers I know! Craig claims his pillow business is thriving, so attorney ethics benchmarks be damned! He presents Cameran with a bunch of pillowcases that he just needs to stuff before fulfilling his orders. She, like the rest of America, wonders what he’s waiting for with his sham empire. Was sham empire a pun? I didn’t think so until I typed it! She poo-poos his pillow situation as a distraction. Craig needs to focus on one thing. Isn’t he seeing a life coach? Craig admits that he stopped returning his life coach’s calls. Why can’t he take accountability? Craig reveals that Naomie Olindo may not have been wrong in labeling him a drifter.
Kathryn Dennis is hosting Naomie with virgin cocktails. They rehash Kathryn’s conversation with Thomas Ravenel at his polo match. Kathryn wonders if T-Rav feels trapped since he’s footing the bill for Ashley. Both girls have heard through the Instagram grapevine that Ashley has been a staple at California polo matches and she may be a high-end escort. Kathryn and Naomie chat about Patricia Altschul’s winter ball, and Kathryn is wary of attending with Shep Rose. She garnered her own invitation, but she’s worried that a once over-critically of her Pat is just setting her up for failure at such a formal event. Naomie vents that Craig is hoping to take a date with her blessing, but she knows full well he’s already asked someone.
Austen Kroll and Craig are shopping for their formal wear at a very posh establishment (no, it’s not Gwyn’s for once!). The boys are clueless about attire as Shep joins the posse. Shep isn’t keen on stormtrooper chic, but he’s ready to be measured and fitted…despite his massive hangover. The trio talks about Ashley and her penchant for flirting with Thomas’ friends. A quick show of hands confirms that Ashley has blatantly hit on all three of them. On the afternoon of the fete, we’re treated to the charmers in different stages of preparedness. I want a screenshot of Craig zipping up his fly with a coat hanger due to being one hand down because of a butter knife injury (A BUTTER KNIFE INJURY!!!) to be my screen saver for as long as I have a smartphone.
Across town, Thomas is preparing a stiff cocktail for Ashley as she gets ready for the night. He acknowledges that but for Ashley’s persistence (that’s a sweet and not crazy word for it!), the pair would have parted ways after the polo match. Basically, T-Rav is crying for help that he wasn’t able to break things off with his paramour. But, being the manipulator he is, Thomas takes the opportunity to tease his wallet princess. He presents her with an early Christmas present sure to make all of their problems evaporate. Ashley is foaming at the mouth for an engagement ring but plays coy while unwrapping the token. It’s a locket, and she seems sincerely touched. I guess it’s a step up from that cuff/bangle situation he teased her with last time. She loves the sentiment, but it’s a tad long in the chain for her taste. Ashley questions whether she’ll be forced to interact with Thomas’ baby mama. She can’t handle the drama (that she instigates). T-Rav hopes they can play nice, and he reminds Ashley, much to her chagrin, that his relationship with Kathryn is good as gold…and he’s not referring to that white gold locket. It’s not silver, people!
At the swanky Grand Bohemian hotel, Kathryn is getting glam and hoping for a night free of drama. It was just too much to try to primp for this event at home with her kids. Chelsea Meissner arrives, and I’m just now realizing that Kathryn isn’t wearing her formal dress, but in fact, she’s sporting a pin-up era silk negligee. Is it normal? Nope? Am I okay with it? One-hundred. As the young kids would say, I ship that random nightgown. Kathryn has made it her life’s mission to learn the intricacies of a white-tie affair. She’s not going to let Patricia one-up her by not knowing formal etiquette. Austen calls to make sure his ladies are wearing their dancing shoes. Check and check.
Patricia arrives at her fancy soiree at the Hibernian Hall in a caftan fit for Kyle Richards. The rest of the crew assembles on the event with Ashley concerned with whether she allies. She doesn’t, and she knows it. Pleasantries are exchanged as we’re reintroduced to Jennifer Snowden welcoming T-Rav and his arm candy. The gang oohs and awws over floor length gowns and white gloves when J.D. Madison barges in wearing a giant fur coat. The full transformation to Boss Hogg is complete. Oh, and he’s with his once-estranged wife. As Cameran inquires about the state of T-Rav and Ashley’s relationship, Naomie struggles to pretend she’s fine with Craig’s plus-one. She focuses on the rumor that Ashley may not love Thomas for his cavalier attitude and fondness for solo cups. As the side pieces twitter about this gossip, Cameran asks if Ashley is preggers. No, think differently. Is she an escort? Finger to the nose, Cameran–spot on with your guess!
Shep places a protective arm around Kathryn as they descend upon the steps as Cameran gives the third degree to Craig about his date. Whitney Sudler-Smith stops in his tracks watching this My Fair Lady moment. Patricia concurs. Has Kathryn changed? She’s not going to approach the red-headed siren, but she’s open to a conversation if Kat has the manners and the balls to kiss her pinkie ring. Shep and Kathryn decide to divide and conquer as the rest of the group trade faux compliments. Austen takes this protocol to another level by likening Ashley’s attire to Cruella De Vil. On the sidelines of being cast members, Jennifer makes sure everything is as it should be in the home of J.D. and Elizabeth Madison. Liz laughs off any infidelity and claims her marriage is a work in progress, but if Jennifer knows any single, society bachelors, she wouldn’t be opposed.
As dinner begins, Patricia gives Austen a quick lesson in sitting like a penguin. Shep proves to be an entertaining date as he sneezes into Kathryn’s gloves. At least she knew to take them off which we can’t say for Craig’s date. Kathryn is fully aware that she’s being judged by Ms. Pat at every turn, and she’s fully aware she needs to be the bigger person and extend the olive branch. A table away, Jennifer tries to explain to Ashley what it means to be a bigger person when one is the significant other to a person who has kids with another. Ashley isn’t willing to be so courteous. Meanwhile, Kathryn is spitting nails about her former friendship with Jennifer while sitting just feet away. I truly believe Jennifer had hoped she’d hitched her wagon to the right team, but she’s desperately trying to distance herself from T-Rav and date when Ashley yells in her face about “winning.” Andy Cohen, here’s an idea–give Ashley and Charlie Sheen their own show. I’d like a cut because it’s a fabulous idea and would make a ton of tiger blood dollars.
Letting the situation get the best of her, Kathryn can’t help lower herself to the level of her counterparts. She thinks Ashley is trash, and she wants her entire dinner party to know it. She and Naomie share the speculation of Ashley’s alternative career, but Kathryn quickly loses her buddy when Naomie focuses on the fact Craig’s date is eating her entree without removing her gloves. Tacky, party of one! Jennifer corners T-Rav to spew about Ashley’s vendetta against Kathryn. Jennifer is no Kathryn fan (see that reunion!), but perhaps Ashley is being too vocal. Austen interrupts to spew hearsay like a middle school girl. It’s been whispered that Ashley may be a call girl. Austen wants, no, NEEDS, to know if his pal has heard the same. Thomas and Jennifer vehemently deny the claims as Ashley possessively shows up out of nowhere to adhere herself to T-Rav. Jennifer defends Ashley with everything she has as Austen stands his ground in the wake of an Ashley attack. Jennifer strikes below the belt, bringing up Austen’s sister. He’s immediately pissed, and I can’t blame him. Ugly. As their argument escalates, Patricia, Shep, and the rest of the cast watch with biting commentary.
When Austen retreats, Ashley complains to T-Rav that he’s not sticking up for her. Realizing he needs to focus less on pillow treatments and more on a storyline, Craig intervenes to get to the bottom of the debacle. Ashley goes in hard about how she never hit on Craig…she was just trying to stroke his ego when he was at a fragile time in his life. She was doing him a favor. Austen retreats to his friends so recap the altercation. Craig holds his ground. Ashley hit on him. She’s not happy about his backbone. Across the ballroom, Patricia wonders why Kathryn has yet to thank her for the invitation. In an effort to diffuse all of this shiz, Shep and Kathryn take to the dance floor to twirl while strategizing how best for Kathryn to approach Patricia. Kathryn takes the high road before sashaying up to Ms. Pat to overload her with compliments. It’s awkward AF, but Patricia is receptive to the praise. Kathryn cites her growth and maturity over the five years in which they’ve known each other. As Kathryn gushes over being thankful to Patricia for the invitation, Patricia basks in Kathryn’s graciousness. She feels Kathryn’s efforts are genuine and she appreciates that Kathryn researched what to wear to a white-tie affair. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed by the grand dame. Kathryn revels with Shep in this crazy turn of events. Upon seeing that the tides can turn, Craig takes a chance by saddling up to Naomie in hopes of putting their problems to bed. She is having none of it. Craig apologizes profusely, but Naomie shuns him from the table.
Kathryn takes a breather and heads outside, so of course, Ashley isn’t far behind. Ashley wants to make amends outside of the judging eyes of their clique. Kathryn addresses Ashley with respect while Ashley does her best not to choke on the gum she’s stored in her cheek. As Kathryn smokes, Ashley attempts to apologize for her harsh words in Dafuskie. Kathryn tries to restate Ashley’s offering and why it comes up short, but Ashley isn’t up for a mature diatribe. If Kathryn isn’t willing to accept her apology at face value, then she has no apology to give. She reminds Kathryn that her kids were taken away from her, and Kathryn concedes. Her children were taken away, and now she is living her life to make up for that downfall. Ashley is confused by Kathryn’s self-awareness and proceeds with utter hate. Kathryn fights back with equal vitriol. Thomas can’t stand Ashley. Kathryn is bored by this interchange. Bitch, please. Ashley contends that T-Rav can’t stand Kathryn, and Kathryn needs to watch her back. Ashley knows dirt on her man’s baby mama.
The women go head-to-head as Kathryn urges Ashley to respect her role as the mother of T-Rav’s children. Ashley storms inside to share Kathryn’s accusations that Thomas has spoken poorly about his new night nurse. Danni Baird joins Kathryn outside to get a different side of the story. As Thomas and Ashley leave the ball, Kathryn calls over Thomas to warn him of his lady friend’s crazy intentions. Obviously, T-Rav’s willingness to listen to Kathryn doesn’t bode well with Ashley. Kathryn warns Thomas to be safe, and his eyes speak volumes. He knows. Ashley descends on the duo, yelling at Thomas to have her back. He basically tells her to back off and mind her own beeswax. Ashley repeatedly scream “baby mama!” and Kathryn realizes that T-Rav needs to follow his lady. However, she hopes he recognizes how his current girlfriend is treating the mother of his children. Thomas tries to make nice before retreating to the shrieks of Ashley.
Danni’s head is in her hands after watching the interaction. That’s some effed up shiz! When Thomas joins Ashley, she requests a hug so people won’t assume there is trouble in paradise…because that’s normal! Kathryn follows Ashley and T-Rav in hopes of getting the last word, and she reminds Ashley that she will never infiltrate their family unit. Ashley expresses disdain for Kathryn’s mothering skills, touting that Kathryn will never be more than an egg donor. Ashley feigns calmness as Kathryn explodes. When Kathryn warns that Ashley never come around her children again, Ashley giggles like a cheerleader. As Ashley cusses about Kathryn being an egg donor, Thomas attempts to intervene. Kathryn removes herself from the toxicity while Ashley yells after that she’ll keep Kathryn in her prayers. Sheesh. Like with all Southern Charm finales, we’re treated to a “six-months later” scenario. T-Rav and Ashley are still together (um, duh, we have Instagram, Bravo), but Thomas and Kathryn are gleefully co-parenting with her gaining 50/50 custody of their children. Hmmm….what could Bravo be omitting from this happy ending?
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S FINALE? HOW LONG DO YOU THINK ASHLEY AND T-RAV WILL REMAIN AN ITEM?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]