Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Premiere Recap: Juan Big Mess

The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 premiere recap, Episode 1
Photo by: Jai Lennard/Bravo via Getty Images

Fill up those champagne flutes, ya’ll. The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 premiere just dropped, and boy, was it a doozy.

The last time we were with the Potomac ensemble, the ladies were fussing over the accusations Gizelle Bryant levied against Candiace Dillard Bassett’s husband. But then, we were all shocked to learn that Robyn Dixon and Juan Dixon had been dealing with some marital problems of their own, prompting a last-minute sitdown with Andy Cohen. Remember how she told the bizarre story of Juan signing a hotel receipt for some random Canadian lady?

In Episode 1, we dove headfirst into that Juan and Robyn drama. The exes-turned-newlyweds had some serious explaining to do. Meanwhile, the rest of the cast was desperately trying to figure out what in the world was going on in that Dixon household. Here’s what went down in Season 8, Episode 1 of RHOP, “Projections and Deflections.”

Hotels, laundromats, and nail salons

The premiere kicked out with a true crime-style breakdown of all of the questionable headlines surrounding Juan. First, it was the fact that he paid for some random Canadian lady’s hotel room. Then he was spotted getting cozy in a laundromat with his co-worker. After that, Juan was spotted with another woman in a nail salon. Everyone cares about this except for Robyn.

In the first scene, Robyn perfectly staged herself in her living room, surrounded by black and white photos of her family. They just returned from a family trip to the Bahamas, but it’s an awkward time in their lives. On top of all of the cheating accusations, Juan also got fired from his coaching job.

Surrounded by the black-and-white family portraits, Robyn and Juan rehashed their laundry list of problems. To no surprise, they dismissed all of them, one by one. Robyn seems exhausted from the energy she has to put into talking about her relationship. Instead of being focused on the actions that got them in this weird spotlight, they seem more upset that people are making assumptions. They can try to downplay it, but the Potomac streets were talking.

Everyone’s talking about Juan and Robyn

Robyn and Juan Dixon
Photo by: Paul Morigi/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

There isn’t a single cast member on The Real Housewives of Potomac who hasn’t weighed in on the weirdness surrounding Juan and Robyn. You know it’s bad when even Gizelle has to turn on her bestie.

In Gizelle’s confessional, she made it clear that she was extremely irritated with Juan. She was patient at first, but the nail salon story is what set her over the edge. You really can’t explain that one. Gizelle doesn’t want her friend to be in a painful situation where she’s constantly being humiliated.

In a phone call with Ashley Darby, Gizelle said she doesn’t want to call her best friend “delusional,” but it’s nearly impossible to talk about this without using that word. So, Gizelle started planning an intervention to confront Robyn on her mess of a life.

Obviously, the headlines about Juan also caught the attention of Candiace, Karen Huger, and Dr. Wendy Osefo. The trio got together to catch up with each other’s lives, but more importantly, gossip about Juan and Robyn. Not only are they confused about Juan’s whereabouts, but they’re also frustrated with Robyn for trying to hide her marital drama from the show. Why be on reality TV if you’re not going to show your reality?

Ashley’s Seaside in the City

Ashley Darby
Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

In the premiere, we got a glimpse into Ashley’s new life without Michael Darby. She moved into her $2.2 million house, which she named Seaside in the City. She’s there with her two toddlers, and she’s fully in single-mom mode. Dean and Dylan Darby are running that household; Ashley is just trying to keep up.

Michael doesn’t even have a room in this house, and Ashley said he’s only been in the upstairs part of the house a few times. Although the butt-grabber isn’t physically there, his presence still lurks. Ashley explained that Michael is on the mortgage with her. Yikes. But, she said she wanted the safety net of having Michael on the mortgage, just in case something goes wrong (i.e. she loses her job as a Housewife).

At the Season 7 reunion, Ashley revealed that she wasn’t getting much of anything in the divorce. Now, she admitted that she’s dragging her feet with finalizing it. She doesn’t want to be with Michael, but she’s not ready to lose the lifestyle that comes with it.

Mia’s new normal

Mia Thornton
Photo by: Jai Lennard/Bravo via Getty Images

The last time we saw Mia Thornton, she was dealing with the fallout from her husband, Gordon Thornton, being ousted from their chiropractic franchise. Their entire livelihood fell apart in one weekend. Mia claimed to be the boss and CEO of all of these chiropractic offices, but now, she’s no longer holding the position. She and Gordon are just … there.

Because of the financial issues, Mia and G went from living in a fabulous mansion to living in a 1,500-square-foot apartment. It’s shocking that in the matter of one season, they went from aspirational to relatable.

We know in real-time that Gordon and Mia are separated, and it seems like the money issues caused the problem. Their storyline is going to be interesting to follow as the season progresses – especially since Mia has basically admitted to marrying G for his money.

Jason and Gizelle: showmance or romance?

Jason Cameron in an all-white outfit sitting on stage and smirking at BravoCon 2023 surrounded by a purple backdrop
Photo by Greg Doherty/Bravo via Getty Images

Surprise, surprise! Jason Cameron from Winter House made his RHOP debut in the Season 8 premiere. We knew that he and Gizelle hit it off thanks to Ashley’s romance with Luke Gulbranson. But, we didn’t know that he was going to be up in Hotel Gizelle on the first episode of Season 8. Welcome to Potomac, Jason!

Just like on Winter House, Jason spent all of his camera time in the kitchen preparing a gorgeous meal. It was sushi night at Hotel Gizelle, and we got to see a really sweet moment between Jason and Gizelle’s daughters as they rolled sushi together.

But, what’s really going on with this Gizelle and Jason relationship? We know that Gizelle is a deeply unserious woman, and no one would put it past her to concoct this crossover relationship for the sake of the show. However, she and Jason made some interesting comments in the episode that kind of made it seem like this might be a real situationship.

Jason’s chyron called him Gizelle’s “man-friend,” and they explained that they see each other every other week. They alternate between Jason visiting Potomac and Gizelle going to his home in New York City. Gizelle’s daughters seem to approve, and Gizelle said she likes the long distance. So, for now, we’re going to have to roll with the idea that Gizelle and Jason are actually a thing.

Robyn gets an intervention

Robyn Dixon
Photo by: Jai Lennard/Bravo via Getty Images

The episode concluded with Robyn receiving an intervention from Gizelle, Ashley, and Charrisse Jackson-Jordan. Gizelle invited the girls over to her home to sit down and have an open conversation about what was going on with Juan. Robyn didn’t know that was the reason for the invite until she got there, but that’s reasonable. It’s definitely not shady.

What is shady is that Hotel Gizelle is just as precarious as ever, so we got hilarious shots of the women teetering in their heels and struggling to go down the steep, concrete path to Gizelle’s patio, where she planned to stage the intervention.

When Robyn arrived, she seemed genuinely shocked that she was the topic of conversation, but each of the ladies carefully addressed their concerns. Why are you okay with Juan signing hotel receipts and hanging out in nail salons, Robyn? When is enough enough?

Robyn couldn’t have asked for a better group of women to have this conversation. They’ve all been victims of serial cheaters, and they’ve all made excuses for their exes’ behavior. Robyn opened up about her depression a couple of seasons ago, so her friends are genuinely concerned about her wellbeing. Sadly, Robyn didn’t respond the way everyone expected.

They tell her that she doesn’t have to pretend to be okay with everything that’s happening, but Robyn persists with her stone-cold attitude that everything is fine. She believes everything Juan says, no matter how far-fetched. In a confessional interview, Gizelle theorized that Juan intentionally comes up with wild stories to make them seem more believable.

“Watching you on that show in New York made my heart bleed for you,” Charisse said to Robyn, which was a roundabout way to reference the Watch What Happens Live sitdown with Andy.

In the face of tough love, Robyn completely shut down. She kept saying that she didn’t care and felt like everyone was “piling on.” She claimed that this situation “stole her joy.” However, Gizelle argued that Juan was the common denominator. Clearly!

By the end of the intervention, Robyn claimed that Juan was on his last straw. If he messes up again, that would be enough for her to call it quits. But, does anyone believe that? It kind of sounded like she just wanted to get Gizelle off her back. Either way, if Gizelle is going this hard at Robyn over the Juan situation, imagine what’s about to happen when Robyn faces Candiace and Karen.

The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 continues on Bravo, Sunday nights at 8/7c.