Recap: Southern Charm Reunion Part 1 Game, Set, Match: Jennifer

Kathryn Dennis is a monster. The end.

Just kidding-she IS a monster, but she is also a delightful source of schadenfreude, tarted up like Charo if Charo had been styled by Pennywise the Clown (and exemplifying Mammy’s observation that you can dress up a mule in Marchesa couture, but it’s still a mule in a horse’s harness).

We begin with footage of the cast members arriving and getting ready for their close-ups. Kathryn looks like Vampira in a shirt by Lestat for Old Navy and that garish red hair. While sitting in the makeup chair, Shep says he feels emasculated. Cut to Craig, who mumble-whines that he likes to get pretty. Of course.

Professional ass-kisser and softball thrower Andy Cohen greets the cast, pointing out that Craig is now a real lawyer and complimenting Kathryn’s hair. Kathryn says (for the millionth time this season) that it’s “a new Kathryn.” This statement is a harbinger for the utter bullshit that will spew from her mouth over the ensuing hour.  Shep’s floating enzyme has escaped, Thomas enjoys his role as Mr. Mom, Cameran is pregnant with a baby girl, Landon’s dog is doing well at puppy camp, and Andy enjoyed seeing Austen’s butt on camera. Andy is a lech, but at least he’s upfront about it.

There is a brief discussion about Shep’s statement regarding Craig’s inability to get laid. Craig doth protest too much denies this, and Shep points out that sometimes Craig just likes to sleep in beds with girls without doing anything sexual. When asked how he knows so much about Craig’s bedtime activities, Shep explains that, Kristen Doute-like, he does some sleuthing in his spare time. Maybe Kristen should be one of the ladies vying for Shep’s love on his new spinoff. Imagine the field day she would have stalking his social media!

Cameran denies that she got pregnant to please her husband, and said she realized that even though she’s not one of those women who yearns for motherhood, it would be selfish of her to live her life without bringing a child into the world. Ostensibly because doing so would deprive said child of the amazing father her husband will be. She says her maternal instinct probably won’t kick in until the baby is put into her arms. Craig actually makes an astute observation and says that Cameran was more afraid of being pregnant than of being a mother. Cameran agrees. Vain much? Andy turns to Dr. Kathryn Spock to get her take on it (why does he indulge this person??!!), who says that “whenever” they put the child in her arms, she will feel an overwhelming rush of motherly love.

This brings me to a grammatical point that has been bothering me for some time. Kathryn incorrectly uses “whenever” instead of “when” in sentences. As in, she thinks Saint was like Thomas “whenever” Thomas was a child. This may be a generational tic, because Brittany from Vanderpump Rules does it too.  But generational tic or not, it is incorrect and signals, in the words of Patricia Altschul, the end of western civilization.

Although Cameran found Craig’s gift of the embroidered onesie to be endearing, Thomas points out that she said she would not be inclined to have sex with her husband if he puttered around on a sewing machine like Craig. Andy asks the cast what line of work they think Craig should go into, and Shep says that since Craig loves to pontificate and lawyers charge by the hour, the law would be a cash cow for him. Amazingly, instead of pouting like a little bitch, Craig laughs at this observation. Maybe there’s hope for Craig yet.

Andy asks whether Craig’s belated graduation from law school and passing of the bar mitigate the whopping lie he perpetuated for the last few years.  Erudite Shep, quoting Marmion, explains that every time the subject of the bar exam came up Craig had to compound his original lie with more lies, thus ensnaring everyone in his tangled web. Slimy Craig says he thought he could “fix it” before anyone found out.  Shep counters by saying that friendship is not just for the good times, and Craig could have been honest with him. Andy asks Shep if he thinks his advice to Craig was brotherly or douchey.  Shep doesn’t know, but he tries to be a good friend and doesn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade. Both Landon and Craig object to this statement, and Craig says that if Shep’s not in the parade, no one can have a parade. Thomas interjects to say that Shep is a straight shooter and Craig did not properly appreciate his advice. Score one for Thomas.

Andy next brings up Craig’s meddling ways. He points first to the polo match where Craig threw a hissy fit when Thomas didn’t drop everything to say goodbye to his children, then correctly observes that Craig stuck his nose in everyone’s business all season long. Cameran says this is because Craig is a girl and a drama queen, and it is refreshing to see her call someone out to his face instead of behind his back. This triggers a discussion of Craig’s mediation “skillz,” and everyone laughs as Shep explains that Craig can never find the right words (or make a valid point) and invariably does more harm than good. Craig tries to justify hitting Shep during the finale by deflecting that because Shep was drunk he deserved to be “deadlegged.” Is Craig in third grade? If you’re going to assault someone, do it like a man–don’t wait until recess to punch that person in the leg then run to the teacher and say he deserved it because he was denouncing your prowess as a mediator.

Andy brings up Naomie’s less than enthusiastic attitude toward Craig’s meddling. Her second-guessing him was confusing to Craig, because if she doesn’t like him, why is she with him? Shep says that if your partner can’t call you out on things, who can? Shep is right. Clearly Craig was raised with the ‘you get a trophy and a lollipop for showing up’ philosophy and cannot stomach anyone questioning him. The inability to engage in self-reflection is unbecoming in adults, and not only is Craig unable to do it, he erupts into petulant outrage at the mere suggestion that he might benefit from it.

Naomie takes the stage and they discuss how Craig won her heart by basically dipping her pigtail into the inkwell until he wore her down and she finally went out with him. This directly refutes Craig’s assertion at the beginning of Season 3 that he was sitting in his bedroom office in Maryland and she texted him out of the blue. Yet another lie. Regarding the great cheese vs. oral sex debate, Craig took a women’s studies class in college where the professor posed that question. Thinking it was the best question he’d ever heard and unable to come up with an original thought (that isn’t a misrepresentation about his own life), he posed it at the dinner table. Craig loves cheese. So does Naomie. Of course she does–she’s French. Moving on.

We are treated to a montage of Craig’s abominable treatment of Naomie throughout the season. (Ex.: “You may speak, child.”) A viewer writes in to say that Naomie should not speak, she should RUN. Exactly. They discuss the ups and mostly downs of Craig and Naomie’s relationship, and Naomie, who is incredibly articulate, says she is proud they showed the bad along with the (scintilla) of good. She makes the insightful observation that social media is filled with stunning accomplishments and shiny vacation pictures, and if that is all people see, they may feel insecure about their own lives. So true! I have always said that Facebook is like a 365-day Christmas card, and I take everything that is posted on that site with a grain of salt. One year my Dad, fed up with all the perfect family reports, decided to send a REAL Christmas card, wherein he revealed that I had flunked out of college and he had to pick my sister up at the police station after she got arrested for underage drinking. He may be a bitter curmudgeon, but he is my hero.

Anyway, Craig and Naomie have a joke that he wants a ride-or-die girl, and instead he has a girl that asks where they are riding and why do they have to die. These two are polar opposites. Why are they still together? Andy sickeningly commends Kathryn for the relationship advice she gave to Naomie, and thus the hogwash begins. If Kathryn had it to do over again, she would keep her relationship with Thomas private–hard to do when you put it, and all its glorious dysfunction, on a reality show. She blames the demise of their relationship on Varys’ little birds whispering in his ear, telling him she was too young (and crass, and embarrassing), inappropriate (obviously), and out partying (she was). She says the same thing she says all the time–nobody knows her, so they assume she’s a gold digger. Newsflash Kathryn: the only person who doesn’t see you for what you are is you. You are not some enigmatic, misunderstood creature. You are transparent, disingenuous and toxic. Everyone “knows” you–you were a gold digger when it came to Thomas, and when that didn’t work out, you began to feign interest in your children in order to pimp them out for a payday for yourself. That’s who you are, so just own it.

We talk about Austen for a few minutes, and I just don’t care.

Shep has found a beach house, so he is no longer living downtown. The difference in lifestyle is palpable; instead of hitting the bars and after-partying until 6 am, Shep now just day drinks and stays out until the beach bars close at 11 pm. Charleston is a drinkin’ town, y’all. Andy mocks Shep’s attempt at clean living, and Shep offers a mea culpa for clowning around in yoga class. He didn’t know how humorless and judgmental yoga people can be (my words, not his). Now he does. Cameran thinks Shep’s drinking is scary because he turns into a different person at some point. Shep admits that it was not easy to see himself still passed out in bed at 1 pm, his house littered with party detritus, and hopes that he can change his ways.

It’s time for the Kathryn show. Andy has never been more full of shit than when he kicks off this segment by calling Kathryn’s stint in rehab “successful,” and saying how nice it was to see her doing “better than ever” after all her “hard work.” Every man, woman and child on earth, every goat, every jungle creature, and every one-celled, sightless organism at the bottom of the ocean rolled their eyes at this moment. Only dogs refrained, because they are loving beings that believe in the good in everyone.

Everyone squirms as Kathryn lies that she’s been sober for, like, eight months. Sober people can tell you the exact date they became sober. She calls the proliferation of reports to the contrary “fake news.” Kathryn is not sober. She is not in recovery. It is obvious by their reactions that the entire cast knows this. Why do they let her get away with it?

Andy asks about her behavior at the Season 3 reunion, and instead of admitting that she was as high as a kite (like a person in recovery would), Kathryn blames it on a panic attack.  In rehab, Kathryn says she learned that she was driven to do the things she did because she was so critical of herself. Please. Kathryn is a narcissist writ large. She has never been critical of herself at any time, in any situation, ever. To the contrary, she sees nothing wrong with her monstrous behavior, evidenced by her confusion at not being invited to the flamingo party in Season 3. “What have I done?” she indignantly asks Jennifer Snowden. Um, what have you done? For starters, flew at Whitney in an unprovoked psychotic rage on Jekyll Island, threw a titanic tantrum at the Wounded Warriors Project party, disrupted Thomas’ election night party before yelling at Landon to “fuck off,” shamelessly used your child and pregnancy to manipulate Thomas for personal gain…and those are just the things we saw on the show.

Andy asks why Kathryn reacted the way she did when her failed drug test was mentioned during the Season 3 reunion. She claims it was because that information was supposed to be confined to sealed court documents. Andy points out that it was in the press. Kathryn says Landon leaked it by bringing it up at the reunion. That is a lie. When every single one of God’s creatures call her on that lie, Kathryn changes her tune by saying that no one should have “legally known” about the failed drug test, and falling back on her go-to victim role, wonders why everyone is “attacking her.”

Why did Landon say Kathryn only went to rehab to find a rich boyfriend? Because that’s what she thinks. She refers to Kathryn’s Instagram post from “rehab” with some shirtless guy in a motel parking let. Kathryn tries to gaslight Landon by asking her if she knows where the picture was taken, who the guy was, and if she saw Kathryn in the picture. Landon says no, but asks why would Kathryn post it if the picture had nothing to do with her, because, duh. Trying a different tactic, Kathryn asks Landon why she is attacking her “journey” and her “recovery.” Because Landon, like everyone else, knows that she’s not in recovery and that her “journey” is a fabricated storyline.

Andy asks why Kathryn ordered a margarita in Key West if she’s in recovery, and Kathryn says she “didn’t take a sip” of it. And yet she said on the show that it was salty, so, lie. Shep points out that she and Craig stayed up partying on the beach that same night and Kathryn sees that she is backed into a corner. She admits that she was drinking at the time because her sobriety is for–get this–marijuana. Even Andy is skeptical. Has anyone ever in the history of the world gone to rehab for marijuana? And Kathryn? If you are trying to sell some story that you are in recovery, try pretending that you know being sober means being sober–it doesn’t mean indulging in other mind-altering substances while you are abstaining from your drug of choice.

The violins tune up in the background as Andy brings up the scene after the photo shoot where Kensie is crying. Kensie was crying because she was tired and it was transition time. And if Kathryn had acted like a mother and comforted the child instead of behaving like a baby herself, maybe Kensie would have quieted down sooner.  Cue the tears as Kathryn says she thought about her children all during rehab, and imagined how bereft they must be without her. I have to give Kathryn credit–she is a stellar sociopath when she wants to be. She knows every cheap heartstring-pulling trick in the book and never hesitates to use them. As her crocodile tears fall, copycat Craig pulls out his pocket square and hands it to her. The irony is not lost on anyone as she takes it.

Poor Kathryn doesn’t have a very large support system because she has to keep her circle close (because the fewer people who see her smoking meth, the better it will be for her custody battle). Thomas advises her that maybe if she wasn’t so distrustful of people’s motives, she would have a larger support system. Kathryn is distrustful because throughout her difficult journey as a naive single mother, people have been unkind to her. This is laughable. Other people are mean? This coming from a vicious guttersnipe who has no compunction about going below the belt faster than you can light a crack pipe.

Landon is inexplicably crying in reaction to Kathryn’s story. Who is Landon right now?

Here we go with handkerchief-gate. Enter both Jennifer Snowden and the real Kathryn. Jennifer looks great! Her son Ascher is doing well and meeting all his benchmarks–how truly wonderful. Kathryn lies that her tantrum over the handkerchief was not based on immaturity or pettiness (um, right)–it was because it signified that Jennifer valued Thomas’ friendship over Kathryn’s. Of course she does–who wouldn’t? Jennifer explains–again–that it wasn’t like her loyalties shifted and she and Thomas were hanging out behind Kathryn’s back at that time. She merely accepted a handkerchief from him because she was crying. Unable to refute this logic (because it’s logical), Kathryn draws on what she thinks is her ace in the hole and says that Jennifer’s loyalties did indeed shift because of what happened a month ago. And Jennifer proceeds to kill it.

Jennifer explains that Kathryn is referring to the fact that Jennifer was subpoena’d by Thomas’ attorneys to testify in Thomas and Kathryn’s custody case. Kathryn accuses her of lying during her deposition and Jennifer asks, “Are you insinuating that I lied under oath?”

“Perhaps I am,” says Kathryn. Kathryn can’t grasp the concept that someone would tell the truth under oath because she has no code of honor and would think nothing of committing perjury.  Andy asks what Jennifer testified about and Kathryn tries to cut her off by saying they can’t talk about the custody case. Jennifer warns, “I’m not under your gag order.” That shuts Kathryn up for a moment before she tells Jennifer to go ahead and talk. Yes, PLEASE Jennifer, talk! Tell us for a fact that the despicable things we have all read that Kathryn has done throughout her pregnancies and as a “mother” are true! But Jennifer has too much class for that, and declines to air Thomas and Kathryn’s dirty laundry in this forum. When Andy asks her if she believes she told the truth during her deposition, Jennifer corrects him, saying she doesn’t “believe” she told the truth–she told the truth. YES, Jennifer!

Victim Kathryn reappears and tells Jennifer how hurtful it was to listen to her respond to Thomas’ attorneys’ questions. Jennifer points out that Kathryn’s attorney could also have asked her questions, but he didn’t. I really can’t stomach hearing Kathryn say that Jennifer’s assertion that Thomas is a good father was troubling to her because she wants to protect her “babies.” Do not get me started. If everything the blogs have reported about Kathryn’s parenting are true, she not only gives zero fucks about protecting her babies, she couldn’t care less if they suffer lifelong consequences because of her selfish choices.

Kathryn tells Jennifer that since she’s a mother, she should understand how difficult things are for Kathryn. Jennifer counters that Kathryn should understand a lot more than she does and she needs to start by looking in the mirror. Before Kathryn can go off again on how she has looked in a mirror and how hard that has been for her, Jennifer dismisses that notion by pointing out that Kathryn is still sitting there, taking no accountability and pointing her finger at everyone else. Finally! Maybe the rest of the cast was waiting for Jennifer to come out in her shining armor and take Kathryn to task.

Jennifer brings up the rumor about her son’s parentage that Kathryn was spreading. Kathryn says she was “merely” repeating that there was a question about it. How specious of her. Jennifer nails it by telling Kathryn that yes, she chose her words carefully in perpetuating that rumor, because she knew exactly what she was doing and didn’t want to look culpable. Kathryn doesn’t know what culpable means. Either that, or she recognized that Jennifer just nailed her and pretended not to know what culpable meant in order to derail the conversation.

Andy asks Kathryn straight out if she spread a rumor that Thomas was the father of Jennifer’s baby and if she thinks it’s true. Kathryn just shrugs her shoulders. She’s totally innocent. She’s a MOTHER! She didn’t spread the rumor, she just repeated it. And she was justified in doing it, because one night Thomas spent the night on Jennifer’s couch. God she’s despicable.

Thomas has had enough out of Kathryn, and threatens that if she continues to push, he’ll reveal some truths that will destroy her. Keep pushing, Kathryn!

Jennifer wins this episode, hands down!

 

 

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