Recap: “Southern Charm” Season 5 Premiere

The show has barely begun, and already Thomas’ new girlfriend is my hero. In the face of Kathryn’s tired “as a mother” and “my family” blatherings, Ashley Jacobs looks her in the eye and tells her exactly like it is: Kathryn is a baby mama at best, a mere egg donor at worst. The egg donor comment was a little harsh, but since Kathryn has no compunction about getting down in the mud with anyone, anywhere, turnabout is fair play.

Just like Thomas’ dinner party in Season 3, this scene takes place a few months hence, so we have to backtrack to see how this Kathryn/Ashley confrontation came about. It’s three months earlier, and everyone in Charleston has broken up: Shep and his Relationshep woman, Chelsea and Austen (we already knew that from last year’s reunion), Danni and her fiance, Liz and JD, and–thankfully, mercifully–Naomie and the loathsome Craig.

Shep brings Chik-fil-a to Cameran, who is almost 9 months pregnant. What a good friend!

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He laments that the girl he found on his dating show was not into him after all–of the five nights he was in New York to see her, she only spent two with him. He points out that if someone really wants to see you, they’ll do it, come hell, high water or a nuclear meltdown. Except I think he said “nucular,” which is shocking coming from the usually erudite Shep. Mispronunciation aside, he is right, and with a shrug of his shoulders has moved on. Cameran thinks he needs to start dating women his own age, which as of today is 38. Cameran is wrong. She just heard Shep complain that the NY girl went home at 11pm instead of staying out until 4 in the morning with him; this alone should tell her that the last thing he needs or wants is a 38-year-old woman. Unless said 38-year-old woman fuels her drinking binges with blow and can hang with Shep for the long haul. Cameran, as always, needs to shut up.

Shep has a new beach house, and Cameran suggests he throw a party to celebrate his birthday. This is obviously a set-up for that scene from the preview clips where Naomie and the rest of the girls go at JD over his breakup with Liz. It looks like Season 5 is off to a rollicking start!

Kathryn has an unflattering new hairstyle as well as a new apartment where she can play Mommy to her children. Her number one enabler Danni shows up and is aghast at the bruise on Kathryn’s arm that was caused by Thomas’ insistence that she succumb to random drug tests.

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Kathryn will never change. Here she is, acting like a victim because she is required to take drug tests in order to see her children, when her drug use is the reason her children were taken away from her in the first place. But for poor, blameless Kathryn, everything is always Thomas’ fault–and Danni just sits there nodding and clucking and enabling.

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Kathryn may have to suffer the indignity of drug-testing, but she has emerged the victor in one aspect of her and Thomas’ custody agreement–he has to fire the nanny. Kathryn hates the nanny for some nonexistent reason her sick addict’s mind has concocted and has demanded she be let go. Never mind that the nanny has been nurturing and loving the children for the last year or two–she wounded Kathryn’s ego, so she has to go, the children’s stability be damned. Kathryn is as awful as ever.

Over at Thomas’ new kid-friendly house, he and the nanny are discussing Kensie’s schedule. He’s not happy about her imminent departure, but since Kathryn is an unreasonable monster, he had to appease her any way he could. Enter his new girlfriend Ashley, who we’ve seen all over social media for months, and whom I, for one, am very curious about. Kathryn has also heard about her, and snipes to Danni that it’s a good thing she’s a hospice nurse, because those skills will come in handy for Thomas. Because he’s old, I guess. Enabler Danni snickers as if Kathryn has just said something clever.

Naomie arrives at Chelt-sea’s salon, ostensibly to get her hair done, but really so she and Chelt-sea can catch us up on the status of their respective relationships. Craig and Naomie have finally broken up, because Craig is a sniveling dilettante and Naomie is an ambitious, intelligent young woman. Chelt-sea and Austen are no longer seeing each other because Austen quit his job and had no problem freeloading off Chelt-sea and using her for booty calls after boys’ nights out. He also started dating one of her friends, which was the last straw for Chelt-sea.

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We hear Austen’s side of the story as he and Shep enjoy oceanside beers; he is confused because he thought he and Chelt-sea were exclusive, but she backed away. Then when she heard he was dating her friend Victoria she cut him off completely. Shep says something about having your cake and eating it too, which in this context I guess means that Chelt-sea can’t keep Austen at arm’s length and then get upset when he starts dating another girl.

2018-04-06 (29)The bottom line is that I don’t really care, because I’m as bored by Chelt-sea and Austen this year as I was last year. Single Chelt-sea seems like she’ll be a lot more fun and interesting to watch.

 

Whitney and Shep meet up for coffee of all things, and Whitney tells Shep that Patricia has a gentleman caller and may be engaged, which explains the giant rock she was sporting in the opening montage.

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We get some insight into Whitney’s poor-little-rich-boy upbringing when he tells Shep he found out about one of his mother’s marriages via a telegram he received while at boarding school in England. No wonder Whitney has issues.

They discuss Shep’s birthday and settle on the idea of having a party at Shep’s house. Shep calls Craig to see if he’ll help with the cooking, since Craig is a master chef and all. Craig agrees, and the stage is set for what will hopefully be another drama-filled Southern Charm dinner.

Thomas goes to visit JD, who is living in the guest house after his separation from Liz. JD has gotten into some financial trouble and he was tired of dealing with “nonsense” at work, then coming home and not getting the support he felt he deserved from his partner.

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Thomas can totally relate. JD says Liz told him she’s no longer in love with him, and I can’t wait to hear her side of the story. If that preview clip of Naomie and Chelt-sea calling JD out for being a cheater and a con-man is any indication, it should be a doozy.

Craig and Shep meet at the butcher shop to select meat for Shep’s party and drink whisky. (I’ve had this thought before, but this scene in particular makes me wonder why Whitney’s roommate from My Big Fat Fabulous Life would move to CHARLESTON to live in a sober house. Charleston seems like the least sober city in the world.)

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Craig asks who is coming to the party, and of course it’s going to be all the recent exes, along with Kathryn, Thomas and Thomas’ new girlfriend, whom Kathryn has never met. Given Kathryn’s historic inability to keep it together–ever–Shep’s party should be an awesome shit show.

While Shep and Craig are bumbling over how to operate the grill, at Thomas’ house, Ashley is modeling outfits to wear to the party. It’s the first time she’s going to meet a lot of these people, and she wants to dress appropriately, so she selects…this?

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Thomas scoffs at the suggestion that the shorts may be a little too short (and tight), so this is what they decide she should wear. Bring on the catfights! Thomas points out that Ashley has “beautiful manners,” something he didn’t see “very often” from Kathryn. This, in Whitney’s words, is a bit of an understatement.

Shep and Craig have no idea what they’re doing with the grill, and when Austen arrives he questions the lack of appetizers to snack on. Craig is acting like a little bitch as usual, and it’s funny that the show is trying to set up a potential food disaster as the basis for the drama at dinner, when across town…

All the girls have gathered at Naomie’s awesome new house for pre-party drinks and gossip. Any food problems will shrivel into nonexistence in the face of the actual drama these girls are ready to bring. Naomie is pissed at JD because, since he wanted to attend Shep’s party, Liz is stuck at home watching the kids. I don’t get why Naomie is so outraged about this–if Liz really wanted to go, couldn’t she just get a babysitter? Naomie is ready to “lose her shit” if JD even mentions Liz. Chelt-sea isn’t too concerned about seeing Austen, which–duh–because everyone knows the real issue is how Kathryn is going to react to seeing Ashley for the first time.

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It’s ironic that all of these girls are calling Ashley thirsty when one of them got on the show by screwing almost the entire cast, one got on by dating an abject loser she obviously couldn’t stand, and a third is a Survivor alum as well as a Southern Charm cast member. Those who live in glass houses…  For some inexplicable reason everyone is rallying behind Kathryn, assuring her they’ve got her back and congratulating themselves on their girl power moment. Because nothing bonds women together more than ripping another woman to shreds behind her back.

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Ashley is right to be concerned about the full moon as everyone heads to Shep’s, but alas, since this was a standard catch-up and set-up premiere episode, we’ll have to wait until next week for the the drama to unfold.

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