Southern Charm Recap: S5, Ep. 3 – “Groovy Baby”

It’s another beautiful morning in Charleston and Thomas’ unabashed lechery is on display once again as he tells Ashley he’s glad he found a woman with a good heart, then asks if he can feel her heart up. I think my 10th-grade boyfriend used a similar line on me once, and it was cheesy coming from a 15-year-old. Ashley’s not fazed by it though–she just simpers and giggles and feeds into Thomas’ image of himself as a Rhett Butler-type roguish devil, just like a good gold digger should. And just like a good gold digger target should, Thomas puts Plan B in Ashley’s morning eggs.

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Patricia calls Cameran to tell her she wants to throw her a baby shower/party, but when Cameran tries to gives her some input on the guest list, Patricia informs her that as the hostess, SHE will be in charge of the invites. Of course this means Kathryn will be excluded, as well she should be. Cameran is worried, but has the sense not to challenge Patricia on the issue.

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Why would anyone think Patricia would ever want Kathryn in her house? Aside from going after Patricia’s son Whitney like a coked-up Tasmanian Devil, Kathryn has made a spectacle of herself at every single social gathering she has ever attended. That is, until last season when she decided to pretend like she was getting her shit together in order to get her kids back. Even if Kathryn could be trusted to be on her very best behavior at the baby shower, Patricia has seen her true colors and is not fooled by her little performance of late. So no, Patricia is not going to invite Kathryn anywhere, and no one should expect her to.

Patricia isn’t fooled, but apparently the courts are, because Kathryn has moved into whatever phase of her and Thomas’ custody agreement that allows her to have unsupervised visits with the children. Kathryn’s drivel about being a mother and how much it hurt to lose custody of her kids fails to interest me. I think they would probably be better off if she remained–at most–on the periphery of their lives, but I don’t really care one way or another.

Nor do I care about Cameran’s birth-coaching session with Kathy the childbirth “educator.” This scene seems totally contrived–I highly doubt Cameran is that ignorant about the process–and “childbirth educator”, like “accountability coach” and “feng shui consultant,” seems like just another term for snake-oil salesman. And what is Whitney doing there? Whitney seems even more disconnected to the child-bearing process than Cameran is pretending to be.

Craig and Austen meet for drinks and Craig tells Austen his life would be so much easier if God would just make him gay. Whatever, Craig. Does he think drama and confusion are unique to heterosexual relationships? Craig doesn’t understand why Naomie was crying over their breakup at Shep’s party when it was so obvious she didn’t want to be with him anymore. I kind of wonder about that myself, since they were so clearly mismatched and Craig was so awful last season. But relationships are complicated, and just like the editors made me #TeamNaomie last season, they’re kind of making me #TeamCraig this season, so who knows what really went on between them?

God, more baby stuff. Cameran and Chelt-sea go to a place named “Bond with Baby” so Cameran can get an ultrasound. Yawn. After the requisite cooing, they settle in to discuss Chelt-sea’s relationship with Austen. Chelt-sea doesn’t have a problem with Austen, per se; it’s his lifestyle that turns her off. He’s unemployed, parties all night and sleeps all day. How exactly does that make him different from most of the other guys in Charleston?

Cut to Austen, who sure enough is in the bar in the middle of the day ordering a beer flight and wondering what his next move should be.

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Chelt-sea and Cameran lament the state of the region’s dating pool and I can’t help but think Cameran is mentally patting herself on the back for landing herself a doctor.

Thomas is talking to his father on his phone, and we learn that he is paying for Ashley’s apartment downtown. I bet that tidbit sent Kathryn into a tailspin. Thomas and his father agree that Ashley has a good sense of humor, which Arthur Ravenel approves of, because after all, if you can’t “eat it, spend it or make love to it,” you have to laugh at it. No wonder Thomas has such a healthy respect for women.

Kathryn comes over to Craig’s new house where he shows her his new endeavor–making pillows. Some of his pillows are cute. I can’t fault Craig for not practicing law now that he’s passed the bar and is an actual attorney. I’m an attorney and I’m much happier waiting tables–law is not for everyone and sometimes it takes awhile to figure that out.

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Craig thinks that since he and Kathryn have some sort of bond, they represent a “safe space” for each other. Of course Craig buys into the idea of safe spaces. How did Craig become such a pussy? He seems like a completely different person from the Season 1 Craig who called out Kathryn for sleeping with everyone in the cast and told Thomas she was “trouble.” Now he thinks she’s some kind of soulmate? Good luck with that–Craig is nothing more to Kathryn than an easily-manipulated mark who furthers her sinister agenda.

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Speaking of that, while she and Craig are talking about Thomas and Ashley, Kathryn “lets it slip” that she and Thomas hooked up after the Season 4 reunion. Craig is sure to spill those beans later in the season and Kathryn will sit back and smugly watch the drama she wrought play out. She of course thinks Ashley is playing Thomas the way she tried to play him, but Craig disagrees. So do I. Thomas is way better at this game than Kathryn is giving him credit for–if a full-blown sociopath like herself wasn’t able to play him into marriage, how does the simpering Ashley stand a chance?

It’s baby shower day, and everyone is getting ready for the festivities. Patricia explains that the theme of this party is Slim Aarons, a photographer who chronicled social life in the 60’s. And not just any social life–ultra WASP-y Babe Paley-type social life–so the Southern Charm crowd should be able to relate. I’m not sure if Babe Paley would approve of Patricia’s get-up, but she would probably approve of the spread Pat has set out for her guests–finger foods and lots of booze, just the way we WASPs like it.

 

Naomie is upset that Kathryn hasn’t been invited and tells Chelt-sea she thinks she should say something to Patricia about it. No, Naomie, you shouldn’t. Chelt-sea agrees that if Patricia would just give Kathryn one more chance, she would see the change in her and all would be well between them. How are these people so obtuse? Patricia will not see a change in Kathryn because there has been no fundamental change. She has changed her behavior to achieve certain goals, but she is still the calculating, “hillbilly femme fatale” (tm Whitney) she has always been.

Even though Naomie is French and therefore inherently superior, she’s still a millennial and prone to the arrogance and entitlement that characterizes her generation, so she makes a major gaffe by taking Patricia aside and trying to plead Kathryn’s case.  She barely gets a word out before Patricia makes up an excuse about someone being at the door and walks away from the conversation. Patricia thinks it’s inappropriate to come to someone’s house and air their grievances to that person, and she is right. To her credit, Naomie realizes she crossed a line and has the decency to be embarrassed about it.

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While Cameran is opening gifts and being presented with a vaginal birth cake in the next room, Naomie recounts the Patricia episode to Craig, who is supportive of her efforts to stick up for Kathryn. Naomie thinks that Kathryn feels like she is nothing, and this statement is indicative of the kool-aid everyone except Patricia has been drinking. Kathryn does not now and has never felt that she is nothing. To the contrary, Kathryn is a narcissist and as such believes that Kathryn is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

But Naomie and Craig have both believed her bs about rehab and think she has grown. This prompts Naomie to ask Craig if he’s grown. Uh oh. He mumbles that he’s been really busy and has gotten a lot of stuff done, and Naomie pounces on him by asking why he thinks he’s been able to get more done in the two months they’ve been apart than in the three years they were together. Craig recognizes this as the loaded question it is and refuses to answer. He thinks this is Naomie’s way of calling him a loser, and he’s probably right because the reason they broke up was because Naomie thinks he’s a loser. She tells him he needs to get out of bed and accomplish something during the day instead of sitting at home and pretending to do things.

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Craig wonders why sewing and owning two properties isn’t good enough for her when he’s the same guy he was when they started dating and “traveled the world” together. Naomie says it’s because she got her shit together and stalks out of the room. To her retreating form, Craig calls out that she’s still living off her parents, which, although true, probably wasn’t the best way to make his point since he also lived off her parents for a couple of years.

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Minutes after this confrontation, who walks into the party but Liz and JD–together. This has really been a bad day for Naomie. She is seething as JD and Liz walk into the party and JD gladhands everyone. Shep and Whitney give her some really good advice–basically telling her in a nice way that JD and Liz’s marriage is none of her business and she needs to suck it up and be polite to both of them. She greets them half-heartedly then sits down with the rest of the girls tl pout. She is galled by JD’s smirk and knows he’s thinking that he’s won whatever battle Naomie started at Shep’s birthday party.

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Now it’s Chelt-sea’s turn to step in with some good advice when she tells Naomie she’s done her duty as a friend, but it’s not her fight anymore. JD and Liz know they’re the talk of the party and beat a hasty retreat. When Naomie ignores Liz’s good-bye, Liz admonishes her not to do that then tells the girls she loves them, despite the fact that she knows all of them are going to gossip about her the minute she walks out the door.

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Naomie returns Liz’s attempt at a gracious exit by giving her the finger, which is not very French of her. Quel dommage.

 

 

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Southern Charm Recap: S5, Episode 2 – “The Break-Up Bunch, Part 2”

People are trickling in to Shep’s house for his birthday as the main players are on their way to the party. Whitney arrives first, then Cameran, who immediately starts stirring the pot by asking Craig if he invited a date. To Craig’s credit, he tells her he thinks it would have been distasteful to bring someone to the party when he knows Naomie is going to be there. Cameran wonders why he thinks bringing a date would be in bad taste. Um, duh. What a good friend Cameran is–constantly talking out of both sides of her mouth and encouraging her supposed friend’s ex-boyfriend to bring a date to rub in her face the first time they’re going to see each other since their breakup. I never thought I’d live to say this, but I am impressed by Craig’s maturity and sensitivity in this moment. Cameran appears to be disappointed that there will be no Craig/Naomie/date drama.

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Cameran also takes the opportunity to get in a sideways jab at her good friend Shep while she’s complimenting him on his new house, saying that if he took the time to renovate himself the way he renovates his rental properties, he’d be a perfect ten. Some things may have changed in Charleston, but Cameran remains judgmental and snide. I am over her “sanctimonious” commentary (tm Thomas) and her endless two-faced shit-stirring.

Ashley and Thomas are discussing the new nanny, and Ashley wonders why Kathryn has to approve of who is watching her children. Kathryn is the worst, but isn’t it a little too soon for Ashley to be inserting herself into Thomas and Kathryn’s custody arrangement? Regardless, it’s definitely too soon for her to suggest to Thomas that they get married so she can be the children’s caregiver. Slow down, girl.

In another car, Naomie, Danni, Kathryn and Chelt-sea are getting themselves all riled up for a confrontation by discussing how awful JD has been to Liz. Turning the conversation around to herself–as always–Kathryn complains that Thomas did the same thing to her that JD is trying to do to Liz; that is, made her look unstable and crazy. Um, Kathryn? Thomas did not make you appear unstable and crazy–you did that all by yourself.

All of this is just a prelude to what we really want to see–all these ex-couples, new girlfriends and wayward husbands thrown together for the first time and the juicy drama that will surely ensue. At first, everyone just awkwardly greets each other and engages in innocuous chitchat. Kathryn and Ashley briefly meet; Ashley extends her hand and tells Kathryn it’s nice to meet her. Kathryn of course snubs the gesture, mumbling that she needs to hide Shep’s present in the house. Upstairs, Ashley and Thomas engage in a little too much PDA while Kathryn and her posse look at them with varying visages of disgust.

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What is Kathryn wearing here? The red lipstick, the flouncy sleeves, all for a backyard barbecue? Overdone and attention-seeking, as always.

Shep gives Naomie some really good advice about why she and Craig should honor the time they spent together by remaining friends, but in her talking head Naomie brushes it off, saying that she’ll take advice from Shep about how to drink heavily and avoid hangovers, but not about relationships. That was pretty bitchy of her. I’ve been 100% Team Naomie thus far, but I’m not liking this angry version of her so much.

JD arrives, and this upsets angry Naomie so much that she has to leave the house to get away from him. Why is she so invested in what’s going on with JD and Liz? Outside, Kathryn snarks to Naomie and Danni that Ashley should have shown more “respect” during the two seconds they met each other (huh?), and wonders why Ashley would tell her it was nice to meet her when clearly it wasn’t. It’s called manners, Kathryn. Kathryn thinks Ashley seems dumb, which she does, and Naomie thinks she seems nice, which she also does. Kathryn isn’t having that–she’s used to these girls doing nothing but enabling her shitty attitude and abominable behavior. Somehow she keeps it together, her disdain for Naomie’s comment revealing itself only through a twisted grimace. For now.

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The food is finally ready. Cameran and JD talk about her pregnancy at the table–it’s not as bad as she thought it would be, but she doesn’t love it. She likes having boobs, but is not looking forward to six months down the road, when she’s expecting them to resemble teabags. When Cameran is being candid and not dispensing advice about her friends’ lifestyles from her lofty perch of being better than everyone else, she is quite refreshing.

Craig and Shep’s friendship seems to be back on track as Shep is impressed by how Craig and Naomie are handling being around each other. Craig remarks that everyone is working through their respective awkward situations to be there for Shep, and I am filled with confusion. Who is this Craig? Where is the sniveling pussy I have ardently loathed for the last 3 seasons? If the showrunners can make me like Craig this season, they are magicians of the highest order.

Kathryn approaches Thomas while he is standing by himself, sipping his cocktail. Thomas, ever clueless, compliments her new hair color by telling her a lame blonde joke.

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They have a conversation about the new nanny, and even though Kathryn is upset that Thomas has already hired someone without her final approval, she manages to articulate her position without turning into a screaming harpy. What is going on here??!!! Thomas tells us in his talking head that if Kathryn had acted like this when they were together, things would have turned out differently. No shit. Kathryn has obviously processed how badly she has come off during the course of this series (to sane people, at least–there’s is no fathoming how her legions of rabid stans have excused her behavior all this time) and is determined to rehabilitate her image. So far she’s doing very well–almost Camille Grammer well–but I doubt it can last. The real Kathryn will rear her ugly head eventually. Tick, tick tick…

Ashley approaches Thomas and Kathryn and says all the right things. She’s heard a lot about Kathryn, respects her as a mother and thinks her children are beautiful. Kathryn seizes onto this statement to throw a dig at Thomas–“oh, you’ve met them then,” she says, as it she didn’t already know this. She comments that she’s taken aback by all this because Thomas didn’t tell her he had a girlfriend. This is Kathryn at her disingenuous worst. No one–but no one–buys that she is surprised by the situation. As if she doesn’t troll Thomas’ social media 24/7 and is not hyper aware of every move he makes. Please, girl.

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The conversation teeters on the brink of major awkwardness after Kathryn’s feigned ignorance about Thomas and Ashley’s relationship. While Thomas shrugs in the background and wishes he were anywhere but standing between these two women, Ashley manages to defuse Kathryn and the three of them part with no scorched earth in their wake. Again, I’ll give it to Kathryn. She’s doing a really good job of pretending she can behave like a mature adult. For now.

Shep gives a gracious toast after everyone sits down at the table, and it looks like dinner may turn out to be a convivial gathering–except we know it won’t be, because we’ve seen the previews and know that Naomie is about to blow a gasket. Whitney asks JD if he’s dating someone, and JD makes the mistake of joking about the end of his marriage. Naomie, Kathryn and Danni all squirm with outrage over his cavalier remarks and I’m sure Naomie is going to lose it, but then the tension is cut by Shep opening a present–it’s a blanket from JD, in case JD needs to crash on Shep’s couch (because his wife has thrown him out and he is just a good ol’ boy bachelor about town these days, get it?). JD’s jokes are in really bad taste, especially around these people who are all friends with his estranged wife.

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Cameran gets up from the table, and WHERE IS THE DRAMA? She, Shep and Craig are in Shep’s living room talking about the demise of Craig and Naomie’s relationship when Thomas and Ashley go into the bathroom together. And apparently have sex there.

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Eww. What is this girl thinking? I don’t expect any better from Thomas, an unabashed lech who told an entire party that he was going to “seal the deal on site” as he followed his girlfriend into the house. But this is the first time Ashley has met many of these people, she knows Kathryn is a ticking time bomb, and she chooses to have sex in a virtual stranger’s bathroom during a party? It doesn’t get any tackier, and all the points Ashley has racked up so far are gone. Gross.

Back at the dinner table, here we go. Naomie attacks JD, telling him he should be a better husband, that she picks his wife up out of bed every day, and that he’s a piece of shit who is going around town sleeping with 20-year-olds.

Danni gives her two cents, Chelt-sea calls him a con man, but surprisingly it is Kathryn who definitively puts JD in his place with a coherent dissertation peppered with big words she actually uses correctly. This is the first evidence of the superior intellect Kathryn is always telling us she possesses, and I am stunned. We are no longer at Shep’s beach house; we have all fallen down the rabbit hole and stumbled into the Mad Hatter’s tea party. It is a parallel universe indeed where Kathryn actually deserves some respect.

JD weakly defends himself during this 4-pronged attack, then, realizing he is not going to win here, does the right thing and leaves the party–gracefully, given the circumstances. Maybe there is something to the southern gentleman thing. The entire exchange was ugly and unnecessary, prompted by JD’s inappropriate jokes about his marriage and Naomie’s disproportionate outrage over it. All the women need to shut up with their #metoo/#timesup narrative–that’s right, I said the women need to shut up. Everyone was wrong here except for Whitney, who knows when to GTFO of a situation and escapes upstairs where he tells Craig, Cameran, Shep, Thomas and Ashley what just happened.

Craig is alarmed when he hears how Naomie tore into JD and immediately goes to find her. We are still down the rabbit hole, because when he finds Naomie, Craig is AWESOME to her. He says she did the right thing by sticking up for her friend and he has her back. He calmly and articulately explains why she shouldn’t jump to conclusions about things she’s heard he said without knowing the context. They discuss how hurt they both are over their breakup and how disconcerting it was for both of them to think the other wasn’t having a difficult time with it. It is sweet and sad to see them like this, and again–what show am I watching and who are these people?

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The next morning, everyone is going about their daily business. Shep surveys last night’s detritus, Chelt-sea warns her trainer she’s a little hungover (but she still made it to the gym–impressive!), Cameran is fiddling with baby stuff, and Naomie and Kathryn are rehashing the party. That is, they rehash the party for about 2.6 seconds before Kathryn yet again turns the conversation around to how Thomas victimized her, making everyone who didn’t know her think she was crazy. While the world rolls its eyes, Naomie has the decency to let this comment go by without a response. Poor Kathryn is happy to have Naomie to confide in because she doesn’t know how to have girlfriends since Thomas dominated their relationship to the point where she pushed all her friends away.

We have exited the rabbit hole. Here is Kathryn rewriting history again. Kathryn doesn’t have girlfriends because she’s a paranoid narcissist who sees other women as either enemies in competition for Thomas’ affection or strategic allies in her attempt to Camille-ize her image–so she can win back Thomas’ affection. Naomie doesn’t have a clue what she’s dealing with here and thinks she and Kathryn have begun a true friendship. She, like Jennifer Snowden, will eventually learn.

Thomas and Ashley are at dinner, where she resists his repeated urging to do mescal shots. She wants to stick with wine, but he thinks shots will spice things up. Why does Thomas think Ashley needs shots? Clearly she’s a sure thing. They talk about Kathryn. Thomas believes she doesn’t want him, but that she doesn’t want anyone else to have him or for him to be happy–she just wants to win. In his talking head he says that whenever estrogen is involved, it’s all about women not wanting to look like the loser. Please shut up, Thomas. You’re an idiot.

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In case making inane statements about the role estrogen plays in women’s behavior didn’t drive the point home hard enough, Thomas proves how utterly clueless he is by telling Ashley that if Kathryn had been the “nice Kathryn” when they were together, he’d still be with her. Dear God, not this again.

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Wait, what?

 

 

Southern Charm: A Kathryn Tutorial, Part 1

The Daily Mail published a disturbing report alleging, via leaked texts, that Kathryn’s reckless behavior may have endangered her children’s health, both in utero and beyond. If these allegations are true, this bottom-feeding piece of white trash should never have contact with her children again. But even if they aren’t true, her abominable behavior throughout all four seasons of Southern Charm has continually shown her true colors–and they, like her outfits, are unbecoming, unfit for public consumption, and downright ugly.

Following is a refresher course that all Kathryn apologizers should be required to take. It will re-examine Kathryn’s immaturity, irresponsibility, lies, delusions, embarrassing outburts and violent rages. She is despicable, and it not because she is young, it is not because of drugs, it is not because Thomas corrupted her, and it is not because Thomas didn’t fulfill his drunken “promise” to put her on easy street for the rest of her life. Kathryn is despicable simply because she is rotten to her very core.

SEASON ONE

We hear about Kathryn before we see her. First we see her belongings strewn about Whitney’s bedroom, indicating that she has spent at least one night with him.  Next we hear Will Folks (Thomas’ political consultant and editor of FITSnews), suggest that Thomas, in order to shore up his political career, should abandon his playboy ways and pick one woman to settle down with, and that woman should be Kathryn. In his talking head, Thomas refers to Kathryn as a “celebutante” and tells us that Kathryn is a scion of two very old South Carolina families, making her a suitable mate. Even more impressive is that when she was a page in the South Carolina Senate, she was known as ‘Senate Barbie.’ Obviously this moniker was a nod to her superior intellect and political acumen.

Kathryn makes her first appearance at a pool party wearing Ginger’s outfit from Gilligan’s Island and sporting a shade of red hair that even Belle Watling would find garish. She and Thomas flirt and the next day she wakes up in his bed. This is the first indication that Kathryn may be a bit promiscuous, which doesn’t make her a bad person. She possesses plenty of traits that make her a bad person, but promiscuity isn’t one of them.

The next reference to Kathryn is when Craig admits to Shep that he has a “kindergarten crush” on her. Of course Craig would use a juvenile phrase like that. It appears that Craig has invited Kathryn to a group beach outing, but once she gets there (wearing a fringed bikini that would make Sissy from Urban Cowboy proud),  she ignores Craig and cozies up to Shep. At Republic that night, Kathryn is all over Shep and he tells her he “wants to take [her] home and use [her].” No girl could resist such a chivalrous proposal, so when Shep asks her if she wants to stay at his place, she immediately says yes. At this point I can understand why people might be inclined to feel sorry for a girl who appears to suffer from such low self esteem that she’ll go home with anyone who pays her a skerrick of attention. If that was the case, I’d feel bad for her, too–but as we soon find out, low self esteem is the last thing from which Kathryn is suffering.

Cut to Jenna’s pool party. Kathryn arrives and after being blown off by Danni, a drunk Thomas is feeling vulnerable and zeroes in on Kathryn. This is the first time you can see Kathryn’s cunning and manipulation on display. She tells him he hurt her because he didn’t call her after their one night stand. Then she asks how could he do that when HE put HER in the position of possibly becoming pregnant. Thomas admits they had unprotected sex, but I’m sorry. Kathryn put herself in that position just as much as Thomas did. People can whine and cry about the double standard for men and women, but this is the reality–if you don’t want to get pregnant, you as a woman are in charge of that.

Thomas, however, falls for Kathryn’s victim act and insists they get a pregnancy test. Kathryn says she doesn’t want to because she’s “not ready to find out.” That is a lie. She doesn’t want to take a pregnancy test because she knows she’s not pregnant, and only told Thomas that to manipulate him into paying attention to her and doesn’t want to be found out. They get an EPT on the way back to Thomas’ house, and–lo and behold–after Kathryn refuses to let Thomas into the bathroom with her, the test reads “error.” Kathryn is good. She knows it’s going to be negative, so to keep Thomas on tenterhooks, she does something–dips it in the toilet, pours alcohol or soap on it, whatever–to ensure it comes up inconclusive (just like the paternity test for Saint will, a couple of years down the road).

Thomas’ drunken ramblings in the next scene lay the groundwork for Kathryn’s (and her crazed minions’) delusional expectations. He tells her that if she got pregnant, she would have his entire fortune behind her, and their child would have a wonderful life. Kathryn, knowing she’s not pregnant (yet), lays her plans.

Thomas and Kathryn go to the doctor, because Kathryn wants to know “for sure” whether or not she’s pregnant. In the scene she makes up something about having abdominal pains, but the doctor confirms that she is not pregant.  Thomas is impressed by how poised Kathryn has been throughout this pregnancy scare–of course she’s been poised–she knew all along she wasn’t pregnant. They go for drinks and Thomas tells her he thinks she’s an “old soul.” She avidly agrees with him, and this would be laughable except… Kathryn, like Mephistopheles, IS an old soul. In fact, I’m sure Satan has dispatched Kathryn to wreak havoc on the world many, many times over the ages.  Faust should feel fortunate that he made his bargain with a kinder, gentler demon. Thomas was not so lucky.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Southern Charm Reunion: Kathryn is a Monster, Part 2

It’s too bad Thomas is too much of a gentleman to make good on his threat to divulge some deep dark secret about Kathryn that will preclude her from ever working again. Or, I assume, ever seeing her children again. The whole cast protects her, and even though I know it’s in the best interest of Kensie and Saint to do so, it’s maddening. At least Thomas’ threat shuts her up for half a second, before Andy changes the subject to Kathryn and Jennifer’s lunch. It is a testament to Kathryn’s narcissism and/or sociopathy that she can actually sit there and try to justify her behavior by talking in circles about Jennifer using her son’s condition to trap Kathryn into looking bad. Jennifer, incredulous, listens to this nonsense for as long as she can before cutting her off and emphatically stating that she would never use her son to manipulate someone, and that Kathryn should know that about her.

Like a cornered rat, Kathryn knows she’s not going win this one, so she sidesteps Jennifer’s statement and once again plays the victim card. “I just don’t want any negativity. I just want the people who have hurt me to support me now.” Jennifer points out that Kathryn has hurt her too, and Kathryn says she knows she has but she apologized for it at that lunch. She most certainly did not–her behavior at that lunch was atrocious from start to finish–and Jennifer calls her on it. Kathryn snivels that it’s not her fault, because she still has a hard time knowing how to react in difficult situations.  What a fucking victim. Craig of course falls for this act and asks if this is because of issues stemming from rehab. Just keep feeding the beast Craig, you moron. At this point Andy should just throw his hands up, accept the fact that everything out of Kathryn’s mouth is a lie, and ignore her for the rest of the show. But of course he won’t.

He asks if Kathryn and Jennifer can be friends again and incredibly they both say they would like to. After everything Jennifer has been through with this horrible girl, why would she ever come near her again?

We exchange Jennifer for Whitney, and please let this signal a break from the Kathryn show. Andy reads viewer comments commending T-Dad, and Andy asks about his house. At first Thomas thought that ensconcing his children in what he calls his “downtown compound” would protect them, but he’s since realized they need a more kid-friendly environment and has put the downtown house up for sale. Even though it has nothing to do with her, the camera pans to Kathryn as she works up some fake tears and Craig encourages this performance by rubbing her arm. I hate Craig. Andy’s just as bad. He interrupts his line of questioning to turn to Kathryn and say, “This is not easy for you to hear.” Martyr Kathryn whimpers that she’s fine. QUIT INDULGING THIS SHAMELESS GIRL!!

Back to Thomas, and the internet hate he got for revealing that the kids live in the guesthouse.  People are so pedestrian. Whitney, Thomas and Landon all point out that the main house had several floors, a ton of railings, and was like a museum. If he’d had them in the main house people would have been castigating him over how dangerous it was for children. At least he seems not to care what people think. I think he knows that most Americans don’t understand his heritage and lifestyle and takes their opinions with a grain of salt.

It’s difficult for Thomas to date in Charleston. He’s like Goldilocks–the women are either too young, too old, or the all the good ones leave for cities like Atlanta or Washington. His perfect woman would be between 35 and 39, and apparently “good” women in his target age group are like needles in a polo pony barn. Everyone cringes as Thomas stands up and asks Andy if it looks like he’s lost his mojo.

Shep’s comments to Landon at her website launch party still don’t sit well with Landon. She explains that the Yacht Me guys invited her to Nantucket with the understanding that they would book her a hotel room, but when she got there she was expected to stay on a boat with three grown men whom she didn’t know. The thought made her uncomfortable, so she booked her own room and because of that the Yacht Me guys thought she was a bitch. Shep disagrees. He said he was skeptical about reports of her behavior at first because he’s never known her to act that way. He investigated by asking her business partner about it and the business partner corroborated the Yacht Me guys’ story. Shep is probably right in this scenario, but he sees that Landon is still upset, and since he’s a reasonable person who is over it at this point, he apologizes.

On to Landon’s snotty comments about luggage. Instead of digging herself out of the hole, she stands by what she said and–snottily–adds that she wants someone with nice luggage to “travel the world” with. Oh, Landon, you’re so shallow. Cameran points to her husband, who has awful luggage but is a wonderful person. Cameran may be a two-faced shit stirrer, but her priorities are intact when it comes to things that actually matter.

Everyone agrees that Landon shoots herself in the foot with the things she says so it’s easy to misinterpret her motives and label her a golddigger. Someone from Vail writes in, and Landon is ready for it. Apparently it’s an inside joke among pretentious Aspen-lovers with fabulous luggage that Vail is a truckstop so, again, Landon stands by what she said. Shep rolls his eyes and Austen buries his head in his hands.

The Thomas-Landon “romance” is discussed. It really doesn’t bear talking about because everyone knows it was fake. We have to go over the Valentine’s Day weekend debacle again, and I just can’t. Kathryn is delusional and I don’t believe anything happened between Thomas and Landon. And if something did, I don’t care. They’re still friends and just attended a wedding in Santa Barbara over the weekend. Choke on it, Kathryn.

On to Key West. Landon apologizes for the things she said about Kathryn on the beach. I don’t know why she apologized, because everything she said was true. Landon has thus far stood by every inane comment she’s made, but she backs down on this one? I’m disappointed. They replay the dinner where Landon apologized to Kathryn and Kathryn for once makes an astute observation in that she felt that they weren’t being very genuine in Key West, but that’s okay because they both just wanted to get over it and move on. Are you listening Craig? Even a demonic hellcat like Kathryn is a better mediator than you are.

Why did Landon stick up for Kathryn against Thomas in Key West? As we already know, she was turned off by Thomas’ needling of the already volatile Kathryn, and saw what she would be in for if she ended up with Thomas. She was already married to a man who used his wealth and power to control her, and she doesn’t want to be in that situation again. Kathryn is grateful to Landon for going “out on a whim” for her, and Austen stifles a laugh at her malapropism. Thomas points out that Landon was late so she missed Kathryn’s opening salvo and only witnessed Thomas’ counterattack. Maybe, but can everyone just agree that Thomas and Kathryn’s relationship is so dysfunctional that we’re exhausted by it and just don’t care anymore?

Chelt-sea joins the stage and tells Andy that it was harder to watch herself on Southern Charm than it was on Survivor, because the former was more personal. She’s known Shep for ten years and he hasn’t changed a bit–in fact, he may have gotten a little worse. Chelt-sea really enjoys sober Shep, but she doesn’t get to see much of him. She explained to Cameran at one point that while Cameran sees lunch date Shep or coffee date Shep, Chelt-sea really only sees “late night Shepster.” Shep says that he didn’t get a chance to show her lunchtime Shep because by the time he got back to town after the wedding he attended, Austen was already moving in. Chelt-sea counters that Shep had ten years to show her another side of him and didn’t, so…too bad.

There’s nothing interesting about the Shep-Austen-Chelt-sea triangle conversation except for Cameran trying to say that she had no idea that Austen was pursuing Chelt-sea while she was trying to hook her up with Shep, and EVERYONE calls her out on it. A viewer writes in to accuse of Chelt-sea of playing Austen and Shep against each other and Kathryn chimes in to say that Chelt-sea is being held to a double standard. Women can date around just like men do, and shouldn’t be questioned for it. This is an attempt to somehow draw a correlation between her and Chelt-sea. Chelt-sea was casually dating one guy while half-heartedly fending off another guy’s advances; Kathryn slept with three cast members within a couple of weeks to secure a place on this show. There is no comparison, so don’t try to use Chelt-sea’s actions to whitewash your own whorish behavior.

Now we have to discuss Commodore-gate. Shep admits grabbing Chelt-sea and trying to kiss her was uncool, but says he was confused because both of them swore they weren’t dating, and Cameran kept trying to push him toward Chelt-sea. Still not cool, but maybe there’s a little mitigation there. Come on–Cameran told Shep that women like to be “hunted.” How antiquated is that? She also defends him by saying his caveman tactics work on 99.9% of women, so how can he be blamed when the .1% rejects him? Apparently in Charleston women are prey and men are Pavlov’s dogs.

Andy points out that at the time Shep also thought that there was something going on between Landon and Austen, and we have to watch the clip of Landon draping herself all over Austen at the hunting lodge. A viewer points out that she did the same thing in Key West. Landon says that’s just her personality and she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. Landon also believes there is no girl code, so I guess anything goes with her.

Ugh, back to Commodore-gate and the guys’ night that turned into a debacle. Whitney thinks it’s no big deal because, “hey, it’s Shep.” Chelt-sea thinks this is no excuse for Shep’s entitlement and Austen agrees. They are no longer together, but both of them seem open to the possibility.

Andy asks about Shep’s flight from Key West to Charleston. Craig takes credit for keeping Shep from getting arrested and Austen can’t believe Shep got through airport security. This isn’t Shep’s first time at the rodeo, fellas–he simply relied on his go-to philosophy: Keep your mouth shut and your head down. When the issue of Shep’s happiness is brought up, he says he’s got a great family and great friends, that life is a series of peak and valleys and he’s ok with that. Craig takes this broad statement and attacks Shep, asking if that’s his philosophy, why can’t he just let Craig be who he is? Huh? What does Shep’s current state of mind regarding his own life have to do with Craig’s pathetic need for constant approval?

Shep points out that while he is introspective and can admit there are some things he can work on, Craig is delusional because he is always “killing it.” Craig says he IS killing it, and who would question his own assessment that he is killing it? Shep replies that everyone around him questions it, and here we see deeply into Craig’s simple and shallow outlook on life. Craig doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, because he’s the only one that matters. That’s why, according to Shep, Craig wants to surround himself with people who treat him with kid gloves and will never question his opinions or actions. Shep doesn’t think it’s a good idea to go through life only hearing how great you are–that’s how you end up like Kim Jong-un or Trump (or Craig). Craig jumps in to defend Trump because he mistakenly thinks that Shep has just called Trump a bully. Let me just say that again–Craig jumps in to DEFEND TRUMP. Shep corrects him and says that he wasn’t calling Trump a bully–he was calling him a little child who throws a tantrum every time someone tells him something he doesn’t want to hear. Craig still doesn’t get it and thinks Shep is just saying these hurtful things to him because he is a miserable alcoholic who can’t stand to see Craig happy. How did Craig ever get through law school? He completely misses the point of every conversation.

They argue about who’s the drunk asshole until Andy can’t take it anymore and says everyone’s a drunk asshole. Kathryn of course has to draw attention to herself by saying that Craig and Shep remind her of herself and Thomas when they fight. This has nothing to do with you Kathryn. Just sit there in your inappropriate gown and shut up.

Andy turns it back to Kathryn and Thomas–God, is this almost over?!–and asks why Thomas invited her to Saint’s birthday party. He says it was because of the letter she sent him–he could tell it was her handwriting and that she was in a good place, so he felt fairly certain there would be no emotional outbursts at the party. And then I have to hit pause to go throw up because Andy comments on how Thomas and Kathryn still have so much chemistry. Craig cosigns this creepy and sickening observation, and Andy asks if there is any chance they’ll get back together. I can’t even blame Kathryn for hijacking the conversation this time–it’s all Andy, and again I ask, why does he indulge this girl? Thomas says he walked into Republic one night and saw a beautiful woman sitting there (swilling drinks, no doubt). When he realized it was Kathryn, he turned around and walked out. That’s the smartest thing Thomas has done in a LONG time.

It’s time to wrap it up–finally! Would Craig have graduated law school if it hadn’t been for Shep and Naomie pushing him? He insists he would have and the cast collectively coughs, “bullshit.” Austen is dating, Landon’s website is starting to make money, but she’s obtained her real estate license and plans to work for her father. Cameran is sure she’ll still find time to mother her “man babies” once she has her real baby, Thomas’ father is happy when he can read the entire paper and find no mention of Thomas, Kathryn would tell “naive” Season 1 Kathryn not to believe everything people tell you, and Shep’s new show is previewed.

It’s over, thank God.

 

 

 

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!

 

 

Southern Charm: Season Finale Recap

I didn’t think anything could be worse than what Kathryn wore to last season’s finale party, but I was wrong. Last year, she dressed up as a latter-day Medusa in her flowing red chiffon cape, white pumps and gold boxer gloves. This year, her attention-seeking getup was a cocktail consisting of one part Prince, one part Little Lord Fauntleroy and two parts Pyat Pree from Game of Thrones.

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I truly do not understand what she’s trying to telegraph with her fashion choices. Everything she wears is wrong from head to toe–every single thing.

In Key West, while the guys are playing with water toys and Cameran and Landon are getting massages, Kathryn meets up with Danni and Liz to rehash the previous night’s conversation with Landon. While Danni and Liz are wearing normal beach attire, Kathryn shows up in red lipstick, an old-fashioned blue one-piece and a scarf made out of Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I think she took Whitney’s description of her and Thomas as a low-rent Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as some kind of compliment, and is attempting to dress the part. Except she looks like Ethel Merman’s interpretation of Liz Taylor as Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Martha was better behaved.

Kathryn doesn’t believe the rapprochement with Landon was genuine, pointing out that Landon’s assertion that she’s never said anything bad about Kathryn was a lie. She’s right, because how could anyone who spends more than a minute in Kathryn’s company NOT say something bad about her? She’s awful. Landon did not come off well this season, but everything she’s ever said about Kathryn is correct.  Kathryn is mentally unsound, she has zero class, she uses her children to manipulate Thomas (and to book modeling gigs), and she doesn’t care about regaining custody of her children except to use that narrative to drum up sympathy for herself. Landon may be a petty snob, but she’s spot-on about Kathryn.

Danni informs Kathryn that Landon had her back in a big way against Thomas at breakfast that morning, but Kathryn is unimpressed. She opines that Landon is “not that deep.” Because Kathryn is a student of Nietzsche in her spare time.

Post massage, Cameran and Landon also discuss Kathryn. Cameran says it was nice of Landon to stick up for her at breakfast that morning, but Landon says that even though she’s glad they made up, she still doesn’t want to be around Kathryn, because you never know what you’re going to get with her. Again, she’s right. Will Kathryn be playing the part of calm and well-behaved Kathryn to further her own agenda, or will that facade crack to reveal the unhinged, screaming banshee that lurks just below the surface? Will she be spouting nonsense about how her old soul recognizes Tennessee Williams’ understanding of human nature (“like, for realz”) or will she demonstrate her grasp of the wisdom of the ages by flipping the finger and calling people nasty motherfuckers? We just never know.

That evening, everyone heads out to dinner as Bagatelle. Is this the same Bagatelle that Ramona ditched Dorinda’s Sandbar excursion for in Miami? Kathryn boards the party bus in some kind of flapper number constructed of multi-colored fringe, a black bra and a white purse. I didn’t get a glimpse of her shoes, but I feel like they were probably the same ill-considered white pumps she wore last year–you know, to match the purse that totally clashes with her outfit.

From the party bus we cut to Kathryn’s talking head, in which she’s wearing a red dress straight out of the Alexis Carrington collection. She just can’t get it right. Cameran looks especially cute. She may be the most two-faced person ever to walk the face of the earth, but she has great style. Landon, JD, Shep and Craig eschew the party bus in favor of scooters. Landon, world-traveler that she is, points out that you can’t go to Key West and not rent mopeds. This is an innocuous statement, but coming from Landon it sounds pretentious.

The party bus contingent arrives at Bagatelle, and Kathryn shanghais Thomas outside for a private conversation. She tries to manipulate him into abandoning the court case and opting for mediation, where they can hopefully come up with a parenting plan. She sounds reasonable in this scene, but Thomas is skeptical. He would love to be able to co-parent with her, but he needs to see her actions back up her words for once. A glimmer of wisdom from Thomas! Too bad it is oh-so-fleeting.

Inside the restaurant, Danni tells Liz she doesn’t feel well then collapses in a faint. This scene has been teased all year, prompting me to wonder why Danni passed out. Was it too much alcohol? The eating disorder? Or a combination of the two? Turns out it was “dehydration,” or that’s the story at least. How disappointing. I hate it when Bravo teases some juicy tidbit only to have it revealed to be a drama-free nonevent. After Danni is taken away in the ambulance, everyone sits down to dinner. Thomas snipes that he wants to sit far away from Landon, and Landon is glad that Thomas’ rudeness gives her another “out” from this pseudo-relationship.

Nothing else really happens at dinner, except that Craig says he would give up oral sex before he would give up cheese, and gives Cameran the onesie he made for her future baby. Former baby-hater Cameran gets emotional and calls Craig a “sweet motherfucker.” Klassy.

The next morning, Chelt-sea and Austen go for a swim in the ocean and Shep is still hammered from the night before. Cameran snarks that for Shep, every day is like groundhog day, and she just hopes he doesn’t get arrested on the way home. Then she pulls Craig aside for one of her famous lectures. Normally Cameran’s smug and that’s right–sanctimonious–advice borders on the insufferable, but this time she’s right when she tells Craig that he needs to be aware of how he speaks to Naomie. She tells him that he comes off looking like the asshole in these situations. He whines that of course he does, but that no one knows how mean Naomie is to him in private–she’s horrible–horrible!–to him, and her words cut him deeply. She didn’t even say good-bye to him when she left Key West (maybe because he was still passed out?) and he’s having a better time without her. He has a point when he says relationships shouldn’t be like this. I hate it when I have to admit Craig isn’t a complete tool 100% of the time.

Back in Charleston, Thomas visits JD. They are both a little worse for the wear after the Key West trip. Thomas has a cup of coffee; JD is drinking bourbon on the rocks. What time is it? Thomas tells JD he is confused by Landon’s about-face concerning Kathryn. So are we. He wants a woman who feels privileged and honored to be with him, and Landon is not that woman. He gave her the chance to date him, but she will never have that opportunity again. Landon, meanwhile, is telling her sister Bam that she doesn’t really want that opportunity, as Thomas’ controlling ways remind her of her ex-husband, and she has no interest in going down that road again. She shows Bam a text from Thomas, which reads, “Once my good opinion is lost, it is lost forever.” This is the only show on Bravo where people actually have enough education to steal a quote from Jane Austen. I love Thomas for likening himself to Mr. D’Arcy, and Landon for texting Lizzie’s response to Mr. D’Arcy in return. Can you imagine Tamra Barney or Porsha Williams or Teresa Giudice ever referring to classic literature to get their point across? Of course you can’t.

Kathryn and Naomie meet up to discuss Craig and Naomie’s relationship. This is the only scene I’ve ever witnessed where Kathryn doesn’t completely monopolize the conversation by complaining about her problems with Thomas or her custody situation. Score a little tiny one for Kathryn. Unfortunately, her hair is once again in a messy, weirdly poofy bun with an attempt at artful tendrils framing her face. Except that instead of artful, they are obvious, and instead of tendrils, they are lank strings that say the whorehouse ran out of bobby pins.

Naomie admits that she has been awful to Craig for the last few months. She feels bad, but everything he does annoys her. Kathryn says that Craig is unhappy with his “career” and is overcompensating by boasting about how awesome he is at the many inconsequential tasks he has undertaken to perform. Naomie thinks that Kathryn is onto something, and reveals that her anger with Craig stems from the fact that she helped him lie about his eligibility to take the bar exam. This is interesting. I always assumed Craig lied to Naomie along with everyone else about the bar exam, and wondered why ANYONE would stay with someone who has such a complete lack of character. That she was complicit clears this up a bit. He lied like a low-down weasel to everyone else in his life, but at least he was honest with her. That’s something, I guess.

At Cameran’s house, her awesome mom Bonnie comes over so Cameran can tell her she’s thrown away her birth control. Bonnie tells Cameran–her daughter!–that she didn’t want kids initially either, but is glad she had them. She tears up as she assures Cameran that bringing a child into the world is a wonderful experience. Okay–can we please be done with this storyline forever? There are a few things I never need to see on Bravo again. Childbearing angst, mothers acting like sending their kids off to college is like sending them to Auschwitz, bikini waxes, and Lisa Vanderpump’s tired jokes about her (lack of a) sex life with Ken. Enough already.

Craig and Naomie talk about their relationship. Naomie tells Craig she feels badly about treating him like shit all the time (even though she double-negatives by qualifying that she’s not saying that he’s not an asshole), and Craig tells her that if they’re going to be in a healthy relationship she needs to pay more attention to his needs. It’s actually a mature conversation and Naomie tells us in her talking head that she doesn’t want to lose Craig. I can’t fathom why not, but she must see something more in him than the sniveling quisling I see.  To each her own.

Kathryn goes to Thomas’ house. They have an insightful conversation about the state of their relationship, and Thomas gives some actual “wonderful words of wisdom” to Kathryn about channeling her explosive anger in a more positive direction. If only she could do that, he says there is nothing she can’t achieve. That’s sweet, and it’s good advice. Then he ruins it by saying that if she can get her crazy under control, they might even be able to get back together. Thomas, Thomas, Thomas. You are a moron. They hug, and it makes me a little sick to my stomach.

JD is closing Sermet’s for good, so he has a farewell party for it. Naomie starts it off by telling Chelt-sea that when Kathryn went over to Thomas’ house, they kissed. Ugh. Chelt-sea tells Cameran, and Cameran of course tells everyone else. While this hot gossip is being passed around, Kathryn makes her entrance in the above-referenced fashion disaster. Thomas, like the idiot he is, tells her she looks beautiful. Is he blind? Does he just want to get laid? Why does he continue to feed the beast? It’s baffling.

Shep brings last season’s Bailey to the party and Austen paws her while Chelt-sea watches disapprovingly. When he returns to her table, Chelt-sea tells him that it makes her look like a “fucking idiot” when he’s rubbing all over some other girl. Austen is confused because this is the first time he’s heard that such behavior bothers her. He tells her he’s crazy about her, she reciprocates, and they decide to date each other exclusively. Hopefully these two will ride off into the sunset together and we’ll never have to see them again.

Now it’s time for Craig to complain about how his attempt at mediating the discussion between Landon and Kathryn in Key West was met with well-deserved scorn. He blathers about how putting a band-aid on the situation will never adequately solve whatever problems lie between Kathryn and Landon. What he doesn’t get is that a band-aid is exactly what the situation calls for. Those two will never be friends–all Landon wants is to be able to be cordial and not be told to “fuck off” in the middle of a party, and all Kathryn wants is to destroy the accord between Landon and Thomas. That is exactly what transpired from the Key West conversation, and everyone is fine with it, except, as Landon points out, Craig. Shep and Landon openly mock Craig’s mediation skills, and he responds with scary aggression that is alarmingly out of proportion to the conversation. Shep compares Craig’s insistence that Kathryn and Landon get everything out on the table to the beginning of the Bay of Pigs. Landon laughs that Craig doesn’t know what that means, and Shep quips that he probably thinks it has something to do with barbecue. How does Craig react? He PUNCHES Shep on the leg. Throughout the conversation he’s been threatening to hit Shep, but who would take a threat like that seriously coming from a pussy like Craig?

Shep calls Kathryn over so she can, along with Shep and Landon, tell Craig that he can stop “mediating” because everyone–including Kathryn–knows that Landon has said bad things about Kathryn, and is fine with the ways things are. Craig threatens to knock Shep out and calls him a drunken asshole. Then he throws in Shep’s face that they weren’t allowed on the plane back from Key West because Shep was too drunk to fly. Earlier in the evening, Shep sincerely thanked Craig for looking out for him on the trip home, but per usual, Craig can’t let it go. Naomie notices the tension from her table but is trying not to judge Craig. This is a situation where she should absolutely judge Craig, because his behavior his indefensible.

Shep has had enough and walks away. Landon delivers the best line of the night as she too walks away: “You’re a great mediator, Craig. Don’t quit your day job.” It would have been even better if she’d followed up that statement by saying, “Oh right, you don’t have one.” Craig should be belittled and humiliated at every opportunity.

Forty-five minutes later, everyone is dancing and having a good time. Kathryn and Thomas are sitting on a couch, reveling in the fact that for once they are not causing the drama. Thomas creepily tells Kathryn she should wear silk, rubs her spandex-clad leg and tells her that her morgue-purple lipstick is sexy. God he’s so stupid. They congratulate themselves for having an adult interaction at his house the other night, and while everyone else speculates about whether they will sleep together or kill each other, Kathryn tells Thomas that at one time she was “so in love” with him and that she will always love him. Gross.

Next week–the reunion. I hope Kathryn and Craig get raked over the coals.