I’m not even doing this. This is such tripe. Women fought and we left them where we fought. We went back inside to make another drink and talk to the other moms, leaving our kids out in the pool to fend for themselves. They’re fine. They’re always fine. They’ve got their noodles and their pizza and their stupid water gun things, and they’ll make up some game or something. Who cares. Let them be. What are they gunna do, drown? It’s five feet deep, Sherry, for Christ’s sake. Cut the cord. Besides, you only have to worry when it gets quiet.
Two hours and three mommy juices later, told you, Sherry! It’s still as loud and obnoxious as ever. See! They’re alive. They’re only screaming and crying and threatening to break each other’s legs, OK?
We pick up where we left off, opening on one of this season’s four million cliffhangers in nine episodes. As you’ll recall, the girls are huddled outside on a street corner in Northwest DC, thrashing and kicking and punching at each other all without making contact. Their scrum was instigated by Ashley, who stalked out of Karen’s scent event to keep stoking the fire in Monique about her potential DUI. And once Monique was baited – which was a remarkably easy feat – Robyn had come out to continue to tease her, chirping around Monique’s head with these venomous, adolescent taunts – tiny little barbs that were easy and cheap and obnoxiously petty, but nonetheless kicked Monique into a white hot fury. As soon as Monique began to dare Robyn to hit her, choke her, grab her umbrella and do something unspeakable with it, Karen threw her body into the foray and began wailing for Security.
But because this is a public street, belonging to the District of Columbia, which does not pay for a Security team just to protect random drunk women fighting on the sidewalk and their older mother who thinks the world is her staff, there was no Security to be found. So Monique eventually backed off, spitting out that she doesn’t want to assault Robyn and give her the ability to “sue Monique and make all her dreams come true.”
Gizelle, Ashley, and Candiace trail behind the mob, laughing at how quickly this all escalated into a rather hilarious riot:
Once Monique is ensconced in a plushy little alcove, deposited on a velvet sofa, covered in a trauma blanket and nursing a steaming mug of cocoa, Gizelle and Robyn come down on Charrisse for constantly defending Monique. Charrisse chides them for throwing out a big accusation like drunk driving (which was fair, on Robyn and Gizelle’s part), but Robyn still wants to know how that gives Monique the right to threaten to beat someone up. Charrisse correctly notes in her interviews that Robyn completely provoked Monique’s hysteria.
Ugh. Grow up, Robyn.
As Charrisse and Monique wait for their car (since Charrisse bravely accepted a ride with Monique as the driver), Monique goes on and on some more about how the girls are ruining her “charitable reputation” or whatever. And then, suddenly, she croaks out a sob, starting to cry because she thought she had “gained frieeeeeeeends!” and she’s quickly realizing that she’s on, UH-DUH, THE MOTHERFUCKING HOUSEWIVES. No one is here to make friends. But that’s why she appreciates Charrisse, who is the only one of the group who
blindly defends Monique is “rull.”
Later, Monique and Chris are at National Harbor engaging in the very pointless activity of throwing fish food off the dock, because why not. Environment. Save the Whales. I don’t know.
HAVE YOU SEEN MY SON NEMO???!
It’s mainly a filler scene set up to introduce us to the fact that Chris has a super deep dark secret: he has a 15-year-old son (in addition to the two younger kids he has from a previous marriage, which the whole world knows about). I’m not sure if they say this now or in a later scene (I drink during this chore of mine and rewinding is a pain in the ass for the screencaps alone, OK), but the reason this 15-year-old issue isn’t really in the picture is because the child’s mother hasn’t allowed Chris to see him for the better part of a decade. And we have no idea what the circumstances are, but damn, that’s super cold from where I’m sitting.
Anyway, Candiace really wants to fill her mom in, because she wants “everything to be out on the table,” because when everything’s out on the table divorces don’t happen and babies don’t have to grow up in sad, “blended” families where children sleep eight to a bed and share their boiled cabbage with magical talking rats in the walls, hoping against all hope that they’ll fall into some whimsical Roald Dahl adventure.
Again, this will be dealt with in a later scene coming up. The real purpose of these five minutes is to flash back to a NATIONAL HARBOR sign every seven seconds and prominently show the two pieces of Belle Isle Moonshine merchandise that Chris owns.
And that’s how I learned that Chris and I flip-flopped locations! (He moved from Richmond to DC and I did the opposite. And now he’s on a reality show that raped my hometown of all its dignity. What a wonderful time to be alive.)
Over in a wide open field out in Northern Maryland, where there’s nothing to do but hear the wind blow through your hair, a family of cows is slowly ambling through the grass, chewing contently on their muddy pieces of cud.
You see, the daddy bull, named Juan, woke up on the couch one day after a much-needed, indica-induced power nap, and warbling through the bovine-a-vision was a documentary on PBS about going vegan. And because Juan is making a markedly better effort this year, engaging with his family and involving them in his decisions, now all the Dixons have to be miserable and vegan. So off Juan wandered to the one vegan cafe 128 miles away, from whence he selflessly lugged home bags and bags of takeout containers full of vegan slaw that charades as other delicious *real* food like burgers and wings.
I mock, but honestly, it’s really encouraging to see Juan this invested in Robyn and the kids, even if he has to be a terrorist about it and deprive them of authentic, valuable protein. (Yes, I am that fat hypocrite who has read THOUSANDS of Whole 30 and Paleo books and I have serious derogatory thoughts about veganism/vegetarianism. I am a horrible, pejorative person as a result.)
(but seriously, eat your meat – it’s good for you) (and love and cherish the animals from whence it came)
Anyway, Carter has a birthday coming up and Robyn and Juan start throwing out suggestions for whom should he invite. These include the grandparents, which turns into the episode’s second super deep dark secret: while Juan’s biological father was out of the picture for his entire life, he grew up thinking his real dad was another man entirely. And I can’t fault him for that, since both men kind of look exactly like him?
Anyway, it’s sort of a sweet story, in a tragic way (which is the only way any story about Juan can be): Phil, Juan’s father (as in, the man he assumed was his father and grew up with), passed away when Juan was 15. Bruce, Juan’s biological father, came into the picture about a year ago, and it turns out he’s a great guy and there’s no ill feelings about anything, which is sort of wonderful and perfect and god damn me, I’m actually really by touched by Juan for once.
STOP IT JUAN, YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE GARBAGE
All of this dead parent stuff gives Robyn the idea to hire a medium and unnnnnnghhhhhh fine. It just means we’re going to have to power through it in this recap as our mid-season climax. Which is so dumb. But mediums and psychics are a requisite Real Housewives stunt (hello, OC ladies), and it’s about time for the Potomac crew to catch up, so here we are, I guess.
Robyn then ruins a perfectly good, terribly flavorless dinner by complaining about Monique.
Her weird segue is that Monique keeps coming after her about money (which is hardly true at all, minus the one “sue me” insult Monique threw at her on the street), and Robyn is hoping that the medium can bring “closure” to the issue she and Juan had with their friend who stole all their money and then killed himself. OK, I guess? Or you could just see a financial planner who doesn’t talk to imaginary people in the room? Whatever!
Juan continues to be a good Househusband and listens to Robyn attentively, sweetly reminding her not to let the other women get the best of her. Good BOY, Juan! Good Real Housewife-ing! Here’s a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. You earned it, buddy!
Out in Great Falls, Karen is loading up another replated-Costco fruit & muffins platter to welcome Monique over.
Monique rolls up in her eight-bajillion-dollar SUV, letting her adorable little two-year-old Milani pop very obviously out of the car, because obviously Monique is a very responsible adult human being with several charities she’s running as well as two small children AND a husband so of course she’d pile them all up in a car – babies and charities and husbands and all – and drive all over the place with them for two hours in traffic, because she is definitely NOT DRUNK when she does it.
I mean, I can only forgive the obvious intention (who brings their two-year-old along for a casual Bravo shoot?) because that literally is the cutest baby I’ve seen on TV or in real life.
Monique’s purpose for the visit is to apologize to Karen for the way she acted at Karen’s scent event, which she does, even though it eventually turns into a whole indictment of Robyn provoking Monique. Monique gets in a second jab about Robyn’s finances, musing about how Robyn would love to win all of Monique’s money in a lawsuit:
Karen sympathizes with Monique, especially because Gizelle and Robyn have similarly “bullied” her over a very public, very serious personal mistake that Karen brought to life simply by being on reality TV and talking about it. Those bitches! Karen thinks. To see a very troubling issue like tax evasion or drunk driving and having the GALL to question us about it after we brought it up and made it the center of our story lines.
Monique is interrupted by a text about U-Hauls, and that’s when she introduces us to her very Bethenny-esque project to send hurricane relief to Houston. Unlike Bethenny (who has more money than God and 294 companies in the Fortune 500 combined), Monique is leaning on a partnership with a group called Charities Angels, Charrisse, and a vaguely humanoid thing called Mark Moseley of the Washington Redskins Alumni Association. But she’s still doing it, and I can’t begrudge her for that. Not even when she uses it as a stupid hackneyed vehicle to say that the girls need to put aside their bullshit and come together for the sake of charity. Because they do.
Meanwhile, as her mom goes on talking ad nauseum about big words she doesn’t understand, my favorite lil’ stinker Milani has been biting the tops off all of Karen’s cheap, sugar-laden, instant bakery, butter bomb muffins, slobbering all over their bottoms, and plopping them back as soggy, mealy lumps on Karen’s stupid dessert tray.
Karen says Milani is just like one of the cast members and I hate her for making that comparison. Milani is A PRECIOUS, PERFECT LITTLE DEMON.
In Alexandria, Monique has rolled her squawky mom Dorothy out to her fiance’s barbecue joint to tell her the big scary news that Chris has another un-aforementioned brat.
Candiace tells us that when her mom comes into town she usually wants to pop into Chris’ restaurant first thing for a half order of chicken with a side of collared greens and mac & cheese. When Dorothy sits at the table she orders a salmon salad. So I guess that means Dorothy’s going to see this later and knock $10 grand off Candiace’s wedding. Which sucks, because Candiace begins their conversation moaning about how the Willard is too expensive for the nuptials of her dreams.
Eventually Candiace gets to the real purpose of their get-together, which is “the kids” and “the role they’re going to play in the wedding.” Dorothy perks up that she thinks it’s “fabulous,” but nonetheless, Candiace feels like she needs a shot to tell her the next part.
Candiace says in her interviews: “it’s bad enough that I’m bringing this white, divorced, with-two-kids man into the house,” giving off the impression that Candiace herself has the least amount of faith in this fiance of hers. She eventually steels herself at the table, tearing off pieces of paper towel to dab her eyes and eventually let out that Chris has an older son that they never told Dorothy about.
Dorothy bristles, but only because of the impossibility Chris is facing over ever seeing his kid again. She’s more aghast at the idea that someone is keeping a man from seeing his child than she is that Chris and Candiace kept the kid’s existence from her in the first place. She sweetly reminds Candiace that everyone has problems in life, but they can’t “sweep it under the rug” like her daughter has by not divulging Kid #3 to her mom.
Chris shows up and adds that he knows where his son lives but every time he’s tried to reach out he’s been met with threats, and he can’t bear the idea of being rejected from his own child, which is why he doesn’t press the issue. Dorothy is supportive and everyone is relieved. Next!
Out near the grassy paddock in Baltimore where Juan and Robyn are foraging for nutritious sticks, Gizelle has a hair appointment with her best friend/requisite gaie, Kal.
She sits down in his chair and as he begins applying highlights, Gizelle immediately, very Monique-ly, starts rambling about how stressed she is: with Sherman, the girls, Every Hue Beauty, The Book, and her mom. Oh yeah, her mom. Who lives in Houston and survived Hurricane Harvey. Although Gizelle’s mom suffered little damage relative to others, it has made her want to be closer to Gizelle and the kids, prompting her to command Gizelle to buy a new home for the family – one that can accommodate Gizelle’s mom as well.
In a way, this ties back to her issues with Sherman, because she’s been dating him for about a year, which isn’t a totally unreasonable time to start factoring your SO into decisions about home-buying or relocating. The only problem is that Sherman has sort of fallen off the face of Gizelle’s earth, and I guess with that lack of support Gizelle’s starting to feel a lot of “pressure” and the need to act as “Superwoman.”
She tells Kal that she needs to take a break, and she hobbles up out of the chair, in her weird boxy robe and her big alien foiled hair, to breathe deeply in the back.
Her meltdown continues in full at the wash station, as Kal weirdly enunciates that she “can’t think so HAWRD on THANGS,” and as the camera pans into Gizelle’s face super close (fuck you, camera guy), you can tell her tears are real.
Unlike Monique, Gizelle’s “busy mom” narrative is really getting to her – really festering into some deep issues, and I think Gizelle’s just using it as a thin veil over her insecurity about finally having a man in her life that she truly loves, but who unfortunately won’t celebrate with her in her success.
It’s the day of Monique’s Kind Of Bethenny Event!
Monique and Charrisse have set up some U-Hauls and tents outside a shopping center in Gaithersburg. Mother Nature really got the memo and made it rain on everyone to make them look really hard-working and miserable.
Gizelle shows up long enough to throw some water and shit at someone, then quickly bolts before Monique can see her, reminding the cameras that, trust me, her mom lives in Houston so she cares about this relief effort and all. Just not about Monique.
Ashley, who’s even more on the outs with Monique, actually came and stayed to help like a big girl.
Monique appreciates her maturity, and the two of them agree to talk out their issues later over lunch.
Even Karen showed up to this gloomy but altruistic endeavor, hurling her bobbly body dramatically into the tailgate of a U-Haul as she chucked trashbags of socks into its carriage. The only one who didn’t make an appearance, unsurprisingly, is Robyn:
… who is planning a hypocritical “She is Empowered” Event that will most likely be the penultimate fight setting for our Season Finale and a source of endless “empowerment” jabs from one lady to another. The purpose behind this event is Not Being Broke or something and really has no basis in reality or tangible charity at all, but then, that’s the Real Housewives for you. At least we got Tiffany Haddish to make a cameo.
Someone get that girl a grapefruit.
Later, Ashley and Monique meet at Mon Ami Gabi in Downtown Bethesda – home to many a drunk graduation celebration in Babylegs’ family – to get over the whole drunk driving fight. When the waiter approaches them for an order, they both make an obvious point of asking for tea.
Monique starts by thanking Ashley for coming out to her Hurricane Harvey relief collection, adding condescendingly that it showed her “we know how to act.” Ashley says that (duh) she is not angry with Monique for any reason, so she’ll allow her to air her grievances. Monique says that she expected more of Ashley than to “go behind Monique’s back” and insinuate that she had drank more on the day of her accident than she really had, adding defensively that “I have two kids and a husband,” and ugh… obviously Monique’s limp defense of the drunk driving thing drives me crazy, but seriously, what does a husband have anything to do with it?
Ashley admits that she did talk to Robyn about how much Monique drank, and that she’s sorry that what she thought was “an innocuous conversation” turned into something detrimental to Monique’s reputation. Which is nice and mature and placating but again, Monique admitting that she had had anything to drink – let alone two martinis – before she crashed her car, on national TV, is damning enough without Ashley’s help. But good on Ashley for kissing Monique’s ring, I guess. (I only say that because it saves me like 20 minutes of recapping.)
Monique accepts Ashley’s apology, mercifully declaring that the two of them “are good” and yet again blaming the “messy behind tricks” that are the older women. In both of their confessionals though, they admit that they’re now wary of each other. Ashley says slyly: “make no mistake: I made no mistake. She just got caught.”
Blargh, and then it’s time for the whole medium act.
OK – let me say something about mediums and the whole ~*+*~psychic~*+*~ profession. I buy it. Sue me. Write me off as a unreliable recapper. Discredit my entire intelligence if you like. Listen to one of the podcasts I did with my beloved, chocolate-covered, atheist darling Redmeph and you’ll hear all the disdain I deserve for endorsing this industry. But I like it. And sometimes, very rarely, I’ll look into it for casual guidance. I’ve seen both a clairvoyant and an astrologer in my life and both were incredibly accurate with their readings and seemed to offer sound, non-exploitative advice. I wouldn’t advertise it as an alternative to actual, accredited therapy, and I also probably wouldn’t advise anyone pursue it in the hopes of talking to their dead mom or whatever (a clairvoyant, for reference, reads situations and people that are still alive and present), but I think once in a while, for shits and grins, it’s a fun, rejuvenating exercise. Then when you’re done, go talk to Redmeph and get some real, educated, material guidance as it relates to your life (in the terms of Post-War macroeconomics and the European Union, of course).
Read into the crystals, but please don’t let me see any of you on a Netflix documentary, is what I’m saying. You are your own best psychic.
But psychics and mediums on a reality show? HORSE. SHIT. First of all, as you probably thought like I did watching this – or any other nonsense Long Island Medium moment on TV – everything about your client is all entirely Google-able. Especially with a reality star who’s been in the spotlight for three years. Unlike my personal experience with pseudo-spiritual seers or whatever, when it comes to folks on TV, there’s an entire production team that have pages and pages of background checks to use. Or they could just open up Chrome, type a name, and BOOM. There’s The Psychic’s entire source material. Just throw out some vague details like first initials or terrible, life-altering accidents to those weeping simpletons on a couch across from you and suddenly you’re NostraFuckingDamus.
Secondly, THIS IS SO BORING. I’m sorry. But I don’t need to watch reality stars talk about their dead friends and family when they have nothing to do with the show or the plot. I know that sounds callous, but watching psychics on reality TV is like going to someone else’s family party and you haven’t met a single person there. Like you’re surrounded by all this very minimally interesting history and context but since it only has a distant relation to your experience all you want to do is catch an Uber and go home and feel like you just did someone an ENORMOUS favor just by being present. So I’m going to breeze through this as fast as I can, even though it’s another one of those precious rare scenes where Juan is emotionally present.
Robyn welcomes in her guy, an albino version of the Celebrity Medium. She is here to get a reading on the dead girl who once wore her dress in a 90s MTV Spring Break taping, and Juan is here to get a reading on his massive jug of muscle powder.
Just kidding. They want to talk to some dead folks, and the first person Justin, the medium, identifies is “Nita,” Juan’s mother, who is clearly listed on a swift, one-page Google search of “juan dixon”:
All the same, Robyn and Juan are both fucking flabbergasted.
Robyn is amazed because Justin used Juanita’s nickname, which I guess is a huge stretch since you just need to take the “Juan” out of the whole thing to get “Nita.”
Justin also adds that “Juanita” is embarrassed to show up today, considering the way she passed, bouncing his pointer finger off his forearm and making this crude gesture for your mom did heroin LOL:
Justin also “reads” that her passing happened a long time ago. Juan adds that she died of AIDS in 1995. And wouldn’t you know? Wikipedia says basically ALL OF THIS IN ONE SENTENCE.
“She’s your mom? I didn’t even get that far yet!” Justin adds just to lay it all on. He adds that Juanita says that if her life had been different, so would Juan’s. “I say that all the time!” gasps Juan in response, pointing to an excuse I assume he uses when he doesn’t want to drive the kids to school. Justin then pivots to the whole Juan’s-father subject, “reading” that he can see a “father figure with the letter P.”
Justin acknowledges that Phil wasn’t Juan’s biological father and is relieved to know that Juan knows this already. Methinks the producers, who filmed hours of the couple talking about this exact same thread, also knew. But let’s suspend our disbelief and just be enchanted.
Justin also wants to “acknowledge someone here” who jumped off a bridge. Robyn breaks down, because obviously Justin is referring to that (again, very Google-able) friend who stole all the Dixons’ money and killed himself shortly after.
Juan starts treating this medium session like a game of telephone, asking Justin what their friend felt when he killed himself, why he did the things he did, et cetera. Justin says that their friend didn’t know how to ask for help and was trying to take care of everything by himself. He also says that Earl – the friend who stole the money – is “content,” and wouldn’t have been as content if he had “stayed in the physical.” Justin adds that Earl “can’t say either way” whether or not he regrets the decision to kill himself. Isn’t this all so slap-happy? I’m so glad we continue to use this tasteless, emotionally manipulative tool on reality television.
When Justin reveals that Earl probably didn’t apologize to anyone – in life or in this weird purgatory plane – Juan goes, “daaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyum, selfish mother fucker!”
Robyn feels justified in her interviews that she’s not a bad person, because Earl continues to not “feel anything today,” as if Earl is just another cast mate talking to a green screen somewhere across the lot. Again, I hate this medium bullshit.
Justin ends things, mercifully, by circling back to Juan’s mom. He says she’s “beyond thrilled” that Juan has connected with his biological dad, but probably wouldn’t have ever told Juan in life who he was (“Mooooo-ooooom!” Juan cutely whines up to the ceiling, making me grin for once in this scene). Justin says that Juanita is watching over the family, that she’s happy her son and Robyn are “sitting there on the couch together,” and that she loves Robyn. In another pretty cute moment, Robyn confesses that she’s really happy to hear that last part since she never got to meet Juanita. “So just work it out, already!” Justin finishes.
And hey, even though I’m being a hypocritical cynic about all of this, at least it made Robyn feel like “a weight had been lifted” off of her and Juan’s relationship. And for a while, I think that she’ll be right. Juan is glowing by the time Justin leaves, embracing his kinda-wife and telling her:
Also, as a treat to us, Robyn debuts THIS lewk in her talking head:
… and I go to bed with sweet, sweet dreams of clawing my way through Gotham City dancing in my head.
Finally, we get an upcoming look at the second half of this season. The lazy, embattled recapper in me hopes that means I get a week of respite, but a preview from Andy Cohen’s Circle Jerk Hour hints that there’s a new episode next week. Maybe they’re just doing this to torment me, keeping you few putzes hooked and tuning in and commenting on silly blogs like this, since Potomac (rightfully!) needs the numbers. So *sob* I guess I’ll see you back here next week. But if Queen Andy was mistaken and we have a week off: a brief programming note – your recap for the week of June 10 will be a smidge late because I’ll be at the beach getting tanked with my family and screaming at them at a fancy dining establishment. We always get along on vacation!
And now for your second half preview:
Caped crusaders are afoot, trying to deduce whether or not Karen has fled yet another mansion in the middle of the night:
The girls are given an even better vacation than the last and are off to Cannes (this series is finally legit!!!) to butcher the French language, force our wretched culture on peoples who don’t want it, and embarrass America even further:
We finally get to meet Bruce:
Candiace and Chris get into a pre-nup, and some fights:
Sherman continues to dive deeper and deeper into Housewive’s No Man’s land:
… and to add insult to Gizelle’s injury, his ex shows up, and even becomes a sort of Friend Of the Housewives? (eesh, that stings):
… but Gizelle is not alone in her cuckoldry. Rumors continue to circulate about Ray, including a story about him running off to Florida and playing with this full-named hussy who I didn’t get the name of:
Monique is gunna sing that same old tired, sexist song about husbands who don’t want their wives to “work”:
Ashley continues to fight with Michael about her mom (kill me) and with Karen about Ray:
… and everyone will fight with everybody else about everything, on and on, forever and ever, until the Chesapeake dries up and the sky turns black and the monuments we built turn into quiet, forgotten sepulchers to the world we once had, seized by wild vines and weed. In the quietness that will follow, if anyone is alive, anyone out there!, all he will hear are the muffled screeches from those crumbling edifices, the persistent echos of the women who brought this apocalypse upon us. But he’ll find one thing. He’ll find a sad, lonely trace of us. He’ll stumble upon a tombstone, sinking and sleeping in a pile of dirt. And on it he’ll find a message, written in faded, frantic scrawl: We tried to warn you.
But you and me – we’ll be long gone by then. We’ll be somewhere in a vacuum, moving around as amorphous memories and nebulous thoughts, bound all together by the struggling strings of ego. Wherever it is, it’ll be with Nita and Phil and terrible Earl, somehow pieced together after that nasty spill, and it’ll be far from where the Whispering Wives can hear us. Far away, irreparably broken through, on the mystical shores of The Other Side. I hope to see you there.
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