OK TrashCrabs, here’s the deal: Mama fell off the wagon last week. She went on vacation with her family, where it rained the whole time and they were forced to do nothing but binge drink inside and scream at each other over Scattergories (I promise, there’s a lot of love there). Then, when she came back from vacation, hungover and strung out and driving around in a Volvo covered with seagull shit, she was all set to write a recap for – hands down – the greatest episode of Real Housewives of Potomac ever to have aired. But instead, she found out that her department was planted with a massive 400-page project that they were instructed to cancel everything for (literally), which means the recap was canceled as well. For that, I apologize. But I’m back now, wrestling with my Best Friend Sling to work.
And it isn’t. So I’m screencapping this recap off a jalopy ass app I had to download on my laptop. Good god, am I slumming it.
So let’s really quickly get up to speed. Last week, Monique and Robyn each had their warring events, which drove an unusual rift between Robyn and Charrisse, since Charrisse picked Monique’s extra ticket to a third-party gala over Robyn’s own (seemingly) hand-crafted luncheon. But Charrisse had a fair excuse: Monique had invited her a month before Robyn invited her to the luncheon. You know who didn’t have a fair excuse? Karen. Karen Motherfucking Huger, who peddled back a “yes” RSVP as a “yassss! you go girl!” noncommittal praise of encouragement just so she could invite herself to Monique’s friends’ gala instead.
And at the gala, she met this season’s boggart, Kyndall Douglas, ex-wife of Sherman, longtime friend of Monique. For the level of nasty monstrosity these women carry, all of them have been surprisingly gentle and sensitive when it comes to balancing their time with Kyndall versus Gizelle, taking special care to make sure they’re not in the same room at the same time, as good, respectable friends should. That is, except for Karen, who takes one drooling ogle at the girl and breathlessly invites Kyndall to the O-Gala, that stupid, silly love letter Karen writes to
herself an Alzheimer’s charity every year. And not only does she invite Kyndall, but she adds that Kyndall can come for free.
There was so much to unpack here. My hands are getting carpal tunnel just thinking about it. So for one, Karen’s snake-like diplomacy is not lost on anyone: everyone verbally observes that inviting Kyndall to the same televised event as Gizelle is low down dirty. Secondly: let’s talk about this payment thing. For the women who did pay for a ticket (aka, all of them), they were instructed by Karen to write the check out to her private business, Icon Enterprises, who… seriously… I don’t know. Was going to pool the money and offer a donation to the O-Charity or whatever who was then going to make a donation to a legitimate Alzheimer’s group. I mean the whole fucking thing reeked of:
Holy hell, if I could bottle the awesome terribleness of Karen in one hour it would have been that episode. The lying, the under-cutting, the cloying to the younger and more glamorous set, the funneling money into her own coffers under the guise of philanthropy. It was just [chef kiss]. Making America Great Again.
So we straddled last week’s episode and this one on Karen’s O-Gala, a considerably more elegant version than the shitty empty-living-room-and-grocery-store-red-roses affair that it was in the first season. Robyn and Gizelle only show up to ambush Karen and I don’t really remember how it turned out, other than bad, because all I saw of it was when Robyn and Gizelle were kicked out and yelling at Charrisse on the curb for being a bad friend:
Charrisse didn’t care because she is living her best life this season, as evidence by the fact that later she was bringing THIS thing home, against which she’d slam her body ruthlessly and with such reckless abandon the stars would fall from the heavenly deposits from which they were ensconced:
Kyndall did show up, but I guess she and Gizelle managed to coolly avoid one another.
You know who also showed up? Queer Eye Founding Father CARSON FUCKING KRESSLEY:
I’m sure having Carson there made Karen feel all cool and hip and stuff but as usual, she is like 15 years late on the uptick, and has no idea that his younger model and my personal goddess Jonathan Van Ness and the newer, more hearwarming, fabulouser Fab 5 has dethroned him in spades. If you’re not watching the new Queer Eye, get out of my face. Then pour yourself a crisp refreshing summer cocktail, French tuck your shirt, put some avocado and grapefruit on a salad of freshly made pasta, and binge that shit in your cool blue, newly renovated breakfast nook.
Anyway, Carson hammed it up and for once Ray wasn’t thoroughly humiliated with himself, his wife, or his situation. Karen masturbated the whole time while behind her back, Monique and Michael kept turning their noses at the very dubious idea that their money went to Karen’s business instead of the 501(c)3 that isn’t even registered yet.
Michael made a very funny joke for “I Con…” being code for something else (like tax evasion and money laundering) and I got really frustrated because the lines are constantly getting blurred when it comes to whether or not we’re supposed to love this rashy Australian leprechaun.
And that was it. Congratulations to you and your “charity,” Karen.
Over in National Harbor, Candiace is sitting on her couch with all of her Etsy’d out pink and glittery organization kits “planning” for her wedding, non-committally toying with the idea of crossing her brother’s dentist’s girlfriend’s teacher’s accountant off the guest list.
Soon, Chris joins her, and reminds her that she needs to call her dad to ask him for some extra cash so she can have a better wedding than Meghan Markle, like she plans. Candiace huffs because thinking about her totally normal, hard-working dad reminds her of the terrible and bizarre fact that once upon a time her parents got divorced because sometimes two people don’t work out and that’s really traumatic on the kids who at least get to stay in the same house as before. Candiace rolls her eyes and bobs her head and finally picks up the phone to call “Daddy,” which is the name Candiace still calls him, and under which she lists him in her contacts, because she is 30 years old and definitely not coddled financially or emotionally by her parents.
When Daddy picks up, Candiace squeals out a fake, high-pitched “hi-yeeeeeeeee!” and flashes her teeth, sitting up straight and fully prepared to launch into her rendition of “I Want It Now.”
She wastes no time in telling Daddy that her guest list is currently at 400 (“that’s opulent,” he flatly burps out) and that she needs a little more money to achieve her Disney Princess orgy of disgusting opulence. Daddy asks her how much she and her mother have already put in, which is a clear indication that the answer’s already a very ungenerous no, but considering Candiace’s answer I don’t blame him. She says that she and Chris are putting in $20K and her mom’s fronting the bulk of $100,000, but is “there anymore in the bank?”
Daddy says that Candiace’s mom asked him for $50K and he already said no. And he’s going to tell Candiace the same thing. Candiace flrrps and hrrms her way off the phone with him. Infuriatingly, she chalks this rejection up to another example of her “always coming in between her parents,” as if demanding tens of thousands of dollars from your parents for an elective party that you throw as an adult is the same as watching your parents fight over who’s going to pick you up from school tomorrow. This is not a fight between your mom and dad with you clutching a teddy bear and crying under your bed, Candiace. This is you asking for twenty thousand unnecessary dollars, as an adult, in a home your mother bought you. This is your father flatly telling you that he doesn’t want to blindly give you what is a down payment on a house just so you can line a ceiling with dead peacocks and emeralds.
To drive home the point, Chris gently suggests that Candiace stick to one dress instead of two. She insists that she can’t. OK then, he counters, “how about the trees?” (what the fuck kind of a wedding needs “trees?”). Candiace shoots that idea down as well, since apparently they’re serving dinner on a cluster of firs or maybe their band is made up of musically inclined dogwoods. Chris quickly gets heated, telling Candiace that every suggestion he’s offered to “reel something back in,” so their ceremony falls within the PALTRY belt of $165,000, has been dismissed. He reminds her that normal people stick to a budget instead of piling things on and asking for money later, but Candiace tells him to shut up because he’s being a “smart ass.”
Can’t wait to see how this marriage turns out.
Out in Bethesda, Gizelle is refocusing her misery over a failed relationship on EvryHue and its new intern:
Now, normally interns on Real Housewife shows are doomed to a very mysterious and probably gruesome fate, as the bodies of a thousand “Pickles” are probably rotting beneath the baseboards of Sonja Tremont Morgan’s crumbling dilapidated Grey Gardens of Gotham. But I think Gabby just might make it with someone like Gizelle, who is sharp and fast and not screwing 21-year-olds on the top of a pile of dirty underwear, at her helm. Besides, Gabby is pretty much already a corpse anyway. She’s like a real-life April Ludgate. All she does is look dead in the eyes and and mumble back at Gizelle as she pretends she’s taking notes on her phone when she’s really on Snapchat, telling Gizelle that “we don’t do pen and paper no more:”
Gizelle buys it regardless, since she’s too busy concentrating on the Congressional Black Caucus Business Conference (or whatever it’s called). This actually is pretty legit even though I don’t know the official name for it, and since Gizelle’s dad once worked on the CBC alongside the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr, and because she’s got a budding business to promote, it’s very important to her. Lord knows if Gabby could give two shits. Next!
Out in Alexandria, Ashley is calling her “Uncle Lump,” a father figure of hers who is in remission from cancer. What better time to lay all her problems on him! She tells him that Michael is hesitant to have children with her because he’s afraid that her only model of motherhood comes from her own mom, who is currently scamming Ashley’s husband to live in a mansion with a deadbeat loser (thatisalsoprobablydoingdrugsifyouaskme). Uncle Lump (god, that really is a terrible name to give your uncle with cancer…) tells Ashley that Michael just sees her as a trophy wife and also:
Ashley deflates after realizing for like the zamillionth time that Michael doesn’t want kids and thus they probably shouldn’t be together, and I guess that means she can either suffer through three more years with him as their prenup dictates or leave now and live on someone’s couch.
Later we get a side-by-side treatment where the girls either bitch about or praise Karen, courtesy of two grueling exercise classes that Gizelle whines the whole way through, because she is the realest bitch on this show:
After the classes, of course, each group of girls regroups to complain about the other. Monique makes the lamest attempt at a segue, saying some bullshit about how they need to exercise since people aren’t supporting charities…? The
TALL GLASS OF WATER MMM GIMME SOME I’M THIRSTY instructor at Karen’s gym takes this very obvious cue and is like, peace the fuck out you crazy outta shape biddies.
It’s OK, Tattoo, you can come to my house and train ME.
Everyone relays their own version of what happened at Karen’s O-Gala: Gizelle admits that she and Robyn were there for a quick ambush; Karen tuts that how dare they since she’s on “a national platform for Alzheimer’s.”
So are the Koch Brothers, you dusty ass crook.
By the way, Karen has invited Candiace and Monique to go exercising with her because they are fun and healthy and cute and not wise to her desperate octogenarian ways. Are we clear? Good.
Robyn and Gizelle reinforce to Ashley that Karen is a terrible friend in their eyes based on the objective fact that at least lately, she’s been lying on a constant basis: about the RSVP, about the status of her “charity,” about the reasons for having guests funnel money straight into her own business, et al.
Karen foams at the mouth in her scene: “Don’t come for my purse!” … quickly correcting herself: “Don’t come for my charity’s purse!” Monique, fairly, asks her if the event met Karen’s fundraising goal. Karen, vague as a whisper in a Buddhist temple, says it did, “even if the goal was a dollar.” You heard it hear, folks: Karen’s goal was to give addling mental patients with heartbroken families A Dollar. What dedication.
The producers also challenge her with a similar question:
Karen laughs grotesquely, responding: “We had a very successful, financial fundraiser [ed. note: what other kind of fundraiser is there] for Alzheimer’s event. I never quoted it. And I never will.”
Ah, the hallmark of a successful fundraising chairwoman: never disclosing goals or results. Like tax returns, they’re privileged and confidential, especially when you’re using money in the interest of the public. Right Mr. President?
KAREN IS TRUMP I WILL NEVER REST
Ashley brings up the fact that Karen invited Kyndall to the gala; Gizelle says that she doesn’t care, even if all her friends agree that it was a shady move on Karen’s part. Robyn thinks that Gizelle is trying to put up a front, and she’s right, since Gizelle lambasts Karen in her interviews, but either way, I don’t see why Gizelle should pay any mind to a woman who divorced Sherman (who Gizelle has just DUMPED) six years ago. If you ask me, this makes Gizelle look great and Karen look like a rat.
Monique agrees and takes Karen to task. Karen says that she was coming from a place of “innocence,” claiming that she’s known Kyndall longer than she has Gizelle since they both used to go to the same hair salon (?). Monique contests in her interviews that as an actual friend of Kyndall, she still has enough decency not to bring her around Gizelle.
Soon, Charrisse Facetimes Robyn and the two of them agree to meet for dinner to talk things over. “Things” being that Charrisse avers that Robyn and Gizelle don’t care about charity, Robyn and Gizelle contending that Charrisse cares more about charities than Friendship™! Gizelle fluffs up Robyn even more by telling her to remind Charrisse that Monique is “using her” in some capacity.
Later, the youngens meet up in their Emerald City finest to have drinks in the wonderful land of Oz:
They’re there to collectively bitch about their white boys, and Candiace immediately starts whining about the burden of wedding planning. Ashley says the most correct thing in response even though it will fall on deaf ears: that no matter how well or big you plan, all your guests will remember is the time and the fun they had. “Mmmmmm, not the FLOWWWWW-ERRRRZZ???” Candiace womps like a greedy horn:
Candiace adds that the planning is adding stress to her relationship, surmising (correctly) that her expectations are driving Chris to resentment. She says in her interview that Chris isn’t a “big, flashy” type. The camera cuts pointedly to her ring.
She also adds that while Chris’ first wedding was “simple,” she wants something more “fresh and innocent” for theirs, so I guess the going rate for innocence nowadays is $165,000 and decor that requires heavy machinery like forklifts and cranes. Also, Candiace “can’t apologize for wanting what she wants.” Which is fair! I can’t apologize for wanting a penthouse complete with a bubbling jacuzzi filled with Prosecco and a sumptuous moisture-wicking bed that has six healthy fat puppies sleeping in it every night. But you know what I can do? Get real and live on my own paycheck.
Ashley tells Candiace that she and Michael are going through their own stuff, and that Michael told her that he’s “apprehensive” to have kids because he doesn’t want her repeating the same mistakes as her own mom. Candiace, maturely and generously, responds that not only is that assertion unfair of Michael, but it seems like a hasty lie to cover up the fact that he doesn’t want to have children with Ashley. Ashley adds that Uncle Rumpy Pumpy said the same thing, and that Michael just wants to keep her as a trophy wife.
This all seems like a really ballsy conversation to have RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF MICHAEL’S RESTAURANT IN FRONT OF HIS OWN STAFF, BY THE WAY.
And that’s basically it. Ashley hems and haws that she doesn’t have a lot of time and she’s “tired of kicking rocks” with Michael [but obviously she’s not going to leave before the prenuptial probation period is over]. The only other thing we gleaned from this scene is OH GOD THE DREADED LORENA BOBBITT CHICKEN AND DONUTS ARE STILL ON THE MENU WHY:
Downtown, Robyn and Charrisse are meeting for their cease fire or whatever and we learn immediately that both of them are cheating on their vegan diets and ordering hard liquor in the middle of the day.
Charrisse begins by apologizing for not being at Robyn’s stupid but heartfelt “She Is Somethinged” event, and that she didn’t realize that it was Robyn’s “own thing” that she had worked “really hard on.” (LOL) Robyn states that she felt like Charrisse had picked a side, but Charrisse insists that it wasn’t a “side issue,” which is fair since again, Robyn put her stupid luncheon together in one episode. Eventually, after she spills something on her shirt…
… and is clearly emboldened by some sloppy pink thing in a glass, Robyn suggests to Charrisse that Monique is not Charrisse’s friend since Monique is inviting Charrisse’s friends to her own events or is looking for a come-up or… something. Charrisse agrees, adding that she hasn’t spoken to Monique in a minute.
Charrisse says in her interview that she’s really hooked Monique up now that she’s moved to Potomac, but that Monique made Charrisse’s Hurricane Harvey effort all about herself (which is kind of true), she’s starting to bring Kyndall onto Gizelle’s show (also true), and she’s ousting Charrisse from the banner cast so there’s more room for THOTs like an NBA ex-wife (hello). And it’s all kind of bullshit in the way that you know that Housewives always us each other as a ladder, and oh also Chris Samuels was way more famous than Charrisse’s phantom basketball coach ex-husband ever was, but anyway, who cares. Charrisse has always been the slurring but constant center of this cast – the only one who’s always lived in Potomac, at least – and Robyn is glad to hear that Charrisse’s “eyes are open.”
It’s the day of the CBC Business Expo! And Gizelle shows up with tons of collateral, the most valuable of which is her zombie intern, Gabby.
Someone please give this girl a spin-off.
While Gizelle is busy color matching customers, wrestling with posters, and welcoming Robyn over, Monique is still at home, where Karen meets Monique’s brother, yet another relative Monique has roped in as an employee:
(he’s helping with my website!)
Karen says in her interviews that she and Monique are attending the CBC together because “both of our businesses are in the development stages,” and it’s a powerful networking opportunity for African American businessmen and women, and also by the way Monique is younger and sexier than Gizelle. Monique acknowledges that Gizelle will have a booth there but they both agree to willfully ignore it. Karen says that she doesn’t “need SECURITY [security!!!!] to handle myself.”
On the way over to the conference center, Monique tells Karen that Charrisse has been ignoring her calls and texts. Meanwhile, Charrisse, Robyn, and Ashley all show up to support Gizelle’s booth.
When Monique and Karen arrive, Monique plainly admits that she knows that Gizelle’s booth is to the right, so she plans on heading left and circling around. Karen desperately follows her like a cat in heat and the two of them walk stark past Gizelle’s line of vision.
After some bullshit filler about meeting Folks From Church and Talkin’ Bout My Blog and more Important CBC Networking crap from Karen, Robyn (of course) notices them amble out of the Exhibit Hall.
She gets a devious grin on her face and suggests they go say hi. Gizelle agrees as long as they can bring the cartoon arms-legs-and-weapons dust bubble that’s sure to ensue away from her booth and her customers.
Monique tries to look busy on her phone as everyone says a fake hello and she strives to insist that she and Karen didn’t see Gizelle’s booth.
Gizelle clarifies in her interviews that her booth (and her face) are the first thing patrons see when they walk in the door.
… correctly noticing that Monique and Karen took a lap around the entire Exhibit Hall just to avoid talking to her. Monique makes up some braggy lie about needing to leave ASAP so that she and Karen get ready for “another event tonight.” Of course in her interviews, she admits that she saw Gizelle’s booth but avoided talking to her because she’s a child and she’s big like that.
Monique and Karen leave the conference center, Robyn screaming “LIAR!” after Karen as she drags her two-decades-young metallic jacket behind her.
But this black woman will NOT be chased out of the Black Caucus.
Robyn says in her interviews that once again, she was only trying to call Karen out for being a liar, but her usual tactic of screaming in public has, without explanation, chased people away.
Eventually Candiace shows up and the girls relay the whole spectacle to her.
Charrisse – having been snubbed by Monique – finally realizes along with the rest of the crew that she is being played.
Oooh yay! And then we finally get a “TEN HOURS LATER” chyron which means a time stamp which means some shit went down that you know the producers weren’t expecting. The cameras pull up on Candiace and Chris’ penthouse and I think YES, FINALLY, we are privy to the colossal fight from the previews and Chris is finally going to extricate himself from this screaming infant of a fiance.
By the way, this is also the point – 85% the way into the episode – that my DEMON SPAWN SLING APP finally learned how to go full-screen instead of shitty cinema mode, but I think the effect is worth it, so I’ll forgive it all. Anyway, Bravo does that “we’re taking ourselves seriously now” thing where they drop the mostly derpy music for long shots of an empty house and tiny ghostly details, casually hinting to the viewer that a divorce or something very grave is about to happen.
Through a doorway, Chris is filmed asking Candiace, tepidly, if they’re going to talk. She petulantly dabs on her makeup and asks what there is to talk about.
He reminds her, rightly, that you can’t just leave a relationship-ending conversation at 2 am when both of you are intermittently hollering and puking on a curb after 13 shots of Jager [speculating].
Candiace says that Chris called her something unforgiveable. Oh my god is this Bravo’s first man-to-woman “cunt”? I wonder lasciviously. But no, it’s not. It’s something like Chris called Candiace a princess for asking him to hold her stuff and call an Uber after a long drunken night at the CBC.
Which, technically, that’s pretty shitty! Especially if names like that make Candiace insecure, but then first of all: Candiace is the one on national TV asking “Mommy” and “Daddy” for $140 grand for her Cirque de Soleil wedding. And secondly, I don’t have the experience, but I can imagine that as a black woman, “princess” is probably the least egregious epithet that’s been thrown in the face of you and your peers. So let’s calm down, OK duchess?
Finally, here’s how Candiace responded to her “Team Mate” and loving fiance, Chris:
She texted him (meaning they clearly ended up taking separate cars): “You’re a coward and a shit clone of your deadbeat father. You can fuck off and get the fuck out of my life.”
Mature! Combining the wordsmithing of an experienced middle aged adult with the adolecsence of texting it instead of saying it to his face. Also, hmm, mayhaps I now understand why Candiace is so paranoid about marital friction. Maybe it’s because she’s aware of what a destructive, hateful trash mouth she has!
Candiace admits that she expressly sent the text knowing that she was throwing salt in the wounds of Chris’ estranged father (also, maybe drawing reference to the fact that Chris himself hasn’t seen his first child in a decade?) and apologizes for “referencing your sperm donor.” Way to mea culpa with class and panache, Candy Ass.
Eventually, Candiace – through a puss on her face – allows Chris to put the ring back on her finger, and the two of them hug it out, because god damn if RHOP is nothing but a portrait of toxic relationships and marriages of convenience. Yay for nothing coming of anything, yet again!
But who are we to judge. Chris and Ashley are all of us, looking for nothing but shallow comfort. Gaudy alliance. Easy sweating intimacy. Like sweet Chris, we’ll listen to this fractious, impetuous, pretty little thing abuse and scorn us, bowing our heads in obedience, waiting patiently just for that moment when she turns a corner, when we’ll turn back our eyes as she shines and delights. Like moths to a flame are we to our Housewives, following them around, padding the floor and panting with a smile, desperate for a bone but adoring all the same. Mercifully, we crawl back to them, kowtowing with a gift, lustfully pushing some hard shimmering rock, a cold trinket of loyalty, back on their spidery digit.
We know why you’re mad. We’re sorry we did it. Let us love you again, Housewives. We promise we’ll be good this time.
In Two Weeks: Ashley hosts an Open Mic Night. It dreams in color. It dreams in black and white.
Monique confronts Charrisse, who tells her she’s shifty. Honestly, Monique croaks, she is like SOOOOOW HARRRT.
Karen barks at Gizelle for being a bad friend since she’s over 40 and no longer fucking a professional athlete with courtside seats for her and Ray.
Et, zut alors! Les vacances sont arrivées! Quelle drame, quelle suspense! A Cannes, mes chéris!
(I double majored in English and French and that’s the first time I’ve used the latter in a practical sense since I was “studying abroad” in 2007. Aka, convincing horny rugby players in Paris to sleep with me. I’m sure I only butchered it a hair less then our girls will.)
Join me en Juillet, won’t you?
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