Southern Charm Recap: Diner’s Club

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Southern Charm

Southern Charm

Guess Who’s Coming to Lunch Season 4 Episode 9
Editor's Rating 2 stars

I would trade every minute we’re forced to watch Cameron and her limp extensions for a millisecond of Kathryn, whose lopsided red hairdo is still the best reason to tune into this deflated soufflé of a television program. The best moment the entire episode is in the very opening seconds, when Kathryn is sitting in a public park doing yoga. It seems ordinary (which is appropriate, because Kathryn is just into “regular yoga”), but it is entirely extraordinary. This is not a park for activities; it is a lawn with a fountain that looks more like a decorative boulevard. That means Kathryn showed up with all of her equipment and was putting on a show of flexibility and mental focus while traffic was swirling around her.

The best part is, she isn’t even doing yoga. She is all kitted out in Lululemon and just plops herself down on a yoga mat that she schlepped out to this “park.” She doesn’t do downward dog or warrior one. She just sits there, Indian-style (can we still say that?), holding her hands in front of her body with the palms pressed together. The only pose she is even remotely close to doing is a stock photo of “desperate woman doing yoga in public.” The whole scene, which lasts a little more than an instant, is the best thing to happen on the entire episode and that is why I never want Kathryn, a hot-air balloon propelled by sorrow, to ever go away. Namaste.

Other than that, this episode is a collection of disastrous meals. First is when Craig takes Naomie out to celebrate his finally “graduating” from law school, which means he turned in his long-overdue thesis. He just wants to go out, have a nice meal, and get his girlfriend really excited about his shoddy accomplishments. Instead she says, “I don’t even know whether I should believe you right now.” That is how far their relationship has deteriorated because of his whole deceit over whether or not he was going to take the bar. Then she scolds, “Doesn’t it feel good when you do what you’re supposed to do?” like he’s a toddler who didn’t piss all over the bathroom because his mother put some Cheerios in the toilet so he could use them for target practice.

All Craig wants is for Naomie — clearly the more intelligent and ambitious of the two — to validate what he has done, but she does not take the bait at all. When he gets moody and petulant, she finally musters up some wilting enthusiasm and says, “Yay! You’re going to take the bar,” but it’s the sort of feigned excitement one usually reserves for unwrapping ugly sweaters that your grandmother knitted for you for your birthday.

Kathryn gets to go on two very sad lunch dates. The first is with Shep and Craig, where Shep invited Cameran along. It seems like Kathryn and Cameran never had much of a relationship to rekindle, so I’m not entirely sure why Shep wanted her along, but it was nice for him to invite her. He’s right: There is no reason why everyone should be hanging around with Thomas and not Kathryn. It seems like they were both crazy and awful as their relationship ignited and then crumbled.

Cameran then decides to invite Whitney and not tell the others. Now, Kathryn did invite Thomas’s best friend (and her former lover and adversary) to lunch independently, but I feel like that was something she wanted to mentally plan for rather than just having his presence flung on her like one of those octopus toys from the cereal box that you throw on the wall. It is a total dick move on Cameran’s part. She says that she brought Whitney because she was anxious about seeing Kathryn and bringing Whitney would make her feel better. What she accomplished was shifting her anxiety to Kathryn, because she couldn’t have possibly prepared for this meeting in a way that seems necessary.

Anyway, Kathryn handles herself nicely and they have a very boring and tasteless lunch of gray nachos at a place called California Dreams, which is the worst sort of name for an inside-outside restaurant complex on the water in Charleston, especially when it’s a little bit too cold and not nearly sunny enough to be dining al fresco. There is no joy at this lunch at all. These people don’t seem to enjoy each other’s company, don’t have anything to talk about, and certainly have no new business to discuss. They just exchange pleasantries blander than those gray nachos like a bunch of old co-workers getting together at a bar in a Holiday Inn during a convention that no one wanted to attend.

But Kathryn’s good behavior and the letter she sends Thomas pay off when Kathryn and Liz share a tiny little birthday cake for her son, Saint, who is turning 1 on that day and Kathryn isn’t allowed to celebrate with him. Thomas writes her a letter and gives it to Liz to give to Kathryn, which seems slightly byzantine considering he could have it delivered to her in two days for less than 50 cents. Anyway, the letter says Thomas wants to repair their relationship as parents and invites Kathryn to Saint’s first birthday party after all. That would be very nice if not for that sad little cake for a little boy who is not there.

The worst meal of all, however, is Thomas and Landon’s date. Oh my God, how awful, awkward, and another word that starts with a! (Armageddon, maybe?) Thomas is acting like a total goon, spilling his wine everywhere, and discussing topics that have no consequence whatsoever. We do learn that Landon had to change the name of her website because “Roam” is copyrighted and several other websites have that name. Landon says, “How am I supposed to know that?” Yes, this is an internet entrepreneur who doesn’t know how to use Google to make sure that her web domain name is available. Does she think that people want to name their businesses R3fr3shr or some other jumble like that? No, they do it because all of the good domain names are already taken.

Oh, no, wait! We find that out at Landon’s dinner with Drew, a few days after her date with Thomas where she finally breaks up with her 26-year-old sex robot and starts crying because no one will walk her dog with her. Drew, on the other hand, does not care at all. Landon thinks she’s breaking his heart, but he says, “Well, if you want to see someone else, you just go for it.” He knew this thing was about as permanent as a caricature of someone’s boss hastily drawn on a conference-room white board. He doesn’t mind so much that it’s ending.

Anyway, back to her date with Thomas. Apparently, Landon thinks it went well since she showed up to let Thomas down gently and left feeling like she was about to get a Jonas Brothers brand promise ring in the mail in the next several days. The worst part of this bad date is the woman sitting next to them, who’s just dying to horn in on their conversations after one too many glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon. “You just be yourself because you’re precious!” she shouts at Landon interrupting their conversation. “No one can deny the chemistry you two have. This is your soulmate right here.”

This, right here, is why I hate the South. Not only do people think that it’s perfectly all right to interrupt a nice conversation with their idiotic opinions, but the people on the receiving end of those comments have to smile and nod graciously and pretend like they don’t want this woman to be swallowed up by a three-quarters-full septic tank and then spit out into a vat of acid. If this had happened in New York, both parties would have turned to her and simultaneously cursed her out only to stop mid-sentence, turn to each other, stare across the candlelit abyss between their two faces, and realize that they were meant to be together all along. We’re just one immaculate kitchen away from a Nancy Meyers movie here. Instead, we get them giggling with good manners and letting the darkness fester deep within their bowels. God, the South is the worst.

Southern Charm Recap: Diner’s Club