Southern Charm Recap: French Connection

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Photo: Bravo
Southern Charm

Southern Charm

Exes on the Half Shell Season 5 Episode 6
Editor's Rating 3 stars

There were two incredibly excruciating things that happened during this episode of Southern Charm. Oh, wait. There were three. For a second I forgot about when Patricia asks Craig to make a pillow for her company that makes dog- and cat-printed dresses and caftans, and he actually, literally says, “This is the break any upcoming artist or designer would probably cut off an appendage for.” That was excruciating too. First of all, Craig is neither an artist nor a designer, he is just some dude with a sewing machine and far too much time on his hands. He doesn’t even make clothes or follow patterns. He just stitches squares.

Then Craig had to think about whether he was going to make a dog pillow or a cat pillow and I can’t tell if he thinks this should be a pillow in the shape of a dog or a cat or if it’s just a normal pillow with a dog or a cat print on it. All Craig has to do is make two pillows in two weeks and he is already in over his head.

The first excruciating thing I was talking about, though, is everything having to do with Kathryn trying to find a job. That she has to find a job is bad enough; that she goes about doing it by calling up the owners of the stores she used to frequent when she was putting things on Thomas’s platinum card is even worse. When she asks Marshall, the owner of Gwynn’s department store for outfits you will need for any woman’s auxiliary meeting, he can’t figure out a polite way to say no, so he invites Kathryn in to talk about the vague possibility of a job.

Kathryn shows up at the office looking fantastic, but she’s using this sad, mousey voice that she uses when she wants something. It sounds like the squeaky wheels on a book cart that the ghost of the dead librarian is pushing in the opening scenes of Ghostbusters. Marshall is there with his daughter Madison, who is also Kathryn’s friend, and he asks her some simple questions about how she will fit into the Gwynn’s culture and what she sees herself bringing to the customers. She answers both questions with, “I don’t know how to describe it.” That is the worst possible answer. That is worse than just blurting out, “War crimes!” and then just sitting there while you wait for the phrase to land and the confusion to dissipate.

I shouldn’t be too mad at Kathryn because she’s very out of practice at job interviews and not particularly skilled for any line of work other than reformed reality-television villain (a job which she excels at, for the record), but still it’s painful to watch. When she asks the people interviewing her for some water, it’s awful, and it’s even worse when she gets up and leaves the room. “We do ask some very difficult questions,” Marshall says to her. Except they don’t. I mean, the questions he asked were as easy as asking her name and Social Security number. This is not even rocket science. This is not even a job at Rocket Dog shoes. This is just standing around and smiling pretty in a department store.

The second awful thing was Thomas Ravenel, a suicide note your heart makes. Every single little thing he does is like ipecac for the eyes. When he straightens his hair in the mirror before going out to get the newspaper in his robe like some kind of ‘50s stereotype TV dad I just want to open all of my arteries and bleed all over my Room and Board sofa. That was almost as gross as when his thirsty bride Ashley was sitting in the sink doing her makeup. It was almost as gross as Ashley herself, who is grosser than eating a bowl of Corn Flakes when your boyfriend asks if you’ve seen his scab collection.

The grossest, though, is when he shows up to the opening party at Nico’s, the shellfish restaurant that Naomie’s dad is opening, and Kathryn compliments his pocket square. He tells her that the French call it a “pochette,” which is wrong. That is French for “wallet.” A pocket square is a “poche.” Anyway. He tells Kathryn that in France a man would get tired of his wife and take a lover. After he was with his lover, he would use this handkerchief to clean up. The bigger his “poche,” Thomas tells her, the bigger a “Casanova” he is. It is unclear if he means that he needs a larger scarf because he has more dick to wipe off or he needs more scarf because he’s cleaning up multiple times a day. Either way, Thomas is grosser than bubble tea made with water from the Gowanus Canal.

Kathryn just sort of smiles and doesn’t laugh and Thomas gives us the guffaw of the privileged. It is an expression made by a man after an unfunny joke because people have been telling him his whole life they are amused by him to stay on his good side. They do this even though what he has to say is the most common, most rote, and most asinine commentary in the whole world. It’s like being at an oyster bar and telling everyone that there are too many aphrodisiacs on the table. That comment, in all its banality, is the most telling indictment of Thomas I have ever seen on television.

What else happened this episode? Shep took Cameran down “Labor Lane” to try to induce her labor because she wants the baby to come through the “vag” not the “sun roof.” Shep told her if she goes into labor while her husband is at work, he will drive her to the hospital. In an instant they both realize that there is one very specific thing that Shep shares with Rihanna: no one should ever text him in a crisis.

Shep makes another play for Chelsea, but it seems like that train has already left the station. So has the Austen and Chelsea train. As much as he’d like to rekindle what they have going on. As much as he goes to some brew house to get them to make a passion-fruit-and-grapefruit beer. As much as he tries to tell everyone he’s not sleeping all around Charleston, there is no way she wants him back. When he approaches her after the dinner at Nico’s and says, “How about we get out of here,” and Chelsea says, without even looking up from her phone, “How about we don’t,” it is the coldest thing I have ever seen in my whole life.

We also saw Naomie apologize to Peyton (who apparently was on that RelationShep show none of us watched). At first it was a Housewives-style apology where she said, “I don’t think I was wrong, but I’m sorry if I hurt her feelings,” but after sitting down and talking to Peyton at Nico’s she really seemed to feel bad about the horrible way she treated her at the Halloween party last episode. Naomie also realized that she’s not over Craig yet. Oh, let’s just wait until she gets a load of his new pillow business!

Southern Charm Recap: French Connection