There is so much that we could talk about during this episode, like Craig yanking up his fly with a coat hanger because his hand is busted or Austen singing live karaoke like he was playing the skinny John Popper from Blues Traveler in a Lifetime biopic, but what we’re really here to talk about is Ashley. Oh Ashley, a one-winged firefly who keeps hovering in a circle scorching herself with every blink of her tail. Ashley is what I like to call the living worst. She is just a ball of bad behavior whipped up into a plume of acid cotton candy. I can’t help but biting but every time I do I walk away with a mouth full of rotting teeth. What I mean to say is that she makes the show and I want her to go away forever.
Obviously what we need to talk about is her fight with Kathryn, because it was the highlight of the whole season and we need to start with the beginning and give this thing the blow-by-blow analysis. Kathryn goes outside to smoke and Ashley goes out to join her. Kathryn starts off the interaction correctly by saying, “I don’t have a problem with anyone in that room but you and I want to know where your head is at so we can resolve it.” Ashley also counters correctly by apologizing for her behavior in Hilton Head where she admits that she said some awful things about Kathryn. That is the last time during this entire episode that Ashley will behave appropriately.
Kathryn, rightly, starts to question the things that Ashley said about her in Hilton Head and Ashley immediately veers insanely left, accusing Kathryn of “deflecting,” whatever that is supposed to mean and then says, apropos of nothing, “Never forget that your kids were taken away from you.” And then it’s off to the races. That is the most ridiculous statement ever, because not only is it a blindside against Kathryn, it’s also incredibly incorrect. As Kathryn points out, she never forgets that her kids were taken away from her and everything about her behavior for the past two years indicates that she’s doing everything in her power to get them back.
As Ashley attacks Kathryn she then says, “You’re freaking me out,” because facing the verbal equivalent of having a wasp’s nest thrown at you must be incredibly freaky. Ashley battles that with the most bald-faced threat she has given us yet. “You should be careful because I know a lot of information,” she says. Kathryn recognizes it’s a threat and Ashley gives her a face that says don’t try me.
It’s in that moment that I realize that Ashley is just a petty grifter. She’s like a low-rent con woman who is not above bending the truth, using threats, and pretending like she knows “Pookie and them” (to borrow a phrase from Sheree Whitfield) to come and mess Kathryn up. That is why I choose to believe that Ashley is actually an escort. I don’t know whether or not this rumor is true, but, like everyone at that ball, I am going to choose to believe that it is true and operate from a place where it is the truth. Ashley has never really behaved in any way that would lead anyone to believe that it isn’t true.
But once I decided all of this, I really need to know Ashley’s backstory. I want to watch an Ashley prequel where we learn about whatever horribly damaging childhood she had and just what forged her into this deranged rattlesnake that she is today. Can we get in a time machine and make reality TV from the past? I sure hope so.
Then Ashley says, “I have the life you want so stop feeling threatened.” What’s funny about that is that Ashley is the one who is now “deflecting” or at least projecting her fears onto Kathryn. Kathryn, who Thomas loves like the moon loves the ripples on the ocean (in that the ripples on the ocean just reflect the moon and make it look its best) has the life that Ashley wants and Ashley is the one threated by Kathryn. I was stoned every single class of Psychology 101, but even I know this to be true.
Thomas comes out there and Kathryn says that he needs to watch out for his girlfriend because she threatened Kathryn and she’ll threaten him as well. She’s not wrong. Ashley hopes that Thomas will have her back, but Thomas has a spine made out of rotted gherkins — they look like they’ll stand up, but they’ll snap with the least bit of pressure. Thomas never has anyone’s back, he just stands there flustered letting them fight.
They walk away and it should have ended there. Kathryn would have had the moral high ground, but she reverts to old Kathryn for just a minute and goes to confront Ashley again, and that is when things get really bad, when Ashley says she’s nothing but an egg donor and Kathryn tells her to “fuck off,” and then it’s just a petty squabble wearing white gloves and, honestly, it’s exactly what I tune into reality television for. But Kathryn shouldn’t have done it. She fell into Ashley’s trap and was provoked into behaving badly and giving Ashley ammunition for playing the victim, which seems to be the only card in her very short deck.
We find out at the end of the episode that Thomas and Ashley are still together, which is shocking, but that Kathryn and Thomas are co-parenting their children together, which is shocking as well. Has détente been reached? How did that happen? I was also happy to hear that Kathryn got her kids back with joint custody.
She’s come so far in two seasons. She even made up with Patricia and had a nice, cordial conversation with her. Even Patricia had to begrudgingly admit that Kathryn has turned herself around and behaved admirably. Also I love her and Shep together. I know this was just probably a stance for this show, but I think these two should really consider just making a go of it. What better thing does each of them have going on? I think they could have a lot of fun together and I can still see him pinching her ass at 80 years old when she leaves the front porch to go get him more sweet tea.
It’s funny that Ashley has kind of obliterated everyone from the cast and put them into the background, but I guess we should still talk about some of them. Craig’s house is disgusting and I can’t believe that he even invited Cameran over there. It looks like a frat guy got in a fight with Edward Scissorhands and no one bothered to clean it all up.
Cameran has some harsh advice for Craig, that he needs to get his life together. I mean, Craig got a life coach and then stopped calling the life coach because he didn’t want to do anything she said. That’s just nuts. I’ve always been a Craig apologist, but he really does need to get his life together. I don’t think he needs to practice law like Cameran seems to, but if he wants to do pillows, then do pillows. If he wants to do something else, do something else. But it’s clear that he needs someone to focus him and, honestly, probably something to get him out of this depression he’s been in for at least several seasons.
At least he tries to make things right with Naomie who turns her nose up at him like a skunk who just shot her load all over an unsuspecting farmer. She’s pissed that he brought a date to the ball and says he’s not an up-front person so he should just, and I quote, “Fuck off.”
Austen and Chelsea seem to have settled into something that is a little bit like a couple again, but they didn’t get much screen time at all during this finale. Whitney was sort of like the stale air that got wafted out of the room after someone opened a window. Who does that leave us with? Oh, just Kathryn. Just Kathryn making fists in her white gloves while Ashley trots off into the night with Thomas on her arm. “Oh, I’m not going anywhere,” Ashley taunted and that is just what Kathryn is afraid of most. But it looks like Kathryn won the show, which is a much better time than winning the rotted-out pig heart of Thomas Ravenel.