I don’t even know where to start with Ashley, a car alarm that never stops going off. She is just the nastiest, meanest, most pathological mushroom-backed river troll that I have ever met in my life. And by met I mean that she lives in my best friend, the television. She is not just a piece of work, she is an entire career. The confusion, delusion, and a third word that ends in –ion other than “resolution” that she exhibits is just confounding. She’s like the three “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkey emojis put in a blender, poured into the mold of a toad princess and then frozen into something that resembles a woman. It was almost painful.
Even more painful was the first third of this episode when we were just waiting for her to come out and just receive a bukkake of hatred from everyone who was sitting around her, including our supposedly partial master of ceremonies Master Andrew R. Cohen, Esq. I mean, what did we even learn during those minutes? Kathryn is good in bed. She and Shep hooked up five times. Chelsea is dating someone now. Austen is dating someone now who looks sort of like Chelsea if Chelsea is a real person and this new girl is a Cookie Puss from Carvel. None of the guys ever want to get a job and Naomie, for the one time this whole season, didn’t wear too much highlighter.
The one fact that we learned that I might even want to linger on for a second is that Shep and Austen have never had a three-way with a girl. Everyone was very concerned that this might happen and for that concern I feel like I should write some erotic fan fiction where Austen and Shep have a three-way with a woman who pegs both of them and they love it so much that they fall in gay love and get married at Patricia’s house wearing caftans with dogs printed on them.
Then Ashley comes out and she does not look good. I don’t mean that her hair, makeup, outfit, and jewelry are not on point, because they all are. But she looks sickly and frail. She looks like all of her nerves are jumbled up like the cords behind your television screen and there is nothing she can do to smooth them out. She also looks like she’s not trying to flip her hair in that annoying way that she does when she gets worked up. Andy even addresses the rumors that she might be anorexic, but she says it’s just nerves from filming the show and its aftermath that have made her look that thin. That is awful if that is true, and if it is she needs to seek counseling and professional help, because she does not look well.
I think that the cause of that is Thomas. All joking and cruelty aside, Ashley sounds like the quintessential person who is in an abusive relationship. She tries to minimize how he treats her, she tries to blame herself, she tries to tell everyone that they don’t see the sweet side of him. The most alarming story was one that Chelsea heard from a client of hers, where Thomas and Ashley were arguing outside of a restaurant and he threw his leftovers at her. That is how this man treats her in public. Ashley says we don’t know what he’s like behind closed doors, but I assume it’s much worse, but not better. When Andy asks her about the incident she says, “That was my fault. I was behaving like a brat.” She basically says that she deserves it.
Let me make this clear: You do not deserve that. No one deserves that. You do not deserve to be treated poorly by someone, no matter if he has as much money, privilege, status, and fame. You do not deserved to be slagged off by a man on national television and then be told that he loves you. You do not deserve it. You do not deserve any of it. And if your man treats you like that, get the hell out of there and do something to change it.
What was so weird about this whole interaction was that at one point Ashley asked, “Is this an intervention?” and they all said no, but it kind of was. These guys are Thomas’s friends and they’re all telling her that he is bad for her and she should get the hell out of there. Kathryn, who has been down exactly this same road, is telling her that it is only going to lead somewhere bad. Ashley is a jackal who chased them all into the darkness of Hades, and yet they’re still trying to warn her to get out of there while she still can. Ashley is so damaged by him (and maybe all sorts of other things in her past, who knows) that instead she turns their concern outward. She lashes out with hatred against all of them.
The problem is that none of her arguments make sense. The worst is when they talk about the conversations in Hilton Head where she really turned on Kathryn and called her a bad mother and told her she didn’t want to spend time with her kids. She apologizes and says that she should have pulled Kathryn aside and had the conversation between the two of them somewhere quiet. But when Andy and others ask if she would take back what she said, she says no, she still believes every word of it.
What in the great pumpkin patch Charlie Brown is that all about? Andy even questions if Ashley’s ideas about Kathryn come from her interactions with her or things she’s heard about Kathryn’s past behavior. She acknowledges that it is all things that she heard from Thomas about Kathryn. That’s what is insane to me. Kathryn never did anything to upset Ashley other than be the woman Thomas is still in love with. She’s seen her treat her kids with nothing but respect and be a responsible person. Wouldn’t she do as everyone says and get some outside information about Kathryn?
Yes, Kathryn was a crazy monster in years past, but it is absolutely clear to everyone she has gotten her act together and passed all of the drug tests that Thomas has made her take. Speaking of which, Ashley gets all uppity about that and warns her about how she “almost missed” the deadline to take the last one. Yeah, but she didn’t miss it. What is Ashley all upset about? She’s just working herself up over nothing because she “almost” finally got what she wants which is Kathryn out of the picture.
Is that what she wants? What does Ashley even want? What is her endgame here? She claims to not like being on the show and that it is making her physically ill. She claims that she doesn’t want Thomas’s money. Then why is she here? Is she really in love with this guy? If she is, what does it say about her?
And what does it say about us that we’re blaming her? What does it say about her that she’s taking the blame? We’re all missing the real villain here, which is the giant wimp that is Thomas Ravenel, a man who can’t even be there to defend himself because of how poorly he treats women. There is no way that Bravo can let him back on this show, not after he’s treated not one woman but two of them this way. This master of the dark misogynist arts just gets to hide at home between these women, brand them as crazy, and then bilk the whole enterprise to only enrich himself and support him more. We shouldn’t be talking about and blaming Ashley, who needs help, we should be talking about and blaming Thomas, the snake who offered all of these women an apple and them blamed those women when they got bitten.