overnights

Southern Charm Recap: Out on a Limb

Southern Charm

Barking Up the Wrong Tree House
Season 6 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating *****

Southern Charm

Barking Up the Wrong Tree House
Season 6 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Bravo

Austen and Madison remain broken up, for now. You could tell that just by looking at Patricia’s not-quite-perfect blowout. Madison has violated the Hairdressers’ Sacred Oath not to cut, curl, highlight, or otherwise style their feelings.

(By the way, in real, inferior, outside-of-television life, Danni and Madison have been fighting on Instagram about the much-discussed DMs the latter allegedly sent to the former’s boyfriend. I would go into it, but it is stupid, and moreover I regret to inform you that I am incapable of telling the faces of these two women apart.)

Craig takes a quick break from craning his neck to drink water directly from his bathroom tap (Hypothesis: Is Craig as we know him the result of the soul of a friendly dog being trapped inside a human body? Corollary hypothesis: Is Bethany — not Bethenny — the dog really a frustrated would-be lawyer trapped inside a canine body?) to deliver burritos to his hung-over, heartbroken pal. Austen, cloaked in his mourning sweats, wonders if he might have overreacted in dumping Madison. After all, “she’s only had three boyfriends.”

“She’s only had three boyfriends because the other ones didn’t respond on Instagram,” protests Craig, who may already be halfway into his first Bud Light of the morning, but who is also not wrong.

Kathryn’s voicemail is full. I imagine Kathryn’s voicemail is usually full — it would not surprise me to learn that Kathryn booted up her new iPhone for the first time to discover that her voicemail was somehow already full — but this is particularly bad timing, given that she’s been unreachable for the better part of a week and that most of the women of Southern Charm are scheduled to leave tomorrow for a girls’ trip that Kathryn herself personally and definitely not this show’s producers planned. (Kathryn, meanwhile, has repeatedly failed to recall the name of the place they’re going, or anything else beyond the fact that it involves tree houses.)

You probably don’t need me to remind you that, when Kathryn last went MIA, she’d stopped talking her antidepressants and found herself in a dark and difficult place. Fortunately, this time, Kathryn is seemingly well, having taken a spontaneous getaway to New York and Miami with the (state) senator. When a concerned Danni finally gets ahold of her, Kathryn is annoyed by the very suggestion that anyone else could possibly be annoyed that she hasn’t responded to their texts. God forbid her dumb idiot friends worry, plausibly, that she might have been experiencing a mental-health crisis.

But it is hard to harbor even a moment’s grudge against Kathryn when the confessional that follows depicts her puffing aggressively on a Juul — not to mention her truly museum-worthy cleavage, five-strand pearl choker, or electric-purple eyeshadow — and laughing about how dating an actual (state) senator is “a little bit of a fuck you” to Thomas “3.9%” Ravenel.

A brief sidebar concerning our newest cast member: Eliza and her boyfriend were on their way to the Bahamas on a friend’s private plane when he realized he’d forgotten his passport. They missed the flight — only for the plane to disappear over the ocean. That’s tragic, and genuinely horrifying. I am granting Eliza a temporary pass from my being rude to her, which means I am refraining from commenting on the [redacted] and the [redacted] she has chosen to wear this episode.

If your vacation is doomed to devolve into a slasher movie, at least let the first act be cozy. They may be all alone on 40 isolated acres without cell reception, but on the bright side, the luxury tree houses where Kathryn, Danni, Cameran, and Naomie will be staying have been furnished with fairy lights, antique mirrors and trunks, a telescope, a rotary phone, a record player, floofy white fur rugs, and distressed wood as far as the eye can see, like the Pinterest board Joanna Gaines would make after eating exactly one bite too many of a weed brownie.

At a tasting at a local winery that exclusively grows muscadine grapes (sweet berry wine!), Kathryn soberly sips juice and informs the group that Whitney kept his glasses on during sex, which isn’t the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard, but what can I say? It’s a slow week here on Southern Charm.

The women are served another bottle from the very same vineyard over dinner, but even Herb Ertlinger’s fruit wine can’t assuage Danni’s nerves. She’s spent the last half hour or so squirming violently (she looks how I feel when the optometrist insists on shooting a puff of air at my poor defenseless eyeball) because she has decided to call Kathryn out. About … accountability? I’m not exactly sure, and I don’t know that Danni — well-meaning as she is — is sure either.

“I just want to know more about Joe,” she segues artlessly, after Kathryn has just proceeded to tell them more about Joe. What Danni really wants to know is why she was MIA. She accuses Kathryn of “self-sabotaging,” but declines to name a single obligation her friend failed to meet while she was away. “I’m just living my fucking life, man” is the gist of Kathryn’s defense.

It is a fact that Kathryn has been through a lot. It is also a fact that she’s a notorious flake, readily acknowledged by her friends and Kathryn herself, whose impulses toward self-improvement have lately included Googling “how to organize time better.”

But if only through the foggy lens of a heavily edited reality show, it sure does seem like there’s something up with Kathryn lately. Take the $125,000 she recently spent on a Rolls-Royce, which Naomie tells Kathryn to her face was a “very foolish thing to do.”

Hoo boy. I’ll take a hefty pour of that sugar wine, please.

Southern Charm Recap: Out on a Limb