Seriously, guys? I step away from Southern Charm for just a few episodes (and a huge thanks to once and future intern Squire Molly O. Fitzpatrick for filling in) and you go and let Eliza Limehouse happen. No one wants Eliza. Kathryn, particularly, looks at Eliza like a diabetic looks at a stack of Oreo cookies. They tried to get us to care about Eliza once before, and we were all like, “It’s a no from me, dawg.” Eliza brings nothing to the table except the energy of a toddler’s comfort blanket that has been left outside in the rain.
I don’t care that her father was in a cheating scandal. I don’t care that she has a boyfriend who is 14 years older than her and a dead ringer for her father, in a case of Freudian issues that even someone who failed Intro to Psychology at a Mississippi community college could recognize. I don’t care that she almost got on a plane that crashed. I don’t care about any of that. I care that Eliza goes to a party where there is a whole lot of drunken shenanigans and ridiculous fighting and she stands out in the cold holding a small dog and shivering like Roxxxy Andrews when her mother left her at a bus stop when she was 5. She clearly does not have what it takes to be on TV. Eliza, like fetch, is something we need to stop trying to make happen.
Phew. Glad I got that out. Most of this episode has little to do with Eliza because, well, life has little to do with Eliza. Mostly we deal with two Craigs, as Shep and Cameran drive out to a dog breeder to pick up Little Craig, Shep’s new French bulldog. Of course Shep did not get a rescue dog. Of course he went to a breeder. Shep can be such a snob that he only wants the dog equivalent of someone who went to an exclusive boarding school. On the way there, he and Cameran talk about how Shep called Austen’s (ex?) girlfriend Madison a “white-trash hairdresser,” which is about the meanest thing Shep could possibly say about her. Then Cameran says about the meanest thing I’ve possibly ever heard about Shep: “Sometimes when you’re an entitled person you kind of feel about even fixing yourself.” That stings worse than stepping on a jellyfish when no one has to pee.
Shep picks up his dog and of course he is adorable. I feel like this dog is a bad move for Shep. Not only does he lack the responsibility to take care of another thing, it also seems too small for him. Should Shep have a golden retriever or a Labrador or something? He needs something that’s going to run down the beach with him, not just lie on the couch and snore. (Honestly, most of what Shep probably does is lie on the beach and snore.)
Shep commemorates Little Craig’s arrival by taking him for a photo shoot at a studio that seems to specialize in doggy photo shoots. They even have a little bowl of treats for the canine models. How is this even a business? Are there that many dog owners out there that want to take their pets to this Sears Paw-traits Studio? I’ve never had a dog, but that just seems insane to me. The things we’ll waste our money on.
Speaking of which, Kathryn and Naomie go to a group hypnosis meditation center where a woman whispers to them that they are worthy and strong women and tells them to relax and then wakes them up with a virtual splash of cold water to their faces. I don’t doubt the power of hypnosis (and had a hell of a time with an erotic hypnotist once), but this seems like a very dubious business model. From what I know of the practice, it’s hard to do on a mass scale, unless that is what both Taylor Swift and Lisa Vanderpump have been secretly doing to their stans for years. But it makes Kathryn and Naomie feel good, so I guess they get their money’s worth.
What Naomie is worried about is Craig and, honestly, we should all be worried about Craig. He displays some very disturbing behavior, particularly at Cameran’s 35th birthday party. This party, an oyster roast, is serving some seriously disgusting-looking food and features Austen eating something that looks like a boiled cow’s ball hanging out of the bottom of a shell. Cameran gets wasted, runs around her backyard, and generally proves to herself that she’s a little bit cooler than she maybe feels. Good for her.
Craig shows up in a huff. He’s mad at Austen for something that happened the day before. According to Craig, Austen invited him out to a bar where Austin was hanging with some friends of his. As soon as Craig got there, Austen went home and left Craig in the company of his guests, who Craig didn’t know. What is the big deal? Craig, presumably, wanted to go out not only to hang out with his friend but also meet new people. Austen forced him into that situation.
What Craig seems to be upset about is that Austen left because Chelsea told him to be home by 11. Why Chelsea told him that, or why Austen wanted to be home early, is not clear (maybe so he would make it on time to Cameran’s party?), so it’s hard to judge this entire situation. But it is clear that Craig is overreacting and his shouting across the party elicits little sympathy and instead just has everyone cracking up. Craig is clearly upset that Austen’s ex-girlfriend is ordering him around, something that Craig can’t stand because of how he feels about Naomie.
Shep and Austen tell Cameran and the rest of the crew that their cast trip is going to be to Colorado. Naomie tells Kathryn and Danni that she doesn’t want to go. “Why would I go on a trip with my ex-boyfriend?” she asks. Um, Naomie, why would you be on a show with your ex-boyfriend? Naomie says that Craig clearly isn’t over her and she is afraid of how his erratic behavior toward her will manifest itself. That is a valid point. But if she doesn’t want to be around it, maybe she should not, you know, continue to be on the cast of a show that is going to drive her within shouting distance of him on a regular basis. Clearly Craig needs to get over it, but if Naomie really wants him out of her life, she could cut him off entirely. She chooses not to do so.
Cameran, Kathryn, and Danni tell Craig that Naomie doesn’t want to go on the trip with him, and that is when (a clearly wasted) Craig really freaks out. He starts by saying, “We can’t go on a trip together because we never closed anything. She just wants to pretend like it never happened.” That actually sounds true, but if Naomie refuses to end it in a way that is satisfactory to Craig, then Craig needs to close it off in a way that will let him heal and move on. He decides not to do that on a daily basis by focusing on pillow designs that never manifest themselves.
Kathryn tells Craig that Naomie doesn’t want to be around him because he’s not over her and she’s not sure what he’ll do, which is valid. Craig responds something like, “I think she doesn’t want to be around me because it reminds me of how good she used to have it and that makes her upset.” Um, Craig. Sorry, but Naomie’s new boyfriend Mehtul is an insanely hot doctor who listens to her, doesn’t fly off the handle (that we’ve seen), and seems like he’ll have a stable and very successful future. Craig has, what? A house with no holes in the wall? Probably not. Naomie has clearly upgraded and seems very happy in her decision, something Craig thinks is false.
The women tell him that Naomie is very happy and she says she can’t be. Mehtul can’t go to weddings with her because he’s working. He can’t jet off for two weeks in the south of France because he has to save lives. How could she possibly be happy with a boyfriend like that? It’s a ridiculous argument. Craig is saying that he’s a better partner because he literally has nothing going on in his life. That seems to be the opposite of true. Instead, he tells the women that they’re lying to him about Naomie being happy and slams the door on them.
Somewhere nearby, Eliza was still standing under the flood lights in Cameran’s back yard holding Little Craig in her arms. She could feel his warmth around the center of her body and the cold everywhere else. She could feel the weight of every exhale as he sunk into the sling she made for him. Slowly she patted his head and stared out into the blackness of the nearby water. Maybe something out there had the answer for her. Maybe something inside had the answer for her. No, that couldn’t be true. Maybe she should just go talk to Craig instead.