There’s no time for a preamble. No time for one of my signature pithy openers where I compare Ashley and her marriage to, like … I don’t know, Law & Order: SVU or something. You know those things I do. There’s NO TIME for talking about how all of the women have “fall outfits” complete with floppy hats and capes! There are multiple designer capes, but there’s no time for that! They’re all wearing their best Basic Bitch Autumn look, but Karen is covered from the waist up in Fendi logos! There’s absolutely NO TIME to talk about Candiace recording a remix to a song she sang to Chris at their wedding. I wish I had the time to talk about that, but there’s SO MUCH HAPPENING, so …
Let’s get to it.
WHAT IS HAPPENING with Ashley and Michael’s marriage? What on earth is going on there? They decide to head to lunch to have their conversation about his alleged cheating on-camera in a public place. Whenever I watch these shows, I always imagine what it would be like to be sitting a table over from these two maniacs. You’re just getting crab cakes and Manhattans with your bestie because she got a promotion at work when suddenly an old man and his suspiciously beautiful young wife sit down and order a Pacífico and a Corona. That would be enough to make me uneasy. But then they start talking in hushed tones and his suspiciously beautiful wife (seriously … has she been brainwashed or something? Is this a “See Something, Say Something” situation?) leans in and says, “You and I are not a very traditional couple.” Tell the bartender to come back in a minute, I GOTTA hear this.
So, let’s get into what Michael says happened. He says they took some of the dancers from the strip club to the casino, and one of the strippers asked him if he wanted to have fun in the hotel. Okay, first point of order: Who would look at Michael and ever say, He looks like he’d be someone I want to have fun with in the hotel room? Second point of order: This sounds like BULLSHIT. This is a man who ran off to a strip club after convincing his wife that she had to take the baby to Monique’s lake house. Do we really think that he was just along for the ride when it comes to the whole “stripper hangout” playdate?
So if we believe that Michael is telling the truth that the whole evening was the dancers’ idea, the next whopper is that Michael was so drunk that he just passed out when he got to the hotel room. COME ON. This is the “dog ate my homework” of adultery.
Ashley tries to impress upon him how he didn’t even think about her or Baby Dean, and the best thing Michael can say in return is this: “You’re right. I wasn’t considerate.” He also says that they “lost intimacy” and he was “craving and ready for intimacy.” So hold the absolute fuck on, my guy. Your wife pushed out a baby, ended up with more holes than she needed down there, and is currently breastfeeding, but you were ready for intimacy so you fell asleep with a stripper? This is a nightmare. This is the worst thing I can possibly think of. This would make me want to set him on fire. Just pull on his jacket so his scraggly chest hair catches on the candle on the table.
Even more confusingly, Ashley reminds him that they used to have threesomes. Umm … okay. I guess if you’re married to a weird ol’ perv and you’re very beautiful, you’re gonna end up in a threesome or two, but Ashley brings this up a couple times to do a couple things. To Michael, she brings it up to remind him that he’s got a freaky wife, and if he keeps this shitty behavior up, all the threesomes could go away. To the other ladies, she brings it up as if to say, “This doesn’t bother me because we’ve had threesomes.” You can agree to participate in some fun post–David Guetta concert activities but still consider your husband heading to a hotel suite with the ladies from P-Valley as infidelity.
Michael throws a fit, demands another beer, and refuses to keep talking about it on camera. A producer has to step in to remind him how great their honesty and openness is, and that sharing their lives on a reality show is what’s paying their bills.
Wow. That was. A LOT. Good thing we have Monique and her failing podcast business to fall back on. Imagine spending somewhere between $80,000 and $200,000 to get your podcast off the ground. There are stoned improvisers buying a microphone from Best Buy and calling it a day. Monique, start a better pyramid scheme! She’s having a live podcast event but has only sold 20 out of 300 tickets. That gave me a full cackle. As someone who has thrown a few shows and events, I’ve definitely had to cancel, but I was never on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Karen and Candiace are coming on this alleged new podcast to talk about the honeymoon phase being over. Monique is also obsessed with Candiace not going on a honeymoon and that somehow being a knock on her relationship. Monique also thinks that yelling at Candiace for five full hours at the lake house is going to guarantee her participation in her podcast.
Monique is also realizing very quickly that Chris doesn’t really view her as an equal partner. She’s more like a Betty Draper figure, where she thinks she’ll receive “support” from her “husband” but he’s much more interested in her “being at home and being pregnant.” He doesn’t really understand how or why it would take $200,000 to set up a podcast, and all Monique can say is “start-up costs.” He says if she’s not making money, she needs to shut it down. I hate to say it, but Chris is absolutely right.
Wendy and Gizelle are busy taking care of their story lines. Gizelle is stirring up shit with Robyn in what appears to be a knock-off Z Gallerie, and Wendy is repeating the words professor and po-LIT-i-CAL CAH-MEN-TA-TOR until they lose all meaning.
Ashley goes shopping with her mom, and her mom speaks in incredibly hushed tones about how awful Michael is. Michael needs to understand that there are consequences, and Ashley just says, “I’ve left him before. I’m not afraid to leave him.” Well … you got back together … so ………..
It’s time for the winery afternoon and my God. These women. IMAGINE BEING AT A RUSTIC, RECLAIMED TABLE WHEN THIS SHIT GOES DOWN. You and your gals trying to drink a Riesling in peace when these women start talking in unison and Candiace starts singing.
Before we can get to the start of the fight, Ashley comes in looking like Little Light-Skinned Riding Hood to let everyone know what’s going on with her marriage and Everyone. Has. Questions. Wendy’s question is just, “What is the truth Michael told you because ….?” Karen says, “None of us are buying it.” We are all Karen in this moment. Ashley says she believes he’s telling the truth because if he were lying and the truth came out, it would be worse for him. No man caught cheating thinks that way. Believe me. If they did, we would not have the entire musical oeuvre of Blu Cantrell or Reba McEntire.
Eventually, Candiace is a little tipsy and starts telling everyone how much she loves everyone, even Monique when she pretends to be asleep. Oh. Oh, no. Monique says, “I’m always awake. I’m always woke.” Ma’am. That’s not … that’s not what we’re doing. You were literally asleep. You are not always awake, unless to restore yourself you hang upside down with your bird at night.
Then the talking over each other begins. There are just a few snippets that stand out. “If you had kids, you would know what I went through to get the house ready” and “It was a façade of a friendship” and “MOM SHAMING!?!” “No, no. I’m holding my wine.” Candiace starts spinning around and mocking Monique for, again, falling asleep, and Monique starts to call her a Chia Pet. Suddenly hands are flying in people’s faces and hair is being flipped, and the camera zooms in on two Asian American ladies at another table staring in complete horror.
TO BE CONTINUED …