The Real Housewives of Potomac
Bon Dia! We waste no time on this episode of Real Housewives of The City of Portugal and dive right back into a conversation as to whether or not Jamal lives on Gizelle’s phone. While we settled this last week (he does and it’s fine), Karen “My name is Angelica Schuyler” Huger will never be “Satisfied,” and won’t let it go, continuing to press Gizelle about it. “He ain’t here,” Karen says, looking around at the table suspiciously even though none of the husbands were invited because it’s a girls trip. Are Gizzy and Jamal the Eliza Schuyler and Alexander Hamilton of mega churches — a prominent couple where the man is away a lot and cheats on his wife and ultimately doesn’t care if anyone knows? Discuss amongst yourselves while I daydream about Gizelle singing “Burn.”
Someone who’s truly not throwing away her shot(s) is Wen-Day, who’s way more fun when she’s drunk on poncha. Karen, who refuses to drink on this trip because when she gets drunk she says things like “I have the most beautiful tan clitoris,” (which, if true, then good for you girl!) decides to leave Gizelle alone and come for Robyn for no reason whatsoever, asking when her and Juan Dixon are going to tie the knot again. Basketball Ex-Wife Robyn says that she doesn’t want to make Juan Dixon “jump through hoops” to get married and that the “ball is in his court,” which would be punny if it weren’t so sad. She also says that she would never propose to a man even though she’s basically forcing Juan Dixon to re-propose to her, so in effect she is kind of proposing to him. Antiquated gender norms win again!
After guzzling her drink, Ashley Darby announces that the producers have decided that the ladies will toboggan down the mountain. I was under the impression that you needed snow to toboggan, but now realize that is actually for bobsledding. Unrelatedly, I would love to see a Cool Runnings remake with the Potomac housewives. Tobogganing brings out the fight or flight instinct in all of the women, and unsurprisingly their instinct is “flight.” These women aren’t into Extreme Sports they’re into Extreme Shade, which should be included in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Despite their fears, the ladies toboggan down the mountain, and while it looks slightly dangerous it also looks hella fun, sort of like what I imagine jet skiing on the Hudson River must be like. “We’re tobogganing in Portland,” screams Karen, before realizing that they were neither in the Pacific Northwest nor New England, but a European country. Geography is not her strong suit and that’s okay.
“I literally thought I was going to die,” Candiace says after their ride at the bottom of the mountain. Cue Dakota Johnson on Ellen meme: Actually. that’s not true, Candiace. That is a lie. You may have been scared, but there is no way you thought you were going to die on this fun and popular tourist attraction. I am not a stickler for people who overuse the word literally because I literally do it all the time (ha!), but this is ridiculous. This is my problem with Candiace: in her little world, everything is exaggerated beyond belief. Everything cannot be life or death. It can’t all be “the most” or “the worst.” But maybe if Candiace thought she was going to die tobogganing, then she really did think she was in grave danger during the Great Barn Brawl of 2019? Or, more likely, maybe Candiace’s sense of danger needs to be recalibrated.
Once the sizzle reel for Cool Runnings has ended, the ladies make their way to an amazing market where Gizelle buys the ugliest clothing item she can find, of course. Gizelle, where on earth are you going to wear a straw hat that says “Madeira” on it? To church with
Hamilton Jamal? At the market, Gizelle calls out Karen for almost blowing up Juan Dixon’s spot at lunch regarding his forthcoming re-proposal to Robyn, or as I call it, Engagement 2: Electric Boogaloo. In Karen’s defense, she didn’t know that it was actually happening, she’s just been putting together clues like the Sherlock Holmes that she is. Once she gets vague confirmation from Gizelle that the proposal is happening, she promptly exits the conversation, swishing her “poom poom” to and fro now that she’s gotten what she wanted from Gizelle. Messy Gizzy is left to stand alone in the market, bewildered, letting out a cry of “Sheesh Monetti” having been bested by Ms. Huger once again. Tony Shaloub stars as “Sheesh Monetti” in Engagement 2: Electric Boogaloo, coming to a theater near you never.
Before a sensible 7:30 p.m. dinner, Messy Gizzy decides it’s time to haze the new girl and concocts an elaborate scheme full of bells and whistles to prank Dr. Wendy and her four degrees. JK, they’re going to put some fake tarantulas and snakes in her bed and just sort of see what happens. Some real tea: I know that Gizelle takes initiations very seriously because she was in the same sorority as my aunt at Hampton University (Hi, Aunt Nanette!) which happens to be Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc. This is the same sorority that our Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, pledged before briefly dating Montel Williams and then making history. In any case, just know that line master Gizzy is reporting for duty and ready to scare the blue blazes out of pledge Wendy Osefo as she tries to join the world’s best sorority, Rho Heta Omicron Psi (RHOP).
We finally get to the main event of the episode: Ashley Darby v. Candiace. After ordering her meal while using the royal “we,” Candiace casts the first stone at Ashley Darby by bringing up her ripped asshole out of the blue. Yes, she was technically trying to say something “nice” about what she’s learned about motherhood from the other women, but she still brought up Ashley’s torn anus when she could have mentioned… anything else. For her part, Ashley Darby is completely, almost disturbingly unfazed by Candiace making her ravaged butthole the centerpiece of the dinner conversation. She says “Yeah,” but what Ashley Darby really says is the following: Yes. My asshole ripped right down the middle while I gave birth to my beautiful little boy. It practically split in two. My butthole will probably never be the same again. And what of it? That’s some hard-ass shit right there.
Candiace continues by vaguely gesturing at The Great Barn Brawl of 2019 as the inspiration for her to become a mother, which absolutely does not make sense to me. How does provoking someone to beat the shit out of you make you go, You know what? I think I’m ready for a child of my own. I don’t get it. If you do, please illuminate me. I don’t pretend to understand these women, I just love them unconditionally. Something about Candiace being baby crazy broke Ashley Darby, as she dredged up perhaps the darkest moment in her past with Candiace: the period where Candiace was criticizing Ashley and Michael Darby’s response to Ashley’s miscarriage. While Candiace’s callousness regarding Ashley Darby’s miscarriage isn’t entirely relevant to the present conversation, it’s certainly something I wouldn’t expect Ashley to just get over because Candiace offered her a half-assed apology a season and a half ago. However, the other women, specifically Gizelle and Robyn, clearly feel differently as they turn on Ashley Darby for bringing up the fact that she’s still hurt by the fact that Candiace couldn’t say the simple words “I’m sorry” after kicking Ashley at what was perhaps her lowest moment in life.
Candiace’s inability to just apologize is truly maddening to behold. Watching her struggle to string together a sentence that sounds something akin to an apology without ever saying the words “I’m sorry” was almost as crazy as watching Republicans claim that we had a fraudulent election. Kind of funny, but deeply crazy behavior. Karen realizes it’s getting a wee bit awkward, so she decides to take her fist sip of the bubbly all trip long and talk about herself. She opens up about what Ray needs in the boudoir, which now, thanks to Watch What Happens Live!, we know involves Ray role playing as Zorro with Karen as his damsel in distress. Honestly, I think it makes much more sense the other way around, with Karen as Zorro and Ray as the damsel in distress. Imagine Karen in an all-black leather Zorro outfit with Ray lying helpless on the bed in a lacy pink bustier. Now that’s hot.
Anyway, while Karen’s sex life is a welcome diversion, it’s not enough to distract from the fires reigniting between Candiace and Ashley. It’s hilarious that the only way the women can even kind of defend Candiace is by acknowledging that she’s a terrible person. “You used to act like this,” Gizelle says, chastising Ashley while pointing directly at Candiace, referencing Candiace’s penchant for causing drama. “She will do that to anyone. That’s a character flaw,” Robyn says, defending Candiace by making excuses for her various social media attacks. Everyone at this dinner is bashing Candiace left and right in order to criticize Ashley, yet Candiace sits there and takes it because ultimately they’re on her side, and that’s what matters to her. As Ashley Darby softly tries to hold Candiace accountable for the pain she’s caused in the past, the women stop her at every turn with a different variation of Well, Candiace is a bad person. That’s just who she IS. She can’t HELP it. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to feel bad for Michael Darby(’s wife).
The only good thing about the ladies holding Ashley Darby to a higher standard than Candiace is that Wendy literally can’t contribute anything because all of this drama happened in previous seasons. Dr. Wendy can only sit silently and look concerned, with no opportunity to bring up a degree in sight. Ultimately Candiace, who refuses to go backwards or look inwards, is able to muster the strength of character to give the smallest littlest teensy weensy bit of of something approaching an apology. She begins the apology by saying, “For whatever pain or hurt I caused you and your family,” which is code for “I’m sorry you feel that way” which is (say it with me) NOT. AN. APOLOGY. But it’s enough for Ashley, so I’ll guess we’ll take it…
After dinner, Operation Haze Dr. Wendy is in full swing, with Gizelle, Robyn, and Ashley going up to the room to lay their traps while Karen and Candiace distract Wendy at the bar. Honestly, part one, where Gizelle, Karen and Candiace pop out of the closet, is a huge dud, but part two does deliver, as Dr. Wendy seems legitimately scared. Also, it’s fun to see the ladies watch the footage of Wendy finding the fake tarantulas and snake in realtime. It’s kind of like they’re on MTV’s Room Raiders and Wendy was doing the blacklight test. Was Wendy’s snake scream as funny as her T’Challah scream? No. But even so, it cannot be denied that Wendy is a top-notch screamer. Imagine if instead of going into academia, Wendy became a horror film actress instead. Neve Campbell is shaking.
The next morning comes and the ladies break off into tiny groups to debrief the night before. Gizelle sits by pool side and is joined by Robyn, who has just received the photos from the Embellish hat photoshoot. Robyn goes full Tyra-mode and decides that one of the housewives is no longer in the running to become America’s Next Top Embellished Hat Model and that housewife is Karen. Robyn says Karen’s pictures are “challenging” for her, and proceeds to call Karen old, dowdy, and not cool without ever exactly saying those words. Honestly, Robyn’s hats are so unflattering that I thought Karen looked just as bad in them as everyone else, but I digress. The best revelation from Robyn and Gizzy’s poolside chat is that one time while intoxicated Karen allegedly said, and I quote, that she “hates Ray’s dick.” What an absolutely wild thing to say about your husband while filming a reality television program. Poor Ray-Ray is 75 years old and people are talking about his dick on national TV. I’m gonna go on record and say, I’m sure Ray Huger has a fine dick. Would I like to see it? No. But I’m sure it is just as fine as Karen’s allegedly beautiful tan clitoris.
Meanwhile, Karen has a heart to heart with Candiace, making sure they’re on good terms. Karen is absolutely Queens Gambit-ing the shit out of this season, staring at the ceiling moving these women around like chess pieces. Ashley joins Robyn and Gizelle to let them know she’s already written a damning character assessment about Candiace Dillard. Ashley defends her decision to help Monique by mentioning that Monique might go to jail, to which Gizelle definitively says “She’s not going to jail. Let’s be clear.” Ummm, when did Gizelle become judge and jury? Do you have a J.D. hiding under that caftan, Gizzy? Or did you borrow one of Wendy’s degrees and use it to become a lawyer? I’ve watched enough true crime documentaries to know that you never know what could happen in the justice system, especially to a Black woman. Robyn, however, is making some sense, by questioning why Monique would ask her to write a damaging statement about Candiace instead of a positive one about Monique. But Ashley Darby is loyal and she’ll help Monique, even if that means hurting Candiace.
They say a watched pot never boils, but from the looks of it, it’s bubbling over next week in Portugal. TO BE CONTINUED.