Last week I finished my summary by explaining how irresponsibly I was thinking Potomac was achieved this season by lumping together discussions of all forms of sexual indiscretion with equal severity. As time progresses – both in the episodes and in real life – I only become more convinced of this fact. Listen, I completely understand that in order for the story to move forward, there must be core conflicts. But when does everyone involved in a production look around and wonder if it’s gone too far?
Ashley couldn’t even pretend to give Wendy a reasonable reason for wrecking their event, other than “I’m Gizelle’s minion and that’s why I felt like it.” We now have Candiace applauding homophobic smacks as a retaliatory insult for Ashley’s insinuation that Chris might be cheating or intends to cheat (again, I don’t feel like we should all suddenly be acting like these husbands are overdoing it because Gizelle has taken this conversation to a dark place). In the long-awaited standoff between Gizelle and Candiace, Lady Bryant resumes her little Mike Pence performance about being with married men with a dash of comfortable amnesia. (“If he said that, then he knew it was inappropriate.”) The conversation quickly moves from Candiace, who fairly indicates that Gizelle is going out of her way to humiliate her, hysterically claiming that she is the reason people can’t come forward with sex-related assault allegations.
It’s also completely absurd that Gizelle refutes this in a confessional by calling herself a “lawyer” while continuing to repeat slightly different versions of the story surrounding her issue with Chris. Is it endorsement when almost none of the cast – except Candiace, who was surprisingly dismissive – appears to have acknowledged the seriousness of complaints from a former Juan Dixon player at Coppin State alleging sexual assault, extortion and blackmail by Dixon’s assistant coach, with minimal support from Juan? In short, this winery trip was a major embarrassment, and I have no idea why Wendy would let Ashley set up behind her back in her car instead of forcing her to trade places with Candiace, but apparently the winery is where the mind goes for this throng of women goes out the window.
Ashley finally realizes that she won’t take a sympathetic slur from being faithful to her ex-husband, so she prepares a scene where she visits a lawyer to say on camera what she already knows for sure: that she must hire a forensic accountant and not trust the random paperwork that Michael creates and tells her to sign. Ashley is nowhere near as somber as she pretends when it comes to finances; This is the same woman who got Michael to agree to draft a post-nup and renegotiate the terms of the marriage on camera. I am sure that while she is trying to spend legal fees out of her own pocket, she is purposely sending a signal to Mr. Darby that she will pull that trigger if need be; Her talents for strategic mayhem don’t just wreak havoc among her peers. This episode is also not the first time she’s heard allegations against Darby involving men, if not this particular escort by name.
Mia coordinates the trip to Miami, which we already know will end in disaster when Mia throws a drink in Wendy’s face. Getting a little more insight into Mia and Jacqueline’s relationship history – Jacqueline’s mother encouraged her and the two went together to see Mia’s father in the hospital when he died in prison – it’s really tragic that whatever last year happened caused them not to be able to speak at all now. However, it’s hard to maintain a soft spot for Mia when she’s about as consistent as my training schedule. For all her supposed opulence, she will intentionally create an incongruous bedroom situation. Mia doesn’t like Wendy, which is fine, but her seeming need for it does legitimize that falls flat on me. Wendy’s just a little cheesy and that’s okay; She’s not clearly any more condescending than Mia, who puts her class status above everyone else and constantly pokes fun at mediocre accommodations or wardrobe.
I find that most criticisms of Wendy fall flat, both within the cast and among viewers; She’s no more or less everywhere than Robyn, who went from flipping houses to selling hats and podcasts, or Gizelle, who wrote books and sold perfumes and hid her personal life from the public so she could play the sacred role. Ashley is out here doing TikToks in an airport lounge so she doesn’t jump back on this sentient corpse she calls a spouse; Karen makes tourism videos and promotes peanuts while also selling candles and perfumes. Someone just can don’t click for people you don’t have to have a reason for it; But you’re not going to pretend Charrisse is an amateur just because you can’t stand Wendy. Not in my America.
Speaking of everywhere, now that Chris is taking his grievances against Gizelle and Ashley to social media, and Candiace has decided not to discourage his reactions, Robyn has come to the conclusion that she privately agrees with her best friend that the Bassetts are going too far go, and revealed it during a shopping spree with Ashley and Gizelle. Gizelle has now decided that she came to Candiace in peace at the winery and that Candiace is exaggerating the situation to her husband, which is an unbalanced portrayal of the actual course of events – but facts have clearly become irrelevant as we do too Gizelle and Robyn know how to dress for a girls outing.
To Mia’s credit, she’s taking the women to a location outside of the Maryland and Virginia area because I was concerned that this year they would just go to Delaware and rent a house in Rehoboth, and I would have had to march to 30 Cradle me and demand answers. (Well, I would have just taken the train.) Karen is pissed that she was tricked into participating in this all-cast trip, which isn’t strictly a celebration of her 59th birthday (are we sure about that number?) , although only Mia promised her that she would be taken care of, which really just means a nice birthday dinner. Charisse is pissed that she’s stuck with a bedroom with no ensuite bathroom, but that’s exactly what she gets when she tries to play coy about room accommodation, knowing some people would be made up. Still hurting that Candiace made her own personal affairs public, Ashley decides to get her revenge by playing an incredibly childish prank about room assignments that I’m sure will end horribly for her. Robyn and Gizelle can’t complain about the size of their shared room, and instead complain about (1) the location, which is further north on the harbor rather than directly on South Beach, and (2) that they only have one restroom. In that case, like Charrisse and secure your own hotel accommodation, but we both know Bravo won’t offer them any money for that.
Next week the women are all going to dinner and Peter Thomas is involved and Mia throws Wendy a drink and hits her with a purse – but somehow I don’t think we’re going to spend the rest of the day is a bully and unsafe for the group. I really wonder how long viewers are going to pretend that colorism isn’t an important factor in the dynamics of the show. Until then.
• Karen’s new confessional look looks like Tina Turner ran through a deep fryer. Bless her heart with all the tanning and bleaching; The least the producers could have done, however, is pull her wig forward a little.
• Mia poking fun at Charrisse’s false pretentiousness made me laugh because they really are the same kind of kitsch in different fonts. Saying, “I love that her lashes slide off her face half the time and she doesn’t care” made me scream.
• Why did all these people say this escort’s name so openly when they knew they had to page it?
• Wendy sounded so ridiculous when she insisted that “the professor in her” knows that a tip can only apply to the north end. It literally just means the edge of something, no cardinal point required.
• Gizelle likes to continue like Erika Jayne RHOBH and allude to a personal life she will never show us on camera. I understand Sherman embarrassed them, but respectfully: if you don’t include these men in your story, stop bringing them up. At least Ashley is out here doing TikToks at Luke’s house and getting involved with the bit.