By Guest Contributor Becky J.
I’m late for the #RHOP party this week because I’ve been on vacation. I’m embarrassed to admit that coming home to my recliner and loaded DVR is almost as much fun as my trip. I needed that aromatherapy massage to face the first scene of Gizelle curling her dirty hair. What? She told us last episode that her hair is only good on Thursdays after the salon! Clearly this was filmed on a Wednesday.
She’s FaceTiming with her new kinda-boyfriend, Kevin, who she refers to as a “safe bet” cuz that’s romantic. Later, they go on a date and he is super shiny and jokingly tries to order a “Bill Cosby” (too soon/too sleazy). Gizelle’s dating life is boring and desperate. She says she just wants somebody with a few dollars to take her “outta this whole dating game” (Read: crappy rental house). Proof that winning the genetic lottery in the looks department and spending some money to stay well-preserved can only take you so far.
Karen and her mole are rattling around her big empty house, wearing full makeup and lashes with a ballcap. She leaves a pathetic, rambling voicemail for her daughter Rayven, who is away at college. A clip from last season shows Rayven obviously DYING to escape from her mother. I don’t blame her.
Then we’re at Ashley and Michael’s restaurant, Oz. Ashley is behind the bar pouring a couple of shots and oversharing about her daddy issues to a customer/cameraman. Total shocker since she’s married to a dude with kids her age. Despite the creepy husband, I still find Ashley to be one of the more relatable cast members. At least she doesn’t immediately make me want to rip my own face off to avoid watching. So, then Robyn and Charrisse roll up.
Ashley tries to sell them on the emu and camel meat and Charisse is suddenly a vegetarian. Over “dinner” the topic of this week’s charity event comes up. Because. Potomac. Turns out it’s Katie Rost’s long-lost Casino Royale party. Arrrgh! Just when I thought we were rid of crazy Katie. Charrisse complains that she tried to help plan the event and I’m lit-erally almost asleep because this storyline was boring last season and now it’s downright stale.
The conversation bounces off the Charrisse/Gizelle feud and shifts quickly to Charrisse announcing dramatically that she’s going to be getting a divorce. Ashely and Robyn pretend to be surprised and sympathetic. Hasn’t Charrisse announced she was splitting up from her husband on every other episode for the entire life of the show? The bright spot is Charrisse sharing how her slightly slutty alter-ego “Cha-Cha” is really helping her through this trying time. Because, “you gotta have a pole name.” Words to live by.
Everybody is getting ready for the Casino Royale party. Juan Dixon is shown being fitted for a custom suit, but he suspiciously never actually makes it to the event. Robyn claims he had a last-minute “wardrobe malfunction” which is fishier than the neptune station. The party starts off slow and sloppy and everybody throws polite shade about how Katie sucks. We are introduced to the new housewife, Monique Samuels, and her retired NFL husband Chris. My first impression is that Monique is everything I want in a housewife: pretty, sassy and actually rich, not just pretending for the cameras. Speaking of pretending, Gizelle comes late and makes a big deal about avoiding Charrisse. So boring.
Then, we are treated to the real highlight of the evening: an a-capella tribute to the Jackson Five performed by a bizarre trio wearing hideous Goodwill bell-bottoms I can only assume are supposed to pass for fun 1970s outfits. The singing is mediocre and it’s fun to watch people pretend to like it. The connection between these weird performers and the charity is overtly missing, which I can only assume was a gift from the TV gods an editing mistake. It’s deliciously ridiculous. Think Vicki and Shannon drunkenly dancing an irish jig.
At the casino event, Monique, Robyn and Charrisse make plans to work out together and Karen invites Robyn over to talk about the Gizelle/Charrisse situation. Good for Robyn for dominating the episode. She’s not entirely annoying and has good style. In contrast, Karen is inexplicably rocking a floppy tan hat indoors the day Robyn comes over. She’s also muttering under her breath about how she needs her husband to help her open a plastic container. Eye roll. They decide to play pool while they “strategize” (Karen’s word). Karen baits Robyn into talking about how Gizelle is more at fault than Charrisse. Then she acts shocked that Robyn would blatantly state facts (gasp, facts!) and files it away under her giant hat to throw back at Robyn later. Karen plans to get all the ladies together for a formal tea to settle their differences.That should be fun.
Ashley and Michael are celebrating their second wedding anniversary with homemade smoothies and awkward conversation. Ashley wants a baby and Michael insists that they have a verbal contract that the restaurant (which he is sabotaging by insisting on serving emu and camel) has to break even before they procreate. It seems the shine of his trophy wife has worn off and he’s realizing he doesn’t want more kids because he’s old.
Meanwhile, Robyn meets Monique and Charrisse for a barre workout. Monique brings her assistant and some cocktails because that’s how she rolls apparently. Monique doesn’t even break a sweat, talking about how her 9,000 square foot house isn’t big enough for her family of four and I’m getting a little bit of a Dorit vibe, but not enough to hate her yet.
Everybody arrives at Karen’s high tea wearing too many accessories and Gizelle immediately starts trying to tear Monique apart for being younger, hotter and richer. Monique responds by being fabulous and freestyle rapping. She can actually flow. Watch out Cha-Cha, there’s another MC in DC! The action shifts to Charrisse and Gizelle and in a shocking turn of events, Gizelle completely admits fault and apologizes. Thank gawd because I already forgot to care why they were arguing.
Karen isn’t willing to let her tea party pass without a heaping spoonful of drama, so she decides to call Robyn out for talking behind Gizelle’s back at the pool/strategy session. Her attempt falls flat. Later, on WWHL, Gizelle calls Karen out on being “extra messy” and for once, I agree with Gizelle about something.