When you think about the best, most illustrious Housewives cities (I’m looking at you, New York and Atlanta), they’ve been successful for so long because the women still have no issue airing their filthy, dirty laundry on national television for all of us to judge. Ramona Singer, bred from the seventh circle of Hell, remains blissfully unaware that she ruined the reputation of herself and her family years ago. Kenya Moore and Nene Leakes both left and came back because they weren’t done fighting in caftans at random exotic resorts. It’s beautiful! It’s why we love this franchise!
Which brings me to Potomac. Thus far, the ladies have been a true breath of fresh air in the midst of the hellscape that is the year of our Lord 2020, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried. There’s been a lot of talking about talking. There’s been a lot of deflecting and leaving and running away. I cannot have Candiace going the way of Kyle Richards, who plots and schemes but doesn’t actually get in the dirt anymore because she’s become too self-aware. I do not want my Housewives to be self-aware!!!!! Ruin your life and the lives of those around you for my entertainment and pleasure!!!!! IT’S WHAT WE DESERVE!!!!!
I love my Potomac girls and this isn’t an emergency call as much as a little warning. I’m on guard, Potomac. Show your worth. You’re better than Kyle Richards.
We kick things off this week with Gizelle and her daughter Grace in a dance class together, which is weird because I thought there was still drama at Ashley’s Sip & See party. Remember that? Charisse had arrived, Monique left in a huff and nobody really wanted to acknowledge what was going on. Odd. Anyway, Gizelle wants to channel Rihanna and Lizzo, but she ends up looking like your drunk aunt after too much Chardonnay at the rehearsal dinner. Gizelle uses this time to dig deeper into why her daughters hate their father, as if there’s some riddle here. GIzelle, it’s because he sucks. Look, I solved it for you!
Karen and her “assistant” Matt meet up in her Pottery Barn catalogue of a home. Karen is throwing a housewarming party or something and, to announce the occasion, decides to make a member of Potomac’s community theater scene get dressed as a friar and sing for a video invitation. It’s all very depressing and I would bet my life that the poor man was paid in perfume.
Wendy and Robyn meet up with their sons for a picnic in a park that looks like someplace a teenage girl would get murdered in a horror movie. Karen brought a bunch of Gatorade and is tearing off the plastic with an incredible amount of difficulty and force. Relatable queen. Robyn brought margaritas in plastic bottles. RELATABLE QUEEN. I want to be at this park! I don’t care if I get murdered! The ladies transition to wine in plastic bottles and the topic turns to Candiace. Robyn starts to poke at the veneer of Candiace, whom Wendy still defends, but I think she’s starting to see the light, whether she wants to admit it or not. Wendy is way too smart (she has multiple degrees, I’m not sure if you’ve heard her mention) to ignore all these warnings. A few more terror park kikis and Wendy might be singing a different tune.
Ashley shows up for lunch with Candiace with baby Dean, a backpack and a stroller in tow. I think Ashley knows full well what she’s doing. Her motherhood, at least in this instance, is a suit of armor. Not even Candiace is brutal enough to attack a stressed out mother over kale salads in the middle of the afternoon. Ashley barges through the restaurant like a bull in a god damn china shop. I’m no parent, but perhaps it would have been….easier….to take….the baby….out of the stroller. Ashley eventually picks up Dean and starts going after Candiace. Suit of armor. It’s unreasonable to expect anybody, even Candiace, to clap back while Ashley is holding an infant who looks like a grown man. It’s just not realistic.
The ladies receive Karen’s housewarming video invitation and react with the embarrassment and shade that it deserves. There are two feuds brewing here: Karen & Wendy, and Gizelle & Candiace. The stuff between Karen and Wendy is very surface level. Karen is too passive aggressive and Wendy is too carefree to really have this amount to anything. Gizelle and Candiace, however, are two pitbulls and call me Michael Vick in the early 2000s, honey, because I’m ready to see them fight.
Monique gives us a glimpse into the nightly routine around her chaotic house, which acts as great inspiration to use protection. The kids are cute and all, but unless Monique really wants to get into the dirt and be upfront about what happened with Charisse, I’m fine to leave her children to brush their teeth off camera and off my television screen. Monique and Chris are stuck in what they call “a rut” and what I call a “loveless marriage.” Chris expects sex if he lifts a finger for his wife and, while I don’t claim to be any sort of expert about straight relationships, that sure as hell doesn’t sit right with me. This is no environment for T’Challa to grow up in.
Now it’s time for Candiace and Chris to sit in a disgusting park and talk about their issues. Nothing makes for a lovely afternoon with your significant other like deviled eggs in the middle of a field. The two talk about why Candiace is hesitant to have children. She says she’s worried about making the same mistakes as her mother, while I think she’s subconsciously concerned about breeding with a man who has a barbed wire tattoo around his leg. I do think there’s genuine love between these two and it’s actually kind of sweet. I can’t even imagine what Candiace would be like at this point in her life without a husband to wrangle her in from time to time.
Gizelle’s friend Kal comes to visit and already has more chemistry with her daughters than their own father. Gizelle tries to have a conversation about how irrational her daughters are being about Jamal being back in the picture, but Kal shuts that down immediately with grace, insight and humility. Why is everybody in Gizelle’s life so smart and why is she so stubborn? Kal is over here giving wise relationship advice while combing out Gizelle’s nasty Tina Turner wig. He’s Potomac’s own Truvy Jones. Pay attention to your friends and family, Gizelle!
It’s the day of Karen’s housewarming party, which is apparently meant to convince her husband Ray to have sex with her again, but will obviously just push him even further away. Karen criticizes Gizelle for not having Jamal with her, which is rich coming from a woman who, once again, is throwing an extravagant party in the hopes that her husband will go down on her.
The party is all fun, games and pleasantries! Robyn shows up with pizza! Ashley is drinking her Corona Light! There are weird acrobats in the backyard to whom nobody is paying any attention! But then it’s time for the pitbulls. Candiace pulls GIzelle aside and wants to apologize, attempting to insinuate that calling her new home a “$900,000 cabin” was not her way of being messy. Candiace will tell you that the sky ain’t blue and really make you start to question if it’s green up there. Gizelle, being the ferocious canine that she is, doubles down and tells Candiace she shouldn’t have told Wendy she was a monster. Candiace essentially says “yes, I called you a monster and no, it wasn’t meant to be hurtful, girl!” This woman is an artist.
I appreciate Gizelle holding Candiace accountable, but where is this fire and passion when it comes to Jamal? Maybe we just aren’t seeing it on camera, but Gizelle really seems to tone it down when it comes to her relationship. You know, the man who cheated on her and whom her daughters and friends despise? Show those teeth with your man, too! I JUST WANT THE BEST FOR YOU, GIZELLE.
As the party is winding down, Karen slips away and emerges, for some God forsaken reason, dressed as Beyonce in the “APESHIT” video. In the immortal words of Tiffany “New York” Pollard, “Beyonce, sweetie, I’m so sorry.” None of this makes any sense, made even more confounding and awkward based on the fact that Ray is nowhere in sight. Karen really organized this entire party so she could do some dollar store cosplay and maybe get licked by her husband for a couple minutes.
The women are all in decent spots with each other at the moment. I admire the Potomac ladies because most of them can get to a “I like you, but I don’t trust you” place and be cool with it. There’s rarely an exhausting, drawn-out saga about a disagreement that doesn’t go anywhere (see: Teddi Mellencamp, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”). They talk, they compromise, they move on. You had me a little concerned, Potomac.
I should have known better.