Claustrophobia (n): extreme or irrational fear of confined places.
We’re still at Monique’s lake house and I’m starting to lose my mind. There’s a yapping bird, a crying baby and enough tracksuits to fill the Guggenheim. And now…the husbands. Lord, grant me serenity.
Things begin, however, with the proverbial shoe that refuses to drop: the new cheating allegations against Ashley’s husband Michael. For whatever reason, this information refuses to be anything other than the elephant in whatever room these women find themselves in. Candiace and Gizelle, who both claim they’re being weighed down by the burden of this secret, have clearly never been happier about anything in their lives. They chuckle and whisper like two school girls who are about to take down their mortal enemy.
With a fire raging outside, Gizelle and Candiace finally force Ashley to read text messages about her husband cheating on her on national television. Ashley receives the news with the stonewalled face of a woman who has been forced to reckon with news like this before. It’s sad, because she knows her husband is a sack of shit. But she has too many plates spinning at the moment to do anything about it. Gizelle and Candiace, meanwhile, manage to get credit for gleefully exposing this on camera, but not in front of the other ladies. Masterful execution.
To be honest, who cares about Michael when we can talk about Fireball Drunk Karen™ instead? Fireball Drunk Karen™ has the energy of a woman who’s ready to throw her life away and invest in hovercrafts while living off the grid in Arizona. Fireball Drunk Karen™ has based her entire personality on something a roadside psychic told her in 1978. Fireball Drunk Karen™ has killed six men. The energy of that smoky, boozed-soaked basement was erotic.
Monique’s husband Chris arrives and is immediately forced to fight for attention with his wife’s bird. At first, I thought T’Challa was just Monique trying to have a personality. But I now firmly believe that Monique would sacrifice her husband and children ahead of her parrot. Chris drops the bombshell of the episode: JUAN ISN’T COMING TO THE LAKE HOUSE. Why have the husbands and partners show up if Juan won’t be joining?! That’s like promoting a Destiny’s Child reunion, but only LaTavia and LeToya show up! Get these men out of here if I don’t get to stare at Juan!
Over bacon and mimosas, Monique complains about the sidebar conversation between Ashley, Gizelle and Candiace the night before. Ashley, seemingly unfazed by the fact that her husband has been cheating on her again, volunteers up the information to the rest of the group. See, this is why Candiace is so good at playing the game! She gets to be labeled as a good guy for the way she handled the news, but obviously it was going to spread. It only took 12 hours!
Monique, looking to unleash the demonic energy that controls her life, cannot let anything go and slips into a sheer rage about a few grown women refusing to sit around her bonfire. You’ve already trapped the group at your house without any cell service. Let your friends get through the weekend any way they can! God damn, Monique! Not everybody likes a s’more!
We take a brief sojourn to the Big Apple, where Gizelle collects her “literary award.” They used stock footage to make the entire thing seem prestigious, but this was clearly a ceremony that happened in the basement of a Sbarro. Meanwhile, Monique’s husband Chris says he’s hesitant to get a vasectomy because he still wants to be able to curl his toes when he masturbates. Monique’s relationship with the bird makes more sense with each passing minute.
The entire group manages to put aside their squabbles and squawking for a conversation about Wendy and her husband’s family. These two make for a very impressive pairing. Wendy is like a very elegant onion who keeps peeling back her layers to reveal even more depth and character. I don’t usually care to explore parental relationships on “Housewives,” but I’d be very intrigued to learn more about those family dynamics.
As the group desperately grasps for ways to fill the time at this cursed home, the husbands perform impressions of their wives. We don’t have to worry about any of them transitioning to sketch comedy careers, especially Chris Samuels, who immediately does an imitation of Monique giving him a blow job. You know, I’ve completed the 180 on Monique and her bird. I now fully support Monique and T’Challa going on the run and leaving her family behind for all eternity.
Mercifully, we finally leave the lake house in the dust and it’s time for Michael Darby’s cheating ass to be exposed. Quite literally. We’re graced with images of Michael in his underwear and a video of Michael getting cozy with another woman. Thank you to *squints* Gossip of the City for their groundbreaking work. None of this is easy to see. It’s impossible not to feel bad for Ashley, despite red flags and warning signs every single place she looks. Michael is trash personified. It’s hard to understand how Ashley still puts up with him, especially now that she has baby Dean. The way he speaks to her is so despicable.
Ashley needs to employ the services of Fireball Drunk Karen™. Something tells me she might be able to help hide a body.