It’s another week of “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” or as I now refer to it “Dr. Wendy Osefo and Six Other Women.” I haven’t been this excited about a doctor since Eric Dane and that damn towel. I’m all hot and bothered. Check my temperature, Dr. Wendy!
We begin where we ended last week, with Wendy reading Ashley for filth. It’s one of those arguments that starts somewhere, veers off course in the middle and eventually just becomes two people yelling different phrases at one another. It’s great! Wendy attacks Ashley for not having her own money, which I don’t typically love, but when it comes to Ashley and that weird, fraudulent marriage? The more shade, the better. Bring in the palm trees!
Candiace and Wendy have a post-fight debrief. These two together are a goddamn tornado. Somebody call the National Weather Service. Candiace tells Wendy that she might have gone too far with her attack on Ashley. That’s like a middle-aged white woman telling somebody that they have too many pumpkins in their house during the month of October. You know there’s a problem!!! When it comes to the words of vitriol, however, Wendy says that she “really felt it in my spirit.” I’m not one to argue with higher powers.
Monique and Gizelle have a pancake-making contest, while Ashley has a contest of her own to see how insufferable she can be. I’m sorry, y’all. I respect the hell out of new moms (and moms in general!), but if you’re going to be on this girls’ trip, spend some time with the aforementioned girls. She’s barely present. All of these other women have children and, while I understand that most of them are much older, they’re able to whip up some eggs and flour and forget about them for a few minutes! It seems to me that Ashley is clutching to motherhood as a personality, rather than a title or a job. And then, whew, she’s got this wreck of a marriage to deal with. I sympathize with Ashley, I really do. I just think the relationship she has with her baby is verging on unhealthy for everybody involved.
Speaking of Ashley’s marriage…
The producers and editors are getting real slick with these text messages that Candiace receives about Ashley’s husband Michael. Just when it looks like we’re about to get into it, it’s back downstairs for PANCAKE JUDGING. It’s really tough to care about this when we know that MICHAEL HAVING A BOYFRIEND has now joined the chat. It’s also tough to realize that, while these women were eating these nasty ass pancakes, Michael was allegedly recovering from a night at the strip club. Aren’t men fun?
Anyway, Monique wins “Top Chef: Potomac.” An extraordinary amount of time this episode was given to pancakes. God bless Candiace for trying to turn the entire thing into a metaphor. Meanwhile, Karen asks the beautiful question “if it looks like doo doo, do it taste like doo doo?” It’s always a bit jarring to hear a woman in silk gloves talking about eating shit.
Wendy and Gizelle go for a walk in the middle of the woods to discuss who they should be mad at today. Gizelle essentially says “why be mad at Ashley when you can be mad at Karen instead?!” It’s glorious storyline progression from Gizelle. I get the feeling that Gizelle will do any little thing that the producers ask her to do, and for that, I thank her for her service. Gizelle tells Wendy that Karen called her a “floozy freelancer,” TO WHICH I TAKE GREAT OFFENSE. Wendy rattles off her list of accomplishments again, which is starting to get irritating, but we’re not jumping off the Wendy bandwagon yet. Not even close.
Monique forces the women to go fishing at the haunted lake by her house. There’s nothing worse than a host who makes you actually do stuff on vacation. Just let me sip mimosas in my robe, Monique! God damn! Much like the pancake kerfuffle, this isn’t really something I need to see, but these women have the personalities to pull it off. Potomac can make things entertaining in ways other cities cannot. More than entertaining, though, they somehow managed to weave a conversation about postpartum depression into a scene about worms. Wendy and Ashley were able to get on the same page about their mental health and it was really beautiful, to be honest. I’m glad they were able to reconcile so quickly because a feud over parenting skills is not cute.
As the hours tick away, the trip becomes more of a claustrophobic nightmare. It’s a bunch of people sitting around a pool, eating gross pizza and staring off into space. It’s like a shitty high school graduation party. Gizelle has the idea to throw a Lady of the Lake Pageant and, once again, kudos to Gizelle and these incredible editors for turning absolutely nothing into a little bit of something. The editors on Potomac this season are masters of their craft and should all be awarded Presidential Medals of Freedom. The pageant consists of the ladies walking, twirling, singing “Happy Birthday” and having their looks insulted by Gizelle. Candiace takes the crown, though it was a bit odd not to reward the woman who is battling postpartum depression and has a broken butthole, but I appreciate the honest judging.
With the fishing and the pageantry behind us, it’s finally time for the real meat. The messy, dramatic meat. Candiace gets a text saying that Ashley’s husband Michael was at a strip club the night before, where he talked about having a boyfriend and a wife, while inviting people back to his hotel room. There’s even photographic evidence. Candiace does what any self-respecting pot stirrer would do: immediately runs and tells somebody else. She and Gizelle attempt to plot out how to handle the situation with the glee of two women who just stumbled into a hornet’s nest of salaciousness. Gizelle, never one for subtlety, says “we need to tell her tonight!” An icon.
The real elephant in the room here, of course, is how much scheming Candiace did behind the scenes to secure this information. If I know Candiace (and let me clear, in my head I do!!!), there’s no way she didn’t orchestrate this entire thing. That’s not to say that Michael wasn’t actually at the strip club and all of the allegations are untrue. I think it all probably happened. But the idea that these text messages came while Candiace was on camera right before a big group dinner? That’s not a coincidence. Which is fine! I want to see it all play out. But Candiace’s “what do I doooooo?!!??” charade is as see-through as Ashley’s bottles of Corona Light.
The ladies arrive for dinner at a Joe’s Crab Shack knock-off looking like they’re ready for the Vegas Strip. As they clobber shellfish, Ashley is forced to reckon with the fact that crabs do not, in fact, contain a “natural mustard” and she’s been eating crab shit for years. Despite this, the fishiest smelling thing at the table remains the allegations made against Michael. Ashley talks about the big night Michael had with businessmen from out of town and it’s clear that not even she really believes what she’s saying. She’s trying to hold on to so many different things by a thread. I think she’s pushed the state of her marriage so far to the back of her head that it’s almost like an excavation when she has to talk about it. But just as Candiace is about to bring up the news…we get another “To Be Continued.”
Potomac just stays playing with my emotions.
It does feel like a whimper of an ending for an episode that had promised so much. Just as these ladies remain stuck under Monique’s watchful gaze without any connection to the outside world, I remain stuck without any answers. Something tells me we’ll never get them. Michael will deny. Ashley will believe him. And we’ll be forced to watch them stumble through a very awkward marriage for another season.
The husbands arrive next week as our Housewives disconnect even further from reality. See you then. Hopefully with fewer pancakes.