One of the most difficult things to do in life is pivot. This season on “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” we’ve seen all of the ladies forced to do so, whether by choice or circumstance. Karen has pivoted in her relationship, Wendy has pivoted in her career, Robyn has managed to pivot back into tax evasion. These women are so fascinating because they’re constantly evolving, both within the group and within themselves. More than any other city, they willingly put their flaws on display and let you make up your own damn mind.
This week, things kick off with Wendy. The proud multi-hyphenate is at a crossroads, thinking about throwing away her teaching career in an effort to focus on being a political analyst. Wendy is nervous about what her proud Nigerian mother will say, but I think it’s deeper than that. As we’ve seen, Wendy is VERY EAGER to tell everybody about her accomplishments. If she begins ditching parts of her pedigree, who does she become? Before addressing all of that, however, Wendy is throwing a Sip & See for new daughter Kamrynn, which will incorporate traditional Nigerian practices. The entire thing is shadowed by the fact that Wendy’s husband Eddie has been completely ostracized by his family for marrying Wendy and they won’t be participating. I won’t even begin to pretend to understand the dynamics in play here, but it’s a real shame that their two families can’t coexist because Wendy and Eddie seem to have built a very beautiful life for themselves. I love when we get a look into Wendy’s life without the other women around. It really gives her a chance to shine as a mother and as a human being.
Now for something completely different: Michael Darby has entered the picture. The snakey, bald scumball is tagging along with Ashley for a couples’ therapy session. Say what you want about these two, but it’s absolutely wild how much they are willing to show on camera. Something tells me that it’s all Ashley’s tinkering and sly manipulating. I think Michael has done some even more dastardly stuff but, in a compromise of sorts, Ashley has promised to keep those things secret if he agrees to reveal a few things (threesomes after David Guetta concerts, for instance) on national television. Why else would this middle-aged ass-pincher do any of this stuff? Anyway, Michael essentially blames being a ho on his newborn son and that his own daddy loved him too much.. This man in a whole trick and a half. Michael and Ashley pledge to communicate better with one another, but anybody with a couple of brain cells can see that this marriage is dead, dead, dead. I’m not sure if there was ever any life to begin with, but it’s time to put it six feet under. Ashley and baby Dean deserve more.
Let me say briefly that, between imitating the dancers at Juan’s basketball game and the unforgivable Tatyana costume last week, our little tax fraud queen Robyn is risking losing Juan forever. She needs to focus on paying back the IRS instead of this blossoming sketch comedy career.
Meanwhile, the saga of Karen desperately trying to fix her marriage and her husband Ray being like “meh” continues. Before the two can go for a walk, Ray unloads some Halloween mannequins who look worn-out, tired and distressed. The jokes write themselves. The two of them talk about how they’ve drifted apart because of Karen’s success. It’s all a bit odd, as the entirety of Karen’s “success” is…a middling perfume business. Because of the show, she’s certainly more of a public figure than she was at the start of their marriage, but it’s as if Ray is saying “you’ve changed” so he doesn’t have to say “it turns out you’re really obnoxious.” I think this really all about their age difference, though. Karen still wants to live a full, exciting life, while Ray (who is 74 years old, mind you) just wants to live in the closet with the Halloween decorations. He’s fine lighting up a few times a year, but he mostly just wants to be left alone in some peace and quiet next to a broom.
Under the advice of Karen, her mother and everybody who loves drama, Candiace has officially filed criminal charges against Monique. I’m sure being assaulted by a former friend has been traumatic, but I also think Candiace is one hell of an actress. I get the sense that she’s absolutely thrilled about this major storyline that, in her eyes, fell into her lap. Lest we forget about the fact that Candiace quite literally begged for Monique to attack her. That’s not justification, it’s just the truth! The barn fight wasn’t some big bully coming after a meek little mouse. Candiace plays a good victim, but I’m not fully buying this recreation of history.
In last week’s recap, I made fun of Robyn’s ugly ass bedazzled hat. Well, it turns out she made it. And she’s selling them. It’s an interesting look for a woman under the suspicious gaze of tax hounds to be touting how much money she’s earning from making zebra print baseball caps. But you do you, Robyn!
Fresh out of the courthouse, Candiace is having dinner with a man she calls “her nurse.” While I do not believe he has a nursing degree, he does have a very large hat. This man, named Clifton, gets the rundown from Candiace about where things stand with Monique. Candiace tells her nurse that she has Post-Its all over her house that say “you’re okay.” See, this is all starting to rub me the wrong way. I’m not trying to control somebody’s reaction to abuse, but girl. You threatened somebody with a knife last year. I understand being upset, but treating this as some kind of life-altering event is a stretch. As those crocodile tears resurface, RN Clifton can barely offer up a “you’ll be fine.” He’s got some secrets underneath that hat.
Wendy and Eddie are touring a local museum as a potential venue for the Sip & See, which both feels cool and completely absurd. That’s kind of Wendy in a nutshell. Eddie has had a change of heart about inviting his family to the party after one of their sons asked why he hasn’t met his grandfather. Okay, we’re all crying. Eddie sends a text to his mom and asks her to distribute the information to the rest of the family. I can’t help but feel like a phone call would have been more appropriate, but I support you no matter what, Eddie!!!!!!!!
Ashley and baby Dean take a trip to visit Uncle Lump and her pirate mother Sheila. It’s always so disorienting to see Ashley around her family because they are so loving, warm and, perhaps most importantly, smart. It makes her entire situation with Michael that much more confusing and distressing. Uncle Lump tells Ashley that he wants a sit-down with Michael and, reader, my entire body tingled. Make it a primetime special. Put it on all the networks. Uncle Lump is a hero. Uncle Lump is an icon. Uncle Lump is the moment.
It’s time for baby Kamrynn’s Sip & See. All the guests have been asked to wear pink and Robyn, who is somehow the first one to arrive, walks in wearing the same dress that Erika Jayne and Lisa Rinna wore last season on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” My brain immediately called that to memory, but I can’t find Portugal on a map. I hate myself and I am ashamed, but this is my truth.
On the way to the party, Wendy receives an alert about Candiace filing charges against Monique. I’m so sorry baby Kamrynn, but nobody will be talking about you at this event. The party itself is a bit of an echoey mess, but ultimately it’s pretty special and cool. There’s dancing, there’s Kool-Aid, there’s money being thrown onto an infant. It’s all a great time. Once the ladies sit down for dinner, though, we can get to what everybody really cares about: Candiace suing Monique. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Candiace brought her mother and Chris to the party. She knew she was going to be forced to explain herself.
The women start to press Candiace about the potential consequences for Monique and she says, quite bluntly, that if Monique has to go to jail for 5 to 12 years, well, that’s just too bad! Ashley, perhaps emboldened with the spirit of Uncle Lump, pushes back and says that Candiace was the aggressor and perhaps she should, uh, think about that! It’s wild how Ashley can be the only one to show some sense sometimes. BRING THIS SAME ENERGY TO YOUR MARRIAGE, ASHLEY.
Candiace insinuates that Ashley is being paid to defend Monique. Paid by who exactly? T’Challa?! As Candiace starts to get amped up and begins to throw around accusations about Ashley’s marriage, Chris very aggressively tells her to “shut up.” Normally I would absolutely despise a husband talking to his wife like that, but I’m not sure if Chris was in the wrong here. He knows how his wife can be and Candiace was a couple of minutes away from sticking a Nigerian dagger through Ashley’s heart.
Karen, meanwhile, is stuck in the middle. I actually admire Karen for attempting to preserve some sense of neutrality in this entire thing. She talks way too much in hyperbole and a lot of what she’s trying to articulate gets lost in the message, but I do think her heart is in the right place. She’s also a woman who, outside of the group, is fighting for her own marriage. The Monique and Candiace of it all probably can’t help but feel a little silly.
On that same note, Eddie’s family failed to show up to the party and it certainly puts a little second-degree assault charge in perspective. Eddie seems like such a genuinely sweet, caring man. To handle such tumult and adversity with the grace that he’s shown is something I’d never be able to replicate.
As another week with the Potomac ladies wraps up, it’s undeniable that there’s a Monique-sized hole in the goings on. She’s constantly the topic of conversation, but she’s never around. There are obviously reasons for that (production-wise and circumstance-wise, I assume), but it makes things feel a little hollow. It’s a difficult thing to navigate and I don’t think we’ll be getting any resolution soon.
With that being said, I’m ready for Ms. Samuels to return. Even if it means we have to put up with her talking to a bird.