Earlier this week, in what I can only assume was a poorly-lit warehouse filled with shag carpets and lamps from Goodwill, the “Real Housewives of Potomac” reunion was held. This religious occasion marked the first time Candiace and Monique had been in the same room since October 2019. In many ways, it’s unprecedented that a “Housewives” season is leading to the reunion itself and, in many ways, it’s also the most anticipated event of my entire, sad, pathetic life. The sheer promise that holds. The sheer intrigue that holds. The sheer “get her, Jade” attitude I will express every time Monique addresses Candiace…that holds. I can’t say I’ve ever looked forward to anything more.
Until then…we’re still in Portugal! And Ashley is still pumping breast milk at the table!
As the ladies continue squabbling over whose significant other loves them the most, Karen “Nancy Drew” Huger tells Robyn that Juan is probably proposing soon. Karen saw Gizelle prancing in front of a jewelry store on Instagram and connected the dots. I have to be honest, I’m not sure if my sleuthing skills would have been so on point, but that’s why Karen is a master. Robyn, who uses two different basketball puns in the span of twenty seconds to describe her relationship with Juan, says she’s in no rush to get married again. That’s good because YOU OWE ALMOST ONE-HUNDRED-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
To get down the mountain after lunch, the ladies are forced to ride in “toboggans,” which in Portuguese appears to translate to “wicker couches you find outside Cracker Barrel.” As Karen confuses Portland for Portugal, the women get pushed down a street going about 2 miles per hour and scream as if they were aboard Apollo 11. Candiace uses it as an opportunity to flaunt her bravery and willpower. Ma’am, you rode on a piece of wooden furniture for a minute-and-a-half.
After the toboggan ride from hell, the ladies browse a local market and freak out over such delicacies as “passion fruit” and “bananas.” Eventually, Gizelle pulls Nancy “Harriet The Spy” Huger aside and tells her to stop bringing up Juan and Robyn’s engagement. As she tends to do, Gizelle only makes things worse and now Karen knows a proposal is imminent. It’s wild that Karen can still manipulate information out of people like this. She’s a mastermind and a teacher.
Once back at the hotel, prankster Gizelle is up to her old tricks! She procures a key to Wendy’s room (which is apparently a thing you can just…do?!) and plots an elaborate scheme to place a spider under her pillow. Gizelle treats it like some kind of black ops mission, when it’s really just the oldest, most boring prank in the book. This is amateur-level shit. This is elementary school sleepover shit. Step up your game, Gizelle.
After detailing the spider scam over drinks at the hotel bar, Gizelle tells Ashley that Juan is, indeed, about to propose to Robyn. Gizelle, girl. You were just hassling Karen about poking around the issue and now you’re telling anybody who will listen? MAKE IT MAKE SENSE, GIZELLE. MAKE IT MAKE SENSE.
The ladies arrive at dinner and sample a varietal of butters, which is my ideal way to spend an evening. Candiace opens up about her increased desire to be a mother, and thanks Ashley for being so honest about her postpartum asshole wound, because now she knows what to expect! It’s a nice moment, actually, but it lasts all of two seconds. We cut to confessional and Candiace waxes poetically about how the fight with Monique has taught her that she might be ready for motherhood after all. I’m sorry…what? It takes a whole lot of gall to make such a proclamation while you’re trying to send a mother to prison at the same time.
As Candiace starts her patented eye-dabbing of tears, Ashley has no time for the theatrics and harkens back to when Candiace made fun of her miscarriage. For whatever reason, I had forgotten about this. It’s truly despicable. Ashley Darby might be able to forgive, but this is not a woman who forgets. The entire thing comes totally out of left field, but I’m here for it. Candiace has built an entire life on having things both ways, and it’s satisfying to see some of that thrown back into her face when she was trying to have a moment. Not tonight, songbird.
It’s really a dinner of left turns, as Karen employs one of her signature pivots and starts talking about her marriage for no apparent reason. It’s like these women each have a specific storyline this season and they are dead set on bringing it to every single conversation. As their lobster raviolis arrive, Karen tells the group that she needs her husband Ray to start instigating sex more often, to show her that she wants her. Karen, honey, I do have some bad news for you. And that’s the fact that Ray is a glorified skeleton at this point, who will not be asking for sex anytime in the near future. Or ever again. Just let the nice man die.
The carousel continues, as Ashley won’t back down for asserting her hesitations about supporting Candiace. Robyn attempts to pipe in, but nobody has time for that. Sorry, Embellished! Ashley really holds her own and makes some extremely valid points, which ultimately leads to an apology from Candiace. It’s time to get Ashley involved in some Middle East peace negotiations. She can seem a little meek and submissive at times, but Ashley is as passionate and direct as they come when she really believes in something. Securing an apology from Candiace is as elusive as a polar bear in a heatwave.
After dinner, it’s TIME FOR THE SHENANIGANS TO BEGIN. Gizelle is a grown woman with rubber spiders and snakes in her purse. The green-eyed bandits and Ashley hike up and break into Wendy’s room (which feels illegal?????), and stuff these critters under her sheets. Isn’t that FUNNY?! Seal Team Bitch sets the trap and goads Wendy up to the room, but before she can find the bait, she discovers them in the closet. This is embarrassing, really. They should be ashamed. If I’m jumping through all these hoops to scare somebody, that person is going to think their life is at stake.
Eventually, the crew leaves Wendy in the room alone and the women watch on monitors in the hallway. It’s all humorous and fun, but man, I’m not sure it warranted Robyn rolling around on the ground! This is “Impractical Jokers” culture. It’s not for me. If Monique was here, she would have at least put a gun under Wendy’s pillow and left her to figure it out.
The next morning, Robyn meets Gizelle by the pool to look at photos from her cursed bedazzled hat photoshoot featuring all the ladies. These two middle-aged mean girls compliment most of them, but then stop on Karen’s slides and drag her to hell. Listen to me, Robyn. The problem is not Karen. The problem is that your hats are ugly and you took these photos next to a trash bin behind a dance studio. You know Robyn didn’t pay anybody for their time or likeness, either. Our hat mogul not only insults Karen’s images, she insults her age. Robyn is such a terrible businesswoman. Does she not understand that women of all ages WEAR HATS? Somebody gets this woman some help. Having Karen Huger on your website should be an honor. Get right with God, Robyn.
Gizelle and Robyn simply cannot help themselves, so they start talking about Karen’s sex life. Gizelle wonders what sex looks like “at that age.” Gizelle, honey, Karen is only seven years older than you. Let’s pump all those brakes. What is it with these two? They can’t let anybody else have anything. Just hours after Karen finally opened up to them, Gizelle and Robyn find new ways to break her down. Go back to your cheating ex-husbands and mind your own business!
Meanwhile, Karen and Candiace have a meeting of the minds on the hotel patio, during which Karen congratulates Candiace on showing growth during the tiff with Ashley at dinner. See, this is how you maintain your integrity and value in friendships. Karen is still holding both Candiace and Monique accountable for their actions, while showing love and appreciation when either of them exhibit growth. It’s not about playing both sides, it’s about letting your friends be vulnerable human beings.
While Karen exemplifies grace and humility in her relationships, Gizelle and Robyn continue to do the opposite. Ashley joins them at the pool and lets it slip that she’ll be providing a character statement about Candiace in Monique’s countersuit against her. Robyn says that Ashley is going to “assassinate Candiace’s character,” which in my household is called “telling the truth.” In essence, Ashley is paying back a favor that Monique and her husband Chris did for them in Michael Darby’s ass-grabbing lawsuit. I don’t love that aspect of this entire thing, because I do want Michael locked up for the rest of his blotchy God-forsaken life, but all Ashley is doing is stating facts. Let those facts fall where they may.
At least, above all else, we can rest assured that Candiace will have a very measured, composed reaction to all of this.
Until next week!