It’s been weeks since the Barn Fight From Hell™ and, while lawsuits have been filed and attempts at personal growth have been made, there’s been a distracting lack of Ms. Monique Samuels and little-to-no actual resolution, outside of a few crocodile tears from Candiace and the absolute inability of Gizelle, Wendy and Robyn to see both sides. We’re stuck in some very petty, messy mud and it’s time to start clawing our way out. I demand progress and I demand it now!
Before we get to any of that, however, it’s time for Gizelle (dressed as a gay ostrich) to help Juan pick out a ring for Robyn. Yes, Robyn. The woman currently accused of frauding the IRS for a second time. The woman who sells bedazzled hats online. The woman who wears Eastern European disguises for date night. She’s getting more bling from gorgeous Juan, who seems like he’d rather be anywhere else in the world than inside this jewelry store with Gizelle’s desperate ass and this kooky employee. In a shocking turn of events, Gizelle, who is also angling for a second ring from her ex-husband, manages to make the trip about herself and her search for eternal happiness or whatever. Both Robyn and Gizelle are passengers on two very lonely, busted carousels.
We’re reunited with Monique (which is great) who is getting ready for her live podcast recording (which is not!). She’s forcing a sweet man named Pearl to help her stuff goodie bags for this God-forsaken event. Pearl seems nice, but he’s also a man who is labeled as a sort of prophet by saying stuff like “well, life’s a journey!” Monique puts out a call to the other women, inviting them to her podcast recording, which is apparently the following night? Nothing like some short notice, Monique! Listen, I’d rather walk through the pits of Hell than attend a live podcast, but the unforgiving vitriol coming from Robyn and Wendy feels misguided and misplaced. Monique is clearly apologetic and remorseful, and it’s not like she attacked Betty White or some shit. She pulled Candiace’s hair after…Candiace told her to pull her hair. Let’s have some perspective here! Let the girl grow!
Karen and Ray (dressed as a gay Indiana Jones) visit a life coach together, because Ray doesn’t believe in therapy but he does believe in…life coaching? Whatever the case, this life coach is giving me incredible energy and I want her to fix my problems and also be cast on the show. Karen and Ray are interesting, because contrary to most of these counseling scenes, all of their issues are on the table. They know exactly what’s wrong in their relationship – they just don’t really know how to fix it. Ray, in a moment of vulnerability, finally tells Karen that he’s grateful for the work she did, and continues to do, in the wake of his business and financial troubles. See, he complains that Karen is too busy for him anymore, but…she has no choice! Ray went and floundered all their money away. Karen needs to sell some shitty perfume to keep things afloat! I think Ray realizes, ultimately, that he can’t have it both ways. I actually really believe in these two and I want to see them make it. And I think they will.
Meanwhile, Dr. Wendy is feeding her breast milk to her grown sons with an eye dropper. The doctor is organizing her own event, called Wine with Wendy, where a bunch of women will come together to talk issues and figure out ways to better themselves and their community…and she’s not inviting Monique. Nuh uh, Wendy. That’s now how this works! You don’t get to throw a party celebrating the power of womanhood and support, while casting aspersions against Monique along the way. This could be something as simple as a production issue – I don’t think Monique and Candiace can, legally, be in the same vicinity, but it’s laughable to put this party on a pedestal when you’re still inviting Candiace. Lest we forget the dinner knife. Lest we forget her temper. Lest we forget her words. It’s see-through mean girl shit and I’m not here for it.
Elsewhere, Gizelle and Jamal take the loneliest car ride of all-time to the airport. There is no chemistry here. There is no spark. There is no love. Jamal is an absolutely vindictive and ominous individual. Every second he’s on screen is like a horror movie. I’m just waiting for him to slit Gizelle’s throat. Jamal does the same thing that sweet Pearl does, but it’s even worse. Here’s a direct quote from pastor Jamal: “Your progression of thought is a new entity that you have not introduced.” Big words don’t make you smart. Hyperbole doesn’t make you interesting. Just say “that’s news to me!” Of course, Jamal puts all of their relationship strain on Gizelle’s shoulders. He blames her for a lack of honesty and transparency, meanwhile he’s living in a separate state from Gizelle and their daughters doing whatever it is he does. He’s a gaslighting demon. Run, Gizelle, run.
Monique’s live podcast recording is, predictably, a sad mess. Ashley is the only cast member to show up, and there are approximately six other people in attendance. It looks like there are more panelists than attendees. It’s shitty that the other women were (obviously) no-shows, but maybe give them a little bit of advanced notice, Monique! It wouldn’t have helped, though, because these other ladies have it out for her. On that topic, Ashley drops the bomb that Karen was the one who told Candiace to press charges against Monique. That’s a tough thing to hear before you record a live podcast in front of two tables of strangers eating Caesar salad.
Robyn, Juan and their sons are having a Bowling Night and it’s at this point where I realize watching Juan bowl is very erotic. These two really like spending money when they don’t have any! It’s an odd thing to hear how stressful this has all been for Robyn just moments after she orders about 13 things off the menu for dinner. Robyn’s parents arrive at the bowling alley and tell their daughter they found out about her tax issues on Instagram. What a world. When Robyn goes to the bathroom, Juan tells her parents and his kids that he’s planning on proposing to Robyn again. Juan, why are we doing this in a bowling alley?! The word “marriage” should never be said around neon lights, arcade games and bad buffalo wings. Robyn’s parents unenthusiastically say “uh, sure” and Juan is free to propose to his tax evading princess.
Wine with Wendy, which appears to be taking place in a warehouse in the middle of the day, kicks off. Why do so many Housewives insist on having functions at like 2 p.m. on a Wednesday? Candiace arrives in with feathers sticking out of her heels (our second gay ostrich of the episode, a new record) and Robyn strolls in looking absolutely fucking insane in a red wig, clearly on the run from the law. All jokes aside, the event is very important and impactful. Wendy can ride atop a very high horse sometimes, but she undeniably uses her voice for good and that cannot be commended enough.
Moments after this lovely presentation about solidarity, Karen leaves the table and Gizelle immediately starts talking about her. Earlier in the week, Wendy told Gizelle about Karen’s confession about bailing Ray out with a bunch of her money. They all theorize that Karen is silently going through a lot of turmoil but, if anything, I think Karen has been more open and honest than ever. Have this conversation with her at the table!
As the group gossips about her, Karen follows Candiace into the basement of this odd building for a conversation about the status of their relationship. Candiace says that Karen has to pick a side in her ongoing feud with Monique, which is altogether selfish and unfair. Karen, being the wordsmith that she is, tells Candiace “your mind is just so powerful, but so is your mouth.” Somebody stitch that on a pillow. Karen was ready for this conversation. She comes with receipts, counterpoints and a stoic, unwavering presence. It’s an exemplary performance.
Wendy heads downstairs as reinforcement for Candiace, but Karen is not backing down. Karen and Wendy start going toe-to-toe and it’s electric. It’s like a screaming match on cable news, which Wendy knows how to handle, but Karen more than holds her own. It does seem, to me, to be rather hypocritical for Wendy and Candiace, at an event about supporting other women, to be so spiteful and negative about Karen’s desire to play the fence a little bit. Karen is just trying to throw an anchor to Monique when everybody else is content to watch her drown.
We still haven’t made much in the way of progress. I guess it’s time, for now, to let those sleeping dogs lie. Candiace and Monique, while bitter enemies, just aren’t going to reconcile this thing any time soon, despite the fact that next week brings a countersuit from Monique. The women, sans black sheep Monique, have a trip to Portugal on the horizon. I’m going to focus on that and hope, to the higher power of Andy Cohen, that we get our two lawsuit-loving ladies face-to-face at the reunion.
Now, I must leave and daydream about Juan bending down to bowl a strike.