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Real Housewives

RHOP Ssn 1/Ep 3 - What a Little Whiskey Can Do

Glenn Rowley

ashley-darby-whiskey-tasting

As the John Mayer song goes, "Whisky, whiskey, whiskey/cut me off and pour me in the street." This week Potomac was all about that brown liquor. As it turns out, Little Miss Ashley is a fan of the hard stuff when it comes to her alcohol and being three sheets to the wind is the best way to coax an apology out of these etiquette-obsessed 'Wives.

katie-rost-washington-life-magazine-interview

This week's episode starts out with Katie fulfilling her duties as a DC-area socialite by sitting down for an interview with Washington Life Magazine. The former model was the publication's cover girl 10 years prior and they're now interested in doing a catch-up piece on her. Over the course of the interview, Katie reminisces about her career, but keeps her message focused on her work as director of the Ronald F. Rost Foundation - the charitable organization she founded with her mother to honor her late father. As she explains her family's connections to the old money world of D.C. (her mother's family founded black colleges and universities around the U.S.), it's clear that Katie takes her passion for philanthropy seriously and the girl certainly knows how to work an interview. 

karen-huger-apologizes-gizelle-bryant

Surprisingly, Karen has asked Gizelle to meet her for a sit-down at Tout de Sweet, a quaint little bakery in downtown Bethesda. Gizelle is understandably wary of the meet-up, considering how her attempt at an olive branch so utterly crashed and burned in the last episode. In fact, both women have shown up in their best combat-themed camouflage. Could this be another rumble? Actually, Karen has called the meeting to apologize to Gizelle for the entire etiquette fiasco - owning up to the fact that her "lighthearted gift" maybe wasn't taken that way. Gizelle graciously accepts the apology, citing Karen's grown woman-ness as one of the reasons she always respected her, and agrees to move forward from the whole mess. As the two women hug it out and laugh about their matching camo, I can't help but breathe a huge sigh of relief that #EtiquetteGate didn't manage to dominate the entire season.

ashley-darby-double-date

Later that night, Ashley and Michael meet up with Katie and Andrew for an interracial couples' double date night. Katie was the only 'Wife who really took to Ashley's bubbly enthusiasm when they met at Sip with Socialites and points out in her interview the striking similarities they share. After all, both are proudly biracial women who happen to be involved with successful, older, white men. Over drinks, Katie asks Ashley what she thought of Gizelle and Robyn at the charity event, and the younger 'Wife doesn't exactly hold back as she fills Katie in on Gizelle's "THOT" comment. (Katie acts shocked upon hearing this but wasn't she sitting right next to Gizzy at the time?) Katie deftly changes the subject by asking if Ashley has met grande dame Karen yet, whom Andrew lovingly describes as "haggard," "stuck up," "a trainwreck" and "Gizelle on performance-enhancing bad drugs." With that glowing character reference, Ashley's curiosity is officially piqued and she can't wait to meet the grande dame of Potomac. Cheers to new friends!

juan-dixon-rhop

Over at the Dixon home, we get a little more insight into the complicated and unique dynamic between Robyn and her ex-husband Juan. Yes, they are divorced because of some infidelity on his part, but not only do they still live under the same roof, they wake up every morning in the same bed. To make matters even more complicated, Juan is in the midst of being recruited for a basketball coaching job out of state. (After playing for seven seasons in the NBA, he's currently an assistant coach at the University of Maryland.) The prospect of Juan relocating has Robyn wondering what it will mean for their family. The reason they chose to live together was for the good of their two kids, so does that mean Robyn and the boys will move with Juan if he gets the job? In her confessional, Robyn says this is the hardest situation she's been faced with since getting divorced, and I don't envy her. Just thinking about the complications of this dynamic makes my head spin. 

I'm skipping over the scene of Karen taking pictures with her daughter's prom date because sorry, but that's kind of weird. Interracial dating, however, is something I'm all for. 

robyn-dixon-wedding-dress-shop

To put another twist to the Robyn/Juan fairy tale, Robyn officially decides to sell her wedding dress. With her mom Gladys tagging along, Robyn waltzes into a dress shop called Fabulous Frocks to get a maximum of 60% from the $6700 gown she wore for one day 10 years ago. Weddings are insane, you guys. While the store manager puts together the paperwork, Robyn cheerfully reminisces about her wedding day, which she still calls one of the best days of her life. However, she's ready for the dress to provide an unforgettable memory for another lucky bride, and parts with her dress after taking a requisite "peace out" selfie.

karen-huger-respect

We finally see Charrisse when she joins Karen to do some shopping for Karen's 17-year-old daughter Rayvin. Karen fills Charrisse in on her meeting with Gizelle, but Charrisse insists she only ever offered Gizelle nothing but hospitality and friendship and isn't looking to fix things any time soon. Right on time, Katie arrives with Ashley in tow to model the bikinis Karen picks out for her darling princess. [Insert "how many 'Wives does it take to dress a teenager" joke here. Also, why exactly can't Rayvin pick out her own swimsuits?] Katie makes the introductions between the other ladies and Ashley, who takes immediately to what she refers to as Karen's "fun, lighthearted, free-spirited vibe." I'm sorry, but are we talking about the same Karen Huger? However, it quickly becomes clear that Ashley really wants to get into this circle of women, immediately inviting Karen to her upcoming whiskey tasting. Sensing an opportunity to dole out her queen bee wisdom, Karen jumps right into lecturing the newbie about how the women have earned their positions in the community and respect gets you into the circle, and sorry but I'm falling asleep at all this pretentiousness. Eventually, Katie and Ashley compete in a walk-off and model a number of bikinis for the older women, and no this isn't weird whatsoever.

rhop-whiskey-tasting

The night of the Ashley Darby Whiskey Tasting rolls around and all of the women (sans Katie) gather in the basement of D.C.'s The Barrel, much to the chagrin of a decked-out Karen and Gizelle - who says she's "Gucci down to [her] socks." Ashley is more than a little excited to show these women her idea of a good time, but even more so, she seems very eager to break into Potomac's exclusive social circle. Once Ashley gives an opening toast and the women start throwing back shots of 120 proof, it becomes clear that this is more of a champagne crowd. However, with a little liquid courage, Gizelle proceeds to address the elephant in the room with Charrisse, whom she hasn't spoken to since the whole "the presence of your face repulses me" debacle. Charrisse insists that there's nothing left to talk about and that she's over it. Robyn and Karen step in to try to mediate the conversation, but it goes nowhere fast - leaving Ashley chuckling over the ladies sniping at each other from across the table.

Meanwhile, Katie is missing out on the whiskey tasting due to a prior commitment - she's attending a party thrown by Washingtonian Magazine to network for the Rost Foundation. Seeing Katie in action proves just how at home she is in the ball and gala scene as she rubs elbows with jazz musicians, magazine publishers and other philanthropists. With Andrew on her arm, she inevitably fields questions from her fellow partygoers about how long they've been together and whether or not they're engaged. In her confessional, Katie explains that the pressure to get married isn't just something she wants, it's almost an expectation in the elite DC social circles she works in. Mid-thirties is simply too old to just be "shacking up" if she wants to take her work with the Rost Foundation to the next level. 

gizelle-bryant-robyn-dixon-whiskey-tasting

Back at The Barrel, conversation turns to the tension between Gizelle and Ashley. When Gizelle turns to the younger 'Wife and claims she's glad they could get together, Little Miss Ashley calls her out on the things she said behind her back at Sip with Socialites - particularly the "THOT" comment. Gizelle stands by her opinion, saying that Ashley displayed all kinds of hoe-ish behavior that night. Ashley, on the other hand, disagrees, arguing that hoes have sex with people - did she have sex with Robyn's leg when she was humping her? This 26-year-old definitely knows how to stand up for herself. Gizelle eventually offers an apology for her comment, which somehow prompts Charrisse to stand up, go around the table and offer Gizelle a hug. All beef is officially squashed! As Ashley points out, see what a little whiskey can do?

katie-rost-engagement-talk

Home from the Washingtonian Magazine gala, Katie slips into a silky green negligee and convinces Andrew to attempt braiding her hair in a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque moment. (Andrew botches the braid.) Laying on the bed with a glass of wine, Katie once again brings up the question of marriage, wondering if Andrew is serious about getting her knocked up and putting a ring on it. His response is not exactly what she wants to hear - Andrew claims he wants to be engaged for a long time before marriage, and claims that if Katie hadn't brought it up so much in the last six months, they would already be engaged. Ouch. In her confessional, Katie explains that - being a mom of three kids - if Andrew isn't serious about their future together, it's a problem. It's time to take things seriously, but the episode ends with a forlorn Katie staring blankly at her not-quite-fiancee, wondering what the future holds...