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Real Housewives

RHOP Ssn 1/Ep 9 - Fifty Sense

Glenn Rowley


It's the penultimate episode of our first season in Potomac and we're celebrating with a major fight at a Housewife's birthday party! In one of the strangest turns of events in Housewives history, all the drama blows up over racial identity and...butt grabbing between the 'Wives men?

Besties Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon kick off the episode with a good old-fashioned girls lunch at The Tavern. Over a meal of tuna tartare and deviled eggs, the BFFs toast to new beginnings, mostly in the form of Robyn's will-they-or-won't-they relationship with her ex-husband Juan. It turns out that Gizelle takes her duties as a best friend quite seriously and cornered Juan a few days before in an attempt to coax the relationship along. As a friend, Gizzy simply wants the former lovebirds to figure out in which direction they're headed - preferably in the one that ends with "and they both lived happily ever after..." However, Robyn explains that she's actually the one with her guard up when it comes to rekindling the flame. Since the couple divorced because of Juan's infidelity, Robyn is understandably cautious about opening her heart completely back up to him again. The pair genuinely love and care for each other, but the trust simply isn't there yet.  


Meanwhile, we get a rehash of last week's O Gala when Katie Rost invites her friend T over for some wine and spilled tea about Karen Huger's event. According to the socialite, the grande dame's "gala" was pretty much anything but. You can't just throw some meatballs into serving trays and turn a "Podunk cocktail party" into a launch party for something that doesn't exist yet. Needless to say, Katie was not impressed. And she's not done either. She tells her friend that she finds Gizelle to be the most annoying person she's ever met and finds the women to be "obsessed" with the topic of race. Further, she claims that Gizelle is probably a good person, even if her frenemy "dresses like a prostitute sometimes and can be a little bitchy." The shade, Katie, the shade! I am living for her fake smile at the end of that barb.


Next, Ashley Darby is picking her mom up for a lunch date out in Westminster, Maryland. Having not grown up in the lap of luxury, Sheila isn't used to Ashley's Porsche shutting off at every stop and thinks the car is breaking down. Don't worry Sheila, I thought the same thing about my dad's new car. Over lunch, Ashley decides to bring up her mom's bankruptcy and far-reaching financial issues stemming from her purchase of a condemned house. Now, Ashley is doing this under the guise of wanting to help her mom out, but all I know is that I would be furious if my child was bringing up my personal financial issues on national TV. Ashley ends the conversation by telling Sheila that she and Michael want to buy her a new house, which is a really nice gesture. I'm still bothered by the scene though.


Charrisse Jackson Jordan is getting ready to celebrate her 50th birthday and has enlisted Katie's help as the resident model of the group to help her take some pictures for the slideshow at the party. Charrisse admits that she's not the most comfortable in front of the camera, so Katie uses some of her modeling expertise to help the birthday girl feel like Naomi Campbell. And while Katie's not exactly used to working behind the camera, she sure is slaying in that navy jumpsuit. In the end, Charrisse feels great and even comes out of the photoshoot learning how to say "l'chaim!" To life!


After a couple quick scenes of Karen getting teary during her daughter Rayvin's going away party and Gizelle sitting her girls down to debate the finer points of eHarmony and, Robyn and Juan meet for lunch at Cuba de Ayer. The ex-couple don't typically do things without the kids, but they have important business to discuss. During the lunch, Juan reveals that he didn't get the head coaching job he had applied for out of state and will be staying in Maryland for the foreseeable future. While it's disappointing news for him, Robyn is still at least a little bit relieved that they can put off making a decision about possibly moving with him and facing the future of their relationship for a while longer. 


The evening of Charrisse's lavish birthday 50th birthday party arrives, and even though her husband Eddie is a no-show, he's still footing the bill for the event to the tune of $80,000. You only turn the big 5-0 once, right? All the ladies descend on the Carnegie Library with the rest of Charrisse's 150+ guests, and are blown away by the extravagance of the whole affair. Of course, with the party being the first time the 'Wives have all been in the same room since the O Gala, drama isn't too far behind. Karen spends the majority of the evening deftly avoiding Little Miss Ashley at all costs, even though the younger 'Wife wants to talk in a futile attempt to settle their differences. However, the grande dame simply isn't having it tonight and declares Ashley a lost cause in her confessional. It's clear to Karen that the Darbys will never fit into Potomac society and according to her, Ashley belongs in a zoo, petting cuddly animals. Bye Ashley girl, go pet a panda. 


Next thing we know, a completely new feud arrives straight out of left field. While on the dance floor, Gizelle and Robyn apparently see Ashley's husband Michael grab Katie's boyfriend Andrew's butt. Huh? Michael has been the center of controversy a number of times this season, but this is just odd. It doesn't help that the footage that Bravo's cameras caught doesn't exactly lend itself to the story either...Naturally, Robyn and Gizelle make a beeline to Ashley to spill on the butt her man just grabbed that wasn't hers, but both Ashley and Katie shrug it off as a joke between the guys. However, the drama really turns up when Robyn jokingly asks if this butt grabbing is a "white guy thing."


Both Katie and Ashley balk at this suggestion, failing to see what race has to do with grabbing butts. Ashley points out that race shouldn't factor into the conversation, considering that all four women are biracial. Gizelle and Robyn quickly shoot down this allegation, reminding Little Miss Ashley that they are both strong, confident black women without any direct white ancestors. This gets Katie fired up and she promptly tells both women to take another look at their genealogy - you don't end up with blonde hair and green eyes if you came "straight out of Africa." At this point, everything is starting to spiral out of control, with Robyn laughing off the suggestion that she's biracial, which in turn insults Katie that Robyn would think being biracial is a negative thing. Are you following? Robyn tries to get the conversation back around to the butt grab, but Katie shoots out that the alleged groping between her and Ashley's men sounds about as factual as Gizelle and Robyn being 100% black. An annoyed Katie storms away from the conversation in a huff, calling Gizelle and Robyn the most racially obsessed women she knows. In the end, the pair don't get the reaction they wanted out of Ashley and I am left failing to understand how this argument got turned into a racial issue in the first place. L'chaim?

Next week, the drama comes to a head in the season finale! Until then, let me know whose side of the biracial butt grab you're on in the comments below and share the recap on social media by clicking the "Share" button!