After last week's call for security, the Season 1 reunion continues as The Real Housewives of Potomac revisit the feuds, fights and personal dramas that made up the debut season's storylines. Plus, some of the husbands join the melee as the infamous girls trip to Bethany Beach is rehashed and beaten to a pulp.
Checking the Racial Box
The reunion picks up right where we left off at the end of last week, with Katie Rost and Robyn Dixon battling it out over the subject of race. Katie feels she can't do anything without the other women criticizing her for not being "black enough," while Robyn doesn't understand why race is such a sensitive topic to discuss. As Gizelle Bryant asked, who made RHOP the poster show for racial relations in America? I, for one, am of the opinion that the complex discussion of race is one of the reasons the season has been so fascinating and sets Potomac apart from the other Housewives shows. Robyn claims she doesn't care how Katie chooses to identify, but the model finds that hard to believe considering she was questioned about it all season long. Charrisse Jackson Jordan chimes in that she found Robyn asking Katie which box her children would check to be offensive, but Robyn doesn't understand why asking a polite question in a social setting would be so insulting. However, Katie simply refuses to label her children into a box. After so much back and forth, the two 'Wives are eventually able to reach a resolution on the topic, with Katie apologizing for taking her frustrations towards Gizelle out on Robyn. All we needed was Rachel Dolezal crashing the reunion to put this heated discussion about race in America in 2016 fully over the top.
The Butt Grab Heard 'Round Potomac
Andy Cohen redirects the conversation to Ashley Darby, asking her to weigh in on the racial argument and the butt grab between her husband and Katie's fiancee that sparked the entire controversy. Ashley says she's confused why it became everyone's prerogative to gossip about that moment on the dance floor at Charrisse's birthday party and why it got turned into an issue of white people vs. black people. Robyn, however, is quick to defend her comment, insisting that she was merely wondering whether it was some form of endearment she wasn't familiar with. If you ask me, this (biracial) horse has officially been beaten to death and it's time to move on to other topics.
The Mysterious Case of Charrisse & the Invisible Husband
Next, Andy puts Charrisse in the hot seat by addressing her crumbling and confusing relationship with her husband of 18 years, Eddie Jordan. According to Charrisse, Eddie is still living in New Jersey despite being fired from his coaching job at Rutgers University, and the two don't discuss the show...or the status of their relationship...or the possibility of divorce. Charrisse does a fair amount of backtracking over the big, bad d-word, saying she was acting impulsively when she texted Eddie that she wanted out of the marriage. She also maintains that if the couple gets divorced, the decision to file won't be coming from her. Huh? Out of all the 'Wives, Charrisse claims that, to her surprise, she's become closest to Katie and gets into a somewhat confusing tiff with grande dame Karen Huger, who calls her a "snake in the grass." Honestly, I just wish I had more context for why Charrisse seems so angry and passive-aggressive towards some of the other women. What happened?
When the topic of Eddie not showing up at her lavish 50th birthday party, Charrisse admits she was disappointed, but claims he didn't come because Bravo was filming. She goes on to explain that the reason she decided to do the show was to serve as a voice for other women who were going through similar struggles. Andy admits that, as a producer, he felt most connected to Charrisse's story when she was being vulnerable about her relationship with Eddie - which is why he finds it so frustrating that she's being so closed off and emotionless about the whole situation on the couches. (He even goes so far as to accuse her of being "blasé" about her seemingly crumbling marriage.)
Katie's Broken Engagement
After teasing it in the opening moments of the reunion, Katie finally gets the opportunity to explain what led to her breakup when Andy shows a package of clips all about her and Andrew. As it turns out, Katie broke off the engagement and gave Andrew the ring back literally en route to NYC for the reunion taping. She reveals that the couple had actually called it quits once already months before and when she asked Andrew whether he really wanted to marry her, his answer was noncommittal enough to prompt her to end things. Katie readily admits she was running a kind of campaign for Andrew to finally put a ring on it in an effort to make up for her previously failed first marriage, and recognizes that perhaps Andrew wasn't ready to step up to the plate. The other 'Wives speak up in support of Katie, saying there wasn't anything she did to necessarily scare her fiancee off - that was on him. All Katie knows is that she'll be more hesitant before bringing another man around her kids in the future.
On a different note, Andy reads some of Katie's recent tweets and the model confirms that she identifies not only as biracial but as bisexual too! Ever the diligent host, Andy asks whether any of the other women have ever taken a dip in the lady pond, and Little Miss Ashley reveals that she actually had a serious girlfriend back when she was 18. Katie jokingly claims that out of all the 'Wives, she would definitely go for Charrisse and Ashley, and have raging hate sex with Gizelle. We also learn that the budding philanthropist has yet to throw her casino royale charity event that she pushed back during filming. The women briefly rehash the drama surrounding Katie's host committee for the event, and it looks like the self-proclaimed ball and gala girl will have quite a bit to prove in this arena come Season 2.
The Grande Dame vs. the Spring Chicken
Next up for discussion is the season-long feud between frenemies Karen and Ashley. While Potomac's grande dame started the season determined to take the younger 'Wife under her wing, but that changed indefinitely when Ashley let Michael crash the girls-only trip to Bethany Beach. To provide back-up for their wives and weigh in on the drama themselves, Ray "the Black Bill Gates" Huger and Michael "Crocodile Dundee" Darby join the reunion as well. To kick things off, Andy gives Michael one simple rule: pants must be kept on at all times. Add this to the short list of reunion rules like no props (post-RHOA Season 6) and no physically assaulting other cast mates (also post-RHOA Season 6). Right off the bat, Andy questions why Karen seems to look down her nose at the Darbys, and the grande dame cites Ashley's youth as the reason for their differences.
Of course, this leads directly into a rehashing of the drama from Bethany Beach - Karen tries to take Michael to task for showing up unannounced AT HIS OWN HOME and Ray alternates between looking generally befuddled and accusing Michael of trying to create a titillating "male fantasy situation" with seven women. Clearly, there's no love lost between the two couples but in my eyes, the Darbys come out on top in this argument as Ashley defends Michael by repeatedly exclaiming that she loves her man just the way he is - butt grabbing and all. (Note to all, according to Michael, butt grabbing is actually an Australian thing, so take that black, white and biracial!) Yet, Karen is far from finished, and Andy puts her on the spot about her "ejaculate" and "procreate" comments about Michael and Ashley. I, however, don't have much to say about that particularly situation beyond that it was vulgar and inappropriate.
When Gizelle finally gets a package dedicated to her hilarious dating life - Herman included - the conversation gets hijacked by Charrisse, who accuses Gizelle of getting in the middle of everyone's business out of sheer narcissism. Naturally, Charrisse denies having a narcissistic bone in her body, but defines the term as both being obsessed with yourself and taking pride in tearing down others in order to make yourself feel good. No one on either of the couches - Andy included - has ever heard this particular definition of narcissism, and Roybn eventually has to pull a Lisa Rinna by reading the actual meaning of the word off her phone to prove Charrisse wrong. The fact of the matter is, however, that every single one of the Housewives is borderline narcissistic. They have to be to succeed on reality television!
Gizelle vs. Katie, Revisited
Next, Gizelle puts Katie on blast for her odd behavior throughout the season, particularly at Ashley's birthday party. Katie denies being on any type of substance, but Gizelle still calls her out for being too inebriated to engage in front of the cameras. Both women start slinging mud at each other, and the argument somehow devolves into accusations of inappropriate bodily functions on both sides, slut shaming and allegations of scandalous scenes being edited out of the show. Dear Bravo, WHAT WAS EDITED OUT? I need to know. Katie claims that Gizelle's narcissism is on a whole different level from the other ladies, and alleges that she constantly works to position herself to look as good as possible in front of the cameras while putting down everyone else.
Final Thoughts & One Last Bombshell
Andy wraps up the reunion by asking each of the ladies if their experiences as first-season Housewives was positive. All of the women assert that being on the show has been a good thing - I mean, obviously - and Andy invites Karen to give one final toast after passing out champagne. However, before the grande dame can get a word out, Charrisse interrupts to drop one final bombshell that she held back earlier in the day: since the show started airing, her husband won't even speak to her. Andy is visibly stunned and empathetic to this revelation, while none of the other 'Wives so much as flinch. Seems like everyone but Andy knew what's really been going on in Charrisse's marriage. Karen still gets the final word and toasts to the ladies' friendship while calling for them to move forward in friendship and peace...with a little bit of fighting. Potomac is officially on the map!
Unfortunately, that's the end of the first season of RHOP - for some reason we aren't getting a Secrets Revealed episode to finish off the season. However the good news is that just this week, the show was officially renewed for a second season by Bravo! Cheers to The Real Housewives of Potomac and look for my Season 1 Wrap-Up as the next Feature Friday!