Return of the 'Mac! That's right, The Real Housewives of Potomac are back for a second season of shade, pedigree and living by the Potomac playbook. I must admit, I've loved the Potomac ladies from the very beginning so I am beyond thrilled they are finally back on my screen. The drama starts from the drop, with a new feud erupting between Gizelle and Charrisse with Robyn caught in the middle. Read on for a full recap of the drama, dancing and diva moments from the premiere...
First thing's first: new taglines! I must say I'm more than a little bummed that the intro is the exact same as last year's, just with Katie Rost being swapped out for the new girl. C'mon Bravo, couldn't you have put a little more effort into it? That being said, my vote for best tagline this season goes to newbie Monique Samuels for "I may be rough around the edges, but baby so are diamonds." (Though we don't see it this week since the rookie gets introduced in Episode 2.) The rest of the ladies' taglines are mostly fine, though a bit disappointing overall. Gizelle Bryant's "word on the street" one-liner was utter perfection last year and recycling it nearly word for word this year lessens its impact. I would've appreciated a "grande dame" reference by Karen Huger from way up on that pedestal, and Robyn Dixon seems to be clapping back at the insinuations from last year that she's not black enough. Thankfully, Charrisse Jackson Jordan dropped the condescension from her tagline this year - but is she really comparing her failed marriage to spilled milk? And Ashley Darby's may be my runner-up for best tagline this season. After spending last year desperately trying to fit in with the Potomac divas, the millennial is ready throw the book of etiquette out the window.
The premiere opens smack dab in the middle of a cold war between Gizelle and Charrisse. As she reminds her hairdresser Kal, Gizelle didn't take kindly to her frenemy insinuating during last year's reunion that she was a "whore." So, she retaliated by spilling the tea on #WWHL that Charrisse was dating a muscled up fireman despite still technically being married to her estranged husband Eddie. While both women had insulted each other and claimed the other was lying, things took a messy turn when Charrisse slapped Gizelle with a cease-and-desist in an effort to shut her up. However, if there's one thing we know about Gizelle, it's that no one no way tells her what she can and cannot say. No not never.
Meanwhile, Little Miss Ashley's been recruited as a contestant in a DWTS-esque charity dance competition called Manifest Your Destiny. Unfortunately, her focus on the charity event (which Gizelle happens to be judging) is taking her attention away from Oz, the new Australian restaurant she opened with her husband Michael. At the end of last season, the couple made a deal that they would start trying for a baby once the restaurant broke even but instead, the business has started putting a strain on their relationship. These days, there's less baby-making and much more bickering over changing staff, lack of customers and whether grilled emu should be on the menu.
Charrisse has turned over a new leaf for Season 2. At least that's what she keeps insisting in her confessionals. This year, she's leaving her broken marriage behind and moving forward. Her estranged husband Eddie may be the one asking for a divorce these days, but Charrisse is all about being Sha Sha, her fun-loving alter ego that just wants to have a good time. She's even recruited her daughter's former cheer coach to play the part of a poor man's Mikey Minden, sipping champagne and working overtime to spill catty gossip as she holds an impromptu fashion show in her closet. Charrisse isn't one bit apologetic about sending Gizelle the cease-and-desist letter and insists her supposed fireman side piece is a figment of her frenemy's imagination.
In other news, Karen and the black Bill Gates are househunting to cope with their empty nest syndrome - they're not downsizing, just "resizing" according to the grande dame - while Robyn and Juan were forced to relocate to faraway Hanover, Md. when their house went into foreclosure over the hiatus. But even being 45 miles away from Potomac can't keep Robyn from feeling caught in the middle of Gizelle and Charrisse's brewing feud. Yes, she may be ride-or-die with Gizelle but she's actually been friends with Charrisse for longer - all the way back to when Eddie was coaching Robyn's ex Juan on the Washington Wizards. So when Gizelle makes the long drive to Hanover to see the new townhouse, Robyn isn't afraid to tell her she thinks Gizelle crossed a line by spreading the fireman rumor on national TV. While Gizelle respects her bestie's opinion, she stands her ground and insists the fireman story is true. In fact, she goes a step further and lets slip that Charrisse told her herself that she cheats on Eddie. And as Gizelle reiterates, if Charrisse is going to call her a whore, she'd better be ready for Gizelle to strike back.
All five women finally come together to support Ashley at the Manifest Your Destiny charity event at the Howard Theatre in D.C. Ashley and her partner Teon manage to dance their way into first place, with Gizelle even giving her the highest score possible, but everyone's eyes are on the obvious tension between Gizelle and Charrisse. In an effort to squash their beef, the latter pulls her nemesis into the back alley for a charged confrontation. Charrisse goes in guns blazing, demanding to know where Gizelle gets off making up lies about her, while Gizelle wants an apology for Charrisse calling her a "whore" at the reunion.
Naturally, Charrisse refuses to apologize for something she claims she never said, and accuses Gizelle of using the perceived slight as an excuse to justify her spilling the fireman gossip on #WWHL. And besides, Gizelle should consider herself lucky that all Charrisse did was send a cease-and-desist. At some point, Sha Sha takes over and blurts out a "don't let the zip code fool you, baby" reference but just like Gizelle, I'm not quite sure what that even means. But once Charrisse starts calling her "crazy," Gizelle checks out and is officially done with this argument. The dramatic confrontation ends with both women storming away and it would appear this feud is far from a peaceful resolution...
What did you think of the RHOP premiere? Are you Team Charrisse or Team Gizelle? How should Robyn deal with being caught between the two? Whose tagline is your favorite this season? Let me know in the comments below!