This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac it's all about humblebrags and high tea as the ladies meet new 'Wife Monique and Karen organizes a peace summit between Gizelle and Charrisse. Plus, Katie Rost returns for her long-awaited Casino Royale event! Read on for a full recap of all the shade, blindsides and low blows straight from The Willard...
While Karen Huger wanders around her empty mansion leaving voicemails for her daughter, Ashley Darby has invited Charrisse Jackson Jordan and Robyn Dixon to an obviously empty Oz for a girls' lunch. Over emu and camel burgers, the women discuss everything from Ashley humping for a good cause last week to Charrisse dropping the bomb that her husband's lawyer has sent her an official letter asking for a divorce. Is it really a surprise, though, when she essentially did the same thing over text last season? Either way, it's the first step in the process and a divorce seems inevitable for Charrisse and Eddie. Also on the menu is talk of former Housewife Katie Rost's long-awaited Casino Royale event, which was a source of endless contention and host committee drama during Season 1. Charrisse has served in an unofficial support role for Katie ever since the "ball and gala girl" kicked the other women off her host committee, but even she has no idea what to expect with the event just days away.
All the 'Wives show up on the appointed night for Katie's Casino Royale event. Charrisse went the extra mile by inviting several of her elite and fabulous friends, and the event even serves as the setting where we're introduced to Katie's replacement - new Housewife Monique Samuels and her husband Chris. Meanwhile, Gizelle and her fabulous lace jumpsuit are steering clear of Charrisse following their back alley blow-up in the premiere, but the real focus of the night is throwing shade at Katie. It's safe to say the divas of Potomac are far from impressed with the socialite's charity event. Karen points out that Katie's running with a more eccentric crowd these days and our beloved model-turned-philanthropist is given a send-off into what Gizelle not-so-lovingly terms "KatieLand." At least there was no mention of Andrew?
The next day, Karen invites Robyn over to the Huger mansion for a friendly game of pool with a side of scheming. As always, the grande dame has an ulterior motive for Robyn's visit and proceeds to lay out a plan to get all the ladies together with the goal of ending Gizelle and Charrisse's nasty feud once and for all. Robyn points out that she feels caught in the middle of her two friends, but tells Karen that - in her opinion - Gizelle's insult was the much more egregious of the two. When Robyn opens up further by saying that if Gizelle had done something similar to her, she would've been at her bestie's house the next day ready to hash it out, you can practically see Karen's eyes light up as she cackles inside and files that tidbit of ammo away for later use. Uh oh, Robyn, watch out - you should know better than to spill anything resembling tea in front of the grande dame of Potomac.
Later, while Gizelle goes on a date with an old friend turned new suitor and Ashley clashes with Michael over the restaurant on their anniversary, we learn more about Monique when Charrisse and Robyn join her for a barre class. Not only does the rookie Housewife pay her assistant to work out with her, she also brings her own cocktails for a post-barre chat with the girls. Originally from New Jersey, Monique has been married to retired Washington Redskins player Chris Samuels and the couple owns not one but four homes. Yes, they're apparently that wealthy. As the newbie throws shade at Katie's "starter event" and regaling them with stories of her own fabulous charity events, Robyn points out that Monique seems to have a slight penchant for humblebragging and it's not the cutest look when meeting new friends. Still, Robyn chooses to invite the new girl to high tea with the other ladies, a get-together Charrisse isn't exactly looking forward to as it involves coming face to face with Gizelle.
Karen and Robyn choose to host the afternoon tea at the five-star Willard InterContinental, directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. After all, the grande dame points out, the tone of any gathering is determined by its setting, and she wants this peace summit to be the complete opposite of last week's argument in a back alley. Surprisingly, Monique is the first to arrive, sporting an edgy homage to Princess Leia beneath her lady-like wide-brimmed hat. Of course when Gizelle shows up next, she wastes no time hazing the new girl about everything from real estate to a secret talent for rapping. Monique explains that she and her husband are currently looking for a home in the Potomac area, and when the OG questions why she doesn't have a home, the newbie doesn't miss a beat by pointing out that she actually has four homes thank you very much. Catch that shade, girl!
After Monique leaves the other 'Wives wide-eyed with her audacity to spit a verse of freestyle rap lyrics in the lobby of the Willard, Charrisse and Ashley finally show up and the grande dame begins holding court over the high tea. Prompted by Karen, Gizelle decides to bite the bullet and apologize to Charrisse for spreading the fireman rumor, admitting in her confessional that retaliating with the gossip didn't make her look good. Charrisse decides to tentatively accept the apology she's been waiting for, but doesn't let her frenemy off the hook that easily. After taking Gizelle to task one more time for making up lies about her, Charrisse insists that not only did she never cheat on Eddie, but the fireman she's supposedly dating doesn't exist. It's going to take Sha Sha a little more time to make amends with Gizelle, but at least we're taking baby steps.
With that feud more or less resolved and out of the way, Karen turns her attention to Robyn and promptly puts her cohost on blast for talking behind Gizelle's back. The grande dame questions Robyn's for playing both sides and simply wants to know who she's loyal to: Gizelle or Charrisse. Robyn seems blindsided at being thrown under the bus, but you have to admit she walked right into the grande dame's trap. Fortunately, everything she told Karen had already been said to Gizelle directly, and Robyn claps back at the grande dame for being messy and trying to spill some sort of non-existent tea. However, Gizelle is caught off guard by this news and points out in her confessional that this is clearly something she and her bestie will need to hash out in private. At this point, Monique jumps into the fray dismayed that the ladies are arguing over such pettiness, but Robyn shuts down the conversation and the episode ends with Karen giving a toast to "friendship, transparency and authenticity." Hmm, I wonder if the grande dame considers stirring the pot as part of being authentic...
What did you think of this week's RHOP? Were your first impressions of Monique positive or negative? Should Charrisse forgive Gizelle? Was it fair for Karen to throw Robyn under the bus? Let me know in the comments!