This week's episode of The Real Housewives of Potomac starts in a flurry of chaos. A Housewife is in tears. A 'Wife is spreading rumors about another's ex-husband. And yet another is being kicked out of someone's party. Wait...how did we get here? Rewind the tape and read on for a full recap of what exactly made game night go wild!
Cut to one week earlier. Determined to show the veteran 'Wives the "real her," Monique Samuels is throwing an old-fashioned game of spades at her house in Vienna, Virginia. While shopping for highly specific outdoor party decor, the newbie fills her assistant/cousin in on her opinions of the new friends she's inviting over. So far, Monique has had favorable impressions of each one of the ladies...that is, except Gizelle Bryant. Following her tension with the OG at both high tea and hookah night, Monique is trepidatious at the thought of welcoming her frenemy into her home. However, she claims she's willing to give Gizelle the benefit of the doubt one last time. Maybe they just got off on the wrong foot and are meant to be friends?
Meanwhile, Robyn Dixon's got a burgeoning side hustle going and her latest project is doing PR for Ashley Darby's struggling restaurant, Oz. Robyn's master plan involves throwing an event in the restaurant for D.C. Pride complete with shirtless men and dog collars, but Ashley's much more interested in digging into Robyn's personal life. For some reason, the 28-year-old has come to the conclusion that, borrowing a line from the immortal Alison DuBois, Robyn will never be fulfilled by the complicated relationship with her live-in ex-husband Juan Dixon (know that!), and Ashley encourages her friend to find a new man to appreciate everything she has to offer. Once again, Robyn is perplexed as to why the younger 'Wife has so many opinions about her living situation and reminds us just how "gold digger-ish" Ashley's suggestion that she find someone with a yacht to sail the seas with sounds coming out of her mouth. Warning: stay in your lane little girl.
In other news, Charrisse Jackson Jordan is busy fulfilling her responsibilities as interim president of the NBA Wives Association by throwing a fundraising mixer for Potomac's athletic elite. Naturally Robyn and former Washington Wizards star Juan are invited, as well as Monique and her husband Chris but the rest of the guest list seems to largely be made up of very rich strangers. As hostess, Charrisse commands the guests' attention to deliver a speech but after the usual platitudes, things take a bizarre left turn. To her fellow 'Wives' obvious horror, Sha Sha proceeds to announce her impending divorce to a room full of onlookers stunned into an uncomfortable silence. I suppose that's one way to let all the rich, retired athletes know you'll soon be a free agent...
Don't worry, the awkwardness at the NBA Wives event doesn't end there. After dinner is served, Monique proceeds to grill Robyn and Juan about the status of their relationship, even going so far as to ask the cohabiting non-couple if they would ever consider getting married again. Now, it's no secret that I'm a hardcore Robyn + Juan shipper, but both are frozen with a deer-in-headlights expression as they try to graciously shut down conversation of a re-blossoming romance. Man, between Ashley and Monique, poor Robyn is getting interrogated from every angle this week.
Neither Karen Huger nor Gizelle are present for any of this awkwardness because, while the grande dame is throwing a 70th birthday party for her adorable, sassy mother, the latter is all business. It turns out Gizelle's makeup line has come a long way from last season's focus group - she's come up with a name for the new brand (EveryHue Beauty) and has developed 12 unique shades with her business partners. Unlike her nemesis Monique, Gizelle isn't about to let a man's money define her status. No, she's all about setting a good example of how to be a strong, independent woman for her three little girls and, as she reminds us via confessional, her partners may know business but she knows beauty.
Finally Monique's game night has arrived and even though I still have no idea how in the world to play spades, the rest of the 'Wives arrive with their best game faces on. The evening turns out to be a couples night, so most of the women bring their husbands (including Juan!) while Gizelle makes her entrance sporting a fabulous striped cape with her bestie/hairdresser Kal in tow. After her last two encounters with the newest 'Wife, Gizelle's a bit guarded coming into this game night and it doesn't go unnoticed by Monique, who points out in her confessional that the veteran 'Wife refused to greet her with a hug. Now, what happens next is hard to explain. First, Gizelle and Kal start playfully throwing some shade about how Monique never stops talking under their breath. Straining to hear, Monique's camera-hungry watchdog of a best friend Gigi calls the pair out for their whispering and promptly alerts the newbie that she's being gossiped about. However, Gizelle's able to shut the drama down before tensions flare - reassuring Monique they were simply complimenting her home. In the words of Gizelle's confessional: "Back up off me, bi**h!"
When Little Miss Ashley shows up, she makes a beeline straight for Gizelle, ready to spill the tea on a piping hot piece of gossip that's fallen into her lap. Apparently, word on the street around Oz is that Robyn's ex Juan has been seen dating other people. Hold the phone. This is news to Gizelle. And it doesn't make a whole lot of sense - just in this episode alone we've seen Robyn and Juan out at events with each other twice in the same week. Ashley claims she needs Gizelle's advice about what to do with this information but the former Mr. and Mrs. Juan Dixon are literally in Monique's backyard together getting ready to play spades.
Given the sensitive nature of this gossip about her bestie's life, Gizelle waits for Monique to leave the room, telling Ashley point blank that she didn't want to continue the conversation in front of "Ms. I-can't-stop-talking." Of course, this prompts Monique's assistant to run after her and repeat what Gizelle just said, leading to the rookie 'Wife storming back into the kitchen once again demanding answers. Gizelle tries to reiterate that she's simply trying to have a private conversation with Ashley but now Monique is fired up, accusing her frenemy of being disrespectful in her home and claiming Gizelle is "one step away from getting [her] face punched in." The moment escalates with Gizelle calling Monique "aggressive" and Monique accusing Gizelle of constantly giving her the cold shoulder, and next thing we know Gizelle is getting kicked out of a party for the second time in two seasons. In Monique's book, this is strike three for the OG, whom she calls a "stuck up trick" to a stunned Karen and Ashley.
The drama then moves to the driveway: Gizelle gets in her car just as Robyn comes out to check on her friend. Naturally, Gizelle passes Ashley's gossip about Juan along to her BFF, which leads to Robyn reminding the youngest 'Wife that she and her ex are not a couple. If Juan wants to date other people, that's his prerogative and none of Little Miss Ashley's business. Finally, Charrisse arrives late to the party and right into the middle of the drama in the driveway. Poor Charrisse is clearly out of sorts and before she can even say a word, she bursts into tears. As Robyn and Gizelle try to comfort their friend, she admits that the messy disintegration of her marriage is taking a very real toll on her. Despite the strong facade she puts up, Sha Sha can't pretend to be OK all the time. Just as Gizelle is catching Charrisse up on all the drama she's missed, Monique crashes the conversation demanding to know why all of her guests have congregated around her nemesis in the driveway. And with that, we're left with a classic Housewives "To Be Continued" cliffhanger...
What did you think of this week's RHOP? Are you Team Gizelle or Team Monique? Should Ashley be spreading rumors about Robyn and Juan? Did you cringe when Charrisse announced her divorce to a room full of strangers? Tell me in the comments below!