It's a new week in London and the Ladies are all ready to move on from the petty drama that's consumed the last couple of episodes. In particular, Juliet is ready to no longer be the center of conflict among the women. Sure, she loves getting into it and making sure her voice is heard, but she's decided she just can't deal with the drama anymore. She needs to apologize to Julie for the argument at Sophie's birthday party and what a better way to make amends than to host a night of burgers, beer and bowling for the group at The Croc. Add some colorful wigs to the mix and you're asking for a good time. Putting together this bowling party is Juliet's way of taking Caroline's advice from Sophie's party to help everyone take a deep breath, be happy and just be friends with each other. Sounds easy enough, right?
Elsewhere, Marissa is meeting with Annabelle to get her "fash-on fash-on" advice on the retail merch for Top Dog. I absolutely love the organic, easy friendship that has developed between these two. Annabelle may be fashion with a capital F - she shows Marissa all the pictures from the Maison Margiela Artisanal Collection show she just went to - but she's just as equally down-to-earth and real. She's also incredibly supportive of Marissa's new restaurant venture, saying in her interview how fun it is to watch Marissa create something that is completely and utterly hers. Conversation turns to the drama from Sophie's birthday party and the two agree that, even with a few tears (which were par for the course with this group), it was the first civilized night they've had in a long while. However, after watching Juliet go after Julie, a pattern seems to be emerging. First Juliet sacrificed her friendship with Marissa to accommodate Caroline Stanbury, and now it appears she's doing the same thing to her relationship with Julie. Apparently being the queen bee's sidekick trumps all else to Juliet.
Speaking of the queen bee, Caroline is anxiously preparing for her board meeting with the Gift Library investors. Her main objective for the meeting is to let them know that she's running out of funding. With her startup loan due at the end of the month, Caroline has bitten off way more than she can chew and is rapidly running out of options. With her CFO in tow, Caroline braves the dreary London rain, petrified at the meeting ahead of her. It doesn't go well. Next thing we know, she's leaving the meeting with strains of the soundtrack's lyrics alluding to a crash course and a free fall playing in the background. As she gets into her car, she calls her husband Cem and we learn the news: Gift Library must close its doors. Next, she calls her assistant Rania to deliver the blow - everyone in the office is essentially fired, the investors don't want to put more money into a business that isn't going anywhere. This is unfamiliar territory to Caroline, she's never been in the position of failure before. To make matters more complicated, she's hosting friends from America for a few days and has to entertain them while they're in town.
In other entrepreneurial news, Annabelle is meeting with her illustrator, graffiti artist Astro, to go over progress on The Me Me Me's, her new children's book series. She's signed a contract to publish the first book in the series, and the publishers have asked for a longer, 10-year deal on top of that. Each Me in the series represents a different emotion pulled from somewhere in Annabelle's history - Angry Me deals with her frustrations battling dyslexia as a child in school while Dreamy Me takes inspiration from the time she was confined to her bed with a broken pelvis following Season 1's horse-riding accident and her imagination was her only outlet. This is the first project she's pursued on her own since the passing of her best friend, the iconic fashion designer Alexander McQueen, and she wants to get it right.
Julie is determined to turn Mapperton into a thriving business, and invites Annabelle and Caroline Fleming to visit Bealieu, the estate of a distant Montagu cousin, with her. If one Montagu can run one of the most popular and profitable estates in London, so can another. Rule #1: you must invest in good doormats if you plan on having tourists and visitors traipsing through the estate every day. As a 10th generation aristocrat, Caroline Fleming is the perfect Lady to bring on this expedition. She's had a lifetime of experience understanding how to run stately homes and castles, which is an extremely expensive undertaking. It's a huge responsibility, but this is where Julie is excited about Mapperton, turning part of it into a thriving business and bringing the estate into the 21st century. After touring the Beaulieu gardens, the threesome sit to discuss the drama that is Juliet Angus. The baroness is convinces Juliet's constant destructive outbursts have to be coming from a place of hurt and suggests they try reaching out to "connect with her heart, sensitivity and feelings." However, Julie feels like she already tried to open her arms to Juliet and Juliet blew it. If Caroline Fleming is on a mission to help Juliet, she needs all the luck she can get.
It turns out that Caroline Stanbury's "friends from America" are none other than Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the history of the NFL and his ex-fiance Vito Cammisano. (Considering that this was filmed in January 2015, they were still together at the time.) It seems like a random friendship, but apparently the pair met Caroline at The Abbey in LA and immediately hit it off, becoming fast friends. Though she's being put through the ringer with the closing of Gift Library, Caroline is determined to show her friends a good time. And what better way to show them London than by taking them on a famous Duck Tour? As the guided tour brings them from Westminster Abbey and the big blue cock in Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace and Parliament, Caroline realizes that Michael and Vito are the perfect people to help distract her from the reality of what's going on at work. Yes, she's avoiding real life and real problems for a day, but the amphibious tour is fun and takes her mind off the stress. Also, was I the only person watching whose jaw dropped when the duck went into the river? Crazy.
True to her plan, Caroline Fleming invites Juliet over to her flat for a one-on-one cooking lesson. The quirky baroness is excited to impart her wisdom and advice on Juliet, but the American feels like the invitation is more of a blind date. After all, the two barely know each other. During the lesson, Caroline whips out her latest cookbook, leaving Juliet to wonder what this baroness/model/chef/TV host can't do. The pair make two different dishes - homemade pesto and granola, and Caroline lets Juliet in on her secret uses for coconut oil, both outside and in. I for one don't want to know where that coconut oil goes. Maybe a bit TMI, Baroness? Juliet comes away from the cooking lesson with the novel idea that maybe if she said less and did less, there would be less for people to talk about. Now let's see if she applies it...
Finally, the ladies all gather for bowling at the Croc, minus Annabelle who's sick. Juliet wants so badly for the night to be the opening of a new chapter in the group, a clean slate that's drama-free. To usher in the fun, she's had custom bowling shirts made with nicknames for each of the ladies embroidered on the back: Caroline S. is Her Royal Highness, Julie is Loose Lips and Juliet herself is Bam Bam. Caroline Fleming is a bit bothered by her nickname "Cougar" but Juliet insists it's all supposed to be in good fun. There's a lot of jumping and screaming as the Ladies start bowling and everyone seems to be having a great time. That is, until Marissa starts playfully heckling Caroline Fleming, calling her "Cougie" and joking that everyone should lock up their boys when it's her turn to bowl. Caroline doesn't find the joke amusing and fails to find the connection between dating a thirty-year-old and locking up little boys. As the group gathers for a picture in their wigs, Marissa slides in one more remark about the Cougar liking little boys and the baroness has officially had enough. Caroline Stanbury points out that when you cross the other Caroline, it's noted...and followed by silence. And silence is deadly.
As the party winds down, Juliet pulls Julie aside to smooth over their fight from Sophie's party. Julie insists she wasn't being malicious in telling Juliet to stand up to Caroline Stanbury and doesn't want to lose Juliet's friendship over the squabble. Both maintain that they were trying to be there for each other and agree to move on. After all, the J's make up a pretty great American ex-pat team. As the episode ends, Marissa wonders out loud if Caroline Fleming is upset with her, saying that she was only repeating what was on her shirt. But did she push it too far? According to Caroline, the answer is a definitive yes, but we'll have to wait until next week for the fallout.