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Spinoffs & Other Shows

Recaps, opinion pieces and analysis of Bravo TV shows including Don't Be Tardy, Manzo'd With Children, Ladies of London, Tour Group, Shahs of Sunset and Southern Charm.

Ladies of London Ssn 2/Ep 8 - Something Rotten in Denmark

Glenn Rowley

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This week in London kicks off with London Fashion Week, one of the "Big Four" semi-annual fashion weeks along with NYC, Milan and Paris. Marissa and Juliet are front row to support Annabelle, who's walking in the Fashion For Relief show to help combat the ebola crisis along with supermodels Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn. The other ladies are speechless as Annabelle hits the runway wearing a McQueen gown, slaying her look with a perfect twirl. Marissa posits that her friend Alexander would be proud, and I think anyone watching would agree.

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In less happy news, Caroline Stanbury is busy finishing layoffs at Gift Library. It's a miserable job to fire nearly 50 employees and close up shop on the dream you've spent years building. Sitting down with her CFO Pauline and assistant Rania, the gravity of the situation finally hits Caroline, and she vows to never hire more than four people ever again. As she turns off the lights and locks the Gift Library doors for the last time, Caroline reminds us via confessional that there's no shame in failure - but that doesn't make the situation any easier or less sad.

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After the Fashion For Relief show, Annabelle meets backstage with her friend Naomi Campbell. The model and the muse share a touching conversation about their decades-long friendship and it's genuinely nice to see a sweet and supportive side to the infamous Naomi. The anniversary of McQueen's death is fast approaching, and it's put Annabelle in a dark and difficult head space. She explains that she doesn't want to open up to any of the other Ladies about what she's going through because there always seems to be a never-ending supply of drama within the group. This tragedy is deeply personal and not to be subjected to pettiness. Instead, it's the type of sensitive and vulnerable subject that Annabelle only feels safe opening up about to a close friend like Naomi. 

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Next, Caroline Fleming asks Marissa to meet for tea at Chelsea Quarter Cafe to yet again beat the dead horse that has become CougarGate. Are we really talking about this again? Even though she accepted Marissa's apology at the shooting weekend, Caroline Fleming feels that she still didn't get to say what she really wanted to say. The baroness is still feeling betrayed that Marissa inexplicably caused drama by talking to Caroline's sister about her new boyfriend, but Marissa is more than ready to be done talking about it. CF tells Marissa she wants to know she can trust her as a true and loyal friend, but the ex-pat points out that there's not much more she can do to fix the problem - she's already apologized countless times. The two once again hug it out, but Caroline Fleming turns right around in her confessional to say that she doesn't feel Marissa was being sincere. Seriously? The baroness is milking this single comment for everything it's possibly worth and at this point, Marissa's not the one who looks bad.

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After a quick scene of Julie doing a bizarre bare-butt photoshoot to promote JUB, the two Carolines and Sophie meet for lunch at Beaufort House. Still reeling from the loss of Gift Library, Caroline Stanbury explains that she's not well-equipped to deal with failure, especially one so public. However, Caroline Fleming is sure she has the perfect idea to get her friend's mind off the stress: a girls' trip to Denmark! The quirky Danish royal wants to open up her heart and life by showing the Ladies her homeland - yes, that includes Marissa. She's hoping that the trip will really solidify the friendships she's created, but Sophie is sure there's bound to be drama in Denmark. Copenhagen, here we come!

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Arriving at Heathrow Airport, the Ladies are all anxious to be off on their trip. That is, until they realize Annabelle's missing. When she strolls in late in her fur coat, Caroline Stanbury points out that it's a classic Annabelle move to keep everyone waiting and worried. Julie claims in her interview that her BFF has been strangely distant lately but she can't put a finger on what's going on. For her part, Caroline Fleming is just excited to show her friends Denmark. From Copenhagen to her family's castle, she's determined to treat them to a "gorgeous, undramatic" weekend. When the group lands in Denmark, they're greeted by a swarm of paparazzi and reporters - they never realized until now just how big of a deal Caroline Fleming is in her native country. In fact, the baroness explains in her interview that moving to England was a conscious decision on her part to escape the media, tabloids and feeling of being constantly watched. But now that she's back, news will travel fast and she warns the other women that it will likely be difficult for them to have much privacy on the trip. Such is the life of a royal.

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Checking into the luxurious Hotel D'Angleterre, Annabelle explains that with everything she's going through emotionally, she would've stayed home if she hadn't already agreed to the trip. Out of all the Ladies, she expected Julie to be her biggest support and is disappointed her bestie hasn't made any effort to check in on her. First on the itinerary for the trip is a walking tour of downtown Copenhagen and the women are all dressed to the nines for their stroll in the below-freezing temperatures. The tour turns into a lesson in Caroline Fleming's family history as she takes the group to a statue of her ninth great-grandfather Niels Juel, a Danish admiral who won several crucial battles in the Scanian War and was given several castles around the country as a reward.

Next, Caroline Fleming wants to take the women to shop for furs, but vegetarian Julie is morally opposed to the idea of a furrier and opts out of the activity. Annabelle thinks that turning her nose up at a planned activity is rude to the hostess and promptly tells Julie so, but Lady Hinchingbrooke fires back that the issue isn't any of Annabelle's business. Plus, in the end Caroline Fleming doesn't mind, so no harm, no foul no matter how childish Annabelle might think her behavior is. The rest of the Ladies hit up Birger Christensen, where Juliet comments that they seem to be living straight out of a fairytale as they try on sables with $50,000 price tags. So far, this trip is going exactly how Caroline Fleming wanted - happy and positive. 

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Later back at the hotel, Luke arrives at the Carolines' suite to do Caroline Stanbury's makeup and warns them that Annabelle's going to be in a bit of a funny mood. Just 45 minutes prior, she and Julie started getting into it over who was upset with whom and all the talking going on behind each other's back. Caroline Stanbury asserts that she won't allow Julie to be bullied and dragged around by Annabelle, but Caroline Fleming just wants everyone to get along. She doesn't want any drama getting brought into her family home the next day. Good luck telling Annabelle that, says Caroline Stanbury.

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The Ladies reconvene for dinner at Geist, Caroline Fleming's favorite restaurant in all of Copenhagen. The meal starts off well with delicious delicacies all around, but drama is lurking just under the surface. In an effort to get everything out on the proverbial table, Caroline Fleming makes a bold announcement: if anyone has anything to say to or about anyone else, do it now before they go to bed. That's one way of avoiding drama at your family's castle, Baroness. Juliet, (who seems to be un-mic'd?), is feeling gratefully copacetic for once. It looks like Bam-Bam has learned her lesson from the beginning of the season and vows to not be a part of any drama on this trip. As the hot potato gets passed around the giant table, everyone claims to have nothing to say. Everyone's happy, everyone's good. That is, until Annabelle calls B.S. on the charade and volunteers to voice a few of her opinions. Here we go...

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Marissa explains that the group has inexplicably entered into a therapy session with Dr. Annabelle, and no one is safe. The Brit starts with Juliet, advising that she try listening more without jumping straight to anger. Next in Annabelle's line of fire is Caroline Stanbury, whom she says needs to be more careful about carelessly throwing out her infamous posh put-downs. Sometimes people on the receiving end of the jabs may get hurt but not say it - cut to Julie nervously gulping down her wine. Speaking of Loose Lips, Annabelle thinks her BFF needs to occasionally hold in the things she knows she shouldn't say out loud. Lady Hinchingbrooke seems baffled by this outburst - the Annabelle she knows would never be this hurtful and point out everyone's flaws. Though, if you ask me, Caroline Fleming was the one who opened the can of worms by ushering in the invitation for a firing squad. Annoyed at Annabelle's rather loud opinions, Caroline Stanbury fires back that she's frustrated at her frenemy's penchant for withdrawing from the group and thinking she's better than everyone. However, Annabelle claims to know exactly what the queen bee is trying to do by calling her out for her honesty and thinks Caroline just doesn't want to hear the truth. On the contrary, Caroline says that she prefers to be told things straight up, even if she doesn't like what what's being said. The tension has been brewing between these two all season long and it looks like the eruption is only just beginning.