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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 Season 2 Finale - The New Queen Bee Bikini

Glenn Rowley

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After a fabulous season full of high society moments, we've finally reached the end of the road for Season 2 of Ladies of London. However, don't worry, there's plenty that still needs to go down in this final episode. Buckle your seat belts, Brits, it's going to be quite the bumpy ride to the finish line. 

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The episode opens with Annabelle at Caroline Fleming's and both Ladies are still recovering from the trip to Denmark. Annabelle points out that everyone actually seemed to have a great time on the holiday while dealing with all the individual dramas going on. Exhibit A: the baroness managed to make up with Marissa over dinner at the castle (hopefully for real this time). Exhibit B: Annabelle still feels that Julie isn't being a supportive friend and has vowed to talk with her about the issues brewing between the besties. Talk about perfect timing - Julie and Juliet arrive just as the sentence escapes Annabelle's lips, ready to join the girls for lunch. As they take their seats at the table, Julie can already feel the tension in the air. 

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However, the first hit comes from a source she probably wasn't expecting as Caroline Fleming probes about the trip. When Julie says she loved it, CF does some kind of bait and switch and claims she heard Julie was talking about her behind her back, questioning why such a "terrible person" would be joining their group of friends. Umm...what? Julie's obviously taken aback by this accusation, which came courtesy of Caroline Stanbury. Flustered, she admits to making the comment, but insists that it was months ago, back when she barely knew the Danish beauty. I'm sensing a pattern that clearly Caroline Fleming likes to hold onto things. Watching from the sidelines, Juliet points out in her interview that she's always had an inkling that it's not all love and light with the baroness - there's a punchy, dark side to her too, so don't piss her off.

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Now that Caroline Fleming's gotten the ball rolling, Annabelle jumps on the bandwagon, saying that she knows where the baroness is coming from since people seem to have plenty of opinions about her that they don't say to her face. Sensing the shade, Julie asks why the dig felt directed at her and Annabelle seizes her opportunity to explain that there seems to be a disconnect between the Julie who's been her best friend and the person sitting across the table from her now. Annabelle admits that she has been deeply struggling with the five year anniversary of McQueen's passing, and the fact of the matter is that Julie hasn't come around or checked on her. Annabelle's feelings are hurt, and it seems it was more important to Julie to be getting in good with the other Ladies than to support her BFF. To defend herself, Julie whips out proof of a long apology text on her phone, pointing out that she's been there for Annabelle consistently in the past. Is the one time she wasn't there big enough to rip their entire friendship apart? Caroline Fleming attempts to mediate between the two as Julie starts sobbing and apologizing from "the bottom of [her] heart" with a litany of excuses about how she's just been so busy and can't be a good enough friend.

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Immediately after the disastrous lunch, Julie meets Marissa for some white wine spritzers and a rehash of the fight with Annabelle. Julie explains that she specifically reached out to Marissa because she has the best relationship with Annabelle out of all the women in the group. Being stuck in the middle is never easy, but Marissa can empathize with both of them. From her perspective, Marissa explains that maybe Annabelle can't understand all the strains and demands on Julie as a wife, mother, budding entrepreneur, etc. On the other hand, Annabelle may feel like she's losing Julie and has a bone to pick with Caroline Stanbury about it. The one thing Marissa knows for sure is that Julie's grown a pair of balls and they look good on her.

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Meanwhile, Caroline Stanbury is at home adjusting to life without Gift Library. In her confessional, the reigning queen bee admits that she gets that her life is easy, she has a rich husband and lives in a nice house. However, the presence of a safety net doesn't make losing the company she started from scratch any easier. In England, women are raised to believe that they'll marry a banker or businessman and then stay home raising the kids, but tradition was never in the cards for Caroline Stanbury. Later, Annabelle meets up with Marissa at Bumpkin to plan the book reading for the first Me Me Me's book. Marissa asks how things are between Annabelle and Julie. After all, last she'd heard there had been tears. Annabelle admits that Julie's floodgates opened during the fight, but felt the conversation needed to happen. 

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The next day, Caroline and Annabelle meet for a sit down full of ultimatums. Apparently, all the girls have each come to Caroline individually to complain about how Annabelle "ruined" the trip to Denmark, so the queen bee has taken it upon herself to deliver the news to her frenemy. Caroline insists that she wants Annabelle to have a good time with the group and throws out an ultimatum: change your attitude or leave. Annabelle admits that when life gets hard, her first reaction is to shut down and retreat, but that she tried to open up as much as she could in Denmark. Caroline claims that she doesn't want Annabelle to cut ties, but leaves it up to her to decide whether she wants to lose all the Ladies as friends. This seems very dramatic considering that Annabelle is the one going through a difficult time. Caroline explains that she's throwing a pool party to celebrate "friendship and girl power" and hopes that a new and improved Annabelle will make an appearance. Plus, it's an excuse to have lots of hot guys in swim trunks.

For Annabelle's book reading, Bumpkin has been turned into the Me Me Me's world, complete with decorations and a kid-friendly menu. In addition to Marissa, who's hosting the event, Julie, Juliet and Sophie all show up with their kids to support Annabelle's big debut. Julie can still sense a distance between her and her BFF, but it's certainly not the appropriate time to broach the subject. As Annabelle reads her book to the kids, Juliet explains via confessional that it's awfully nice to watch the budding author get into her stride and see the work resonate with the kids. Annabelle herself admits that she's proud of making her dream come true and believes that she really does need to open herself up more. Maybe Caroline was right after all?

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The night of Caroline's winter pool party is at hand and all the Ladies show up in their best tropical garb, with halter tops, swimsuits and minidresses galore as they're geeted by shirtless swimsuit models. Caroline makes sure to fill all the women in on her conversation with Annabelle before she arrives sporting legs for days in a stunning one-piece swimsuit. Julie and Annabelle are still skating on thin ice around each other and both are finally ready to put this drama to bed once and for all. Pulling Julie into the kitchen for a chat, Annabelle explains that she doesn't want anything to change between them. However, she started to see changes in Julie in Denmark and needed to express how she felt. For her part, Julie apologizes for being selfish, admitting that she was really just being there for herself and not for Annabelle. The two hug it out and Julie explains in her interview that when you love a friend as much as she loves Annabelle, it's important to show your true feelings and work things out. (As for whether this truce lasted, Twitter tells a very different story.)

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Caroline gathers all the Ladies and other guests to the pool to deliver a funny, heartfelt speech saying that they really are all like family to her, and she can't wait to spend the next who-knows-how-long making memories with them. Now, let the naughtiness begin! As the Ladies jump into the pool and get the real party started, we get final thoughts from each of them. Julie hasn't managed to save Mapperton yet, but she's on her way and focusing on being the best version of herself she can be. Marissa's busy growing her family (she's pregnant again!) and Top Dog, determined as ever to have it all. Caroline Fleming is finally at peace with herself, and hopes her journey will help inspire other people. Juliet's been busy working on her blog, which has given her a voice and a passion for fashion...and maybe keeping her out of trouble. Annabelle signed a deal to publish more books in the Me Me Me's series and celebrated with a party at the Hotel in NYC. As for Caroline Stanbury? The queen bee doesn't know what's next for the group of Ladies, but she's going back to the drawing board. And that, my friends, is a wrap on Season 2 of Ladies of London!