This week on Southern Charm, Cameran Eubanks reps for all the modern Southern ladies out there by hosting her first-ever dinner party for the gang. Well, most of them anyway. More than one Charmer doesn't make the guest list, and it becomes increasingly clear that if you don't mind your manners in Charleston's high society, you get iced out.
The episode opens with Cameran working from her home office. Via confessional, she explains that she feels like a pretty modern Southern woman - one who likes having her own career and representing for all the independent ladies out there. While her husband Jason has made it more than clear that he wants to start a family, Cam isn't so sure she's ready for a baby yet However, there are some aspects of being a traditional Southern housewife that she wants to maintain, and that includes being able to throw a proper dinner party. This is a feat she's never even tried before, so she's inviting some of her friends over to serve as guinea pigs. Call it a domestication dry run.
Meanwhile, Thomas Ravenel and Kathryn Calhoun Dennis are both rehashing their drama from the night before, the former with Daisy the nanny and the latter with recurring cast member Jennifer Snowden. Kathryn wonders if the way most of her friends ignored her at the party was because they don't know what to say or if it's more personal than that. She also explains her frustrations with her baby daddy - while he's worried about changing Kensington's nursery from pink to periwinkle, Kathryn's just trying to find a place of her own to live. And people called her a gold digger again why? From T-Rav's perspective, he's at the disadvantage because, according to South Carolina law, the mother has total parental rights over any children born out of wedlock. So even though he's given Kathryn a couple of checks to help out, he's not obligated to give her any type of child support until a court order is established.
In a less dramatic part of town, Shep Rose drops by Landon Clements' new house for a visit. (Now that she's more settled in Charleston, the brunette divorcee has upgraded from life on the houseboat.) Surviving on a "starving artist diet" of hummus and carrots, Landon is determined to bring a slice of culture to the South - she's making paintings to sell and has come up with an idea for a cultural magazine featuring everything from art and fashion to food and wine in Charleston. Shep opines in his confessional that Landon may share his allergy to good, hard work, but at least the girl has dreams. I'm starting to think she's the secret hippie child of the Charmers' social circle and we just never knew it...
To prep for her dinner party, Cam pays a visit to the fabulous queen of Charleston high society (and kaftans), Patricia Altschul, for some advice on being a proper Southern hostess. Patricia agrees to come support Cam, but balks at the suggestion that the cooking will be done in a crockpot. Instead, Patricia suggests Cameran meet with Suzanne Pollock at the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits to put together a proper menu. The kaftan queen even offers to bring her butler Michael to serve cocktails at the party - though this is likely more for her benefit than the other guests. We know how Patricia feels about her gin martinis... She inquires about the guest list, and Cameran reveals all the Charmers will be invited, with the exception of Thomas and Kathryn. Pulling off this dinner party will be stressful enough, and she doesn't want any drama getting in the way of a good night.
As part of his fresh start in Charleston, Craig Conover is finally preparing to take the bar exam and even got himself a brand new job working for recurring cast member JD Madison's company Gentry Hospitality Group. To legitimize the partnership, Craig signs a contract called a memorandum of understanding and signs over a check for $15,000 as part of his buy-in to the company. The rest he'll have to work off in the form of sweat equity. My, my, this certainly is a different Craig than the one we saw party and drink his way through last season.
Later that night, Craig hits the Royal American to celebrate his new position with Shep and Landon. For some inexplicable reason, Shep thought it was a good idea to invite two different girls to join him at the bar - Landon's friend Robyn and a blonde girl named Bailey. Next thing we know, both girls have shown up and Shep is stuck between them at the bar with an awkward situation on his hands. However, this kind of thing is just in the golden boy's nature. As Landon points out in her confessional, Shep is like a golden retriever: if another ball flys by, he'll go after that one. Classic Sheppy, am I right? Never change, golden boy.
Thomas asks Patricia and Whitney Sudler-Smith to lunch at Charleston's best French restaurant to lament his difficulties with Kathryn. After butchering his order of escargot and duck in "fluent" French, Thomas asks Patricia if it's normal for a woman to use the kids as leverage against the father. Clearly this isn't OK, but I can't help but feel that Thomas is trying to use the cameras to his advantage to paint Kathryn as a bad mom. Just an opinion though.
Meanwhile, Kathryn's out looking for properties in West Ashley and decides to stop by Craig and Naomie's house for a visit. However, it's awkward timing as the couple is in the midst of getting ready for Cameran's dinner party. Kathryn's visibly crestfallen upon finding out she didn't get an invite, and it's especially insulting considering that she also didn't get invited to Patricia's upcoming flamingo party. Craig offers to say something in her defense at the party in an effort to set the group straight. After all, it doesn't seem very fair that the rest of the Charmers will be friendly with Thomas while continually alienating Kathryn.
Thanks to assists from Suzanne, Patricia, and Michael, Cameran pulls off a family-style dinner party exactly the way she wanted - though she may or may not have had to unwrap a few long-forgotten wedding gifts to make it happen. As everyone digs in to the ribeye and she passes Patricia's well-done piece across the table, as Cam puts Craig on the spot by asking what kind of ring Naomie would want. (Hint to Craig: it's not an emerald and diamond one.) Patricia regals the table with stories of her past loves, revealing that she only waited a few weeks before getting engaged to her second husband. According to Patricia, the state of romance in the 21st century is doomed - sending a booty call an emoji in the middle of the night as an invitation for sex signals the end of Western civilization as far as she's concerned.
Just as the dinner party is hitting its stride, Craig halts the conversation, addressing the elephant in the room by asking why Kathryn and Thomas weren't invited. Cameran succinctly explains that she finds it awkward to navigate the off-again couple's turbulent relationship - let's face it, you never know what you're going to get when Kathryn and Thomas are in the same room. Craig stands up for Kathryn, relaying the message that she's willing to make amends with the group. However, everyone at the table scoffs at this suggestion, with Cameran declaring that the modern-day Liz and Dick need to focus on their children rather than which dinner party they're invited to. Patricia then proceeds to list Kathryn's litany of offenses at past social events, from arriving late and throwing tizzy fits to flipping people off and telling them to go f*** [themselves]." Feeling the wrath of everyone at the table, Craig tries one more time to be the "Kathryn Crusader" but it looks like the redheaded mom-to-be won't stop being stonewalled any time soon...