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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.

Shahs of Sunset Ssn 5/Ep 4 - Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

Glenn Rowley

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The Shahs of Sunset are going camping! In the first trip of the season, our favorite Persians come together for a retreat in the woods courtesy of GG. Little does the hostess know, however, that her friends are planning on turning the weekend excursion into an intervention about her volatile behavior. But first, we have to actually get to where the nature actually is...

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Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi is still struggling with her rheumatoid arthritis and admits in her confessional that she's pushed everyone away because of how much pain she's in. However, Asa Soltan Rahmati isn't about to give up on her favorite "monkey" and arrives on her doorstep with a bowl of her famous green sauce. According to the Persian priestess, the top secret recipe's magical properties are both the glue and the healing balm for her group of friends. Any time there's trouble, Asa's green sauce can help. Lounging on the couch, GG runs an idea past Asa: she wants to take the group on her favorite kind of getaway. For GG that can only mean one thing...camping! Hopefully by getting out and communing with nature together, the Shahs can mend some strained relationships, reconnect and remember why they all loved each other in the first place.

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Meanwhile, Mercedes "MJ" Javid is revamping her real estate career with a new goal to become the undisputed "Condo Queen of West Hollywood." MJ's first step is to get new regal-looking business cards, and she brings her boyfriend Tommy Feight along. MJ quickly nixes Tommy's idea to include a scepter and throne in her new brand as Condo Queen, but her New Yorker boyfriend thinks it's an obvious choice. Don't Persians think they're all royalty anyway? As they're browsing designs for business cards, MJ fills Tommy in on her screw-up during last week's Shabbat dinner. Apparently she wasn't supposed to tell anyone about Reza Farahan's plan for a surprise wedding, and now he's all kinds of ticked off at her for spilling the secret to the entire gang. Oops?

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Over at Mike Shouhed and Jessica Parido's house, cracks are starting to show in their "just married" sheen. Lounging around in his robe like a Persian Hugh Hefner, Mike bickers with his new wife over finances and their spending habits. While he's busy trying to launch his new shoe company, Jessica's apparently out shopping for $5000 tea sets at GEARY's Beverly Hills and racking up a $550 phone bill. From Mike's perspective, no matter how hard he works he simply can't seem to get ahead of the spending, and it's starting to cause a bit of tension in the marriage. Add that to the fact that he can't seem to put his phone down at the dinner table and it seems like the honeymoon phase might be over for this pair of newlyweds...

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To help kickstart her new title as Condo Queen of Weho, MJ gets invited to co-host drag bingo night at Hamburger Mary's. (According to MJ, the only other person to have ever co-hosted with Roxy the drag queen is President Obama, so there's that.) With her mom Vida, Asa and Jessica in tow, MJ arrives in a pair of metallic pink leggings and starts calling out letters and numbers faster than you can say, well...BINGO! Asa can barely keep up with the game's rapid pace and isn't so sure she's a fan of this bingo thing. Wasn't this supposed to be a game for old people? While her daughter passes out business cards left and right to customers, Vida hilariously manages to get a false bingo, which somehow results in MJ getting spanked with a paddle in lieu of her Persian mother. 

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While the girls are at bingo night, Mike and Reza meet for a bros-only dinner. In his confessional, Reza explains that having Mike back in his life means more to him than any of the viewers will ever be able to understand - it's like his long-lost brother has returned home. Over drinks, Mike laments the sad status of newlywed life to his gay bestie - Jessica's got him on a tight leash and sex isn't happening nearly as much as it used to. Apparently even blowjobs are off the table at this point. Plus, Mike reveals that he's been out clubbing with Shervin Roohparvar and his wedding ring apparently acts like a magnet to all the thirsty single girls in the club. Reza points out that it's not the best idea for a married man to be out clubbing with his single friends and asks point blank why Mike would even put himself in that situation. Hmm...this could be a serious red flag in the foreshadowing department...

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To prep for the camping trip, Reza recruits Asa to join him at the local camping supply store to stock up on equipment and supplies. But here's the thing - having never been camping in their lives, the Persians have absolutely no idea what to even bring on the trip. Will they need a megaphone? Knives? A taser for when GG inevitably gets out of control? Will it be cold? Yet, despite having no knowledge of what they need, Reza and Asa still manage to spend $200 on camping stuff because, as every good Persian knows, you have to look the part. Plus, Asa manages to talk the guy at the register down to an even $200 price tag, so it's a win-win for everyone.

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Meanwhile, MJ and Shervin meet for lunch in matching yellow to discuss the upcoming trip to the wilderness. MJ is nervous to go - the only time she ever went "camping" was when Reza and GG kidnapped her for last season's river rafting adventure and she has no desire to ever go again. Shervin has a more positive attitude about the trip and insists that it will be a good time for the entire group to go away together and try to reconnect. MJ argues that she's tried multiple times to reach out to GG and every time it ends in disaster, but Shervin won't let her give up on the once-close friendship. After all, MJ keeps saying that GG has been out of control for the last nine months right? According to Shervin that means that 10 months ago, she wasn't acting out like this - so let's get back to that point shall we? Goodness, how is Shervin so sexy while so full of wisdom at the same time?

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Down on the beach, Asa has organized a photoshoot to put together a lookbook for Asa Kaftans. They're shooting at the golden hour, which means it's absolutely perfect lighting outside, but the sun is sinking rapidly so they don't have much time. Asa wants to get five solid looks out of the shoot that will best represent her brand to buyers and retailers, and with the help (and sometimes distraction) of her family, she manages to bang out the photoshoot in record time. Running Asa Kaftans as a family business has its unique challenges, but Asa is determined to help provide an even better life for her parents and brother after everything they sacrificed to leave Iran and come to America. 

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It's time for the camping trip and GG piles the rest of the Shahs into the old Winnebago she rented for the drive down to Morro Bay State Park. No one knows what to expect on this weekend getaway and everything either packed way too much or way too little for a couple days in the woods. To pass the time on the drive, Reza decides it's a hilarious idea to douse the RV's bathroom in liquid poop and stink up the entire vehicle. Now, this road trip is already dangerous enough with GG insisting on driving the giant tin can at high speeds down the freeway, but add in a wretched smell and the RV is now swerving all over the road with the Shahs screaming and gagging inside of it. Way to put yourself and all your friends at risk of dying on the freeway all for a prank, Rez.

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Thankfully, the Shahs reach their campsite in one piece and all proceed to kiss the ground upon exiting the RV. As GG marches around with her knives setting up camp, Reza proceeds to smoke the two straight guys in getting his tent set up first. However, he also points out that for some reason he, MJ and Asa are all sharing a tiny tent while Mike, Shervin and GG each have their own. Oh well, the one thing we do know is that Mike is keeping his tent as far away from GG's as possible after last year's shocking accusations about how he tried to hook up with her against her will in Turkey. Once everyone gets set up and night starts to fall, the Shahs gather around the fire pit to light their first fire. As Asa points out in her confessional, when you're with people you love and you light a fire together, something magical starts happening. The Shahs join hands around the fire as Mike says a few heartfelt words about how he hopes they all get everything they're looking for out of this weekend in the woods. Who knows, maybe this camping trip won't just help GG...maybe it will heal them all.

What did you think of this week's episode? Was Reza's RV prank hilarious or just plain dumb? How do you think GG will react to the Shahs turning her camping trip into an intervention next week? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below...