It's reunion time for the Southern Charm crew, and no topic is off-limits in Part 1 of the sit-down with Andy Cohen. From Shep's playboy ways and Landon's admission of love to the changed man known as #NewCraig and the drama in the Appalachians, the Charmers rehash a host of the season's most dramatic and talked-about moments. However, fireworks really start to fly when Kathryn faces off against both T-Rav and Landon over their alleged relationship and her custody agreement with Thomas. Read on for a full recap of the drama from the couches...
On the Couches
This is the first time I've covered a non-Housewives reunion, but the structure is still the same. So first up is breaking down the seating arrangement on the couches. Before I start, though, I want to point out that I am so glad Bravo finally built the Charmers a proper reunion set rather than squeeze them all into the WWHL Clubhouse on those tiny chairs. And what's more, the porch of a picturesque Southern plantation may just be the prettiest reunion set Bravo's crews have ever erected. Now, I didn't make any predictions about the seating arrangement beforehand, but Kathryn Calhoun Dennis and Thomas Ravenel are the obvious choices for the seats of honor flanking Andy Cohen. The off-again couple will basically occupy those spots for as long as they are on the show. As the only two members of Team Inclusive, it also makes sense that Shep Rose and Craig Conover are the ones on the couch next to Kathryn. (I will argue, however, that considering how much the season revolved around #NewCraig, he and Shep could have traded spots so he wasn't on the end.)
On the opposite couch, we have Thomas, Cameran Eubanks, Landon Clements and Whitney Sudler-Smith. Since Whitney (who's also one of the show's executive producers) played the most minor role this season out of all the Charmers, he's relegated to the end. However, the placement of Cameran and Landon really should be the other way around. Considering how much her feud with Kathryn dominated the tail end of the season, I'd wager to even go as far as saying that Landon was the only other possible contender for that prime seat next to Andy. And yet, I'm willing to bet that if Landon had been seated next to Thomas and closer to the middle, Kathryn would have absolutely lost it. So in the end, production probably had no choice but to use Cameran as a buffer between the brunette and T-Rav.
Ranking the Charmers' Looks
When it comes to the Charmers' outfit choices for the reunion, Kathryn's is far-and-away my favorite. With her corset-inspired top, gorgeous pleated skirt and intricate choker, the redhead is the picture of Southern gothic glamour. Quick thoughts on the others: Thomas, Cameran and Landon are all rather basic, and the girls are giving off major patriotic vibes since they're seated next to each other in red and blue. Between the two, though, I have to give the edge to Cameran - simply because I can't stand Landon's gigantic dreamcatcher earrings. (Also on the list of terrible reunion fashion choices: Whitney's shoes.) Shep is pulling off the fratty Southern playboy vibe with aplomb in his pink shirt, tan suit and colorful pocket square, while I'm pretty sure Craig is the one and only Bravolebrity who has ever gotten away with wearing jeans to a reunion. Also of special note is Andy's monochromatic suit and tie and adorable round glasses - he's easily the best dressed man of the day.
The Golden Shepard of Charleston
First in the hot seat is good old Sheppy, whom the rest of the cast jokingly razzes about being the one Lost Boy of Charleston most permanently stuck in Neverland. Though being a Lost Boy seems to be working out quite well for Shep - between The Palace Hotel and The Commodore, he's building quite a nice little dive bar empire in Charleston. Andy brings up Shep's quasi-relationship this season with Bailey Bial and the golden boy explains that he bolts any time a DTR happens because he doesn't like setting up expectations or hurting a girl's feelings. (Awkward cut to Landon on the opposite couch.) He also feels the need to address his rather unfortunate "DTF" comment regarding Bailey, which prompted him to post an apology blog on Bravotv.com, chalking the remark up to a careless attempt at irreverence during an especially long day of filming confessionals. Shep specifically draws the line between being a ladies' man and being downright misogynistic, saying that the difference comes down to respecting women and being honest with them. We all know Sheppy has a good heart under that charming exterior, so I will forever stand by the assertion that he's far from a misogynist. When it comes to Shep's ill-fated real estate partnership with Cameran this season, the latter explains that she enlisted Shep as her assistant because of his sunny magnetism. People just can't say no to Sheppy - everyone loves him.
Mean Girl or Voice of Reason?
Andy then turns the spotlight on Cameran, citing criticism from viewers that she turned into a bit of a mean girl this season - particularly in how she treated Kathryn. However, Cam defends her behavior by saying that if she's a "mean girl" for wanting to avoid drama and contention, then so be it. Though she admits that Kathryn has never done anything to personally offend her, Cameran doesn't want to invest in any kind of friendship with the fiery redhead if she doesn't feel it will be a real relationship. Basically, no fake friends for Cameran. As for her season-long struggle about whether or not to have a baby with her husband Jason, Cam says she feels validated after seeing how fans responded to her feelings over the course of the season. While her husband chooses to stay off-camera, Cameran also reveals that he took major issue with Thomas calling her "sanctimonious" at the dinner party from hell towards the end of the season. But, considering that she and T-Rav are seated next to each other on the couches, it looks like that drama has blown over for Cam.
#NewCraig's Old Habits
Next up is pretty boy Craig Conover, who spent much of the season trying to prove to his cast mates and the fans that he was a changed man after crashing and burning so dramatically last year. Everyone points out that the only real difference between #NewCraig and Old Craig is the presence of his girlfriend Naomie Olindo. Oh, and the fact that he quit drinking hard liquor and sleeping all day. That too. Craig seems genuinely happy these days (and much more grown up), yet one thing that hasn't changed is his competitive nature with Shep. In fact, Sheppy reveals that he actually set his sights on Naomie before she started dating Craig - which clearly would've ruined any chance she had with the pretty boy if anything had happened. At this point, Shep relays a hilariously tangential story involving 'shrooms and a surprise arrest in San Francisco that convinced him to go easier on Craig this year, but he still can't resist pointing out that his friend/sometimes-rival lied about the bar exam. That's right, Craig admits that the reason he has yet to take the bar is because he's actually not allowed to because he never finished his thesis paper from law school. Hopefully by the end of Season 4, Craig will have finally passed the bar exam and be on his way to becoming the lawyer he's talked about being for the past three seasons...right?
Landon's Love Confession & a Valentine's Shocker
After pointing out her "cringeworthy" meetings with Vox Media editorial director Lockhart Steele for Roam, her online travel magazine, Andy presses Landon about her confession of unrequited love for Shep. The brunette claims that she wasn't expecting her old buddy to say anything in response to her confession, but I think we all know she was hoping for something more than Shep awkwardly choking on his wine and running out the door. Of course, Shep counters that he just hates feelings and a look of disappointment flashes across Landon's face before she quickly buries it beneath a squinty grin. Furthermore, Shep explains that Landon should just get used to seeing him around town with other women because it's going to happen in the future...a lot.
The conversation turns to the disaster that was Shep's birthday party, a 70s-themed night at the roller rink in which Landon specifically chose to leave Kathryn off the guest list. Landon does apologize for the slight, but quickly follows it up with justification that the last time she had been around Kathryn at the Season 2 finale, the redhead had told her to "f--- off" and flipped her the bird. No it wasn't nice of Kathryn, but it still wasn't a good enough reason for Landon not to invite someone the birthday boy specifically said he wanted at his party. It then comes to light that one of the reasons for Kathryn's anger towards Landon stems from the fact that the brunette went on a trip with Thomas that the tempestuous couple had planned for Valentine's Day. What?? So this is where the suspicion started that Landon propositioned Thomas in London and slept with him. Hmm... Naturally, Landon denies the entire story and tensions start to flare between her and Kathryn as insults about "having talent on your back" get lobbed across the couches.
Blame It On the Moonshine
While it's clear that Landon detests Kathryn, the redhead found an ally this season in Craig, who made it his mission to figure out why Whitney and his mother Patricia Altschul despise her so much. Once Craig came up with the theory that Whitney's feelings for Kathryn durned bitter once she moved on from hooking up with him to sleeping with Thomas, the pretty boy dropped the bombshell accusation during the cast trip to the Appalachian Mountains and all hell broke loose. On the couch, Whitney still maintains that the plausibility of Craig's theory was completely laughable, and blames his outsized reaction on the trip to being wasted on moonshine. However, I still say it may have been a case of "thou doth protest too much," moonshine or not. Cameran takes Craig to task for his approach to the situation, claiming that he should've pulled Whitney aside in private rather than spout off in front of the whole group. On a completely different note, Shep surmises that the animosity actually stems from the Season 2 trip to Jekyll Island, where Kathryn angrily attacked Whitney and blamed him for the problems in her relationship with then-boyfriend Thomas. At the end of the day, all this drama is three years old at this point and it's quickly losing its relevancy. But I still think Craig was on to something...
Paternity Tests & Custody Battles
Moving on from the Whitney/Kathryn saga, Andy redirects the discussion to the tumultuous, never-ending relationship between the redhead and baby daddy T-Rav. Kathryn unapologetically acknowledges that she was truly in love with Thomas, haters be damned. At the suggestion that baby St. Julien may not be Thomas's son, Craig apologizes for his involvement in the speculation at Patricia's male chauvinist pig-themed dinner party and Kathryn finds the entire topic disgusting. Thomas reveals that he IS the baby's father, thanks to taking a third paternity test, but Landon can't help but get in a dig at Kathryn regarding the need for paternity tests at all. The more the brunette pushes her buttons, the angrier Kathryn gets, and when Andy questions why Patricia seems to hate Kathryn so much, Whitney blames it on the redhead's "drug-fueled rage" back in Jekyll Island.
The conversation intensifies when Andy brings up the feuding on social media between Thomas and Kathryn, and the couple's custody battle gets dragged in front of the cameras. T-Rav argues that he doesn't technically owe Kathryn anything because they were never married, while she rightfully counters that he should help take care of the kids. Andy questions the status of their custody agreement, which Thomas reveals to be joint, at least temporarily. However, when Landon throws out the accusation that Kathryn failed a drug test relating to the custody issue, the redhead gets so irate that she storms off the reunion set, refusing to talk about her kids or the custody issue any more, leaving the rest of the Charmers stunned as Part 1 of the reunion reaches its end.
What did you think of Part 1 of the Southern Charm Reunion? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below, and tune in next week for the conclusion in Part 2!