This week on Ladies of London, Julie Montagu makes her debut as the hostess of Mapperton, but her list of "house rules" rub Caroline Stanbury and Juliet Angus the wrong way. Plus, Caroline Fleming processes the fallout of her red carpet slip of the tongue and Adela King faces off with the queen bee. Read on for a full recap of the episode's posh drama...
Caroline Fleming is still reeling in the wake of her faux pas at the Elle Style Awards in Copenhagen and enlists the services of her therapist, Caroline Dolby, for a house call. Ever since she innocently revealed her father was suffering from cancer to the Danish press, the news has made national headlines and the baroness's relationship with her family is once again fraught with tension. In fact, a long apology note to her stepmother has gone unanswered and when Caroline called to apologize over the phone, she was rather brusquely hung up on. The entire ordeal has brought back memories of the difficult road Caroline Fleming has traveled with her family relationships, and it's truly heartbreaking to watch her break down in tears as she admits that she'll never be able to live up to her family's expectations of her.
Ever since giving birth to baby Sadie, Marissa Hermer (who is NOT moving to California, despite Matt's dream of pressing the reset button in LA) has been planning a boozy luncheon with the Ladies fueled by champagne, caviar and other pregnancy no-nos. The party gets cancelled as the Ladies are literally en route, however, when poor Sadie starts having trouble breathing and is admitted back into the hospital. Naturally, this means Marissa won't be able to go on the upcoming getaway to Mapperton with the rest of the Ladies, leaving Julie Montagu anxious at the prospect of facing Caroline Stanbury and Juliet Angus for the first time since their showdown in the premiere. The viscountess is bound and determined, though, to take the high road and show her frenemies just how much she can rise above.
This trip is Julie's official debut as the hostess at Mapperton. In times past, she's always brought her friends as a guest of her in-laws, the Earl and Countess of Sandwich. Taking over the 2000-acre estate that's been in her husband's family since the 1600s is a daunting task to say the least, and Julie is understandably nervous about the weekend going smoothly. But is that ever possible with this group of Ladies? Sophie Stanbury and Friend of the Ladies Adela King arrive first and are treated to a lovely afternoon of cocktails and scones with clotted cream while they wait...and wait...and wait for the rest of the women.
Three hours later, the other Ladies arrive with Caroline Stanbury's bestie/makeup artist Luke Henderson in tow, apologizing profusely and blaming the delay on the resident queen bee of the group having a Madonna moment. Choosing to rally rather than make a scene, Julie kicks the afternoon off with a grand tour of the estate, but all Caroline Stanbury really wants to do is take a nap and a nice long bath before dinner. After showing off early editions of the voyages of Captain Cook housed in Mapperton's expansive library, Lady Hinchingbrooke lays down the "house rules," which are based exclusively on the Ladies' bad etiquette during their Season 1 trip to the estate. The laundry list of new rules include the following: no complaining about the food, no passing plates down the table if you don't like what's being served (ahem, Juliet) and no smoking on the front lawn when you excuse yourself to use the restroom (basically everyone but Caroline F.). Having grown up in a strict, aristocratic household full of restrictions, Caroline Stanbury balks at what she sees as Julie attempting to control her behavior. She's so put off, in fact, that she takes her sweet time getting ready for dinner, thus delaying the whole evening by another two and a half hours.
When the Ladies finally sit down for dinner after 10:30 p.m., a cloud of annoyance hangs over the meal as Julie tries to explain to Caroline S. and Juliet that this weekend is her way of moving past their recent issues with her. She's even given them the two seats next to her at the head of the table! The peace offering falls flat, however, the second the viscountess announces that she's taking everyone on a fishing trip the following morning. Surprise! Without missing a beat, Caroline Stanbury responds that - sorry, not sorry - there's no way she's getting on a fishing boat in the morning. Slightly offended, Julie reminds her nemesis that the polite thing to do as a guest is graciously accept whatever the hostess has planned and turns to Caroline Fleming for backup, who reminds the other Caroline that "when you're not given a choice, there's no choice" in the matter.
The tension boils over when Adela pipes up, calling Caroline Stanbury out for being "very spoiled" and disrespectful, to which the queen bee retorts that she's allowed to be spoiled thank you very much. Juliet jumps in to defend her bestie, railing against the stuffy rules of aristocracy and Caroline S. agrees, accusing Julie of trying to strangle her with a list of behavioral expectations the moment she passes through the door. From Caroline Fleming's perspective, the queen bee is demonstrated a clear lack of respect for manners and etiquette, but Adela's sarcastic crack that she must be exhausted from being driven to the estate and having her makeup done finally sends Caroline Stanbury over the edge. Proclaiming Adela to be a "pain in the f***ing a**," Caroline storms away from the table, leaving the rest of the Ladies in shock in her furious wake.
What did you think of this week's Ladies of London? Should Caroline S. respect Julie's house rules? Are you Team Caroline/Juliet or Team Julie/Adela? Let me know in the comments!