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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.

Filtering by Tag: mike and jessica's marriage

Shahs of Sunset Ssn 5/Ep 13 - Mr. Shouhed's Wild Ride

Glenn Rowley

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This week on Shahs of Sunset, Mike celebrates the big launch of True Gold Footwear, but a problem at the Mexican border threatens to derail the entire event. Plus, Reza and MJ discover that Jessica may be done with the entire gang for good. Read on for a full recap of the drama...

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The episode kicks off with Reza Farahan bringing his mother to Wally's Beverly Hills for a good, old-fashioned mother-son lunch date. For some inexplicable reason, Reza mom is credited onscreen as just that: "Reza's mother," and we don't get her name. As Reza tells us about how great and supportive his mom is, I recognize that this scene is supposed to be painting him in a heartwarming light, but I'm too busy remembering the epically complex and confrontational dinner party the RHOBH ladies had at Wally's this season to really pay too much attention. Personally, I would take Erika Girardi and Kathryn Edwards arguing about Lisa Vanderpump's manipulations over anything Reza has to say any day. Do you agree?

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Meanwhile, Mike Shouhed is hard at work prepping for the imminent launch of his new shoe line, True Gold Footwear. The good news is that a major LA-area retailer has already ordered a full shipment of the shoes before they've even been released. If only his estranged wife Jessica Parido had stuck by him long enough to see that his big business dreams are coming to fruition...The bad news is that this means that Mike and his team have to hustle to make sure the shoes will be ready for the big launch party just a few days away. Even more complicated? The fact that Mike chose to have the shoes manufactured south of the border in Mexico. But that won't be a problem, right? Anyone?

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While Mike's getting down to business, Mercedes "MJ" Javid and her boyfriend Tommy Feight are hitting the batting cages for a date night. The on-again couple are just about the most adorable thing ever seen on reality television as they take turns pitching and hitting the balls - much to MJ's chagrin. This is not in the condo queen's comfort zone, people! However, with Tommy she's game to try pretty much anything, and when he remarks that this would be the perfect place to take their future kid, MJ's face visibly lights up. And yet, now that everything's better between the couple, she's starting to wonder whether she's actually ready to have a baby. Sure, her doctor says her uterus is ready and Tommy's sperm count is too, but is their relationship? Via confessional, Mercedes concludes that the question can wait, as she's decided to pursue things the more old-fashioned way: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the Persian baby in the 24-karat gold baby carriage. 

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Still reeling from her blowup with Reza in Belize, Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi meets Shervin Roohparvar for lunch at a Mexican restaurant to rehash the drama. Over ceviche and enchiladas, GG questions why the mustachioed queen bee seems to have such an obsession with her life and her RA. In the past six years, Reza has never once gone to a single doctor's appointment or treatment with her, and has done nothing but cast doubt on the veracity of her illness instead of being a supportive friend. Shervin listens with a supportive ear, but also cautions his longtime pal to avoid flying off the handle in the future. Instead, he advises GG to fully hear people out. I do understand why Sherv is trying to play the peacemaker, but I am unabashedly Team GG on this one - Reza was 100% wrong. 

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Later, while Shervin FaceTimes with his Australian date from a few episodes back, Asa Soltan Rahmati takes Reza and his husband Adam Neely to their home in Palm Springs for a photoshoot. Asa's recruited the newlyweds as part of her couples photography project and the guys are more than happy to portray the honeymoon stage of a relationship. The Persian priestess is a fierce director on set, who knows exactly what she wants from her subjects and how to get it. So, after making Reza and Adam trek up a mountain carrying the chairs from the restaurant they got married in, Asa makes quick work of the photoshoot, capturing that loving feeling every newlywed wants to feel some day. 

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The next day, Asa visits Mike at his house to check out some of the shoe samples and help him draft a heartfelt email to Jessica. At the same time, Reza and MJ meet at Sprinkles Cupcakes for a mission of their own. Tehrangeles is a small place and word has reached Reza that Jessica has been stepping out at the finest clubs and restaurants sans wedding ring with quite the smoky eye. In an effort to confirm their suspicions, MJ and Reza call Jessica right then and there - but the number has been disconnected. Huh? Seems like Jessica has up and disappeared. Changed her phone number. Gone. She's officially distanced herself from the Shahs and Reza ventures a guess that Mike may need to start examining what his life will look like without Jessica in it. 

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It's the morning of Mike's big shoe launch and the event at Kitson is only hours away. Remember the bad news I mentioned at the beginning of this recap? It just got a whole lot worse. It turns out that Mike's suppliers are having more than a little trouble getting the shipment through customs. That means literally hundreds of shoes are stuck at the Mexican border south of San Diego and the only solution is for Mike and his partner to drive down and get them. Yikes. Could a launch event have any bigger of an obstacle? With only hours to spare, Mike and his partner jump in the car and race against the clock to deliver the shoes on time. After his suppliers individually walk every single pair of shoes through customs, Mike and his partner find themselves caught in California's infamous traffic and it starts becoming clear both he and his shoes may miss the big launch party completely...

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Meanwhile, the rest of the Shahs start arriving for the event at Kitson, but neither Mike nor his shoes are anywhere to be found. However, that minor detail pales in comparison to the slayage that is the jumpsuit Asa shows up wearing to the party. I mean...pure perfection, queen. Now, a launch party without anything to launch makes for a bit of an awkward event. Considering the lingering tension between Reza and GG as they eye each other from across the venue, this seems to be getting uncomfortable fast. A half hour after the party was supposed to end, Mike finally arrives with the shoes. Better late than never right? Everyone's still in a party mood and happy to celebrate Mike's big success, even if it's a few hours later than they were expecting. That's one thing I appreciate about my favorite Persians - when something big is happening for one of their own, they always rally.

What did you think of this week's Shahs? Will you be buying a pair of Mike's shoes? How fabulous was Asa's jumpsuit at the launch party? Are you relieved or bummed that Jessica seems to have officially disconnected from the crew? Let me know in the comments!

Shahs of Sunset Ssn 5/Ep 12 - Is It Too Late to Say I'm Sorry?

Glenn Rowley

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This week on Shahs of Sunset, the gang's trip to Belize concludes with a massive blowout between GG and Reza while exploring the Mayan ruins. Plus, Mike enlists MJ's help on his quest to win his wife back and Asa sees Golnesa's RA treatments firsthand. Read on for my full recap of the drama all the way from Central America to LA...

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Waking up the morning after Mike Shouhed's confession, it seems like a weight has been lifted off the entire gang. He's finally admitted to the fact that his philandering ways were the real cause behind his estrangement with wife Jessica Parido and it's time to explore Belize! If there's one thing everyone must do when vacationing in Belize, it's a visit to the Mayan ruins. First, the Shahs are in for a horse ride, yet not all of them are expert equestrians despite Reza Farahan's insistence that Persians and ponies are a perfect mix. Mercedes "MJ" Javid is particularly amusing atop her stallion, especially since she has to take off her sky-high stilettos in order to participate.

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Reaching the ruins of Xunantunich, the Shahs dismount their horses to climb to the top of the ancient temple. With a stunning view of the entire valley below them, the group takes a moment to reflect on life but Reza Farahan can't help from noticing that Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi is lagging far behind everyone else. In her confessional, GG claims the reason she's struggling up the ruins is her rheumatoid arthritis, but Reza rather snidely retorts that it's really because she spent the previous night drinking and partying in the club. Tension between the two has been creeping in for weeks (ever since Reza started casting doubt on GG's RA) and it finally decides to spill over at the Mayan ruins of all places. The argument starts when Asa Soltan Rahmati asks Golnesa to pose for her latest art project, which started as a collection of photos of couples but has since expanded to include all the people around the Persian Priestess. Overhearing, Reza incredulously questions why Asa would want GG involved in a project about couples, and the conversation quickly devolves into a screaming match with Asa stuck awkwardly in the middle. Reza accuses GG of being fake and exaggerating her RA symptoms while Golnesa fires back that he should keep his unsolicited comments and opinions to himself. GG rather correctly points out that Reza is constantly making a point to nose his way into everyone else's business, but shockingly none of the other Shahs step in to break up the argument. 

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On the way back to the resort, GG is fuming and decides to fill MJ in on a secret she's been keeping. Apparently, Golnesa has a friend who has a video proving that Reza's been cheating on his new husband Adam Neely (a.k.a a sex tape). However, MJ has no comment for this kind of allegation, staying silent in her confessional and pointing out that GG's simply on the attack because she's angry. Later that evening, emotions are still running high during the group's last dinner in Belize and the tension remains thick despite Golnesa pointing out how beautiful the trip has been. When Shervin Roohparvar brings up Mike's situation with Jessica, a tipsy GG blurts out that the subject is "boring" before storming away from the table in another fit of anger. Yikes. And with that, the trip to Belize ends rather abruptly without any type of resolution...

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Back in LA, GG debates starting chemotherapy treatments with her parents while Mike enlists MJ to help with Operation: Win Jessica Back. Now that he's finally come clean about cheating, Mike's determined to do whatever it takes to fix things with his estranged wife and realized his friends can be there to help him. For the first step of the mission, MJ brings him to a flower shop and instructs him to order a massive flower arrangement of five dozen long-stemmed roses full of hot colors to represent his "blood, love and passion" for Jessica. The reason for the five dozen is obvious to MJ, and has something to do with the biblical meaning behind 5 x 12...or something. Apparently Jews like the number 26 and it involves the two digits reversed and it's just a lot of roses to say Mike is really sorry, OK? 

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Meanwhile, Reza's ready to take another stab at his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. While his last foray onto the improv stage was a giant bust - seriously, not one person so much as cracked a smile during his disastrous debut - Reza feels like he has the right material to work with and isn't ready to give up. This time, he's only inviting Adam and his two main girls, Asa and MJ, instead of the entire crew. At first, his sophomore attempt seems to be going quickly the way of his debut as the crowd sits stone-faced while he tries mightily for a joke to land. However, the attitude of the audience shifts when he makes a crack about an Erykah Badu lookalike in the front row and the nightly is ultimately chalked up as an improvement. (Still, I'll argue that the reason Reza is having such a difficult time taking the stand-up comedy route is that he's the only person who actually thinks he's funny...)

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The episode ends with Asa sitting in on GG's first chemo treatment at the hospital. While Reza can accuse her of faking all she wants, Golnesa points out that she can't exactly exaggerate the IV sticking out of her arm or her doctor's explanation on camera that she's being treated with the same drug as cancer patients, just a different dosage. It's hard for Asa and GG's family to see their beloved "Monkey" suffering through the treatment, but the doctor assures them that the side effects will be different than someone with cancer (i.e. her hair won't fall out). However, when Asa asks the doctor if GG can make any adjustments to her lifestyle to assist the treatment, he bluntly states that she should stop smoking. First of all, it's 2016 so I thought everyone knew that, but when her mom presses her on the issue, Golnesa once again gets angry. Even though she believes it will help, she's not going to stop smoking simply because she doesn't want to, and storms out of the hospital insisting she doesn't want a lecture about it right after getting chemo. Is it just me or does it seems like this RA treatment is going to be one step forward, two steps back?

What did you think of this week's Shahs? Are you Team GG or Team Reza? Now that we've seen her getting treatment, do you think GG is exaggerating about her RA? Let me know in the comments section below!

Shahs of Sunset Ssn 5/Ep 11 - Trouble in Paradise

Glenn Rowley

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The adventure in Belize continues on this week's Shahs of Sunset. However, not everything is sunshine down in Central America as MJ confronts her floundering relationship with Tommy and Mike finally admits the secret he's been trying to hide all season long. Read on for a full recap of the drama...

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The morning following their blowout fight at dinner, Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi goes to Shervin Roohparvar's casita to clear the air between them. Sherv maintains that he's been completely honest with GG and only came to her with the group's doubts about her rheumatoid arthritis out of concern. On the flip side, GG feels like Shervin wasn't a loyal friend for not sticking up for her at the Asa Kaftans fashion show. She was blindsided that Shervin wouldn't come straight to her if there was an issue instead of listening to the rest of the group (read: Reza Farahan) plant seeds of suspicion in his ear, and is particularly hurt because she feels so much closer to Sherv than the other Shahs. Thankfully, the pair is able to reach an agreement that in the future come to each other to talk about any issues that may arise and are able to hug it out. Woo hoo for conflict resolution!

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Meanwhile, Mercedes "MJ" Javid is still stressing out that her boyfriend Tommy Feight isn't taking her phone calls, and admits to Asa Soltan Rahmati that they've been having major issues as a couple. Issues to the point that they're kind of broken up, and it all stems from the fact that MJ seems to be slowly morphing into a clone of her harshly judgmental Persian mother, Vida. The drama has left Mercedes wondering if she's meant to live alone for the rest of her life, but Tommy has a major surprise up his sleeve: no sooner has MJ opened up to Asa about their troubles does her boyfriend show up in Belize! It turns out he wasn't answering the phone because he was busy traveling halfway around the Americas to surprise MJ! Their reunion is surprisingly sweet and I think I'm officially on the Mercedes/Tommy bandwagon of love. I mean, the guy loves her more than the Mets!

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Mike Shouhed is more than a little disappointed that the surprise arrival isn't his estranged wife, Jessica Parido, whom Reza actually put the entire trip together for. To take his mind off his marital woes, Mike decides to go cave tubing with Shervin, GG and her cousin Nima Nejat, but can't escape without some of the other Shahs (read: Reza, again) badgering him about the state of his marriage. When Reza confronts him with Jessica's allegation that he cheated, Mike once again denies doing anything wrong, and chalks it up to a misunderstanding over a shady text from a girl. It's not Mike's fault that girls just throw themselves at him! However, the more his friends press him, the angrier Mike gets and he eventually storms away from the conversation, leaving Reza, Asa and Shervin more confused than ever by his reaction. 

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While the others are off exploring the cave tubes of Belize, Asa talks MJ and Tommy into doing a naked photoshoot in the villa's pool as part of her latest couples portrait photography project. (This is after, of course, she and Reza sneak up on the couple getting nasty in bed to the sweet sounds of Jewel.) With flowers tastefully covering their private bits, Asa directs the couple in a series of very revealing, risqué pictures, and all I know is that no one should ever dip a toe in the water of that Belizean koi pond ever, ever again.

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Before Mike and the others get back from their cave tubing adventure, Reza makes it a point to call Jessica for more dirt. With Asa listening in, Jessica spills more details on the string of texts she found on Mike's iMessage that revealed he'd been cheating for quite a while. The messages were so specific that the allegations of infidelity seem undeniable - down to Mike telling some unknown girl what he wanted her to wear when they met up for a tryst. Yikes. Just gross. These are texts that a married man shouldn't be sending. With irrefutable ammunition, Reza is more motivated than ever to get the truth out of Mike. But either way, Jessica insists that she won't be getting back together with her estranged husband.

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Mike is in a jovial mood when he returns from his day with GG, Shervin and Nima, but Reza wastes no time cornering him in their room to inform him about the phone call with Jessica. Even when confronted with the specific details of his cheating, Mike claims there's nothing to admit, and turns the blame on Reza for crossing a line by reaching out to his wife. The conversation gets quickly shut down, but when he catches Reza talking about it outside, Mike starts to lose it. Before anyone can say anything, Mike is storming around the resort, shouting "I'M DONE!," huffing on a cigarette and threatening to leave the trip altogether. The conversation turns to Farsi as Reza tries to get Mike to calm down, but when he's left alone, the armor Mike has worn all season finally starts to crack. 

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As the rest of the group readies to head to dinner and wonders what all the yelling is about, Mike pulls Reza back into their room for another private chat. After a moment's hesitation, Mike finally comes clean, admitting to Reza that Jessica was telling the truth about the text messages and he did, in fact, cheat on her. (He also admits this in his confessional and I'm really curious to know how many times producers had to ask him the question before they got a truthful answer.) Getting emotional, Mike explains that he's trying to do anything he can to make Jessica happy and make up for his infidelity, but it seems that the damage has already been done. All season long, the guilt has been eating him up inside - particularly with Bravo's cameras in his face as he tried to put up a facade that things were fine. Reza expresses that he loves his friend and isn't turning against him. All Reza wants is for the couple to get back together and urges him to have this conversation with his wife. However, it seems that Mike coming clean may be a case of too little, too late...

What did you think of this week's Shahs? Are you relieved Mike finally came clean about his cheating? Was Reza trying to help or was he just meddling? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Shahs of Sunset Ssn 5/Ep 10 - Belize It Or Not

Glenn Rowley

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The Shahs are taking over Belize! On this week's Shahs of Sunset, Reza concocts a plan for the group to go on vacation to Central America together in the hopes of healing Mike and Jessica's broken relationship, but drama erupts between GG and Shervin instead over accusations that Golnesa is exaggerating her rheumatoid arthritis. Read on for a full recap of all the drama in the Belizean jungle...

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In the late hours following the Asa Kaftans fashion show, most of the Shahs gather at Shervin Roohparvar's gorgeous condo in LA for the unofficial afterparty. With so much drama going on within the group - particularly between Mike Shouhed and his estranged wife Jessica Parido - Reza Farahan has an idea: it's time to get away and go on a trip. He wants to get as far away from real life as possible and really disconnect, and the group eventually settles on the Central American country of Belize as the perfect vacation destination. Now they just have to get everyone on board. With the trip's location settled, Shervin pulls Mercedes "MJ" Javid aside for a serious chat about the status of her relationship with boyfriend Tommy Feight. At this point, Tommy has moved out and he and MJ are basically broken up, but she hasn't told any of her friends this tidbit of information. Shervin tries to check in with how MJ feels about the relationship and reminds her that there are always two sides to every story, and Mercedes admits that despite his "Neanderthal" side, maybe she was too hard on Tommy. Sherv surmises that MJ is self-sabotaging out of fear because the relationship is so serious, but MJ insists that's not what she's doing at all.

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The next evening, Reza meets with Jessica for dinner under the pretense of asking her to come to Belize. Mike's not down with the idea that Reza could be meddling in his already-fractured relationship, but the mustachioed queen bee assures his friend that he's just trying to extend the vacation invitation to her. However, when Jessica arrives and Reza lets her know about the upcoming trip, she hesitantly drops the bombshell that she doesn't think she's going back to Mike. Reza is floored to hear this and when he asks why not, she finally caves and reveals that Mike cheated on her. It's the secret she's been keeping to protect her estranged husband, but the betrayal was bound to come out eventually. Jessica opens up about her marital issues with Mike and Reza promises that, for now, he'll keep the conversation solely between them. And somewhat surprisingly, he keeps his word, telling Mike on the phone as he leaves the restaurant that his conversation with Jessica was light and bright, and that she said she'd think about coming to Belize with the rest of the gang.

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The doubt surrounding Golnesa "GG" Gharachedaghi's rheumatoid arthritis continues to grow. Following a trip to a doctor's appointment with her, MJ is questioning GG more than ever. Apparently, GG's story about needing chemotherapy to treat her RA was grossly exaggerated - the rheumatologist only suggested one treatment that had active chemotherapy ingredients, and the day GG claimed she was supposed to start chemo she merely got blood drawn for more tests. As MJ fills Reza in on this new development, neither of the Shahs are quite sure what to think about what's actually going on with GG and her illness. 

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Soon enough, it's time to head to Belize and when the Shahs gather at Mike's house to head to the airport, GG is nowhere to be found. Apparently, she had an aggressive phone conversation off-camera with Shervin about all the gossip being talked behind her back, and Golnesa has decided to take a separate flight from the group. So, with MJ meeting them in Belize, Asa Soltan Rahmati and the boys head off to the airport and are on their way. Belize here we come! However, the trip to Central America is anything but simple. After landing in Belize City, the Shahs charter a small plane to fly them to San Ignacio, where they'll be staying. And when I say, small I mean "able to tap the pilot on the shoulder" small. Such cramped quarters aren't the most comforting travel accommodations for poor Reza, who spends most of the flight hilariously hyperventilating and holding onto the seat belt straps for dear life. 

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Once they arrive at the resort where they'll be staying though, it's clear that the Shahs' stay in Belize is going to be quite a luxurious one. With multiple villas and constant service on hand, the resort certainly wasn't what I was thinking when I pictured a trip to Central America in my head. While Mike and Reza strip down and jump in the villa's pool (which might actually just be a fish-free koi pond), MJ starts leaving the first of many voicemails on Tommy's phone. It's not the best sign that all of her calls to her boyfriend are going straight to the answering machine, but Mercedes optimistically chalks it up to the spotty service she's getting in the jungle. 

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All eyes are on Golnesa when she arrives later with her cousin Nima Nejat in tow, and makes the rounds of greeting her friends-turned-questioners. In her confessional, GG remarks about how weird it is that out of everyone in the group, she's currently closest to Mike. My, how much can change in a year's time. One thing that hasn't changed is GG's fearlessness regarding confrontation, though, and she decides it's the perfect time to confront Reza about the gossip he's been spreading behind her back. Reluctantly getting out of the pool and throwing on a robe, Reza sits down with GG in Shervin's bungalow away from the rest of the group and owns up to the fact that he's been casting doubt on her rheumatoid arthritis - though he's also quick to point the blame at MJ and Shervin too. Whether she's completely faking or just exaggerating her illness, Reza doesn't know but he senses something shady about the entire situation. To be questioned by her friend is both heartbreaking and enraging to GG. She informs Reza that her test results came in and she does indeed have to start chemotherapy to treat her RA, and invites him to come with her to the treatment just to prove herself. But will this really nip the issue in the bud before it spirals any further out of control?

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For their first night in Belize, the Shahs head for what's supposed to be a nice, calm, sit-down dinner at their resort. However, things quickly head south when MJ suggests they go around the table and confess something to the group. GG's cousin Nima starts by confessing that he feels like he enables her when it comes to her RA, and Golnesa shuts down the conversation right then and there. No bones about it, GG informs the table that if one more person starts talking about her RA, things are going to get ugly. The way she sees it, everyone is turning against her and her back is against a wall. Shervin pipes in, and his comment sparks a screaming match with GG, who feels betrayed that Sherv let the other Shahs (read: Reza) get in his ear and plant doubt about her disease. However, Shervin's still angry at how Golnesa went off on him over the phone following the fashion show and then called back with a hurried, seemingly half-hearted apology. As voices raise and tensions boil over amidst a slew of "no YOU shut the f--- up's," Shervin pounds the table and GG gets in his face as they both fly out of their chairs. Then, as quickly as it started the situation is diffused as Reza and Mike end the dinner by heading for bed. Could this be the end of GG and Shervin's once-close brother/sister relationship? It sure looks that way...

What did you think of this week's Shahs of Sunset? Is GG exaggerating her RA? Should Reza be held accountable for gossiping about it? Is Golnesa's friendship with Shervin irreparable after that blow-up? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!