[image-1]Welcome back, everyone. Hope you all had an enjoyable holiday weekend and spent at least a few moments drunkenly arguing with your loved ones about whether a hotdog is a sandwich. This week’s episode of Southern Charm got into some pretty heavy territory, so let’s jump right in and try to see what lessons we can extract from it.

We open things back at Whitney’s L.A. home, which is the architectural equivalent of a sleeping pill. If walls could talk, these would spend their time explaining why the lute is under-utilized in modern American music and listing hummus recipes. Over breakfast, Whitney and his lady friend discuss Shep and Craig’s upcoming visit. Whitney attempts to describe the concept of a promise ring and mentions that it is something that someone receives when they are “going steady.” His use of what may be an outdated term gets a laugh from his companion, but I’m right there with you, Whit. I get made fun of every time I describe a young couple as “courting,” but I just brush it off, run down to the pharmacy for a malt before heading back into the office to refill the ink on my mimeograph. The important thing to remember is that Whitney and I are definitely not born of an ageless race cursed to walk the Earth forever. Such rumors are unfounded, and I assure you that my current human vessel is only 28 years old and completely susceptible to the ravages of time.

Moving on, we find Kathryn paying a visit to the spa with Cooper, who looks way too much like the Lady Elaine Fairchilde puppet from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Nightmares aside, Cooper advises Kathryn to live her life as she wishes and not allow Thomas to influence her decisions.
[image-4]Turning toward the other side of the relationship, the episode then jumps to Thomas and J.D., who are fresh off the polo field or course or whatever you call the grounds on which polo is played — polotorium, maybe, or the Polodome. Two horses enter. Two horses leave because polo is a perfectly civil game.

Anyway, J.D. and Thomas chat about the upcoming birth of T-Rav’s son. J.D. recommends a paternity test, but also suggests that women typically don’t like being asked for such. This is an astute observation from J.D., as involving Maury in the birthing process may not be conducive for a good time. Thomas seems pretty chill about all this, but the very idea of asking someone for a paternity test seems terrifying to me. I don’t think I could bring myself to do it and would probably go on living a lie just to avoid an awkward conversation. It is for this reason that I once went by the name Dave for several weeks after starting a new job and never summoned the courage to correct anyone. After a week or so, I had passed the point where I might be able to correct someone without seeming like a lunatic. My coworkers upstairs knew me as Dustin, but downstairs I was Dave. That went on for a pretty good while, until an uncomfortable elevator ride that went something like this:

Downstairs worker: “Hey Dave, how are you today?”

Upstairs worker: “Why are you calling him ‘Dave’? Dustin, did you tell people to call you
Dave? What is wrong with you?”

Me: [Remains silent for three solid minutes before leaping through an office window and running off into the woods never to be seen again.]

Back to Southern Charm, Cameran and Landon are spending a fun afternoon making candles. Maybe next they can go tan some leather or apprentice for the local cobbler. Landon confesses that she may not be fully invested in establishing a committed romantic relationship because she is subconsciously holding out for Shep, which is also the name of a failed children’s toy from the ’80s that was basically just a Mr. Potato Head with a drinking problem.

We also learn in this episode that Landon was once married. Now she’s torn with whether to move on and pursue a relation-Shep with her friend or burry her feelings. With that plot point established, we move back to the West Coast as Craig and Shep arrive at Whitney’s. Things are pretty tense between Craig and his host after their argument in the mountains, but Craig apologizes, and Whitney extends his version of an olive branch, which is a Coors Light. Coors Light: The beer you give to someone you kind of hate.
[image-3]Later in the evening, Whitney’s lady friend, who I believe is named Larissa, joins the boys before they begin their evening of revelry. Larissa mistakes the words “Shep” for “shit,” and I’m like “Come on. That’s my routine, Larissa. Leave the Shep-based humor to me.”

It’s at this point that things deteriorate and everyone starts saying things that are complete nonsense, and I love it. Shep mentions how when you get “perfectly drunk” you’re really good at pool. Whitney rallies his friends by saying, “Let’s wake up in the morning covered in blood and vomit” because I guess he learned to party from GG Allin. Then Shep says he promises to “spit in the devil’s eye.” This is all capped off with Craig saying that it’s a good thing that he and Whitney and Shep are all guys — otherwise they’d be talking shit about each other on Twitter for three years. Is this what women do? I know this is what Kanye West does. I don’t quite know if this is a universal female trait.

Skipping ahead to the morning after the big party in L.A., we see Whitney stepping out of his room to survey the damage. In a moment I never could have predicted, he steps onto his porch and beams at a puddle of vomit that he discovers. “The mark of a good party is finding vomit with a partially digested meatball,” he says with the pride of a father flipping through the family photo album to find page after page of bodily fluids. Whitney then goes to wake everyone up. I guess to tell them about all the exciting vomit people left at his home. Much to my disappointment, Shep is not passed out in a treetop.

Back in Charleston, J.D. is on the search for Craig as their company prepares for the big bourbon launch event. After several unanswered calls, J.D. phones Shep to say he is running out of niceness with his new employee. Shep passes on this message to a sleepy-eyed Craig, but he also reveals a personal pet peeve. It turns out that Shep finds it unacceptable to have a full voicemail. This is an interesting bit of insight into Shep’s mind, which up until this point I assumed was just full of Big Johnson T-shirt ideas and a single unspeakable urge.

Craig and Shep’s hang-out session at Whitney’s house takes an even stranger turn when Craig orders a masseuse. This nice young women proceeds to give Craig a rub-down as Shep looks on and asks her about energy. This is completely disturbing. Why do they all need to be in the room together? There’s some weird thing going on with all this, and I think we should try to figure out the masseuse’s last-known whereabouts. Between Kathryn and Cooper at the spa and Craig in L.A., a large portion of this episode was dedicated to watching people get massages.
[image-2]Returning to Charleston, it is the day of the bourbon launch at the horse race, which is the most Charleston sentence I have ever written. It may be too small for you to see, but the period in that last sentence is actually Bill Murray riding a palmetto bug to brunch.

On their ride to the horse race, our cast enjoys a rich bounty of champagne and Doritos ­— the Shep of meals. Craig is pouting because he has a hangover and has become bored with this whole bourbon thing, which was his life’s calling only a few weeks ago. While talking to J.D., Craig mentions that he has never had to cancel a trip for work reasons, and with that I am done. I can’t look at you right now, Craig. I thought I knew you, but you’ve hurt me. I need a minute.

The rest of the episode is dedicated to the birth of Thomas and Kathryn’s son. This is really sweet, and I think the show did a good job of handling a nice moment between the two without forcing some unnecessary drama. Regardless of how you feel about Southern Charm and Thomas and Kathryn, it is kind of incredible to think that they showed a person’s first day in the world. Only moments old, their son hasn’t even seen his first exotic bird-themed party.

The episode ends with a shot of Thomas holding his newborn and saying, “Hopefully you won’t make all the dumb mistakes I’ve made.” Amen, Thomas. Amen.

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.