I’d like to start off this week by providing a bit more context about last week’s episode. I feel like I may have failed to provide the proper context for why the men of Southern Charm voluntarily decided to seek out nature and spend a debauched evening in the woods. So let’s start at the most sensical spot when recapping reality television: the dawn of civilization.
As society progressed to the point where survival became more commonplace, people’s minds were able to focus less on “How am I going to remain alive?” and focus more on “Why am I alive?”
Faced with the existential dread of an unanswerable question, some sought religion or philosophy to fill this hole. But for some, this isn’t enough to erase this void, so they seek out the same untamed and treacherous wilderness that so fully occupied the minds of their ancestors. And once there, they get super shitfaced and throw hotdogs at each other. This is simply what Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte sought to depict when he painted La condition humaine. Unfortunately for the great artist, his efforts to communicate how we interpret the world pales in comparison to Craig and Whitney having a drunken wiener fight in the woods. Just because we are in nature does not mean we are a part of nature. In fact, we have become something unnatural — as unnatural as the processed meats with which we strike at one another.
Now, on to this week’s show.
We rejoin our cast on the morning after our outing in the woods. Empty liquor and wine bottles litter the campground as Whitney stands by a stream using his electric toothbrush. Shep and Austen soon join Whitney in this morning splendor. Then Craig emerges, looking like an athleisure-wear version of DiCaprio in The Revenant.
Craig is still a little upset and a lot hungover from the antics of the night before, but the boys make amends over some scrambled eggs. Nate the RV Driver returns, and now it’s on to Nashville where nothing further could possibly go wrong.
From one scene about eggs to the next, back in Charleston, Chelsea and Danni pay a visit to an OB/GYN. But this isn’t your routine trip to the gynecologist to make sure everyone’s gear is in order. No, we are left to assume that everybody’s gear is, as they say in the medical profession, in the clear. Instead, Danni is ready to discuss freezing some eggs.
Danni thanks Chelsea for accompanying her because she and Kathryn are still on the outs. Danni says that Kathryn really hurt her feelings, while Chelsea sits back and thinks, “Oh, I remember feelings.”
This scene brings back fond memories because I used to be a janitor in charge of traveling to various medical offices during the night and cleaning everything up. I can say, if you’ve never stood in an empty gynecologist’s office at 2 a.m. wearing a stained jumpsuit, you’ve never truly felt like a pervert.
While awaiting the doctor, Chelsea and Danni scrutinize a diagram of the female reproductive system, revealing that they don’t really know where babies come from. They might as well have made an appointment with a giant stork inside a cabbagepatch.
Soon the doctor arrives to explain the process by which Danni fills herself with hormones and then they retrieve as many eggs from her as possible. Oh, and this costs $10-15,000 per cycle. This hellish scenario of giving someone all your money to turn you into the Slurm Queen is enough to give Danni second thoughts. Maybe you don’t need to become Master Mold from the X-Men to realize your dream of having a family.
Making our way to Nashville, we find the boys arriving at their penthouse suite. Craig asks the woman at the hotel desk “How are the showers?” like some sex criminal on the lam. I can only assume these four men smell like a gym bag someone inflated with vape smoke in order to float their way into the steamed onion museum.
Arriving at dinner, our four weary travellers begin to bicker over the two bottles of wine they ordered. Whitney and Shep boast that their $160 bottle of red is superior, which grates on Craig and Austen. Remember that 24 hours prior, these four men were eating undercooked ground beef over a barrel fire.
Tensions at the table continue to rise as Craig raises the topic of Kathryn and her alleged tryst with Whitney over the summer. Whitney denies anything happened. A few quick cuts later and we now see our waiter opening a fourth bottle of wine, before she assures everyone she’s bringing some much-needed water to the table.
Back at Patricia’s house, she and Michael the Butler are wrestling an ill-fitting miniature bonnet onto her pug’s head. Looking into the panicked eyes of this animal, I realize that maybe I am the dog, Patricia and Michael are life, and the bonnet is my inevitable break from reality.
Back in Nashville, the boys are taking in the nightlife. Austen becomes annoyed with Shep’s advances toward the women he’s interested in bringing back to their suite. Also, Austen becomes the guy who is just talking to women in a bar about his ex. Maybe this is an unhealthy environment for you, Austen?
Over in Charleston, Naomie has decided to make Indian food for her boyfriend, Metul. Oh, what a classic sitcom trope this is. Like when I Love Lucy tried to make Ricky the traditional Cuban meal of an ever-accelerating conveyor belt of chocolates. Anyway, Naomie probably adds too much mayonnaise, and Metul suggests they order sushi.
Over at Kathryn’s gigantic apartment that she haunts like some modern-day Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard, Chelsea arrives to speak some truth. This proves effective, and Kathryn decides to bring Danni back into the fold, setting up an impending “women’s dinner” that Patricia wishes to hold.
All the women of Southern Charm slowly assemble and inevitably begin looking up the leaked nude selfies posted by Kathryn’s new boyfriend.
I’m just going to come right out and say to my fellow men, “Maybe don’t, y’all.” Maybe treat your penis as an Avengers: Endgame-level spoiler. If things suffice, you’ll be a summer blockbuster. Otherwise, you’ll just be the leaked footage of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Penis-wise, that is.
Oh wait, never mind about all that. Kathryn arrives at the party and she and her boyfriend have broken up. She forgives Danni. They all sit together at a dinner where the napkins all belonged to the King of Bavaria. Cool.
Skipping ahead, we learn that Shep is actually adopting a dog, which he will be officially naming Craig. This is part of some power play over his human friend Craig, because Shep learned friendship from the Marquis de Sade.
The episode ends with human Craig joining Kathryn and Austen for dessert and Hot Toddy (Hot Toddy’ll calm your nerves). They relitigate everything else everyone has done this season with no actual consensus reached. The only news is that Austen is once again spending time with his ex-girlfriend.
The episode ends there. Another salacious meal where nothing is settled. At the very least, we’re all indoors — even if we don’t act like it.
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.