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Amy Feinstein’s Southern Charm Recap: Ho Ho Ho

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by AMY FEINSTEIN || Well, friends, we’ve reached the fifth season finale of Bravo TV’s Southern Charm.  And more than any other season, this year we’ve had lots of trouble keeping the crazy on-screen separate from the crazy off-screen – not to mention debating which wins the prize.

Well, the on-screen season has come to an end but from what we hear, the off-screen drama is just getting started.

And sure, this is Bravo (and reality television) but is there something Shakespearean about this group?

No, I don’t mean Thomas Ravenel’s clumsy recitation of lines from Hamlet, I mean the world turned upside down as predicted by the witches in MacBeth.  The “fair is foul and foul is fair” of it all.

Thomas plausibly came into this season to taunt a vulnerable Kathryn Dennis with what he saw as a new, shiny toy – but what he paraded around as his soulmate would ultimately be his undoing.  Meanwhile the whole situation ended up being a catalyst for Kathryn to mend fences with everyone, including the grand dame of Charleston, S.C., Patricia Altschul.

Score for the Ginger!

Okay, back to the recap, which has me missing Michael and the magic cocktail shaker.  I’m not going to lie: I need a big glass of medicine right now.  Everyone loves a good party and an excuse to dress up, but this finale festival seems very high-stakes loaded.

We open with everyone preparing for Patricia’s Winter Ball (where I come from, this is usually called a Snow Ball or even a Jingle Ball, but you what do you, Mrs. A).

Most everyone is shopping, but Kathryn is consulting the Patricia bible, The Art of Southern Charm, to make sure she doesn’t do anything strange with her fish fork, like, maybe stab Plan B (a.k.a. Ashley Jacobs) in the jugular.

I’m guessing they don’t check people at the door of a winter ball for oyster knives …

One-armed Craig Conover has Cameran Eubanks drop by his flop house, where he prepares for her visit by sweeping crap from one room into a spot where she hopefully won’t look.  But Craig, Cam is a mama now – and when you push out a kid, you get Spidey Senses.  In other words, she’s onto you. Anyone you think you’ve fooled is being polite or doesn’t care about you.  For reals dude.

Naomie Olindo drops in on Kathryn, and obviously KD has upped her ice cube game since reading Patricia’s guidebook.

Kathryn shares with Naomie that Thomas vented his spleen at the polo event, saying that he was unhappy with Plan B.  Naomie throws in the understatement of the episode.

“I think she’s a lot.”

A lot of … what?  Drama? Chaos? Meshigas? All of the above?

Kathryn adds that she thinks Thomas feels stuck because he’s paying for her – like when you’ve rented a beach house for the summer, and the weather is horrible, but you go anyway because you’ve paid for it, right?

I don’t think Thomas is getting his cleaning deposit back, and who knows where he stands on the “you break it, you’ve bought it” policy.  Is there insurance for crazy?  Get that polo lawyer on the phone, maintenant!

Speaking of rentals, Naomie passes on a little nugget without revealing her source, saying that she heard that Plan B was really a high-end escort.  High-end?  Okay, I’ll play along.  Naomie goes on to explain that it’s hard to discount the transactional nature of Thomas’ relationship with his second prize from the Santa Barbara County Fair.

Kathryn concurs.

“It sounds like business.”

Naomie wants to know if Kathryn is anxious to see Thomas and his partner in a future 72-hour hold at the Winter Ball.  She says no, but the Patricia thing is a long time coming, and this HAS TO go well for KD to “pass ‘Go’ and collect $200.”  If Kathryn is ever going to get Michael to drop by her place and give her a foot rub for her birthday, girl’s gotta work it!

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Kathryn is scared she’s being tested, and let’s face it – she’s been on double-secret probation for some time now, and it’s make it or break it time.

But Kathryn admits that the saving grace is her prom date, Shep Rose, who now has his own theme song in my head. Sheryl Crow’s “My Favorite Mistake.”

I’m hoping Kathryn hears it too.

I have to say that Naomie has gotten seriously real, and we want to clone Wilson Jones.

Peyton Pritchard’s forgiven her, people, and you should too!  She explains that Craig is bringing a date (yes, he had asked her long ago, but thinks nobody knows this. Craig, see above).  Naomie honey, the girl whose name I won’t bother to learn can’t hold a candle to you!

We meet up with the boys who don’t own their own formal wear at Berlin’s (Shep wants you to know he owns a tuxedo, but not white tie, and not tails. He wasn’t raised in a barn, after all!).

Shep does have a point, there is a certain Storm Trooper look about every man in the same get up, but I guess it allows the woman to be the real stars of the show.

It seems that the escort talk has now spread to the men’s shop, which suddenly turns into Truvy’s Beauty Spot out of Steel Magnolia’s – the dude version. Craig, channeling his inner yenta gets the ball rolling.

“Is that girl still around? Thomas’ girlfriend?”

It seems that Craig is full onboard with the whole, she who shall not be named thing.  Cheers, Craig.

All three are convinced that Plan B has offered them a role on the sly, i.e. as her own “Plan B.”

They discuss next what kind of going away money we are talking about. Plan B just wants $5,000 and a plane ticket (she didn’t even specify business class). It sounds like a deal.  Quick, someone start a GOFundMe!

I have to say, everyone cleans up quite nicely, but poor Craig needs his own Mr. Bates – at least while he still has his claw.  I think that roommate of his deserves hazard pay from Bravo.

We travel over to Casa Ravenel, where Thomas is on double entendre duty when Plan B asks for a drink, something stiff.  Blechhh. I just can’t.

In Thomas’s confessional, he talks about Plan B’s persistence.  C’mon now.  You aren’t really that dumb.  She saw that Platinum AMEX slipping away, and held on for dear life.  She’s got you “pegged,” Ravenel, but it seems that’s the way you like it.

While putting on the warpaint, Plan B’s satin bathrobe with her name on the back is reminiscent of the Pink Ladies in Grease.  Girl thinks she’s Sandy, but she’s a cross between Rizzo and Marty Marischino, like the cherry.

I do have to pause and wonder how much it takes per month to keep these two in liquor and skin care products.

“Nothing I love more than having a drink.”

Yeah, we’ve noticed.

Thomas presents another bag from the jewelry store, but you can only fool this girl once because she’s going to put on that poker face just in case it’s not a … yeah, it’s not a ring.  It’s a locket.

“I’m never going to take it off!”

Those soap opera acting classes back in California paid off, because once again, she has him fooled.

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The girl takes more selfies on Instagram than a Kardashian.  Have you seen the locket since?

Well, Merry Christmas!  Plan B got a locket, and Thomas got exactly what he deserves.

Transition to the hotel where Kathryn is getting ready complete with glam squad.  She is leaving nothing to chance, not even pretending like the other women that she did her own make-up. Chelsea Meissner shows up in her best forties Hollywood glamour, complete with wrap, you know, to show Austen Kroll what he’s missing.

Kathryn says she feels like she’s in Downton Abbey.  She is pulling it off a classic Lady Mary in a plum peignoir set, and she is ready for Chelsea the make-up magician (not Chelsea Meissner) to do her best.  Kathryn is only wearing foundation and powder, but still looks great, despite the fact that as a redhead, powder is required to make strawberry blonde eyebrows appear, and some mascara (or falsies) for the lashes.  It’s tough being a Ginger!

Kathryn confesses that she Googled the white tie, and she’s going to make mama proud at the Winter Ball.

Patricia makes her grand entrance at the Hibernian Hall, and other guests start to arrive.  It can’t be a coincidence that Plan B shows up dressed like Julia Roberts’ hooker with a heart of gold character in Pretty Woman after she’s been deloused and had her own clothes burned.  Nothing says “don’t call me an escort” like dressing up as your favorite prostitute from the movies.

Pretty Woman tells Ravenel that they should go into the ball to see their friends, but then remembers she doesn’t have any (I’ll bet that $5,000 and the plane ticket can still be arranged).

As the guest arrive, J.D. Madison comes in, no longer looking like Boss Hogg, but instead looking like a pimp with a fur coat.  C’mon now, if Cameran can walk in without a coat with bare shoulders, you don’t need a fur in Charleston.  Maybe he wants to wear it one more time before it gets repo’ed?  How does he look red when he’s just arrived and still has his coat on?  He gets more Ted Kennedy with every episode!

He has the nerve to criticize his estranged wife Elizabeth Madison’s dress, and Naomie doesn’t attempt to hide her disgust.

Naomie is holding court, and says “there is a rumor.”  All the ladies lean in, as if on cue. Even Jennifer Snowden who will attempt to recapture her fifteen minutes by defending Plan B.  Well, I guess someone has to, and she’s earning her day rate.

Next to arrive is Craig.  Is it me, or are his pants too short, and blue socks were not the best choice?  Maybe like Shep said, it’s a laundry issue, and the black socks were used to soak up the blood when he stabbed himself with the butter knife.

Anyway, Shep and Kathryn arrive along with Chelsea and Austen.  Kathryn is channeling Scarlett O’Hara meets Mae West meets Jessica Rabbit.  Your fans know you are a ball of anxiety, but it’s “better to look good than to feel good,” right?

Between the confrontation with Patricia and what all Southern Charm fans know is coming from Plan B, I’m at home watching with a Corgi sitting on my feet, and I could use a Xanax or a shot of Patron.

It’s that intense right now …

It’s unclear if Austen is throwing shade, or if his mental picture of female sophistication comes from Disney films, but he tells Plan B that she looks like Cruella de Ville “in every sense of the word.”

So, Austen, she skins Dalmatian puppies to wear their skins as a coat? Or are you saying she looks haggard and treacherous. I can be down with either, just asking.

When seated for dinner, what do you know, Jennifer finds herself next to Plan B.  Revenge is sweet, huh?  Stir that pot!  Whip up the unstable girl at a white tie event.  You show Bravo what they’re missing!

Note to Plan B: when you quote Charlie Sheen, and talk about yourself in the third-person, you are certainly not winning.

The sound of the shark circling back in Jaws speeds up as Austen tries to be a bud and tells Thomas that the woman he procured in California and brought back to Charleston (after offering another woman the same deal) is a pro, when Snowden thinks she needs to be Plan B’s spokesperson.

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When Austen tells Thomas that he heard that Plan B is an escort, does Thomas look surprised at all?

But Jennifer, who still believes in Santa, says that no – she moved across the country for true love, for Thomas.  Cue Austen’s eye roll.  Plan B is more like the Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman than we thought as she manhandles Austen to try to get him to take her California nurse’s card that she conveniently has in her clutch bag, just in case anyone needs a nurse. In California.

Across the room, Whitney Sudler Smith and Cameran are trying to figure out what kind of card Plan B is waving around.  Do escorts have a union?  Are their health benefits?

Like a scene at Gatsby’s party, instead of talk of Daisy and Meyer Wolfscheim, we hear mention that the Ravenel’s have tried to pay Plan B off, and then, that Thomas is still with her because she is blackmailing him.  Be honest: You can’t say you haven’t heard both rumors.

Thomas tries to calm Plan B down, and Plan B is complaining that he’s drunk.  Duh!  Is this news to you sweetie?  I guess he likes a stiff one too.

Kathryn is truly the Little Engine That Could.  Keep saying it, girl, “I think I can, I think I can!”  She is still rehearsing her Patricia speech in her head.

Off-camera, we now know the girls are swapping recipes and makeup tips, so let’s just say it went well.

Whew, crisis averted, and KD needs a smoke break.  Plan B decides to corner her in the vestibule where the only witness will be the Bravo cameraman.  Plan B, Siri might tell you how to hide a body, but the cameraman didn’t sign up for this.

But instead it’s deja vu all over again, as Plan B starts with an apology and hits the gas and ends up in an attack five seconds later.  Have you learned nothing?  Kathryn keeps her cool and lets you vomit up all of your vitriol.

Poor Kathryn looks like she got whiplash as Plan B changes lanes to take the express to Crazytown.  How she didn’t smack Plan B is beyond me, but I can only think that Kathryn has learned some serious meditation chants.

But Plan B’s theme song in this scene for sure is Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.”

Is it really possible that Plan B doesn’t know that Thomas has told everyone and anyone that he’s wanted to “ship her back?” Or that the longer she stays, the better that, Kathryn, and every Tessa, Molly and Madison look to him?

It’s like grandma used to say, if she doesn’t know it’s only because she doesn’t want to know.

Then Plan B breaks the cardinal rule of blackmail club. You never admit that there is a blackmail club.

“You’d better be careful because I have dirt on you?” Oh, honey, you are an amateur!

And the check is in the mail, and there’s no sex tape/ photo stills, right?  Thomas, the cover-up is always worse than the crime!

Plan B confronts Thomas about talking smack about her, and he denies it in the same way that he denies she’s a pro.  Very convincing.

Kathryn calls Thomas over, and he’s happy to go, while Plan B chases him, losing the tug of war over the drunken AARP member.  While Kathryn tells Thomas his girlfriend is a psycho, he nods in agreement.  Plan B catches up and yells: “Thomas, don’t be a pussy!”  Nothing says keeping it classy like yelling the word “pussy” while wearing evening gloves.  And when you have to say “Tell her how great our relationship is,” it’s not.

The parting shot has Kathryn dismissing Plan B, and Plan B going into full bobble head before saying “you’re nothing but an egg donor” with a creepy smile on her face, while Ravenel stands there, impotent, with his “Absinthe Drinker” face on.

The season is over, but the Southern Charm reunion awaits!

Until next week,
xoxo

Amy Feinstein is a native of Baltimore, Maryland, and has been writing professionally for 25 years. She has a degree in English literature and a degree in British history. Amy enjoys writing about entertainment, sports, lifestyle, television and movies. When not at the computer, Amy can be found in the garden or at yoga class.