The Real Housewives of Potomac premiere recap: The boobs are out of the bag
As Ashley Darby says when Wendy suggests that perhaps they can all get along this year in the Real Housewives of Potomac season 6 premiere: "It's good to have goals." Indeed, Ashely. My goal is, of course, to get every Real Housewives franchise cast coming at us with the same energy, tenacity, and wordsmithery as the women of Potomac. Because only on Potomac can everyone be having a perfectly nice time together, eating their curry soup at a party for boobs, only to have the beat drop out because two people are suddenly flinging "broken ding dong" and "fiery box" accusations across the breadbasket with the speed and volatility of a runaway train.
And while almost every new addition to the RHOP cast has been on point for the last five seasons, it seems only appropriate to go ahead and pay our respects to the foundational pillars of our cast: Karen and Gizelle are a Housewives feud like no other, not only because of their long and real history, but mostly because these two know how to give a bruisin' and keep on movin'.
I simply love when Gizelle gets a little time between a reunion and premiere to come up with a few good lines she feels confident she can deliver. But I love it even more when Karen takes those well-rehearsed lines down in a second flat. We can, of course, do better than lobbing genitalia insults like it's third-grade recess, but it's just the premiere — everyone is still getting warmed up. Potomac always delivers because there's an artistry to what the DMV girls are doing. It's the shade, it's the quick wit, it's the deeply personal feuds, it's the unhinged nature of what happens the moment these Housewives get around a plate of loose vegetables, and it's the fact that I am so glad Juan Dixon is not here right now.
Likewise, I'm just so glad RHOP is back, and that it kicks off in the RHOP-est of fashions: a lengthy, slightly uncomfortable video invitation to a party that could have been an email.
Dr. Wendy is serving main character energy from the jump, doing what I thought was her signature Wendy slither in a fur jacket, only to watch her shed that jacket, and do the li'l TikTok trend where you dance nude silhouetted in red light. The texted video serves as an invitation to Wendy's "Nude Interlude" party which is to feature dinner, drinks, and two special surprise guests. Those two guests? Wendy's new boobs!
Although, the two surprise guests could also be Gizelle's sustained rage and Karen's indifference to it ("I'll be praying for her though: Father God, in the name of Jesus, please bless Gizzy, amen"). At the top of the episode, we find Gizelle going over to Candiace's new $1.1 million McMansion for the first time since Candiace transitioned from living under Miss Dorothy's roof to having a guest room for Miss Dorothy to sleep in. I so rarely like Candiace, but seeing how much she enjoyed being around her step-children was a really good look on her. And it's nice to see a good look on Candiace given that the threat of her contour and highlight overtaking her face has reached an absolute code red in this season's testimonial looks.
For her part, Gizelle acts as though she's never seen — let alone interacted with — a child when she stumbles across Candiace's adorable step-children at the house. But perhaps it is just her very shiny shirt cutting off the air supply to the social skills part of her brain. Or maybe she's distracted because she's dying to talk about how big-mad she is at Karen. I'm a little confused as to whether Karen has said new things about Gizelle off-screen, or if Gizelle is entirely angry at the way that Karen exposed Jamal as a liar and a cheater on the last reunion. Gizelle keeps saying that Karen has been "lying about [her] family for a year," but it doesn't really seem like Karen has so much made-up lies about Jamal, as she has spoken openly about the ugly truth. Which is, of course, not what a friend would do, but these two were never friends…
Which is why Karen says she's not inviting Gizelle to her vow renewal with Ray. And speaking of husbands who refuse to make eye contact with their wives while they talk about the future: Ashley is eight months in and still talking about how she's not having sex with her shall-not-be-named husband, as though we're all going to be shocked and appalled by that information. Ashely, we beg of you: pack your silver rain boots, your adorable son, and move into the "West Wing" of Gizelle's house, which seems to be… a whole different house??
Ashely can't move into Robyn's house though, because Robyn and Juan are finally working on building that new home. They're still not working on going through with getting married though (as a producer so shadily points out off-camera) because Robyn says that COVID-life is kind of a nightmare. At first, that seems like a casual turn of phrase, but when Robyn and Juan head to a juice bar for what is allegedly a celebratory outing, we soon realize that Robyn is truly going through it right now. Juan scolds her for waking up at noon and ordering Chick-fil-A for their boys every day, but overall it seems as if Robyn isn't wanting to get out of bed each day. It might take a little more than an acai bowl to get all health levels back to normal. I'd like to see Juan be a little more understanding of what Robyn is going through mentally, but I'm also still stanning him because he won't take his mask off in the smoothie shop, no matter how many times Robyn tells him it's fine.
Now that we've checked in with everybody, it's finally time for Wendy's Nude Interlude party. Everyone is supposed to wear shades of nude clothing, and we see both Gizelle and Robyn's children veto their original outfit choices. From the mouths of babes. Gizelle still shows up in head-to-toe brown leather, but I fully believe it could have been worse. When Robyn shows up, and Wendy is still nowhere to be found at her own house, Gizelle pulls Robyn over to the dinner table and shows her a place card that says Mia: "a bitch" whom Gizelle "does not know," as she tells Robyn.
But Karen does. They're on the two-hour-long trek to Wendy's house right now, fully decked out in fur and sequins. Karen tells us about her friend and new RHOP Housewife Mia, whom she calls a boss and an entrepreneur. Mia owns a number of The Joint Chiropractic franchises up and down the East Coast as she tells the other women once she arrives. She also tells them that her grandchildren live in North Carolina, which is confusing to the other women because Mia is 36 years old. But her husband is 32 years older than her, a number that she first quotes as 38 years older, and overall, this premiere had a lot more math than I was expecting.
I think there's almost no chance that this winds up being true given The Salad Launch scene in the season 6 preview, but at this party, Mia seems pleasant and level-headed. I say that mostly because Gizelle is staring daggers at her the whole time (or perhaps through her in hopes they'll make it to Karen), and because of Mia's response when she makes the mistake of casually asking Wendy what other work she's had done.
Wendy has hosted this entire party to introduce her friends to her new boobs, but she gets extremely defensive anytime the idea of her having other cosmetic surgery comes up. For some reason, boobs seem to be on the table (literally, there are boob cupcakes everywhere), but any potential booty enhancements or facial restructurings do not. So, at dinner, when Mia says, "Did you only have your boobs done?" Wendy snaps back that she had some other tweaks, adding: "What about you, what have you had done because it seems like you've had a lot of stuff done."
Throwing judgment at someone else's plastic surgery at your own boob party is a bold move. And I must admit that I like Wendy's unpredictable nature… and I love her new boobs… I just wish she could be a little less defensive at the beginning of each season! But it is perhaps my greatest wish that she'll stop working against Karen, and finally team up with her to become the Doctor/Dame duo we so deserve in season 6. Either way, Mia doesn't get defensive in return, she just gleefully lists off her reconstructive report card: "I get my Botox every four weeks, I get filler, I've had four boobs, I had a tummy tuck, I had abdominoplasty, I had my ass done… I even had my clit worked on!"
But this conversation has been fun and fancy-free for long enough — it's time to get down to business. Wendy tells everyone that Candiace backed out of the party at the last minute because she got food poisoning, but Robyn suggests that Candiace may not be ready to see Karen just yet. Wendy says she hopes they can all get to a good place in the near future, to which Gizelle quips, "That might be a little difficult." The conversation almost moves on, but then someone asks her why. "Well, we all know that I can't stand Karen," Gizelle responds, staring Karen dead in the eye.
It's a bold move, but it's the speed with which Karen chirps back, "The feeling is mutual," that I know this is about to be an argument for the ages. With extreme calmness, and even more impressive speed, Gizelle and Karen begin talking over one another to try to dominate the exchange. Gizelle starts us off: "I have decided I'll just tell your truth; your whole truth, your drunk truth, your cheating truth, your broke truth. And I'll spread it all over town, don't worry, I won't tell it all tonight."
It's truly unreal how quickly Karen is cooing back, with her eyebrow perfectly raised, "Oh, you want to talk about how your fiery box is on fire, and that's why you can't keep a man?" Gizelle starts sputtering out confused sounds, as does everyone else, trying to figure out what Karen means. "You talking about her coochie on fire?" Wendy asks, and I simply dare you not to start singing that to the tune of Alicia Keys. "Oh yes, she has a hot box, why don't you tell everyone what's between these legs of yours," Karen replies.
And while I am desperate for more of these two finally and fully at odds with one another, I cannot claim to know what any of this means. What is Karen's cheating truth? Is it not good to have a "fire" "coochie"? Gizelle says that Karen is obsessed with her coochie "because everyone knows the ding dong at her house is broken," and while I did very much laugh at that commentary, I'm not sure why Gizelle is so mad at Karen talking about Jamal's shenanigans when Gizelle has also been talking about Ray's dick for well over a year.
As you can imagine, Karen snaps back that Gizelle shouldn't disrespect her husband's dingdong when Jamal's dingdong has been all over town, to which Gizelle snaps right back: "At least it works!" At this point, poor, pregnant Ashley's jaw is on the floor, Mia looks either stunned or titillated by what she's gotten herself into out here in middle-Maryland, and Karen finally delivers the line to end all lines: "Gizelle, you don't have a man, you're a broken whore from Hampton University, and everyone knows it."
And with that, the premiere of season 6 ends on a "To Be Continued" — surely a promising sign for what's to come. Give this cast a raise, and meet me back here next week to find out what/where/how/who "Sing Sing" is.