The Real Housewives of Potomac

S6 E2

It just feels good to be back with Real Housewives of Potomac, doesn't it? Even when these Housewives aren't ranting or raving, they are giving us something to look at and listen to. Whether it's new Housewife Mia talking about having sex in a Waffle House bathroom, or Ashely being 12 months pregnant and still showing up at every party fully ready to take part in the mayhem, or Karen asking, "What do you do with a wounded person," only to earnestly decide that what you do with a wounded person is call them "a broken whore from Hampton University," and then invite them to a Valentine's Day party in order to "reacclimate them to what is right."

RHOP is back, baby! And with it comes the season 6 taglines which, in accordance with tradition, we rank completely subjectively, and with no particular criteria in the second recap of each new season:

CANDIACE: "My blessings are many, and my patience is none." Real Housewives taglines are simply not the place to get creative with syntax, they are zoned for puns and similes only. Not Candi-ace's best work.

ROBYN: "I may keep you waiting, but trust me — I'm worth it." We all know that Robyn's contribution to the franchise is a calming, almost snooze-able presence, and finding heretofore unknown ways to don leopard print knitwear. And we like it that way! To pretend otherwise is a fallacy. Plus, it seems like Robyn has started arriving places on time, no?

MIA: "If you want to pop off, I'll be happy to get you adjusted." This tagline is lacking in a little flavor, but I like its more factual elements: Mia runs a chiropractic empire, and has an aggressively sunshiny disposition. And it's all right there in her high-pitched tagline.

WENDY: "This professor doesn't just grade on the curve, she sets the curve." I want this to be a reference to Wendy paying to have new curves created on her body (no judgment here, I am nothing but impressed). But I don't think it is. I think it just means nothing but sounds like something. Which is to say — a good Housewives tagline!

GIZELLE: The secret to this pretty face is staying in the shade." Like NYC in Sex and the City, Gizelle's pretty face is basically its own cast member on RHOP. But most importantly, I appreciate Gizelle finally dropping the "word on the street" bit, and acknowledging once and for all that she is shady as hell. Additionally, this is just solid skincare advice.

ASHLEY: "The only thing messier than two boys — is me." I don't understand Ashley's need to reference dirty diapers in all of her taglines since she became a mother — but I do find it hilarious. I have always appreciated her easy acceptance of the fact that she is an incredibly messy person.

KAREN: "The Grand Dame can never be duplicated, imitated, or intimidated." If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, then it must be Karen talking about being the Grand Dame while tossing off a perfect rhyme in her Housewives tagline. She's simply got a point; she simply is the moment.

And with that, we're back at Wendy's house (located somewhere between Baltimore and Siberia), allegedly celebrating her brand new rack, but mostly staring in stunned silence as Karen lobs words that no one understands at Gizelle, like "hot box" and "sing-sing." I'm with Robyn on this one: "Is this like a TikTok thing?" But let me tell you that every time Wendy has to call off the verbal attacks just briefly enough for Chef Tia to introduce the pomegranate and blue cheese salad, I am absolutely losing it. Karen and Gizelle are still arguing with nonsense words when the rainbow trout in a curry cream sauce arrives, so Mia takes this moment to step in and attempt to diffuse the tension…

By standing up for Gizelle??? As you'll recall, Mia and Karen drove the four hours out to Wendy's titty party together because Karen is Mia's connection to the group. But when Mia interrupts the arguing, she says to Karen, "I love you, I respect you, I have my own relationship with you — but I'm just meeting Gizelle, and I am a good judge of character, and I can tell she has a beautiful heart." It's a weird move!

Or maybe it's a smart move. Because Karen isn't really one to get angry over loyalties, and as she told Mia at the Customs stop on the way to Wendy's house, Gizelle never likes the new girl. So it's pretty savvy of Mia to try and ingratiate herself to her most challenging new co-worker, rather than further align herself with an old friend who already knows how to handle her business on her own. Well… usually knows how to handle her business on her own.

What happens next is weird. Karen tells Mia that she used to be charmed by Gizelle too, but things started to go south when, four years ago, Ray told Gizelle she needed to "attract guys while you can" because her looks will fade, and Gizelle's response in her testimonial was, "He'll be buried six feet under before this fades." Karen took this as "basically wishing death upon my husband," and has apparently been carrying it with her for four years. There are so many — just so many — things to call Gizelle out for, and only half of them are her devotion to the color magenta. But let me tell you something: if one of my friend's husbands ever made one single comment about my looks, let alone implied that they were my only value, I wouldn't just be wishing death upon him, I would be seeing to it.

Also, that's not wishing death on Ray! It's saying not to worry about her flawless face because it's not going anywhere. This is such an uncharacteristic reach for Karen. In fact, all of it is. She later admits to Ashley that "the sing sing thing was a stretch." It doesn't even mean anything, she just thought it sounded good with "hot box," which she also doesn't explain.

But Karen does at least pretend to feel bad for unleashing on Gizelle after this dinner concludes with Wendy finally admitting that she did get her butt done (which Mia notes she only announced once Mia rattled her butt job off in her list of alterations). Karen tells Ray the next day that she feels like she shouldn't have gone as hard as she did on Gizelle. "When you lose like that in love, and then you let him back in, and then he hurts you again… I think she's not dealing with it well," Karen says, ever so benevolently. She thinks she has just the ticket to make things right: a "Love Party" that is very much for couples, but surely Gizelle, the only single person in the group, will want to attend once she receives her little box of Ferrero Rochers as invitation…

A box that Gizelle promptly throws in the trash.

Between now and Karen's party, however, we will first have to endure a bounty of delicious cringe that only RHOP could bring us. For example, would you believe me if I told you that Candiace has now set her sights on acting? And we have to watch her film a television pilot that's being shopped around? And the stage makeup she wears for real television is nearly unrecognizable compared to the makeup she wears for reality television? Apparently, Chris is her entertainment manager now, a job with which he admits he has no experience, but also says is really more about managing Candiace as a difficult-to-manage human being than managing her career.

We also check in on Gizelle at her new home, which even Robyn notes looks like two different homes because Gizelle just kind of tacked on one of those vinyl-siding-houses that you sometimes see driving down the highway onto her otherwise lovely ranch home. The "West Wing" houses Gizelle's bedroom, giant walk-in closet, and more sequin throw pillows than one Potomac Marshall's could have possibly provided on its own. Once Robyn leaves, it's time for Gizelle's daughters to read her for filth after she attempts to counsel them on dating, and they're like, "Mom… you are the worst dater ever recorded to human history."

Gizelle's daughters mention that she doesn't seem to be open to supporting the men she dates or having emotional conversations with them, which Gizelle agrees is correct — and I kind of hope that if Gizelle doesn't really want a relationship with a man, perhaps she could make that public knowledge and maybe all of her RHOP co-workers could stop acting like that's the only thing that will ever truly validate her as a woman.

Especially because everyone knows the thing that really validates you as a Housewife is starting a company in an industry you've never once shown any acumen in before! That's how we find ourselves at Wendy's house, where her whole family comes over so she can announce — no, not her boobs — her new business venture. Which her amazing Nigerian mother Susan responds to thusly: "It's a candle?"

That's right! Wendy has long harbored a passion for her candles that she coincidentally feels emboldened to pursue after gaining a fanbase of millions. Eddie doesn't feel so sure about the candle biz, which personally makes me very nervous because I genuinely love Eddie, and I don't want any trouble in their little Maryland paradise (no matter what the season 6 trailer is already trying to warn me about). But perhaps if anything goes terribly wrong with Wendy and Eddie, Mia and her husband Gordon (a.k.a., "G") can take their place as the new "it couple" of Potomac. Because they seem pretty sweet together so far, making breakfast in their Baltimore penthouse where Mia handles the business calls, and G handles the cupcake making with the kids.

Finally, it's time for Karen's "Love Party," where Gizelle, Robyn, their significant others are all no-shows, but everyone else is in attendance. The husbands quickly swoop G off to talk about deer at the dinner table, and you just have to wonder what they tell him once screams start erupting from the living room. Hopefully that he should get used to it because it's quickly revealed that Mia has come to play — or rather, she has not come to get played.

After everyone is seated, chatting about love or whatever (and interestingly after Candiace has declared that Mia is fabulous for chatting so casually about her clitoroplasty) Wendy takes it upon herself to ask why Mia chose to go out on a limb for Gizelle's "good heart" when Karen is her friend. Mia responds that Karen told her not to let any of her own issues get in the way of Mia making friends — or in Mia's words, "Karen said, 'Mia, if you guys mish, mish; if you don't mish, don't mish, but don't don't mish on account of me'" — which Karen confirms. So, you'd think that would be the end of that since Karen doesn't care that Mia stood up for Gizelle, so why would anyone else…

But that is not, in fact, the end of that. Mia says that she's not as sure about Gizelle's character after hearing the Ray story, which Wendy keeps trying to nail down — "so now, you don't think Gizelle's character is good?" — so that she can land her money shot: if Mia doesn't think Gizelle has good character anymore, why did she ask for her phone number at the end of the dinner?

"Well, I was trying to enlighten the air, which is probably something you should have done since it was your home," Mia snaps back, still with a smile on her face. Mia wonders why Wendy has an issue with this if Karen doesn't, to which Wendy says, "Maybe if you'd stop talking, you'd understand and listen." Which is soooo the response of someone who has absolutely nothing to say. Wendy starts in with all of her "what you're not going to do" statements, saying that Mia is coming for her — which, yeah, she is now, but Wendy obviously came for her first! It's a nonsense fight, but it shows one thing: Wendy was not expecting Mia.

The climax of the battle comes when Wendy tells Mia not to put her hand in her face, and Mia snaps back, "Well it's in your face, what are you gonna do about it?" It is a mic drop moment. And Wendy clearly has no response, because she immediately looks around at everyone else, like, "Can you believe this woman," but the problem is… everyone does believe her. Suddenly, Wendy is all laughs, saying that everything is just fine because she has family and friends and a new booty. But she also has a new Housewife to keep an eye on — a new Housewife who, for her part, seems completely unphased by Wendy.

Finally, it's time to play the Newlywed Game where Mia somehow attempts to squeeze the letter "t" into the word "missionary," and of the RHOP cast, Ray says he's most attracted to Katie. Consider yourself redeemed, Ray. And consider me still wondering what kind of medical diagnosis a "hot box" is, and excited to meet new "friend of," Askale, next week — see you there!

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