Hello, my little hot house lilies! It’s time for another episode of Southern Charm. This week opens with Kathryn Dennis arriving at JD and Elizabeth’s house. Though JD is Thomas Ravenel’s best friend, Elizabeth is little Kensie’s godmother—so Kathryn meeting with them kind of makes sense. Plus, they seem to be a go-between for Kathryn and Thomas, who aren’t on speaking terms. They greet her warmly, then Elizabeth wonders why Kathryn didn’t attend Jennifer Snowden’s sip and see for baby Ascher. After all, Thomas was there with their daughter, Kensie. Whoops! Kathryn wasn’t invited. Not such a surprise, really, after she barely acknowledged Jenn’s grief over Ascher’s life-threatening brain surgery. JD points out that things are strained between Kathryn and the rest of the Charmed Ones. Kathryn shares that Thomas actually texted her, asking to talk about the children. Considering the former couple haven’t had contact in 9 months, Kathryn feels that T-Rav has an ulterior motive for reaching out. JD tells both Thomas and Kathryn separately they need to put aside their differences for the sake of the kids.
In his continuing bid to get healthy, Shep Rose takes off for a jog. He pumps those legs half a block to Patricia Alschul’s house to invite Whitney Sudler-Smith to a quail shoot. Shep has been sober for five whole days, and now that he’s proven that he can white knuckle it, he’s feeling better physically. While he’s excited to go out hunting with the group, Shep isn’t sure if he should invite Craig Conover and his girlfriend, Naomie, since they publicly argued at Jenn’s sip and see. Things were awkward for everyone.
And speaking of the couple, Craig is working on his various business projects when Naomie comes home after a long day. They’ve accepted Shep’s invite, and she wants to talk about it, but immature Criag shuts her down completely. He doubts their relationship because Naomie doesn’t blindly go along with every hair-brained idea that pops into his head. She wants him to get serious about his future and thinks he should apologize for treating her with disrespect. Craig feels that since she discussed their relationship with Whitney and Cameran Eubanks, Naomie is a traitor. Naomie finally suggests they go see a couples’ counselor to stop talking in circles. A dizzy Craig agrees.
Whitney, Shep, and newcomer, Austen Kroll meet at a men’s outerwear store. Whitney has no problem killing all the birds—as long as they’re edible and he gets to dress like Lord Grantham from Downton Abbey. Done! Austen has never been hunting, and he’s not sure what the hell quail is, anyway. Shep reminds them to wear boots in order to avoid getting bitten by snakes. Where was this advice in season one, when they all slept with Kathryn? Oh, I kid. So, as the men talk about the upcoming weekend, they’re unsure if Thomas can join them. Remember: firearms and felons don’t mix.
At Patricia’s house, she and Landon sip bourbon slushies and talk about men on the veranda. Patricia is still trying to make Landon and Thomas a couple, but Landon just giggles like an eight-year-old girl. Patricia finally lays it on the line: Thomas is educated, in the same social class, and most importantly, he has money. Landon agrees that Thomas is a good guy—or at least a good dad. But as long as he and Kathryn still have unresolved problems, he’s not a good choice. Patricia tells Landon to grow some lady balls. If she wants a life of luxury with a made-to-order family, she’s going to have to grab it with both hands. Kathryn be damned!
Pan over to the guest house where Thomas is getting the kids ready for their supervised visit with Kathryn. Saint is fussy, and the nanny believes the children know they’re going to have a stress-filled weekend with their mother. That’s never a good sign.
The Charmers hit the road, ready for a weekend in the Georgia woods. Shep is glad he doesn’t have to ride with Landon or Craig. Since he stopped drinking, he’s become emotionally fragile. And whiskey helps take the edge off of Landon’s high-pitched laugh. During the ride, Shep tells Cameran that he doesn’t think Austen and Chelsea are making a romantic connection. Sounds more like wishful thinking because in a separate car, Austen and Chelsea flirt like hormone-fueled teenagers whose parents are out of town.
The cottage where the Charmers are staying is rustic and cozy. Craig arrives with brand spanking new boots he bought at Walmart. Sharing the cabin across the road, Austen and Chelsea quickly get changed for a day of shooting. Though Austen may never have held a shotgun, he’s learning the way to win Chelsea is to show off his good ole boy skills. Now if he only drove a truck and chewed tobacky, he’d be perfect!
With guides, Gerber and Dusty, the group drive off into the woods. Landon and Chelsea don’t make their first shots, but Shep, JD, and Austen catch enough dinner for the whole group. Cameran and Elizabeth opt to fish in the pond, because Cam is dangerous with a rifle. Mostly towards herself. Though Craig almost shoots a dog, Austen is clipping those birds so fast that Chelsea is about to wrestle the gun out of his hand and dry hump him in front of everyone.
Naomie arrives and chats with Cam and Elizabeth, while Whitney and Shep grill Craig over his relationship. Craig proceeds to talk about his problems with everyone, while complaining about Naomie airing their dirty laundry in front of the group. Sadly, because he is Craig, he doesn’t understand the irony. Naomie gives her version to the girls and blames Craig for never taking responsibility for his own issues. Her biggest fear is turning into Thomas and Kathryn. But without rehab and kids.
Once the shooting is done, the staff brings hors d’oeuvres to the cabin, and while the others wait for Austen and Chelsea, speculation runs rife about their budding romance. Shep decides his self-imposed sobriety is at an end and cracks open the whiskey bottle. They all tromp off to dinner down the street. Chelsea and Austen are the last to arrive. As Chelsea brags on Austen’s manly prowess, Shep gives a half-hearted smile and tries to play down his possessive streak. Cameran is finally beginning to realize that Chelsea and Austen are a couple, and Shep may be out of the picture for good.
Thomas arrives for dinner and drinks. Landon greets him, but refuses to sit next to him. Because Patricia and Whitney have been trying to get Landon and T-Rav together, she keeps her distance, lest she give him the wrong idea about her intentions. Instead, Landon flirts outrageously with Austen, scrunching her cheeks and cackling as she rubs his shoulder and utters stupid catchphrases, like, “I’m just trying to be the best I can be…again and again and again. Until I get turned into diamonds.” Shep wonders if there’s something going on between the two, and Thomas is looking bemused at the end of the table when he notices that Landon is batting her eyes at someone other than him. Suddenly, there’s a ray of light for Cameran. Shep seems obsessed with Landon and Austen, therefore he must want Chelsea for himself! Um…no, Cam. Stop it. Right now, missy.
As they all tuck into their bacon-wrapped quail, Naomie asks Thomas about the kids. He brags about making Saint giggle all day and is enjoying fatherhood. He even wants Kathryn to be more involved in the kids’ lives. JD and Elizabeth share that Kathryn recently spoke to them about her desire to be a decent mother. They think Kathryn deserves a second chance. Cameran is too skeptical to believe Kathryn will ever change. When Thomas admits he sent Kathryn a text, Landon becomes all the more determined to steer clear of T-Rav romantically. Kathryn will always be in the Thomas’s life, and Landon wants nothing to do with the volatile redhead. The Charmers head back to Shep’s cabin for a boozy night in. They all get wasted — except for Austen and Chelsea, who sneak back to their own cabin, arm in arm.
The next morning, hangovers all around. Thomas leaves for Charleston, anxious to get back to his kids. Shep declares he’s back on the wagon. Only Austen and Chelsea remain, still cuddled up under the quilt in the bed they shared. Chelsea teases that it was the best night of Austen’s life. She’s smitten but determined to remain independent and is convinced that Austen is on the same page. But Austen confesses he wants to spend more time with her, and says he has a bad case of puppy love. Chelsea is wary of relationships, but Austen wishes she felt something deeper.
So, what did you make of the hunting trip? Was Landon too handsy with Austen? Will Chelsea be brave enough to commit to a relationship? And will Shep be able to go a full week without booze?