We open this week’s Southern Charm with Shep Rose. He’s getting ready to welcome puppy, Little Craig (not to be confused with his castmate, Craig Conover) into his life. And that means figuring out how to put together a doggy pen. Oh, and please ignore the thigh high hooker boots in the middle of Shep’s floor. A friend left them from the night before. Cameran Eubanks drops by to shame him for his taste in cheap women and their cheap footwear. But she’s also on hand to help him pick up his new dog. Cameran assures us that puppies, like babies, need a routine. Not something Shep’s familiar with.
Austen Kroll and his ex, Chelsea Meissner, go fishing. He plans on using live bait, and Chelsea scoffs. Live bait in salt water? Not likely, but she’s willing to give it a try. Chelsea is a real country girl, who learned to spearfish before she could toddle. She’s not sure where Austen got his gear, but it’s busted.
Talk turns to the boys’ trip in Nashville. Chelsea wants the scoop on Shep and Madison, Austen’s maybe ex-girlfriend. Shep had previously referred to Mads as “white trash”. Madison and Chelsea agree that a southern man worth his salt would have hauled off and punched Shep in his big mouth for a comment like that. But Austen isn’t a fighter. Not only did he not feed Shep a knuckle sandwich, he didn’t even defend his girl. Chelsea must be thanking the dating gods that she cut Austen loose before things got too serious.
Chelsea thinks Austen is too easy on Shep. But Austen is always swayed by Shep’s silver tongue. Austen continues to defend Shep, saying he’s a great friend. Of course, Austen can’t come up with one example. A drinking buddy, sure, but not a true-blue pal. Chelsea tells Austen he has potential. Potential for what, I’m not sure, but she sees something in him. She thinks he needs friends who build him up. Shep may be from an old southern family, and he may be a snob, but he’s not a decent person. And as far as Austen’s relationship with Madison, Chelsea believes he needs to stop partying 24/7 if he wants a chance with her. Mads is waiting for Austen to be a real man. How long she’ll wait is anyone’s guess.
Cameran and Shep are also talking about Madison. (Side note: for a non-cast member who’s been in the show a total of ten minutes, Madison sure has done a lot of heavy lifting this season.) They also discuss the “white trash” comment. Shep’s defense? Hey, he didn’t call Madison that to her face! He can say what he wants behind someone’s back. Ugh, Shep. Really? Cameran refers to Shep as entitled. He even calls himself snobby and has a patent dislike of rednecks. Did we not learn that Shep hit on Madison when she was married? I think this is the reason for his dislike of her—she rejected him and took up with Austen. Shep hasn’t gotten over it.
Shep meets his baby, Little Craig, for the first time. A black and brown French bulldog is now his new best friend. Cameran tucked Little Craig into Shep’s shirt so they can bond skin on skin. Shep is proud of himself for taking on another living being. (Run Little Craig, run!)
At the hypnotherapist’s studio, Naomie Olindo and Kathryn Dennis go in for a private session. Naomie started coming here when she was still living with Craig. He drove her crazy, and she found herself being negative all the time.
The women lie on the floor and attempt to relax. In order to banish self-criticism and find their positive energy, they fall into a trance before getting spritzed with rose water. The session leaves Kathryn in tears. Soon after, they settle in for a good gossip sesh.
Craig texted Naomie, asking her what museum they visited while in Europe. When she doesn’t remember, he’s crushed. Kathryn says Craig is living in the past and still wants Naomie. But she has Metul now, and she wants to marry her new guy. Sorry, Craig. Too little, too late. He keeps reaching out to Naomie, but that door has closed for good. Welp, as Kathryn points out, at least they don’t have kids to worry about. And Naomie got full custody of Gizmo the Cat, so other than filming, they don’t have to see each other.
Cameran stops to visit a baby store and to meet up with her friend, Leva. They had their babies at the same time, and now Lamar Jr. and Palmer are baby buddies. Cameran isn’t planning on having baby number 2. She’s flustered and hasn’t really taken to motherhood. Since she’s such a control freak, she can’t imagine having more than one kid. She wants to keep hold of her life, and children are such a buzzkill! You can’t even day drink around them. Who can live like that, am I right?
At Shep’s house, Little Craig is piddling everywhere. He’s also teething—on furniture, Shep’s fingers, and his trucker hat collection. But just like every new parent, Shep takes Little Craig for a photo shoot. Original Craig arrives and the two Craigs meets for the first time.
As Little Craig chews on a plastic hamburger, the guys discuss Cameran’s upcoming birthday party. She’s turning 35 and is ready for an oyster roast. Of course, Shep can’t keep Madison’s name out of his mouth. They talk about what a horrible couple Madison and Austen really are.
On the day of the oyster roast, Kathryn visits Danni Baird’s apartment. They discuss Cam’s upcoming party and whether Eliza Limehouse will attend. Danni doesn’t hate Eliza quite so much after she spent the afternoon horseback riding at the Limehouse plantation. Is there any way Kathryn and Liza can make a friend connection? Um, nope. Kathryn can be polite, but they’ll never be pals.
Cameran reminisces about how she used to be more fun, before she had kids and hit her mid-thirties. Now she’s getting Botox and damn it, she’s just not as lively. But you know what will fix that? Vodka. And she plans her party for the early afternoon, because she passes out by 8:30 every night. Chelsea shows up with a gift of earrings and a passive aggressive cake. Eliza and her boyfriend, Don drop in. Don is 14 years older than our young Miss Limehouse. But the ladies in this crowd like their men on the mature side. Naomie hits the bar, and Cam downs her 3rd drink. Then they start cracking open oysters. Since they’re considered an aphrodisiac, Don shoves a stack of them toward Liza. Chelsea just claims that oysters give her gas. Nice!
Shep drops in with Little Craig in a denim doggy vest. They all love Little Craig, whose smarter than Original Craig. The group talks about how Austen left a get together with the guys the night before. Austen claimed he promised Chelsea not to party quite so hard. The men weren’t impressed with Austen’s restraint.
The man himself arrives with two cases of beer. And Cam swallows drink #4 and 5. Original Craig shows up with more booze in hand. Operation Get Cameran Drunk is ago as they down some shots. (That’s drink #6, for those of us keeping track.)
Austen brags about being home before 11 p.m. the night before. He’d asked Craig to meet up, and even brought a bunch of girls with him, then left Craig high and dry with a group of strangers. Chelsea’s proud of Austen, but Craig thinks he’s a pussy.
Craig starts berating Austen in front of everyone. Then Craig says Chelsea sucks, too. Craig can’t figure out why Chelsea and Austen are still friends. Once people break up, they should stay broken. Those are the rules, people! Chelsea and Austen just laugh at him.
Danni and Kathryn pop up and wonder who’s yelling. They can hear raised voices out in the street. Cameran fears the guys will get physical, and Craig continues to rant about how nuts Chelsea and Austen are. Austen congratulates Naomie for escaping Craig and his tenuous grasp on sanity. They hug as Craig looks on, astounded that no one understands his position. Soon, Craig complains to Shep that all their friends are losers with a capital L. Shep thinks Craig’s outrage is akin to being a social warrior. Yeah, he said the words “social warrior”. Naomie thinks Craig doesn’t like anyone else growing up, because it puts a spotlight on his own behavior. Even Shep tells Craig to calm down. Unfortunately, he’s too hotheaded to listen.
By now, Cam is drunk, running around the yard with a spatula and trying to tackle Chelsea while she holds a beer. Chelsea says she’s never seen Cam this far gone, and they’re all loving it. Cameran’s shaking her booty and kicking Austen in the ass. She can hardly string words together.
Shep confronts Cam, saying she should bust out of her rut. He wants the group to go to Colorado for a couple of days to really celebrate her birthday. At first, Cam says no. She doesn’t want to leave the baby. But she soon changes her answer. Of course, that could be the alcohol talking.
As the sun sets over Charleston, Original Craig drinks whiskey straight from the bottle, and Shep and Kathryn have a chat. Kathryn wants some time with Little Craig, but Eliza is being a dog-blocker and spending all her time cuddling with LC. The two women spoke earlier in the evening and were polite, but it’s never going to be a lovefest.
As she’s talking with Chelsea and Cameran, Naomie admits she’s hesitant to go on the trip with Original Craig. It’s weird, going away with her ex. Danni points out that she’ll be with her other friends. Metul won’t be threatened by Craig coming along.
Shep takes LC home, and Naomie leaves, too. Austen and Craig join the girls. Craig is tired of Austen allowing his ex-girlfriend to set his curfew. The girls tell him to chill, then ask about his feelings toward Naomie. He claims they don’t have any closure. He can’t pretend their relationship never happened. By going on a trip together, they’ll have to confront their feelings for each other. Craig, buddy. Naomie doesn’t have any feelings. But Craig is convinced they need to end that chapter of their lives before they can both move on. When Cameran asks him pointblank if he still loves Naomie, Craig says he loves her and hates her at the same time. He wanted to marry that girl. He still maintains that he’s the best thing that happened to Naomie.
Kathryn says Craig is unstable around Naomie. Craig’s take is a little different. He thinks Naomie misses being with him, and when she’s around him, she’s reminded that she blew it, big time. So…Craig’s obviously delusional. The girls remind him that Naomie’s happy with Metul. But…but Metul is always on call. He can’t even go to a weekend wedding with her, because he’s always working. Jeez, the girls should just be honest with themselves. And with that, he slams into the house.
And that ends our episode. So, has Craig lost his last functioning brain cell? Is Austen pussy-whipped? And would you rather spend time with Little Craig or the Original? We all know Naomie’s opinion on the matter. Tune in next week, when Ashley crawls out from whatever rock she’s been under to make a reappearance. I, for one, can’t wait!
I’m a fiction writer by day and a reality TV addict by night.