So, we’ve reached the finale of this season’s Southern Charm. And what a doozy it is.
We open with Kathryn Dennis trying on shoes at Gwynn’s, the boutique where she works as a stylist. Patricia Altschul comes in to help her pick out shoes for the upcoming stag party. They discuss Kathryn’s new boyfriend, Hunter. He’ll be escorting her to Pat’s party. Kathryn plans on doubling with Austen Kroll and his on-off girlfriend, Madison. Patricia declares that Madison never meant to hurt Danni Baird when she outed her for catching chlamydia from Shep Rose. It was a heat of the moment thing.
Pat and Kathryn agree that Shep pushed Mads past her limit. They also discuss Ashley Jacobs apologizing to Kathryn, and as they consider the degree of Ashley’s sincerity, Kathryn tries on a pair of Jimmy Choos. Oh, and by the way, Shep overheard Ashley slamming Kathryn at the fox hunt, by saying Kathryn will never receive full custody of her kids. Ashley 2.0 is pretty much the same as Original Ashley.
According to Patricia, she turned against Ashley when the younger woman “cyber bullyed” her on Twitter. But don’t dish out what you can’t take. With a smirk, Patricia muses that Ashley doesn’t have any weapons in the war of wits. Patricia will win on that battlefield every time. Can I just take a moment to say that Patricia is looking very refreshed? Don’t know what she’s had done, but it looks good on her.
At Austen’s apartment, Bailey drops by with coffee, a big barn jacket, and a Miley Cyrus haircut. They discuss Austen’s ongoing feud with Shep. The two men are taking a bro break. Bailey admits she’s not going to Patricia’s party with Shep. When Austen asks who Shep might be taking to this soiree, Bailey drops the bomb about Shep’s controversial date.
Speaking of Mr. Rose, he stops by Chelsea Meisner’s salon for a trim. He talks about his date — one of the girls Austen had a threesome with. You remember that threesome, don’t you? The one they trot out almost every episode, where Austen yanks on his dork and calls Madison insane for getting upset that he slept with two women. Anyway, Shep wants Craig to take the other girl Austen banged that night — as a big FU to Madison.
Shep’s taking a step back from his friendship with Austen. Chelsea thinks Shep has spent all season waging a campaign to show Austen and the world how horrible Madison really is. But now that Austen and Mads are back together, he wants to punish both of them. Shep admits that he had a vague idea of banging Madison years ago. (Take a trip in the Bravo Time Machine. Four years ago, we see Shep flirting with Madison, amused by her redneck accent.) Now, he declares she wouldn’t last one second in his world. What world is that, Shep? The world of nailing randos and giving them STDs?
We catch up with Naomie Olindo and her lovely mom. They’re planning a little DIY in the master bath. As they paint the walls, Naomie’s mom chastises her for being too busy to talk to her lately. She also accuses Naomie of being opinionated, like her dad. But the parents approve of Naomie’s new boyfriend, Metul. She says they disapproved of Craig — but in the nicest French way possible. And they love Metul! Naomie is ready to marry this guy — the sooner the better. Reminiscing about her own courtship with Naomie’s father, her mom goes on to explain that she was seeing a very handsome Frenchman, but Naomie’s chubby little dad tickled her brain. And that’s all it took.
Next, we catch up with Eliza Limehouse in the salon. She’s having a weave crisis and needs new hair STAT before Patricia’s party. Ashley wanders in and learns of the upcoming cocktail party. She blames Patricia for turning her against Kathryn, calling Patricia a “bitch” and a “piece of shit”. Her hair stylist’s eyes nearly pop out of his head at this kind of slur against Miss Pat. Yankees, am I right? Ashley thinks she was doing Patricia’s dirty work against Kathryn. And…Patricia called Ashley a gold digger. How dare she state the obvious?!
Patricia shows up at the party venue to make sure everything is ready for her wingding. She’s wearing a crazy pop art jacket as she examines the stag head ice sculpture. This stag party isn’t for men only. Everyone’s invited to attend (except Ashley) and come in pairs or solo. Their choice.
Cameran Eubanks stops by Kathryn’s house and they gobble candy and look over Kathryn’s kids’ artwork. Soon, Naomie, Chelsea, and Danni arrive to get their hair and makeup done by professionals. Kathryn discusses her new beau. He calls her his “honey mustard” so there’s that. Then Naomie shows off her non-engagement ring from Metul. Maybe the next one will go on her left hand. Kathryn has already heard the news of Ashley and Eliza’s talk at the salon the day before. She shares with the women how Ashley plans to crash the party.
When Danni Baird finds out that Kathryn is going to the party with Madison and Austen, she’s upset. She doesn’t want to hear about Mads, and she feels betrayed that Kathryn isn’t backing her up over the chlamydia debacle. Kathryn decides to take a belated stand by canceling her plans with Austen and Mads. While Chelsea commends Kathryn for being a true friend, I think it’s a case of too little too late. Kathryn should have known that her actions would hurt Danni.
The party is getting started. Patricia has security on hand, in case Ashley tries to cause trouble. (Good thinking, Pat!) People stroll around on stilts and are doing backbends on tabletops. One by one the gang arrives. And we finally get to meet Cameran’s invisible husband, Jason. He really exists!
Kathryn towers over her new man and his bright red britches. She’s dressed in a transparent skirt and fake fur. She introduces him to her former hookup, Whitney Sudler-Smith, and suggests they jam together — because according to Whitney, he shreds metal.
Metul and Jason talk med school, while Cameran tries to subtly sniff Metul. She’s had a crush on him since the beginning of the season.
We see Madison and Austen riding to the party. Madison feels nauseated about the upcoming evening, but Austen tells her to breathe. Sure, she’ll have to face the two girls he cheated with, but she can handle it. Right?
Shep and Craig Conover arrive with the ghosts of Austen’s past. While he was anticipating Shep’s date, Austen didn’t know Craig would bring the other girl from his three way. What an ambush! And yes, it is a shitty thing for Shep to have done, but Austen wouldn’t be in this position if he hadn’t cheated on Mads in the first place, no?
When Cam finds out that Shep and Craig brought the stars of Austen’s threesome video, she wants to know if he banged one or both of them. Austen claims he didn’t sleep with either of them. Uh huh. Shep feels that if Austen is secure with Madison, they can handle meeting up with Austen’s one nighters. Madison finds solace, in of all people, Danni. As Madison starts tearing up on the balcony, Danni goes to comfort her. Madison apologizes for spilling the chlamydia tea. Danni is still maintaining that she never had an STD. They forgive each other and hug. Craig breaks in on Austen and Kathryn’s conversation. He says that if Madison and Austen are solid, it shouldn’t matter who he brings to the party. No, dude. That’s a nasty thing to do if you claim to be Austen’s friend. Kathryn calls Craig a dick. Agreed, Kathryn.
Outside, Cameran and Shep discuss the situation. Shep says he hooked up with his date long before Austen had his threesome. Shep thinks this is hilarious. And he thinks that he should be able to hang with these two girls, since he’s banged them before. Cam chastises him, saying if he values his friendship with Austen… Shep stops her there. Nope. His friendship with Austen can take a flying leap. Bridges have been burned. Fences unmended. Cam asks the question we’ve all been asking since the beginning of the season: Why does Shep care who Austen dates? Is he jealous that Austen is in love? Shep scoffs, but what other explanation can there be?
Inside, Austen is still lecturing Craig, calling him a pawn. Craig finally sees the error of his ways and admits he’s been an asshole. He just wants to see everyone happy. Perhaps he should have thought about that before giving in to Shep’s devious plan?
Chelsea and Naomie approach Kathryn, saying they want to question these girls. Kathryn wants to know if they sexed Austen. So, Chelsea spearheads this new plan by pulling the two girls aside. She takes them onto the balcony with the other ladies. Cam says these girls are being used to get back at Austen. But the girls are fine with it. Screen time is screen time.
The girls denied sleeping with Austen. One claims she passed out and slept on the sofa only to awake when she heard Madison screaming outside the apartment. The other girl, Chelsea II, says she didn’t sleep with Austen either. They were all just hanging out. Without their underwear. You know, like friends do!
Austen pulls Shep aside to confront him. Shep admits he wanted to get a rise out of Austen. All Austen wants is an apology, but Shep declares he’s not going to die on the cross for this. Um, way to take it over the top, Shep. When Austen asks why Shep is so angry, Shep accuses Austen of playing the victim. When Craig tries to butt into the conversation, Austen bats him away. Shep says a little revolution is a good thing. (Huh?!) He’s disassociating himself from Austen and his toxic girlfriend. Austen says their friendship is in ruins. So, two are now enemies.
Craig is hiding on the staircase when Shep finds him. Craig claims he didn’t know Shep was using him and states that Shep has an inferiority complex. Shep claps back, saying Craig knew exactly what they had planned. But, but…Craig didn’t think they were going to brag about it to everyone all week before the party!
Whitney and Kathryn have an awkward conversation. Kathryn tells him everything is now good between them. She was embarrassed that he denied sleeping with her, but she’s over it. Whitney says he was trying to protect their reputations, but his denial was hurtful. She says he’s insecure with something, but in the end, they hug it out.
In a surprising turn of events, Craig approaches Metul and Naomie at the bar. He offers to buy Metul a shot, but Metul declines. He has something called “work” the next day. A concept Craig doesn’t understand.
Madison asks to speak with Shep privately. He claims to be a man of reason and follows her. Shep says he’s known Chelsea II for three years. Why shouldn’t he bring her to the party? Madison calls bullshit, saying Shep’s date is a bed buddy, not the kind of girl he’d normally bring around their friends. She apologizes for dropping the chlamydia accusations, and Shep accepts. She admits that Austen cares about Shep. Shep defends his actions, saying Austen deserves to have his threesome thrown back in his face. He no longer gives a fuck about his friendship with Austen. Madison thinks Shep doesn’t like her because she stands up to him. Shep defends himself, saying he’ll eventually find someone wonderful — with sun and sand and smiles. He’ll be happy eventually.
Austen and Madison soon decide to leave as Shep canoodles with his date. But they miss the big event: Ashley’s return.
Finally, Ashley turns up. She strolls toward Patricia, who greets her with a smile. Then Patricia nods toward her bodyguard who zooms in and steers Ashley away from Patricia. As Ashley gets shoved out of the room, she tells Patricia that the truth will come out!
Patricia hugs Kahtryn, as everyone else rushes to the balcony to see Ashley get pushed out the front door.
In the meantime, Ashley calls Thomas Ravenel and tells him how the Charmed Ones embarrassed her. No, girl. You embarrass yourself.
The others try to hear her telephone conversation. Though Thomas suggests she call 911, Ashley’s friend shakes her head and they drift off down the street into the rainy, Charleston night.
But it’s not over. One month later, we see through social media that Ashley has left South Carolina for good to return to LA. And she has a new BFF — Landon Clements.
So, that ends our Southern Charm season. What do you think about the finale? Will Shep be able to redeem himself? Will Austen and Madison make it? And will Metul and Naomie get married next season? I can’t wait for the reunion!
I’m a fiction writer by day and a reality TV addict by night.