Again, my apologies for the lateness of this recap. Blah blah real job stuff getting in the way blah blah blah. Moving right along…
We start off this week at the Hollman residence where Travis is grilling Stephanie about his birthday extravaganza. Every year Stephanie throws Travis a giant party and she tells us that it’s getting harder and harder to outdo herself. Travis suggests she bring along Courtney, who is their personal assistant, on her venue hunt to help and make sure Stephanie asks the important questions like “how much is it”. Stephanie is insulted that Travis thinks she needs a chaperone and promises that she will be getting him a good present as well, since he did not appreciate her gift certificate for laser hair removal last year. Travis is being a total Stassi about his birthday and I love it. The more we find out about Travis, the more I’m fascinated.
Speaking of birthday divas, Mark is miffed that Cary didn’t bother to get him a chocolate cake for his…..daughter’s birthday. Cary was thinking ahead by ordering a vanilla cake with white frosting (to prevent a giant mess) but Mark doesn’t like boring cake and wonders if Roberto Cavalli makes any cakes he can buy (time to call his personal shopper!). Mark asks how many presents are too many presents to buy for daughter Zuri, and Cary gives the correct response which is that Zuri is three, so she doesn’t need more than one gift. But Mark loves to shop and buy his girls presents so Zuri is gettin’ the hook up this year.
Stephanie, Brandi, and PersonalAssistantCourtney go to check out venues and Stephanie has decided that she just wants the party to be a small group, 20 or 30 of their closer friends. She’s also decided that the theme for this party will be “Gatsby”, so naturally my reality TV brain is harkened back to Snookie’s Gatsby themed wedding where she went around referring to everything as “sooooo Gatsby”. Brandi gives her a whole bunch of hilarious gift suggestions for Travis, including a fake certificate from Obama and a tombstone, or “grave gift”. Stephanie thinks everything her friend says is funny, but here’s hoping she springs for a nice watch or better yet, a new fur.
Stephanie had planned to invite everyone since she is cool with Leeanne now, but she doesn’t want there to be an altercation between Leeanne and Brandi that could ruin Travis’s super special day. God in heaven blessed this earth with a great gift the day Travis was born and he will raise hell if anyone ruins it. I hope Stephanie didn’t invite Jax, because that guy is notorious for ruining birthday parties, right Stassi?
Everyone’s favorite horror show, Leeann Locken, meets up with her significantly nicer boyfriend Rich (#TeamRich) for lunch. Leeanne is nervous because she’s been asked to speak at the Grace Project which is a “safe place conference” for women who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Leeanne has been asked to be the keynote speaker and the theme is about how “we aren’t what people perceive us to be”. This makes sense and is a good topic for Leeanne. For example, I’m guessing there are lots of people in the Charity* world who had no idea how bat-shit insane their Charity Organizer is.
*As per usual, we will capitalize the “C” in Charity, honoring her as our 6th housewife
Whoa. Okay, so Leeanne, almost casually, drops the bomb that she was sexually molested as a child in a talking head. I know she had talked about how her childhood was “rough”, but this is the first we are hearing of this, right? And for the record, while I sympathize that she had to go through that, I do not think it excuses or explains her terrible behavior on this show. My mother was sexually molested repeatedly as a child and that woman is a saint; and the real kind, not the “I get paid to look like I’m a good person” kind.
Leeanne wants Stephanie to come to the event so that she can witness the impact a person can have when they share their story. Leeanne seems to think that Brandi’s issue with her is about connecting with people in this way, but if I remember correctly, Brandi was calling Leeanne out for making an event that was about AIDS, all about herself. Leeanne tells Rich that she’s tired of the all the fighting with the girls, to which Rich replies “then stop fighting.” YAS. #TeamRich.
Did I hear Leeanne correctly when she said there would be 600 people at the Grace Project event? Because it doesn’t look like that at all. Bad camera angles? Leeanne exaggerating? Anyhow, she gives her speech and it’s…good. It’s a good speech about labels and how the bad things that happen to us do not define us. And I wish I could get into it more, but Leeanne uses her past as a crutch or an excuse so often that nothing she says ever feels inspiring to me. That said, she clearly did touch the women in the room, Stephanie included, and that’s what matters.
Stephanie is odd-women-out in her home of all boys. The family sits down to dinner and Stephanie asks the boys what they think they should get for daddy’s birthday (poop) and what kind of cake they should serve (poop cake). Travis can only take so many jokes about his special day, so he tells the kids it’s bedtime and takes them upstairs. Because the word “poop” was said 3 times in a row, we get a scene with Brandi! Stephanie calls her friend to tell her about the poopcake plans and Brandi asks how the party planning is going. Steph says that’s she’s pretty much got it handled but needs to tell Brandi that she did invited Leeanne and hopes that Brandi is okay with that. Brandi says she’s a big girl and she won’t start any drama. Again, I say, it’s never Brandi who approaches Leeanne at these things so this conversation is being held with the wrong Housewife.
Stephanie and Travis sit down to really hash out Travis’s birthday and I know a lot of people gave him grief on twitter for caring so much but I gotta say, if I had Hollman money, my birthdays would be national events. Do you, Travis- do you! The trouble with birthday divas is that they hate surprises. I know this, because I am a birthday diva and I despise them. Losing control of my birthday planning is panic-inducing. Anyhow, Travis wants Stephanie to jump topless out of a cake, but did I hear him correctly when he said other people would be there for that? Travis is a kinky dude. Stephanie is tired of feeling micromanaged and tells Travis that she’s got it under control so he can stop worrying about it.
Did everyone else’s hearts get stolen a bit by Stephanie in this scene? Because I know mine did… Stephanie calmly and lovingly explains to Travis that sometimes the pressure that he puts on her is too much and unnecessary since Stephanie already puts pressure on herself. Travis explains (also calmly and lovingly) that he micromanages because he himself was micromanaged as a child. His mother gave everyone in their family daily lists of what they needed to do, so it just feels natural for him to repeat the cycle. Stephanie asks that Travis take a step back and let her handle things on her own because she is a competent grown woman who is his wife, not his child. Travis is able to see this and promises to let go a little even though it’s hard. I came into this season the most wary of this couple’s relationship but find myself seeing them as the strongest duo. Above all things- communication is the most important factor in making a relationship work. Good for the Hollmans.
Brandi, like most of us, does not care for Leeanne (she has her saved in her phone as “loud mouth”). But Brandi, also like most of us, loves her friend Stephanie and wants to make sure that Travis’s birthday runs smoothly so she decides to be the bigger person and calls Leeanne to ask if they can meet to clear the air. Leeanne sounds curt and surprised on the phone, but ultimately agrees to meet with her. Immature people are always blindsided when confronted by maturity.
Over at the Deuber house, it’s Zuri’s 3rd birthday and she is wearing a dress from Italy that mark bought because it looks so similar to Cary’s wedding dress. I love that Cary got married in an unconventional dress because it’s fun and different and when it’s your third wedding, the white dress is fooling no one. Zuri doesn’t care about cake or gifts but just wants to play with her friend.
Mark chases her around the house, dragging boxes of expensive toys behind him, desperately trying to get one of his lady loves to accept his spoils. “WE DON’T NEED IT!” they scream at him. Mark- if you are reading this, you are welcome to go shopping for me any time. I’m roughly the size of 2.5 Cary’s if that helps with the measurements.
Cue Scary Dramatic Music. Brandi arrives to meet up with Leeanne, telling us in a talking head that life’s too short for petty bullshit. Brandi gets right into it with Leeanne, and apologizes for pushing her buttons and takes ownership that her sense of humor can be silly and immature at times. Leeanne completely accepts her apology and says that she her buttons were pushed and she knows she didn’t always respond in the nicest way. This…..is not an apology back. But why would Leeanne apologize? She has zero self-awareness. Brandi feels like her mission was accomplished in that the odds of Leeanne throwing a wine glass at her the next time they are in public have decreased significantly. And while I do wish Brandi had taken Leeanne to task a bit more about what part she played in their issues, we all know that would have fallen on deaf ears. The lunch ends with a hug.
Stephanie and Brandi go dress shopping and nothing much really happens except for Stephanie saying “expecially” instead of “especially” which is a pet peeve of mine. I would expecially like an expresso. Afterwards, they are getting ready for the party and Stephanie has hired a makeup artist who I am hoping is less of a fan of pink eye shadow as the rest of the cast.
Sidenote- the elder gingersnap daughter thinks that boys are gross because they have “tails”. Awesome.
Ah- so as it turns out, Cary’s dress is from her wedding reception, not her actual wedding. Still cool, but not as cool as I once thought. Cary is concerned about the whole group being together in the same room since the last few times have not gone so well. Mark not only buys Cary’s dresses, but he styles her as well by picking out her shoes and handbag for the evening. Why are all of the guys in this episode reminding me of Stassi?
Everyone arrives at the party and all is good and well (Leeanne and Brandi are even bonding over really gross poop stories!) but when Cary arrives, Tiffany and Leeanne make mean-girl eyes at her. The thing about certain women that is so frustrating is that they always have to have someone they are on the outs with. There has to be at least one girl in the circle who is ostracized and judged. Leeanne has moved on from Brandi (seemingly solely because her brother tried to commit suicide) and has her sights set on Cary.
All season of this show I have been wondering how the hell they were going to get these women on the traditional housewives “Girls Trip” since there is such a clear divide between them. Turns out, all they needed to get the ball rolling was a drunk Brandi inviting everyone to Austin to celebrate Cary, Stephanie, & Leeanne’s birthdays. Tiffany and Leeanne are down to go because, after all, what could go wrong? Except for all of the goodwill and progress that has been made up until this point, I mean… Stephanie drops the bad news on Cary who is contractually obligated to go on this little adventure but knows that it’s best to keep your friends close and your enemy’s closer.
Stephanie is thrilled that the party was a smash and that Travis is a very happy birthday boy; especially later at home when Stephanie jumps out of a cake which was dream birthday scenario. All in all this was a fun sweet episode, but much like this week’s Southern Charm, it seemed like it was just a lot of lead up to next week’s much more explosive episode when Leeanne threatens to kill Marie but then has to explain that her definition of “killing” is different from most other people’s. GOOD. I need more Crazy Leeanne. She was so calm and collected this episode and my recap is about 1000 words less than normal because of it.
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Recap written by Liz