Well worn is that old American trope of fleeing the city, crowded by personal failures, and forging a new identity out West, baptized in the waters of the Rio Grande and christened upon the Rockies. But as any seasoned traveler will tell you: no matter where you go, there you are. Sadly, the vast expanse of the territories merely gives your anxieties room to stretch.
That’s right. This season is building up to a big trip to Colorado. But first, a skeet shoot.
We start things out with Eliza, who is manning the front desk at a downtown hotel that her family happens to own. True to form, Eliza immediately begins talking about the huge importance of her family name.
When it comes to living with a big family name, there are two routes your can go: You can either be an Emilio Estevez or you can be a Charlie Sheen. Let me explain.
Emilio and his brother Charlie are both sons of Hollywood legend Martin Sheen, whose actual name is Ramón Estevez. Since racism existed even way back in the 1960s, he decided to adopt the stage name Martin Sheen and later went on to incredible success, the height of which is inarguably 1997’s Spawn.
That brings us to Emilio and Charlie. Faced with the decision to pursue a career in Hollywood under their legal name or take on the celebrated Sheen mantle, Emilio went one way and Charlie went another.
When you get the chance in life, be the Emilio.
Anyway, Eliza says people always assume she is spoiled, which she dismisses by saying she’s worked in the three luxury hotels that her family owns her entire life. Then she manages to squeeze in the value of the real estate she and her siblings will inherit, which will be around $50 million. I won’t be inheriting $50 million, but at least Eliza and I are both looking ahead to when our parents finally die.
On another note, Eliza is having to cancel the fox hunt she had planned due to bad weather. This is unfortunate because foxes are (A) a horrible scourge worth wiping out, and (B) a great source of meat.
Moving on, we find Cameran filling in Naomie on how her birthday celebration wrapped up. Cameran explains that Craig lashed out because he still carries feelings for Naomie. I’m sure this is expressed by Craig constantly calling into the Delilah radio show to request Lonestar’s "Amazed," and then refusing to hang up the line.
Later in the episode, Cameran and Shep corner Naomie over lunch. Naomie explains that her boyfriend doesn’t really want her to travel to Colorado with her ex who still has feelings for her. Cameran and Shep find it absurd that Naomie’s boyfriend would react to this situation in such a way. And by "such a way," I mean like a normal human being.
Next, we join Kathryn, Chelsea, and Austen who are taking their first barre class. I never knew these classes involved an actual bar. There’s no joke there. I'm always just impressed by my own stupidity.
What follows is a montage of Austen trying very carefully not to “rip his taint,” as they say in the world of barre fitness. Then, like every week on this show, our cast members are allowed to sit alone and talk until the business’s logo has been prominently featured.
Austen explains that he and Craig immediately moved past their recent fight. Also, we learn that Eliza is friends with Ashley, who you might remember as Thomas Ravenel’s girlfriend from last season. Saying Ashley’s name three times in front of a mirror, she is practically guaranteed to appear this episode.
Now, I was unable to recall the name of the barre studio in which they were filming, but I will guess a few possible names and include them here: Let’s Give Them Something to Talk A-Barre, The Conners (formerly known as Roseanne Barre), and I Ain’t Passed the Barre, but I Know a Little Splits. It’s probably one of those.
Next in this cavalcade of ridiculous nonsense, we drop in on an extravagant breakfast buffet at Patricia’s. This massive spread is flanked by a giant gold Scales of Justice contraption that just happens to live in Patricia’s kitchen.
Austen, Craig, and Whitney soon begin to dig in, as Michael the Butler stands by, butling. What follows is one of the finest exchanges I’ve ever heard on this show.
Recalling their recent fight, Austen says that Craig came at him “like a banshee.”
Craig, completely without irony, asks if banshees are real. I’m serious. But wait.
Whitney, man of the world that he is, suggests that “A banshee might be an Indian or something.”
Then, without even looking toward anyone else in the room, Michael the Butler says, “Irish witch.” Mystery solved.
What!? That exchange took up five seconds of screen time and we learned so much. Austen used the word “banshee” without knowing what it means. Craig isn’t sure if mythical creatures exist. Whitney is totally unfamiliar with Earth. And Michael is perfect. Bless this whole entire scene.
Finally, we arrive at Eliza’s family … plantation, for the skeet-shooting party she is holding in place of her vital fox hunt. It’s sad that no foxes could be killed. At least everyone gets to engage in a simulated duck hunt, which is always fun until that annoying ass dog rises up out of the grass and laughs at you.
Since there are plenty of firearms and alcohol nearby, Naomie decides it’s time to have a talk with Craig. This exchange apparently goes better than either could have expected, which I guess is due to neither person trying to dislodge a hammer from a battered piece of drywall.
Practically opting for a record scratch in the background music, Ashley arrives dressed as a background actor from CATS.
Things quickly break down during Ashley’s arrival. Everyone runs away clutching cocktails to their chests like it’s the Titanic before the true panic set in. Ashley is no longer with Thomas, but she must still account for her past behavior.
Whitney holds Ashley to the coals for some allegations she made about his mother. Ashley goes wide-eyed and refuses to back down. There will be no recanting at this formal brunch.
Next, Ashley is faced with recent claims she posted online that Kathryn was drinking again. Despite this happening a week before the skeet shoot, Ashley says she doesn’t want to get into the past and advises people to shut their mouths. Yes, she went full on vintage The Rock and advised her fellow guests to know their role.
Ashley continues to navigate Charleston’s social system like she’s trying to emulate Georgina Sparks from Gossip Girl. She’s cartoonishly manipulating. She’s a parody of someone you don’t want to talk to at a party. Ashley’s the type of person who really needs you to understand how upset she is that Friends is leaving Netflix. Life, she explains, is so unfair.
Ashley manages to call someone a bitch, while denying that she called them a bitch, and then starts to cry because no one likes her. It’s incredible. A real tour-de-force of unhinged pettiness and self-obsession. Ashley is the Daniel Plainview of ruining parties. A real pioneer.
That’s it. That’s the end. Everyone’s primed to travel to Colorado. Surely that will be a chill time in the snow. Like the Donner Party. See you then.