Confessions of a Southern Charm Newbie: Go out on your back

Season 6, episode 14

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Pantone Color of the Year: Shocked Beige - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP
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  • Pantone Color of the Year: Shocked Beige

Welcome everybody. Another season finale is upon us. But before we get to the beginning of the end, let’s wrap up a loose end: Craig’s painted nail.

In response to last week’s request, multiple loyal readers reached out to me to explain that Craig’s single painted fingernail that has been visible throughout this season is actually a symbol of his involvement in the Polished Man campaign, which aims to raise awareness of young victims of sexual violence. It is great that Craig would involve himself with such an important cause, but here is my question: Why wouldn’t the show Southern Charm, with one of its main cast members making a public statement such as this, maybe feature it a bit in an episode or two? Have a little talking head cutaway where Craig is able to explain this important thing that he apparently cares about?

The answer to this, in my opinion, is that Southern Charm didn’t want to over complicate, i.e. humanize, the character of Craig. It’s much easier to maintain Craig as some goofy layabout who indulges in crafts, instead of a three-dimensional person. That way it comes across more funny than mean when people name dogs after him.

With that said, I believe the season’s most egregious offense comes in this finale episode. In retrospect, I wonder what was left out of the show to make all the actually heinous behavior more digestible. It’s been 14-straight weeks, gang. Let’s end on a high note. Or more likely that farty, low noise that tubas make.

Patricia is wearing patches from all her sponsors like a NASCAR driver. - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP
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  • Patricia is wearing patches from all her sponsors like a NASCAR driver.

As with every season finale, this episode is all build-up to an extravagant and totally unnecessary gala thrown by Patricia. As always, the cast of Southern Charm prepares for this major social event like a footsoldier preparing to step out of a bunker. Kathryn and Patricia shop for shoes, while rehashing their dislike of Ashley. Meanwhile, the episode foreshadows that Austen might not be too pleased with Shep’s date to the big party.

Gonna be a great party. Can't wait. - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP
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  • Gonna be a great party. Can't wait.

Since the producers of Southern Charm are masters of suspense, we then cut to Shep immediately announcing that he is bringing one of the women from Austen’s failed threesome video to Patricia’s party. Not only that, he is also trying to get Craig to accompany the other ménage from that à trois to this black-tie event. This is the Southern Charm equivalent of digging up Batman’s parents.

Please allow me to borrow, and by “borrow” I mean steal, a line from reader Courtney, who tweeted at me last week, calling these two women the “threesome twosome.” That is much funnier than anything I could have ever come up with. Shout out to Courtney. Teamwork makes the dream work. Clear eyes. Blue hearts. Purple moons. Or whatever they said on Friday Night Lights.

Jumping ahead, we join Eliza and Ashley at the salon. Ashley smiles like a mall Santa who just had his balls stepped on by a toddler. Like, her lips curl in the fashion of a smile, but her eyes just display pain and rage. It’s awesome and exactly how the personification of an ulcer would look in a family photo.

Anyway, Ashley vows to crash Patricia’s big party in the most poorly thought-out revenge subplot since the that third 50 Shades of Grey movie. The one where Anastasia’s former editor kidnapped Christian’s sister after he was fired for sexual harassment.

Speaking of wealthy people having people forcefully removed from their buildings, we then join Patricia as she surveys the preparations for her “Stag Ball.” For some reason, this theme includes a couple of circus folk contorting around the celebration, but the important thing is the introduction of Patricia’s bodyguard.

‘You may recognize me from my previous job, standing just inside the entrance of any New York clothing store.’ - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP
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  • ‘You may recognize me from my previous job, standing just inside the entrance of any New York clothing store.’

Identified as “Mr. Kale,” I can only assume that he is part of some leafy-greens crime-fighting force called the Ruffage Boys. Joined by Broccoli Rob, Collard Greene, Russel Sprouts, and trusty hound Collie Flower, they ensure that clients are iron rich and regular.

Kathryn arrives dressed as if she is portraying the human heart in a grade school play on the human body. Her new boyfriend who is a musician strikes up an awkward conversation with Whitney. Proving that he is true "kvlt," Whitney says, “Dude, I shred metal,” which is a real “How do you do, fellow kids?” moment.

‘Do I look as uncomfortable as I feel?’ - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP
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  • ‘Do I look as uncomfortable as I feel?’

Finally, Shep and Craig arrive with the threesome twosome in arm. They are each identified onscreen as “woman from Austen’s video.” This is surely the culmination of a lifelong goal. Hopefully, their parents were able to cue up the DVR.

My dream has always been to dress as Dazzler from the X-Men and be in some man’s video - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP

Shep tried to play off this act of blatant hostility like it’s some grand test of Austen and Madison’s relationship, but it’s really just an act of spite. With a painted on grin, he revels in how brilliantly cruel he can be, like he’s the kid from the Problem Child movies all grown up. The main problem is that Shep isn’t punching up. He’s just pricking about.

Capping off the evening, Ashley arrives at the party, rushing past guests to confront Patricia. Wisely, Patricia waves over Mr. Kale, who swiftly removes Ashley from the building. I am mildly disappointed that Kale didn’t blurt out a cool one-liner, like “Lettuce find you a new place to be” or “Your salad days are through,” but I can be demanding.

Standing outside, Ashley is shown calling Thomas Ravenel, who is listed under “Person who can help me the least.” Comically, the camera pulls back to reveal that Mr. Kale is standing over Ashley’s shoulder as she relates her version of the events that have just transpired.

‘I’m RIGHT HERE, ma’am’ - BRAVO TV SCREENCAP
  • Bravo TV screencap
  • ‘I’m RIGHT HERE, ma’am’

The episode ends with a title card explaining that Ashley moved back to California. OK. Big moves there at the end from Ashley. That brings me to my conclusion for this season.

In professional wrestling, there is the tradition of “going out on your back.” This means a veteran wrestler will always lose their final match in order to make their opponent, usually an up-and-comer, look good. It’s both a selfless act and a show of respect for the future of the business. And with any season finale, we have those who encapsulated this tradition to its fullest and those who didn’t. Ashley, ever the heel, played her part to the very end.

Until next time, this has been Dustin Waters. You have been great. And together, we have been Confessions of a Southern Charm Newbie.

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