Delaware. Above the Mason-Dixon line. Just below New Jersey. The state bird is the blue hen chicken. The state bug is the lady bug. The state flower is the peach blossom. But the most important thing to me about Delaware is that in Monday night’s eighth episode of Bravo’s “Southern Charm,” Craig took Shep and Whitney there.
It was everything I hoped it would be, with as many cricket, cricket moments as I longed for. But first ...
We learned in last week’s episode that Craig was “terminated” by his attorney boss and it carries over into this week. Attorney boss-man uses words like “disaster,” “immature” and “wasted drive and potential.” Attorney boss-man tells Craig to do some soul-searching and pretty much tells him to get new friends — friends that have jobs.
Uh, Akim, this is a “reality” show. He has to be friends with the other people on the cast list. That’s how reality shows work, remember? Don’t act like you don’t know how this goes, attorney boss-man, or shall I say, “Extreme Akim.”
Craig is now forced to tell everyone that he got fired. But he doesn’t tell them he got fired. He says he and the firm “parted ways.” Like it was a mutual agreement. Bless his heart. He admits that he’s always had a next move, but this time he doesn’t and he knows he’s got to find a way out of it.
When the boys go to Delaware, Craig’s rule is that there is no spilling the beans to his family about the job/lack of job situation. Whitney and Shep’s response: cricket, cricket.
Craig shows them his room, which is overflowing with trophies and certificates and all other outward signs of success for a young man. The jokes and jabs begin and it’s here that you can tell it’s not going to be all lady bugs and peach blossoms on this particular visit.
When they return for dinner, Shep, in true Southern style, thanks Craig’s mother for having him and asks her how her day at school was. She’s a fifth-grade teacher. I bet Shep took his fifth-grade teacher apples or daisies from the playground or a World’s Best Teacher coffee mug.
It’s shrimp and steaks for dinner and Craig takes over the food preparation. Shep and Whitney are in amazement. Craig’s been known to eat cereal out of a pot, remember. Dad brags that when Craig was 16 years old, he made a key lime pie from scratch. Whitney talks about this new depth he’s seeing in Craig, as the camera pans to Craig peeling the layers off an onion.
Really, editors? Could you be more obvious? We get it, Craig has many layers to him, like an onion. Like Shrek.
Mom brags about his black belt in karate. Whitney, with one of the first of many digs to be made that night, asks, “Where did that discipline go?” Mom and Dad look at each other awkwardly. Craig keeps working on the surf ‘n’ turf. Cricket, cricket.
It’s time for dinner and Craig brings a large glass of milk and blesses the food. Yes, milk. He’s an onion, remember? He’s Shrek.
Then it happens. Mom asks how work is going. Crickets. Craig doesn’t want to talk about work while he’s home. So Mom asks how the preparation for the bar exam is coming along. Crickets. Honest to Pete, I have never heard someone sip a drink so loudly as Shep did at that moment.
Whitney swoops in like a buzzard on a dead deer carcass on the side of the highway ... he tells Dad about Craig’s “sauntering” in to work at 9:30 a.m.; he’s wasting his talents and staying up and partying all night; he needs to be away from temptation. Mom denies that Craig would live that kind of lifestyle. Craig shoots fire out of his eyeballs across the table.
On a golf outing, Craig gets all up in Whitney’s grill about breaking the one rule for Delaware. Whitney tells him that it’s all out of “concern and love” and then he and Shep begin the bro-vention, which, after a good bit of yelling during what’s supposed to be a quiet sport, ends successfully. Phew. Craig admits that he’s embarrassed and he spends too much money, he’s running away from the truth and they are like brothers to him. And yes, he will tell his parents.
And he does. Shamefully, Craig opens up to Mom and Dad, but they respond with support and grace: “We’ll always be proud of you no matter what. Just get it done.”
Whitney’s girlfriend, Larissa, also known as “Darling,” comes to Charleston for a visit. He and Patricia are both crazy about her. Whitney thinks she’s perfection and Patricia is already planning the wedding. While enjoying a breeze-filled view on the Battery, Whitney tells Larissa that he thinks they should move in together. Cricket, cricket.
When they visit with Patricia, Larissa says she’s thinking of moving from Austria to Monaco and the madam asks, “Well, what about Charleston?” More crickets and hand-wringing. To which Larissa replies, “Charleston’s very nice.”
Nice? Really? English may be her second language, but give me a break. There are better adjectives than that. Like, “it’s lovelier than Delaware.”
There’s no sight of Thomas in this episode, but we have a brief glimpse of Kathryn, who continues on with her weekly mantra of how family is not a priority for Thomas and she puts up with everything and she hasn’t done anything wrong. She wants to switch it up and find her own path and she’s not going to put her life on hold for Thomas anymore. There’s going to be a “new Kathryn.” And of course, we’ve got crickets here too. This time from Danni.
Landon invites everyone to Jekyll Island for a brief vacation and while “biking and boozing,” Craig and Shep argue, plus Craig and Kathryn may or may not have spent the night together on the beach.
There’s yet another fancy dinner party and Kathryn gets all crazy-eye up in Whitney’s face — she calls him “scum” and he throws out his quintessential “shoulds.”
A SIGN YOU NEED A REALITY CHECK: “I let a six-figure job pass through my fingers for nothing.” — Craig on “parting ways” with the law firm.
WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR FRIEND SAY ABOUT YOU: “He had passion. He had determination. Now all he has is a hangover.” — Cameran about Craig
WHAT IT’S LIKE DRIVING IN DELAWARE: “Welcome to the North. Where people honk and flip you off.” — Shep
WHAT YOU DON’T WANT YOUR FRIENDS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR NATIONAL HONORS SOCIETY CERTIFICATE: (A) “What happened?” — Whitney, and (B) “You don’t have any honor.” — Shep
CRAIG’S UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE EPISODE: “I’m just at a crossroads.”
WHAT YOU DON’T WANT SOMEONE SAYING ABOUT YOUR DINNER PARTY: “It was record-scratchingly uncomfortable.” — Shep to Cameran about Whitney’s not-so-diplomatic approach to discussing Craig’s lifestyle with his parents.
WHAT YOU DON’T NEED TO HEAR FROM YOUR BOYFRIEND’S MOTHER WHEN YOU’VE ALREADY TURNED DOWN HIS PROPOSAL TO LIVE TOGETHER: “We have to come up with a plan. And I’m not getting any younger.” — Patricia to Larissa
THE “ARE YOU REALLY SURPRISED?” MOMENT OF THE EPISODE: Shep has a young lady friend in Delaware and invites her to the family dinner. He doesn’t necessarily have one in every port, he says, but there are some girls “scattered around the United States.”
CRAIG’S WAY OF SAYING THAT WHITNEY IS REALLY OLD: “I’ve never seen a baby picture of Whitney, but that’s probably because he grew up before the invention of the camera.”