If you weren’t scrambling to finish your taxes or hitting up your Netflix for “Game of Thrones,” I have only one word for you regarding the fifth installment of the “Southern Charm” “reality” series: Shepistotle. Not merely because that’s Bravo’s labeling of the episode, but because Shep flat-out nails it with his assessment of Craig’s slow and powerful return to Neverland.
Well, maybe not that slow. Less of a gentle dip and more like a downright plummet.
But we’ll come back to that.
Patricia is working on her third scrapbook for Whitney. She considers it practice for Whitney’s wedding album. His current foreign model/actress/something-or-other has been around longer than the others, so a mother can hope, she says. In the past, his relationships (if you will) have been “fly by night” occurrences, so she’s feeling very optimistic.
Whitney arrives and, to avoid his mother talking about how she may want a Valentino dress for his wedding that he’s not close to having, he brings up Thomas’ fundraiser on Bowens Island from the last episode. I mean night before. The one where Whitney and Kathryn had a fight and she stomped out.
Whitney said he was “set upon” by Thomas’ new campaign manager, Amy, who he describes as “Sandy Duncan from Hell.” For those that know who that is, you’re likely having a good laugh. For those that don’t, well, then you never watched “The Hogan Family,” and you don’t know that Jason Bateman used to be a regular sitcom actor. Just Google her and Wheat Thins.
Amy gave Whitney a hard time about the “raise the roof” advertisement. She wants to promote Thomas as a serious candidate doing a conventional campaign, which Whitney thinks is a huge mistake, a waste of money and energy, and destined for failure.
Shep and Craig and their super-nice watches are out at Republic and I think they know the bartender by name. Shep orders a shot and a beer. They are, of course, surrounded by giggly, hair-flipping, high-pitched young ladies. Then there are some camera close-ups on boobs and cut-off jean shorts.
Wait a minute. Who let the jorts into this party?
Growing up in the South, you’re either going to be a lawyer, a doctor or a banker, Shep says. He’s molded this little life for himself in our great city and he has “a really cool balance of work, play and sleep.”
Craig discusses how when he and Shep go out, they go out 100%. His parents always taught him, if you’re going to do something, do it right. But he doesn’t think they had drinking in mind when they told him that.
Shep asks Craig to buy him a drink, but Craig says he doesn’t have anything in his wallet but is ID.
“Craig thinks he’s a Rockefeller,” Shep says. “But he’s more like a Flintstone.” Too bad that the girls in Shep’s dating pool don’t know who either of those people are.
Shep’s ready to go because he’s got stuff to do the next day, but Craig is a drinking and dancing machine.
“I’ve been around the block a few times by now,” Shep says, “and you’ve got to recognize when the night’s over.”
Shep bails and we have now reached the end of the first glimpse at what is portrayed as Craig’s downward spiral.
This segment is one that proves that I’m getting older and may or may not have eye-rolling down to an art form.
It’s time for Thomas to have another fundraiser, this time out at his “plantation” for a Carolina BBQ. An open-to-the-public event. Open to all the “T-Rav superfans,” as Cameran puts it.
Thomas says that one of his consultants told him he has a humility problem.
I could have stopped right there. Sorry.
Anyway, Thomas wants to “disavow” all of that. So, to help people forget that he plays polo and show them he isn’t above everyone else, he invites total strangers out to his huge house on a whole bunch of land. Land where he plays polo.
Thomas makes a little speech and thanks his neighbors, his co-workers, his friends. “Who did I leave out? ... Everybody!”
Cut to Kathryn trying not to make a face, but her eyes are cut sideways and I think she’s sucking those teeth again.
This guy. He just sets himself up every time.
“It hurts my feelings,” Kathryn says. “I feel like just another person at a fundraiser. I don’t feel like I have any part in it and that is my home. Right inside that house is where I’m raising my child.”
She tells Thomas and Amy (Sandy Duncan from Hell) that she’d like everyone out by 7 because “this isn’t a party.” Thomas says they can hang around for a bit and watch the game with him. More teeth sucking from Kathryn. Who can blame her? A bunch of random people they don’t know sitting in their living room watching their television.
So Kathryn goes outside and Amy follows her. “I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable in your own home,” Amy says. A day late and a dollar short, babe.
Amy tells Kathryn her she’ll handle Thomas. Amy tells Thomas that she’ll handle Kathryn. She also tells Thomas he can’t be distracted by this immaturity and this drama. We all know Kathryn doesn’t have a friend in Amy. This just proved it.
Now it’s time for Shepistotle to make his inaugural appearance. Shep and Cameran have discussed their concern for Craig and how they are worried about what he’s doing with his life and his law degree. One afternoon, Shep goes to Craig’s house for a little pep talk.
Craig has already poured a very large amount of liquor into his glass.
“Sometimes you run too hard, man,” Shep advises. He is worried about Craig’s law career, if there even is one and asks Craig if he wants to practice law. Craig says it’s his hobby to go out and it’s so much fun and he’s still got a month before he has to start studying for the bar exam. He won’t sleep for three days, but then he’ll sleep for 20 hours.
Shep wipes his hand over his face and pushes his sunglasses up and down over his head and closes his eyes tiredly.
“I wanna talk, though, as friends,” Shep says. “Will you talk to me?” Cue serious-sounding background music. “We’re just a little worried about you, man,” Shep says.
He goes on to talk about how he understands because he was 26 once too, going out and having fun, but he was a “weekend warrior.” It’s one thing to have a sloppy, happy life, but if you’re at the risk of running out of money, there’s going to be a “precipitous drop in your quality of life.”
Cut to Craig’s diary session: “Dude. Shut up.” He doesn’t think Shep has any right to lecture him because he says Shep is the one that’s always calling him up to meet him out.
They end up having to put the convo on hold until another time because they’ve “got to get Cinderella to the ball” — Craig is modeling in the much-anticipated fashion show. Then he talks about making another drink.
After passing on Cameran’s pitch to buy a house from her in the suburbs of Mount Pleasant, Thomas has decided to go with a friend of his who found something downtown. In her diary session, Cameran says Thomas thinks a downtown home for Kathryn is a quick fix to make her happy, but what she really wants is a ring on her finger.
Thomas and Kathryn have moved nine times since she got pregnant, so it feels like Christmas for her. Kathryn talks about how she likes the sounds of the city. Thomas talks about how he likes the solitude of being in the country. Hello, red flag. No one sees you.
“I don’t want to get married right now,” Thomas says, “but hopefully this house downtown will placate her and reduce my stress level ... She’ll be happier (and) I can be more productive on the campaign trail.”
“Thomas is always skirting the marriage issue,” Kathryn says, “but moving to the place downtown seems like a new beginning.”
They don’t say any of this to each other, of course. But Thomas does hug her for no reason. And it seems like a sincere, sweet hug.
Cooper Ray, Patricia’s first-episode escort, is also a designer of a line of menswear apparel and accessories, Social Primer. To be more specific, Southern-styled menswear. Snazzy Southern-styled menswear to be sold in a new store on King Street.
He enlists the help of Lawson Roberts, a national event and theater producer, as well as the event producer for the show. This is also a combined effort from Cooper Ray and Landon, who’s trying to get herself re-established in town. She’s all over the finer details — the rugs, the cameras, everything.
I forgot to mention that the fashion show takes place at the Palmer Home on East Battery. The pink one. The really big pink one. The one built in 1848 by John Ravenel. Yes, Ravenel.
Cooper Ray chose this location because you can see the harbor, see the history. He wants the show to be “a love letter to Charleston.”
And then Craig shows up in a tank top. Yep. There’s your boy, Delaware.
Cooper Ray gets all “Remember the Titans” on his models: “I want you to own it ... You’re here to claim your birthright ... You’re princes of this town ... Be sexy. Be cool. Drink afterward.”
The fashion show appears to goes off without a hitch. Cooper Ray is on point and Landon is thrilled.
During the after-party, Shep tells Cameran that he “started the dialogue” with Craig. He says they “don’t need an intervention or anything” but he’ll handle it.
Cut to Craig drinking what I assume to be champagne out of the bottle. “Craig thinks he’s the VIP in every situation,” Shep says to Thomas. Unfortunately, he added, he’s “got a champagne taste on a beer budget.”
Craig picks up on it that Shep and Thomas are discussing him and he begins to get ticked off. Thomas tells Craig that he has to be more careful if he’s going to be a lawyer.
Final thoughts from Craig in his diary session: “I think Thomas is the last person on this planet that I’ll be taking advice from anytime soon. Especially wasted Thomas. Wasted Thomas and Shep are trying to give me advice on how I should be acting. You guys are so ridiculous, it’s annoying.”
THE I FEEL LIKE HE SAYS THIS EVERY EPISODE QUOTE: “No good deed goes unpunished.” - Whitney about getting bashed for the “raise the roof” campaign ad tactic.
QUINTESSENTIAL PATRICIA ANSWER WHEN WHITNEY ASKS ABOUT HAVING REAL DIAMONDS ON HER SHOES : “Would I have anything but?”
WHAT DOESN’T HELP KEEP YOUR WINGMAN AT THE BAR WHEN HE WANTS TO LEAVE: “We’re dancing, bro!” - Craig to Shep
THE NOT-EXACTLY-HOW-I-REMEMBER-IT QUOTE: “This little piggy went to market, and this little piggy stayed home, and this little piggy ... what does this one do?” - Thomas while playing with Kensington; “This little piggy went to Neiman Marcus.” - Nanny
WHAT YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR MODEL SAY BEFORE A BIG SHOW: “Drinking makes me walk better.” - Craig to Shep
THE NOW-I-FINALLY-KNOW-WHAT-TO-CALL-IT QUOTE: “Dressing drink” - what Patricia calls the cocktail you have while getting gussied up for an event
WHAT CRAIG THINKS ABOUT HIS NEW BABYSITTER: “I don’t think anyone likes responsible Shep ... responsible Shep is unbecoming of real Shep.”
SHEPISTOTLE QUOTE: “Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.” - Shep about Whitney bailing out of the after-party early, as to not create a scene with Kathryn (i.e., “elegantly redeeming a cowardly act”). That’s Shakespeare, y’all.
NEXT WEEK’S EPISODE: It’s Shep’s 35th birthday party and of course, he has cake on his face.
Whitney and Sandy Duncan from Hell don’t seem to get along in a sit-down with Thomas. “They don’t want to vote for T-Rav,” Amy says. “They want to vote for Thomas Ravenel.” Pan to Whitney’s eyeballs about to roll out of his head.
Craig and Kathryn may or may not be spending time together without Thomas. “It’s like partying with the old Kathryn again,” Craig says.
Enter impending doom music here.