“Southern Charm,” Bravo TV’s reality series following the antics of Charleston’s “social elite,” will wrap up its fourth season on Monday night. After watching and live-tweeting every episode, it’s time to assess whether the show has made any progress from the initial questions posed April 1, before the season’s premiere.
Will former South Carolina state treasurer and two-time U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Ravenel keep full custody of his two small children, or will their mother, the young model Kathryn Dennis, be able to obtain more involvement in their lives after returning from a rehab program last summer? Will they continue to bicker and back-bite, or will they exhibit cordial and respectful co-parenting behavior?
A: Kathryn passed an early drug test and has pretty much stuck to drinking water in every scene she’s in … except last week, when she ordered a margarita while the clan was on a vacation in Key West. A finale preview showed them in an embrace, her whispering to him, “I kind of want to kiss you.”
What is the true nature of the relationship between Thomas and budding website entrepreneur Landon Clements: “just friends,” “friends with benefits” or trying to give it a real go at a mature and lasting romance? Will Landon and Kathryn continue to ice each other out?
A: Due to the genius of editing, we still don’t really know exactly what is going on with Thomas and Landon. She started the season with a young hunk of a boyfriend, broke up with him, exhibited some questionable flirting with the new cast member, Austen Kroll, but also spent alone time with Thomas, accepted his flowers, defended him, read his poetry book … you get it. As for Landon and Kathryn, they rolled their eyes about each other all season, but Landon openly confronted Kathryn in Key West, continued to deny anything sordid between her and Thomas, and then hugged Kathryn … hard … after she said that Thomas plays her against Kathryn, much to his amazement. Will this last and will people buy it?
Will Delaware transplant Craig Conover ever take the bar exam after spending his summer learning gardening and carpentry, and will his girlfriend Naomie Olindo stick with him through this phase of self-discovery?
A: We learned through social media that Craig has indeed passed the bar exam since filming ended, but during the season, he spent most of his time engaging in his new love of sewing. Except when he was in couples counseling with Naomi. At almost every social function, they had embarrassing spats, with lots of nastiness grumbled here and there. The "he said-she said" carried over into their home life, with Craig’s cat Gizmo often left as his only companion (and social media darling). As for the rest of the group and Young Delaware’s behavior/attitude? Well, that dog won’t hunt. He’s pretty much barking up the wrong tree.
Filmmaker (and show’s executive producer) Whitley Sudler-Smith and his grand dame of a mother, Patricia Altschul, return with the quirks and nonrelatable-ness of her high-society lifestyle. Will they continue with their upper crust wit and wisdom as to who, how and what should be done?
A: Yes. Yes to all of it. The kicker, though … Patricia sets her mind to actively pushing Thomas and Landon together as a couple, complete with special dinner parties and advice-giving with cocktails on the veranda. Whitney was much less present this season, but Patricia was sure to make up for his absence with her extravagance and armchair/divan psychology.
Love triangles make for good ratings and the show’s producers have really milked the cow on this one. Did Austen, the new guy/beer rep, break the bro-code with restaurateur/Lothario Shep Rose, in regard to the lovely hairstylist/cool chic Chelsea Meissner?
A: Plot-twist! Or — did Shep Rose ultimately break the bro-code with Austen? Most of the season, Austen and Chelsea were quite sweet on each other, despite real estate agent Cameran Eubank’s (blatant) attempts to hook her bestie Chelsea up with her other bestie Shep. It was like watching a Kamikaze pilot go down in flames in slow motion, every Monday. Series note: Chelsea chose to get a separate room from Austen when they all arrived in Key West in last week’s episode, despite previously meeting his parents. Game-changer?
Monday night’s finale will begin with the Key West wrap-up, followed by the always-explosive fancy gala that ends every season with some fireworks. Who’s to say how it will end? Shep has been green-lighted for his own Bravo series, “Relationshep,” so will he be set up for a dramatic exit? Will any of them actually remain friends, or lovers, or whatever they are? Tune in to Bravo on Monday night at 9 p.m. EST to find out.