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‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ Recap, Season 8, Episode 1

Photo: Bravo/Jai Lennard/Bravo

The cherry blossoms are back, everyone! Welcome back to The Potomac, a world of once-wealthy black people and socialites who perform their best soap-opera antics on camera. Last season concluded with the Patreon-induced disaster of the Dixons. Will we recover from the sour note? Let’s find out by checking in with all the ladies.

We’ll start with Gizelle, who finally chose to express herself in a romantic situation since things were not going well with Sherman Douglas. We can choose to embrace that disastrous attempt at “reviving” things with Pastor Jamal Bryant, but I personally prefer to pretend that never happened, and I believe that’s better for everyone. Is she a cougar on camera with fellow Bravolebrity (Jason from A winter house) a little cringe? Sure, and that picture of a boy feeding sashimi like a child in front of his child is vomit-inducing. Counterpoint: This is the saddest and weirdest Lady Bryant has been on camera in a while, and for that reason alone, I’m down to see this cross-franchise romance. Maybe he can teach her some rhythm for now – her guest appearance on Ashley’s TikToks is about it.

Ashley, on the other hand, is very much living a non-single life. She’s moved out of the bathroom and into the house on the bridges, but she’s not divorced and she freely admits that she’s not chasing the show and is still taking Michael and the kids to the Bahamas. You know that, if he likes to be a reserved woman, I like it; I just think he’ll learn at this point that he’s not in a good position to let her set goals where she wants. Ashley seems to be on the path of least resistance and less paperwork, even if that will hurt her future love chances.

Mia and Gordon are still dealing with the issues of being kicked out of the old franchise. They had to completely downsize their lives, moving from a 10,000-square-foot house to a 1,500-square-foot condo in Bethesda, a fact that Mia couldn’t stomach. They’re living off their savings and Mia’s salary while Gordon is fighting for what sounds like a down payment. They make a point of saying on camera that they completed the audit and passed the CPAs and accountants and came back clean, but the topic is that this fight was very damaging to their marriage. Knowing where the two are now, it sounds like Mia is starting to lay the groundwork to make sure she has an exit ramp. It will be interesting to see how you play this.

The remainder of the first game shows how successful this season can be everything about Robyn and Juan not being on the scene. Karen, Wendy, and Candiace meet for drinks and talk about each other and their life updates. Instead they focused on how Robyn needed to take responsibility for “hiding her truth” and how many of last season’s antics, including Chris Bassett’s insistence, were “speculations and diversions” from what she was going through. When Candiace sits down with her husband, she confronts the demise of her friendship with Robyn, how she was the scapegoat for Robyn’s personal issues, and whether their personal relationship can be saved after everything.

Robyn and Juan open the season right out of the gate, talking about everything. This is perhaps the most forthcoming Juan has been on camera regarding the many allegations he has been involved in. I guess being unemployed makes you an open book? Per Juan, met the hotel’s status as “very friendly” and “very nice” – and Robyn “chose to believe it because Juan wouldn’t do anything stupid.” Now, I’m no private investigator, but when it comes to receipts, I tend to trust the words of Whitney Houston: “If it was six out, four of you would have been really cheap / ‘Cause there’s only two of you.” I had dinner, I got your credit card receipt.” And as history remembers, Robyn never tried to check those receipts and messages for herself. He can simply live in denial.

The delusion is so strong that Gizelle, Ashley, and Charisse try to pull Robyn aside to help her figure out why. It’s actually a very powerful moment – they all open up about how they have refused to protect their marriage, knowing full well that their unions were falling apart or their partners were behaving badly. The problem is, as they all know, when you face adversity, you think it’s you against the world, and that’s what Robyn decided. As gently as possible, they try to tell Robyn that she shouldn’t be too protective of her relationship, but she’s not in a position to hear that; she cannot feel that her husband is not a supportive partner among her faults and instead blames society because it is easy to slander and blame. It’s sad to watch; Robyn has been in this codependent state since high school and doesn’t understand that she should demand more from her partner as they navigate the challenging time he has created. Navigating these ebbs and flows and how the team engages with them will be the main story of the season.

Next week, we will meet the new housewife, Nneka. See you then!