Liz Farrell

'Southern Charm' recap: Thomas Ravenel's pocket square nervously awaits interrogation

Kathryn Dennis, right, looks like she wants to kiss Shep Rose on episode 6 of "Southern Charm," which aired May 10, 2018, on Bravo.
Kathryn Dennis, right, looks like she wants to kiss Shep Rose on episode 6 of "Southern Charm," which aired May 10, 2018, on Bravo.

Just so you know, if you try to fact-check one of Thomas Ravenel’s sex jokes, you will be PUNISHED.

I checked on his assertion that men who wear big “pochettes” — which I’ve learned is Eurotrash for “pocket square” but French for “wallet” — are sending a signal to the rest of the world that they’re super sexually active (beyond their wives) and therefore need an absurdly large handkerchief to wipe up after their many mistresses.

During my research, I had to read several versions of the following passage: “With a handkerchief, it was possible to support a wounded arm, to tighten a tourniquet, to wake someone with soaked salts in the handkerchief or, on the contrary, to put them to sleep if it is chloroform, to stop a hemorrhage: the medical uses are countless. But also note that you can make smoke signals, tie a balluchon or even wrap a picnic.”

I know. Nobody wants to be eating Ravenel’s picnic, but I highly support the part where it's wrapped.

A balluchon, by the way, is not the “lovers Kleenex” of which Ravenel speaks. It’s that stick thing that cartoon hobos use to carry their economic shame (and it’s what Ashley should use to pack up Thomas’ white jeans collection and send him out the door, but that would mean no more Insta-fame for her so ...).

I promise you, it would harm you intellectually to know how many internet users have taken it upon themselves to write EXTENSIVELY about the history of handkerchiefs and/or pocket squares.

You have no idea how many men out there have had this thought: “I should record myself folding a pocket square correctly and then upload it to YouTube!”

It’s a lot.

Yet, in all this fact-sharing, not one of these helpful know-it-alls ever mentions T-Rav’s “the bigger the Casanova, the bigger the pochette is” adage. Seems like a fun tidbit that a handkerchief historian would know and then include as a bullet point, no?

It makes me wonder where that maniac even heard this pochette story.

I mean, clearly he took his French lessons from a bottle of Jean Nate. We know this.

But the big hanky thing? It has to be a latent memory from when he was a baby — something he overheard in a gossip sesh between his wet nurse and housemaid.

The maid was probably like, “If I have to iron another handkerchief, I promise you I’m going to hurt a horny Huguenot! I had no idea there were so many desperate women in Charleston! They must have to squeeze their eyes shut, pinch their noses and breathe out their you-know-whats to even stomach it ... ”

The wet nurse was offended, “Why are you looking at me?!? I swear to you, I am NOT the reason he has all those dirty pocket squares. Anyway, I’d be a one handkerchief situation. Trust me.”

The maid gave her a dubious look and then responded by loudly whispering, “You’re a wet nurse, tho,” putting most of the emphasis on the H and the O.

Baby Thomas, who was pretending to be asleep because the underclass bores him — and sensing that two women were angry at each other — opened both eyes and yelled out “Cat fighttttttttt!” but, as he was not even a year old back then, it came out as “Phlerrrrrp!”

The wet nurse looked hurt.

The maid felt bad.

“We should get that man one giant handkerchief,” the maid said, hoping to lighten the mood. “Like a big pair of granny panties so it billows out of his dumb pocket as a warning 'RUN FROM THIS MAN! He requires this large set of panties to wipe up after his many women.'”

The wet nurse’s lips twitched.

But no laughter escaped.

The maid tried again.

“We could sew all his pocket squares into a big loop, like the world’s longest infinity scarf, so it looks like one of those disgusting old-timey towel dispensers in gas station bathrooms! The ones where you have to pull down on the towel to get a clean spot to wipe your hands? But then you’re like ‘Ew. No! Chlamydia!'”

The wet nurse tried to stay strong. She did. But, just like in her battle to teach baby Thomas not to ogle the breasts he’s supposed to be feeding from, it was useless.

“Bahahahaha! Oh, Pochette!,” she said to the maid, using the woman’s Actual Name That Thomas Doesn’t Remember Because Blue Collar People Make Him Go ZZZZZZZZZZ. “I can’t stay mad at you! You always make me laugh.”

Other dumb thoughts from this episode:

Random prayer: Dear God. Please get Kathryn some Bluetooth in her car so she doesn’t have to talk into her phone like a trucker. It’s distracting.

— OMG. I had forgotten about Kathryn’s “senator’s wife” phase, which means the hypnosis is finally working!

— We need to talk about Naomie’s aura. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But it’s hard to describe it in basic words. She has the energy of one of those indignant letters you sometimes draft in your head on your way to work like, “Dear Starbucks: This morning I asked for cream in my Americano. I trusted this would happen because you said it would. It did not. The label on the side of my cup says ‘cream.’ But there is no cream in here. THERE NEVER WAS ANY CREAM IN THIS CUP. So now, I have three choices: I can drive back to your store, get out of my car and pour the cream myself while your barista Bill continues to talk about his ex-girlfriend who is now ‘curvy in the right places.’ Or I can use the ‘cream’ in my office fridge, which isn’t ideal because one, it tastes like liquid plastic from a cow that ate an entire Yankee Candle store, and two, Barb wrote “Barb’s Cream” on a Post-It Note and stuck it on the carton and even though it’s doesn’t explicitly say ‘I’ll slice your face if you use this cream,’ I’m not dumb. Or I can throw this coffee in your CEO’s face — after microwaving it because by the time I get to Seattle this cream-less Americano will be cold and I want him to have the full customer experience.” Other times Naomie’s energy is more sedate, like the smoke coming off Roxie Hart’s revolver in “Chicago.”

And still other times she’s like Bugs Bunny in a tracksuit, leaning back and eating a carrot at the finish line all, “What took you so long?”

— Austen being a “beer specialist” and Craig being a “pillow maker” … it’s like attending career day in kindergarten, right? Where you’re just like “Wellllll, ‘Lego Holder’ isn’t technically a profession but it’s certainly more realistic than ‘Kicker Man,’ because no one is going to pay you to kick at the air. … I apologize. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

Silliest quote of the episode (from Austen who got yelled at by Naomie last week and now thinks she’s cold-blooded because she had one freaking moment): “Maybe Craig has been right this whole time.”

I’m finally going to say what's been on my mind: Naomie sometimes looks like Gia Giudice when she’s upset.

Fact check: Craig’s “open case file in his head” on Naomie — due to her lack of apologies — is actually a Trapper Keeper with two unfinished assignments and a field trip slip he forgot to get signed in it.

Most satisfying quote of the episode (from Craig and Austen who have no idea that Naomie turned on Craig’s iPhone location): “I wonder if she knows that we’re right across the street.” SHE KNOWS. MWAHAHAHAHAHA. SHE KNOWS.

— Oddly, I believe Austen might actually have a future in beach chairs. Wait. What? Oh! Beach beer! Duh! Watch your back, Landshark.

Sheppiest quote of the episode (after Cameran tells him to take her down Labor Lane, where pregnant women in 1800s Charleston would physically assault themselves into delivering a baby): “I thought you wanted lunch.”

— Shep delivering babies in his car is actually a great idea for a sitcom. It would be a good chance for producers to finally create a show in which a human gets voiced by a dog.

— Cameran’s prediction from four years ago that Shep would be married in two years can best be expressed in a fashion show. Does anyone know where Kathryn’s “senator’s wife” wardrobe is now?

— Are we calling Craig “Craiggy” now? I don’t want to.

Mother of all things dusted. MICHAEL THE BUTLER JUST NARRATED A TIP ABOUT HAVING A CONVERSATION!!!: “It’s hard to talk with dogs on your lap.” It IS hard to talk with dogs on your lap, but what got edited out of this, Bravo? I need Michael to finish that helpful hint! Do I remove the dogs from my lap then talk? Is it that simple? Do I use a vocal coach to expand my diaphragm so it’s strong enough to push past the stubborn furry creature leaning against me? Or do I lift the dog up and away from my body every time I want to talk but then gently place the dog back in my lap while I’m listening to the other person? HELPPPPPPPPP.

— …………………

— ^ that’s where my reaction should go to whatever the fluff just happened between Patricia and Craig but I’m still in shock and can’t stop staring at my Roomba as it cleans up the bits of brain that just exploded out of my ears.

— A cat or dog pillow?

— “It’s everything I said that I wanted.”

— “This is the break that any artist or upcoming designer would cut off an appendage for.”

— “Partying dogs and partying cats …”

— “... living life …”

— “... Palm Beach …”

— “... kind of cheeky …”

— “You know what, it can just come to you …”

— Stop.



— I am so sorry. I can’t breathe. I CANNOT BREATHE. Help me clear this up so I don’t die from laughter. Did we just watch Patricia ask Craig to design a cat or dog pillow for her high-end home decor line? And then did Craig get dead serious like he was Greg Louganis about to jump off a high dive at the Olympics? Like THIS IS HIS MOMENT. And then did he just start spitballing cat and dog pillow ideas to Patricia as if they were on a prom committee together? Did we JUST WITNESS Patricia swallow her own tongue so she wouldn’t say, “I live in a mansion. I have a butler. I am drinking a craft cocktail. And I’m wearing a silk caftan. DO I LOOK LIKE A CO-WORKER WITH A DRY ERASE MARKER IN MY HAND?”

— If we could turn Kathryn’s job interview at Gwynn’s into a musical act it would be Ashlee Simpson’s exit-stage-left performance on SNL from 2004.

If we could turn her interview into a facial expression it would be the one I imagine Thomas Ravenel gives himself in the bathroom mirror at his lawyer’s office. If we could turn her interview into a person, it would be Craig and Austen passing a balloon to each other using only their chins.

— Do you think Shep was like “Should I trick Austen into lighting a candle that clearly says ‘TNT’ on the side? Or should I trick Chelsea into not liking Austen by telling her a story about how he is a womanizing party boy?” Because those are basically the same tactics.

Quote I wish I hadn’t heard because now I’m picturing myself up in some rich boy underarms: “Whitney says deodorant is bad for you.”

Lie of the night (from Ashley about Kathryn): “I'm not trying to take anyone's place.”

— Why does Thomas Ravenel always look like he’s at a bar by himself and standing on the edge of the dance floor waiting for someone to accidentally make eye contact with him?

— The nominees for Most Awkward “Southern Charmster” in This Episode Award are Naomie before she apologized to Peyton for her Halloween party behavior; Ashley as she watched her elderly boyfriend drool over his babies’ mama; Shep as he got called out over his comments about Austen’s partying ways; Chelsea for being disappointed that Austen and Shep did not get into a giant fight; Austen for assuming that Chelsea was going to come home with him; and Whitney for not wearing deodorant despite looking so shiny all the time. Oh geez. There’s a six-way tie. I’m going to have to break off this plastic tiara “Mean Girls” style and throw it into the audience.

— Why are there so many shots of the full moon on this show? This isn't "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

— Do you think Michael the Butler sat in front of his DVR Thursday night and kept rewinding the shot of Ashley possessively sitting on T-Rav’s lap and was all "I need to find a way to work this into my new book, 'It’s Hard to Talk With Pets on Your Lap'”?

— This whole time I thought Kathryn and Thomas had this crazy chemistry that was palpable and combustive and uniquely theirs — attributable to their particular match-up — but after seeing her with Shep out on the Nico’s patio …

— If Kathryn and Shep don’t make out next week, I’m driving up to Charleston and pushing their faces together.

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