We pick up apparently after Astor, with Sophie trotting along to Julie Montagu’s house still in her hat to share that she lost every bet she made. Tra la la! Considering how inebriated the ladies got the last time we went to Astor with them, I kind of think Sophie seems a wee bit sober and perhaps she just came from the hat shop. Nevertheless. Julie is all worked up because last night she attended a 60-person event with Queen Caroline who got in her face about how Scotland was going to be a NO RULES excursion and she was gonna teach Julie how to have a good time. “I’ll make sure I don’t walk out on your dinner party,” Julie claims she replied, but now she’s all ugly-crying about it and wants Sophie to share her pain about her big debut at Mapperton being a disaster (which I really didn’t think it was, but…). Sophie will not share Julie’s pain, because she is LOYAL, dammit! She’s gotten bitch-slapped by Queen Caroline and is minding her p’s and q’s. For God’s sake, this is crazy, she wails; they are wasting their LIVES! Julie is tweaked. She listened to Sophie’s endless complaints all summer and now Sophie’s not going to reciprocate.
Montages of packing ensue.
Caroline Fleming is meditating because she doesn’t like to fly, even though she does it ALL THE TIME seeing as she’s note teleporting to Denmark for her claimed weekly trips to check on Daddy and the Estate. CF has more crystals than Speidi. Meanwhile, CS is taxiing to the airport with her gay sidekick, Luke, and explaining that her plan is for this to be a girls’ trip (with the exception of Luke), and the men are going to come in at the end to quash any developed drama. Which does seem like a reasonable plan. Julie and Marissa and their very bad hair are in another taxi and both seem a little grim. The flight is brief, and there is no first-class section so CF is forced to clutch Juliet and breathe into a bag in coach. Upon arrival, they split into two cars, whereupon Julie gets in the one with the mean girls so she can monitor their commentary. Sure enough, Queen Caroline has a bone to pick with Marissa, finding it ironic that the Hermers are selling al their businesses and moving to America just as Marissa is allegedly caught up in gossip about why Caroline is moving to Dubai. (It’s worth noting that Bumpkin, etc. are all still owned by Matt’s business group, Ignite; so much for that.) Julie, in the way back, perks up her ears but does not go to bat for Marissa which is probably smart.
They arrive at Caroline S.’s VRBO castle, which is fabulous, and are greeted by bagpipers and a welcome lady. “It’s very Downtown Abbey” shriek the Brits, of all people. Queen Caroline is delighted to announce the Non-Rules: no one has to come down for breakfast, but they do have to come for lunch and dinner. Also, smoking will take place right on the front steps, and the bad girls go out to do that and cartwheel on the lawn while Luke takes a moment to advise the girls on the outs (Marissa, Julie, and Adela). Julie tells Marissa she is going to have to talk to Caroline S. about these rumors that Marissa is originating and/or spreading Dubai rumors. Marissa is unimpressed; the rumors about why Caroline S. is moving to Dubai are, according to her, the least interesting of all the many rumors about Caroline S., so why would she bother? Indeed, Marissa does in fact have more pressing concerns.
Caroline S. pretends she knows where they are going as the welcome lady shows them all to their rooms. Marissa is assigned the loveliest room until Caroline S. realizes that her room is less lovely, less adjacent to the bath, and further away from Sidekick Luke, and asks to switch. This is also a chance for Caroline to confront Marissa about these Dubai rumors and tell her she is “a little bit disappointed because you are not a stupid woman”. Marissa insists she can’t help it if she heard things, but she never repeated them and let’s get real, she’s barely been out of her house for the last nine months. Caroline S. is the one making this the big thing, and she continues to stalk around in her camel coat to find someone else to yell at. Juliet is the big winner, because SHE brought up the subject with Marissa, accusing her of spreading rumors!
Juliet is aghast that she is in trouble for trying to help her best girl, but that’s what happens when you try to run with the Queen Bee. All the while Julie Montagu is sitting on the bed seething that Caroline S. is chirping about “loyalty” again. Caroline insists the move to Dubai was what she and Cem agreed was a necessary change to keep their family together (what does that mean? That they were following his job or trying to avoid divorce?) and that all this talk needs to be shut down. Marissa is more than happy to do it as she is over it.
The evening’s activities are intended as “casual” so CF wears a silver sequin turtleneck and CS gets full professional makeup done. Marissa is having a bit of a meltdown about being away, and Julie wants to have it out with Sophie for not listening to her complaints about Caroline S. Marissa does not want to hear Julie’s complaints about Caroline S. either.
Off they go to dinner where Sophie, continuing her crawl up CS’s behind, mewls about the hole that will be in her life once CS is gone. Somehow this topic turns to s-e-x, with Marissa oversharing that she has bruises all over after finally doing the deed with Matt last weekend, and Adela admitting that she nearly broke her six-month “dry spell” with a locksmith. Somehow this leads to a discussion of Adela’s addiction issues and a past suicide attempt. CF clucks sympathetically, while Juliet barks out that Adela is “selfish”.
Screech! No one can believe Juliet just said that to Adela’s face, but Juliet insists she “loves life” and cares about her children too much to ever consider such a thing, which makes Adela selfish, and she crosses her arms and plops down on the spot and isn’t moving. Adela goes outside with Marissa to get away from her. CS sternly informs Juliet that she is being “aggressive”. Yeah, pipes up Sophie; Juliet is ALWAYS aggressive! Marissa comforts Adela and confirms that she’s never met anyone quite as awful as Juliet Angus. By the time they get in the cars to go home, Juliet is pouting and drunk Sophie is blathering about “fake plants” which sounds like “fake blondes” and leads CF into an icky discussion about her nether-regions.
Morning dawns and the nanny calls Marissa to check in which provokes tears. Everyone is giving Marissa a hard time for traveling without the baby, whether this trip or New York, which I think is a little ridiculous. For one, when she went to New York it was clearly a long-planned and very short trip for her mother-in-law’s 80th birthday party, rather important, and a baby who has respiratory issues should not get on a plane. There may well have been business aspects, too. It sounds to me like they were able to make the best of a bad situation. As far as this trip, I’m sure Marissa was not allowed to bring Nanny and Sadie as that would have put a big damper on the whole idea of this being a girls/couples trip, wouldn’t it? So anyway, she’s tired and sad and disoriented and generally not having a very good time, and I don’t blame her. I have felt like this every time I have had to travel for a wedding, kids or not.
Down at the breakfast table, everyone gathers in various degrees of intimate wear, and the food choices are: toast, sausages, and kedgeree. Kedgeree is apparently smoked fish, rice, and hard boiled eggs, which does not sound like something I’d like to eat for breakfast and doesn’t meet CF’s longing for eggs. Somehow, this all turns to CF revisiting the time she tried to climb out the window when Marissa came “for a chat”, which forces poor Marissa to again assure CS that she has not been gossiping about her and gives Juliet a chance to jump down her throat, again, and Sophie to jump on Juliet for being negative and aggressive, again, while Marissa bursts into tears and leaves the room. “I’m gonna show you negativity,” snarls Juliet. Show me NEGATIVITY!
Next time: ATVs, archery, fireworks, and having it out some more with Juliet.