Happy day after Thanksgiving, everyone! Here’s something I’m thankful for: As promised, the inimitable Cindi Rose is back on Married to Medicine Houston this week! Cringeworthy though she may be, she’s also highly entertaining, and Bravo has long capitalized on the formula of revulsion + curiosity = good television.
But first, some prayer.
We open this week with Dr. Ashandra and family attending church, and some brief words about how important religion is to her marriage. It’s like the editors wanted us to see some moments of pure reflection and joy before we enter the lion’s den. And by lion’s den, I mean Cindi Rose’s general vicinity.
Dr. Monica drives up to the casa de Rose, and wouldn’t you know, good ol’ Cindi is out front gardening in a full face of makeup, softly cascading curls, a jaunty pink beret and a gaudy flower-patterned dress from the Boca Raton retirees resort collection 2016.
Cindi insists that Monica is Mother Teresa, which makes me wonder if she just notices someone’s ethnicity and pulls a phrase out of a hat. When she sat down with Ashandra, she mentioned that silhouettes are all about slavery. When she met Erika, she revealed that she, too, is part Asian (“it’s in the eyes”). And now, when meeting an Indian woman, she compares her to perhaps the most well-known Indian citizen after Gandhi. Look, Monica certainly helps a lot of people in her role as a cardiologist, but Mother Teresa? Didn’t she take a vow of chastity?
Anyway, Monica has come to try to broker peace between Cindi and Rachel (which, admittedly, is a saintly undertaking). Cindi, whilst burning sage in her “American Indian” prayer area, says she doesn’t want to gossip, but she’s worried that Rachel is drinking too much and needs help. OK, you know what, I think Monica really is like Mother Teresa, because, to her credit, she immediately shuts that notion down, saying, “Some of the things that come out of Cindi’s mouth are a little ridiculous.” Praise Monica!
Next, we catch up with Dr. Erika and her husband, Derek, who are visiting a fertility clinic to discuss their egg-freezing and surrogacy options. The doctor suggests they freeze fertilized embryos, and informs the couple that there’s about a 60 percent chance of that working, due to the age of Erika’s eggs. She’s a little discouraged by those odds, but the biggest challenge is yet to come — telling Derek’s uber conservative family about their plans.
Mama Maribel’s Dr. James and Rachel’s house, Rachel pours some wine for a study session (atta girl), and her husband joins her to assist. She tells a story about how she decided she wanted to be a nurse because of a haircut or something, and James admits he can see why people would stereotype his wife as a dumb blonde, but she’s actually very smart. Then Rachel tries to tell us how smart she is (again) while stumbling over her words (again).
At this point I realized we’re 12 minutes into the episode, and I haven’t seen or even heard about Dr. Elly once. Where is our Persian princess?
Christian roles and responsibilities
Later, Erika and Derek meet Derek’s brother Jonathan at Kata Robata in an attempt to get the uncultured kid from podunk Abilene to eat some raw fish. Spoiler alert: He hates it. They also want to broach the subject of surrogacy with him before they inform the whole family, who evidently consider anything that’s not mainstream, Christian and Republican suspect. Aw, Abilene. You are so quaint.
Speaking of Christian roles and responsibilities, Ashandra is putting her money where her mouth is (and where other’s mouths are…cause she’s a dentist…get it?) by helping her church to open a medical facility to serve the underinsured in southwest Houston. She reveals that her mom grew up on a literal plantation, and she had a grandmother who was a maid, like in the movie The Help, so it’s important to her to give back, now that she’s able. Dr. A, what are you doing on Bravo? You are too, too good for this world.
Meanwhile, Rachel is driving and chatting on the phone, and finally, 20 minutes into this episode, we get to hear Dr. Elly’s voice. Girlfriend was left out of the entire first episode and seems to appear as an afterthought in this one. What gives, editors?
Elly tells Rachel that she shouldn’t say anything to Monica about #doctorgate, because she’d like to confront Monica herself when the time is right. If this doesn’t lead to a legit, hair-pulling, name-calling, drink-thrown-in-face fight later this season, I am going to be severely disappointed.
Dr. Elly at work
And now, for all those still on the fence about whether an audiologist is, in fact, a doctor, we are treated to some footage of Dr. Elly in her element. Also, since I’ve been giving her a lot of grief for how much eye makeup she wears, I just need to point out that her makeup in this scene is on point.
She explains that she tried different types of medicine, but the cadavers and blood really bothered her, so when she landed on audiology, it was a good fit. She’s frustrated that Monica can’t see how she’s actually helping someone. “Maybe I’m not cutting someone open, but I am making a difference in someone’s life,” she says, after diagnosing a patient with hearing loss and fitting him with a hearing aid. And it’s clear she truly is, as the man tears up upon being able to hear well again after years of issues.
Monica has a similar moment of genuinely helping a patient later in the episode, which is such a nice departure from the abundance of catfights on shows like the Real Housewives. These ladies have important, life-changing careers. Are their encounters with patients as interesting as Cindi Rose insulting Rachel’s clothing? Well, no, not really. But at least I don’t feel like I need to shower after watching them.
And on the topic of boring encounters, we’re finally treated to the meal (at Caracol, yet another Hugo Ortega restaurant) during which Erika and Derek reveal their surrogacy plans to his mother. Annnnnnd…she seems totally cool with it. Moving on!
Thank goodness for Mama Maribel, who injects a little spice into the next scene, during which Rachel puts on makeup and dreads her upcoming meeting with Monica and Cindi. Rachel feels that she needs to get some sort of resolution because she and Cindi run in the same medical circles, but Maribel thinks it’s ridiculous to break bread with Cindi after how she treated Rachel. Unless, of course, she can come too, for backup.
She traipses out of the room, shouting behind her, “I’m gonna get dressed up and get my face done and show that Cindi how it’s done.” I sincerely hope she means she’s going to show Cindi how to move her eyebrows.
For the record, I will always welcome Maribel as part of my team in a dispute. When she and Rachel arrive at Up Restaurant, she immediately orders a martini and toasts to “a beautiful relationship,” referring to her relationship with her daughter, not some manufactured kindness with Cindi. Maribel knows what’s up.
I would now like to take a moment to introduce you to Chandler’s Law. Pulp crime novelist Raymond Chandler elaborated upon the “Rule of Drama,” a storytelling trope, saying “When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand.” In our story, the man coming through the door is Cindi Rose, and the gun is a large box. It contains a bomb.
Just kidding, it contains a gift and a poem Cindi wrote for Rachel. She reads the poem, and, shocker of shockers, it doesn’t contain any semblance of an apology. Cindi stops reading, clearly verklempt, but Rachel is baffled. All she wants is a normal, sincere expression of regret.
Rachel explains that she felt attacked from her initial meetings with Cindi, but Cindi insists calling Rachel a “sorority girl from Beaumont” was a compliment. You know, I believe her, because she recently got on her (newly deleted) Twitter account to backtrack, because what she meant to say was Port Arthur. Saying Rachel is from Beaumont is giving her too much credit. Remind me again when grown women started taking to Twitter to insult each other’s birthplaces…?
Then Cindi calls Rachel “anti-Semitic,” claiming she denigrated her religion in the party décor store [footage not found], before sadly asking, “So you’re trying to say that you don’t want to be my friend…?” When Rachel doesn’t respond, Cindi gets up, grabs her large non-apology box, and, mustering every ounce of class she has, walks out of the restaurant without saying a word.
No, wait, my bad, she did say something. On her way out, she casually muttered, “Enjoy your meal…bitch.” That’s the Cindi Rose I’ve been waiting for. I’ve no time for passive aggression. Tell us how you really feel!
Mother Teresa strikes again
After Cindi leaves, Monica calls Rachel wondering what the hell happened. Monica has just arrived at the restaurant for the meeting between Cindi and Rachel, and Mother Teresa that she is, she drags Cindi back in hope of some sort of reconciliation, or at least a cease fire. By now I’m convinced that Monica is, indeed, a miracle worker, because she somehow manages to squeeze an apology out of both Cindi and Rachel.
And then Cindi, who moments before had called Rachel anti-Semitic, invites Rachel, James and Maribel to her house for Passover. If this is baffling to you, you aren’t alone. Rachel is super uncomfortable, but we don’t find out if she agreed to go. The episode ends with a toast among the four ladies and not a single outburst from Mama Maribel.
Man, I hate it when everyone gets along.
Looks like I won’t be disappointed for long, though, because next week my buddy Imad is back to piss people off and steal Cindi’s hard-earned villain