If this episode doesn’t make you cry at least once…
…you have no heart.
This episode’s commandment is…
Unfortunately, this is not referring to the horses that were robbed to give at least 75% of the Charm School girls the hair they call their own.
Mo calls the girls down and Shay pretty adorably says, "I look like a sleepyhead." Adorable, yes, but also wrong. She looks like a sleepy-ass-head.
The girls head downstairs where Mo explains the challenge: "Today you gonna give back the clothes off of your backs." Uh, didn’t Darra’s runway disaster teach you anything, Mo? Best to keep the backs covered. But for real: today’s challenge will involve donating personal items to a charity thrift store. The girls are to team up and, along with their teammate, go through each other’s clothing to find items to donate. Each item will be given a monetary amount at the thrift store. The team that raises the most money will win the challenge and be safe from elimination. Since there will be two ladies per team, this week’s elimination will be a double elimination. Scary!
The teams end up like this:
Brooke and Leilene
Schatar and Darra
Larissa and Shay
Saaphyri and Buckwild
Immediately, the girls get to digging. Brooke quite awesomely looks disgusted when faced with Leilene’s "stripper clothes."
(Where do you even put that?)
(Are those crotchless?)
(What is that? A diaper? A colostomy bag?)
And on and on. You half expect her to hold up a roll of floss and some star stickers, only to hear Leilene say, "Hey! That’s my favorite evening gown!"
Meanwhile, Schatar says the word "couture" about 5,000 times as she rummages through her belongings.
And Larissa eats…
…bacon? Fried in the blood of babies? Something. Larissa’s teammate, Shay, thinks she and her homegirl have this challenge in the bag. "I watch what people wear because I’m just into fashion like that. Brooke is cheap. Leilene is damn fo’ sure cheap. Darra cheap as hell. That bull ain’t gon’ be worth nothing." Take it from someone who’s posed with a snake. Shay knows cheap.
And then there is Saaphyri.
Saaphyri cries because she doesn’t have as much as the other girls. You can definitely feel for her, but there’s some indication that maybe part of Saaphyri’s problem is that she uses her money unwisely. Toward, say, $800 multi-colored wigs, for example. But whatever, her pain is real and Saaphyri is generally adorable so cry along with her. NOW.
With all their stuff together, the girls pull up to the thrift shop.
Never in the episode is it explained that Out of the Closet is maybe even more noble than your average thrift store. It’s specifically designated to raising funds for AIDS and HIV programs and services. Isn’t that, like, notable, as it makes the girls’ hearts seem maybe slightly bigger and, thus, tugs at your heart strings just slightly more aggressively?
Whatever. The girls begin their selling.
Brooke makes sure she understands the ground rules. "If it isn’t directly worn on your breast or vagina, you can sell it?" Well, that rules out Leilene’s wardrobe. Onto Brooke’s indirect vagina coverings.
But for real, many of Leilene’s garments are rejected. She gets to desperate that she offers these…
They are rings that her mother wore (though not through her breasts or vagina, it should be noted). Leilene’s mother died of cancer and these are but a few of the mementos she has left. Brooke implores Leilene not to sell them, which is actually really big of Brooke as it would only benefit her. Leilene presses on and ends up getting $90 for the rings. For as much joking about this show as we do, her commitment to winning this is pretty overwhelming.
Shay and Larissa are next.
Shay bickers with the semi-studly dude behind the counter. She feels that he is not offering her the right amount of money for her designer jeans by illustrious brands like Citizens of Humanity and Seven. You ain’t got some Dickies up in there, Shay? Larissa is puzzlingly silent and easy-going through the process.
Before she begins her selling Schatar offers a disclaimer: "Now please understand, I shop primarily couture, so I brought you some of my very personal, very couture items." Nice. They’re very couture. More couture than anything in your closet, no doubt. Even if it’s, you know, couture.
Apparently, Schatar’s stuff is just way too couture, because no one wants it.
Nice. Once again, Schatar’s odor is notable. Nasty fat nasty, if you will. The scent probably comes from those extensions she has under her arms. Odor clings to them, you know?
And then, there is Saaphyri and Becky.
Saaphyri, like Shay, becomes disagreeable at the prices the semi-studly dude offers her.
She balks at being offered $15 for a pair of $200 Ugg boots. And really, you can tell she cares a lot about those boots, but $200, for real? She coulda bought a quarter of a head’s worth of hair with that money!
And then, she gets pissed.
Like, really pissed. She starts throwing clothing and says that she’s removing herself from the challenge. She seeks solace in some clothing that people undoubtedly were given too little monetary compensation for:
While Saaphyri throws her tantrum, Becky remains utterly mature, picking up her partner’s slack and not once complaining about any prices that she’s offered.
And then, Saaphyri’s outburst reaches its hilarious peak.
She blows her nose in one of the garments for sale. Saaphyri is awesome. Plus, you know the other sleeve on that thrift-store blouse probably already had snot stains on it. Saaphyri was just balancing things out. This was a helpful act, even.
And then, Saaphyri comes to her senses.
She ends up selling everything she brought, even the boots (she gets $20 for them instead of the $15 the semi-studly guy originally wanted to give her, so…boo-ya!). This would seem to mark a happy ending for a trying time, until…
Some woman buys the boots! Apparently, Saaphyri threw in some of her weave (say…$200 worth) as well, if what’s on that woman’s head is any indication.
From the bus, Saaphyri catches the woman buying her beloved boots and confronts her outside.
Saaphyri asks the woman how much she paid for the boots and the woman gleefully reports that it was a mere $20. Hit her with a bouquet of flowers Saaphyri! Offer her lip chap! Sadly, neither happens as Saaphyri sulks away without any signs of aggression.
She saves that for home, where, inexplicably, she gets into it with Darra.
It starts when Darra offers Saaphyri the use of clothes that she didn’t end up selling. Somehow, Saaphyri concludes that this makes Darra "fake." Maybe it makes Darra selfish and/or a lousy competitor, but she seems pretty genuine. Nevertheless, screaming ensues. Apparently, the lesson is that they don’t know each other. Well, if they did, they probably wouldn’t have had this fight. Goes without saying, girls. Goes without saying.
And then, it’s time for the results of the challenge:
And, it would appear that not even their protests could keep Shay and Larissa’s designer duds from bringing them to the top. Except, Mo adds that she hasn’t yet added in the $90 raked in from Leilene’s ring donation. This brings Brooke and Leilene’s total up to…
For some reason, Larissa finds this hilari-ass.
"Apparently, stripper clothes are worth a lot more than I thought. Unless she gave him a b******. Damn crack whore," says Larissa. First of all, he didn’t really seem like the type who’d be into such a favor from Leilene. Also, this is as caustic as we’ve come to expect from Larissa. However, when she tells it in her interview, she adds a little head movement that’s pretty damn irresistible.
Hate Larissa all you want, but you know you’re just jealous of her sassy-ass ass.
Brooke and Leilene’s prize is a shopping spree at Forever 21.
Outside, Leilene’s all, "Yay! Forever 21!" But you know that inside she’s thinking, "Why couldn’t it have been Trashy Lingerie?" They’re told that they get to pick a team to bring along on the shopping spree and since kiss-ass-ass Schatar congratulated them upon winning, they choose Schatar and Darra.
The girls head to Forever 21.
Guess who gets all desperate upon seeing a stripper-y little number?
Leilene, of course. She’s like a zombie, except instead of moaning, "Brainsssssssss," she’s all, "Annnnimal prinnnnnnnnt."
If anybody needs Schatar, she’ll be in the dressing room with her new friend, mannequin arm.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Larissa and Shay decide that they need to oust Schatar.
And so, Larissa devises a plan.
While completely evil, this fiddling with what will undoubtedly be taken as karma is relatively clever. Larissa is waaaaay existential here.
The plan is hatched. Larissa says that if she goes out, she’s going out with a bang. Well, that, a neck roll and at least one "-ass," no doubt.
Meanwhile, Saaphyri feels it necessary to speak with Mo’Nique about her difficulties with the challenge and with Darra.
Saaphyri says that this challenge really got to her because she has a history of things being taken from her. When her dad died, someone took everything. Who that someone is is never explained. Regardless, when people take things from her, it makes her feel like she has to fight for them. Being a charity case makes her feel even worse. This is why she took to harshly to Darra’s offering. So, at least there’s a history behind her behavior, but really, being a jerk in the face of generosity…kinda makes you a jerk.
And speaking of!
Leilene returns home from her fabulous day at Forever 21 and immediately realizes that her mother’s picture has gone missing.
Exactly as Larissa planned!
She loves it and, even though she’s something of a silent partner, so does Shay.
She loves being friends with a demon. It’s convenient in that it cuts cooking time in half!
By now, Leilene is causing a huge fuss over her missing pictures. Fair enough — she already lost one thing of her mother’s this episode, you know? You can’t help but feel bad for her for being a pawn in Larissa’s scheme.
Larissa, guiding Leilene to exactly where she wants her, suggests looking under Schatar’s sheets. "She is f***ing sneaky," reasons Larissa.
Leilene does and…
…there they are!
A confrontation ensues.
Schatar denies stealing the pictures and astutely (considering…) suggests that the person who told Leilene to check Schatar’s bed is the one who stole the picture. Schatar is 100 percent right, but Leilene apparently doesn’t care or is letting Schatar’s prior thieving cloud her logic.
Leilene reports to Mo’Nique, who calls in Schatar…
And nothing’s resolved. As we’ll see in a second. For now, it is time for judging.
You have to hand it to Mo’Nique: she looks better than she has yet on this show.
Too bad her reasoning isn’t up to par with her appearance. She reminds the girls that this week’s exercise gave the girls a chance to feel what it was like to donate to those who are less fortunate. Let’s take a break right here to reflect upon the fact that what the girls were doing was totally self-serving as they were giving primarily to keep themselves in the competition so that they could still be in the running to win the $50,000. You can buy a lot of Ugg boots and fake hair with that money, you know?
For getting the least amount of money for their clothes, Darra and Schatar are called to the carpet. Saaphyri and Becky may have come in third, but Saaphyri gave everything she had and for that she is rewarded: this week, she and Becky are safe. This means that Larissa and Shay must attend the carpet pow wow.
The criticism begins. Schatar lied about her clothes and said the word "couture" often enough to make it meaningless, if it weren’t already. Darra negotiated like she was in a swap meet. Together, their strategy seemed like it was to give as little as possible. Larissa and Shay missed the mark by wanting too much for their clothes.
Then, Mo’Nique brings up the subject of the stolen pictures and goes through all the girls, asking if they took them. Schatar busts out her small hands for emphasis.
This is unconvincing. Carnies are career liars!
She asks Larissa and Shay, who gives an incriminating eye roll that’s totally ignored.
And then, Mo decides that they can only go on what happened in the past, and since Schatar stole Heather’s and Brooke’s dresses in the past, it is she who must be held accountable for the missing pictures and apparent lack of a rewind button. "See, when you do clownery, the clown comes back to bite," says Mo, shooting off a cliche that will never be. It’s so barely coherent that it’s pretty awesome. What clown, you know? The one under the bed in Poltergeist?
And so, Darra must leave, too.
"I really learned something from this. Day-um," she chokes out through her tears. At the top of her lessons learned? How to maximize the amount of syllables in your words.
In her exit interview, Schatar maintains her innocence in Picturegate and says that whomever really took the picture is going down.
Oh, she’d probably go down anyway.
And then, to add a touching finale to the tumult, Mo’Nique calls Leilene up and praises her for her unselfishness in donating her mother’s rings to the thrift store. "I’m honored to be in your presence," says Mo. Well, at least she’s touched. She then gives Leilene back the rings.
And then she cries a little.
Is she moved or is Larissa poking her in the butt with a pitchfork? Stay tuned and find out!