We’ll miss her eyebrows most.
What? They’re really expressive!
A new episode dawns, but don’t tell anyone that, for the girls are still talking about the picture-stealing incident that sent a ripple through the house last episode. The offenders, Larissa and Shay, sort of mutter about it cryptically, as only the guilty can. Their hard-to-understand exchange leads to Shay making this face at her friend:
Larissa probably gets that a lot. Like, every millisecond. She cackles about their plan and really, the only thing that could help underscore Larissa’s deviousness is a handlebar mustache for her to twist.
Meanwhile, Brooke and Leilene discuss the picture.
They’re pretty sure that it wasn’t Schatar, because Schatar was always one to step up and admit to her indiscressions. As Charm School tends to encourage morally selective behavior, it follows that Schatar, while somewhat of a thief, was no liar. It also follows that while Leilene and Brooke are taking pains to sniff things out, they aren’t the type to broadcast their findings when such findings could, say, keep someone from being booted (and taking Darra, a completely innocent party, along with her). What time is there for the practical when there’s a principle to obsess over?
Hold that thought, or don’t, for the girls are rounded up and presented with yet another principle to obsess over: this week’s commandment:
That which they are representing is themselves. They’ll be doing that again, for the first time. Mo’Nique explains that this week’s lesson will be in media savvy and will teach the girls to think before they speak. That’s like teaching a shark to wash its fins before it eats, which is to say: unnatural, unlikely and capable of producing tedious results. Aren’t the Charm School girls’ fiery tempers their collective strong point?
All this will culminate, btw, with an interview from a yet-to-be-announced celebrity "reporter."
Anyway, a reality-show vet is brought in to reprogram the girls’ on-air behavior:
He shows them a reel of moments that previously would have been labeled their most entertaining, but now are to be considered their most shameful. Funny how things change. We see Becky freaking out at New York during the Flavor of Love 2 reunion.
Leilene seems totally scandalized by Becky’s behavior…
…which is sort of strange because Leilene should be used to seeing people standing on top of things while flailing. She worked in a strip club!
We see Saaphyri talking about her anger-management "certificate" and how it matters little if a physical altercation should erupt, also from the Flavor of Love 2 reunion.
Saaphyri says that if someone hits her, she hits back. "What I’m supposed to do?" she asks. Um, not do that, maybe to start with?
And the fun isn’t over for the Flavor of Love 2 reunion, as we see Larissa attempt to charge New York.
And who could forget Brooke’s ultimate mark on the world?
Here’s the point in reminiscing where you usually sigh and say, "Good times." Except we aren’t allowed to do that here because apparently good TV does not mean good, period. It’s very, very strange to come to that realization. This too probably falls under that selective moralizing umbrella. Just sayin’!
The girls sort of giggle along to their clips, but Mo says that their internal reactions were more, "Ooh! Did I do that?"
Keep telling yourself that, Mo.
Kevin goes over some basic rules of behavior during an interview:
A fourth one, which is never pictured is, "Do not lose your cool." If we needed more proof that the upcoming challenge would be a fight against nature, there it is. Saaphyri sums up Kevin’s lesson nicely: "The two things I learned from Kevin Frasier today? If you don’t wanna answer, deflect it. If you do have to answer, lie about it."
And speaking of fighting against nature, the celebrity interviewer is revealed to be New York…
…and the two new editions to her body:
New York is here to do what she did on Flavor of Love 2: irritate the girls as much as possible ("New York is like the Wicked Witch of the West to these ladies," Mo’Nique explains). This is something New York does incredibly well. You might even say that upsetting other females is New York’s art. Their nerves are her canvas.
New York grills Brooke first…
Brooke does OK until New York asks her if there’s anyone in the house that she has problems with. Brooke reveals that Larissa has gotten her goat, which means Brooke took the bait like a shark with unwashed fins. It is no coincidence that New York is acting extremely chummy. [Ba-doom-boom crash!] Brooke blames her confession on New York’s eyes, which, while wild…
…are hardly memorizing. You could have resisted, Brooke.
Saaphyri is awesome during her time with New York.
Because Saaphyri wasn’t in the house at the same time as New York during Flavor of Love 2 (since, you know, Saaphyri was barely in the house at all), she has no stored resentment for New York. And because her sense of humor is so good, she can unleash observations like, "New York went and got her boobs done, and they still saggy. Maybe she should go see Leilene’s doctor." New York tries to rattle Saaphyri, referencing Saaphyri’s fighting past and her current weave. New York says that Saaphyri looks "ri…diculous" with her "candy-apple red" tips. Saaphyri’s response? "Girl, that’s not candy-apple red, that’s pink." Ha! New York can’t even get her colors right. Who looks ridiculous now?
Larissa is surprisingly poised during her interview.
Just take a moment and luxuriate in your amazement.
New York interviews Leilene and perhaps hits new heights of crassness when, referring to some domestic violence that came Leilene’s way, she asks, "How did you feel after you got your ass beat?" What answer could New York possibly have been expecting? "Like chicken tonight?" Leilene deflects the question by saying that that part of her life is in her past and she’d like to focus on the present, i.e. Charm School. She suggests that New York watch it, at which New York balks:
Aw, come on, New York! It’s a good show!
Shay’s interview is also without incident…
…so much so that it ends with a hug:
In an interview later, Shay says that she needs a bath after that hug. She says this with all the conviction of an anti-cootie pre-schooler.
Shake off those cooties, Shay.
And then, there is Becky:
As she hates New York the most, this test will be the biggest for her. New York starts right in on Becky’s "black accent" and calls her fake. Becky keeps her cool remarkably well. When New York starts asking about girls in the house Becky dislikes, the cool is kept, but Becky starts spilling her guts. She calls out Brooke, and says that Brooke told Larissa that she was "trying to be New York." To that New York replies, "S***. More like New Jersey." OK, that’s awesome enough to start making up for taking delight in Leilene’s battering.
Becky talks and talks and talks, revealing also that she was happy to see Heather go. It almost seems like Becky is bonding with New York, but really it’s probably something more like displaced aggression: Becky can’t talk smack to New York, so she does it on other girls. Though Becky feels that this has helped her conquer the challenge, it has not, as she learns when Kevin corrals the girls to give them the results of the challenge.
Because she "sang like a canary," Becky did the worst on this challenge. So much for triumph. Brooke is also cited for calling out Larissa, but she feels better about her bad job in light of Becky’s bad job. "The test wasn’t to not beat her ass. So, I’m just glad I did better than somebody." Nice. Brooke’s attitude would seem to condemn her to a life of settling. Fire up the stove, y’all, we’re having day-old bread with dinner!
Anyway, virtually everyone besides Becky and Brooke kicked butt in this challenge, but it was Saaphyri who shined like…a sapphire. One that you might find while on safari, even. For that, she is the challenge winner.
On the bus, Becky cries and cries about losing:
Larissa points out that Becky isn’t the only one with a problem with New York. But she is the only one who threw a shoe at New York, and if the thrift-store challenge of this show taught us anything, it’s that missing clothing and accessories warrant tears.
The next morning, Becky decides that she will talk to Mo’Nique about the challenge and why she thinks she did well. If that sounds like a mistake, well, here’s a bigger one: she tells Shay that she’s going to do this ahead of time. Shay emphatically tells Becky not to. How emphatically, you ask?
Repeated-Styrofoam-stabbing-with-fork emphatically. That emphatically. Becky wonders if Shay’s discouragement is a tactic. The rest of the world wonders what the hell Shay has against Styrofoam. Was there a screening of An Inconvenient Truth the night before in the Charm School house that we don’t know about? Better check VSPOT for the bonus footage!
Or don’t, because there’s a more pressing matter at hand: the picture of Leilene’s mother. Ugh. This again. Becky says it reminds her of a "big-ass game of Clue. Who took the picture, in the purple room…" …with the…hand?
Leilene announces that she’s still upset about the picture incident, and a scantly clad Larissa immediately becomes defensive.
Interestingly, the more clothes she puts on…
…the more passionate she becomes. Larissa just isn’t like most people. That settles it.
Shay has her own interpretation of the picture furor:
"It went from taking a picture to a murder mystery or something like that. So now everybody’s Investor Gadget." Go, go Gadget asset allocation! Which is to say: Shay, what the hell are you talking about?
Larissa earns her own, "what the hell are you talking about?" when, during her continuing bickering match with Leilene, she punctuates one thought with, "I think you’re a drug addict and I think you do coke!"
This would be far more believable if Larissa weren’t the one acting totally erratic. Off topic: It is fun to look at the screen shot above and pretend her pin is her nipple. Yo, her nipple is mad off-center! Sorry. Just trying to lighten the mood.
If that didn’t work, perhaps this will: Larissa also accuses Leilene of being anorexic. "You’re like a board walking with some fake t***," says Larissa. Lighthearted fun for the whole family!
A chain of discourse, if you want to call it that, then occurs. It is tedious, so we will breeze through it. Larissa and Shay have a meeting in the ladies room, but it’s not to powder their noses.
It’s to confirm what they already know, basically.
Then, Saaphyri and Becky get out the magnifying glasses usually designated for their prosepectuses and become Investor Gadgets themselves.
Basically, Saaphyri thinks that Shay’s earlier behavior proves that Shay is shiesty and capable of picture theft. Armed with this knowledge, Becky confronts Larissa…
…who basically bats her eyes and lets Becky believe what she’s believing…
Larissa doesn’t really confirm or deny Becky’s misinformation directly. She says that she’ll straighten things out at judging if it comes to the point where she is being blamed for the pictures, instead of Shay.
Drunk with the assumption that she figured this whole thing out, Becky reports to Leilene…
…who then regrets suspecting Larissa in the first place. Leilene extends an apology.
After Larissa talked all that trash and everything! Leilene is seriously such a bottom.
Then, the girls are summoned downstairs and met with this:
It’s Mo’s birthday, and so they are to throw a surprise party for her. What is awesome about this is that all the cheesy kiddie birthday favors contrast to the serious verbal smackdown that takes place in their midst. Or, on second thought, maybe not: maybe those kiddie favors are the perfect complement to the level of maturity in the house at this time.
It all starts when Becky informs Shay that "the people" told her that Shay was the one who took the picture.
What follows is a back-and-forth that is defined by the props that accompany the sass. Sass with banners…
…sass with a balloon…
…sass with many balloons…
…sass with a helium tank…
…sass with wrapping paper…
(Or, as it’s now called: sassing paper.)
…sass with a party hat…
It’s seriously sass out of the confetti-filled ass. What happens over the course of this bickering is that Becky eventually reveals that it was Larissa who led her to believe that Shay took the picture. Shay confronts Larissa on this and Larissa denies it. Then, Saaphyri says that it seems that Becky is trying to start stir s***. This upsets Becky who runs upstairs to pack her things to leave as now everyone is mad at her. Just as Becky is at her highest-point of freak out, Mo enters.
The girls try to fake their way through the party, but Mo knows something is up. "Where is my Becky?" she exclaims adorably. The girls explain that her Becky is upstairs, getting ready to leave the house. Mo leaves her party to talk to Becky, which is actually very awesome of Mo.
Becky feels bad because she accused Shay of taking the picture, and Shay is her friend. Shay listens outside of the room, fairly openly. She comes in to accept Becky’s apology.
If Shay orders a second round of cootie spray after this, we don’t know about it.
Shay asks to talk to Mo separately. She never really comes out and says that Larissa has framed her, but Mo’Nique is smart enough to connect the dots.
The party hats make this scene about 5,000 times more poignant than it normally would be, don’t they?
Shay eventually reasons that Larissa should take what they learned in this challenge, apply it and apologize for taking the picture. If she fesses up to it, her chance of leaving will be lessened. Larissa, however, has no plans of changing.
After Shay and Mo return to the party, Larissa knows something is up — she knows that Shay has "snitched." Really? It’s that deep?
And then, another meeting in the ladies room. Larissa will be booted real soon, it seems:
And then, the panel . The bottom three should surprise no one, especially those with sharp, Investor Gadget-like minds:
Becky failed the test. Shay aced it but was embroiled in drama on the home front. Larissa, according to Keith is a "certified psychopath." Keith is extremely succinct.
Mo presses Larissa about the picture and Larissa eventually confesses…
…but it’s in the most roundabout, Larissa-fied manner, of course. Mo wonders why she didn’t say this at last judging, when she was confronted about the picture point blank. Mo wonders how Larissa can say that she wasn’t lying at last judging. Here’s how: "I did not take it and put it in my possession, I took it and hid it," reasons Larissa. Which is to say: Larissa can say that she wasn’t lying at last judging not very effectively. Although, true to form: more moral selectiveness.
Oh, and here’s the reaction of Brooke and Leilene when Larissa starts her confession:
Go go Gadget over-brain light bulbs!
Larissa feels that she is taking the fall completely and that this is unfair. She’s actually right, even though this manages to alienate her from her only ally in the house (in the world?) at this point, Shay. But she mouths off and off and off and eventually she is expelled. On her way out, Mo asks that Larissa not be allowed back into the house once she leaves.
And again: really? It’s that deep?
Outside, Larissa rants about her elimination.
"I’m Bootz, I’m back and [Mo] can kiss my ass." If she’s trying to paint some Jekyll and Hyde scenario wherein her evil Bootz alter ego can come out and play now that sweet Larissa is out of the house, she’s wasting her time. Bootz never left. Bwah ha ha!
Shay is fine with this decision.
Awwww! She cared enough to give Larissa the deuces! Friends till the end, they were.