‘Southern Charm’ Recap: Supportive, Snacking Shep Rose Saves An Eye Roll-ercoaster Of An Episode

It’s official: we have a new and improved Shep Rose on our hands, and it’s never been more apparent than during the latest episode of Southern Charm. While the episode mostly focused around Madison LeCroy being mean to Austen Kroll at a beach party, and Danni Baird and Kathryn Dennis making no improvements to their fractured friendship, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of Shep. Sure, maybe he didn’t get the memo about the dress code, but he sure got one about how to be a supportive pal and to always enjoy the snacks you’re served.

Shep earned his first points during an outdoor dining experience with Kathryn in Charleston, keeping his mask up as she arrived and checking that they are both covid-free before they sat down to catch up, as this was filmed in July. He is what some might describe as a “total vibe” as he snacked away during their chat, listening intently to what she had to say while also savoring every bite of his lunch. Supportive Shep kicked into gear when he offered her the advice to “Just say ‘I’m sorry and I’ll try to do better’ and that’s all anybody can expect,” earning Kathryn’s trust enough that she confided in him that she’d currently dating a black man, Chleb Ravenell. Shep also wisely held his friend accountable in his interview, stating, “I think she’s at fault but I don’t think she’s a racist,” which is likely how many of her friends felt, even though they still demanded an apology from her for her previous actions.

On the boat ride over to Capers Island, Austen tells Shep he “just wants to be happy,” and my hands-down favorite moment of the entire supersized episode is when Shep tells him, “You can be happy, but you’re gonna have to be sad first.” That therapy is working, my guy! Perfect advice. Get that on a t-shirt ASAP. Though Austen’s sadness would be front and center for the foreseeable future as the beach party consisted of him and Madison bickering over seating arrangements while he was subjected to her shameless flirting with Pringle and her relentlessly mean comments — all while he was mustard pants twinning with Craig the whole time.

But the real winning condiment of the party, according to Shep, was delivered via my second favorite moment of the episode, when Shep says out loud to the whole table, “I really like the mango chutney!” This is a guy that was clearly looking on the bright side that day, comparing the seating arrangements to being “back in Marrakesh” and even complimenting Madison on the entire party. Cuddling in the water with Taylor and then realizing they brought matching towels only made the whole damn day even cuter. Well, really only for Shep.

Perhaps his optimism and readiness to have a good time that day was the perfect balance the episode needed, considering the rest of it was Drama, with a capital D. Austen previously told me of that day, “It’s just that I get berated all day long by Madison,” and we certainly saw that play out. “She’s so, so unkind to me,” Austen continued. “Going behind my back, just saying the nastiest things. I was so blind for so long. I just didn’t want to see it. When you love someone so much, you just want to think that they’re the person you think they are. You just go blind.”

He also said of that brutal boat ride back that he was indeed “miserable” and “If I would have known, I would have taken my own boat back.” On one hand, why shouldn’t he get to have a fun beach day and still attend the party? But on the other…that was fun for no one (again, except Shep).

It’s been a while since Shep has been awarded the Best Behavior of an episode, but that was clearly the case here. And we know this because Leva didn’t have to scold him once! As Craig learned that men and women react to things differently (duh) and Madison went out of her way to be mean (ouch), Shep was busy playing cornhole and enjoying the day as intended. While there was no official Dance Contest during the episode, the Winner part was certainly on display in the best way.

Southern Charm airs Thursday at 9 pm ET/PT on Bravo.

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