After the girls had all kinds of man trouble (and the usual each-other trouble) in last week’s Gypsy Sisters Season 3 premiere, Kayla, Nettie, Mellie, JoAnn and Annie have decided to make a ladies-only trek to the Big Easy to reconnect and rejuvenate.
We start the episode with Kayla celebrating her newfound freedom with an ice cream date with Danielle and Sissy … and a brand-new white luxury sedan that she proudly notes breaks the Romanichal tradition of driving a trusty pickup.
Kayla, temporarily encamped at a hotel while she figures out her next move, asks the girls how they and their father are faring since the split. Danielle tells her mother that she has pretty much stepped into Kayla’s place where cooking and cleaning is concerned. Worried that they’re not getting to be kids, Kayla asks them if they understand why she had to leave their dad. They assure her that they do, but they hope the split isn’t permanent.
Then Mama tells them that she’s going to blow off some steam with the ladies in New Orleans. “Take notes,” she tells her girls. “This is something that Romanichal girls don’t get. If me and your dad wasn’t separated, you know for sure that I wouldn’t be going to New Orleans for a week. That wouldn’t happen.”
The girls tell their mom that she deserves it.
We cut to Nettie, JoAnn and Mellie driving down the road discussing the trip and how they should handle the celebration of Mellie’s and Kayla’s birthdays, which will occur in its midst. Turns out Nettie and JoAnn have never flown before. Mellie wants a male stripper at her part of the party. Also she has big plans to terrify her sisters mid flight, since she’s a seasoned air traveler.
This little road trip ends up at the local Humane Society, where the ladies are going to spend the day volunteering. Joann and Nettie get to admiring the place’s cleaning supplies until a staffer brings in a pair of wiggly chihuahua pups. Mellie pouts and demands a bigger dog she can “wrassle” with — until the most fearful of the puppies makes its way over to her. She scoops him up and the staffer expresses amazement at how the little guy takes to her snuggles. Mellie moves to the floor to make room on her lap for his brother. D’awwww!
Though she’s charmed by the pair, Mellie still demands a larger wrassling partner. Also she doesn’t want to go New Orleans because there’s swamps and gators there. Plus she doesn’t party like she used to, so there’s that. JoAnn says she’ll believe it when she sees it.
Mellie and the pit bull mix the staffer brings in next are instantly the best of friends. Her sisters say that’s because they’re alike — scary on the outside, sweeties on the inside.
Come time to pack, Mellie is distracted by the notion of leaving her baby boy for the first time and loading up on bonding time with Baby Richard, giving him an adorable — and successful — little crawling lesson.
Over at Nettie’s, things aren’t going much better. JoAnn has too many shoes and Nettie has too many nerves about getting on a plane. I feel you, Nettie. It used to take three Benadryls just to get me through the doors at the airport.
Kayla shows up ready to party, but Mellie has yet to bathe. The others wait and fidget and when she emerges, she’s the only one not wearing a ball cap.
Kayla says she chose New Orleans for her birthday trip because it’s party central. JoAnn mentions that there is a lot of voodoo people there, too, and Nettie wants to hear about that even less than she wants to think about the plane.
As much as I was looking forward to watching Mellie torment her sisters, and her tormented sisters handle take-off and landing, we only see the plane take to the sky. Everyone survives the flight, and JoAnn proudly says she feels like she cheated death.
Kayla tells us she rented a “mouth-dropping gorgeous” mansion for the ladies’ stay and she can’t wait to for them to see it. Mission accomplished. The ladies holler and climb all over each other trying to be the first out of the van and into the enormous house.
Then Nettie spies a decorative voodoo doll — an unexpected roommate the ladies do not plan to keep around. JoAnn escorts the figurine to the doorway but mid trip, Annie swears she sees it move in JoAnn’s hands. Much comical screaming and hopping about ensues until the poor creature ends up out on the step.
The next day dawns sunny and lovely and the girls get down to the business of getting gypsy gorg for their first day in the Big Easy. Kayla tells everyone she has rented a horse and carriage to transport them and Mellie says she will only agree to that if she can ride the horse. Nettie adds that she has arranged for them to sample some genuine Cajun food, too.
On the van ride into the city where their carriage awaits, Nettie checks in with Hubby Huey, informing him that she has had a few drinks and wouldn’t he just like to have her right now? He would.
Kayla would like to have a mutually respectful relationship like Nettie’s and Huey’s.
The bemused carriage driver says Mellie may neither drive the carriage nor ride the mule. The newly mature Mellie handles this news well and settles in for her tour.
The girls get a history lesson of Jackson Square, but smack in the middle, Kayla comes right out and asks about the whole voodoo thing. Gypsies don’t like anything to do with witchcraft and the devil, Nettie explains. Annie would rather hear about Mardi Gras and what you have to do to get the legendary beads. The patient tour guide says locals never show their boobages for beads and they’ll give you some without you doing it either.
Time for begniets at the legendary Cafe Du Monde. Mellie is happy to discover that they taste like funnel cakes. Winner winner. We practice saying “begniet” and not getting covered in powdered sugar while we snarf down our pastries, and then — happily snacked up — wander down the street to a frozen-drink bar that’s kind of like a self-serve slushie joint for grown-ups. The minute I’m done with this recap, I’m looking for the nearest one of those near me, I’ll tell you what.
Technicolor beverages in hand, the ladies head off to do some shopping. They find a touristy shop and Mellie selects tutus, boas, masks and feathered headwear for everyone. They hit the street again in their new finery and head off to Nettie’s chosen restaurant.
“We are all somebody else while we are here,” says a well lubricated Nettie, once everyone is seated. “I am not a mother and I am not a wife.” I am ordering shots. The waiter doesn’t come fast enough to suit little Mrs. Impatient and she heads off to procure more shots straightaway.
Who else is gobsmacked that this is not Mellie right now. She does have an opinion about the activity, though: all Rumneys should drink rum. It just makes sense.
The food arrives, beginning with a large platter of oysters. Annie says she’s going to throw up just at the sight of them. Snotball on a shell, agrees Nettie, dismissing them from table. Then Mellie decides to try one. Sort of. Well almost.
Next up is gumbo. Kayla is disappointed it does not, in fact, include gum. And we’re not going to eat that either. Or the crawfish étouffée. Or anything that swims or wanders around in water. The ladies just want real American food. Nettie, er, borrows some from a guy a few tables over, but it turns out that what he ordered is no good either.
While Mellie and Annie head off in search of something in the establishment that the women will actually eat, Richard begins texting his wayward wife, telling her she better act proper. She blocks him from her phone. How’s that for proper, Richard?
More shots. And more maturity from Mellie. “I’m not usually one to judge but these two have gotten out of control,” she says of Kayla and Nettie who are pounding every glass of liquid they can get their hands on. Then Kayla gets up and cheerfully walks into a door, knocking herself to the floor in a giggling heap. How’s that for proper, Richard.
JoAnn says they better leave before they get shown the door. No. More shots. Mellie decides to sit back and enjoy the show. And the “American food” chicken tenders that the waitress mercifully brings to sop up some of the alcohol.
JoAnn wants to take Nettie home because she’s never seen her big sister drunk. Nettie rewards her concern by calling her a turd and telling her that turds get left behinf. Kayla just keeps hammering back whatever alcohol is in her reach.
Out on the street, JoAnn says she’s going home to sleep and thinks everyone should join her because they have a big day ahead of them. Kayla says she’s a party pooper who is not about to ruin her birthday trip. Then she puts Nettie and Mellie in a chummy headlock and heads off in search of the party, telling Nettie she’s so glad they’ve made up.
Mellie says she can handle and angry drunk, but she cannot handle a sappy drunk. Time to put her grown-up ways aside and amp up the party. And catch poor Annie up on the blood-alcohol content.
We end with the ladies, minus JoAnn, shaking what God gave ’em on a neon-lit bar.
Next week: more big fun, gypsy style, on the bayou.
New episodes of Gypsy Sisters air Thursdays at 9/8CT on TLC.
Cast image/video: TLC
Mellie Stanley Image Credit: Photo courtesy TipToe Studios