Well, it's finally come to an end. After several terrible months, Bravo's great, great shame has lurched across the finish line and, predictably, nothing was resolved, explained, answered, etc. Everyone just keeps being awful and there is no justice.
So this was the episode with the big White House State Dinner crash. You know, that old story about two clinically insane mummies who came crashing through the windows of America's national palace and took a series of sexually provocative photos with Big Fuckin' Joe Biden. What a tale! What a yarn! Two chemically imbalanced Frankenstein monsters did not follow the social code of human beings one night and everyone was shocked. Folks. Are you shocked when zombies try to eat your brains instead of politely sitting down for tea? Do your monocles fall out in civilized horror when banshees howl so loud your skin falls off instead of joining you in courtly dancing? Ghouls, wraiths, Cthulhus, harridans, and any other sort of hell-creature similar to the Salahis just do not understand our societal mores. It's just not in their monster DNA. So we really shouldn't be so surprised that the Salahis behaved the way they did.
But we can be angry! We can be angry because they are just so fitfully annoying. Ohhh they are so annoying. They are so annoying because their particular brand of crazy puts them at the center of some great tale of intrigue and power and status and class. They are the brave, beautiful couple lowering their heads as they pass, gloriously and elegantly clothed, through a throng of cameras and questions. "Mr. & Mrs. Salahi! Why are you so interesting?" "Mr. & Mrs. Salahi! What does it feel like to be American royalty?" I think these are the questions they are actually hearing in the horrifying, dimly lit, black helium balloon-filled recesses of their minds. They think they are very important, very interesting people. So important and interesting that when they got written about in the WaPo gossip column about crashing the State Dinner, Tareq just shook that gray gnocchi lump of a head and said "This is just what they do." Yes, what they do. To people like you. To people in your scrutinized position. Oh how grand, then, it would have been to see their faces as the first of the national news broadcasts came on and mentioned them, and then another one, and another one, and another one, until it was everywhere. Do you think we could have seen a moment there when it changed for Tareq & Michaele from fun little center-of-attention moment to impossibly unwieldy national embarrassment? I hope we could have. I hope that somewhere deep down they were terrified by what they'd actually done.
But of course we didn't see that. We only saw them all giddy and nervous and weird in the limo on the way to the party, saying "There are many more State Dinners to come." We saw someone at the gate stare hard at a clipboard and say "Uh... you're not on here..." But obviously since there were TV cameras and the two shaved macaques were all dressed up, the gate attendant let them in. And then there was the last we saw of them that evening, the crooked pair strolling down a darkened pathway, the eerie white glow of a city night filling the sky around them, the air trembling with an ill sort of wrongness. It was actually genuinely a little creepy! Good work, Bravo camera crew. Good work indeed.
And then the next day they were looking through their pictures ("Katieeee..." Michaele said, showing Tareq a picture of her and Katie Couric, as if they were bestest old friends. "You know, just Katieee.") and Tareq was leafing through the newspaper and there it was. And there it went. Everyone found out. Stacy and her gossip-hen wife Rudiger got their turtleneck sweaters in a bunch and just could not stop talking about it. Just could not stop! They were so embarrassed to be associated with this thing that they just could not stop talking about! They called everyone they knew. They called Cat, they called Linda the Sleepytime Snore Monster from Boringsville, they called Mary Mary Face Contrary, they called grandmoms and aunties and uncles, they called pastors and milkmen and swamis, they called governors and judges and cats that live in pigeon-filled back alleys, they called actors and cellists and street mimes, they called each other, they called themselves, they called the toaster, they called an ant they'd killed in the kitchen three summers ago, they called God in heaven, they called the Devil Falwell below. They called everyone they could possibly call, because they in no way want to be associated with this embarrassment. Good work guys!
No one said anything new or interesting. "They're crazy!" "They're plastic!" (Cat's favorite insult, which was accurate, but didn't hit closely enough, honestly. Yes, they're fake, but that's not the main problem with them. Their delusion is the worst thing about them.) "They're nuts!" "They're disrespecting Washington!" Ha. That one was rich. Oh are they now, ladies? Are they disrespecting Washington while you, what, graciously respect Washington by parading around town with your camera crews, name dropping 'til your false teeth fall out, claiming to be movers and shakers while the real movers and shakers — whether they themselves are witless lobby shits or actual get-stuff-done'ers — shake (and move!) their heads in sad dismay? Yeah, no, you're right, ladies. It's the Salahis and the Salahis alone who are disrespecting Washington. Mm hm.
All of this crow-cawing was pretty much useless. Tareq and Michaele refused to answer questions at their little C-Span party, and then they refused to answer questions at Stacey and Rudiger's backbiting Get The Dirt party, and it was just so dumb. "We've been advised not to talk about that," they said, as if there were ssssecrets that they couldn't tell, as if they were privy to some classified information, rather than the truth. "No, we've been advised not to talk about that lest we be forced to say that we, grown adults, sneaked into a party and are now scared of getting trouble." Fuh! I say to them. Fuh fuh fuh. And the rest? Blech. Stacey and Rudiger were embarrassing two-facers, Cat yelled as she always yells, Linda did zzzzzZZzzzz, and Mary... oh who the hell knows. No one cares. Does anyone care at this point, about any of this? It's a lovely Friday and this show is finally over and we should all be focusing on more important things.
At the end of the episode we got the traditional season wrap-up updates, only this time there was absolutely nothing interesting. Because no one cares about any of these people or their "plot lines"! No one cares. You might find one person, somewhere, someone who lives in the woods maybe and only has a little rabbit ears antenna on their old black and white TV that only picks up reception once a week, and it only picks up Bravo, so their only connection to the outside world is these women. That person might care that Linda is done decorating her house and has given keys to Ebong and she will zzzzZzzzzLunestaZzzzzzzz. They might care that Mary wandered outside late one night, drunk as canaries, and dug up a new face in the backyard. They might care that Cat has been seen wandering around town swilling from a bottle of Beefeater, flicking cigarettes at passersby. They might care that Stacey and Rudiger have started printing a little gossip newspaper from their family computer, giggling and turtlenecking about all the bad things they want NOTHING to do with.
And yes, the person in the woods, the Watcher in the Woods, might care that Michaele and Tareq are still stalking the streets of D.C., and still roam the eerie, mist-strewn hills of the imaginary Virginia Wine Country. They might care that there is still a light on in a window on the third floor of the old Salahi place, that there is the silhouette of an old woman in the window that never moves. They might care that one morning while brushing her teeth, Michaele coughed and a bat flew out of her mouth. They might care that Tareq has been spending more and more time in the dank, dark basement, doing god only knows what, an occasional strangled whimper or moan piercing the chilly quiet. They might care that the vineyard has, all of a sudden, become overgrown with a strange and foreign kind of moss, covering the thick layers of peat, burying any future hopes for vines and grapes. They might care that local horticulturists and botanists cannot figure out just what kind of moss it is, or where it came from, or why they feel so inexplicably sad and alone whenever they are near it. The person alone in the woods might care that the moss has grown all the way up to the house, on the porch even, creeping in the front door. Or is it creeping out of it? Could all of Tareq & Michaele's thick, boggy lies be producing something, could they have given birth to a brand new plague? The person in the woods might concern themselves with these eerie facts, these mysterious questions.
But us? No, not us. We don't care. We're moving on. The midterms are coming and that means change. It means things are moving on, for better or worse. It means that we should only look forward and that we should (and have already, I hope) forget these women and these men and these mother-corpses and these glitzy, stolen parties. You know, they say that when Washington burned in 1814, you could see the smoke all the way from the Patuxent River. But now, two hundred years later, we can see the wispy evidence of these new fires from much farther off, can't we? From whole different cities, from miles and miles away. And the smoke, well, it almost looks like souls or ghosts, doesn't it? Rising up out of the flame and ash, trying to fleet toward heaven.
But, heavy as these restless, angry spirits are — laden with cameras and wigs and plastic appendages — I just don't think they'll ever get there.