Hello, my Shah-ites!!! I know we’ve seen many amazing episodes this season, but this is up there as one of my favorites. Here’s a quick rundown of what we saw: Asa looks for the perfect diamond and then makes her diamond water. GG and MJ talk about the infamous text sent from Cabo. Mike's girlfriend is invited to Shabbat dinner with his whole family. Lilly goes on a blind date with the Middle-Eastern Scott Baio. Omid and GG hang out at his pool. And Reza, MJ, Mike, and Asa all go to Great Neck for Rosh Hashanah.
I know the bulk of this episode was about Great Neck, but how amazing was Asa and her diamond water!?! I mean the hunt for the perfect diamond, the love energy, and the Persian rug in the warehouse. I lost my s--- over all of it!
Let's start from the beginning. Asa heads to Downtown L.A. to find the PERFECT diamond for her water. For those of you who don't live in Southern California, Downtown L.A. is where people tell you to go when "they have a guy, that knows a guy." So, Asa goes to visit her "guy," a high school friend named Pat, who’s supposedly going to give her the "family" aka Persian discount.
At the diamond store that looks like the other side of the bookshelf at Anne Frank’s house, Pat first pulls out a 9.5-karat diamond, which Asa meditates on. She puts it on her third eye, and tells Mr. Pat Diamond that she wants to feel the energy of the diamond go through her third eye chakra. She thinks it’s the perfect diamond, until he tells her the price…$325K.
Her budget is only $65K, which is a fifth of the price. So she goes for the second perfect diamond -- one that’s 5.6-karats. Can’t afford a diamond the price of a house? Why not try for a diamond the price of a used Porsche? I loved that Asa liked the energy of the cheaper diamond -- it was so Persian of her! It looks just as good, but a fraction of the price. Anyway, once Asa held the 5.6-karat diamond, she said the energy from the diamond was shooting up her arm, into her heart chakra, into her crown chakra and shooting out. She sounded like "The Californians" from SNL talking about L.A. freeways. “Ooooookay, first you take the arm chakra, then you merge on to the heart chakra by way of the 405 artery. Then exit off the aorta, hang a left up the left lung bridge. Then, bypass the medulla oblongata and take the toll road to the crown chakra.” Jesus after watching this, I needed a Google map of Asa’s chakras.
Anyway, long story longer. Pat tells Asa that the 5.6 karat diamond costs $85-90K, but she Persians him down to $75K by asking for the “family” price. Here’s a lesson in Persian bargaining: You ask the store clerk for the price. They give it to you. Then you stare them down and ask them for the “family” price, and it’s a done deal. So it was settled, she got the chakra shattering diamond at a Black Friday price. Diamond water, here we come. My chakras are tingling!
Let’s skip ahead to the water factory before getting into the heavy stuff. Asa goes to meet the diamond water guy, and he shows her where the real “magic” will happen -- a warehouse that doubles as an Ikea factory. I certainly hope Asa’s love energy is more durable than my MALM nightstands. But I digress. . .
Anyway, Mr. Diamond shows Asa to the spot where her diamond sits under 150,000 gallons of water, and it will live there forever (or until someone steals it). And of course, Asa wastes no time. She plops down her Persian rug in the middle of the warehouse and chants “Joy, healthy happiness, purity, love, life.” That’s the love energy secret sauce. I thought there was more to it, like the Coca-Cola recipe that’s shut in a vault and protected by the government. But, no. The recipe for Diamond Water is:
1 whole Persian rug
¼ cup of love chants
1 whole chakra shattering diamond
3 steel tubes
My chakras feel more open just writing about this. Can’t wait to see how the packaging turns out! I wonder if the cap will be leopard print, with a Persian rug coaster?
I know I just spent forever and a day on diamond water, but I’m obsessed! So now let’s move on to some more serious things this episode -- like MJ and GG. I’ll make this quick. I’m proud of MJ for sticking up for herself and confronting GG. I’m even more proud of GG for not totally losing her s--- and jihading MJ. I’m hoping Omid is the reason GG has mellowed out, but I’m afraid after seeing the tease for next week it may NOT be the case. But in reality, maybe the answer for GG is having someone who loves her and someone she can share hair accessories with. Who knows?
On to Great Neck! I love how Reza rented a Range Rover in New York. Who does that? Persians! The Farsi Four are all in the car roaming the streets of NYC, while MJ tries to navigate. Putting a Persian in charge of directions is a BAD idea because directions don’t exist in our world. Case in point -- remember when MJ tried to put together her Ikea desk a few episodes ago? We’re so headstrong that we always think we know best no matter what situation we’re in. Hell, I’m sure Mike (being the backseat driver that he is) is thinking his middle name is Range Rover.
It’s cultural. Almost as cultural as Asa wanting to go to Harlem to get African head wraps so she can be prepared, should she ever run to be the President of Tanzania.
Anyway, after being lost, Reza drops the gang off to have some alone time with his pops. They have lunch and Reza asks a lot of questions about his Grandmother and the big family rumor of why Reza’s grandpa left his grandma. Reza has a "Come to Mohammad" where he understands why his Grandma is the way she is. Baby steps! I love a self-aware Reza. But not SO self aware that he realizes his armpit fetish is spectacularly weird and eccentric.
Fast forward to the seder. The Farsi Four arrive at Reza’s family’s house and are greeted with open arms. As soon as Reza is done with his hellos, he goes to greet his grandma. Reza’s grandma says she’s been waiting for him. WOAH! What a HUGE change from last season. Last season she was in the corner alone eating by herself like the troll under the bridge in “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” What redemption for Reza! And what a surprise for us! Almost as surprising as learning that they call his grandma “Iran Khanoom,” which means “Lady Iran” in Farsi. Whodda thunk this little ol' lady was a pageant queen in her day?!? IF beauty pageants existed in Iran, I imagine that the swimsuit round would be replaced by most beautiful burka and rather than an interview round they’d judge contestants based on who could keep their mouth shut the longest. That’d be enough pressure to make anyone cranky for a lifetime.
But. . .back to reality. . .grandma was uber talkative and open with Reza. I was floored, not only by her warmth but also by her throwing that drink back the way she did. That’s how I want to be when I’m over 90. I’ll drink. I’ll fart in public. I’ll speak my mind. And I’ll even change my name to Lady Orange County. I was really proud of Reza for being so open with his grandma, and for grandma being so open with him. What an episode!!!
I know I didn’t cover everything, but Reza with his family brought his story full circle from last season. I’m glad we’re finally seeing Reza in a good light. He was the hero last season, and this season he’s been a mean girl. I like seeing his softer side, or as I like to call it his "inner poodle." I’m even happier that MJ and the gang are playing nice because you know when the Shahs play nice for too long, sh*t is bound to hit the fan -- as we saw in next week’s tease.
Oh and as for Lilly talking about her ex on her blind date with the Persian Scott Baio, she needs to check herself. Lilly, take note, when going on a first date (or any date for that matter), don’t bring up your ex. I appreciate the nice brush off, but it was obnoxious. The good that came out of that date was that we learned Lilly eats carbs!!! Yup, she ordered the short rib ravioli like a champ.
That’s it for now! I can’t wait for next week! By the looks of it we’re going to see the Bravo equivalent to American Horror Story. There is never any rest for the Persians!
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Nadine Rajabi is a television producer, writer, and comedian from Los Angeles. Most importantly she's Persian, and has been her whole life.