Before we dive in, be sure to check out this week's after show:
I have to start this recap by saying I don’t think I’ve ever seen an episode of reality TV as powerful as this one. Now maybe it hit a little closer to home with me because I’m Persian, but it was damn good. I cried…more than once and it’s not even that time of the month. TMI?
Honestly, I thought these guys would never make it to Turkey, not only from all the drama between MJ and GG, but also for the mere fact that TSA let these guys travel. Not only did they make it through security, but also MJ somehow managed to NOT get kicked off the flight even though she was standing up during take-off. I have no idea what world she thinks she’s living in, but luckily she didn’t try to light a cigarette on the flight. MJ, that’s not allowed either, in case you were wondering. The good news is as soon as our beloved Shahs got to Turkey and went out for their first Turkish supper, GG and MJ made up. I don’t know what was in the Turkish air that day, but somehow Hell froze over and pigs grew wings because MJ apologized. Mind you, GG apologized first, and Asa prompted MJ to apologize, but regardless, she did it. She finally copped to being wrong. She said, “I apologize for what I said to you and Sean. It was catty. I was out of line, and I regretted it immediately.” Yeah. You heard it correctly. The golden apology just happened. We’ve been waiting the WHOLE season for those words to come out of MJ’s mouth. Like I said, Hell froze over and pigs are flying, but it doesn’t matter because MJ and GG are friends again. Now they can go back to fighting over who wore the stiletto nail first.
Side note: You know what I realized watching this episode? GG always holds a knife when she’s talking. Just in case…
It’s her pacifier. Except, the only thing a knife and a pacifier have in common is that it’ll shut you up, quickly.
In all honesty, I’m happy that both GG and MJ took responsibility for their actions and put their egos aside. Now let’s see how long it lasts. I’m taking bets now…Before I cover the Blue Mosque, I’d like to take a time-out and pay respect to the Holy Persian Matador aka Reza. I feel like Reza’s hair is in its natural habitat in Turkey, and wants to be let out into the wild.
Is it just me, or is his hair in rare form, even for this Persiadour?
Our Shahs went on a tour of Istanbul before Asa’s family came to visit her. All seemed pretty OK, except for Mike. Well, Reza had a moment or two, but not like Mike. I would have never thought he would have such a strong reaction, but he was obviously feeling something that was rooted very deep. I was shocked when he said he’d fight for Israel if it came down to fighting for Israel or Iran. But I understand -- he said his religion would take him in when his country wouldn’t.
Watching MJ, GG, and Asa have such a strong reaction to the call to prayer was powerful. I understood where they were coming from. I really connected with MJ when she talked about being a Muslim kid in America. I know she’s not alone when she said she was afraid she’d be labeled as a terrorist. I feel like so many Muslims in America feel the same way. When 9-11 hit, my Grandma put an American flag on every corner of our front lawn, one in front of the house on a flagpole, and one on her make-up mirror, just to remind herself that she was an American. As the gang moved on to the Blue Mosque Mike and his best friend, straw, stayed behind.
At the Blue Mosque, Asa ran into this problem:
Poor Asa. Who knew the Blue Mosque was as segregated as a Vegas Strip Club? What I want to know is, what exactly happens at the “backside corner?” Dare I ask? I just remember in high school the backside corner meant you wouldn’t get pregnant. All the while, Reza got to roam freely because it was “Men only.”
After our modern day Rosa Parks left the mosque, she grabbed her mom and hit the bazaar shopping for her family reunion. The two of them found a can of Beluga Caviar that I bet cost a hell of a lot less than what Reza paid at the vending machine in the San Fernando Valley. I’m shocked Reza didn’t stock pile those fish eggs! When Asa, her brother, and Zinat got settled in their rental flat, and Reza and the rest of the Shahs arrived, I genuinely started to get nervous for them. Asa and Zinat haven’t seen their family in 30 years! One of my favorite moments was Asa and Zinat toasting their figs and Zinat saying, “Salamati to the best vaatever night.” I mean…she’s amazing. She really needs her own rap album.
Then once Asa’s family came through the front door, it was over. I got overwhelmed with emotion. There was something so genuine and sweet about the family reunion that I can’t even put words to it. I loved seeing Zinat reuniting with her sister, Asa with her family -- all of it. It was so heartfelt and real. And the capper of the night was seeing our intergalactic Priestess wrapped in her new rug lying on the dirt of Iran.
For all of the fighting, all of the drama, and all of the egos involved with this show, this episode made up for it. Well done, Shahs.