Last night, we bid farewell to another season of The Rachel Zoe Project, and unlike with most reality show finales, I left feeling warm and fuzzy. When you compare and contrast that to the taste of bile that was left in my mouth after the Real Housewives of New Jersey finale, I found myself wishing that the season ran a little longer.

We did get a final visit with Little Peanut Skyler, though, who is just as adorable and well-dressed and you would expect. In addition, Rachel seemed to be enjoying motherhood just as much, if not more than, she enjoyed being pregnant. It looks like the thing that Rachel needed all along was something important enough to distract her from her work and balance out her life.

This episode was a little bit different than the ones before it, for obvious reasons. Instead of picking up exactly where we left off last week, we rejoined Rachel, Rodger and Little Peanut Skyler six weeks after he made his debut into the world. The family was at home, cooing and fussing over the baby, but Rachel’s maternity leave was about to end; as she pointed out, she’s the head of this whole circus, and she can’t linger at home as much as someone who gets corporate maternity leave might be able to.

Meanwhile, Mandana & Co. were back at the studio, readying the lookbook shoot for Rachel’s Resort 2012 line and awaiting bosslady’s imminent return to work. Rachel’s solution to her desire to spend time with the bambino was to bring him to the shoot, so naturally, Mandana had to do the bulk of the detail work while Rachel oversaw things in a very general sense in favor of paying attention to her little man.

Before Skyler, Rachel’s relaxed attitude and willingness to delegate work at the photo shoot would have been entirely unthinkable. In a situation where we’re all used to seeing a ball of anxiety, Rachel seemed totally at peace. Not everyone wants to be a mom and not everyone should be, but it looks like Rachel is one of those people who was always intended to have a kid. Who would have thunk? And then out of nowhere, like some sort of very handsome fairy godfather, Brian Atwood showed up to bless the proceedings by complimenting Rachel’s collection shoes.

Back at the studio, Mandana (who really needs to cut her bangs by, like, at least three-quarters of an inch, they were driving me CRAZY) was re-hiring Jeremiah, but not for his previous job. Instead, he was being brought on for a special project – designing a store-within-a-store for Rachel’s collection at the Bloomingdale’s flagship in Los Angeles. He went straight to Room & Board to accomplish this feat, which should make it well apparent at this point that Room & Board ponied up for some product placement. And that’s fine, but let it be known that Room & Board is perhaps not the ideal place to go if you’re looking to design a Parisian dressing room. If you’re looking for a good, reasonably modern bed, though, I highly recommend it! From personal experience.

Anyway, that’s not important. What’s important was the adorable scene afterward, in which Rachel and Rodger sang cutesy little songs to Skyler and Rachel went over which designers were in his closet, just so he’d know. And you guys, I don’t even really want to have kids! I never have, even back before I was grown and capable of having cogent opinions about such things! While watching Rachel with her little dude, though, I’m pretty sure that I ovulated right then and there. It could not have been more heartwarming or precious if they had scripted it.

Back in the working world, though, it was time for Jeremiah to present his hastily made plans for Rachel’s store-in-store to Mandana. And shockingly (not the sarcasm, please), Mandana doesn’t like it! Mandana doesn’t like anything, particularly some woman’s fat husband holding her coat while sitting in the middle of their precious display, warding off potential shoppers. She did have a point, though; Jeremiah wasn’t supposed to be designing a very chic waiting room, he was supposed to be designing a “store” that would exhibit the line to passing shoppers. Having tons of furniture that can’t hold clothes right up front doesn’t really accomplish that. So off Jeremiah went, in search of low-back chairs and more surface area, less seating.

Meanwhile, Rachel was back at home, planning a business trip with Skyler and trying to figure out what she needed. Or, perhaps more importantly, what he needed. Options! Lots and lots of options for the baby, because who knows what mood he’ll be in that day? Rodger stood in the background, muttering about “wrestling T-shirts” (whatever that is) and begging Rachel not to dress the baby like a girl. Woe is she who tries to explain the difference between girly and French to a straight dude.

Before that trip could happen, though, Jeremiah had to build a store-in-store at Bloomingdale’s and present it to both Rachel and the store executives, which made me wonder if this season would have had any non-baby story lines at all if we hadn’t had Jeremiah around to frantically build things. Frantically build things and get fired! Jeremiah and Rachel’s baby bump have basically been the stars of the show thus far. When Jeremiah was done, the setup looked quite a bit like the one that Mandana had rejected, except with a different table and only one chair instead of two. The chair still had quite a high back. Would he get in trouble for not listening? Drama! Tension!

Except naturally, Rachel and Mandana arrived, added a chair (which Jeremiah conveniently had on hand and which had been in his original design) and totally loved the setup. So did the executives! And so did the dude on the phone, who decided in about ten seconds that, sure, put it in another eight stores! Sometimes the seams on this show are a little too evident for my taste, but for reasons I don’t entirely understand, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying my hour a week in Rachel’s world.

Back at home, Rodger was back to being a petulant manchild (over a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, of all things) while he and Rachel discussed Jeremiah and his employment future. Remember when they fired him two weeks ago? Well, yeah, they were maybe starting to regret that a little bit, particularly since they keep having reasons to call him back and give him work and he keeps doing a great job. So maybe they do have enough for him to do after all, at least so they can keep him around until things grow more and he has a more obvious spot in the company? Sure, why not. Hire people just to keep them from being hired by your competitors!

We somehow skipped straight from that conversation to Rachel and Rodger throwing a barbecue that somehow involved a salami. But not just any salami – Rachel’s Famous Salami, which somehow involved Rachel rubbing some sort of sauce (jelly?) on a sliced salami loaf and then putting it in the oven. Everyone testified independently that the salami was utterly amazing, but no one offered up the recipe. LAME. If someone knows what she did, please let me know. That looks like the kind of cooking I could potentially handle.

Once the salami had been consumed and everyone moved outside, Rodger battled spiders (he’s a manly man) to fire up the grill while everyone else explained to Joey why all poultry is meat but not all meat is poultry. I don’t think he really understood it. It didn’t matter, though, because he had already eaten some salami, which covers a fashion person’s solid food calories for a whole day.

Once the food was cooked, the group sat down and Rodger actually got a little emotional thanking Jeremiah for putting together the house (and especially the nursery) and re-offering him the job from which he had just been fired. Jeremiah got a little emotional in return, and then Rachel cried too. Happy tears galore! Since I don’t really believe that any of these people are competent actors, the emotion seemed genuine to me, and it was all kind of adorable. All in all, it’s been a really sweet, positive season – much better than when Rachel is feuding with former employees or losing her mind over Oscar dresses. Maybe Rach and Rodg will do the pregnancy thing all over again in a year or two.

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Blaine

    Oh Amanda I hear you – I have a 15-yr old & a 12-yr old and I STILL hear from people who knew me back in the day when I was writing from the West Bank & dating anything with two legs: “I can’t believe YOU’RE a mom!” I was Miss No-Maternal-Instincts-and-Proud-of-It. Sometimes the right decision is to be an “older” mom – but the part I didn’t count on is this: kids grow up really really fast, and you can always go back to your career, but you won’t always be the Mom of a first-grader, or 4th-grader, or freshman.

  • bir

    well i have to say that all in all i wanted more episodes i like the baby and the house and the general atmosphere. i do hope they make another season this show is……….well its something …but i like it !!!!

  • bisbee

    Amanda, I’m so glad you liked it – so did I! I agree that the emotions at the end seemed very genuine…Rachel really does seem to have been changed by the birth of her little clothes-horse!

    I didn’t want it to end!

  • J Umm

    i wish they would show sklyer more often, so cuteee!!
    STYLE DECORUM.COM

  • PhotoGirl

    Great episode!
    Because I’m old and cynical, I believe that it was ALL scripted, but so what? So were some of the best programs from TV’s Golden Age. I know that Rachel’s agenda is to build her brand, but if a fairly decent hour of television with no table flipping, few f-bombs, and no prostitution whores (I’m looking at you, Kardashians) comes of it, then I’m in. I only wish we could have had a few more episodes. And that salami recipe.

  • shallowgal

    Take a salami & rub some sort of jelly on it. Or was it orange marmalade? Totally looked like a grandma recipe to me (IOW, one that you don’t really want to know what’s in it).
    Watching Rachel actually loving motherhood was kind of fun. But the whole “we have the best team in the whole wide world!!” got a little tedious towards the end.

  • erica

    Amanda,
    First off, Thank you for another wonderful season of recaps!! This show is just part of the fun, your articles cap off the whole experience!!

    OMG, Jeremiah…black tank top, I officially fell in love with him right there. That scene got all cloudy and slow mo for me.

    If I were Rachel I would have flung that PB and J right in Rodger’s face, just saying.

    Salami with apricot jelly…not feeling it. And Rodger yelling at people for eating it all? That was a little low rent. I mean it was one “log” of salami and what like ten people descending on it? Survival of the fittest. What did he want them to do, draw straws?

    Mandana’s bangs are annoying, I agree. That’s gotta itch her eyes. I do agree, who wants two chairs in the way when shopping? If you want to sit, wait until after and go to Starbucks.

    BTW, Ever consider write-ups for Fashion Hunters? I love that show. Last night a woman consigned a REAL Chanel bag she once purchased for only ten dollars!! Ooh, I was so hating on her!

    Atlanta Housewives is starting up soon! See you there!

    • Purse Mommy

      I saw fashion hunters too and thought the exact same thing. Chanel for 5 bucks I’m heading for Texas. The worker who wanted to but it for $1200 was kinda out of line. But I don’t know how consignment works, do they split the money when it’s sold.

  • Willbuy

    Found the episode boring,don’t plan on watching anymore if this is what next season will be like.

  • Nancy

    Honestly, watching this episode is a balm to my soul after the trama and drama that is BHHW. I’m going to miss them (even though I don’t really like some of them). Wish this show had a longer season.

  • Laura

    So jealous of Skyler’s wardrobe and that he gets to hang with Brian Atwood. And oh Jeremiah with his black tank top…I really think I caught myself drooling a little.

    Yes Amanda, you should recap Fashion Hunters!
    Thanks for another season of RZP recaps!!!

  • Purse Mommy

    How about the preview to Brad’s new show. I have to admit I was a bit giddy.

  • Purse Mommy

    Oh and I dressed my last baby boy very french and my husband hated it because idiots would ask if he was a girl. But I didn’t want my baby to look like a gangster baby. Black dickies ain’t a good look on a baby.

  • Pinkfeet

    I found the episode boring as well. I know, I know.. I KNOW she had a baby, she’s a mom.. but.. it’s not why I watch the show. I watch it because of the fashion. The styling.. where are the beautiful models? The runways? The behind the scenes of fashion I will never see? And I don’t mean Rachels new house, the overboard baby room, Joey being a lazy ass, Rodger shoving his bangs out of his eyes…

    Yeah yeah, she got the show to promote her BRAND. I get it. But .. I’m bored. Promote her brand to mostly people who can’t afford to spend 800 every time they want to buy some shoes,? 3000 on a handbag? ( let’s be honest here.. the econ is in the crapper, the average person is sitting at home and just can’t afford that shizz, if you can….great. ). The majority of those at home watching.. are not running out to buy her high end items ASAP.

    So she better beef up her show to something more than Skylar or move it over to TLC or where ever the Gosslins were on…. I have no desire to see Rachel holding a bottle, ordering Joey to do her hair, pretend to know he’s styling while he drools over a Kardashian ( can we get some real celebs at least?!) .

  • HMB

    I loved this whole season! It was so interesting to watch Rachel style her wardrobe around her pregnancy (i.e. long sweaters for a streamlined silhouette) and still get some fashion.

    My favorite part though was watching Jeremiah do interior design. Rachel and Roger’s house was already beautiful but Jeremiah added a much younger vibe to the whole place while still keeping it elegant and appropriate for the style of the house.

    Skylar was A-DORABLE! And his nursery was so lovely (albeit a little over the top with the Hermes blanket). It is so easy to go for frilly and cutsy everything for a baby’s room, but Skylar’s room was definately well done and clearly for a baby even though it was minimal. It fit perfectly with the rest of the house’s aesthetic as well.

    I always watch this show for getting new ideas on how to coordinate my wardrobe, and even though this season was almost all about baby and home, I still got some great tips! I agree with everyone here- it was a great, heart-warming season, and I hope the show comes back next year.

  • Mirna

    I liked it but I can’t stand rodger he’s so rude! What does he do besides being a asshole? I love the baby’s clothes so cute!

  • ML NOLAN

    I really enjoy the show!!! Yeah ok “Rod-ger” is annoying !! Im trying to find out what exactly the salami receipe is Ive looked everywhere??? Does ANYONE have the anwser :)

  • Mary

    Rodger is probably not a bad guy when he’s being himself. He’s just trying too hard to appear masculine and in charge, and since he’s just not a good enough actor he’s coming off as very unlikable.

  • ellenbakes

    It is certainly a nice departure seeing this softer/calmer side of Rachel Zoe who is normally a hard charging whirling dervish, fueled by gallons of iced coffee. Pre/post Peanut Rachel I think even eats! It is obvious that both she and Rodger are nukin futz about their baby, which is nice to see and sweet enough to make my molars ache.

    Attitude-wise, Rachel has taken a chill pill and Rodger has swallowed the bitchy pill. Until he figures out his place in the new pecking order, we probably will see more meltdowns from the man child. Let’s cut him some slack…he is married to Rachel (c’mon that alone should win him some sort of prize).

    The Jeremiah plot was mostly-predictable; but I enjoyed every minute of it. Mandana’s bangs are approaching Taylor status (along with some of her attitude). Joey, well, I love him and he can just be himself all day long far as I’m concerned (even if he’s dumb as a box of hammers at times. Who can put a price tag on that, really?

    Another season of the Zoe Proj has come and gone…sigh. Hey Brad…you’re up next….yay!!!

  • hannah

    One of my favorite moments was when Brian Atwood was at the shoot, right before commercial, and they showed him standing by Rachel and he was holding Skylar. I died! As if he wasn’t gorgeous enough!!

    Also did anyone see where Brad is having a reality show ‘its a brad, brad world” (what a wierd, weird title!) next year? I’m guessing theyre just pregaming the drama.

  • Staycee62470

    Here is the salami recipe:

    1 kosher salami (small or large)
    1 jar of apricot preserves (not jam or jelly) small or large depending on the size of the salami
    1 tsp – 1 tbsp of dry mustard

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
    Slice the salami like Rachel did, making sure the not to slice it all the way through.
    Mix preserves and dry mustard together in a small bowl.
    Place the salami in a shallow baking dish and smear 1/2 the preserve mixture on and in between each slice.
    Place the salami in the oven for 1 hour making sure to baste every 15 minutes and turning the salami 1/4 turn each time you baste. If you like you can put the oven on broil the last 10 minutes or so so the edges get really brown and crispy.

    Enjoy!

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