The Kings of Napa: Season 1/ Episode 6 “Mo Bottled Blues” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Going by the episode count for most OWN shows, we’re officially in the second half of the season, and it seems everyone thinks it is time to tell the truth – but one person.

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August asking for the truth

Going by the episode count for most OWN shows, we’re officially in the second half of the season, and it seems everyone thinks it is time to tell the truth – but one person.

Aired 2/15/2022
Network OWN
Directed By Bosede Williams
Written By Michelle Listenbee Brown


Forcing The Situation – Melanie, Bridgette, Dana, August

Melanie has something to say, and with her suspiciously in the production facility, August and Dana rush over there expecting the worst, yet only get a partially drunk Bridgette, claiming to have big news. Naturally, neither Dana nor August want to play any games since they have other things to do. But Bridgette makes them wait for Melanie to arrive, and not long after she does, Bridgette drops the bomb that their grandmother is locked up in a psychiatric hospital in upstate New York.

The Truth About Mom and Dad – Melanie, Bridgette, Dana, August, Vanessa

No sooner than Bridgette dropping that news, Vanessa comes in, and a local storm knocks out the power and locks the family within two to three rooms. With that happening, Vanessa and Melanie are pressured to tell the truth, and after a bit of finger-pointing and threats, Melanie reveals her side of the story since Vanessa is simply reiterating what Sandra told her, not what she saw.

Vanessa challenging Melanie to tell the truth

So, what’s the full story? As Vanessa has said, was a wild child, and at 16, she came home late. Sandra found a joint in Melanie’s bag, flipped out, and smacked the mess out of Melanie. This led to their dad trying to intervene and him being pushed, hitting his head, and dying of an aneurysm.

From there, Sandra controlled the narrative, and Melanie let her since having something on Sandra, getting on her good side? That has always been hard. So there was hope that this could make things better between them after Sandra spent her life putting her daughters against each other and criticizing them in all they do.

But, things didn’t get better with a shared secret. It actually got worse, so Melanie left, and Vanessa was forced to deal with their ailing mother until she had her committed once she turned 18. But, with thinking all this time their dad’s death was caused by Melanie, that became one of the initial, long-term wedges in their relationship. However, with the truth out and the kids pushing for understanding and reconciliation, August especially, Vanessa allows herself to believe this is the truth and not an elaborate lie.

You Know What You Did – Melanie, Bridgette, Dana, August, Vanessa, Rose

However, healing doesn’t come easy, for there is still the Reginald situation and Vanessa accusing Melanie of having an Oedipus complex, hence Melanie going after Reginald. But, once again, it seems Vanessa doesn’t know the whole story, and Melanie makes it clear Reginald came after her, and it seems both times she had an affair with Reginald, it was because Vanessa decided she needed a break from him.

Melanie making it clear Vanessa doesn't know the full story

The first time was in college, the second was after August was born, but before Christian, when Vanessa wanted to explore getting back to her career. During that time, Melanie stepped in, and with playing house with Reginald, one thing led to another until Vanessa decided to return. This information shocks Dana and August, but Vanessa explains away their feelings of abandonment. Thus leading to Bridgette confronting her mom about being willing to play house and be a mom at that moment, yet leaving her behind.

Well, it seems, maybe being inspired by Vanessa, Melanie sought out her passion and desires, and unlike Vanessa, guilt didn’t bring her back home. Instead, between Vanessa’s return and the settlement money, she went off to Africa and thought the best place for Bridgette would be with Vanessa’s family since they could offer stability.

Now, at this point, most of the notably old stuff gets handled from Sandra’s lies, Melanie and Reginald’s relationship, as well as Vanessa and Melanie abandoning their kids. However, what’s left is the one thing Bridgette isn’t trying to push to come out, and that’s her feelings for Rose. She hints at it to Melanie, but she doesn’t expose herself. Instead, with Rose asking for a break, Dana decides it is time to pull that trigger, get revenge, and expose Bridgette by letting Sean and Shawn know Bridgette is the likely extorter. Thus, as soon as the room unlocks, within an hour, cops arrive to haul Bridgette away, and in the process of trying to keep her child from getting arrested, Melanie falls, just like her dad did, and she begins to convulse.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

There is a difference between secrets and things that are never said.
— Melanie

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. With Christian and Yvette absent from this episode, should we see that as them not being core characters?
  2. While we see what trauma and patterns Vanessa and Melanie’s family caused Dana, August, and Melanie, what did Reginald’s family issues contribute?

What Could Happen Next

  1. August’s anxiety skyrocketing since she is without someone to take care of the vines again
  2. Sean and Shawn potentially accusing August and Dana of sending Bridgette their way to sabotage them
  3. Vanessa, maybe, confronting her mother about the truth?
  4. The scandal of what Bridgette did, destroying morale and the Kings family name
  5. The board convening and threatening, if not outright making changes
  6. Dana asking for a divorce


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Clearing The Air – Mostly

Pretty much every secret is out, acknowledged, and either handled or being handled at this point. Melanie and Vanessa seem ready to move on with the truth out there and understood. Add in Melanie potentially dying like her father, and that might seal the deal in Vanessa’s malice finally dying down. On top of that, the kids seemingly understand Melanie’s reasons behind her affair, too, so that might not get held over her head.

Then, when it comes to Bridgette and her mom, it seems she gets it. Maybe not enough to utterly forgive her mom, but at least begin the process of moving on.

Now, the Rose x Bridgette situation is certainly not over, but did you really think Dana was just going to let that go easily? Yes, he let go of his mom wanting an abortion and even abandoning him and August to see if she still had what it takes to be a successful journalist, but his wife cheating on him? Nope. That isn’t something that’s easily forgivable, and you can fully expect calling the cops was just the beginning, not the end.

August’s Anxiety, Generational Trauma, And Toxic Patterns

August flipping out

August has often been seen as secondary to us since her exasperation with it all, and having no desire to actively be part of the drama, made it so her only story of note was with Kelvin. But in this episode, with the show focusing on just 5 characters and pushing August to play an active role, she finally got to shine.

For in August talking about the effect her mom has on her regarding her anxiety, and the hypocrisy of Vanessa constantly talking about August having babies, knowing what that did to her? It really pushes how every aspect of this family is built on repeated generational trauma and repeating patterns that may not have held the family back financially but has poisoned nearly every relationship there is.

Think about it: Vanessa didn’t see the same dynamic that she and Melanie were put in by not gaining the tools she needed. Her two eldest kids fell right into the pattern, right under her nose. Because Vanessa and Reginald swept their problems under the rug and maintained this sense of perfect, Dana didn’t see a man be wrong, work on things with his wife, or even see the signs. Instead, it seemed he was geared to follow in his parents’ footsteps and present a united front despite all the destruction behind the scenes.

Heck, I’d even add, because of Vanessa’s abandonment issues regarding Melanie and Melanie’s trauma from her mother, they found themselves capable of leaving their children behind, and while, yes, Vanessa felt bad about it, Melanie didn’t as much. Why? Because she spent most of her life dealing with trauma, secrets, and not feeling wanted or loved. Hence Bridgette attaching herself to someone unavailable and feeling as unloved as her mother did and repeating her mistakes.

Which leaves you to wonder, with most of the secrets being aired out, could this be the wake-up call the family needed? Or will this just be armor-piercing ammunition for the next time tempers flare-up?

On The Fence

Is It Too Soon To Move On?

Is it wrong to get Our Kind of People vibes from everyone seemingly being willing to move on so quickly? Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready for them to move on, but I feel like a lot of what was said still needs to be processed, and everyone doing karaoke and being cool, sans Dana, felt off. Maybe it is because Vanessa, who often leads the charge, gave into peer pressure regarding the truth about her father’s death and Reginald’s affair? Maybe it was the kids seeming a little too willing to give their parents grace after the reveal of Vanessa’s abandonment and Melanie’s reasoning for staying away?

Again, I’m cool with them moving onto other things, but that’s sort of the issue with having a show that has over-the-top drama. You want the reconciliation to be as grandeur as the initial fissure, and I just don’t feel like we got that. We got answers and the full story, but not the type of moments where you can see the way forward making sense for the characters as it does for the sake of the show pressing forward.

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August asking for the truth
The Kings of Napa: Season 1/ Episode 6 “Mo Bottled Blues” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
With the essential characters of the show being the only ones focused on in "Mo Bottled Blues," The Kings of Napa shows that it could do well without all the bells and whistles. However, it has already established so much that it can't solve in one episode dedicated to apologizing and reconciling attempts. So it should be interesting to see, with so many matters put to bed, what the monsters who still live underneath the box spring will do with more room to grow.
Clearing The Air - Mostly
August's Anxiety, Generational Trauma, And Toxic Patterns
Is It Too Soon To Move On?

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