Rob & Chyna Episode 3 Recap: Chyna-Town

Photo: Courtesy of E!.
This week’s episode of Rob & Chyna lives in the overlap of the Venn diagram that is Rob & Chyna and the mothership Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The recent finale of the latter dwelled on whether or not Rob and Chyna should be invited to Khloé’s birthday party and whether or not they should actually attend. This week's episode captured that story from the flip side. So, coming into this, viewers know the couple shows up at Dave & Buster's with everyone else. We all could have guessed at how nervous the they were, but we might not have guessed that most of the nerves came from Rob. But first, viewers get to Facetime with Chyna’s mom for the first time in the series. Tokyo Toni, a.k.a. mama Chyna, suggests her daughter visit for the Fourth of July. There is talk of block parties. Chyna and her mom share a laugh imagining Rob at a block party. In her interview, Chyna calls her mom the “realest” person she knows. “We are friends but at the same time we really respect each other,” Chyna says. When Rob comes over, he and Chyna talk about Khloé’s party. Rob didn’t tell Chyna that the invite was coming. He says he didn’t tell her because he doesn’t want to go to the party. “I just do not want that kind of attention. I’m very uncomfortable in my own skin,” he says. Chyna pushes the point. “Considering the rocky past that me and the girls have had before, getting a special invite is a big deal,” she says. In other words, she has enough struggles with the other Kardashians; she doesn’t need more with Rob. Rob agrees to go, but he’s clear that it's only for Chyna. Chyna doubles down and tells Rob about the plans to go to D.C. in July. She flat-out tells him that they’re going. He doesn’t seem to be on board with the plan. “We’re going, and I don’t want you to flake,” Chyna says. Their departure for Khloé’s party is not smooth. (On KUWTK, Rob and Chyna showed up about an hour after everyone else. Of course, that's reality-show time, but still.) Rob has a hard time finding something to wear. He’s painfully self-conscious and feels like he’s stuck in a rut. “I’m wearing the same dumbass sandals and sweats, and I’ve got the creepy mustache going,” he says. He’s not at all excited to walk into the rolling fashion show that is his family. Just like last week, Chyna is worried about Rob, and his insecurity weighs on her. She wants him to see himself the way she sees him. “If you’re thicker than you’re used to being, just own it,” she says. “He’s handsome to me. I just want Rob to get out of his comfort zone.” On the way to the party, Rob tells Chyna that he is feeling the way he felt when his diabetes landed him in the hospital. She is concerned and suggests they could stop by the hospital — after the party. She thinks this is just nerves. She’s nervous, too, but doesn’t let it show.
Their arrival at the party is old news, but Rob’s reaction to it is the headline here. He appears laid-back, but, on the inside, he is cringing. “Everyone is swarming Chyna and I,” he explains. “It is exactly what I did not want. It’s all eyes on me. I just wish we could focus on Khloé.” He sticks it out. He takes some pictures. Then he and Chyna are out of there. The next big family event is the trip to D.C. Rob again doesn't want to go, but makes the trip because he knows it is important to Chyna. She is excited to show Rob where she grew up. Her story certainly isn’t an easy one. She was in and out of several schools in suburban Maryland. She even attended what she calls an “alternative school.” Chyna takes Rob to see her old house. In a touching moment, Chyna rolls down the window and tells a woman on the street that she used to live in the house behind the woman. She instantly recognizes Chyna and says, “Oh, girl! Let me give you a high five!” Chyna gets to play the hometown girl made good and takes pictures with people on the street. Rob is proud of his fiancée. It’s good to see Chyna in her element. For Chyna’s part, she’s moved by the moment. “Growing up I would never have thought that people would have even known my name,” she says. Rob is nervous about meeting Chyna’s family, which, honestly, is understandable given that she has 11 siblings, none of which Chyna’s mom has even met. Chyna invites her mom Toni and her dad Eric, who haven’t seen each other in 10 years, to the family dinner. Two of her sisters and one of her brothers join them as well. The dinner is going smoothly until Toni asks the difference in ages between Chyna and her sisters. Chyna explains that the three girls were born five months apart. Apparently, this is news to Toni, who excuses herself pretty damn quick, but not before getting a shot in at Chyna’s dad. “So Papa was a rolling stone,” Toni says.
For his part, Rob loves it. Not the fact that there is some family drama per se, but that the family drama has nothing to do with him and his sisters. “I thought the spotlight was going to be on me,” he says. “But nobody’s paying attention to me. So, I’m good.” Oh, Rob. Chyna decides they should go to her old stomping grounds, a strip club called Sensationals. So the whole gang — her mom, her dad, her siblings, and her fiancé — hit the road to hit the club. Sensationals is all that viewers might have imagined it to be, but again Chyna returns as a conquering hero. Rob, while he does say on the ride over that he wouldn’t want his daughter to work there, respects Chyna for how hard she has always worked. She owns her past, her present, and her future. “Senationals is crazy,” Rob says. “But one thing I love about Chyna is that’s she’s comfortable in her own skin.” He is surprised to find out that he’s actually comfortable, too. At the strip club. With his future in-laws. And a bunch of future siblings-in-law.
The realizations just keep on rolling for Rob. It seems as if Chyna’s push to get him out might be working. “Throwing myself into these uncomfortable situations is what I need to do. I realized everyone’s not judging me,” he says. Yes, Rob. This! This is what you need to realize. It also probably helps that he’s far from the paparazzi’s prime hunting zones in Los Angeles. The episode loses steam at the end when Chyna has to resolve some hurt feelings between her hometown BFF, Treasure, and her California BFF, Paige. It’s strange for the show to spend so much time on a conflict that isn’t going to matter once everyone returns to Los Angeles, but it does yield one of the best lines from the episode. “I squashed a beef between my mom and dad and between Paige and Treasure,” Chyna says. “I never knew I could be a mediator.” Hey, Ryan Seacrest and the other powers that be at E!: Chyna isn’t wrong here. She is a good mediator/truth teller/boss. Here’s my pitch for the next courtroom talk show without a real judge: Squashing Beefs With Blac Chyna. Call me, okay?

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