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This week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County is pretty drama-free, relatively speaking. Peggy and Alexis continue to rehash and compete (with a photoshoot face-off being one of the night’s highlights), Tamra and Fernanda make nice, Vicki continues to struggle with her marriage issues, Gretchen heads to the Lone Star State to sell her wares, and Slade’s mom tells it like it is.

Tamra meets Lynne for lunch and Lynne asks if Tamra and Fernanda are an item. Tamra acts shocked but spills more of the details on the infamous kiss. She reveals that Eddie is convinced that Fernanda is in love with her. I am not so sure Eddie feels this way or if it’s more Tamra wanting him to feel that way, but regardless, we learn that the kiss did involve tongue, but thankfully, no “nipple tweaking.” Tamra always has a way with words.

Peggy goes to Alexis’ home to confront ask her why Jim wasn’t at the dinner party. In her interview prior to speaking with Alexis, Peggy says that as long as she’s known Jim “he’s never had a real job” so she’s not buying that “work” kept him from attending. Alexis is (finally) honest, admitting that Jim doesn’t want to hang out with the catty ladies any longer, and Peggy is hurt that Alexis didn’t feel as if she could tell her the truth earlier. Peggy presses to see if Jim has beef with she and Micah, and Alexis rambles on and on about how she’s too busy to have a social life, what with her perfect kids, and working out, and that whole fashion designer thing. Peggy brings up a time when Jim was very condescending to Micah about Micah’s lamborghini knowledge (seriously, who ARE these people??) and Alexis reminds Peggy that Jim has had four lamborghinis in the past. Ahhhh, now I get why this episode is called “It’s Not a Competition.”

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Vicki continues to harp on what an awful husband Donn is, and she is still upset with him for drinking too much at Peggy’s dinner party. It’s so awkward to watch Donn try to engage Vicki in conversation while she totally shuts him out, complaining in her interview that the two have had a breakdown in communication. It seems to me that this breakdown it totally one-sided, and poor Donn slinks off to wash the cars. Speaking of do-boys, Slade is packing Gretchen’s bags for a trip to San Antonio to hock her handbags and make-up. Gretchen reveals that their relationship is very simple: he schleps it, she sells it. So apparently Slade needs a real job and some self-respect.

Peggy invites Tamra and Vicki to a wine-tasting in Temecula. She seems to be kissing ass trying really hard to get in good with these two ladies, although given the women on this show, it isn’t like the newbie really has any stellar choices as to who to befriend. Vicki makes Peggy’s day (week? year??) by telling her that she’s way more fun than Alexis, and the ladies’ drunk day seems to be off to a good start. Vicki tries (too hard, in my opinion) to convince the sommelier that she’s a “good girl” while Tamra and Peggy go wild. Whatever Vicki, maybe when compared with your current company, but not to the general public. Another wine steward asks the ladies if they are ready to go to the dark side, meaning it’s time to switch from white to red wine. Things get all sorts of awkward when Vicki (continuously) refers to this sommelier as “dark” (he’s Puerto Rican) and keeps telling him that Tamra likes “darks.” It was incredibly cringe-worthy…even Tamra looked mortified, and I had previously come to the conclusion that she has absolutely no shame. Peggy’s fall from grace with Vicki may have been quicker than her ascent, as she won’t shut up with questions about Donn. Vicki is left near tears, but “perfect, just perfect.”

Back in the O.C., Slade’s mom Liz comes to visit. She needs to be a permanent fixture on the show. Amazing. Gretchen takes this opportunity to explain, once again, that Slade isn’t a deadbeat dad, he just can’t afford to pay the child support he was paying back in his heyday. To that, I say, Slade, get a job…doesn’t matter where or what kind. But Mom Liz does me one better–she jokingly tells Gretchen that she needs to step it up to pay all the bills. Gretchen heads to the store to get Liz more wine (man, I LOVE this woman), and Liz asks Slade if it’s fair for him to drag Gretchen into this mess, i.e. his life. Next she inquires as to which of Gretchen’s parents doesn’t like him. And of course, she nails it when she asks if Gretchen’s parents may like him more if he had a job that consisted of more than managing thier daughter’s career. Slade tries (horribly) to explain that he’s ‘supporting’ Gretchen’s endeavors, but working on marketing other things. Yeah, go with that. Liz says that she basically has no clue as to what her son’s so-called job is. And in one scene, this woman has said what America has been thinking for the entire season.

Tamra and Fernanda meet to share the photographs from their NOH8 campaign, and Tamra confronts Fernanda about telling Lynne about “the kiss.” Tamra is convinced that Fernanda was trying to convert her to the lesbian side. This woman certainly thinks highly of herself, doesn’t she? After some discussion, and perhaps some mild flirting, Tamra and Fernanda make up (not out).

In a scene I have didn’t realize I’d been waiting for all episode (dare I say, all season), it’s time for the Alexis Couture photoshoot. Where do I begin? First, Alexis is visibly angry when her assistant Dylan tells her he’ll have to leave the shoot early to get to class. Alexis tries to convince him to skip class because basically she will be a better education for Dylan than actual college. Proving how smart he truly is (and probably realizing that Alexis Couture won’t make it much longer than this photoshoot), he opts for the diploma and heads to class. Tal steps in to help Alexis with her posing, but Alexis knows best…and apparently “best” is a pose where she looks constipated and awkward. Alexis is a beautiful girl, but a model she is not–she would fare better to take lessons from Alex McCord, and we all know that is saying a lot!

In Texas to promote her make-up and handbag line, Gretchen continues to emasculate Slade in front of the show’s host. “Slade’s my roadie!” and “Slade curled my hair for me this morning!” Of course, Slade harps on the fact that his mom is confused by his career (hey, buddy, it’s not just your mom who is confused), and hopes that Gretchen laughs all the way to the bank with her success. He differentiates an ambitious Gretchen with Jo, saying Jo was lazy when he was trying to support her career. However, all of the flashbacks of Slade show him catering to Jo and enduring a constant barrage of teasing for being such a little B. Hmmm, perhaps Jo and Gretchen are more alike than he’d care to admit.

Peggy must have smelled a photoshoot and needed to get in the game. She brings us along while she models lingerie for a boudoir pictorial for her husband Micah. She talks about how some people are naturals when it comes to posing and being comfortable in front of a camera, while other people who are just as beautiful as models can’t seem to get it right. Wait, was she peeking in the hotel windows when another housewife was emphatically twirling a necklace while the cameras clicked??

Jim arrives to hijack direct his wife’s photoshoot, and poor Alexis is doing sand angels a la Kelly Bensimon on the floor of the hotel lobby in the name of “posing.” Jim is a control freak caring husband who just wants to help his wife to make sure she’s seen in the best light. Alexis is torn because this dress line is her baby, but she wants to obey Jim. Unfortunately, Jim’s vision and Alexis’ vision differ greatly. These pictures are going to be all sorts of awkward. The photographer brings in a smoke machine which sets off the hotel’s alarm. I’d say that’s a wrap! Tal may not realize it now, but she’s going to be thanking her lucky stars that her name or picture is no where NEAR this fashion disaster.

Next week, some of ladies join Gretchen in Texas for bull-fights, more competition between Peggy and Alexis, and a two-step featuring Alexis and Fernanda. Tamra has Simon arrested for domestic violence, and she and Jeana have a showdown.

On Watch What Happens Live, former New York housewife and margarita mogul Bethenny Frankel joins a bespectacled Andy in the clubhouse. It’s Brynn’s first birthday, and the always snarky Bethenny is calmer than usual. She raises a great point when discussing the night’s OC episode–who has four lamborghinis? We learn that Andy loves Mama Liz as much as I do, and Bethenny is pro-Slade. There is a modeling mash-up montage between Peggy and Alexis, but the clear winner is Gia Guidice.

Bethenny reveals that Jim Beam bought her Skinny Girl brand, but plays coy about the payout, and tells a caller that she believes that Alex McCord is the most changed NYC Housewife. It’s game time, and Andy’s mom Evelyn does her best housewife impressions. Bethenny later reveals that while filming her show was often uncomfortable, she wouldn’t have changed a thing, while plugging Monday night’s Bethenny Ever After finale. The poll results are in, and Lisa Vanderpump is the housewife most viewers would want as their mom. I don’t know about you, but I won’t be missing Simon Van Kempen’s performance of his new single on Thursday’s WWHL!

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