Real Housewives of Orange County recap

Last night’s Real Housewives Of Orange County was about creating memories. For some that means a south of the border, borderline sex tape featuring guacamole and skinny dipping; for others, it’s forced entrapment of your friends and family in a deceased talk show host’s dessert estate. So everyone be quiet and let Shannon Beador and Vicki Gunvalson imagine worlds of fabricated perfection!

Shannon is on cloud nine. She is so euphoric she has forgotten how to speak Spanish – even though she placed second in the country on the National Spanish Exam? Que?! She better grab her flashcards, cause she is headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a re-honeymoon! Of course no Shannon Beador expedition is complete without Shannon Beador accessories!

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Shannon is renewed

In the tizzy to get out of one hotel into another, Shannon forgot her negligee – which turned up under her bathrobe. She chugged distilled water. And misplaced her nasal drip, and her anti-anxiety crystals, and her hormone butt pellets, and her ionized vinegar, but she didn’t forget David‘s love – oh no, that is permanently ensconced in her heart, cupped nice and close as if applied with Dr. Moon’s machine.

Shannon’s three daughters are being left at home for a week even though there is absolutely nothing they love more than a hotel except escaping their parents. Something tells me they’ll survive. They probably had a bonfire for Shannon’s vaporizer and Stella (my favorite Housewife child) ran a gambling operation (named ‘Your Dad’s Wet Dream’) from the craft room. 

Vicki celebrates her birthday

In Vicki’s world, she’s celebrating her birthday – the actual most important day of the year, so move over Jesus there’s a new crucified babe in town! – at the fabulous Merv Griffin Estate. It’s Briana’s birthday too, so Vicki has harangued Tamra Judge. And Kelly Dodd probably invited herself, and brought enough liquor for the whole of Southern Cali, because Kelly is that thirsty!

Vicki tried her darnedest to guilt-wrangle Shannon and Heather Dubrow, but Shannon was re-mooning, and Heather declined because she’s busy talking to the empty chair they call “Terry.” She’ll love him long time, as he gets buried under 20,000-square-feet of totally necessary luxury, before finally being turned into kindling for the yearly pizza oven firing. Some girls have $25,000 sunglasses; some girls have $7,500 pizzas. And some girls have a helluva time arranging trips to Glamis!

Surprisingly, Meghan King Edmonds, already softened by the hopeful glow of pregnancy and the soothing tones of Jimmy Dad Jeans, member of the Drama Hating Jazz Hands club, plans to drop by since they will be nearby? Apparently Jim loves vow renewals and is secretly romantic. Oh, the things Meghan tries to sell us on have a more odious stink than cheap candles and Brooks‘ breath! Wiggle those spirit fingers to let us know you’re still in there girl! 

Tamra is making nice with Vicki. I like this side of Tamra – the one who shit-stirs and then reacts wide-eyed when caught between accusing stares. And I must say, the side of Vicki we saw in Merv’s world is the side of Vicki I also most appreciate, once Vicki stops being an attention-seeking nut ball. Outside the Coto gates, in lavish luxury, Vicki feels at home – which is  all she needs: an estate named for herself, a yacht, and family! Oh and someone else to make all the decisions from decor to dateable men. 

After 10-months of being Brooks-free, Vicki is in remission and “playing the field.” Tamra and Briana want to screen her potentials. Actually a special division of Homeland Security should be established to screen Vicki’s dates! Briana jokes that Vicki is “Slutty Nana,” which sounds like something that could easily become part of the Beador Home Video collection – category ADULT (Tags: Death Upon Watching, Eyes Will Burn, Enter At Your Own Risk, American Horror Story XXX). 

I agree with Vicki – Slutty Nana should keep that to herself. Vicki is also keeping another surprise to herself: Having Ryan flown out to surprise Briana. The whole time Briana has been in Cali with two toddlers, her health issues, and renovating, she hasn’t seen Ryan. Tamra sympathizes with managing two high-maintenance kids in diapers – after all, she was once raising Astro and Ryan at the same time!  

Of course everyone is also working overtime to manage the precarious emotional state of Kelly “You C–ts Provoked Me” Dudd!

Tamra is right – there is something “likeable” about Kelly on the surface. She’s upbeat and goofy, she likes to have a good time. But her Whoop It Up always goes to 11, and then she’s the atom bomb to any social function. Like Tamra, I have tried to give Kelly another chance. I fully believe Shannon set her up at that 70’s party, but like Heather, I am not about a 40-something woman calling people C-u-next-Tuesdays and Dumb F–ks because her feelings are hurt. Handle your business like a woman who can easily afford Chanel and counseling – not a drunk sorority girl after too many days of tequila binging. We all have those moments, but Kelly’s life seems to be a cycle of them, alternating with a series of her insisting she’s normal, then sobbing when people don’t believe her.

Cooking dinner with Vicki, Kelly is all NormCore OC Housewife as Tamra dishes on David surprising Shannon with a vow renewal. Briana smirks that she’s surprised Vicki was invited. “That’s kinda mean,” she deadpans. Oh Briana – the way you gaslight! “More friends; more problems,” intones Vicki. (More money; more teeth to fix and southern fried affirmations to wash down with Riesling.) 

Vicki isn’t feeling the vow renewal love. Call Vicki bitter as the dregs of wine the morning after, but she is right: a vow renewal is not the kiss of new promises, it’s the kiss of a last fighting chance before inevitable death. It’s the false promise a Housewife buys herself that if she really believes it, and prays to the Andy Cohen shrine in her apartment-sized closet, she won’t have to settle for 1/8 of her husband’s net worth and, come reunion day, ignore the pitying stares of the trophy wives who are still proudly on display.

Vicki is also right that Shannon will never forgive David. Not deep inside, under the diamonds embedded in her teeth to seal the taste of his kiss. David’s eyes aren’t crazy, they’re wanderlust. And Shannon’s eyes aren’t judgey, they’re watchful. Or I dunno – maybe I’ve been ingesting some of Vicki’s bitter juice expecting a cure for my judgeyness, but instead found I’ve consumed a crock of shit?

Tamra is concerned about Kelly

Back to pseudo reality – at least the way a string theorist may define it – Tamra is concerned about the state of Heather and Kelly‘s non-friendship. Being that Glamis is approaching, and all. Tamra wonders why Kelly doesn’t like Heather, so Kelly launches into another Heather-imitation to demonstrate. Tamra laughs, then remembers she’s supposed to be A) The peace-maker; B) a good person; and C) Heather’s friend (and Heather can’t take a joke – despite overly-enunciating that she CAN.)

Basically, because Heather tried to eject Kelly from Meghan’s sushi party, Kelly does not like her. But being the “bigger person” Kelly still sent a superficial apology text (with emoji!), and Heather didn’t respond! Now Kelly believes she has a valid reason for disliking Heather. Because if Kelly apologizes, Kelly’s bad behavior never happened. Someone has been attending the Ramona Singer School For Housewives In Peril!

Tamra decides what Heather and Kelly need is to meet for lunch, supervised by her. 

Terry is a chair

Over dinner with Ter-Chair, Heather rambles that Kelly is the tackiest thing since pre-sliced bread and her vulgar outbursts have burst all the bubbles in Heather’s champs. Furthermore, Tamra tattled about Kelly mimicking her. So, Kelly is too vulgar, but Heather is OK with Tamra’s expletive-laced outbursts season after season? Perhaps Kelly does make a point about Heather the Hypersensitive Hypocrite!?

At Merv’s, the squatters have taken over and one by one the ants join the picnic. First Michael appears. I cannot help it – Michael is my first Child Of Housewife love. His sarcasm, the deft and distant way he placates Vicki, how he seems to be living inside his own inside joke.

He walks in all, casual, during dinner while Vicki is receiving her gifts. Tamra gave Vicki a bracelet. Just as a vow renewal is the kiss of death for a Housewives Marriage, a bracelet is the kiss of death for a Tamra Barney-Judge friendship!

Ryan arrives to surprise Briana

Then Ryan arrives! Briana bursts into tears of joy – I think – while Vicki reminds us several hundred times that the joy of family! family! family! was brought to us by Vicki! Vicki! Vicki!

When Vicki and Tamra are alone, Tamra reveals that since Heather is bringing her son to Glamis, she has concerns about Kelly coming. Cut to a scene of Heather basically telling Tamra she doesn’t want Kelly around her kids if she’s gonna act all crazy-rompers. 

So, Tamra is planning this trip to Glamis for EDDIE’s birthday, right? Apparently Heather is again confused about whose party she’s attending, because if it’s EDDIE’s BIRTHDAY TRIP why does HEATHER control the guest list? Tamra calls Heather, wheedling and placating her into reconsidering The Kelly Factor. She asks Heather why she never responded to the apology text and is shocked to learn that her mouth, again, is responsible! Finally Heather agrees to meet with Tamra and Kelly for a drink to talk. Glamis – she’s still not so sure about. 

Meanwhile, Vicki tells Kelly – one-on-one – that she needs to reassure Heather that nothing will happen in Glamis – for the sake of the children, you know. Vicki specifically mentions Kelly’s cussing – which no, Tamra did not specifically say, but it was implied that Kelly’s tantrums and language are an issue. For the children. Kelly reacts by starting to get super defensive with Vicki.

Pool Shenanigans with vicki and tamer

Later, on the terrace in front of everyone but Tamra, Kelly snarks about Heather not wanting her around kids. So Vicki again beseeches Kelly to talk to Heather. Am I defending Vicki? Tamra’s Jesus – save me from myself!

Look – I don’t think Vicki outright lied to Kelly, or wanted to cause trouble, but I think this is a consistent problem both Vicki and Tamra have. They want to be everything to everyone, and in the middle of everything! Tamra to shit-stir, and Vicki because she’s obsessed with being validated. 

Yes, Vicki extrapolated from Tamra‘s comments, but the sentiment seemed correct. Vicki was offering up a fair warning to Kelly that this is essentially the last chance she’s ever gonna get with Heather, so get it together! Vicki never said Heather doesn’t want Kelly around her kids – she just said Heather has [valid] concerns based on KELLY’s previous ERATIC BEHAVIOR and she doesn’t want THAT around her kids. Vicki encouraged Kelly to explain civilly to Heather that she’s “not like that” and try to work things out. At least that’s my perception. Vicki didn’t seem duplicitous or scheming – however Tamra is gonna make it look that way to cover her own toned ass.

Kelly is affronted because, as she tells us over and over again, she’s a good mom! Maybe Kelly is the type of stellar mom who would never make a tossed salad joke to her 10-year-old, or demand she chug cough syrup straight from the bottle to endure bullying at Catholic school so she doesn’t turn into an entitled brat like her mother – I don’t know, but as Vicki pointed out, Heather doesn’t ‘know’ Kelly, but based on what Heather’s seen she doesn’t want to know more (does anyone?). 

Taking it as a sign that Kelly will handle The Heather, Vicki and Tamra baptize her by drunkenly tossing her into the pool. Karma Kelly yanks Vicki in, then Tamra, but it’s all silly fun. Meghan arrives, after an arduous trek driving her SUV on the sidewalk, through swimming pools and cabanas, because she entered “walking directions” into GoogleMaps. But Meghan was justified with purpose to investigate how Vicki knows Merv Griffin well enough that he loaned her his estate.  

Meghan shows off her baby bump

Vicki is in happy spirits and is thrilled to see Meghan. Even Meghan admits drunk Vicki is fun. Then Meghan shows off the poached egg in her tummy and dubs it a baby bump. She can “feel” her two embryos in there already 5 days after implantation. Tamra is dubious – but she’s never experienced immaculate conception, so what does she know? 

Back in OC, Heather wears virginal white to receive the sincere and heartfelt apologizes she imagines Kelly will be bestowing on her. Kelly covers her devil horns with an atrocious hat, and seems to believe she’s done enough by abstaining from alcohol at the meeting.

Heather expects Kelly to apologie

Heather looks at Kelly expectantly until Tamra breaks the silence, then Kelly launches into a diatribe about how Heather did her wrong by rejecting her and then refusing to accept her apology. But the worst is that Vicki told Kelly – IN FRONT OF EVERYONE – how Heather doesn’t trust Kelly around her children. Heather denies saying that – segue to footage of her saying that – and then Kelly bursts into tears, because as you know, she’s a great mom, a good person who throws her buddy Vicki under the bus in a heartbeat, but her feelings were hurt, and also someone forced her to drink too much, but she’ll never do it again. Honest. 

Kelly yells at Heather again

Tamra is shocked – not over Kelly’s perceived remorse – but because VICKI repeated exaggerated gossip, and now she’s caught by Heather! Still, Heather ultimately decides to allow Kelly on the Glamis trip. 

David in Cabo

Over in Cabo, Shannon is jogging down the beach, Bo Derek-style, to flash David her breasts. Maybe she said breath because she was super-winded. Then David flashes us his fuzzy-penis. I pity the poor person who runs the Bravo blur machine. The last frontier left for us to discover of Shannon and David’s marriage appears to be the nether-regions. I’ll just skip that tour, thanks.

Tamra tragic interview look

Also – Tamra debuted this interview look!!! (OH NO NO)

TELL US – DID VICKI LIE OR DID TAMRA? DO YOU BELIEVE KELLY IS REMORSEFUL? SHANNON AND DAVID’S VOW RENEWAL: KISS OF TRUE LOVE OR KISS OF DEATH?

[Photo Credits: Bravo]

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