Reality Tea

Real Housewives Of Orange County Recap: Arctic Char

You can take the Real Housewives Of Orange County out of the OC, but you can’t take the OC out of the girls, right? Lydia McLaughlin tried when she hauled them all the way to Iceland on the other end of the earth but wound up arguing over the same trivial details anyway.

For all her complaining that she’s left out of the fun (what fun? I ask you) Lydia did put together a helluva a trip for these women. I guess she was trying to suck up and make them like her or something. They arrive in the land of eternal daylight of the shit-talking mind, and Tamra Judge worries that exposure to all this sun will add to her wrinkle collection. Like she might soon start looking (and acting!?) her age. Of course, they have plastic surgery for this, but still – the real Tamra is not her best side.

On the bus from the airport Kelly Dodd is the only person who gives a flying figaloon that they are in this beautiful country. As she quizzes the driver about local customs from the no puke zone at the front of the bus, the other women roll their eyes. 

Meghan Edmonds brought her baby and nanny, and on the bus Aspen fusses and is apparently hungry. Meghan just sits there staring straight ahead while the nanny tries desperately to calm the baby down. Meghan didn’t need all the ice in Iceland to freeze her heart! I blame Jimmy Dad Jeans for this. So many years of emotional neglect has left Meghan feeling despondent and alone – something she can commiserate with Lydia over! Or perhaps it was Meghan who rendered Jimmy Dad Jeans without a jazz hand in the world, seeking solace only in his love of candles and cheese. Who knows, but Meghan, girl – that was COLD!

Their first stop in Iceland is shopping, and if nothing puts these ladies in a good mood it’s spending money. It doesn’t matter that they’re shopping for winter parkas and snowpants that turn them into moon explorers. Especially when they realize that $99,000 Krona is less than $1000 dollars. Even Shannon Beador is excited – for once she’ll able to buy everything, because no one else is competition for her size! I mean, good for her for looking at the eternal bright side of Iceland.

While Vicki Gunvalson tries to figure out how zippers work – foreign concepts in foreign lands, y’all! – she and Tamra start laughing. A slight thaw! Their laughter continues all the way to the hotel, which is in the middle of nowhere – literally – and every room is decorated like a different continent. It’s the Epcot Center of Iceland. Only with booze and penguin jerky. Mmmmmm…

Lydia puts herself up in the ‘Golden Girls in the 1980’s stateroom,’ but Shannon finds herself living with Orca furniture – she is happy amongst her killerwhale furniture kin. Actually Shannon is happy to be anywhere that’s not the OC, but everything with David is just ammmmmmaaaaaazing and wonderful and WHAT AFFAIR?! They had a vow renewal so that means nothing could ever possibly go wrong again #CallVickiGunvalson

Tamra is trapped in the Japanese suite, which consists of a giant inverted wooden tissue box holder that serves as a bathtub and a kids-sized chair and table, plus these wooden block shoes that go with a geisha costume. It’s kinda of perfect for Tamra. There, in the wooden bathtub that will inevitably give a girl splinters in her cooch, Vicki and Tamra bond. They reminisce about terrible trips past, and the next thing they know they’re squeezing under the kids table (where they’ll forever belong), popping champagne and remembering why they were friends in the first place. Shannon looks on warily as Peggy Sulahian suggests a toast to friendship. Shannon does not trust La Gunvalson and whatever hidden guns she has under her cashmere poncho.

With everyone bonding, My Little Lydia is feeling all by herself in her normal room; gazing into the forever sun with her Carebear Stare and wondering why no rainbows are appearing on her horizon. Even calling Douggy Delightful does little to pick her up.

At 8pm in the blinding sunlight the ladies meet for dinner on the the hotel horizon. All bundled up in furs and blankets, they sip drinks and we meet the man I am convinced is Vicki’s soulmate: Fridrik. Fridrik is the owner of this astounding hotel, and he serves them such delicacies as fermented shark and puffin (yes, the penguin – not the cereal!) for dinner, then demands they wash it all down with a magical elixir called “Black Death.”

Afterwards the women retire to Lydia’s room for “a nightcap.” It dawned on Lydia that Tamra and Shannon aren’t with them. It turns out that Shannon told them all in a group text that she was staying in to do her oxygen healing lemon enema and holistic hygiene routine, although I’m sure she would have appreciated the natural benefits of fermented fish. Everyone knew this except Lydia because *gasp* SHE’S WAS LEFT OFF THE GROUP TEXT! The horror. The glacial ungodliness. HOW DARE THEY?!

Meghan swiftly adds Lydia to the chain and no one understands why Lydia is acting like someone forced a fermented shark down her throat. But the big deal is that My Little Lydia is tired of being left-out! First the farmhouse dinner – now this. Worst of all the group text was initiated by Tamra, and Tamra is supposed to be Lydia’s Soul Sister in Christ. Now bibles will spontaneously combust throughout the land because Tamra [again] violated one of the commandments. Thou Shall Not Exclude Soul Sisters From Edict Scrolls To The Plebeian Masses. At least I think that’s what Moses said…

Lydia goes to bed sads, but Kelly and Vicki don’t go to bed at all. Why waste all this daylight on sleep – it just means more hours to whoop it up! They corral Fridrik and his DD to take them into town where they are treated to the Icelandic delicacy of fried mozzarella sticks and then they all crash a 1987 high school reunion. It was the most perfect kind of outing for Vicki. Are she and Fridrik not perfect together?!

The next morning a well-rested Tamra saunters into the common area with Shannon and they are both wearing viking hats. Shannon apparently finds this to be so witty and is proud of herself. When Tamra learns of Kelly and Vicki’s wild whoop up, she’s jealous. That +1 role used to be reserved for her. Now she has Shannon – and cheesy costumes.

The first adventure is driving ATV’s across black ice. Actually the first adventure is getting Shannon into her snowsuit. It doesn’t fit. It doesn’t zip! She has to pee but can’t unzip! Why is she a medium when she should be a small but needs a large!

Shannon is also the only one who will trust Tamra with her life after Glamis. Of course Shannon didn’t almost die in Glamis courtesy of her hatred of Vicki, but hey – why let another opportunity pass her by?! As they traverse the amazing terrain, all the women think about is being cold. Even the barren (and f–king amazing!) bones of a dead Killer Whale doesn’t put things into perspective. They all cluster around the skeleton, staring despondently, wondering why Iceland would transport the body of Shamuu all the way out here, then just leave it sitting there to decompose. They don’t understand art. But they do want some lunch. Lydia is disappointed and feels like the dejected bones of a former Seaworld attraction.

At the restaurant, while Lydia is in the restroom, Shannon whispers to Tamra that Lydia is upset about being excluded from the group text so perhaps Tamra should mention that it was an accidental oversight due to jet lag or something. Lydia returns to the table in the middle of this lecture, and attitudes are high as the altitude! Lydia argues that it wasn’t being left off the text, it’s that her feelings are hurt but Tamra doesn’t care. Tamra doesn’t get it – Lydia should get it over it.

I certainly don’t care, but Lydia does. So much that she throws menus at Shannon and Tamra, then storms away from the table to cry in the bathroom. Peggy goes to check on her, but she takes so long even Vicki realizes something’s wrong. Vicki has put on her ‘being good’ blinders on now that the women like her again. It’s a familiar feeling Kelly should recognize from last year’s trip to Ireland.  It was there that everyone started thawing towards Vicki, and when Kelly found herself in their crosshairs, Vicki didn’t defend her friend for fear of being ostracized again. Well, look how that turned out?!

Shannon bristles that she would never overreact to something so small and trivial. Cue to flashbacks of Shannon’s entire life, including the time she nearly came to blows with Heather Dubrow over a chair.

When Lydia finally returns to the table, the awkwardness is so palpable even the appearance of Meghan’s baby from somewhere on the frozen tundra can’t boost spirits. Poor Aspen’s nanny! Lydia and the ladies decide to hike to a nearby waterfall while Meghan nurses and Vicki provides Lydia with some advice on the whole Shamra debacle.

Although Lydia was in the right to be mad about Tamra’s callousness, throwing the menus is gonna blow up into a ‘gate’ and we’ll be hearing about how Lydia is unhinged until they all turned into that Killer Whale sculpture by the beach. Vicki advises Lydia to cut this off at the head with a swift apology for her over-reaction. And knock me over with a paper menu – was that some salient, solid GOOD ADVICE from Vicki Gunvalson?! I have the vapors. And Lydia is having a psychotic break!

Lydia does try to apologize, but Shannon and Tamra flood her with their defensive rebuttals about how it was so an accident to exclude her and it’s not fair that Lydia is mad. You know, the usual gracious Tamra behavior! Still Lydia tried and so the ladies go hike up a glacier where Shannon complains all the way up and Shannon complains all the way down. Even though Meghan is the one who has to pee in the sinkhole of a crevice.

I honestly don’ know how anyone puts up with Shannon. It’s like dealing with your cantankerous grandmother. The inshanity never stops. I mean, Meghan’s infant is less high maintenance. Ergo maybe Shannon needs a nanny? A Shanny!

All the way up the glacier, she huffs and puffs and whines that she’s too out of shape, frets she’ll fall, then almost fell and needs help, her shoelace got caught on her shoe and at one point Tamra literally RUNS to escape her. Then all the way down its the same refrain – like The Song That Never Ends… Shannon try being H-A-P-P-Y for once. She should go hang out with Lydia’s mom.

By the time they’re on the bus back to the hotel, Vicki’s night of whopping it up has caught up with her. And the high altitude is making her woozy. Plus, now, Vicki apparently has a heart condition?

At the hotel Vicki starts feeling faint and vomits while soap opera doctors Peggy and Kelly worry about that to do. Apparently Peggy is the official trip caretaker – unless thy name is Shannon, then she’s out (wisely!).

Peggy worries that Vicki is having heart palpitations and possibly a heart attack, and tells Kelly to call for help. The Icelandic paramedics arrive and hearing sirens immediately Meghan is on the case. Barging into the room to sniff out this health drama and medical detective all over Vicki’s chart. Is Vicki faking a heart attack for casseroles?! Will Meghan manage to procure a copy of the medical records and learn that Vicki suffered only from Fermented Shark Indigestion. Or perhaps it was the Black Death that poisoned her…Will Vicki miraculously recover in time for dinner?!

But seriously – why was Meghan involved?! She is such a busy-body, but overall, so far this is a fun trip and everyone is getting along. So sad that we all know it won’t last!

TELL US – WILL EVERYONE MAKE IT OUT OF ICELAND ALIVE? WOULD YOU TRAVEL WITH SHANNON? WILL VICKI AND TAMRA BECOME FRIENDS AGAIN?

[Photo Credits: Bravo]