Real Housewives of OC Recap: Dinner Party from Hell, Orange County Style (Less Clairvoyance, More Tears)

Sunday night’s Real Housewives of the O.C. focused on Peggy and Micah’s dinner party and w(h)ine pairings. Tamra and Vicki added a new “mean girl” to their clique in the form of Donn, Gretchen dodged digs aimed at an absent Slade, Alexis spent the evening crying (and lying!), while Peggy sat back and wondered why her dinner party was so full of drama. (Peggy, here’s a hint– check out your guest list).

The episode begins with delicious looking food preparation. Oh look! It’s Mary Sue Milliken of this season’s Top Chef Masters! Subtle, Bravo. Peggy Tanous and her husband Micah are diligently watching over the people who are actually setting up and decorating for their dinner party. The two spend a lot of time name-dropping high end clothing, watches, and cars while getting ready together.

Slade Smiley’s child support woes have just become headlines in the O.C. (I had to remind myself that it was filmed several months ago), and Gretchen has given up her usual grating laugh for near tears as she explains the “real story” to her hairdresser. Not surprisingly we discover that Slade won’t be attending the dinner because he’ll be at home painting naked spending time with his children.


Tamra finally introduces her new beau Eddie to BFF Vicki and her husband Donn. There is some Slade-bashing and shots , and Tamra points out the ways in which Eddie is better than Simon…in front of Eddie, which I assume has to be a bit weird. Vicki arrives and there are plenty of awkward stares and silences until it’s time to pile into the limo to head to Peggy’s house. On a sidenote, my friend pointed out that Tamra needed to take a page from the Coco Chanel handbook and take off one (or six) pieces of jewelry. I couldn’t agree more.

Gretchen arrives to the dinner party with her friend Jack. Describing the party, she gets confused with the use of “eloquently” and “elegantly” but decides that the latter isn’t really a word. She marvels at Peggy’s two new pairs (boobs and diamonds), and states that for a post-surgery gift of huge diamond earrings, she’d “get her nonnies filled with gravy too.” Silly Gretchen…Slade can’t afford diamond earrings right now.

Alexis arrives sans Jimbo with her assistant Dylan. Why does she need an assistant in addition to her nannies and seamstress? I’m not judging, just curious. Of course she is wearing Alexis Couture. After becoming bored of making fun of Slade, Tamra and Vicki set their sights on Jim (“Does he work? Does he work? Does he work?”) Bellino. As their limo arrives (ridiculously late) to the party, the ever classy Tamra reminds Vicki of how important it is to demurely exit the car so as not to “show the beef.” Maybe she can help the Countess on her next etiquette book. Upon seeing the ladies, Gretchen prepares herself for the “hackling”–she is having a bit of an issue with the English language this evening.

Peggy introduces a singer in town from Philly to entertain the group, and the poor woman barely has a chance to turn on her microphone before Eddie and Tamra are making out right in front of her. Gretchen and her friend joke that Eddie must be a male escort, and Tamra overhears. Donn bursts into laughter when Gretchen mentions that Slade is spending the weekend with his children. To say it’s all downhill from this point would be a slight understatement.

Alexis becomes really, really (overly?) upset with the fact that her husband isn’t present and must leave the table to compose herself. The group turns to teasing her assistant (to his face) with Micah asking him if he’s Jim’s stunt double. Assistant Dylan is not amused. Gretchen goes to comfort Alexis which allows the ladies (and Donn) more opportunities to bash Slade. There seems to be a pattern forming. Donn is really channeling his inner Lohan when he mistakenly brings up something from the (very distant) past. Vicki is reminded that while she wanted kids with Donn, Donn did not. Donn admits he would have done things differently but Vicki won’t let it go. Eddie just keeps smiling uncomfortably, but it appears that working at daddy’s law firm has been advantageous. He is quite the good mediator between the Gunvalsons.

We learn that Jim isn’t there because he doesn’t want to film with the ladies and not because he’s a.) out of town; or b) at a last minute client dinner, which were the two reasons Alexis originally gave. Alexis returns to the table only to leave again after explaining how hard it is to have dinner without her husband present. Gretchen and Dylan follow to help her “powder up” and Vicki kindly gives the table a cosmetology lesson on how it only takes one person to operate a compact. Gretchen gives Alexis a pep talk in the bathroom, and in true middle school fashion, Tamra feels the need to listen outside the door. Ridiculous…almost as ridiculous as the flat screen television over the sink in the Tanous’ half bath.

Everyone returns to the table for the main course, and Alexis tries to explain to Peggy why she is so upset. Peggy is more concerned about how Alexis’ meltdown has hijacked her dinner party. While hashing out their differences, Peggy comments that Alexis barely makes time for their friendship. Alexis reveals that between juggling her husband, kids, and working out (??) she has little time left in her day. Cue the singer, and Alexis’ mood turns from Debbie Downer to pole dancer. While I don’t often like to agree with Tamra, she is right on the mark when she says that Alexis went from crying over her absent husband to drunken sorority sisters with Gretchen in record time. On that cue, Tamra, Vicki, Donn, and Eddie head home, while a befuddled Peggy is stuck with a dance party on her back patio.

Next week, Jim returns to control watch Alexis‘ photoshoot, Lynne tries to get the skinny on Tamra and Fernanda’s kiss, and Vicki is in tears over…well, something to be determined.

As you know, history was happening at about the same time WWHL began, with breaking news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. One of Andy’s scheduled guests, newsman Willie Geist, had to exit the clubhouse to cover the story, leaving Alexis Bellino as the lone guest. She apparently borrowed Gretchen’s dinner party lipstick for her appearance. Alexis remains rather diplomatic about her castmates and even pokes fun at herself for her crying jag at the dinner party. She dishes on her dress line and Andy shows her a clip from the other Alexis Couture website. Alexis wins a porn dvd from said site by answering general trivia questions during game time.

In a “didn’t see that coming” moment, Alexis reveals that her best frenemy Peggy used to date Jimbo before she did. I can’t wait to hear Andy bring that one up at the reunion. Lastly, poll results are in, and it’s a tie between Tamra and Alexis as to who viewers would want to leave off their dinner party guest lists…although without those two, you’re in for a pretty boring night.