Real Housewives of Orange County recap

Real Housewives Of Orange County Recap: Highway To Hell

Despite appearances, nobody actually “won” on last night’s episode of Real Housewives Of Orange County. Everybody lost – even Meghan Edmonds.

Kelly Dodd‘s motto is, “If you’re not first, you’re last.” Well, there ya go. Poor Meghan only lost by association. I cannot believe four so-called adult women were behaving so Jerry Springer and then jumping through hoops trying to deny, deflect, and justify their actions. It was nonstop sifting through everyone lying while pointing fingers at other people’s lies. Yep, I’m looking at you Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador, and ESPECIALLY Vicki Gunvalson!



This week continued on the airport shuttle that I am pretty sure was hurtling straight to hell and not looking back. Jesus ain’t want none y’all – I don’t care what Tamra’s sweet trainer says! Mia was not on that bus, and if Mia wants to see the True Tamra™, she ought to get off the ab roller and take a ride on the RHOC express. Allow me to provide a virtual tour.

Heather Dubrow is not without scathing criticism, either. Frankly, she was a mess with her cackling meanness towards Kelly. To define TRASH: You lay down in the dumpster, honey, you ain’t waking up in pristine Chateau Dubrow.

Heather‘s constant scolding and sanctimonious lecturing has got to go. I don’t care that she possesses the ultimate Housewife must-have, a Chanel flask, that still doesn’t make her the judge and jury. The way she whispered horrible things in Meghan‘s ear after telling Kelly to “sit down and shut up” was deplorable. Should we feel bad for the Dubrow spawn? Oh, that’s a distasteful comment, isn’t it? Kelly may be annoying, but she didn’t deserve this. I don’t care how much Shannon and Tamra cry victim, they get no tissues from me. The three of them conspired to get Kelly drunk so she’d freak out.

Vicki, Vicki, Vicki. As always, where to begin? Firstly, being exposed as a shit-talker was her karma for abandoning Kelly to the she-wolves. Vicki should get it that she was never truly ‘back in the good graces’ of these women (have they graces?). They were just waiting for the slightest provocation to turn on her. And Kelly “Dirty Bombs” Dodd gave it to them. Never trust that girl with a secret!

Obviously, never trust Vicki, either. Tamra said it best when she described how Vicki came to know ‘dirt’ on Shannon – when THE AFFAIR happened, Shannon “leaned” on Vicki as a confidante, but Vicki, resentful at Shannon, is now trying to use that in bad faith. Blackmailing does not a friendship make (no matter how much tequila you consume). Although blackmailing a friendship is kinda the only way to survive on RHOC. Sadly.

Secondly, although Vicki shouldn’t have trashed Shannon and Tamra‘s marriages to Kelly, they certainly have trashed Vicki, as well. They were warning Kelly not to trust Vicki or be her friend. I call this one a draw. Vicki is delusional and self-absorbed, but that’s the Housewives game.

Where Vicki is most guilty is, faking out her ally. Kelly was in the trenches with her, but when it was time to return the favor, Vicki strapped on the enemy uniform and hoped she’d blend in with their troops.

Moving on, and not to get all technicality, but when it comes to what Vicki told Kelly about David – well, she didn’t lie, per se. There are POLICE REPORTS which have been published in tabloids that substantiate it. David was arrested (and pleaded guilty) for a domestic assault. Was he “beating the shit” out of Shannon – that may have been an exaggeration (I hope!). Was Shannon’s freaking out warranted? Absolutely. But for her to call Vicki a bold-faced liar? She’s been to enough reunions to know Vicki and Kelly are bringing those reports!

I do think Vicki talked trash about Kelly to the other women, because well, Vicki talks trash about everyone. Vicki is like the Garabage Pile from Fraggle Rock. She seems like the sweet-natured Housewives oracle, but underneath it’s all rotten apple cores and old diapers.

Tamra and Vicki are done?

As for Tamra, Jesus’ home girl deliberately lied and twisted Kelly‘s words as a reason to turn on Vicki. When Vicki was backstabbing Kelly, Tamra believed every word as truth; when the tables were turned, Vicki is a liar. Also how many people is Tamra gonna get physical with? She’s thrown wine at Jeana, yanked a chair from under Alexis, pushed/hit Kelly, and now grabbed Vicki’s face and screamed “F–K YOU!”

Tamra says alcohol turns her into the devil. This is the excuse by way of apology that she provides Kelly for why she did all those things. Yet Tamra gets mad at Vicki for excusing everyone’s behavior by blaming alcohol.

During bus-splosion, Meghan notices, from her birds-eye view, that Heather has been manipulating everyone, and poking at Kelly by saying super hurtful and hateful things, yet acting impervious. At the airport, Heather directs Shannon and Tamra to pretend Kelly doesn’t exist. Her two little sycophants fall right in line.

Kelly describes Heather as a puppetmaster

I’m surprised America accepted the RHOC back into the country, but alas… Kelly tells Michael all about what happened with Heather, “the puppet.” Michael is more concerned about guacamole, but Kelly believes he’s being supportive.

Rightfully, she is livid that Vicki abandoned her, but Michael encourages Kelly to rebuild alliances with Vicki because she’s the least guilty. (Or not.)

Vicki doesn't get what she did wrong

Back home, Vicki talks in circles to Briana about what happened all while wearing a “Peace Love” shirt. Vicki has no idea why the women are so mad, and is shocked everything fell apart after such a good trip. OK, here lies Vicki’s issues – VICKI had a good trip because she got along with the women (until the end) and Whooped It Up! all over Ireland.

That nobody else had a good trip is irrelevant. Vicki will just gloss over the bad stuff, sweep it right under the shag carpet of her mind, and focus on the Vicki moments. Briana tries to gently explain how Vicki’s perception and Vicki’s feelings are not the only ones that matter. Vicki justifying her salacious comments about Eddie that she Kelly’d out of anger by lashing out is no excuse. Vicki just doesn’t get it. Briana knows Vicki never will. People need an insurance policy to protect them from Vicki’s harm. She’s a liability.

Meanwhile, Tamra is done with Vicki and all about EXERCISE. Tamra’s fitness competition is finally here and everyone is acting as if this is the second coming. I don’t want to take away from Tamra’s accomplishments, and yes, she’s been working hard, but really, it’s working out. That doesn’t compare, to say, building a 22,000 square-foot mansion from scratch and agonizing over pizza ovens.

Yes, Tamra, you accomplished fitness. Congrats. I’m being sarcastic because the women were seriously behaving as if this milestone were akin to climbing Everest, or finding Jesus. Oh wait… Tamra already accomplished the latter. HAHAHAHAHA. If Heather and Shannon try to sell me on this ‘Truly Transformed Tamra’ narrative one more time, I’m gonna go Incredible SheHulk on my TV.

Shannon will never speak to Vicki again

Back to the drama – Tamra meets with Shannon, who declares she is never, ever, ever getting back together with Vicki after her latest bout of lie-fluenza. In fact, if Shannon sees Kelly or Vicki, she’s not even looking at them.

Shannon does realize this is the reason Kelly will be back next season, right? And Vicki is an eternal. This ‘me or them game’ ain’t working. Shannon is mad that Vicki and Kelly are calling her bluff on this happy marriage mess. Also, Shannon needs to stop shopping at the Kyle By Kaftans Forever Superstore, where all your mumu dreams go to die come to life.

Meanwhile, Kelly reaches out to Meghan, who is like, ‘Oh girl – I love you, but you let them win when you called Shannon Billy Goat Gruff! Even though they were horrible to you.’

I cannot believe this, but Meghan has grown on me. She’s boring TV, but she’s a strangely sane voice of reason and she’s not fake. Meghan tells Kelly she’s in the wrong for always going to the lowest point when pressed, because she lets these women get under her skin too easily. She also calls out the other women for ruthlessly ganging up on Kelly and Vicki for being complicit.

Here’s what’s interesting about Meghan – once she got a ‘taste of Heather‘ in the aftermath of Glammis, she now sees right through her. Meghan suddenly gets how Heather deals: Heather likes a plan, and her plan is to select a target and systematically but subtly maneuver to center the negativity around said target. She did it with Alexis, Gretchen (deserved), Shannon, Vicki last season (I now believe Heather is the person who started Meghan questioning Brooks cancer – again deserved), and this season Kelly (and even Meghan to a degree). Everyone who emerges from the receiving end of Heather’s wrath immediately cow-tows and joins ranks. Tamra is Heather’s ally because Tamra will always be the muscle.

I like Heather – I think she’s good TV and a much-needed dose of upscale (I can’t call it class!), but the jig is up. The spotlight has been shown on her machinations. And Meghan is like, fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice…in realizing that Heather is all facade that doesn’t withstand the elements.

Meghan also tells Kelly she’s seen some positive changes – she’s been broken down by these girls and now she’s rebuilding. I mean, maybe. Maybe Meghan was high on taco Tuesday seasoning?

Mia brings Tamra some bikinis, and insists she forgive Vicki again. And again. And again. Maybe Mia realizes that when it comes to the lesser of two evils, there is none?

Later, when Vicki calls to offer an ‘I’m sorry our trip ended so badly’ non-pology, Tamra pretends to take Mia’s advice. That phone call! Vicki is too ridiculous. She doesn’t even try to have an earnest discussion with Tamra, who happens to be prancing around the backyard in lucite heels from the Danielle Staub Collection for Bravo. Vicki is just like, ‘So that was a great trip. Glad we did it. So, are we still on for the fitness thing? Do you think Shannon will care if I bring Frito-Pie to the after party? I’m still invited, right?’

Was Vicki blackout drunk in Ireland?

Continuing on her campaign to rebuild, Kelly reaches out to Vicki. Did anyone else spend ¾ of that scene thinking Kelly wasn’t wearing a shirt and she just didn’t realize her denim thing was unzipped? Vicki offers no viable explanation for why she didn’t defend Kelly, then makes the conversation all about herself.

Kelly confronts vicki

Apparently, Vicki was trying to stay on no one’s side because she wanted to have her Irish publican and drink her Bailey’s too. Friendships are not like the fence around the cow pasture – you can’t straddle ’em. If Tamra, Heather, and Shannon were truly Vicki’s friends, they’d get why she had to defend Kelly during their argument, even if they weren’t happy about it. Except deep down Vicki knows they’re not her friends and never will be, which is why she’s afraid to make waves.

Vicki did apologize to Kelly, but it was an ‘I’m sorry you feel I didn’t defend you’ apology. NO, Kelly doesn’t just FEEL that way – YOU DIDN’T defend her! In confessional, Vicki admits that if she could, she’d do it differently. Kelly decides to accept, then moves on to Tamra.

Over dinner, Tamra makes as many excuses as Vicki, ‘The alcohol made me shove you… waahhh… I’m a Christian, I’m up here forgiving you for being down there.’ I mean, what the hell? Kelly groveling to Tamra is just as bad. What’s the use? Tamra even has the audacity to lecture Kelly about apologizing to Shannon and Heather. Thankfully, Kelly is like, naahhh, not that desperate. Even she reminds Tamra that she did NOTHING to Heather. Like, ever. Except sully Heather’s pristine universe, I guess.

Tamra and Kelly talk

I don’t understand why Kelly will forgive Tamra. Is it cause Tamra “gets her,” while the other women do not? Probably, because Tamra and Kelly are essentially the same person!

Tamra allows Kelly to come to her fitness competition if she promises not to start drama. Then Tamra calls Shannon to tell her how she threw their friendship under the bus (again!) by admitting Kelly and Vicki, two women Shannon professes to never speak to again, back into her life after vowing that she was done. Tamra blames Mia for this. And Jesus.

On the day of the competition, Tamra gets her butt crack spray tanned in an alley behind a building. I have no greater analogy for the life of Tamra Judge than this. Then she prances around stage in a variety of bikinis while holding a foam surfboard.

Heather makes a grand entrance full of air-kisses and phony hellos – yes, even to Kelly the piece of trash, that if Heather stepped in it, would throw the shoes away rather than clean it off. Shannon refuses to even turn around and acknowledge Kelly or Vicki. They do the right thing in snickering at her.

Tamra fitness competition

Tamra wins, of course, then all the ladies rush the stage in a race to congratulate her. When Kelly and Vicki approach Tamra, Shannon stomps off the stage and refuses to take a group photo.

Sigh – herein lies the problem with Shannon. She claims she’s not going to start drama for Tamra, however, throwing passive aggressive tantrums is just that. Her projection is visceral. I don’t understand her animosity towards Vicki. I agree with not wanting to be friends – Oh, I get that! – but, again, the depths of it seem too deep. As for Shannon’s hatred of Kelly – Shannon set Kelly up TWICE now. Yet, it’s perpetually all Kelly’s fault?

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Shannon, the woman in the mirror is you. If you’re so happy why do you look so miserable, pinched, and sallow? You went in Cinderella, and came out The Wicked Step-Sister.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]