Real Housewives Of Orange County Season 12 Premiere Recap: Troubled Waters

Washing up on the shores of the California beaches, amid the shells and driftwood, is the rubble of last season’s Real Housewives Of Orange County. Littering the sands with shards of shattered friendships, filthy accusations, and broken down dignities; a bent halo, some empty vodka and champs bottles, and Shannon Beador‘s former self, now soaked and waterlogged by the hours of tears she’s spilled over the terrible lies Vicki Gunvalson told. The fate of the world, and the Orange County coastline — along with the safety and health of Briana’s children – all rests in Vicki’s handbag! Thankfully she’s not crazy or anything…

So the taglines: let’s start there. What makes Tamra Judge “highly prized”? Or was she just proud of herself for coming up with a rhyme. Hook’d on Phonics worked for her! Vicki’s tagline informs us that she’s not going home, but what she means is that this show is her home, and you are not going to drop any interloping houses on her head! She clicked her ruby slippers together three times and dragged Briana from the land of tornadoes to get here. 

The show opens, split-screen and comic book style, with a montage of the ladies lives. Kelly Dodd visits Vicki at Coto Insurance dressed like a middle-aged stripper whose schtick is punk rock school girl. Spying Vicki’s elderly secretary’s long purple nails, Kelly wonders how she’s able to wipe her butt? Across town Tamra is playing glam’ma when she’s assaulted by the smell of poop.  And Shannon’s dog is so desperate to escape her he races down a steep hill onto a busy road. Archie and David are sharing a brain!

RELATED – Need A Refresher? A Recap Of All Of Last Season’s Drama!

Shannon blames her weight gain on Vicki-induced Stress and for some reason insurance doesn’t cover that. So Shannon is forced to drink “Crazy Skinny Juice” and complain to her daughters. Stella suggests that Shannon hire Khloe Kardashian‘s Revenge Body trainer. When David doesn’t leap for joy and kiss Shannon’s feet over quinoa, she sulks and whines. David doesn’t love Shannon’s quinoa which means David doesn’t love her! Honestly, quinoa tastes like muck and is like the food equivalent of dealing with Shannon’s needy whining.

Shannon struggles with weight and marriage

Shannon admits that despite the vow renewal things are rocky in Beador paradise. Who would’ve thunk it???? I think it’s because Shannon no longer has that bowl of 9 lemons on her table!

So Shannon, who wants nothing to do with Vicki, like ever again, is giving her enemy full power over her weight! Did Vicki use Jedi Mind Tricks to force Shannon to emotionally eat and drink? Dr. Moon can’t do any like reverse reiki chi treatments to cleanse Shannon’s auras from the evil that lurks inside her freezer and calls itself ice cream, but tastes like the congealed horror of Vicki’s soul? Saton is confusing – he’s so good, yet so bad.

While hating Vicki made Shannon turn closer to processed sugar, Tamra turned closer to Jesus. It might work this time because Tamra is attending bible study hosted by Lydia McLaughlin our old pal Jesus Skipper. Tamra arrives at Lydia’s in her skintight jeans and plunging cleavage to a room full of women wearing sweet sweater sets. We ain’t in Alexis‘ church anymore, Toto!

Lydia catches up with Tamra

At Lydia’s beautiful home, Tamra reveals that she has only been invited to view Heather’s mansion on Instagram, which is actually closer than she is to Vicki’s life. Lydia is shocked – TamRicki were so close! How could Vicki rain on the fun parade by claiming Eddie is gay?! Lydia, our manic pixie rainbow sprite, makes it her mission to CareBear stare TamRicki back together again. Fix it Jesus, right, and if that doesn’t work – how about lunch? Oh Lydia – so sweet, so adult, so normal – she decides to call Vicki and arrange said lunch, although Tamra has to consult her Jesus Crystal Ball before she attends.

Tamra attends bible study with Lydia

The Bible study topic is being abandoned by God. Tamra has plenty of experience with that – one experience is named Kelly, and Tamra has been praying for her. Somehow I don’t think Kelly wants that consolation prize! What Tamra is really praying for, however, is a resolution with her daughter Sidney. We know that has since happened, so to quote Lydia, “Yay!” And after the successful bible study, Tamra excitedly realizes that Lydia is the first adult friend she’s ever had!

But seriously, who else was hoping Alexis Bellino would burst through the door of this prayer circle shouting, “I’m Jesus Barbie – ME!”

On the topic of expanding, Coto Insurance is doing just that! Vicki is moving into a b


igger, better office which will no longer face the empty CUT Fitness parking lot and the empty, starving eyes of Tamra’s fitness competition abs. Kelly and Vick do what they do best – trash talking and taking zero accountability. I kinda love it though – delusion can be entertaining.

Last season Vicki was supportive of Tamra’s body renewal by Jesus, but this season she is disgusted by the “testosterone psycho” who spat in her face in Ireland. Kelly declares that Tamra and Shannon owe Vicki an apology. Screw apologies – Vindication is Vicktim’s, because Shannon and Tamra without Heather Dubrow are Shannon and Tamra The Wicked Stepsisters! “They’re not the popular girls, we’re the popular girls” crows Vicki, trying to live out her high school fantasies. Were they reading from a script left over from one of Heather’s failed acting projects titled Heathers 2: The High School Haters Return?

And finally Meghan King Edmonds all is right and well in the land of Dad Jeans. “A lot has happened in the last few months: I’ve gotten a puppy… and had a baby!” announces Meghan gleefully. Meghan gushes that Aspen is a beautiful baby – a which is a blessing because Jimmy is not a beautiful baby although he frequently does act like one, and Meghan loves spending all her time dressing her “little dolly” up and teaching her daughter the important lessons in life: “Beauty is pain,” so squeeze on those baby moccasins and look Instagram cute! Speaking of looking cute – “THANK GOD” – Meghan lost the baby weight like immediately. Somewhere I think Shannon is shoving a voodoo doll of Meghan’s chopstick body full of pins…

Meghan and Baby Aspen

So, with all her priorities firmly in tact, Meghan has found her happy and is ready to take lots of naps – then take on the awful harridans of the RHOC. I could see her and Lydia making a good team.

In more Vicki news, she and Steve Lodge are still going strong. He comes over for dinner and Vicki is actually wearing a cute (flattering) shirt for once. Then she marks her territory by spilling salsa all over Steve! 

Steve, is a normal man who does not fake terminal illness and or compile spreadsheets of cheesy Hallmark card quotes. In fact, even Briana likes him! Vicki admits that in the past she has “made some wrong decisions when it came for love” like marrying her first husband for his nice car and great ass. Or dating a “bad boy.” Oh is that what we’re calling cancer defrauders this day? Is Vicki dating Steve because the ex-detective is her get out jail free card? Unfortunately for all the amazing things Steve is, Vicki admits she still misses Brooks, and his untrustworthy ass. Vicki needs Celebrity Rehab.

Vicki is Briana's

Briana even wants Vicki to marry Steve so she’ll leave Briana alone and have someone to take care of her in her old age. Vicki thinks she may want to, but polygamy is illegal and she’s currently Briana’s “OC husband” while Ryan is still living in another state?!

Over at Kelly’s, her mom spends so much time around Kelly and Michael she’s taken a vow of celibacy. Kelly on the other hand is doing a little “required maintenance” on her vagina with some rejuvenation in the hopes it will make her love Michael again. It won’t. It’s still the same vagina, honey, and he’s still the same man!

At CUT Fitness, Tamra is working out alone while wearing her personal mantra on a t-shirt: “One blessed hot mess.”  Eddie comes over to check on her squats, and Phew! Eddie still isn’t gay! He’s also not a fan of Tamra reconnecting with Vicki – even under Lydia’s guidance. Tamra is tired of Eddie running the show at CUT Fitness. She wants to make some major decor changes. See, proof Eddie isn’t gay – no gay man would like a mural that ugly!

Spending her days wrangling unruly children has prepared Lydia for reunifying TamRicki. Lydia likes her kids a lot better when she’s not with them. She pines all day to see them, but the second she walks in the door is ready to escape again. Why do I feel like that’s also a metaphor for her feelings about RHOC?


Lydia not only has three kids, but her mom Judy is legally able to smoke pot and her consumption has gone “next level” so bye-bye babysitter! Although Lydia like totes fairy sparkle loves her kids, they totally harsh her flow, and teaching her middle child, Maverick aged 5, to ride a bike has tested her patience. Maybe God abandoned her? Luckily, McLaughlins don’t give up, so if you fall off the bike, you don’t decide to ride a Cadillac golf cart everywhere you go instead, you get back on and pedal off into the sunset (and get a Lego). In other Lydia-land developments, they’ve moved to Newport to a family-friendly community, and renewed their vows on the beach. Lydia + Doug Forever!

Not all parenthood sucks – sometimes there is shopping instead of superheros and farts! (but if you want to avoid the potty humor, leave Tamra at home). Tamra and her niece meet Shannon and Sophie to find formal dresses. Shannon vetoes everything Sophie tries on as too revealing, then plops down onto a chair like Miss Muppet to complain to about how much she hates dieting and exercising. It’s not fair – can’t she just belt a crystal to her stomach or make Vicki spontaneously combust? To motivate her weight loss Shannon refuses to buy “fat clothes,” and instead purchases skinny clothes for the size she plans to be again. I’m not sure reverse Feng Shui of the wardrobe works, but maybe Shannon plans to fill her fridge and pantry with said ‘goal wardrobe’ to stop her from eating junk?

RELATED – Tamra and Vicki STILL Not Friends?!

Tamra knows what’s really wrong, though, – Shannon’s weight gain isn’t because of Vicki, it’s because “she’s still hurting because of the affair.” I agree – Shannon projects everything she can’t say to or feel about David to avoid upsetting their fragile balance onto Vicki, then internalizes it. When did Tamra become a guru? She’s praying for people, reading their souls, blah, blah, blah… didn’t she get the memo that Lydia is the “friendship whisperer”?


Speaking of… Lydia meets Vicki for a drink with plans to sprinkle a little stardust into her bleu cheese martini and magically make Vicki love Tamra again. They’re soul-sistas! It was obviously meant to be because Lydia and Vicki meet at the hotel where Tamra got baptized (and Vicki compared herself to Jesus, or was it Satan? Who is confusing…).

Vicki immediately bursts Lydia’s bubble by saying she no longer loves Tamra after Tamra called her a “con woman” among other truisms hurtful. Vicki insists she’s being bullied by Tamra and Shannon, and demands an apology. Suddenly Lydia realizes she has bitten off more than she can chew and starts worrying that her healing happiness potion can’t cure what ails TamRicki. McLaughlins never quit, though so… Maybe Lydia should start selling a juice that makes people happy. I bet Vicki has a contact!


[Main Photo Credit: Photo by: Tommy Garcia/Bravo, All Other Photo Credits: Bravo]