Truth and consequences have come to Real Housewives Of Orange County. Everything unfolded when Shannon Beador decided to take Gina Kirschenheiter to LA for a little fun in the California sun, but nothing can keep the storm clouds away. Not even a designer makeover and many glasses of champagne!
You can take the Rail (zing!) Housewives Of Orange County to LA, but you can’t take the tacky Orange County out of them. Leave it Kelly Dodd to throw a big ol’ fit in a fancy restaurant. But to be fair: Kelly was getting it from all ends, just like she says, except it’s not from 8 guys. But, 6 Housewives pulling a train of gossip about her sex life.
Luckily for Kelly, the next thing pulled is a giant pile of neon colored plastic visors, some waterproof disposable cameras (to protect them from tears or booze, I can’t tell), and an announcement from Shannon: They’re about to literally board the FUN BUS to take a toursist-y tour of LA. On your left folks, is Rihanna’s house; on your right is the Pig & Whistle pub where Braunwyn Windham-Burke will get caught in a lie. And just when Braunwyn thought she was flying under the radar from getting called out as the one who revealed the train tale to Kelly!
It would seem that Braunwyn shares a mutual friend with former Housewife Lizzie Rovsek. So when Braunwyn moved back to OC she contacted Lizzie, and go figure, Tamra Judge found out! According to Tamra, Lizzie tried to destroy her marriage (she did?). And Braunwyn is not allowed to fraternize with the enemy!
The real bad thing though is that Braunwyn also reached out to Gretchen Rossi, and when Tamra asks why, Braunwyn insisted that the Lizzie thing was incidental courtesy of their mutual friend, then lied that Gretchen actually contacted her first. Tamra initially decides to give Braunwyn the benefit of the doubt. Even though she’s still annoyed that she repeated the train story to Kelly after they all agreed to keep it a secret. Why does this bother Tamra? Is it because Braunwyn blew that season’s storyline right up in Tamra’s surgically altered, but not yet Gunvalson’d, face?
I think informing Kelly was the right thing to do. However, Tamra decides this means Braunwyn is a “troublemaker.” So she’s stealing Tamra’s role right out from under her? Watch it Jesus Fugs!
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It doesn’t matter anyway, though, because Emily Simpson has her attorney hat on after all, and is here with the proof! Emily, who is friends with Lizzie, actually has screenshots of Braunwyn texting Gretchen to grab coffee. She also contacted Lizzie about their kids school or something. The text to Lizzie seemed innocent. But, the text to Gretchen proves that after almost two decades of wrangling children, Braunwyn knows all about the importance of doing your homework!
Braunwyn burst into tears when confronted. She backpedals that she accidentally lied, or couldn’t remember, and some other excuses. Then, she flees to the front of the bus. Sheesh – this really is like high school! Braunwyn is playing half Housewife here – she wants to do the dirty work but doesn’t want to have clean up the messes afterwards. And that never works.
For some strange reason, Tamra decides to comfort Braunwyn, who sobs in her lap about not wanting to upset people. Braunwyn believes all is forgotten until Shannon STORMS Beador rears her ugly grey clouds about how Braunwyn’s apology wasn’t genuine. Braunwyn is just afraid of getting in trouble. You see, it’s all her mom’s fault, which we’ll hear about later, but first there are Emily and Gina troubles.
Emily left the trip early because Shane has finally emerged from his cocoon and turned into a moth (never a butterfly). Supposedly this was the day Shane took the Bar exam so Emily is anxious to hear how things went, except Shane is in contempt of marriage and barely acknowledges her. He is evasive and defensive when Emily wonders about the test.
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Here’s my suspicion: Shane never even took it! The results were posted, and he’s not listed as passing the exam in February. I think Shane was hiding out in a hotel doing god knows what – or whom – and trying to escape his marriage. Shane admits as much to the producers when he laughs about not missing Emily while he was gone. He’s the king of sarcasm, right?! WRONG.
Emily is hurt and feels blindsided and confused. Luckily she’s getting her nails done with Gina the following day (while Gina is blowing off court) so at least someone wants to spend time with her!
Meanwhile, on the single-decker bus – asses to ashes, bust to bust (or bus) – the women all speculate about what’s going on with Emily’s marriage. Shannon is sympathetic in the only way Shannon knows how to be – by making it all about herself and what she endured with David’s AFFAIR.
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Gina starts bawling as Shannon cries about how easily she was replaced in David’s affections. Since Gina isn’t ready to reveal Matt’s affair, Shannon promises that they’ll meet, privately, to talk soon. Aka, away from Tamra. What happened to the day supposedly being about fun and how Emily ruined it by crying earlier? Oh, ONLY Shannon is allowed to cry!!
The next day, Gina is supposed to be in court for her DUI. Instead, she’s at the salon, dishing about how Emily’s life is falling apart. Yeah, probably, but it definitely takes one to know one!
Things do not improve with Shane throughout the week and Emily turns to her mother-in-law, Pary, for advice, which admittedly is a little weird. I mean, it’s not like Pary can tell Emily the truth: that she needs to dump Shane, get in therapy, and find her joy again because she can do SO MUCH BETTER.
Instead, Pary tells Emily to go cry in the bathroom then flush her feelings. Uh-oh – there’s a toilet in Emily’s relationship corner! And probably 8 (not nine!) sour lemons in a bowl representing Shane’s attitude. The missing lemon is Emily’s inner happiness and dignity.
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Braunwyn grabs dinner with her mom, the illustrious Dr. Deb of the EGO neckpiece. Over margaritas, Braunwyn has an epiphany about why she lied to Tamra: it’s all the fault of Braunwyn’s chaotic upbringing; feeling like she was always second-fiddle to Deb’s ego and aspirations, and being “shuttled” around from family member to family member, friend to friend. It made Braunwyn put up walls called Child 1, Child 2, Child 3, Child 4,5,6… and it also taught her to always put on a happy face, and avoid upsetting people.
Braunwyn was conditioned to not be a problem, always believing herself to be the interloper – an inconvenience. That must suck. “I just want to be liked,” Braunwyn tearfully admits to Dr. Deb, who shrugs that she taught Braunwyn “Radical Self-reliance.”
Dr. Deb doesn’t feel bad at all about handing her toddler a baby bottle at the Roxy, then letting her fall asleep on the stage, or putting her 4-year-old on a city bus, alone, left to find her own way home with a key worn around her neck. In fact Dr. Deb thinks Braunwyn needs to have some perspective – people are living in refugee camps. Braunwyn just had to live with her doting grandparents while her mother was a medical resident.
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I mean, maybe, but the scars of our childhood don’t make rational sense. And now that she’s finally done having kids, Braunwyn realizes it’s time to finally start parenting herself and become “amazing Braunwyn.” That starts with being open to some real and challenging friendships with people who don’t instantly accept her BS. Oh, she’ll get challenged on Real Housewives, all right. Real challenged!
After all the drama in LA, Braunwyn meets Tamra and Shannon at a hip hop dance class. Of course, they both wear culturally insensitive costumes and just do not get how inappropriate it is. Neither of them trust Braunwyn, but they are curious to see how she’ll spin the lie about connecting with Gretchen and Lizzie. Hopefully by having Lizzie or Gretchen show up at the dance class, but instead Braunwyn is into making friends.
I suspect the producers set those communications up anyway and Braunwyn was shocked by Tamra and Shannon pretending it was all her own doing. I also think Braunwyn should get a pass for lying because she was only lying to Tamra, who lies to EVERYONE – all the time. Even her very real and devoted friend, Shannon!
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Anyway, after a disastrous class of no hip, but lots of hypocrite, Braunwyn opens up about how her childhood issues contributed her to poor coping skills and a lack of knowledge about having an honest relationship. At first, Tamra isn’t letting her off the hook. She pretends she has no idea what it’s like to be caught in a lie. Then, Tamra tries to spin it as a bonding moment where she also opens up about her own stressful childhood.
Poor whittle Tamra, with no coping skills, and Shannon as the first real friend she ever had to call her own. More like Shannon is the only friend who never stops taking Tamra’s shit. This was some Hyp Hop dancing around the truth – as in hyp-o-crite, not hip, Taaaam-ra!
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After drowning in rumors, Kelly meets Dr. Brian Reagan for a reality check. Over 8 carrot soup (not to be confused with the 8 carat diamond ring Kelly hopes Dr. Brian will give her), Kelly opens up about how upsetting the train rumor is. Dr. Brian advises Kelly to make a joke out of it, and dismiss it as the ridiculous lie it is. Dr. Brian is like Kelly’s life coach in how to be an adult. Gina needs him next because duh-duh-duh… Gina missed court, so now there’s a warrant out for her arrest.
Shannon learns the news from an attorney friend of hers who just happened to hear at court. Shannon immediately calls Tamra and together they blame Emily for not representing Gina, or telling her to get to court. Um, is Emily a criminal lawyer? I don’t think so.
Then, Shannon decides she must help Gina. Jesus told her to save, or something. It sounds like what happened is that a Gina hired a crappy attorney, who told her he filed an extension but never followed up to confirm that it was approved – and it wasn’t. So she was under the impression that court was postponed when it actually wasn’t.
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A hysterical Gina sobs to her parents while crouched on the floor of her empty house, so that all her sadness and pitifulness echos around the sharp edges of the Word Art signs from Marshalls proclaiming Happiness Starts Within, and some other BS.
Shannon saves the day by calling Gina with the number of her attorney friend. Um, the last time Shannon got her friends involved to help a Housewife in distress things ended with a cancer scam. But, things go better with Gina. Her new attorney manages to get the warrant recalled just as the sheriff was headed out to arrest Gina and haul her back to the bologna sandwich in a human-sized Tupperware, also known as jail.
Now that Gina is no longer on the lam, she meets Shannon for some furniture shopping. Which would’ve been far more exciting if Gina WAS still on the run, and the officers arrested her in a designer store filled with tacky, depressing items Gina can’t afford anyway.
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But no, instead Gina arrives with hair that resembles Snooki’s Bump-It after a bender. She has a good cry with Shannon about surviving affairs and divorce. Where Shannon was jealous of Gina having the perfect divorce, Gina was jealous of Shannon’s ability to have constant and chronic emotional outbursts about how David put her love tank in the corner and squeezed her heart like a lemon until there was nothing left but seeds, then moved on to someone else seconds after her fake funeral in a conference room of a Marriot hotel in Michigan.
BUT SHANNON IS FINE. SHE HAS SURVIVED! DAVID WILL NOT ABSCOND WITH HER TEARS ANYMORE. SHE IS REPURPOSING THEM FOR CHOPPING ONIONS FOR QVC, BECUSE SHANNON IS SKINNY WHICH EQUALS HAPPY AND HOT and storming through the dating scene. Shannon is FIIIIIIINE. And Gina will be too – right after she finds a hot man. Well it is sweet that they have each other. Let’s hope Tamra doesn’t intervene.
TELL US – SHOULD EMILY LEAVE SHANE? SHOULD BRAUNWYN GET A PASS ON LYING?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]