It’s mommy issues galore on Real Housewives Of Orange County! Can’t nobody raise a child right?!
Let’s start with Gina Kirschenheiter, who must Uber to the birthday party Emily Simpson is throwing for Annabelle. Then Gina gets there so late the Happy Birthday has already been sung. I thought Gina was actually bringing a used car seat as a gift until she revealed that she’s officially unable to drive until her DUI is resolved, and is actually Ubering everywhere.
As the party wraps up, after Gina treats herself to tiger face paint, she and Emily get to talking about… Gina. Which is all they ever talk about! This time Gina is panicked over how close she came to being arrested in her home in front of her children, and how scaring that would be. Emily likens it to the time she had to be taken away in an ambulance. Which pisses Gina off.
Getting arrested and getting medical attention so not the same thing. I actually get where Emily was coming from, though: little kids don’t understand the difference and it’s super scary to see a parent escorted away somewhere unknown by strangers. I also imagine Emily might be fed up with constantly being Gina’s emotional support and therapist, while her own marriage is falling apart and she’s being ousted from her friend group. It’s evident in Emily’s overreaction when Gina jokes (but not really) that Shannon Beador is her best friend now because she’s paying for Gina’s attorney.
Kelly Dodd has found herself in the Clark Griswold conundrum. Sure, we want our families around, but not dumping their human excrement in the gutter outside our house! So what does the put upon relative do when they can’t stop saying yes even though they really, really want you to get out? Apparently, they end up in a huge argument with their mother, attempt to stash her in an old folks home (oh wait, that’s Tamra Judge) then allegedly throw mama from a staircase.
Remember Kelly’s first season when her brother, Eric, and her mother, Bobbi, were living with Kelly and they seemed like one big happy family? Well, it turns out Kelly didn’t actually want them there – especially not for over a year. Instead of trying to have a conversation about how to rent an apartment, Kelly Kelly’d them and would up saying all this hateful, hurtful stuff out of anger. As a result, Kelly’s mom has spoken to her in 2 years!
Luckily Shannon is on the case! Shannon felt a tingling in frenum quadrant of her tongue and decided to suck on a raw hemimorphite crystal for clarity and guidance, then it came to her as if in a dream: after all the hours she spent in divorce mediation with David (twitch, twitch) Shannon is now an expert on relationship issues. Plus Dr. Moon said her latest acupuncture scan showed her Earth center was no longer orbiting an empty heart, and so Shannon’s Fire quadrant was at an ember, probably also helped by consuming only QVC frozen foods and Emercen-C
laced with tequila.
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The 11 Bitters have been washed out by the 12 sweets. Which means that Shannon is the all-knowing Oz of Real Housewives Of Orange County. Can anyone tell that I have literally no idea what I am even talking about?
Inspired after mending fences with Gina, and feeling the weight of carrying around a grudge against Vicki Gunvalson FLY OFF (thanks to cream cheese-stuffed salmon – it’s on sale, buy it today!), Shannon decides to invite all the ladies on a healing retreat in Arizona. Even Kelly. Even Vicki. Which means they will need to find away to get along.
Shannon wants all the negativity suffocated in a tortilla chip bag and smashed with a bowl of 9 lemons and decides both women need to get over themselves! “Vicki and wellness,” Kelly snaps. “That’s like oil and water. They do not mix.” Well, Vicki did try to sell cancer-curing juice!
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First, Shannon approaches Kelly as they’re taking a walk. Kelly is wearing something that had to come from a mythical Lisa Vanderpump Aerobics (you know LVP still uses that word) collection, which you also know would include leotards with pussy bows, rose pink leggings pants with rhinestone-studded pockets, and harem pants with ruffled cuffs. Also probably some sort of breathable satin. Plus a gym bag with a pocket for a collapsable wine glass.
Anyway, Kelly has on a maroon top with puffed sleeves and matching pants. It also matches her lipstick. Monochromatic to say the least, which coincides with Kelly’s unyielding attitude towards Gina and Vicki.
After their day in LA, Kelly is pissed that Gina had the audacity to lecture her. Shannon fills Kelly in on how the sheriffs department was out prowling the streets of Coto, waiting to nab Gina as she exited a Michael Stars boutique, and haul her off to jail for a weekend of baloney sandwiches and hair dying in the toilet when Shannon’s attorney friend intervened.
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Saving Gina’s butt made Shannon, The Savior, all the more forging because now she has this little thing called “leverage.” She suggests Kelly get some too. Shannon also suggests Kelly treat Vicki as that annoying person in the office she has to deal with, but never has to actually be friends with. Kelly isn’t convinced.
Maybe a dinner date with Braunwyn Windham-Burke‘s mother Dr. Deb will convince Kelly? More on that later!
Next Shanon must tackle Vicki. One day while visiting Tamra to discus the Arizona trip, they decide to call Vicki and invite themselves over, also demanding snacks. Tamra doesn’t think there’s any hope in convincing Vicki that she’s an active part of the problem, but she’s here for the entertainment and free food. Especially because outside of Eddie’s range she can eat a piece of cheese. Unless he hooks Tamra up to the Sat-Fat tracker again… (That is probably how Eddie does foreplay).
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Vicki must have been waiting by the phone, with pre-made platters from Costco, because instantly she lays out a spread and pops champagne. Then she spears a piece of fruit, and smears gossip on a cracker, assuming she’s here to talk shit. Au Contraire! Instead, Vicki’s being invited to the wellness retreat about restoring peace, faith, and positivity to their group. Which means Vicki needs to stop remaking her face and start remaking her attitude.
The problem with Vicki, as we’ve well established over years of dealing with her antics and observing her tactics, is just as Tamra said (takes one to know one): Vicki talks shit, then claims someone else told her or she didn’t realize it was shit. Look friendships are like walking through a dog park at night: you know you’re liable to step in a pile, but you don’t try to place the pile under your own feet. Or light it on fire and throw it at someones door in a paper bag, then run away. (OK, Tamra probably does do that… ).
The champagne is barely out of the glass before Vicki starts dismissing Braunwyn as “Boring-wind” then blaming someone else for coining the name. Shannon has girdled her loins and pushes forward, adeptly – and I’m impressed – navigating the conversation by imploring Vicki to give Braunwyn another chance, and to meet in the middle with Kelly.
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Shannon phrases it as if they are both guilty, but Tamra is, at this point, totally Team Kelly. In the end, Vicki declares, “I have no desire to hurt Kelly Dodd.” You know Vicki just didn’t want to get FOMO’d again like she did on the LA trip.
I don’t know how this came up, but Tamra also announced that she wants to be taxidermy’d when she kicks the bucket. Like turned into a giant stuffed witch someone can mount on their mantle to scare the neighborhood children on halloween? Seems fitting, right!
Speaking of witch, let’s check in on Tamra’s adventures in parenting. The bad mommy issues she’s having is that she’s the bad mother!
Spencer and Ryan still aren’t speaking. Spencer really couldn’t care less, and openly laughs at Ryan being an immature loser with daddy issues. Something Tamra is forced to agree with (and accept blame for), so she presses Spencer to be the bigger person by reaching out to Ryan.
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Fortunately, Spencer is smarter than Tamra and Ryan combined, and after a recent profile in his Psych Class, learned his mental age was 45. So having Tamra as a mother either makes you a permanent child or prematurely middle-aged.
Meanwhile, Tamra just stays the same old age. Like a non-sexually harassing Wooderson from Dazed & Confused. There Tamra is, leaning on the gates of Coto, loitering outside, just waiting for some innocent newbie so Tamra can terrorize them under the guise of being their friend. BTW: Sidney still isn’t speaking to Tamra.
Seriously how did Spencer spawn from Tamra? He’s smart, articulate, successful, motivated, hard-working, organized, self-assured… If he didn’t resemble her physically I’d swear we had a Lifetime ‘Switched At Birth’ scenario on our hands!
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The best part of the episode was when Gina and Braunwyn went to trampoline aerobics and Gina had to hop off to go puke in the bathroom. I don’t know how Braunwyn is able to bounce on anything after 7 kids, but I’m assuming vaginal rejuvenation and I’m eternally thankful that procedure was performed pre-Real Housewives Of Orange County so we didn’t have to witness another one.
Afterwards, Gina complains that Emily is trying to convince her to come to Vegas even though Gina’s life is in no condition for a drunken girls trip with stripper performances. Gina thinks Emily is being selfish, but Braunwyn thinks Emily is just nervous and wants support. Which is why Braunwyn and Kelly are going.
Hilariously, Gina’s new BFF Shannon is also pissed that Kelly is violating their friendship and trust by supporting Emily. This was after Shannon demanded Kelly make amends with Vicki who did way worse! Time to defrost that frozen hypocrisy.
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Then Braunwyn takes a walk
down bad memory lane with Dr. Deb. Which isn’t a walk so much as a way for Braunwyn to assert her newly found emotional development by confronting her mom. Braunwyn’s one rule is that the kids are not allowed to be exposed to Braunwyn’s emotionally abusive aunt, but Deb let her see the kids anyway, and Braunwyn is not OK with this. Understandable.
In the middle of some field, like a post-apocalyptic comic book about pampered socialites who lost their McMansions and are now led by a hippie cult leader preaching the healing prosperities of beads but is actually collecting their souls in her giant EGO Pendant, Braunwyn starts crying while Deb stands by, annoyed, waiting for it to stop. Deb probably did that on purpose to get out of babysitting.
In what is quickly turning into LeeAnne Locken-esque blaming of childhood for everything Braunwyn launches into another spiel about her trust issues over a magically disappearing/reappearing mommy.
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That doesn’t stop Braunwyn for trotting out Deb for amusement factor when she needs a way to wow her friends after the shock of 7 kids has worn off. Over dinner with Shannon, Tamra and Kelly, Dr. Deb and Braunwyn get into a obnoxious argument over some ring Deb gifted Braunwyn, which she now wants back claiming Braunwyn begged her for it and isn’t caring for it properly.
Shannon, a passive-aggressive grudge-holder to the core who wants validation that you can still call yourself a spiritualist when acting this way, LOVES Dr. Deb. Even more so when she gifts them all a crystal and gives an opinion on Kelly and Vicki’s feud. Of course, Tamra tells Braunwyn Vick called her boring. And of course, Shannon lets Tamra off the hook. Great way to start off a trip about finding peace and re-centering friendships!
With everyone pestering her, Kelly agrees to go. After all – being in Arizona gives her an excuse to visit her mom and brother. Who also haven’t seen Jolie in 2 years! Kelly cries to Dr. Brian Reagan that she doesn’t know how her mom can give up on her, or Jolie. And I agree. Dr. Brian encourages Kelly to be gentle but persistent.
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Luckily Kelly’s other brother JR is willing to facilitate a reunification of sorts. Although he’s worried that Bobbi hasn’t been well lately and is in a fragile state, so seeing Kelly might upset her more.
Finally, Emily had a bad mother storyline last season so this year she gets Bad Husband. And oh boy is Shane Simpson BAD! He wouldn’t even kiss Emily at Annabelle’s birthday, because he’s saving that for “special occasions” – as if their daughter’s birthday isn’t one! Then Shane mocks Emily’s Vegas costume as making her look like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Emily has had enough. Emily calls Shane out for ignoring her and refusing to communicate by couching all his issues in sarcastic insults. It was great hearing Emily tell Shane that the way he speaks to her is NOT OK. Let’s hope she does something about it and leaves that douche if he doesn’t see a therapist. He’s Ryan emotionally repressed!
TELL US – CAN EMILY’S MARRIAGE BE SAVED? IS KELLY MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE TO GO ON A TRIP WITH VICKI? IS EMILY BEING A BAD FRIEND TO GINA?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]