What’s the best way of escaping the horrors of a global pandemic ravaging the entire planet? Why, going on a vacation, of course! So this week, the Real Housewives of Orange County pack up and head off to Lake Arrowhead for a much-needed girls’ trip full of bonding, face masks and arguing over whether Black lives matter! (Which, they absolutely do, for the record.) Well, not all the ‘Wives. Because for some, the coronavirus had already caught up before they could make their getaway to the lake.
Last week’s Real Housewives of Orange County ended with the news that one of Shannon Beador‘s twins had tested positive for coronavirus. Which obviously sent the veteran ‘Wife into a full-blown panic lockdown. And now, Emily Simpson can’t go on the cast trip either because she too has tested positive. Her symptoms are mild — she doesn’t even have a fever — and she can’t pinpoint where she caught it, but she’ll be quarantined with her family until further notice.
Meanwhile, Braunwyn Windham-Burke is understandably nervous about how the trip will affect her sobriety. She also points out the obvious that it’s going to be an awfully weird vacay without one-third of the cast. And honestly, once she said that, it hit me. I don’t think there’s any group I’d want to go on a Housewives cast trip with less than Kelly Dodd, Elizabeth Lyn Vargas and Gina Kirschenheiter. But alas, here we are. Before she hits the road, Braunwyn even drops by John Janssen‘s to check on Shannon, talking over the phone through the safety of a sliding glass door. Now all three Beador girls have tested positive. But Shannon’s gotten three negative tests so she’s quarantining away from them with her boyfriend.
And we’re off to Lake Arrowhead! Which, interestingly enough, is a place we haven’t visited in the Bravoverse since Stassi Schroeder took the SUR gang there way back in Season 2 of Vanderpump Rules. Something tells me this weekend at the lake won’t be anything like that one, though. As the other ‘Wives arrive, they immediately start gossiping about Braunwyn. Of course, Elizabeth is right in the middle of talking about how Braunwyn’s apparently been secretly breaking quarantine rules while preaching about lockdown to Kelly when…Braunwyn arrives and walks right into the conversation! Classic!
RELATED: Real Housewives of Orange County Star Kelly Dodd Compares Braunwyn Windham-Burke To Taylor Armstrong’s Late Husband Russell; Says She Won’t Be Blamed For Braunwyn’s “Mental Disorders, Alcoholism, Cheating, Violence, And Her Children Being Depressed”
Kelly jumps on this, and throws it in Braunwyn‘s face, thinking she’s got some sort of smoking gun to prove her pal’s a hypocrite. But Braunwyn bats it down. She insists she called Kelly after she got reprimanded for hanging by the pool at some beach club. Umm…OK? It’s May 202o. How do you not know you’re supposed to be social distancing? However, Braunwyn also used the moment to make a point about how Kelly operates. “Kelly takes the truth. She skews it. She says it loud and often. And then she hopes people believe it,” she says. And while that’s obviously true about Kelly and the parallel reality she lives in, it’s also Housewives 101.
The subject then turns to Shannon, and her apparent hypocrisy about breaking COVID protocols. And Braunwyn promptly walks out of the room, telling the others she doesn’t want to gossip about someone who’s sick with the virus. So now, Elizabeth and Kelly take a moment to talk about Braunwyn behind her back. Elizabeth calls her a “puppet poster” for getting her picture taken by a professional photographer during the Black Lives Matter protest we saw last week.
The newbie isn’t interested in the “facade” Braunwyn portrays on Instagram. Kelly argues that Braunwyn’s only faking support for the movement to appear woke. Is it possible Braunwyn’s using her activism to gain clout? Sure. But do I think she cares a whole hell of a lot more about social justice than most of these ‘Wives? You bet I do. Oh boy, this is going to be a long trip.
RELATED: Real Housewives of Orange County Star Braunwyn Windham-Burke Denies Kelly Dodd’s Claim That She Was In An Involuntary Psychiatric Hold
Back in the OC, Shannon‘s busy creating some sort of “coronavirus immunity wall” by choking down all sorts of supplements. And the Beador girls are fending for themselves on day 4 of their quarantine. Over a family FaceTime meeting, the girls admit they were terrified to tell Shannon they were sick because of how she would react. Because if one person on RHOC is bound to overreact, it’s Shannon Storms Beador. Things aren’t looking good at the Simpson household either. While Emily‘s still doing OK, Shane Simpson is bedridden and has taken a serious turn for the worse…
Before hitting the lake, Braunwyn admits that the quarantine has also taken a toll on her marriage to Sean Burke. The Windham-Burkes are not doing well. But maybe Braunwyn’s not doing well with anyone these days? Because at the lake, Kelly calls Shannon to vent about her. She complains Braunwyn’s already on her nerves, and accuses her of doing good things for solely self-serving reasons. Of course, Braunwyn happens to walk up right as Kelly is assassinating her character. But for some reason, she chooses not to engage, and lets it go. So instead of a fight, it’s just an incredibly awkward moment. (Don’t worry, the fight’s coming in just a bit.)
RELATED: Tamra Judge Fires Back At Shannon Beador For Her Comments On Real Housewives Of Orange County; Says Shannon “Loves To Play Producer” And “Lies Through Her Jeweled Teeth”
Cut back to the OC: Shane has now been admitted to the hospital. He’s having trouble breathing and coughing up blood. Emily is obviously an emotional wreck. The worst part is that, because of the pandemic, she’s not allowed into the hospital with him. So there’s nothing she can do but sit in her car and wait for updates via text. It’s heartbreaking to watch her break down in tears, terrified her husband is going to die alone in a hospital. (Thankfully, we all know Shane made a full recovery and is happy and healthy now.) The other silver lining — if there can be one — is that the situation has brought Emily and Shannon closer together. After three years of not connecting, the two are finally bonding through the medical crisis. And frankly, it’s really nice to see.
The other ‘Wives head back to the house for dinner. Which is the perfect time for an argument to break out between Kelly and Braunwyn over social justice. It all starts with a debate over taking Confederate statues — Kelly thinks it’s “erasing history”; Braunwyn tries to explain that it’s about respecting marginalized people who’ve historically been oppressed. But talking to Kelly Dodd is like trying to reason with a brick wall of ignorance. Quickly, it escalates into a fight about the Black Lives Matter movement, what Kelly deems the appropriate way people should protest, and how Black people are disproportionately being killed by police in this country. So basically, it was like watching the same argument everyone in this country probably had at one time or another over the summer.
RELATED: Real Housewives of Orange County Star Kelly Dodd Mocks Black Lives Matter By Wearing A “Drunk Wives Matter” Hat
Thankfully, and rather unexpectedly, Gina emerges as the voice of reason. She uses her own DUI as an example. When Gina got arrested, she was embarrassed. And worried. And frightened. But never once was she concerned about the police officer arresting her. The possibility of being shot during a routine traffic stop never crossed her mind. But it could’ve been a whole other situation if she’d been a Black woman, or Black man, getting pulled over that day. And that’s the difference. Who had Gina Kirschenheiter coming through with a teachable moment on their 2020 bingo card?? Not me! Though, I feel fairly confident in saying the lesson was probably still lost on Kelly “Drunk Wives Matter” Dodd.
RELATED: Porsha Williams Calls Out Real Housewives of Orange County Star Kelly Dodd For Wearing “Drunk Wives Matter” Hat
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THE BLACK LIVES MATTER ARGUMENT? WAS IT HARD TO WATCH EMILY AND SHANE GO THROUGH THEIR CORONAVIRUS CRISIS? DO YOU THINK BRAUNWYN’S ACTIVISM IS SELF-SERVING OR GENUINE?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]