Last night, sometimes totally unexpected happen: the Real Housewives of Orange County went someplace cold. Canada, to be exact, after a quick explanation that Lydia is Canadian so they all must go to Canada. Yes, that was the entire explanation for the big group vacation, and as far as I can remember, the first time the excursion was even mentioned was approximately 30 seconds before they all boarded the limo for the airport. No matter! All of the ladies were off to a ski resort so that they could have a new set of scenery for their arguments about the same old things.

1. For a moment, out of the corner of my eye, I thought Lydia’s makeup artist was her mom. It’s possible that I just think everyone in Southern California looks alike. In the universe of this show, I think that’s a defensible view, actually.

2. Lydia is from The People’s Republic of Canadia. Or whatever that snowy country up there is called. Personally, I’m with Tamra – it’s cold in Canada and that’s why I don’t know about it. I also don’t know much about Minnesota. It’s not a Canada-specific thing, at least for me. I just prefer to believe that that much snow only happens in, say, Narnia.

3. To prepare for skiing, Alexis bought Lydia a crystal-encrusted Bible. The first three minutes of this episode were incredible, in their way.

4. So maybe Gretchen was offered some lines on Heather’s show? Heather seemed to admit that Gretchen had, at one point, been offered a bit part on Malibu Country but said that the part “went away” and was most definitely not the part that she, Professional Actress Extraordinaire, was currently playing. That doesn’t necessarily seem to contradict Gretchen’s story about having a conflict and declining to be on the show, because even if the show didn’t shoot on the day in question, they did have a table read and maybe Gretchen didn’t feel like going back and forth for Tamra’s dress appointment. Or maybe she got offered and then un-offered. None of that makes the two stories – or at least the current versions of the stories – mutually exclusive.

That Alexis was also called and was unavailable lends credence to Gretchen’s version, even if some of the details are hazy. Mostly, I don’t know why Heather is so defensive about the whole thing. If there’s anything Real Housewives has proved, it’s that not having real skills or experience is not necessarily a barrier when it comes to getting on C-List television, and occasionally that applies to the scripted world as well. Real Housewives is unquestionably a more famous show than Malibu Country, and any of these women would qualify as a “guest star” of sorts. Acting ability not required.

5. Poor, poor Uncle Bill. He was a cutie pie and I’m really glad that no one, especially Vicki, sexually assaulted him.

6. Add “concierge” to the list of words Alexis can’t pronounce. I don’t know who’s keeping the official record, but I hope you have a back brace on when you lift it.

7. Who really cares if a consenting adult has a threesome? If she and Donn were both cheating on each other constantly, as Vicki admitted repeatedly and without caveat in this episode, does it really matter whether Vicki was accepting new partners one at a time or in groups?

8. Lauri claiming that she never said Vicki had a threesome is a classic reality TV move. Between the surgeryface and the friend-of-a-friend porn stars and Lauri trying to weasel her way out the accusation that she spread gossip by claiming that she never said the word “threesome,” only intimated it (which is, like, totally different, you guys), Lauri sometimes seems like a Frankenhousewife built by Andy Cohen in the Watch What Happens Live green room, specifically designed for his reality TV purposes.

9. Let’s take off the goggles, ladies. Watching these uniformly blonde people argue with each other when they’re all wearing mirrored ski goggles and puffy coats makes it really hard to figure out who’s saying what and to whom. Vicki has a really distinctive voice, but other than that, I was lost.

10. I was really hoping that Alexis would pelt someone in the face with her blinged-out Bible at some point. She didn’t, but I haven’t given up hope for next week.

11. I also wanted Vicki to be all, “Yeah, so what, I had a threesome, it’s 2013.” That didn’t happen, but I’m less sad about it.

In every season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, it must be said, there are a handful of episodes that shame us with their sheer stupidity. Even if you genuinely LOVE the Kardashians, and everything about them – sometimes this show can just be so dumb. I mean, the TV recapping intelligentsia (it’s a thing, I swear) have always maintained that the vast majority of reality television is unabashedly vapid, and in some instances, they’re right. But occasionally, KUWTK far exceeds everyone’s expectations RE: reality television stupidity. I don’t know which is worse, really, manufacturing drama for the sake of creating tension or taking this approach and just layering fluff on fluff on fluff. For example…

First and foremost, Kris Jenner is a celebrity and going to public restrooms amongst commoners gives her serious anxiety. It’s not unwarranted – at the beginning of this episode, she timed a random stranger’s bathroom emissions to see if they’d been peeing for an inordinate amount of time in a public restroom, (in fact, they had!) and then demanded her daughters help her ID the culprit as they exited the restroom. She also seemed to think this subject made for fabulous dinner conversation. When her daughters pointed out that essentially, people probably time her peeing on the regular because she’s famous, she got a little freaked.

And thus, Kris Jenner started to develop a COMPLEX about public urination. And because this is the 8th season of KUWTK, we were not only treated to Kylie’s grainy cell phone video of her mom sitting on the john, but also to actual documentary-style footage of Kris Jenner peeing in a bush, because she can no longer standing using public restrooms. Complete with full sound! Of course, Kris had a bonafide reason to feel self-conscious about her condition when Kendall and Kylie posted their grainy cell phone vid to their very public blog. UGH, TEENS. It’s worth mentioning that Kendall and Kylie were at each other’s throats in the last episode of KUWTK, but on this ep, they got along like gangbusters.

Of course, Kris flipped her lid and told the girls they were grounded, but in the Jenner household, that means absolutely nothing. Feeling remorseful, the girls decided to apologize like any teens would – by laying down a single for their mom about overcoming her public restroom anxiety. They went into the studio with a lot of dudes that were way too old for them, as well as their good friend, pop vocalist “Pea”?! (“Peah”? “Pia”?) I’m not even making this up. Kylie and Kendall’s rap contributions left a lot to be desired, but when they debuted their hot new pee track to Mama Jenner, she was crazy impressed by their efforts. She shouldn’t have been, but she was.

Meanwhile, Brandon and his wifey Leah paid a visit Kim early in the episode so they could play her their new song, because that’s what family members DO, you guys. They SHARE. Kim gave them both the grand tour of her closet and put Leah in her tallest Miu Miu curved heels, which was cute. If only she had lent Leah ALL her high heels, for the duration of her pregnancy, but I won’t hop on that soapbox right now. Kim, Brandon and Leah had a lot of hang-time in this episode – they met up again for some fro-yo later, and their entire encounter was documented by no less than five members of the paparazzi. Granted, they did go to a fro-yo joint with only glass walls, so it did felt like a set-up of sorts. (Side note: Kim’s pregnancy boobs were certainly having their finest hour during this fro-yo date.)

Leah expressed to Kim that she was thinking of turning down Ryan Seacrest’s request for a short acoustic set on his radio show (which would’ve been a huge opportunity for them, DUH) because she thought their EP still needed a few tweaks here and there. Kim tried to convince her that she should totes go for this huge opportunity, because if Kim’s short time with Kanye had taught her anything, it was that you can literally tweak forever.

But alas, Leah was really just AFRAID OF FAME, Y’ALL! People barely recognize her from KUWTK, I’d imagine, because she has a very girl-next-door look. (Leah’s dad was a guitarist for the Eagles, by the way. Crazy rich and famous people, intermarrying with other rich and famous people.) Leah confessed to her rock star dad over a lunch date that she had watched fame turn a lot of people into huge d-bags (I can’t imagine who she could possibly be talking about!) and she didn’t want that for herself. This was the point at which I realized that this was the “serious” plotline du jour. I then checked the time and realized we were only 30 minutes into the episode, at which point I sighed heavily.

Later, Leah had a heart-to-heart with the hubs and confessed to Brandon through tiny tears that she loved him more than music, and she was afraid of what fame might do to them. Brandon and Leah, you’re pretty adorable, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, okay? Also, question: why does Brandon Jenner have a kind of Matthew McConaughey Texas twang? He grew up in Malibu, right?

Which brings us to our final layer of fluff on this whoopie pie of an episode: Khloe felt a little left out because Kim and Kourt were talking about baby stuff almost exclusively, and totally forgot that they had make plans with her one time, etcetera. When Khloe got ditched by her sisters, she turned to Mama Jenner for support. Kris decided what these two babyless gals needed was a night out on the town, so they made a date for some serious mama-daughter-drinky time. When the night was finally upon us, everyone wore sombreros, spoke Spanish poorly and drank margaritas from a glass that was as wide as your face! Then, of course, because they were making really great decisions, they got the brilliant idea to TP Kim’s house. (TPing is always hilarious when you’re the TPer.) Kim was nestled up inside her Calabasas compound, chatting away with her BFF Jonathan Cheban, completely oblivious to the goings-on outside. Meanwhile, Kris and Khloe’s driver was sitting in the limo the whole time, politely waiting for them to finish their prank and probably rethinking a few critical life choices.

When Kim was finally made aware of her family’s tomfoolery, she was majorly offended. Jonathan responded with mock concern, then in an aside to the cameras, confessed it was the most awesome thing he’d ever seen. Cut to the next morning: Khloe and Kris were still fairly hungover when sober n’ angry Kim and Kourt showed up to drag them over the coals. Kris Jenner told Kim it was her own fault for neglecting Khloe 24/7. Well played, Kris. Kim then started to feel bad that Khloe had to TP her house to draw attention to the fact that she feels left out. So that whole issue was…resolved?

The episode finished with Brandon and Leah’s big EP release party! Leah wore her fancy cardigan, just for the occasion. (I kid. I have at least 2-3 fancy cardigans for special occasions, so no judgement, Leah.) Brody and Brandon’s ex-step-dad David Foster even showed up to lend support. Ah, L.A. families.

But seriously, was this episode not the worst? If it’s still sitting in your DVR, feel free to skip this one. (I keep up with the Kardashians so you don’t have to.)

Perhaps I’m simply feeling nostalgic because of last week’s Real Housewives of Orange County retrospective, but last night’s episode felt like some good ol’ fashioned Housewives drama to me. They shopped for wedding dresses! They instigated fights! They revealed things about each others’ personal lives! They exposed lies! Thankfully, after the better part of a full season of television that’s supposed to be full of juicy drama, we got an episode that didn’t drag through its requisite 44 minutes of manufactured meet-ups and parties. Let’s hope that we can swing this momentum into next week, but for now, let’s have a recap.

1. Tamra and Eddie’s enormous dog is adorable. I would like it if we saw more Dogs of the Real Housewives in general, actually. Where are the pups? Bring me the pups! Maybe I’d like these women more if I saw them with their pets.

2. Heather got another acting job. The show is a show that I’ve never heard of, but it apparently stars Reba McEntire, who I loved when I was a little kid (so much so that I had a poster of her in a yellow fringe leather jacket on my bedroom wall), so J’APPROVE.

3. Lauri’s Valentino Rockstud bag in leopard. I approve of that too, even if I think it should probably be wrestled out of her clutches and given to someone who will do it justice.

4. “Even though I’ve been married before, every other wedding dress was a maternity dress.” Tamra, with a pretty solid argument for why she should go whole-hog on the dress for her third wedding if she feels like it. If regular maternity clothes are so heinous, I can’t even imagine how irritating it is to choose your wedding dress from only those that will accomodate a belly. Twice.

5. If you want to insult someone, don’t call them a “girl.”. Being a girl is not a bad thing. It’s not an insult. Not to a man, not to anyone. The experiences and behaviors of girls are not less valid or less meaningful. You know what is a bad thing? Being Slade Smiley. If he’s gossiping and saying mean things and critiquing others’ bodies, he’s not being a “girl.” He’s being an asshole. And, perhaps most importantly, he’s just being Slade. He does that stuff so often that I don’t know how we can think those behaviors are still unique to girls or women. Slade’s walking, talking proof that people of all ages and genders talk behind others’ backs and snark on women’s bodies. He shouldn’t be considered too good to do that stuff because he’s male, but because he’s an adult.

6. Taking a note from Vicki, Gretchen made some attempts to make the wedding dress excursion about herself. She didn’t agree to show up until the day before, and when she did deign to join the group, she wore her engagement ring from her dead fiance, which she hasn’t worn in years. Naturally, that caused everyone to ask if she had some news to share with the group. She did not.

7. Never question the power of a corset. Corsets are like real-life Photoshop.

8. Not to be outdone, Vicki tried to commandeer the day by starting a fight between Alexis and Gretchen. As many annoying, pot-stirring things as we’ve seen Vicki do, I was a little surprised that she’d actually try to start a fight at someone else’s wedding dress appointment. Thankfully, Alexis mostly didn’t take the bait and thanked Tamra for standing up to Gretchen instead of uninviting her. (Also, Vicki is a hater who didn’t like any of the dresses that Tamra looked objectively amazing in because she knows she wouldn’t look nearly as good and also she is not getting married. So there, Vick.)

9. In a bid to be the worst person of the day, Lauri brought up the porn star Brooks is/was banging. At first, Vicki was ok with the subject of conversation because they had officially broken up and have long had an agreement to be non-monogamous, but Lauri pushed on to mention the age and employment situation of the woman in question. She even pretended as though she hated to be spilling any of those secrets, and she made Vicki pull the information out of her slowly but surely in front of several witnesses. Lauri was yanking the wings off a fly, more or less, even though it’s hard to feel more than half a moment of empathy for Vicki. Still, if I were ever to feel it, that was the time. I mean, she bought Brooks new teeth and everything. Lauri then took great pleasure at telling the rest of the ladies the sordid story while Vicki was outside taking a phone call at dinner.

10. Heather then cheered up Vicki by telling her that Gretchen is a lying liar. Gretchen went around telling everybody that she was offered a part on the same show that Heather now has a spot on, but the people at the show didn’t know anything about that. Kind of like when Gretchen told Alexis she had been “offered” her news channel gig last season and turned it down, remember? Maybe Gretchen “turned down” this role too. You know, so Heather the professional actress could have it. How magnanimous of her.

11. “Heather was fancy-pants before, but now she’s fancy-outfit.” Lydia is adorable.

12. Lauri is offended that Vicki is calling Gretchen a liar because Vicki is also a liar. Well, I mean, they can both be liars. Vicki can be right about Gretchen and also a loathsome liar. They’re not mutually exclusive. These are not complex ideas, even by Housewives standards.

I’m back, you guys, after a much-needed break from all things Kardashian! This week’s episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians was a bit of a doozy, was it not? A splash of trifling Jenner sister drama, a dash of legit Rob legal drama and a few drops of Scott’s social anxiety drama all made for a KUWTK cocktail that was certainly more bitter than sweet, but we have much to discuss! Let’s dive in, shall we? (more…)

Normally I don’t like a clip show, especially a two-hour clip show, but Bravo did a pretty good job with its 100th-episode anniversary edition of Real Housewives of Orange County last night. The show has been on for a sufficiently long period of time (seven years) and has been sufficiently formative to contemporary television (for better or for worse) that a look back is probably in order. I’m not sure that a full two hours was necessary, but there was at least an hour’s worth of highly entertaining behind-the-scenes tidbits in there for long-term Housewives fans. Below, an examination of some of the most interesting things that were blurted out.

1. What was your life like when you first started watching Real Housewives? I remember where I was living and what I was doing while the first season of Real Housewives of Orange County was on the air. I was in my junior year of college at the University of Georgia. For the first part of the season, I still lived in a dorm, and then I moved off campus to an apartment with a roommate where my rent was $386.50 per month. I was so ashamed of liking this horrendous show that I used to avoid watching it in the living room while my roommate was home, but eventually she started watching it too – first begrudgingly, and then with the same schadenfreude that I had. Something tells me that’s more or less how literally everyone started with the Housewives.

2. Slade paid four figures for the privilege of being included in the first season. $2,500! Slade is one of the only humans in history to pay to be on a TV show, instead of the other way around. I’m assuming that when Bravo stopped accepting his checks, he simply started dating any cast member that would have him, which is how we have the unholy Slade-Gretchen union that we have today.

3. Way back when, Andy Cohen thought the Housewives were aspirational. I vaguely remember the show being marketed as a view into privileged lives in Southern California, which seems so absurd now that it’s all about foreclosures and divorces and personal vodka brands.

4. Slade is not self-aware at all, but even he is self-aware enough to know that he was a douche in the first season. That’s how obviously awful Slade was back then: even 2013 Slade can identify it and understand that he should feel shame over his behavior.

5. I can actually remember some of these dumb conversations from 2006. I remember Vicki complaining about her hair being yellow in the car with her mom. How much brain space is that taking up in my head? What other kind of information could be using that space? Could I have graduated college a semester sooner if I had never started watching Bravo?

6. Remember back before the economy collapsed in late 2008, when everyone was rich (“rich”) no matter what they did or how dumb they were? Even Lynne! Remember Lynne? They actually got her off the quaaludes for an afternoon and propped her up to reminisce what she remembers of her days on the show.

7. “That’s what this show is supposed to be about: real, organic issues affecting our lives.” Vicki, reflecting on the time that a car service sent a van instead of a limo to pick her up for the airport.

8. Gretchen’s lip liner in her first season. Presented without comment.

9. “Tam-RAAAH.” Still a classic. Of sorts.

10. Anyone else get the impression that the Tamra-Gretchen friendship may be over? When asked about Gretchen’s cheating and her dead fiancé, Tamra’s tone was…not diplomatic. She isn’t one of those people who’s good at hiding her real feelings about someone, and Gretchen wasn’t too effusive about her affection for Tamra, either. THE PLOT THICKENS. And by “thickens,” I mean “reverts back to how it was two seasons ago.”

11. Tamra left her eyelashes on to go to sleep when she thought she was going to get arrested for assaulting Jeanna. Sometimes I think that Tamra and I are, in some ways, kindred spirits. You gotta make sure your hair looks right if you might have to take a mugshot later on in the evening.

12. Slade thinks that the show saved him from marrying Jo. Somehow I think Jo probably feels the same way.

13. If I had been recapping Real Housewives back in the day, I would have had a Sky Tops tally. Has anyone ever owned one of those things who wasn’t at least a beta Housewife? Also, Sky Tops are still going strong.

14. Vicki credits the existence of Real Housewives to…herself. Because of course she does.

Hello, Keeping Up With The Kardashians fans! Emily, your intrepid recapper, is on vacation this week. I intended to recap the show in her stead for your viewing pleasure, but because Time Warner Cable likes to keep New York City residents on its toes, I awoke this morning to no KUWTK on my DVR and no backup plan, because generally the media makes it incredibly easy for us to consume all the Kardashian information that our little hearts might or might not desire. That, of course, is the trickery of my dear cable company.

So, instead of a recap of this week’s Kardashian debauchery, I thought it might be nice to have a little space to discuss all things Kardashian – what did you think of this week’s episode? Do you like how the season is going so far? Surely you have thoughts on little North West, even if you missed the episode too. Oh, and if you want to skip the Kardashians and talk about the Mad Men season finale, I wouldn’t be mad at that either, because Time Warner actually allowed me to watch that. Perhaps TWC is just looking out for my taste level.

With last night’s episode of Real Housewives came a reminder that next week’s episode is the series’ 100th, and it’s kind of hilarious to look back on the very first season of Real Housewives. Does anyone even remember that it all started as a reality-TV response to Desperate Housewives? Or that it used to be centered exclusively around women living in the Coto de Caza gated community? Or that Jo, Slade’s first Housewives girlfriend, was the original RH wannabe pop-star? We’ve come so far, but at the same time, we haven’t. Maybe we’ve even regressed! In that spirit, let’s go over what went on last night.

1. Lydia’s getting ambitious with her Alexis powwows. Perhaps because the meeting she brokered between Alexis and Tamra was so successful, Lydia decided she wanted to see if she could get Alexis and Heather to do the same. The difference, of course, is that Tamra is in serious therapy and trying to be a better, more peaceful person, and Heather is just Heather. People like Heather and people like Alexis are natural enemies, you can tell that simply by looking at their hair. Lydia may have overlooked this in the afterglow of her nascent diplomatic success.

2. Now that Tamra’s reunited with Vicki, suddenly Gretchen’s a “difficult” friend. Tamra hasn’t said an ill word about Gretchen all season, as far as I can remember, and she had a majorly emotional moment with her just last week in Mexico. When Vicki’s the one doing the asking, though, Gretchen’s self-centered, difficult and hard to have around. Granted, all of those things about Gretchen may be true at times (or usually) (or always), and it’s okay to think those thoughts about friends occasionally. It only becomes a problem when you start, you know, yapping about it to people in front of a full camera crew, which is what Vicki masterfully goaded Tamra into doing without any hesitation. Nascent narrative arc, ahoy!

3. Heather and Alexis’ diplomatic summit went south quickly. Maybe Lydia should have come to babysit them like she babysat Tamra and Alexis, but it probably wouldn’t have helped all that much. As soon as they sat down, the bickering began. I couldn’t even tell what most of the sniping was about, honestly, but after resolving absolutely nothing, they agreed to start fresh and be nice the next time they saw each other. That’s sure to work, of course. A zillion previous fake detentes in past Real Housewives universes have taught us that.

4. Brianna’s husband deploying to Afghanistan is a fairly stark reminder that Real Housewives is incredibly stupid. Real-life drama like Ryan’s military service makes a good storyline, I suppose, but Real Housewives works best when it exists in its own universe of petty problems and superficial feuds. Juxtaposing the contrived drama of Lydia’s salsa party with the actual drama of war just makes everything we’re watching seem dumber than we already knew it was. It’s in Bravo’s best interest not to remind us of that. I hope Ryan serves his deployment safely and gets home quickly.

5. Slade thinks it’s appropriate to comment on Lydia’s weight to her face. Yes, Lydia is quite petite, but saying someone needs to eat a cheeseburger is idiocy, just like saying an overweight person needs to stop eating a cheeseburger. Lydia’s weight and body shape is not within Slade’s purview, it’s not his business and commenting on it in any way is rude. It’s not a compliment. Lydia’s body is not community property and it’s not there for Slade’s enjoyment, so telling her she needs to change it to please him is nothing but nasty. (This is a huge pet peeve of mine, if you hadn’t already picked up on that.) The weird, almost predatory look in Slade’s eyes when Lydia challenged him on his rudeness tells you all you need to know about the amount of respect Slade has for women, in case you hadn’t already figured that out based on all the other nasty things he’s said about people’s appearances on this show in the past.

6. Brooks might be dating a porn star when he’s not surprising Vicki to get a little camera time. Lauri is a font of information, most of it likely embellished if not entirely false, but I do enjoy listening to her tell ridiculous stories about things that may or may not happen off camera. I wish that they were true, and based on Vicki’s reaction to the information in the previews for next week’s episode, this little tidbit actually might be.

7. Gretchen thinks Alexis shouldn’t come wedding dress shopping with Tamra because it’s “so personal.” Because having an extra person along to watch a wedding dress appointment that’s being filmed by a professional television crew for the consumption of millions of people at home is really a violation of privacy, you know? And maybe if Alexis comes, then Gretchen doesn’t want to go because Gretchen is so selfless and doesn’t want to create a distraction by being three seats over from Alexis on a white couch in some cheesy wedding salon. You’d think that Gretchen would be old enough to know that attempting to withhold your friendship from someone in an effort to get them to change their relationships with other people always backfires. Then again, if Bravo was casting women who understand the finer mechanics of successful interpersonal communication, this show would have lasted all of one season.

You know it’s a seriously dramatic episode when Kim’s divorce and baby drama alone can almost fill the full 40-45 minutes. All of the plotlines on this week’s episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians made me extremely tense – but these were highly emotional, nerve-hitting issues, weren’t they? I mean, gun control and Kim Kardashian’s divorce? Have you seen more headlines about anything else this year?

As we all know, 3-4ish months in the future, Kim is now happily divorced and a happy (?) new mama, as of this past weekend. (I really hope they’re taping for next season right now. Well, I do and I don’t, really.) HOWEVER, let’s pretend tabloid news doesn’t exist and suspend disbelief; it makes for a far more compelling episode. Kim received some bad news right out of the gate that her divorce deposition has been pushed back yet again. We can all attest to the fact that Kim’s divorce proceedings took far too long and lasted approximately four times as long as both her marriage and courtship to Khris Humphries combined. Kim has obviously already begun a new life with Kanye, who remains forever in the shadows on this season of KUWTK. (Understandably so. As much as he peacocks for the media, on “candid camera” he comes off as a bit self-conscious.) But guess what, friends? Try as Kim might, being pregnant with another man’s baby is not grounds for an “emergency divorce,” from a legal perspective. Somehow, in our heart of hearts, we already knew that.

But before we could proceed any further with Kim’s divorce drama, we had to deal with Kim’s pregnancy issues. As you might remember, Kim had a major pregnancy scare while flying to LA and was quickly ushered to the hospital a few months ago. I’m frankly surprised they got any of this on film, because it was kind of an emergency situation, and also, it seemed super personal, but film it they did – all the hand wringing, painful prodding, tests, and exams, and crying. It was a little hard to watch. It’s easy to think of someone as a sort of pop culture caricature of themselves until you see them doing something as vulnerable and humanizing as unabashedly weeping on a doctor’s table.

Kim is not having a fun time with her pregnancy, as is obvious to everyone with functioning eyeballs. Kris Jenner continues to rail on like a glass-eyed lunatic about how pregnancy is like walking barefoot on a gilded cloud, clearly failing to realize that there are a wide range of pregnancy experiences a woman can have and that Kim is having a totally crappy one. Kim literally threatened to both hang herself and slit her own throat if delivery proved to be more painful than whatever she’s experiencing. (Spoiler: it’s a stomach infection.) I seriously worry about Kim and post-partum depression, I really do.

In the show’s other highly publicized plotline, the entire family went a little gun-crazy. At the beginning of the episode, Bruce met up with Kris to discuss the idea of getting a gun for the house, after the Kardashians get “SWATTED.” He wanted to purchase a gun and teach the Jenner girls to use it, but Kris was not down with the idea. At all. Bruce got all macho and said things like, “It’s my responsibility to protect my family.” (When he’s not hanging out at his Malibu beach house/man cave, which I assume is still under contract. Then his family’s on their own.)

To reinforce this episode’s whole gun theme, the Jenners played a few rounds of paint ball, which is combat-lite for a bunch of Malibu princes like Brody and Brandon. (Did you catch that reference to the Jenner boys’ extremely short-lived Fox reality show of yesteryear? No? Nevermind then.)

Gun fever was spreading all around the Kardashian fam, and Scott Disick definitely caught a mild case. (I never realize how much I love Scott until he doesn’t appear in an entire episode.) Scott didn’t really want a gun in the house because he has little kids, and also, Kourtney might MURDER HIM. (It was kind of a joke, but if she gets knocked up again, I could see it happening.) Still, Scott was curious about the idea and decided to tag along for a day of shootin’ fun with Bruce, Kendall and Rob. Scott and Kendall had no patience for safety instruction, though, because they really just wanted to pop a cap in something, ASAP. Sadly, that day never came for Scott.

Here are things you shouldn’t combine with guns:

Toddlers and guns.
Teenagers and guns.
Scott Disick and guns.

Some mustached gun instructor started giving Scott crap for his casual, cavalier attitude regarding gun handling. They had “a disagreement about what is safe on the range,” according to the “gun ranger,” and Scott split. I don’t like being told what to do by people with mustaches either, so I can sympathize with Scott in this instance. Of course, Scott spun it a little differently in his later retelling of the event to Kourt and Khloe, proclaiming that he “almost got shot by a guy at the gun range.” (If anything, he probably almost got pistol-whipped.) The whole mustached gun ranger ordeal turned Scott off to the idea of gun ownership. Khloe also made a valid point during this convo – Rob should really not have a gun either, because he gets really angry sometimes, and seems less than emotionally stable this season, let’s be honest.

Meanwhile, back at the Calabasas ranch, Bruce and Kris still don’t agree on the gun issue. In fact, they have several heated arguments on the subject throughout the episode, so much so that I get that sinking “mom and dad are yelling at each other” feeling. Bruce wasn’t backing down on this one, though, because it’s weirdly important to him that he wins this battle. A totally healthy way to conduct a marriage!

Brody n’ Brandon break! The bros had a candid, yet strangely political discussion about gun ownership while playing a little put-put. Not a single Kardashian was privy to this conversation. If a Jenner falls down in the woods, and a Kardashian isn’t there to see it, did it really happen? Also, I have to mention two absurdly ridiculous things re: last week’s episode – I seriously did not realize that Brody Jenner was “Brody” from The Hills until someone pointed it out pointe blank in the comments last week, mostly because in KUWTK, he looks like a laid-back, 30-something surfer dude, and not a hair gel’d to death Malibu douchebag. Also, that same commenter pointed out that Bruce actually has two more kids from a previous marriage that occurred BEFORE his marriage to Brody and Brandon’s mama. So that’s 3 marriages, 6 kids. Which makes Bruce seem like some sort of serial procreator. No word yet on how great/terrible those first two Jenners think their relationships with Bruce are. Maybe we’ll find out next season.

In the end, Bruce bought his gun, and the fam decided that only he and Kendall would have access to the guns and safety codes. Seems legit.

After the guns debate was settled and Kim’s pregnancy woes finally ebbed, we returned to her eternally ongoing divorce drama. Kim was actually looking forward to a face-to-face with her now ex-husband Kris, because, let’s face it, the divorce drama had gotten a little ridic. She wanted to remind him that they did love each other (questionable), she still loves him (doubtful) and things should never have gotten this crazy (true, but also totally expected). But it’s kind of apt that things did get that crazy, because their ridiculously brief courtship and extremely over-the-top wedding were also crazy. Unfortunately, Khris didn’t show in court and was probably taking every conceivable step to avoid being alone in a room with Kim and her camera crew. Kim was a little bummed she didn’t get that moment of closure. We didn’t get to see Kris Humphries, as much as we all wanted to, but we were treated to a rare appearance from Kim’s BFF LaLa Anthony. She and Kim chatted about how pregnant she was, and how emotionally trying the decision to divorce Khris had been on Kim. It’s a sort of bittersweet moment to end the show on, but end it does, with almost no fanfare (other than Lala!)

More conversational gems from this episode:

(Rob to Scott) “Do you stuff your pants? It just looks like you do.”

(Scott to Kourtney) “How do you feel about having guns in the house? Like, a BUNCH of them.”

(In response to a gun in the home) “Maybe I wanna be a Charlie’s Angel” – Kendall (Strangely, it seems like a valid career option for Kendall.)

“OMG I think I got a pussywillow in my eye, I swear.” – Kim (Also, PUSSYWILLOWS in general.)

“Who puts anal beads in the stove?” – Scott, on finding a shopping bag full of anal beads and other sex paraphernalia in the stove. This might’ve been an addendum to the series premiere, where Kourtney threatened Scott’s manhood with an oversized marital aid.)

(Kim to Kourtney, as she’s getting a foot massage.) “You’re so not nice like this, what’s going on?”

Did you find this episode as tense as I did, Kardashian fans? I’m almost looking forward to an episode where almost nothing actually happens, though I’ll probably have a different stance on that when one lands in my lap next week.

I tend to think it’s bad new for a Housewives franchise when an episode that objectively should have been highly entertaining fails to get me excited. Last night’s shenanigans on Real Housewives of Orange County, from taxi-jumping to bed-peeing, didn’t do much to move the needle on my imaginary excitement meter. Perhaps it’s my personal fatigue at watching grown women act like children, or maybe Vicki in particular simply sucks all the air out of the room. I’m not sure, but although there’s plenty to discuss from last night’s crazy episode, I’m not feeling that good ol’ reality TV enthusiasm for any of it.

1. The show more or less opened with Tamra putting her crotch on some dude’s face. I wish I were exaggerating that, or, even better, making it up entirely, but I am not. I witnessed a mother of three (four?) squatting on a stranger’s face on top of a bar in Mexico. Continuing the tradition of climbing on things, Tamra then ran out into the street and jumped on the hood of a taxi, because apparently Tamra’s a soccer hooligan. Once they got home, Tamra and Vicki inspected each others’ feet in the driveway after they fell out of the limo-truck and then Vicki peed in Tamra’s bed. They ARE soccer hooligans.

2. Tamra woke up Heather in the middle of the night so that they could have the dramatic confrontation in the wee hours, drunk. For a moment, I thought perhaps Tamra wasn’t that drunk, because she had enough of her faculties about her to know that a middle of the night drunken conversation would be a bad idea and that they should be quiet coming into the room. Once they actually got inside, though, all of that sense went out the window and they burst into Heather’s room to wake her up. Because the most constructive dialogs always happen when one party is half asleep and the other is three sheets to the wind!

3. Vicki can’t even be opaque about her intentions anymore. I think we’re all pretty sick of Vicki by now, so I know I’m preaching to the choir, but seriously – what a nasty piece of work. In the limo, Vicki flipped out at Gretchen for being upset over getting left when they had all already admitted that they did a bad thing and were sorry. (Whether or not they had actually admitted that is up for debate.) In her interview, Vicki blamed Heather and Gretchen for the debacle because they had the temerity to go to the bathroom. Here’s the reality: Vicki saw her chance to commandeer the trip (and her friend) from Gretchen, and she took it, even though it was clearly a crappy, wrong thing to do. She admitted as much while drunk.

4. Vicki thinks Gretchen should look at her as a mentor. Do you know how painful it is when Diet Coke comes out of your nose? I experienced it last night when Vicki revealed that she sees herself as a woman worthy of emulation. I’m going to sue her for damages.

5. Tamra is definitely in some hardcore therapy. We’ve been talking about this all season, but her explanation of why she’s drawn to people like Vicki – because their relationships are entirely surface-level and unchallenging – made so much sense that it had to be something she and a professional had gone through at length. Vicki is so screwed up and lacks so much self-awareness that of course she never goes deep with Tamra about her past or her demons. Vicki can’t even look sideways at her own demons, and Tamra’s burgeoning self-awareness needs more than that. Not that Gretchen is any great thinker, of course, but she’s at least capable of incrementally more emotional transparency than Vicki is.

6. “Who wouldn’t want to have a blinged-out whip?” A fair question, Heather. A fair question.

7. You can’t show an anatomically correct dildo on cable television. The more you know.

8. The Puerto Vallarta strippers didn’t really strip. What they did do, though, is wear silly little bullfighting costumes and when take their dongs out and quasi-consensually rub Tamra’s head on them. Putting this out there now: If I ever trick some dude into marrying me, anyone who invites a stripper to my bachelorette party to molest me is getting stabbed with a fork. There is nothing less sexy than a male stripper.

9. Unless the male stripper is Channing Tatum. The exception who proves the rule.

Well this was a particularly meaty episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, in respects both literal and figurative. There were late-night fast food binges, there were dudely heart-to-hearts, there were private investigators – it was all very scintillating! Per usual, there were three plot threads to follow. We’ll start with the most frivolous.

As I warned you in my recap of last week’s episode, Rob has put on an impressive amount of weight since last season. Stars, they’re just like us – they eat their feelings, and sometimes they sneak a box of Pop-Tarts into their rooms, and they hope their sisters (who they live with) don’t notice, but they totally do. Kim and Khloe were worried about their little bro, but what really burned their biscuits was the fact that newly zaftig Rob was “all over the blogs.” Is there anything more shameful than being all over the blogs? The fam made light of Rob’s situation, even as they said things like, “He told me he pulls over in his car and cries once a day.” Obviously, Rob’s extra bulge is far more offensive to the Kardashians than the idea that he might have serious, deeply-rooted emotional issues. Rob approached Kim about his fatty guilt, had a “come-to-Jesus” moment, and vowed to change his food-loving ways.

Rob was admittedly depressed because he was worried about how his flub was going to affect his career in the fashion industry. (You remember his forever-in-development sock line, yes?) He was so depressed that he flaked out on an 8am gym appointment with Kim’s personal trainer. Nine times. After he flaked on a tenth gym date with Kim, she hunted him down while he was enjoying a pile of ribs with some guy friends, and started piling on the slacker shame. (I don’t want to make it seem like Rob was literally eating his way through the episode, but it was certainly staged that way.)

Khloe and Kim hatched a brilliant scheme to kickstart Rob’s fitness party big time by overindulging him with fast food. I should note here that neither of these Kardashian sisters are licensed dieticians. Their plan backfired, of course, because FOOD IS DELICIOUS. And if you came home and your pregnant sister told you “I couldn’t decide what to eat so I ordered burgers AND pizza AND Chinese food, you too would be like, “YES! BEST NIGHT EVER.” I don’t think that’s an insane reaction. You too might crawl into Kim Kardashian’s giant pillowy bed and hand feed her chocolates, and it wouldn’t be weird at all! (It was weird. This was a weird moment. Was it weird for you? I worry about Rob sometimes.) Having leftover burgers for breakfast the next morning, however, might be a tad questionable.

Anyway, absolutely no headway was made with Rob’s weight issue, and I think we can probably all just sit on our hands until he gets an endorsement deal with Weight Watchers. (That is the idea, right?)

On to more hard-hitting emotional fare – as I also mentioned last week, Bruce’s sons from his first marriage, Brandon and Brody, will feature a lot more prominently on this season of the Kardashians, because the show is at an awkward stage where Kendall and Kylie don’t get into enough trouble and Mason and Penelope aren’t old enough to form cohesive sentences, so the show needs new recruits! Strangely enough, Brandon and Brody are just as indistinguishable from one another as Kendall and Kylie. What is it with those Jenner genes?

Anyhoo, Brody had/has beef with Papa Bruce because he wasn’t around when he and Brandon were growing up, because Bruce’s divorce from his first wife was apparently unspeakably bad. Brody tried to broach the subject in the most awkward way possible while the Jenner clan was enjoying a day at the beach, but Bruce was quick to shoot it down. Meanwhile, Brody’s older bro Brandon seemed totally zen about the whole thing, which seems odd, because as the older sibling, you’d think he’d have more residual resentment.

I should mention that now that the extended Jenner clan are cast regulars, Brandon and his wife Leah’s band get a fair bit of screen time. Their music doesn’t suck, though, so they get a pass for a little self-pimpage. Brandon and Leah spent a fair bit of the episode trying to push Bruce and Brody to spend a little time together, and they finally arranged for dad and bro to get together over a little homemade almond milk. (Yes, Brandon and Leah make their own almond milk, because they’re kind of adorable.) They continued to almond milk it up in the kitchen while Brody and Bruce stepped outside to hash out some MAN FEELINGS.

Bruce admitted to being a crap dad to Brody and Brandon, but heavily implied that he was basically pushed out of the family by his ex (without using those exact words), even though both Jenner bros swear their mom never spoke ill of him. The cams at some point shot back to Brandon and Leah, shamelessly eavesdropping/tearing up in the window. Both Bruce and Brody finally conceded that mistakes had certainly been made, and their relationship wasn’t perfect, and could probably use a little work. Or something to that extent. (Nothing makes me feel more awkward that dudely dudes trying to express their innermost feelings.)

Now on to the truly beefy stuff – Robert Kardashian’s widow has apparently made a decent chunk of change throughout the years selling overly sensational stories to the tabloids. You remember the rumor that Khloe wasn’t actually a legit Kardashian, which was officially disproved last season? That was apparently started by the woman ominously referred to as “The Widow”.

“The Widow”’ is at it again in this episode, telling the tabloids that Kris Jenner beat the Kardashian girls when they were children, which is pretty ridiculous, because Kris Jenner is many things, but I seriously doubt she was ever a child beater. “The Widow” has been a continual source of stress for the whole fam for a full decade, and Kim finally (rather dramatically) resolved to take action, 40 minutes into the episode. She called upon her “go-to PI,” a tall, brawny dude with a thin Fu Manchu mustache, to dig up a little dirt on “The Widow.”

Fun facts about “The Widow”: she was first married when she was 15. She’s been married a whopping 5 times, and she’s filed for bankruptcy twice. After the Kardashians threw a little dirt about “The Widow” on national TV, they met with an attorney to discuss their plan of action. I like how everyone pretended that a defamation of character suit wasn’t totally instinctual. (I spied a sunny yellow Birkin in Khloe’s lap in this scene – did you catch it?) The ladies finally decided to file a suit, but of course, things can never be that simple. “The Widow” eluded the law for a while, probably in an attempt to crank out a few more Kardashian tall tales for cash money before she was legally banned from doing so. Finally, “The Widow” was served her papers via a little bit of perfectly legit trickery. “That slippery snake has been served!” declared Kim. END SCENE.

It was all very melodramatic, wasn’t it? What was your take-away, Kardashian fans? Apropos of nothing, I saw a lot of great pumps in this episode, but I couldn’t properly ID a single pair. Feel free to do the honors in the comments!

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