After an unexpected hiatus week for Real Housewives of Orange County, the show came back last night with an episode that was kind of boring and forgettable. All the surgery results from the previous episode were revealed (spoiler: no one is dead of nose job complications) and then most of the cast ran in one of those trendy mud races, but other than that, not much transpired.
Perhaps the only notable development in this episode was the continued presence of the Housewives’ significant others. Perhaps Bravo is hoping to steer this cast in the direction of Beverly Hills, a show that so many people enjoy in at least small part because the men are as funny and entertaining as the women? Maybe it’s a tactic to distract from the fact that most of us have ceased to know or care which pairs of Housewives are feuding and why? The world may never know.
We started with Heather and her husband, who were at David August trying to find grown-up clothes for Terry. He needed a tuxedo, because he’s not a farmer (sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of 30 Rock on Netflix lately), and he also needed three or four other suits, because the man apparently made it well into professional adulthood (not to mention into a custom-built mansion) without a proper adult wardrobe. The suits themselves were going to run in the $40,000 range, which doesn’t include sport coats and cuff links and whatever else Heather was going to excitedly throw in the bag on the way out. They did look like nice suits, though, all things considered, and I’m in no position to criticize prices.
Our next stop was a gym visit with Tamra and Eddie. Since they started dating, Tamra has apparently become more active and has definitely lost some weight, and because there was no real storyline to anchor this episode or huge fight to anticipate, we got an extended scene of them working out together, including Tamra making her booty jump. Was there a point? No, no there was not. They talked a little bit about Tamra’s impending de-boobing, but that was it.
Three scenes in, we finally got Brianna’s biopsy results and I watched the second thyroid cancer-related phone call of my work week. Like Betty Draper Francis, Vicki’s daughter Brianna doesn’t have cancer; unlike Betty, Brianna seemed to be appropriately thrilled and relieved that none of her tumors were deadly. I couldn’t be more excited for Brianna, who seems to be a totally sane and reasonable person despite being more or less raised by wolves, and maybe now Vicki will act like an ever-so-slightly less awful person for the next episode or two. I’m not holding my breath on that last part, but a girl can dream.
At Heather’s house, Tamra showed up for her second workout of the episode to posit the idea of the group doing a mud run together. I’ve seen Facebook photos of friends doing Tough Mudder and the like, and mud runs look like the thing I would enjoy the least in the entire world. Besides camping, anyway. Heather and Terry signed up to participate, though, as did Gretchen and Slade, and I sadly found myself having something in common with both Vicki and Alexis, who passed. I’m not particularly comfortable with that, but I’m even less comfortable doing a mud run, so I suppose I’ll have to deal with it.
Meanwhile, Gretchen showed up to visit Alexis and check on the results of her nose job five days after her surgery, which Alexis thought was unspeakably insulting. Despite the fact that most of Alexis’ swelling and bruising appeared to have gone down, she was prostrate in bed, wearing a surgical mask and gazing at photos of all the crap the doctor had pulled out of her face. She helpfully provided those photos to Gretchen, after which they discussed Tamra and how Alexis is eventually going to ask her why she hates her so much. Hopefully that conversation will happen after the surgical mask comes off, but if it doesn’t, I’d still be willing to watch.
Back in Vicki’s neck of the woods, Tamra showed up under the guise of going through Vicki’s wardrobe to donate things to charity. They did that for about 2.5 seconds before sitting down to talk about their dual divorces and display their limited vocabularies; Vicki, in particular, thinks that “fornicated” might be a legal term for what happens when your spouse refuses to sign divorce papers. It’s not, Vicki! It’s really not. But go ahead and Google it, I’m sure the results will be fascinating.
Without any warning, the entire group was at the mud race and Gretchen was complaining of a sprained ankle. As someone who has sprained, dislocated and broken her ankle in just about as many ways as you (or my orthopedist) can even imagine, Gretchen simply wasn’t telegraphing the kind of serious pain she’d be in if she had done anything more than rolled it a little bit. Give it a couple of days, Gretch, you’ll be able to do your basic Pussycat Doll shimmying in no time. Speaking of injuries that seemed to be causing no actual pain: Eddie broken his finger. Or is it just that all of these people, both men and women, are so Botox’d within an inch of their lives that their faces are no longer able to register any emotion beyond mild surprise? See why I don’t want to do a mud run?
While everyone else was covering themselves in fake mud and screwing up their joints, Alexis was back home having her bandages removed. Her new nose actually looks great – instead of giving her a stereotypical Nose Job Nose, her doctor had the good sense to pay attention to what she said and give her her old nose, minus the bump. There’s no better plastic surgery than a nose job with a light touch, and it’s tragically rare. More people should ask for the Ashlee Simpson rather than the Latoya Jackson.
After the mud race, the whole group got together for drinks and everyone was refreshingly normal and pleasant. When you remove Vicki and Alexis from the group, suddenly everyone gets along and acts like human beings. Things got a bit strange when Slade talked about competing in the Tour de France in ’93 and living with the national cycling team, and although that’s perfectly impressive, it’s less interesting when he seems to have done absolutely zero with his life in the intervening two decades. It just reminds us all how long it’s been since Slade did anything brag-worthy.
In other news, Vicki and Brooks were out to dinner talking about all their mushy feelings for each other, and quite honestly, I zoned out for a little bit. Knowing his child support history, I can’t take Brooks or Vicki’s affection for him seriously, particularly since the whole thing is so clearly a Donn rebound. Vicki likes that Brooks exists and is a man who is interested in her, first and foremost, but also that he seems to understand the level of shallow attention she requires on a daily basis and humors her about it, including a morning affirmation, whatever the hell that means. I’m not sure exactly what he’s getting out of it besides a chance to be on TV, but hey, that seems like plenty of motivation for Slade.
Before the relationship talk could end, we then visited Tamra on the way to sign her divorce papers. She seemed excited and positive in the car, but once she sat down in her lawyer’s office, she cracked. I think that’s probably common when people put a very official end to a relationship that has lasted more than ten years, and considering how Simon seemed to be at least a little emotionally abusive, there were surely a zillion different feelings swirling around in Tamra’s admittedly tiny head, including lingering codependence.
Interestingly, the lawyer revealed that Tamra had waived her right to spousal support, saying that she didn’t want to be tied to Simon in any way that wasn’t absolutely necessary. That sounded surprisingly mature and independent to me, and despite all of the nasty things Tamra’s done in past seasons (and there are plenty of them!), I think you have to admit that she appears to be trying to move past that stuff and grow up a little bit. Plus, Tamra’s the only vaguely funny person in the entire cast, so I like her for that, if nothing else. She makes my job a little easier.
After signing the papers, Tamra made a teary phone call to Vicki in the parking lot, making the total number of teary parking lot phone calls this season at least six. She said the stuff that you’d expect her to say – that she felt like she had failed her kids, that she felt like she had just signed away 15 years of her life, etc. I hope I never get divorced, it seems like hell.