After several dud episodes in both Orange County and Atlanta, it was somewhat satisfying to finally have the big blowup fight we were all promised on Real Housewives of Orange County last night. After all, Bravo initially promised us that we’d get to see it last week, but Bravo’s like that crappy boyfriend you had in high school – he breaks almost all his promises, but he comes through just often enough that you keep putting up with it. Now that we have no more Beverly Hills to enjoy, though, it seems like he comes through less and less…

Well, anyway, you guys already know how I feel about The Decline of Real Housewives. Let’s just enjoy a fairly decent episode while we have one to talk about, ok? There were fights and surgeries last night, in addition to Vicki’s terrifying, unmoving rageface. I don’t know how I’ll ever recover from that last part.

Bravo dropped us right back into the belly of the beast: Tamra’s 80s-themed suburban bunco party, which sounds like one of Dante’s circles of hell even if you didn’t already know that serious trouble was brewing. In a repeat of last week’s episode, Tamra once again let the fellas in, bedecked in their leather vests and mullets, and hell broke loose that would likely even give Motley Crue pause. The shrieks of happiness and surprise when everyone saw their man all dressed up didn’t last for long; before we even knew it, the factions had all split off and were being snide about each other in groups of two and three.

Pretty soon, Slade started hollering at Vicki across the room about whether or not she took issue with his Improv routine, and for half a second, Vicki was actually able to be the bigger person and remove herself from the situation. That didn’t last long, obviously, and pretty soon she stomped back in and made her best rage-face at Slade and Gretchen. By “rage face,” I mean that her eyes bugged out really hard, because Vicki has apparently had so much Botox and plastic surgery that literally nothing else on her head so much as twitched. It was so distracting that I had to replay the fight after the episode ended to make sure I understood what happened.

What happened, of course, was that Vicki yelled about how mean it is to make fun of someone’s appearance and Gretchen yelled back about how it’s no meaner than calling someone a deadbeat dad. During the fight, it occurred to me that they were both merely upset that the other had publicly told the truth about them. Yes, Slade is a deadbeat dad. Yes, Vicki has plastic surgeried herself into Miss Piggy. Sometimes the truth just sounds like an insult.

And then, naturally, Gretchen told another inconvenient truth: Vicki’s new boyfriend, Brooks, was so casual about his own child support payments that he actually went to jail for being behind. Whether or not he’s caught up (I’m not entirely convinced that he is), once you decide to date a deadbeat dad, you’ve lost your ability to criticize others for it. When Gretchen brought that up, though, I very much thought that Vicki’s head might literally burst into flames. If ever there were an occasion for spontaneous combustion, that would have been it. Instead, Vicki stomped out of the room yet again, this time for good. Heather finally unwound herself from the repose of horror that she had been in on the sidelines and Tamra picked her chin up off the floor.

Conversation eventually continued, though, and Gretchen actually brought up a few very salient points. Every now and then, Gretchen does that and it makes me wonder whether or not she’s secretly smart and merely hides it for marketing reasons. Then she wears knee-high, fur-trimmed sneakerboots, and I’m forced to go back to thinking she’s dumb. Anyway, those salient points that I mentioned: Vicki calls a lot of people names, sometimes names that relate to their physical appearances, like calling Alexis “trailer trash.” Vicki has never apologized for any of that stuff, as far as I know, but she somehow expects people to bow down and respect her in ways that she doesn’t respect others. If there’s a way in which Vicki isn’t the worst person on the face of the planet, it certainly wasn’t evident last night.

Conversation eventually turned away from Vicki and toward plastic surgery, because Heather’s husband was present and Tamra wanted a free consultation. Tamra’s thinking about having her ginormous implants removed, but things quickly moved from that to Alexis’ impending nosejob, which everyone took turns scoffing over. No matter how much I dislike Alexis (and it’s a lot!), I still don’t really understand everyone else’s judgment about getting her nose fixed. She’s having medical work and cosmetic work done simultaneously. That doesn’t mean her medical work doesn’t actually need to be done, and having both procedures at the same time is super common. Plus, all the rest of these harpies have fake boobs and Botox, so who the hell cares?

Alexis eventually heard all the snickering that was going on and the second blowup of the evening occurred, this time over whether or not the other wives were calling her dumb (they absolutely were, even though they all convinced themselves later that they weren’t) or misrepresenting what she had said to Gretchen about her nose job. Heather and Tamra were being so needlessly mean about the whole thing that at one point, I actually felt protective of Alexis, and whoever expected me to ever feel anything even vaguely positive about Jesus Barbie?

As usual, Alexis squandered any sympathy I might have had for her by shrieking about her nose job all the way out into the limo and then all the way home; sure, it’s annoying when people talk about you, particularly when they talk about you like you’re not there when you’re sitting three feet behind them. She explained what she knew and didn’t know about her nose, though, and everyone seemed appropriately chastened, at least in her presence. (They talked merciless shit once she left the room, naturally.) Heather’s husband even said he felt bad! When was the last time anyone expressed any sort of regret for hurting someone’s feelings on this show? Never, that’s when.

Still, Alexis turned the whole stupid episode into some battle of loyalty with Gretchen, who she fussed at in the limo for not having her back when she should have. Can we forever ban arguments about who did or didn’t have someone’s back from the entirety of Real Housewives, forever? Please? It’s one of the most tedious parts of the show; unless someone has actually stabbed someone else in the back, in a way that we can all see and understand, I don’t need to hear another fake blonde whine about how her friend didn’t say what she thought her friend should have said at the exact right moment and to the exact right people with the exact right look on her face. Bravo, I know you read these things. PLEASE STOP MAKING US WATCH THAT.

In an entirely different world, Brianna went to visit Donn and for an official meeting of the Vicki Gunvalson Survivors Support Group. Donn had finally moved out of the house and into his own place, and they talked about Brianna’s upcoming surgery over a few Coronas. In sharp contrast to Vicki, who seemed manic and denial-ridden over her daughter’s medical problems, Donn was calm, supportive and totally reasonable. No wonder that Brianna was so upset when they decided to divorce; she had lost her one halfway decent parent.

Elsewhere, Gretchen and Slade were riding around in their Range Rover yet again, cursing at Vicki and reading some nonsensical text messages that she had sent Gretchen about their fight. The only thing I took away from the scene was that Vicki thinks that Brooks is somehow better or more noble because he went to jail over the child support and Slade hasn’t, which makes literally not a shred of sense. It just means that Brooks was more flagrantly delinquent and without any kind of extenuating circumstances. Even if he is fully current now (which, again, I doubt – I bet he just paid enough to spring himself from jail), I don’t understand where Vicki gets moral superiority over Gretchen. She’s dating exactly the same kind of man.

In other news, Alexis is still pretending she has a dress line from which people actually purchase things that she then sends to them. Isn’t that cute?

Back in reality, Tamra went to visit Vicki at work and do a post-mortem on the fight, and the entire thing was just about as clueless and boring as you’d expect. I do feel for Tamra a little bit, though. She’s caught between two people who are ready to claw each others’ eyes out and they both expect her to take their side. In reality, both people are near-complete jackasses, and there’s not really any good way for the whole unpleasantness to be handled. Tamra managed the whole thing in a fairly diplomatic way, though, which is something I would have thought would be well beyond Tamra’s emotional maturity.

Finally, at the end of the episode, it was time for two surgeries. First up was Alexis, who was scared shitless over getting her nose fixed and ended up in tears before they put her under. When you have small kids, I’d imagine that the stakes for any kind of surgery rise exponentially, so all I will say is that Alexis actually looked quite pretty without all her makeup. I will refrain from commenting about Earth Jesus and his sermon. Yes I will.

The second surgery, of course, was Brianna’s. By the way Vicki was talking, you’d think that she was the one having her neck cut open – Brianna was actually the one telling her to calm the hell down in the car on the way to the hospital. As Brianna said in her interview, when Vicki’s involved in something in any way, it’s always all about her, no matter what it is. Vicki’s daughter’s cancer is about Vicki and how Vicki feels about it, and the actual surgery and treatment are totally secondary. That Brianna can intellectually understand that and not hate her mother with every fiber of her being is truly impressive. I hate Vicki a little bit on her behalf, and I sincerely hope she gets good news on next week’s episode. Both so that she can get better and Vicki can stop talking for, like, a half a second.

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  • Piperhallie

    This episode made me extremely disappointed in Vicki. When your daughter is about to have surgery for an unknown prognosis, you as a mother shouldn’t become dramatic and immature to the point where your DAUGHTER is comforting you on the way to the hospital. SERIOUSLY?! As a mom, she should’ve been calm and very positive around her daughter, being that her daughter is probably really scared for many reasons. Donn was exactly what Brianna needed, an energetic and positive person who lightened up the seriousness of the mood.

  • NCGal

    Great recap, Amanda! Love the Bravo/HS boyfriend analogy…so true. Heather is a big snot. Really wanted to see something else with her, but she really is a snot. So there you have it. What’s with Tamara’s above-the-eyebrow eyeshadow in the photo above? I was all in the 80′s and do not remember that trend. I am repelled by the Brianna-may-or-may-not-have-cancer storyline. If she does, then how awful for her that we have a front-row seat to THAT reveal; if not, shame on Bravo and all concerned (myself included) for exploiting her fear and using that as a hook. The more I watch this stuff the more I find that these women are nothing more than reconstituted carnival acts I used to watch at Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago when I was a kid. I never felt particularly good about myself for staring at the Wolfboy but yet I was compelled to pay my money to go see.

    • Reality Junkie

      NCGal- I am so glad someone else asked about Tamra’s “eyeshadow’…that was baffling!  I was in high schoo!l and college during the 80′s, and I don’t ever remember once seeing a person wear eyeshadow above the brow. Vicki’s outfit was equally dopey.. leg warmers with workout shorts, high heels and mesh gloves? WTH?!? Alexis (and Heather, I guess) were the only ones that really used the opportunity to look GOOD.

      • AmandaMull

        You know, I didn’t even notice Tamra’s eyeshadow. I was too focused on figuring out exactly what kind of fried chunk-o-goodness she was shoving in her mouth.

        CAN YOU TELL I’M ON A DIET? *sips vegetable juice*

      • Jeloi

        I have seen the look Tamra had on her eyes. I don’t know which era it was from, but I have seen it.

      • suz

        Yesterday, in a Walmart parking lot….

  • A Reader

    I’ve read (and I have no idea where) that Brianna’s tumors were benign. I hope that’s the case and am so happy if it’s true. The same article also mentioned that she eloped last fall and that Vicki was the last to know. Hmmm… Wonder why? In any case, I hope that Brianna has much health and happiness in her future. Her mother has given her a PhD-worthy course in how not to be married, so let’s hope she’s paid attention.

    • Ruthie

      I’m hoping what you read about Brianna iss correct.  She deserves a life of good health and happiness.  Lord only knows how she turned out so well with a mother like Vicki!!

    • John

      I heard the same thing about the elopment, but I also heard it would be on the show- or at least the aftereffects of it.

      • FashionableLena

        I saw pictures of the elopment on Vicki’s FB page.  I think, but I’m not sure, that Vicki said that she knew nothing about it.  Complete surprise.  I guess that this was Briana’s way of letting her mother know that she wasn’t in control.

  • Jess

    I heart Donn. He was treated like a piece of shit for how many seasons (and years) and still supports and loves the kids of the woman that did it to him. I’m not sure how he ever got tangled up with her, but I do think that Vicki has become more and more intolerable as the years have gone by…if you had told me that was at all possible two years ago, I would have laughed. It was refreshing to actually hear Brianna say that it’s always about Vicki. Maybe Vicki will think about that. Also, Gretchen was absolutely on point about everything she said about V. Gretchen isn’t stupid. I think she has a party girl and a smart girl trapped in one body, duking it out for turns. The party girl just wins more often cuz she knows how to fight dirty.
    P.S. As a mom who just had ankle surgery, I understand Alexis being nervous about going under. I had a hell of a time coming out of anesthesia and don’t look forward to ever going through that again. Though, now that I think about it, my hubby didn’t pray over me. *snap* That must have been the problem.

    • John

      I liked Gretchen the first season she was on the show- I felt that she was smarter than she let on but this whole Slade thing . . . ugh. ANd now her plastic surgery just looks awful.

      • Nancy from SB

         I don’t believe gretchen has had any plastic surgery  – what you probably don’t like is the fact that she applies her entire makeup line to her face every day! It’s like clown makeup!

  • Reality Junkie

    Did Vicki actually HAVE plastic surgery? I thought Slade just made that up to use the Miss Piggy analogy?? I’d like to see a picture of her from Season one for comparison purposes…surely she would not intentionally create a nose that shows her nostrils facing forward? And she needs to do something about her skin complexion, which was painfully evident in the the bad lighting in one of the scenes where she’s in (I think?) a waiting room with Brianna. Maybe she just appears worse this season because her inner ugliness is coming out. I think she is miserable because she has screwed up her life so badly, and now she’s facing a very lonely existence without Donn, her children or any true friends. She has foresaken everything for “her work”, and it’s also become apparent she has been living beyond her means (e.g., having to sell her home, fretting over paying Donn alimony, etc).

    • AmandaMull

      She looks like she’s had a face lift plus Botox and/or fillers to me. You can see in the scene where she’s yelling at Gretchen (plus the picture at the top of the recap) that her face is very taut compared to her neck and the rest of her skin. It looks like it’s been lifted. I don’t think she intentionally Miss Piggied herself, but whatever she’s done has only made the resemblance worse over time.

      • Reality Junkie

        “MIss Piggied” herself…OMG…you are too funny!

    • Emily

      Totally agree about Vicki’s skin. I hate scrutinizing women on appearance, but girlfriend needs to take WAY better care of her skin – the scene with her and Tamara was in no way flattering.

      I was repulsed by Vicki’s behavior during this episode, especially towards Brianna. She should be truly ashamed of herself. The fact that Brianna feels that it is all about her mother even during her serious illness is very sad and extremely telling of Vicki’s character. I lost whatever little respect I had left for Vicki last night, and I’m ready for her to be off the show.

      Lastly, she needs to look up hypocrite in the dictionary. I think she’ll be surprised by what it means.

    • Amy

      Vicki needs a glycolic acid peel – it would do wonders for her complexion (I do 30% once/week & get tons of compliments at 40 w/adult acne issues)

      • Kjon

        I agree about the acid peels. I remember when Vicki and Brianna went to donate blood but Vicki ended up not being able because she was on Accutane. Her adult acne issues must have included cystic acne, which explains her unfortunate complexion. Hope she gets that figured out. 

  • Javier2341

    One thing you can give and still keep is your word.

  • Maryann

    I believe it was at the Reunion show after Season 1 of RHOC that Vicki mentioned she had read online that people were saying she looked like Miss Piggy and how hurt she was by it.  I remember that distinctly because I thought to myself how sad it would be to be told you look like Miss Piggy.  I’m thinking that Slade took someone else’s thought about her looking like M.P. and used it in his “comedy” routine.  Did anyone see WWHL last night where Andy surprised Vicki by bringing Miss Piggy on the show?  She handled it very well (at least in front of the cameras/audience.)  

    Great review, Amanda.  They always make my day!

    • Relli

      Definitely took someone elses idea re: Ms. Piggy! I believe there was even 1 of those ironic art websites that did all the RHOC housewives and they did her up as Ms. Piggy, and that was some years and faces back. But I have to tell you my husband said the same thing about Vicki looking like Ms. Piggy, when I used to force him to watch in season 2 because we only had 1 tv. At the same time my friends husband mentioned the same thing about her looking like Ms. Piggy too. Maybe its just something men see when they look at her. Spooky!

    • Nancy from SB

       I don’t think most of us would be so rude to say something like that out loud (the fact that Vicki does look porcine) but for the fact that she is so arrogant, mean, self centered, narcissistic and bullying to others. ie, she has NO inner beauty to counteract her unfortunate looks. Her behavior to others invites put-downs. I keep hoping she will finally quit the show like she “threatens” every single reunion. Tamara is once again funny and is maturing rapidly, and I am starting to actually like the show again. (I do hope to get that hideous image of Miss Vicky screaming like a banshee out of my brain, however!)

  • FashionableLena

    I have been saying the same thing about Vicki for a long time.  Everything is all about her.  She has a holier-than-thou attitude.  I think that the reason why she is so angry is that, in the back of her mind, she knew that Gretchen was right.  The last thing that Vicki wants is for Gretchen to be right.  And, I don’t think that Gretchen owes her an apology.  Poor Briana.  I’m glad that she had Donn to lean and depend upon.  Personally, I think that she likes him better.
    I have made it official-I’m not a fan of Heather.  She’s passive-agressive and very fake.  Her husband seems sweet.
    My nephew had a similar surgery, and his mother was a nervous wreck.  But, I don’t understand why no one likes Alexis.  She’s harmless.  I didn’t mind her husband praying with her before her surgery.  I would hope that my husband would do the same.
    And, um, Tamra and Eddie are engaged.  I predict that this marriage will be shorter than Kim Kardashian’s. 

    • Kjon

      Re Alexis: she hasn’t been so bad this season, I’ll admit. However, she has said some fairly ignorant things on camera. One of them was referring to Fernanda’s sexual orientation as “unfortunate” and then when confronted about it (on WWHL and the reunion), she literally blamed the Bible, which in my opinion was a cop-out. No matter what the Bible says, I would never use it as weapon and/or an excuse for bad behavior.     

      Also, I know Pegs could be a bit annoying, but the way Alexis treated her (especially at the season finale party) was just gross. “I love my lips, thank Jesus for them everyday, mwah, mwah, mwah, I love them…” 
      You’re right that she is basically harmless but I think she’s also, well, dense. She also talks about herself way too much. She seems to have limited knowledge of her own religion as well. Don’t even get me started on “Alexis Couture”. 

      Oh, and I totally agree on all your other points especially about Brianna and Donn. 

    • AmandaMull

      I think what really bothers me about Alexis isn’t that she’s religious, but that she seems to have a limited understanding of her own beliefs and uses them as an excuse for her husband’s bad behavior and unwillingness to act like a parent instead of the king of his castle. She’s a woman who’s raising daughters to believe that their mates should be free of even the most basic household responsibilities because Jesus tells them that they’re supposed to be their husbands’ servants, which is not only a bastardization of modern Christianity but also damaging to them as individuals. That way of thinking only sets women back to the 1950s, and it makes me really nervous as a young, single woman.

      • SG

        I grew up in a conservative Indian home, where my mom cooked and cleaned while my dad worked. She expected my sister and I to marry and take over household duties like she did. My house was a conservative Christian home and my dad is an Indian Orthodox priest. However my sister and I grew up up to be not only working mothers, but have husbands that do more than their fair share of work around the house. I just want to throw in a different view point. Many of my friends are from conservative homes like me, but they didn’t turn out like women set back in the 50s. I understand that Alexis is dense, but I just haven’t seen a nasty side to her. I understand why she would expect someone like Gretchen to back her up. We all know how nasty Tamra is. I just don’t get why people hate Alexis but love Kim from Atlanta. For most of her time on television, she dated a married man and got rich off of him. I think that as fun as she is to watch, I think she is the worst representation for the modern woman.

      • Kjon

        As far as people liking Kim better in general over Alexis… You have to consider the show and what viewers find funny/interesting. Kim’s entertaining and Alexis is generally not. Kim is not a good representation of a modern woman but neither is Alexis. No one is comparing her to Kim, anyway.   

        I’m not super concerned with their roles as “modern representations of women” but as a Christian, and maybe we can connect on this, I find Alexis and Jim both embarrassing and offensive for reasons I touched on in my post. I disagree in that I do find her to act nastily towards others especially in her “confessionals” (or whatever its called) and in her bravo blogs. 

        I have a particular disdain for homophobia because of people to justify it. It’s not right and I personally do not want to lumped in with people who do that. I hope you understand.    

      • Jeloi

        Jesus doesn’t tell women that we are to be a servant to our husband, the bible says a “help mate” it means that we still have an opinion and are free to voice it. Unfortunately some men/womenthe scripture that way, but that is not what it means. We are to help our husbands, not be a servant. In most christian households the husband makes the final decision and if he mess up that is on him. All the household duties are not just for the women to complete. I have four sons and all of them know how to cook, clean and wash their own clothes.
        Sometimes after marriage, women lose their identity, they dreams, ideas, desires become the same as their mate. Give Alexis time and she will awake up and scream someday.

  • Maryann

    Nancy from SB:  I wasn’t implying that anyone here would be rude enough to say aloud that Vicki looks like Miss Piggy.  When I said it was sad people said she looked like MP, I guess what I meant was it would be hard to go through life with her looks.  I totally agree with everything you and others said about her.  She is awful in so many ways particularly how is is acting regarding Briana’s cancer scare.

  • Ms. Z

    So, Vicki said “people make mistakes” when it come to Brooks not paying child support!  So, NOW, it is okay for people to make mistakes because Queen Vicki says so.  GTF out of here Vicki.  She is absolutely horrible and maybe her face wouldn’t be so ugly if her attitude wasn’t so ugly.  I think that inside ugly has finally surfaced!

  • Sunsuncha

    Elsewhere, Gretchen and Slade were riding around in their Range Rover yet again, cursing at Vicki and reading some nonsensical text messages that she had sent Gretchen about their fight. Handbag Ugg Boots……shox shoe33$ ,jordan shoe33$,handbag33$ gucci handbag33$ ,coach bag33$ ,sunglasses16$,t-shirt 18$ and so on .  
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    http://www.mymycha.com   Cheap Coach,Chloe Leather Purses,Wallets     The only thing I took away from the scene was that Vicki thinks that Brooks is somehow better or more noble because he went to jail over the child support and Slade hasn’t, which makes literally not a shred of sense.

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