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.