Despite the fact that I continue to be suspicious of this season of Real Housewives of Orange County, last night’s episode was…okay. I’ll grant it that. Mostly I enjoyed it because Brooks made his debut for the season and I find him so compellingly, watch-ably skeevy, and his presence brings out a whole new layer to Vicky’s mid-life crisis. You know who I bet is really happy to see Brooks, though? Donn, Vicky’s ex-husband, who always seemed like a pretty good dude but now looks comparably even better.

Sure, other cast members had scenes and we even got to meet newcomer Lydia’s mom, who’s a hilarious pothead in recovery, but the dazzling stench of Brooks was what really made the episode. Here’s hoping Vicky doesn’t wise up and give him the heave-ho before we get out full entertainment value out of him.

1. Lydia thinks that she can be friends with two people who hate each other. Lydia and her fairy dust and her cute little sparkly headband are just adorable, aren’t they? She may have never seen this show before signing up, though, because she didn’t know to order the low carb Kobe burger at her lunch with Heather and Tamra, or that if she tries to maintain positive relationships with two other cast members who don’t get along, she’s going to get her face clawed off in the process.

2. Vicky agreed that Brooks wouldn’t be around before Brianna and her husband moved in. Well that puts things in a different light, eh? According to the conversation that she and Ryan had in the garage (which was perhaps even stranger than the conversation that Alexis and Jim had in the bathroom while apparently getting ready for bed), Vicky had agreed to keep Brooks out of the house as a condition of the kids (and the eventual grandkid) moving in. If that was agreed upon up front, then Ryan and Brianna have every right to expect it. I had assumed it was an issue that came about after terms had already been finalized and the couple had moved in, but if it was something Vicky conceded in order to con her daughter into raising the grandkid in her house, then I have far less sympathy for Vicky. (Not that I really had any to begin with.)

3. Lydia has a stoner mom and she’s totally cool with it. In fact, her entire family sounds kind of nutty, but in a way that’s fairly benevolent and makes for good party stories (and also apparently netted Lydia a lot of stoned shopping trips as a kid). During their not-stoned shopping trip, Lydia’s mom appeared to be covered entirely with fairy dust, especially circa her face, and pontificated on how shopping bags hurt trees. It was great.

4. Gretchen has had to deal with a lot of sad stuff on camera. I don’t particularly like Gretchen (or anyone on this show, except for Lydia, who is brand new), but between her dying fiance, the very serious real-life problems that were keeping her and Slade from getting married, and now her wanting to have a baby and feeling like she can’t bring it up because Slade’s young son is sick…well, I do have a certain amount of empathy for her. That’s kind of a lot of stuff, particularly for someone who’s still trying to start up a family of her own.

5. Vicky and Brooks went on a date. Vicky went all out for the occasion with a mink and a cocktail dress and big earrings, while Brooks showed up in his finest long-sleeve T-shirt. During their conversation, it came up that Brooks has dated other people since he and Vicky went on a “break,” and he doesn’t think it’s his job to win Brianna over. But, I mean, isn’t it your job to win over your spouse’s kids, or at least give it enough of a good-faith effort that the relationship can actually work? Or at least not speculate about hiring foreign hookers to the son-in-law who thinks you’re a security threat? You know, just some suggestions.

6. “I want a boy in my life!” If there’s anything more pathetic for a twice-married grandmother to wail tearily at a public dinner with her deadbeat ex-boyfriend, I’m certainly having a hard time imagining what it might be.

7. “You cannot put the purse on the ground. All the good chi comes out of the purse.” That is a thing that even I didn’t know about purses. If anything, I guess we all now know exactly how much weed Lydia’s mom has smoked in her life if she thinks that handbags have energy that falls out on the floor. As far as I know, mine just has lipstick and spare change that falls out.

8. Terry is nominally supportive of Heather’s new role, but maybe not actually supportive. Terry seemed excited for Heather’s guest starring spot on Hot in Cleveland at first, but then he did that thing that husbands on these shows do when their wives start wanting to do things besides sit at home and supervise the kids, and he got a little weird and undermine-y about the whole thing. Heather might have gotten a little too upset about it, but telling someone who’s upset to “lighten up” instead of addressing what actually went wrong is a sure way to prolong an argument. And then, after “apologizing,” Terry got in a little dig about how what he does (nose jobs for rich, vain Southern Californians) is so much more stressful than raising four small children. I’d be terrified simply to be alone in the presence of four small children. You’re outnumbered.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • winterpenny

    I totally agree with you…this season had the makings of a disaster, but it lightened up a bit with the addition of Lydia’s mom. As strange as she is, she is kind of likable. The best takeaway of last night was that Lydia would scam shopping trips when her mother was stoned. I like Lydia even more after that revelation. I do find it amusing that someone who group up in a hippie environment turned to religion for support.
    Briana’s husband is giving me the creeps. He seems a little over zealous and as a spouse, I would not feel comfortable having those conversations with my in-laws. I’m in the camp that he should have Vicky and Briana work this out.
    And yes, Brookes is way too slick. Anyone who lays it on that thick is covering up for something.
    No sympathy for Gretchen…only for Slade and his son. Gretchen has been postively nasty. I would think that whatever is going on with Slade’s son would put things in perspective. Why is she wasting time being mean…

  • Camille

    Love Lydia – it’s amazing how she stands out as the most normal and reasonable of the housewives and then we find out she has a kooky pothead mother who sprinkles strangers with glitter, love it! Heather does need to take a chill pill. Vicky came across as so pathetic last night. Awful enough to be so desperate you’d settle for a sleaze bag like Brooks, but to almost beg for him to love her and immortalize your pathetic-ness on national TV…shudder! So sad. Tamara, still white trash, still has anger issues, still heading for a future divorce with Eddie if they ever manage to get married. Wretched Gretchen, feel sorry for Slade, having a sick child is torture. Don’t feel sorry for her at all! All her neediness and selfishness is just keeping him from giving his children the attention and care they need. While she’s crying crocodile tears down her enormous immovable overmade up face, there’s a little boy somewhere who wants his daddy. Nuf said. And speaking of immovable, I couldn’t help but think Gretchen has had so much filler and botox in her face that she is starting to look like a young Jocelyn Wildenstein.

    • Yeah, her face. Why? She’s young and pretty; she doesn’t need an immobile face for gosh sakes. Ugh. I don’t feel sorry for her at all.

    • jane

      She was once really pretty but now . . . yikes.

  • Nancy

    If Lydia’s shallow mom cares so much about trees, why doesn’t she carry a fold up tote bag in her purse like they have done in Europe for decades? (the mesh ones take up no room). I have a car full of cloth & plastic tote bags from museums, Traders Joes, etc, and use they everywhere, because I DO care about the earth, and am secure enough to not need to walk down the street advertising where I make my purchases. Please!

    • Guest

      She told the sales girl that she didn’t want a bag. It was Lydia who insisted.

  • jane

    I think that’s the first picture I’ve seen of Vicki’s new face that’s not completely scary. THose weird bumps are thankfully gone and her make up looks a lot more natural than just spackled on.
    I liked Gretchen a lot more in her first season or two on the show and she’s gotten progressively worse but she has had some stuff to deal with. I’m glad she didn’t immediately marry Slade and apparently made him actually get a job before considering marriage.

  • Natalie

    I don’t know why I try to act like these are normal women but for someone who’s always been in Heather’s corner it really bothered me how she acted with Terry! I mean why would she have any reason not to suspect that he would get the kids to school (by the way do you seriously think that it would be his responsibility? I’m sure they have nannies!) and his way of being like “are you serious, of course I’m going to do that” is to joke about it, which is exactly the way my family works.
    Again I feel stupid for getting emotional about this (probably because Terry is the only guy on the whole show who doesn’t give me the heebie jeebies) since the whole thing made for “great television,” a public confrontation in a crowded restaurant, but I thought it was so irresponsible for Heather to get all huffy about it in front of all the kids!

  • morenayanga45

    How can you not like Lydia and her mother after watching
    this episode? These two are great together, and I think these two are going to
    take over this show. So far, this is turning out to be one of the better
    seasons I’ve seen. Unfortunately, I began working a new schedule at DISH, and
    missed this episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County when it aired. I’m
    so glad my DISH Hopper recorded this episode for me. This DVR has the ability
    to record up to 2,000 hours of my favorite television shows, giving me the
    freedom to record the full season of RHOC, plus the full seasons of my other
    favorite shows that air the same night.

  • Carl Bingum

    Finally some drama. I was wanting to jump through the screen when I saw the way ryan culbersom was talking to Lydia’s mother. How disrespectful. Who raised him? He never learned that it’s wrong to disrespect women or the elderly. Ryan is seriously in need of therapy to overcome his anger problems. Ryan was drunk and thinks it’s ok to argue with everybody that disagrees with him. It’s Vicki’s house, not Ryan’s. Even in the episode Ryan slipped and said he owned the house. He only rents. Him and his wife claim they are helping Vicky financially. Obviously that is a lie. Vicky doesn’t need help financially. She is completely self made and has no problem supporting her self. Brianna and Ryan will not last. They will end up in divorce. Ryan has taken over and is controlling Vicky’s home. Just cuz you go to war and fight for your country doesn’t give you the right to come home and abuse people cuz of your stress levels. Get help before you lose your family Ryan. I am scared for your son and what you will teach him after watching this episode. Just wait til Ryan’s anger turns on Brianna and she is the one getting abused verbally and or physically.

  • Carl Bingum

    Another thing. How dare Brianna judge Vicky’s choice with Brooks. That is her choice. Brianna picked a hot head that goes around verbally abusing people. Ryan thinks he is all big and bad cuz he is in the marines. He will learn one day there is always somebody bigger and worse then you are. That is a reality of life. That poor kid has some screwed up parents. The only good thing I see is that the baby has a good grandmother that cares for others.