Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was one of those slightly tedious midseason evening where not a whole lot happens except vicarious shame for everyone watching, or as Bethenny said on Watch What Happens Live, ain’t nothin’ going on but the rent. These ladies have to pay their bills (mostly because their husbands don’t work, at this point), and shows like this one are their bread and butter.

We saw plenty of bickering and snarking and behind-the-back talking, and then we nearly saw Alexis’ chacha a few times while she was photographed for her dress tags by a very beleaguered photographer. And then a fire alarm went off, perhaps symbolically telling us that we should all be evacuating this entire mess. But we won’t be evacuating, we’ll be recapping.

We started with Lynne and Tamra, who sat down together for cocktails and immediately started talking about that time that Tamra and Fernanda kissed like a year and a half ago, back when Lynne was still a housewife and continually whacked out on muscle relaxers and tequila. This time, she stayed sober long enough to tell Tamra that Fernanda’s in love with her, at which point she immediately chugged some sort of giant peach-colored martini while some poor waitress looked on, baffled. Also, I don’t believe for a second that Lynne has never kissed a girl. I’d believe that she did it and doesn’t remember it, though. Lynne’s like the protagonist from Memento who can’t make new memories.

Over at Alexis’ house, Pegatha stopped by while on her paper route to discuss Alexis’ stunt at last week’s dinner party. Alexis came clean and told her that Earth Jesus does not approve of those kinds of people and now refuses to hang out with them, although he apparently sees no problem with lying and flaking out on events to which he’s RSVP’d. He’s Earth Jesus, everything he does is perfect and just, and the little people are going to have to deal with that, even if it hurts their simple little brains.

When Peggy brought up that they never hang out anymore and Jim had gotten condescending with Micah over Lamborghini sales tax (and I’m not even making that up, I couldn’t make that up), Alexis pointed out that they had had four Lambos, but, uh, that wasn’t the point, the point was that Micah should take that up with Jim if he thought Jim was rude! And, really, Jim is rude to everyone, we already know that and so does Alexis. She just wanted to make sure that Pegatha knew her station in life, which is somewhere under Alexis and Earth Jesus. Counting her possessions is how Alexis shows dominance. Although I wonder how many of those Lambos were paid in full. (Actually, I don’t wonder. I’m feeling fairly certain it was zero. Notice that Alexis didn’t mention currently having any Murcielagos.)

At Vicki’s house, the dissolution of her marriage was continuing apace. She and Donn did their best to wander around the kitchen and pretend like the other wasn’t there, but when actually forced to speak to each other, they made sure to never make eye contact and use the most obviously irritated voices imaginable. Vicki was worse about it than Donn, naturally, because Donn is still people. Vicki, on the other hand, long ago turned into a cocktail-swilling, woohoo-ing Bravolebrity fembot. And I have no more snark about that situation, because it’s just sad and uncomfortable to watch.

Next up were Gretchen and Slade, who were getting ready to haul their entire handbag line (HAaaaaahahaha. Sorry, I can’t help it.) out to Texas to be on a local San Antonio morning show. They were also going to haul Alexis, Peggy and Fernanda out with them for reasons that weren’t entirely explained (but probably just so Bravo would pay for the trip), but it wasn’t quite time for that yet. First, Slade and Gretchen got into some kind of snit over luggage, but Gretchen finally put her foot down and reminded him that she’s paying the bills so she makes the luggage rules, and he just sat and drank his sippy cup of orange juice defeatedly. At least he had washed his hair for the occasion, which marks the first time in the entire season that he saw fit to do so. Unfortunately, it didn’t last for the rest of the episoded.

We then skipped straight to wine tasting with Pegatha, Vicki and Tamra, who were enjoying the time-honored Housewives tradition of riding around in the back of a limo and talking about people who weren’t present. First it was Alexis and Earth Jesus, who no one seemed to miss at all, and then the conversation turned to Vicki and Donn. Apparently the decision to not have children together was actually a mutual one and not all Donn’s doing as it was made to seem on the last episode, which just makes Donn’s little outburst at her seem more reasonable. If your wife freaked out and got her tubes tied before you had settled into the marriage enough to get her pregnant, then it’s probably not entirely your fault that you guys didn’t have kids together.

When they arrived at the wine tasting, things were fun and obnoxious at first, but when they all moved on to a different winery, things got decidedly less fun and more obnoxious. Vicki called the Puerto Rican winery employee a Mexican and then told him that Tamra liked dark meat, and when he corrected her and said he was Puerto Rican, I could swear that Vicki very nearly said, “Whatever, same thing,” but managed to stop herself at the last moment. Tamra is the only person in this entire show who seems to have ever met or interacted with a non-white person in any kind of social capacity, and she was appropriately mortified by the whole thing. And Tamra isn’t embarrassed by anything, people. She’s perhaps more impervious to shame than any of our other housewives.

Tamra wasn’t the only person who felt the hot burn of shame creeping up her neck; I wanted to crawl under my couch and never come out, but as it turns out, my couch isn’t far enough off the ground to accomodate that. These are the kind of white people who give the rest of us a bad name. We’re not all Vicki, I promise. That’s just all I can say. Things got even more awkward when Peggy brought up Donn and Vicki completely shut down, but at least it stopped her from saying more things that embarrassed the poor guy who was tasked with serving them wine. Did he lose a game of Rock, Paper, Scissor to get that job? When Real Housewives walk into a restaurant, are there constant games of Rock, Paper, Scissor going on in the back to see who has to deal with them? Best two out of three?

Our next stop was at Gretchen’s house to meet Slade’s mom, who seems like the smartest person to grace Real Housewives of Orange County since…ever. She seemed to be of the opinion that both Slade and Gretchen are idiots, but she expressed that in only the way that a mother can – by suggesting that maybe Slade should go to law school so that Gretchen’s parents will approve of him. Slade is nearly 40, and if that’s the best advice that anyone can give him about getting his life together, then that probably says it all. And if it doesn’t, then Slade’s mom out and said that she has no idea what Slade’s job is other than being Gretchen’s lackey, and that was probably why Gretchen’s parents don’t like him. How did such a dim person come from such a smart lady?

Our next awkward interaction was between Tamra and Fernanda, wherein Tamra explained that she’s a lesbian only in the Katy Perry sense of the word, and Fernanda seemed as confused by why anyone would do that as my grandmother would be. If Fernanda’s spent her entire dating life as a lesbian, you would think that she’s encountered a straight girl with daddy issues who doesn’t know the difference between negative and positive attention, right? It seems like a pretty common phenomenon in all the crappy bars I’ve ever been to. Although from the relatively unemotional interaction, it was clear that Fernanda wasn’t really in love with Tamra as Lynne had previously claimed; at best, it seemed like kind of a stupid crush.

Speaking of crappy, our next stop was a photo shoot for Alexis Couture, which was held at the St. Regis because that’s the only location in Southern California classy enough to contain the classitude of Alexis’ dress line. Which is named the same thing as a plus-size porn star, just in case anyone missed that in the last recap. I bet the real Alexis Couture is really irritated that some dumb Real Housewife is stealing all of her good Google rankings from her years of hard work in the porn trenches. That hardly seems fair. And in case you wondered whether or not our Alexis had ever modeled, her ability (or complete lack thereof) to strike any sort of pose that didn’t make me want to push her down the stairs should answer that for you.

Just when I thought I couldn’t roll my eyes any harder for fear of actually injuring myself, Earth Jesus sensed that there were too many ladies having thoughts without the close supervision of a man, so he showed up to demonstrate his expertise (or, again, complete lack thereof) as an artistic director. He made sure that Alexis bent over far enough that we almost saw her ladyparts and advised her that her face-against-the-wall, ass-up pose wasn’t just exactly right. And then he slapped her on the butt and told her to do like Marilyn Monroe. And then the photographer went into the bathroom, popped two Xanax and gave herself a little pep talk about how this was a good, paying gig and that there was only a couple of hours left until it was over.

And then the fire alarm went off. That was all the photographer’s doing as well, since as long as she’s required to be there and listen to those morons blather at each other about poses and styling and dresses and how awesome they are, she might as well have some fun. And maybe it wasn’t completely on purpose, but she certainly did grin pretty hard when it happened. I’d be excited over embarrassing a bunch of vapid reality show stars in public too, particularly while they’re feeling very self-serious and fancy about their polyester zebra print dresses.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • katieax

    Loved Slade’s mother!
    She needs to be a frequent visitor.
    All that talk of taking care of the women in his life was not normal…how about working like a normal person?
    Earth Jesus sitting around barking out orders seemed awfully comfortable for him…He seemed to think for a second that he was Giles Bensimon!

    • I thought it was interesting how he made sure to spend some of his precious camera time bashing both of the women in his past – his baby’s mother and Jo. Stay classy, Slade.

    • suz

      Giles Bensimon….. or Larrry Flynt…..

  • Relli

    OMG if you haven’t you seen the finished product you must go to the website… so hilarious i burst out loud laughing. I wish I would have seen the footage of him giving directions!

    Also did you see on Radar that Pegatha’s house is in foreclosure? Looks like the OC RHW curse is ALIVE!

  • Lisa in Oregon

    “…Earth Jesus sensed that there were too many ladies having thoughts without the close supervision of a man, so he showed up to demonstrate his expertise…” Spit my lunch out while laughing again. This is becoming a problem. :) One of your best, Amanda!

    I wonder what Jo thought of the “lazy” comment from Slade. Bet she’s not so happy.

  • **Empress**

    Amanda, please stop calling Jim (aka Fatty, aka The Chinless Wonder), “Earth Jesus”; it’s an insult to the real Jesus. :B
    Your recaps are killing me!!! So good.

    • No insult intended, it’s meant to be a jab at how he views himself! Richard at Gawker came up with it and I think it’s just too perfect as commentary on Jim’s own high opinion of his greatness.

      • Empress

        I was kidding!!! :-) Jim has officially taken over Slade’s creep factor. Jim is the word ick.

      • Haha ok! I wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to answer flippantly because I love you guys.

  • Kjon

    I think this was one of the better episodes so far in this season because I feel like I need to comment on almost everyone! :P Two words to sum it up: Sh!t. show.
    Vicki’s ‘dark side’ / ‘Mexican’ comment was a jaw-dropper.
    I still feel sorry for Don.
    Tamra was looking a little vamp at the wine tasting, which suits her sinister persona. Loved it minus the fur vest.
    I liked Peggy in this episode. I though Vicki and Tamra were baiting her into talking mad smack on Alexis but she kept it relatively breezy with them. For now. Alexis is clearly competitive (in my opinion) with Peggy and I know from experience how frustrating it can be. I guess ‘convenient theories for Jim’ dictates that excessive pride and envy need not apply to them.

    • S

      I really don’t think Alexis is envious of Peggy. Something about Peggy seems sad. Alexis seems so into her own world that she doesn’t really get envious of others – she’s way too into herself. Peggy on the other hand: something about the way she’s always watching others makes me think she’s rather insecure. And I really can’t stand Tamra. The way she was eyeing Peggy while saying Alexis is jealous of her. She’s so trying to stir things up.
      I knew this would happen from the way Vicki treated Don, but watching their marriage fall apart was too sad.
      And it surprised me when Bethenny Frankel stood up for Slade – I always felt the way she feels -Gretchen and Slade seem to care about each other and really no one knows his financial situation especially with a sick child. I’ve seen first hand what unexpected health emergencies can do to a person and their finances. I can’t bring myself to be snarky about it and I can’t imagine the pain he’s going through as the father of a very sick child.

      • Kjon

        Yeah Alexis could just be incredibly self-absorbed.
        I still argue for envy based on the Lambo conversation because it seemed really off-topic. Peggy was trying to say Jim was being rude and all Alexis can say is he has 4 Lambos. Just seemed a little odd. Also, if you saw the promo for next episode they have another little tiff when Peggy was talking about her list of “man attributes” she was looking for and it cuts to Alexis going “HONEY, I had 150 things on MY list”. And let us not forget the playground pissing contest. And the comments Alexis made to the camera concerning Peggy’s boob job were kind of catty. “She should have gone to my doctor because…. just because”. Their boobs are not that great so no one needs to go to either of their doctors.
        I totally see your point, I just wanted to share why I feel that way. :)

    • I would say that Alexis seems to be competitive with just about everyone. It takes a decent bit of insecurity to let a man treat you how Jim treats her, let alone to marry that man, and people like that often express their inferiority complexes by being needlessly competitive. The Lamborghini pissing contest was just so transparent. Whip it out and measure it already, ladies.

      • Kjon

        I agree 100%. Maybe she’s more vocal about it towards Peggy because they’re closer friends? Or maybe I haven’t noticed it towards the other ladies.

      • Amy

        Kjon – I think Alexis sees Peggy as the biggest threat. She knows she can’t compete with Vicki because in order to even try she would have to be WORKING and that’s not happening. And I doubt she sees Tamra or Gretchen as a threat in her little *Bev Cleaver world (my goodness she’s dumb). Those girls only have boyfriends and not husbands and, well, in Housewife pecking order they naturally fall to a lower rung. Plus, while Eddie’s okay, um, Slade? Self explanatory. I think Alexis can’t take the heat of another plastic couple… it’s too close for comfort for her so she’s lashing out. Perhaps that’s also why Jimbo skipped dinner? Can you imagine if he hadn’t? It would’ve been one huge pissing match.

      • S

        I definitely see the overly competitive and inferiority complex relationship. That’s how I view Vicki. Alexis mentioned on her blog that the park scene wasn’t her being competitive – that she was showing frustration that she couldn’t potty train the twins as quickly as she had her son. Its funny I think Alexis and Vicki have a lot in common – they seem to brag a lot without thinking twice about it. I guess I’m more inclined to see the good in Alexis in spite of her ridiculous husband because she’s not quick to trash other people or laugh at their misfortunes like Vicki and Tamra. The only mean comment I heard Alexis say was about Peggy’s botched boobs.

      • Lisa in Oregon

        I think you just pegged Alexis 100% Amanda.

      • Lisa in Oregon

        I agree with you 100% Amanda. (Your take on Alexis)

  • rose60610

    Great title line.

  • Mochababe73

    I completely agree with S. Alexis is likable because she doesn’t trash the other ladies or make fun of their divorces and foreclosures. She is right to keep away from Tamra and Vicki. What I find completely ludicrous is that Tamra and Pegs want Alexis to apologize for Jim’s behavior. I totally agreed with Alexis that they should take that up with Jim. Not one time in my almost 15 years of marriage have I ever apologized for my husband. I actually thought that a couple of the dresses were cute.
    All I have to say is that I am surprised that Vicki found time in her busy insurance schedule to have a little fun. That whole interaction with Donn was extremely painful to watch. Now, maybe Donn and Jeana can get together because, apparently, Simon already has a woman.
    Still not sure if I like Pegs. She just appears to be two-faced and trying too hard to fit in with the Mean Girl clique.
    Gretchen’s display of handbags reminds me of the kiosks in the middle of the mall that sell knock-offs-cheap and tacky.
    I really like Slade’s mother. Unfortunately, people who make sense don’t really get their own show.
    Tamra is pathetic, and that’s all I have to say. Such an instigator. Once the novelty of being single wears off, she’ll find that she is the same person she was with Simon.
    Fernanda is creepy.
    I wish that Lynn was back along with Jeana. She’s the only one that REALLY calls Tamra on her bs (baloney stuff).

  • Ruthie

    I’ve seen several comments about pairing Donn up with Jeana. Just what he needs–another woman with a lot of “baggage”!! He deserves better!

  • J in Boston

    OMG, photo shoot of the dresses is hilarious. Is this a joke or real?

  • Jennifer

    Amanda, is it weird that I want you to be my friend simply because of your talent at perfectly dissecting these shows every week??

  • Jennifer

    Amanda, is it weird that I want you to be my friend simply because of your talent of perfectly dissecting RHs every week??

  • Manuela

    I also really liked Slade’s mom basically laying his whole sorry situation on the line for him in that couch scene…AFTER I picked my jaw up off the floor when she told Gretchen she should make more money to cover Slade’s back child support!! WT unholy F was that remark about? Amanda, I’m surprised you let that one slide. I’m still processing the outrage.

    I may be mistaken, but I thought CA was the one of the few, if not the only state in the Union where CS can be recalculated every year. At least in every state it can be recalculated with an extreme change in circumstances. Gretchen made the excuse that Slade had been “meaning” to have his CS reevaluated until he’d been served a charge of contempt of court. To my knowledge, one does not have anything to do with the other. Both cost money, yes, but they can be done at the same time or together… So is this actually about the medical bills? Yeesh, what a mess.

    • Wait, I didn’t hear her say that. Sometimes I miss something here and there because I livetweet and take notes for the recap during the show, so if I leave something out that seems big, it’s usually not intentional!

  • mkat

    My favorite moment was Vicki giving Donn the cold shoulder when they were in the kitchen, and then the cut-away where she said they were having problems communicating in their marriage. Like blaming him for not having kids when she’s the one who had her tubes tied, she totally stonewalls him and then complains about the lack of communication!

  • Manuela

    I could leave this whole installment of the RH series behind happily as long as I could see Donn finally content with a woman who was his equal in temperment and humanity. Who likes “normal” tacos, retirement and little dogs with sinus problems. I really dig Donn.