Real Housewives of Orange County Recap – 6/20/16

The first full segment is all about Tamara. She’s getting set for a fitness competition and she is literally working her ass off in a gym. I’m impressed (look at those pull-ups!) and confused (why would she not put her hair up if she’s gonna end up sweating like that?), but the biggest revelation here is not her bulging bicep; it’s the snarl she has in her voice when she speaks of he son’s “insta-fiance.” Look, I have no idea where the relationship between the man I fear more than the boogie man and the woman who actually gave birth to his spawn is right now, but I’ve read a few “articles” in US Weekly, and my friends? It doesn’t look good. It’s been a while so it’s hard to recall just what went down, but I remember words like “abusive” and “violent” coloring those articles like rotting rainbow sprinkles, and it appears that Tamra is no longer so sweet on the woman who sells guns and was going to be her daughter-in-law. What Tamara is sweet on is getting the best body a fifty-year-old woman has ever had, and I commend her for her commitment and for her sculpted shoulders. Her trainer is there to make sure her form is correct and to teach her the appropriate way to waltz out to greet the competition’s judges (and while I don’t remember a lot, I do remember that I saw pictures of her winning that eventual competition and that she did it in Lucite stripper heels) and we see Eddie watching from the sidelines. Her husband’s got himself a beard these days and Tamra makes sure to tell us that things between them could not be better. She credits her baptism for their amazing sex life and so that rumble you just heard was not, in fact, the start of the apocalypse; it was just Tamra screaming, “Oh God!” once more today.

Next up is Meghan, who is discussing construction plans with her horrible husband, a man who shows no joy when speaking to or about his wife. You know how uncomfortable it feels when you and your boyfriend are out with another couple and that couple starts bickering at the table and there is absolutely no humor mixed into their words so you know neither is faking the verbal tussle and you end up dipping into some bread or reading the back of a Splenda packet just so you have somewhere to look besides across the table? One glance at Jim Edmonds is exactly like that. But the evil monster doesn’t just insult his wife these days. The guy has branched out! He’s a commentator for the Cardinals and he’s become part of a business that makes candles, so whoever had “candle maker” in your bracket, congratulations! Your prize is that you never have to dine with Meghan or Jim!

While “Jimmy” gets a briefly contented look from sniffing his candles and marveling over the soap he’s made – which seriously caused me to laugh – Meghan attempts to discuss the intricacies of IVF because some evil troll who lives in the bad part of her brain told her that it would make excellent sense to have a baby with a man who hates her. It’s sad, really. We cut back and forth from their interactions where he ignores her for sport to Meghan’s interview where she almost crows about how great it is that she’ll be pregnant soon and that Jimmy is agreeing to another child because he adores her so much that he refuses to lose her. Then we cut back to him ignoring her some more. Oh, Meghan.

Over in Heather’s rarified world, children are abounding, her husband is busier carving into rich women than ever, and she is planning a party on a boat that will serve as the first time anyone has seen Vicki since she lied to their faces for well over a year. Just the sound of Vicki’s name makes Terry look fatigued, and I understand that reaction because I too sighed with furious resignation that, even after all this, Bravo is still willing to employ this assh*le and now that production’s up and running, the others have to see her and so do we. But Heather is in a positive frame of mind these days. There was a heath scare with her husband that thankfully turned out well and she is in a forgiving kind of mood and so she will launch into a toast on that boat about how life is too short for everybody not to play nice, even with a she-creature like Vicki Gunvalson.

And speaking of the awful beast, she’s back and she walks inside her kitchen in a quiet sequence that I suppose is meant to make us feel badly that Vicki is all alone. Maybe it worked on some viewers, but I no longer have a shred of empathy for this woman and most of it has nothing to do with her lies and everything to do with her proud lack of self-awareness and for whimpering that she couldn’t break up with Brooks even though he made d*ck jokes to her daughter because how was she expected to be alone for even a fraction of a second? At any rate, my hardened reaction is clearly not what Bravo wants. They want us instead to open our hearts and be proud of Vicki for all of the changes she’s made to her life, like that new haircut and finally having a kitchen that isn’t brown. Oh, and Brooks has moved out. Unfortunately, she’s still harping on being alone, she’s still wearing ugly tops, and she sprawled herself in the middle of the street on the night Brooks left, crying and begging the lying assh*le not to go. She also continues to maintain that she would stand up for her man all over again if history were to repeat itself. Ergo, I’m not quite on board with celebrating Vicki’s renaissance here because I don’t think there is one to celebrate. Still, Vicki would like to move forward. She wants to whoop it up again! And me? I’d like the last four minutes of my life back so I can pretend this moron isn’t actually real.

When it comes to Brooks faking cancer, Tamra doesn’t believe for a moment that Vicki wasn’t in on his premeditated duplicity. That medical binder she created for him? Turns out she never even saw it. Shannon trusts Vicki even less these days and finds it remarkable that her stories about being by his side during all of his appointments keep changing, even now that the man is gone, even after she wept into the hot asphalt as he drove away from her. Heather would just like some accountability from Vicki for being a liar, though I fear that should Heather request some, Vicki will immediately respond by miming the crucifixion again. And Meghan? She feels vindicated because she knew those two were lying the whole f*cking time.

Oh, and as for Vicki’s tagline that if you want to judge her, you’d better be perfect? My answer to that is a simple, “Yeah…no.” See, one need not be perfect to have a strong opinion about someone fabricating the claim that she desperately called a doctor in the wee hours to give Brooks an IV simply because she “needed some compassion.” But excellent try, Vicki. At least you’ve mastered the art of lame projection!

(Also – and somewhat off-topic – I want whomever it was who first told Vicki that saying “whoop it up” was nothing short of adorable to be located, coated with generic honey, and then left in a pile of smelly dirt so ants can ravage him for hours and hours – and then a few more hours. And I want this experience to occur on the single hottest day of summer and preferably in a location where cesspools are being pried open after nearby residents have all suffered from a stomach virus.)

Back in Shannon World, things are looking much better since the dark days when she and her husband performed fake eulogies for one another. She insists that she is completely over David’s past affair and, just as she is ready to move on emotionally, the entire family is ready to move on physically to a home where they can actually find one another without having to break out organic breadcrumbs. Meanwhile, Meghan and her mother arrive for an IVF appointment and, shockingly, Jim is not with her as she goes through this painful process. I’ve since read that Meghan actually winds up getting pregnant. Anyone want to take wagers on whether Jim will show up in the delivery room?

Now it’s time for Heather and Tamra to hang out with each other and buy some citrus trees that Heather can sink into the soil of her still-in-the-construction-phase new home. Checking out lemons is fun, but we all know that the whole purpose of this scene is so these two can discuss Vicki on camera. Tamra hasn’t seen Vicki in months and just receives texts from her every now and then in which the idiot continues to declare how wronged she has been by her friends. That claim alone should make the rest of them avoid Vicki forever. Seriously: what else has to happen for this woman to be cut out for good?

Look! It’s time to meet the new girl! Kelly is Meghan’s friend and she looks exactly like Cheryl Burke would look if she were not always wearing sequins. She and Meghan are have only known one another for about a year and Meghan enjoys her because she’s fun and because Kelly doesn’t hate her like her husband hates her. So what do we learn about Kelly? She was Homecoming Queen in high school, she too went through IVF, and she has diarrhea of the mouth, a quality we should all just acknowledge is the very thing that snagged her a spot on this show.

Over at Vicki’s house of desperation and solitude, she talks on the phone to her grandson and her daughter. Seems Briana is moving back to Orange County and Vicki bought her daughter a house because having family within yelling distance will make her feel way less alone. After her child calms her down and explains that yes, they will be just fine driving back from Oklahoma without a man in the car (good f*cking lord, lady!), Vicki hangs up but the phone rings again right away. It’s Heather calling this time and it’s kind of interesting to watch this, as long as we’re all aware that “interesting” really means “f*cking repulsive.” Let me walk you through it. So, Vicki makes a face that Heather is calling her and makes sure to toss into the brief conversation that she has no man to bring to the party on a boat that Heather invites her to attend – but then she also says that she’s glad she was included by the woman she just disparaged. It’s all confusing and sort of gross and I can’t believe how much I actually despise this person.

In a far happier place are Tamra and Shannon. They are such good friends now that they pair up for fun activities like getting non-invasive facelifts! But as for Vicki? Shannon will not forgive her because they didn’t have a mere disagreement that soured their friendship. No, Vicki was involved in a cancer scam and Shannon wants nothing to do with her anymore, but Tamra is not nearly as committed to icing the woman out and her weird need to keep Vicki in her life is one of the reasons I can never fully get on board with Tamra, but I’m keeping that quiet because it’s clear that she can absolutely kick my ass.

Before we can get to the boat party, first we are forced to watch Vicki toast with Jeana – a woman Vicki has cut out of her life more than once before deciding she needed her again because nobody else would deign to be seen with her anymore. I don’t like Jeana. I think she’s a nasty troublemaker and pretending that there’s any other way for people to look at this Vicki-Brooks-Cancer situation is nothing short of moronic. The rest of the women eventually arrive on the boat and even Kelly shows up like it makes sense that she’s there, because that’s what happens when a new Housewife arrives on the scene. Kelly’s bold humor rubs Shannon the wrong way almost immediately, but Shannon’s got bigger assh*les to sauté and fry because here comes Vicki and there is nothing Vicki can say that will ever make Shannon want to be friends with her again. Good thing Kelly has decided that Vicki is so awesome, much to Meghan’s total horror. I’m sure Meghan will do her damnedest to put the kibosh on that little friendship, but I’m not really invested in this Kelly chick yet so I don’t actually care who she ends up becoming chummy with. What I simply can’t abide by are the rest of these women deciding to open their arms to this vicious liar ever again and I think I’m going to wind up being very annoyed as this season progresses and Vicki is embraced once again by all the people she has betrayed –and then blamed for that betrayal.

At some point, Vicki asks Heather to come outside with her so she can apologize for her actions last year and to ask for forgiveness – and to toss in a line that she has nobody in what I’m guessing is her final effort to be seen as a sympathetic figure instead of the bullsh*t mythical monster of doom she really is.

Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at Her twitter is @nell_kalter.

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