Real Housewives of Orange County Recap – 7/25/16

Over in Vicki’s world, she is grateful that her daughter is out of the hospital and she is working hard to take care of her grandchildren. I’m a big enough person to give credit where credit is due, so allow me to say here that I think it’s lovely that Vicki is a good grandmother. And now that that’s out of the way, allow me to reiterate that I still really f*cking hate her.

It’s probably about twenty-four hours before she screams into Shannon’s face that it’s clear why her husband cheated on her when Kelly and her daughter go get a manicure. Vicki’s best friend in the whole wide world makes sure to tell us that she’s a fun mom, but she’s also the kind of strict mom who won’t buy her daughter a new iPad when the kid doesn’t even use the Apple Watch she was given and I think we’ve all learned a great deal about boundaries so we can probably move on now.

Across town in the saddest white Range Rover in all of the land are Meghan and Jim. She is rattling off her schedule as it relates to getting her body ready to have a baby with him and he is doing his very best to ignore her. His reactions are in fact so dick-like, it’s hard for me to type this part of the recap because I keep cringing, especially when Meghan asks if he would like her to continue sending him videos of her shooting a needle into her stomach and he says, “No,” but then tells her he’s just kidding and she dissolves into a million-watt smile because she’s foolish enough to believe his second answer was the truth. Oh, Meghan.

And now it’s the night of the party and Shannon and David have committed to the theme with a vengeance. She looks like a fortune teller who has just gone on a bender after a night with Liza and Baryshnikov at Studio 54 and he looks like a guy who tried out for one of the leads in Boogie Nights but was relegated to playing one of the men who stand around on the driveway and watch William H. Macy’s character’s wife nail the random stranger on the ground. But David has way more on his mind than a wig. Vicki Gunvalson was invited to this party and he is not pleased. He hates Vicki and Shannon tells us that Kelly will be coming and she is not her favorite and this right here is one of the top reasons why these shows are breeding grounds for insanity because what kind of people throw parties and invite guests they hate? What kind of person attends an event where they know most people there find them appalling? And what kinds of people do this so often with a straight face?

Since she has exactly one concrete ally at this point, Vicki decides to ride to the party with Kelly. She shows up in a kaleidoscope-patterned outfit that I’m positive just destroyed something important, like my corneas, but it’s nothing compared to Kelly’s husband’s ensemble. The guy is wearing a shirt that is shinier than his bald head and the whole look is sort of alarming, but let’s instead focus on the way Kelly appeals to Vicki’s swollen ego by telling her she looks twenty years old and so skinny and the way Vicki proudly tells us how popular she was in grade school. God, I can’t stand this woman. The three of them do some shots even though Kelly has already had three glasses of wine and it’s beginning to become apparent why the night is about to go the way it eventually did.

(Also: Vicki proclaims that she “needs to whoop it up so bad.” In turn, I would like to proclaim that my greatest wish is that Vicki Gunvalson loses her voice to a sea witch in the kind of barter that is irreversible until the very end of time.)

Shannon arrives at her party feeling dy-no-mite, but that glorious feeling will soon be shot to sh*t. Sure, there are lava lamps and pet rocks aplenty, but she invited people who hate her and there aren’t enough lava lamps in the world to mellow the inferno of fury that’s heading her way. (Before things turn nightmarish, can I just say how much I wish I could go back in time and have Shannon be my babysitter in 1978? I can just see her dialing my rotary phone while popping open a Tab…) Her guests begin to arrive. Meghan brings her mom and Eddie brings a gigantic wig as his plus one. Heather shows up looking like Roller Girl and Vicki shows up hoping that everyone can just forget the way she systematically betrayed them and they can all just hug it out because that makes perfect sense if you’re a f*cking moron.

Shannon greets Vicki and Kelly with a Jello shot and all seems to be calm until one of Kelly and Shannon’s mutual friends – a woman who has become one with Botox – announces that the last time she saw Kelly, she was with her boyfriend and not her husband. To be fair, Kelly and Michael were separated at the time, but this woman saying anything seems like very bad form wrapped in a very bad omen. To take her mind off the uncomfortable moment, Kelly does a few more shots and Shannon invites her guests to start dancing until it’s time to scream bloody murder at one another.

The evening is going well. Tamra tells Meghan she’s forgiven Vicki. Meghan tells Tamra she doesn’t give a f*ck about Vicki. Terry gets stuck chatting with Vicki and doesn’t saw off his own arm to get away from her. Kelly tells David he looks like a pedophile. Terry sits down beside Heather and tells her that he knows he’s being a lousy father these days and promises he’ll soon be home more with the family, a promise he’s made several times before. Heather’s response is calm, measured, and well articulated and it’s a great indication of why I can’t help but respect her.

And then things start to sour. Vicki and Kelly are, in Tamra’s words, “f*cking wasted,” and the only thing more annoying than Vicki Gunvalson in general is Vicki Gunvalson with tequila flowing quickly through her bloodstream. There was no way any of this was going to end well, but what happens next is still pretty unpleasant. Sitting with Tamra, Jaci (the woman who previously knew Kelly), and some woman named Nina who clearly sees this moment as an audition to hold a Swarovski orange in the opening credits, Shannon asks what the story with Kelly is and Jaci begins to explain just as Kelly and Vicki walk over and hear Kelly’s name being said. As she insists they’re just trying to find Vicki’s purse, things escalate quickly when Nina says something about Kelly and Kelly responds loudly and drunkenly and like she took a pill that dissolved whatever bit of class might have at one point existed within her. A stranger talking badly about her? Kelly will not take this lying down – or stumbling – so she approaches the couch where Shannon, Jaci, and Nina sit and bellows, “Tamra said you were talking about me!” and right then is when everything implodes completely.

“You look like every average Newport Beach chick,” Kelly slurs to Jaci (she’s not wrong) and then begins calling Shannon “Mrs. Roper.” “Did I insult you when I came to your party?” Shannon thunders before just saying, “You know what? Bye-bye,” and she attempts to throw Kelly out. But anyone who believed Kelly would leave quietly has not been paying attention to how many drinks she’s guzzled, to say nothing of whatever she might have ingested in her closet bar back home. “This is the worst party ever,” Kelly trills as the bald husband who would not allow her to divorce him chides Shannon for not looking appropriately seventies and the entire thing is so bizarre that I almost can’t even describe it.

“You are so f*cking dumb!” Kelly blusters to Shannon and everybody gets quiet except for Vicki who announces, “Shannon’s in her glory right now.” This statement – which also sort of makes no real sense – is followed by David telling Vicki to shut her f*cking mouth and that she lied about cancer and everyone knows it and all of this is going down while Vicki wears a skirt so short that I think I can see her cervix and David is rocking a curly wig made out of something that’s definitely flammable. And it’s still not over. Shannon bursts in at that moment to complain to her husband that Kelly and Michael are being horrible to her and he will of course deal with defending her honor the second he’s done calling Vicki a scumbag.

He’s the one that’s the scumbag,” Vicki explains. Um, can we agree that they’re both scumbags and just move on?

As they are finally almost done creating a scene, Kelly, Michael, and Vicki go to leave, but not before Kelly proves that she’s in this f*cking thing to win it and turns around and yells, “No wonder you cheated on your f*cking wife.” Those are fighting words and Shannon has been poked enough at this point that she’s ready to destroy Kelly. It just so happens that she’s heard some rumors about Kelly cheating on her husband and she decides to announce it to the masses while Kelly screams that she’d never be friends with Shannon because Shannon is too ugly to have to look at and Shannon screams back that she should have another f*cking drink. And what does Vicki do? She slides into the limo with the two people on the planet who rival her for being voted Most Horrible – and then she calls the guy who would win that contest by a landslide. That’s right: Vicki drunk-dials Brooks on camera and rambles to his voicemail that he needs to make things better for her. Not a bit of it makes any sense, but at least we all finally have some visual evidence of what psychosis looks like in action.

Back at the party, everyone has all but sobered up because of Kelly’s sheer awfulness, but Shannon and Tamra have found a way to salvage the fun. The two put on streaking costumes and careen through the party giggling while Kelly sits in the back of a limo with the husband she might have cheated on and the new best friend who totally sucks sweaty balls and she sips water while maintaining that she was just attacked and she gazes out the window of the car unsteadily while Vicki wonders how long it will take for Brooks to call her back.

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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