Real Housewives of Orange County Recap – 8/22/16

As for the woman who was actually called a c*nt, she’s at home when the phone rings. It’s her husband and he’s calling to sing her Happy Birthday. The guy is trying. He’s planned a big overnight birthday surprise for her and she looks positively giddy about his thoughtfulness. I’m rooting for this couple. I’m also rooting for David not to lose his entire mind while Shannon packs her entire bathroom cabinet for one night away from home. It turns out that David has planned a surprise party and a vow renewal for his wife and most of the other Housewives have been invited to attend. Heather, Meghan, Tamra, and their husbands take a party bus over to the venue while Shannon rides to the undisclosed location with David. On the way, she tells him that Vicki called earlier in the day to wish her a happy birthday and to invite her to celebrate Vicki’s upcoming birthday as a way to put all the anger (and Vicki’s lies), sadness (more of Vicki’s lies), and the past (years filled with Vicki’s lies) behind them. It’s worth noting that Vicki made those pleas while she got her feet rubbed with Kelly beside her and I now have a brand new night terror that will surely keep me up for the next century. Shannon’s reaction to Vicki’s phone call is rather simple and perfectly glorious. She feels no anger about that f*cking moron; she just doesn’t want to be her friend. Cheers, Shannon! You’re one of the only Housewives ever to make a bit of sense and I salute you!

While those who have not yet offended an entire continent of human beings head over to a party, Vicki and the other outcast meet for dinner so they can discuss how messed up it is when people get offended by little things like being called dumb f*cks or getting lied to about cancer. It’s nice to see Kelly drinking in this scene since she handles her liquor oh so well, but there’s very little time to concentrate on that issue when there’s a wealth of other nuggets of insanity flying about, like when Kelly tells Vicki how she tried to make amends with Shannon by acting like “the bigger and better person.” Unfortunately, Shannon is such a “Negative Nellie” – a term I don’t quite care for – that she could not accept Kelly’s kind apology. Even so, Kelly does admit that she was out of line to scream, “Shut the f*ck up!” at Shannon, but thankfully Vicki is there to absolve her of her sins. See, Vicki’s mother was also a screamer and she too has shrieked bloody murder as cameras were pointed straight at her face and really, Vicki sees herself as a mentor to Kelly and I’d love to recount the rest of this conversation, but I am laughing my ass off at the moment and I’m simply unable to type anything else…

Okay, I’m back. I have fought through the giggles because I have a job to do and part of that job is to actually transcribe this sentence Kelly Dodd said to Vicki Gunvalson without vomiting: “I want you to teach me how to be a better person.” Kelly? You’d be better off taking a wellness course with Lucifer himself than relying on this confirmed idiot for any sort of advice on personal betterment and the fact that you don’t know that is not even sad; it’s just pathetic. Even more pathetic – which I hardly thought possible – is the way Vicki the Mentor tells Kelly it would probably wise for her to suffocate the feelings of wanting to divorce her husband because “being single sucks.” Yes, Kelly has managed to snag herself a mentor who can tout both settling and incredible desperation over one meal. Score!

Back at the event where the drunken misfits have been banned, the invited guests stand around and drink champagne while waiting for their hosts to arrive. Heather has been put in charge of corralling the guests to be quiet so Shannon will be surprised when she walks in. The plan works. Shannon is shocked and excited and truly blown away by everyone’s thoughtfulness. Everyone she cares about is there, even the stars of Flipping Out – and that pleases me immensely because I’ve got myself quite the crush on Gage. (I know he’s gay. I also just know he would not sweat all over my pillowcases, so allow a girl a moment to fantasize, okay?) Anyway, at some point David leads Shannon away for yet another surprise, their vow renewal ceremony. Their kids are there to witness the next stage of their parents’ marriage and it’s all really lovely. I actually had tears in my eyes the entire time – but I’m officially blaming them on allergies because I don’t want to appear soft after using the word “c*nt” nine times in this recap alone. What I will admit is how truly moving it is to see two people rebuild a relationship that was once broken almost beyond repair. This couple might be living proof that a reconciliation that once seemed impossible can be realized and, if not for that terrifying scene with Kelly and her mentor from the fiery depths of Hell, I’d probably sleep like a baby tonight.

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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