The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Tectonic Plates

The Real Housewives of Orange County

The Not So Quiet Woman
Season 12 Episode 3
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Bravo/NBCUniversal

This season of The Real Feng Shui Experts of a Best Buy in a Strip Mall has some serious problems. The biggest of which is Peggy Sulahian’s black-and-white Ferrari. What sort of uncleaned dorm-room poster of a car is this? This is one of those things that you see in a catalog that no one is supposed to buy. But then Peggy (or more likely her husband) actually went and bought it, and it’s like they’re laughing at the world while the rest of the world is laughing at them. It’s not that it’s necessarily ugly — though it does look a bit like Two Face from the Batman comics — it’s that it is entirely implausible. It’s like it’s not even a real car. It’s like it’s a gag from Zoolander 2 that somehow manifested itself in the real world thanks to the dark magic conjured out of clippings of Ben Stiller’s pubes.

I’m just kidding, that’s not the biggest problem this season, though it is the thing that annoys me the most. The biggest problem is that none of the women actually want to spend any time together and, well, that’s not really the show we’ve signed up for. Right now, each woman is like her own chess piece on Daenerys Targaryen’s giant map of Westeros, and we’re just waiting for them all to converge in some sort of epic battle with reanimated corpses. (In this case, Vicki Gunvalson is the army of reanimated corpses.)

Seriously, what good is a Housewives franchise if we can’t even pretend they’re friends? Meghan has relocated to Orange County from Palm Springs, but she’s not going to dinners or lunches or anything. She’s just sitting at home with her baby wrapped in an old scarf on her bosom and Dutch-ovening herself with infant farts. Vicki is completely isolated from everyone because of years of lying about her boyfriend’s cancer, while her biggest concern seems to be spying on her employees because she thinks she gets taken advantage of all the time because she’s so kind. Yes, Vicki, that’s exactly why people embezzle from you. Yup. Sure is.

Meghan seems like she’s on some sort of a drama-free maternity leave, but Vicki and Kelly Dodd have ruined the action for themselves. Tamra and Shannon refuse to tape with either one of them, which leaves Lydia and the new Housewife Peggy as some sort of Bridge of Sorrows between all of these aggrieved parties.

Strangely enough, history is repeating itself, as Lydia points out after their disastrous dinner at the Quiet Woman. She says that her first introduction to these women was at the Cut Fitness party several seasons ago. At that party, Tamra wound Alexis up so much that she fled to her limo and admitted that the stress of the show caused her to go on Xanax. At this dinner, Kelly wound Shannon up so much that she fled the scene and admitted that the stress of being on the show caused her to gain 30 pounds in a year.

As for the fight between Kelly and Shannon, I don’t even know what it was about, other than the two of them hating each other like Mrs. White hates Yvette. As Kelly admits, she just really wanted to get Shannon’s goat, which is simple because Shannon’s goat is always in a cage already, so all Kelly has to do is slam the door. With a few insults, Shannon is screeching like she’s about to be led to slaughter. Shannon Beador is easier to excite than a 3-year-old at the Minions movie after he’s eaten three boxes of Sour Patch Kids. She’s just always on the verge of having another meltdown and throwing plates around a restaurant called the Quiet Woman because Kelly Dodd called her fat.

While Shannon is an easy victim, Kelly Dodd is an excellent villain. Not only is she entirely abhorrent, she’s also delightfully bonkers. The best bits of the whole affair are when Kelly cackles at Shannon as she tries to lumber her way to safety through the restaurant’s kitchen, and later, when Lydia and Peggy are out front talking about it and she presses her face against the glass of the front door like she is one of those fish that cleans the inside of an aquarium with its suctioning rictus. She drives me absolutely insane, but man is Kelly Dodd great TV.

For her part, so is Shannon, who has to screech, “This is not my plate! This is not my plate!” multiple times and toss it across the table, like whatever is sitting in front of her is mac and cheese coated in lard and stuffed with foie gras. She also gets so enraged that she tells Kelly to “read between the lines” and holds up her middle three fingers in the most eighth-grade insult I’ve ever seen on actual television.

It it so easy for Kelly to push Shannon’s button because, well, her button is her weight. It’s all she seems to be able to talk about, even though, as Tamra points out, she is still drinking wine and eating red meat. Shannon is way too high strung for me to enjoy this season, but I do find her struggle with weight very sad and relatable.

Might I suggest getting a new trainer? When she steps on the scale and Dr. Tim sees the number, he just says, “Wow!” Then, when she takes her top off to pose for pictures in her sports bra, again he says, “Wow!” Then he asks, “What does David think of this? He’s a beast and, well, you are one muffin away from washing yourself with a rag on a stick like fat Homer Simpson.” Okay, he didn’t quite say something that awful, but that was the sentiment.  If I ever took my shirt off and someone said, “Wow” because of how fat I had gotten, that man’s bones would now be bleaching themselves in the sun of a remote desert because I would have killed him with my rage stare (and then eaten three boxes of Chicken in a Biskit).

In other solitary Housewives news, Tamra got herself a guinea pig for a pet. Now, I’m sure that I’m really going to piss off the International Association of Guinea Pig Lovers, but they really seem like the dumbest pet. What can you get from a real guinea pig that you can’t get from a fake stuffed one sold at a toy store? The fake ones are cute, fluffy, love to be pet, and have the added benefit of not pooping on your carpet and then trying to eat their own shit.

We are all a little bit like that guinea pig at this point, aren’t we? We have a front seat to all of this hatred and dysfunction, but we have no interest in it at all. We just want to run around on our little paper towel on the floor, eat our lettuce, and nose around our turds, as if getting that close to our own shit will somehow lead to salvation. Then, eventually Tamra will pick us all up and stare at us in the face, her features so big that it will be like sitting three inches away from an extreme closeup on an IMAX screen and our brains will short-circuit as we try to take it all in, fritzing to black and letting us finally escape into a heaven where everyone sits at the table together and no one feels the need to destroy the flatware.

The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Tectonic Plates