The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Ice, Ice Babies

Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Orange County

The Real Housewives of Orange County

An Unexpected Thaw Season 12 Episode 16
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Alright, I know the question that you’re just dying to ask. It’s probably even the reason why you clicked on this recap in the first place. “Brian,” you’re thinking at home (or in your cubicle, or in the office toilet stall trying to stifle your chortles while pretending that you’ve ceased watching the new Maggie Gyllenhaal drama, a.k.a. dropping The Deuce). “Can you really polish off an entire bag of Caramel Bugles in one sitting?” The answer to that, my friends, is yes. But for that skill I have traded having anyone talk to me ever again on Fire Island. It was a Faustian bargain that was totally worth it.

Just kidding. What you really want to know is if I think that Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr. (I made up the “Denise”) really suffered a heart attack at a themed hotel on the dry and craggily savannah of Iceland. The answer, friends and members of the Björk fan club, is no. Of course she didn’t. This woman’s heart attack is probably as real as Brook’s cancer and Harvey Weinstein’s remorse. I think that Kelly Dodd is right and that Vicki was really suffering from a panic attack.

What do I base this on? Well, as someone who suffers panic attacks while traveling, I know that they can be accompanied by headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, and numb or tingling arms, which is what Vicki experiences. The problem is those are also the symptoms of a heart attack. But a panic attack, especially for someone who isn’t prone to having them, can come the feeling that one is literally dying. Vicki, who had just received some bad heart news at the doctor, could associate those feelings of distress with her recent diagnosis, even though the doctor just saw some irregularities, not advanced heart disease.

Look at Vicki. She’s 55 years old and she is still in very good shape, stays physically active, and eats a healthy diet. (Though one that consists of far too many margaritas at Chevy’s because I just feel like Vicki is always forcing the people who work for her to go to lunch at Chevy’s. This is based on nothing other than intuition.) Her mother lived well into her 80s before having a heart attack. Vicki should be fine.

Also, we all know this is a woman prone to overreacting. She wore a neck brace for 13 years after a small dune buggy scuffle. She gets some indigestion and fatigue and next thing she knows, she’s having a heart attack. No matter what caused this, Vicki is getting what she really and truly craves: attention. You know that she is now going to milk it for everything it’s worth. But yeah, I hope she’s really not sick because that would suck for her and would also make me look callow and careless. Which, if the glacier hiking crampon fits…

Yeah, so all of the women are in Iceland and this looks less like a girls’ trip and more like a state-sponsored Northern Korean military parade. No one is enjoying anything. Vicki just wants to whoop it up and everyone else wants to turn in at 9 p.m. She mentions whooping it up so many times, Kelly finally has to take her to someone else’s 30th high-school reunion to have some fun. When Lydia finally gets them on ATVs out on a black sand beach, they’re all complaining about how cold it is and how there is nowhere to pee. While eating lunch at a waterfall, they’d rather complain about group texts than actually, you know, experience the natural beauty of this country.

I think I know what the problem is: Meghan King Edmonds, a woman who dresses like Sammy Jo from Dynasty, brought her baby on a girls’ trip. These days, parents want to take their children everywhere, but there are some places where they definitely do not belong: girls’ trips, nightclubs, experimental cabaret, business class, anywhere within the vicinity of a combine, gun ranges, American Cannibal Society conferences, and microwaves. Nothing is going to bring the party spirit down faster than Aspen cooing from her bassinet while everyone else is trying to unwind.

Speaking of which, I love when they’re at lunch and Meghan is like, “God, being a mother is so hard,” and then she turns around and says to the nanny, “Bridget, bring the baby over to me so I can give her a kiss.” Yes, that is what Meghan considers the difficult part of parenting, not being able to give her child a kiss any time she wants to.

The big event at lunch, however, is Lydia throwing a temper tantrum because she was left off of a group text. Yes, she feels like she gets left out of everything, but if Lydia’s Lord would unclench for just a second and let her enjoy things like drag queens, psychics, and understanding exactly what a vasectomy is, then maybe the other girls would want to include her in their little reindeer games. Instead, when Tamra brings it up and is like, “Sorry, Lydia, it was a simple mistake, but are you really mad about this?” she throws the menus at her and retreats to the bathroom to suck the joy out of the Glade air freshener that was left in there.

Seriously, this was one of the dumbest fights I have ever seen on this show, even dumber than a hotel where the Antarctica Suite looks like it was made out of furniture left over from a Bond villain’s garage sale and a Royal Suite that looks like the lobby of the Ramada Inn in Boise. This fight is so dumb that even Vicki D. Gunvalson takes Lydia aside and says, “I think you over reacted.” If Vicki is saying that, then ya burnt.

Finally, it’s time for the women to go climbing up a glacier, which sort of looks like the surface of Mars or Zac Efron’s midsection — strangely colored and unnecessarily craggy. Shannon wobbles about and gasps for air like Michelle Williams (the Destiny’s Child one, not the Oscar nominee one) took too many hits of poppers. Their guides Olaf and Sophia take them up the white and black mountains and tell them that in a few dozen years, this whole glacier will be melted. Way to get some ecological truth in with the Trump voters, you guys.

As the women stand there, on the top of the world, the ice slowly melting beneath them, Shannon can hear something like whispers coming up from the rocks. No, it’s not rocks, it’s ice. Maybe? It’s solid, like earth, but shifting like the air, moving like a current that knows no bounds. Maybe it’s spirits seeping out. The souls of everything that’s past finally being rid of their confines. Shannon thinks that’s what she wants, something to jam into her and pop her like a mylar balloon. She will let out just a soft sigh and her soul will puff out, leaving her inflated body hollow and useless. She’ll float into the chilly air with the rest of the steam, the rest of the exhalations of the ages finally churned up for all of us to breathe in. She wants to be part of us all, she wants to be part of everything. But most of all, she wants to finally be able to dance in the never-ending sunlight as doom descends on the entire globe.

The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Ice, Ice Babies