Just like her daughter Brianna, Vicki’s new boyfriend, Steve, is too good for this world. It is impossible to think that Brianna is a product of Victoria Gunvalson because she is so kind, real, and honest. When her mother tells her about Gretchen and Ricky talking trash about Eddie at Vicki’s birthday party, her reaction is to shout, like all the viewers at home, “Who cares?” Exactly. But it makes sense why Brianna sticks around. Vicki is her mother, and that is never going to change.
Steve, on the other hand, is a mystery to me. This level-headed ex-cop is a straight shooter and could be a calming influence in Vicki’s life, but why he would continue to date her is just a marvel to me. She’s not beautiful or rich enough for those to be the sole motivations, so there has to be something about her personality that attracted him like a fat kid to the cotton-candy stand. But Vicki’s personality is like a three-week-old empty beer bottle left in the gutter that a bum wiped his boogers on. Does Steve have some insane booger fetish?
Just look at the wonderful things he did just in this episode. First, when they arrive at Kelly’s Volleyball for Victims benefit game, which is a benefit for the women of reality television programs who are victimized by negative Instagram comments, Vicki vents to Steve that Tamra is there and it hurts her feelings that Tamra doesn’t like her. “Not everyone is going to like you,” Steve says, like he’s popping a spoonful of cough syrup in a child’s mouth. “Why?” Vicki asks. “Because that’s the way the world works,” Steve says, like he’s been dressing up as John Wayne for Halloween every year and knows how to deliver tough-guy common sense like he wipes his butt.
Then, when they’re at Kelly’s boob-themed after-party for the volleyball tournament, where there are more sets of unnecessary knockers than you will find at the annual Doorbells and Door Fixtures Sales Convention, Vicki tries to tell someone that she doesn’t even think about Tamra anymore. “Then why are you talking about her all the time?” Steve asks, trying to call Vicki out on her lies and make her confront her emotions honestly, a task that is so Sisyphean it’s like trying to push a rock up the hill only for it to roll back over you before it reaches the top, but there is no rock and no hill, there is just a bottle of tequila and some antidepressants that no one is taking.
Finally, Steve is talking to the guys and Peggy about the Vicki-and-Tamra fight simmering in the kitchen like a vegan chili that is about to burn and he says, “It’s like two gangsters shooting at each other and both of them trying to say they are right and the other is wrong.” Amen, Steve. He’s been around for less than a year and he’s already figured out and summed up every single fight that these Housewives have on a regular basis. Someone give this man a medal. Better yet, the Real Housewives Institute hereby deputizes Detective Steve Lodge to act as our enforcer of truth whenever he sees one of these bogus squabbles happening.
Where is all of this fighting coming from? Well, mostly from Vicki and Tamra. The day after Vicki’s birthday party, the press is reporting the rumor about Eddie being in bed with another dude. They’re saying it was spread by the ghost of Gretchen Rossi and Tamra’s former ex-gay Ricky, a popsicle someone dropped on the ground and tried to eat again. Tamra, of course, is upset, especially because she and Vicki had just decided to try to mend the mangled barbwire fence that is their friendship.
Vicki says it was just a rumor that she was listening to, but that she shouldn’t be blamed for that. She likens it to witnessing an accident and then being fingered as the cause for that accident. No, Vicki, that’s not what it was like at all. It’s not just listening to a rumor. It’s listening to someone confirm a rumor and doing nothing to defend it. It’s giving these people a venue to talk trash about Tamra on camera and to the press. It’s propagating that rumor.
I understand why Tamra would be upset about this, especially because it falls into the rubric of behavior that enraged Tamra in the first place. Vicki is once again letting people commit carnage and spread their lies and then denying that she had absolutely anything to do with them. Then they’re continuously forced into each other’s company, trying to ignore each other on the volleyball court and at Kelly’s party until Tamra couldn’t take the tension anymore.
Vicki, of course, handled it all wrong. Instead of approaching Tamra calmly, she advances and shouts, “You know I had nothing to do with Ricky being at my party. Can’t people just get along?” God, Vicki. Way to make things worse and also all about yourself before Tamra could even get a word in edgewise. Also, Vicki keeps saying she wants to keep the peace, but then does everything in her power to make sure that no one is at peace at all.
Things between Vicki and Tamra didn’t get any better, and like everyone said, there was no headway made in this argument. But you know what? There never will be, because Vicki will never take accountability for her actions. Tamra (and Shannon) need to recognize that and move on or just stop seeing Vicki altogether. If that means leaving the show, then so be it, because we can not go on like this watching this same battle over and over again. It’s like Groundhog Day except nothing about it is funny, it makes me want to jump into a lake of fire filled with penis-eating leeches, and there are people who are better actresses than Andie MacDowell.
Shannon is a different case altogether. She has totally taken over Tamra’s mind like she’s that awful comedian with the puppets who I can’t even look up because it would make me too mad to actually type his name. She is telling people what Tamra wants and how Tamra should handle the situation, when it’s clear she is the one who doesn’t want to make up with Vicki. She is the one who wants this fight to rage on forever. She ends this non-meeting of the non-minds by announcing that nothing Vicki says can affect her anymore, but that is a lie. Shannon is living for this conflict because that is the only thing that takes her mind off of her oil-well fire of a marriage.
I’m with Lydia on this one: I don’t have any time for Shannon and her fighting anymore, especially because it is always so insane. I like Lydia more and more with each episode, but then she goes and talks about the Bible in the doctor’s waiting room or opens up about how she doesn’t want to talk about her boob job in front of men. But yes, Shannon is just as awful a narcissist as the rest of them, except she’s the only one who is unhappy. She’s the only one who hates herself and her life and is fighting with everyone. Shannon is the girl standing at the bar muttering about her problems so that the bartender and two random strangers whom we have never seen before will ask her about them. Shannon will sigh and tell them how put-upon she is without giving the full story. They will nod and sip their tequila drinks through tiny straws and wish this woman would go away, even though she seems nice. But they’re all there on that balcony, obsessed with Shannon as the sun sinks into the darkening ocean like an egg yolk being washed down the drain.