The Real Housewives of Orange County
There is something seriously wrong with Peggy Sulahian. It’s as if her sense of humor has been excised and replaced with a swarm of angry hornets trying to form an arrow so that Wile E. Coyote will run off a cliff. I know we’ve said this a million times, but how can a woman who graduated with a degree in English not only have a tenuous grasp on the English language but also not understand humor, irony, metaphor, or the basics of forming a coherent argument? Her behavior in this episode is absolutely baffling.
First, we learn that she’s refusing to go to the final dinner in Iceland because she is angry with the women and thinks they were laughing at her. After closing herself in her room until 9:30 at night and starving herself, she finally is lured to Lydia’s room with the promise of a bag of kettle corn. She tells Lydia that the women were laughing at her and that Meghan was letting her baby cry for ten minutes without anyone to care for her. She then shows Lydia a video she took of the women laughing claiming that it was about her, but all context was removed. Then Peggy accused Kelly of slandering her father because she said, “That’s like saying, ‘I’ll have my daddy call your daddy,’” after Peggy told her, “I’ll have my husband call your husband.”
Lydia, a Crayola sketch of an alien, had to put on her human mask and explain to Peggy what life is like in Housewives Land. First of all, she says that Meghan’s nanny was probably with the baby so it’s best not to bring up. Then she says that the woman will think it was sketchy and distasteful that she was filming them. Then she has to explain to Peggy the joke Kelly was making about their fathers calling each other, but Peggy refuses to believe Lydia about it. She refuses to believe Lydia about anything.
Peggy does a lot of refusing. Not only does she refuse to have some sense talked into her, she also refuses to go to dinner at the Viking version of Medieval Times. The funny thing is, Peggy has dug in so deeply that even if Lydia was able to get through to her, she’s far too ensconced in her bunker to crawl out now. She’d been hiding in her cave all day like a turtle with a severe case of pee-shyness, so she can’t suddenly show up at dinner and be like, “Hey guys, Lydia explained the joke that Kelly was making and now it’s all cool. I was overreacting. Man, I need to get a sense of humor.”
By refusing to go to dinner, Peggy is refusing to do her job. These dinners aren’t optional; they’re in the contract, so Peggy can’t just decide to sit one out. This is what continues to baffle me about Peggy. She’s all bent out of shape that these women are saying mean things about each other, but didn’t she know what she signed up for? It’s like going to a Taylor Swift concert and being like, “Why is this white girl whining about all of her ex boyfriends?” or watching Practical Magic on cable and then saying at the end, “I don’t like movies where Sandra Bullock has powers.”
Lydia stays back with Peggy because she’s a good host, and is eating dinner alone in the sad hotel restaurant when Peggy says, “Come on, let’s go to dinner with the rest of the women.”
Boy, it is quite a dinner they are missing. Kelly, Vicki, Meghan, and Shannon all show up at Bjork’s family reunion and the room has been taken over by a bunch of men all wearing the same traditional ring-necked sweaters, and all with a haircut that can only be described as “greying local anchorman.” It was like they are about to be less-than-virgin sacrifices for the world’s most innocent looking Satanic cult. Then all the men get up and start singing and it all makes so much more sense. Of course the Gay Men’s Chorus of Reykjavík wanted to perform for the Real Housewives. Ah doy.
There are some squabbles at dinner, mostly between Shannon and Vicki. Shannon is pissed that Tamra, her partner in their joint business venture Misery Loves Co., seems to be making up with Vicki. But Vicki has a real apology problem. At the drunken dinner — where Vicki tells a man with a long white beard that she’s been a very good girl because she still believes in Santa — Tamra tells Vicki that Brooks ruined their friendship and she wants Vicki to acknowledge that. But Vicki refuses. She still wants her apology even though she is not owed one.
Then Tamra makes Vicki apologize to Shannon for saying that her husband David beats her. Vicki does so, but it is the blandest apology I have ever seen. If her apology were food, it would be overcooked Minute Rice served on a bed of steamed cauliflower. Shannon says, “Thank you,” but knows that Vicki apologizes like a reflex. When the doctor hits Vicki right below the knee with a mallet, her leg stays stationary but she blurts, “I’m sorry!” Vicki thinks that the act of apologizing is enough without having to actually explain or correct the behavior that she apologized for in the first place.
Finally, Lydia and Peggy show up just as the fake Vikings are fake killing themselves for the women’s fake amusement. Kelly tries to apologize to Peggy, but Peggy is not having any of it. She doesn’t know the rules of order. She doesn’t know this is how the game is played because, well, I think she might be stupid. Either stupid or very confused. Possibly both? Stupfused?
The women tell her they weren’t laughing at her, but she comes at them with her videotape of them, saying that Meghan’s baby was crying for ten minutes and all of her other misconstrued mumbo jumbo. They react, well, like actual human people would react. It’s exactly as Lydia said it would go. They all get mad that she accused Meghan of being a bad mother. Peggy then shrinks away from what she said, claiming that they don’t understand. They say she was weird and creepy for filming them, like the way she learned how to make friends was by watching Swimfan one too many times.
Vicki flees the fight because she doesn’t want to be involved and Peggy leaves with her. They take the bus back to the hotel, leaving the women stranded in an abandoned ale hall to try to make out with the remaining actors who are no longer pretending to be Vikings, but pretending like they wouldn’t mind breaking a piece off for any of these ladies.
The trip is over and Peggy, once again, leaves on her own because she has no idea what in the hell is going on. Back in the States, a number of travesties are committed. First, David Beador continues to mentally torture his bride in hopes that she will just one day up and leave him so that he can do mud runs and hate all women in private. (That day, alas, has finally come.) Next, Lydia’s mother Judy sprinkles “fairy dust” in the mashed potatoes. Fairy dust is bad because we all know that it’s impossible to get glitter out of anything. Imagine how difficult it’s going to be to get it out of one’s large intestine, especially after it ruined a lovely starchy side dish by making it as gritty as David Beador’s running shorts after a mud run.
But the ultimate travesty happens at Peggy’s house. No, I’m not talking about how she whined about the women when she got back home to Diko. I’m talking about the jean jacket that she was wearing that was both distressed around the shoulders but also so weighted down with jeweled fringe that it could sink to the bottom of the ocean while still being on dry land. You could hear every move Peggy made in that jacket that was loud in every sense of the word. It wasn’t even cute. It’s like a 14-year-old girl’s idea of what high fashion looks like, as if a Lisa Frank folder somehow turned into a garment.
Peggy is mad at Vicki because she feels that Vicki abandoned her when all of the other women piled on. This is an accurate gripe, but as I have asked before, has Peggy not watched this show? This is exactly what Vicki does and why she needs to be fired. She gets the new women onboard with her old simmering fights with Tamra, Shannon, and (partially) Meghan, which all stem from her lying with her ex-fiancé Brooks. Then, when the new women have their own fights with the women, she backs off by saying, “Well, I don’t want to be involved in anyone’s fights.”
This is how Vicki turns everyone against her, by enlisting troops in her own battle but then refusing to offer them adequate defenses. This is why her new recruits don’t get killed, they just get transferred to the other side that is now against Vicki. The same thing happened with Kelly last season and it’s happening now with Peggy. A decade of treating people like trash is finally catching up to Vicki, and no amount of fuzzy black headbands will ever make up for it.