Since this is the fifth episode of the season, it is officially time to judge Emily Simpson and, well, there isn’t much to say. She is sort of like her name, blandly normal and barely memorable. I think the best illustration of what Emily adds to the show happened at her poker party when Tamra and Shannon called Kelly out on the lanai to talk to Vicki about their ongoing fight. Emily and her mother-in-law Pary came out as well. Tamra, Shannon, Vicki, and Kelly are all talking about this altercation and Pary found a way to insinuate herself by draping herself off of her new friend Kelly’s body on the end of the couch. Emily, meanwhile, sat at attention nearby the mess looking like she was the paid arbitrator in this particular discussion. That is to say that Emily adds absolutely nothing. Pary found a way to insinuate herself into the action. Why not just cast her?
I mean, Emily had a poker party. A poker party! What year is it? Is someone going to walk in and say, “You’re money, baby, and you don’t even know it”? Also, of the things that people on the Real Housewives should never do, having a game night is right up there at the top of the list with renewing your vows and naming your daughter Melania. These things never end well. Emily got lucky, however, because the biggest disaster is that Gina got drunk and screechier than an old-fashioned modem. But you never know. Vicki could have hid Tamra’s scooter in a closet and then Tamra could have accused Vicki of using crystal meth in the bathroom.
I don’t hate Emily. That’s sort of like hating granite countertops or red velvet cupcakes. It’s like hating a decent, affordable latte or a plain white T-shirt that is half a size too big. What’s the point of hating those things? They’re all just inoffensively fine. The thing I do hate is that she fancies herself a lawyer and a party planner. All she did was hire a bunch of people to show up. Sure, that is what a party planner does too, but it’s not like she did something so different and imaginative that anyone with a few hours, an internet connection, and a credit card couldn’t pull it off.
Oh no, I was wrong. The worst thing about Emily is her husband Shane. He is a toe of a man. Not a big toe, either. Like the fourth toe. What do you call that? Shane is a ring toe of a man. You don’t particularly need him, he doesn’t look that great, and you wouldn’t miss him if he got chopped to bits in an accident with some Jarts. Shane seems like one of those really judgy Mormons who likes to make himself feel better by holding his temperance over them, like he did when Gina got a little drunk and unruly at the party at his house. If you don’t want drunk women in your shiny-floored McMansion, then maybe your wife shouldn’t have a party where they serve shots?
Then he said, “Groups of loud women are not my cup of tea.” Excuse me? Does this man not know which show he and his wife signed up to be on? Then he added, “Particularly loud, cackling, older women are not my cup of tea.” You better hold my jewelry, because Ring Toe is about to get a knuckle sandwich. Maybe the problem isn’t with the women but with his perception of them? Maybe he doesn’t think enough about women that he won’t let them make as much noise as they want or, God forbid, be older than 27 years of age.
The rest of this season kind of seems a bit like it’s reaching. We got an entire five minutes of Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr in her office with Linda, the office manager, and her son Michael. You know things are really grim if Vicki unlocked Michael’s cage in the basement to let him be on camera. (Long aside on Michael: Of course he has a girlfriend named Dani with one “n” and one “i.” Of course Michael lives in San Diego. Of course his mother bought him a condo. Of course he is looking better and better with each passing year and now I start to wonder what he looks like in his underwear and then I feel bad about wanting to molest a boy who I have essentially known since he was in high school and, “Hello, Father, it has been about 27 years since my last confession. Yes, it’s about Michael.”)
The scene between Kelly and Shannon, former enemies, bonding in a bar talking about being lonely was a really nice moment. What I really wanted from this scene though was something other than tears. Shannon asks Kelly if she kisses a guy on a date and then another guy asks her out if she should feel bad about going out with someone else. Kelly looked at her with a quizzical look on her face like Shannon just asked if she should put hot sauce in her chocolate milkshake. “No!” Kelly shouted. From them on, I just wanted this whole evening to be Kelly giving Shannon slut lessons on how she can just throw her coochie all over Southern California having a good time and trying to ensnare a nice gentleman who will pay her compliments and maybe her bills.
The scene with Shannon and Tamra in the gym supply store was tragic on so many levels. The first of which is that, like Tamra, we all know that whatever Shannon buys at that store will be gathering cobwebs and disdain in her basement by the time she takes her first trip to sell skinny-people food on QVC. Also, Tamra being mad that Shannon is hanging out with Kelly and didn’t call to see how Eddie is doing is reaching so hard for a story line that her arm popped out of the socket, ripped from her body, and is now lying on the floor next to her mobility scooter and busted foot.
I am starting to feel really bad for Eddie though. (Also I already feel bad for lusting after Michael and then dirtbag Ryan shows up with those gorgeous tattooed man arms to drive Eddie to the hospital.) Eddie has always seemed young, healthy, and happy. He was the Bobby to Tamra’s Jill Zarin, always having her back and standing by her side even when things got totally out of hand and ridiculous. Eddie is a rock, not only for Tamra but for us as viewers. We can expect his steady presence right there next to our girl.
The treatment doesn’t sound particularly good either. They’re going to give him a drug to basically stop his heart and then shock it back to life? His heart is not a wireless router. You can’t just restart it again and it’s perfectly fine. In the car ride to get his procedure and particularly after it didn’t work, Eddie looked like he’s never looked on this show before. Eddie looked exhausted. It must be hell to go through medical trouble such as this, particularly when the doctors tell him repeatedly they can fix it and their efforts fail. It must be even harder to go through this with the camera on him, insisting that he be chipper all the time, insisting that he talk about the procedure and his emotions when he’d much rather curl up in bed watching Jeopardy! on Hulu and ignoring the dogs barking downstairs.
But Eddie carries on and does his duty with the producers before turning in. While lying in bed he hears Tamra haul herself and her scooter up the stairs. He hears the squeak of its uneven wheels on the carpet and her whisper, “Honey? Are you awake?” He closes his eyes, pretending he’s asleep, as she closes the door with a tap he can faintly hear over his heartbeat.