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The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Victim Mentality

The Real Housewives of Orange County

Reunion, Part Two
Season 12 Episode 20
Editor’s Rating *****

The Real Housewives of Orange County

Reunion, Part Two
Season 12 Episode 20
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: Bravo/Trae Patton/Bravo

That crickety-clack popping noise you hear, like bacon sizzling in a pan warmed by Satan’s farts, is my brain while trying to watch this reunion. It’s like nothing happened at all, no understanding is reached and everyone is just trying to advance their own agenda. Gina is trying to make Shannon look stupid, Kelly and Vicki are trying to incriminate each other, Tamra just wants Shannon to admit that she might be a bit selfish, and Emily, well, Emily is there to let us all know that we’ve hurt her feelings.

Emily finally got her clip package during this part of the reunion, and after some questions about her relationship with her husband Ring Toe, Emily says, in a question that she surely planted with Andy, that she has gotten a lot of heat on “social media” about her weight. I honestly think that is pretty screwed up and I hope that Emily will find this a safe space. Yes, she’s definitely a bigger girl, but as Kelly pointed out, she sure does look really amazing in a swimsuit. She looks better than I do in my swim trunks with a belly full of muffins and danishes. There is nothing unhealthy about Emily’s weight and we’ve seen her working out on more than one occasion. She takes care of herself. Cut this broad some slack. There is enough room on this earth for all the different kinds of bodies and Emily’s body type is probably a lot more common than the other women on those couches.

That’s why it’s so hard to hear Shannon going on and on about her “weight loss journey.” I get that she needs to lose some weight to feel better about herself, but I think that if Shannon managed to whittle herself down to look like four number two pencils held together with an elastic band that she wouldn’t find the happiness she thinks lies in the lower numbers on the scale. Everything about her weight seems connected to her psychology and until she gets to the bottom of that, her struggles with how she looks will never get fixed. Maybe she’d even realize that the only reason she feels better when she’s skinnier is because of some really antiquated and sexiest ideals of how women should look.

I’m starting to change my mind about Emily. I still think that she’s probably too boring for the show, but I initially wrote her off as a little basic. Do not get it Twisted, Emily is one complicated lady. Just look at her story: she raised her sister because her mother is mentally ill, she married a Persian Mormon without even dating him once, she’s had a slew of miscarriages, and she once threatened to kill Kelly Dodd. All of that is pretty outrageous (except for threatening to kill Kelly Dodd, which probably happens on the regs). The thing about Emily is that she’s not complicated in a flamboyant way like Vicki or Tamra or Ramona Singer or LeeAnne Locken. She’s complicated but she mostly has her shit together, which doesn’t make for great TV, but I give her credit for not being a total narcissist basket case. Shannon goes through one divorce and she hasn’t been able to pick her tits up off the ground in five years!

Ugh, we need to talk about Tamra and Shannon. I have never seen two Housewives who are more like sisters except for Kim and Kyle Richards who are actually sisters. These two seem to both hate each other and need each other in equal measure and I think that’s why their conflict keeps bubbling up to the surface.

Tamra let us in on two very good bits of tea, however. She says that a rift was caused between her and Shannon when they came to New York to do Watch What Happens Live. Tamra brought her makeup artist Melissa as a treat, because she was dealing with her mother’s cancer and was in a bad place. However, Shannon kept insisting that Melissa do her makeup even though she was just there as part of the gang to hang out.

I’m totally on Team Tamra with this whole Shannon debate. That is super annoying. I think the real problem, though, is that it must be exhausting to be Shannon Beador’s friend. Like Tamra said, she’s only talking about herself and playing the victim. Shannon says that Tamra is making her feel guilty about leaning on her after the divorce. That’s not the problem. The problem seems to be that she leans on Tamra and only wants to talk about herself. In every friendship there are times one person needs the other more, but you make up for that by taking turns, sharing some emotional reciprocity, and sometimes just getting them wasted so they can forget about all of their sorrows and then making sure no one can see their coochie when they climb out of the cab blind drunk. That is what friends do. But Shannon won’t cover Tamra’s coochie. No, she will not. Shannon only cares about her own coochie.

Tamra also can’t criticize Shannon’s behavior or tell her something isn’t cool because then Shannon says, “Oh, mission accomplished. You made me look bad.” I got so frustrated on behalf of Tamra for that. She’s not trying to make Shannon look bad, she’s just trying to make sure that Shannon doesn’t trample all over her feelings in the future. Shannon just needs to apologize for it, move on, and not do it again.

The other gossip that Tamra and the other women share with us is that Shannon was dating someone the whole time they were filming but didn’t want to talk about it. Shannon said it wasn’t serious and the guy treated her like crap, which is why she didn’t bring it up. However, Gina says she can’t be held accountable for keeping Shannon’s secrets, which is true not just of any friendship but especially one that’s being filmed for a reality television program.

It also points to a certain amount of emotional dishonesty on Shannon’s part. She’s going on whining about how David is dating after the divorce and she doesn’t know what she’s doing, meanwhile the whole time she was out there dating someone. She at least could have opened up about how this guy was treating her like crap and how that made her feel. Shannon is trying to plaster over her cracked veneer with the spackle of happiness, but what would be much more interesting to people is if she were vulnerable. Shannon thinks that she needs to present this image of a skinny, successful, happy, in control woman and she constantly fails at it. The most human Shannon was the whole season was when she was grabbing her belly on QVC while selling her through-the-mail frozen meals. That is what the audience really wants to see. We want to see the mess. We can relate to the mess. We’re all the mess. I think Shannon would be a lot better off emotionally if she could embrace that too.

The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Victim Mentality