The Real Housewives of Orange County
Let us start with an appreciation for Shannon’s boyfriend’s son Joe, also known as Sean Cody’s Brockington, who also runs an OnlyFans under the name Lemonade Boy, I assume. The episode opens where it left off last week, with Braunwyn lumbering her way out of Shannon’s housewarming party. (For a rental? Girl.) When she’s out front, she looks toward the house, shielding her teary eyes and square sunglasses from the blinding glare of her own humiliation, and she sees Joe/Brockington standing there in his role as a serving boy in lemon-themed apparel. In a truly delusional sweet voice, she asks, “Hey, Lemonade Boy. Can you go find my husband?”
There are so many things wrong with this that it has turned the corner into being right again, like smoking yourself sober. Braunwyn should totally know this kid’s name, especially because he is invited to her Palm Springs vow renewal. What else is wrong is that her husband clearly doesn’t care about her. He saw the fight and decided to stay in the house talking to the women and being on-camera. Finally, she doesn’t need to wait for her husband or stick around — she needs to walk the 100 yards down a skinny sidewalk brought to you by Nutrisystem and go hide in her basement nightclub that no one ever uses.
Sean, the shortest living man in California, is inside yelling at Gina about how she’s “rude and inappropriate,” while his wife is watering the flowers in Shannon’s front yard with her tears. Dude, you should have followed her right out of that room. You should have gone to check on her immediately rather than standing by and stoking the drama like a half-hearted fluffer on the world’s saddest porn set (a.k.a. Brockington’s other side job).
Finally, Joe comes up and says, “Your wife is outside,” in a discreet way with a complete lack of guile and a straight face and, well, give this kid a Golden Globe for Best Newcomer, because I wouldn’t have been so generous. He then goes over to tell his sisters and Shannon’s kids, “Braunwyn called me Lemonade Boy,” and you can’t tell if he loved it or is insulted, but whatever he is, he is a good boy, crazy about Elvis, and loves horses and his boyfriend, too.
When Sean finally gets outside, he doesn’t console Braunwyn. Instead, he tells her how she did everything wrong, how she should have just pulled Gina aside for a one-on-one conversation. Then he lets her go back into the party. Okay, if I have learned two things from all of my years of watching television, they are: Never go to a second location with Ann Dowd, and never go back into a party when you have just humiliated yourself and ran off in a huff.
She doesn’t go in, though. Sean goes in and asks Gina if she’ll come out and talk to his wife, which is such a no-no that there aren’t enough noes to even know it. Gina says she’s uncomfortable, and Emily tells him he’s out of line for yelling at Gina. She also adds that as much of a creep as her husband, Shane, is, at least he never did anything like that. Shane is no dummy. He’s doing what he’s supposed to: staying out of it and eating spaghetti out of a martini glass or something. Sean needs to learn to butt the hell out of it, too.
Gina comes out and Braunwyn tearily tells her that she’s sober now and that she had a big problem with alcohol, but, like Emily says later, she’s using her divulging as a sort of weapon. Yes, we can tell that Braunwyn is fragile, and we should all be empathetic for what she is going through, but it’s no reason that Gina should give her a pass. Gina sticks to her guns and says that Sean’s text to her with the winky face emoji made her uncomfortable. No matter how he meant it, she was uncomfortable, and you can’t take that away from her. Believe women, I always like to say. Well, unless it’s Anna Delvey. But, you know, probably believe her too.
Gina walks away saying that the conversation is pointless and goes back to the party. Braunwyn lingers on, like the last unmatched swinger at an orgy, having one-on-one meetings when she should clearly be home drawing a hot bath. After Kelly offers her a shot of tequila as a joke, she goes home and gets on her treadmill and has Sean take her to a meeting. Whatever she needs, I guess. I really want her to make it through, but, honestly, someone who is this early in recovery really should not be practicing the reality-television arts and sciences. Do we need to get Kim Richards to give her a master class?
After the party, all the women go on these little side trips. Gina is dealing with her ex Matt and his new girlfriend, Britt. Kelly is prepping for her man, Rick, to move into her house. Emily finally ends up on a group text with Shannon and is overjoyed that “she knows my name and my phone number!,” and it is a simple, sarcastic teenage joy. I love Emily because we need someone on this show to love.
The only other moment worth mentioning is when Kelly and new girl Elizabeth are shopping, and Elizabeth says she’s very supportive of Braunwyn and her sobriety journey and would even go to an AA meeting with her. “Oh, I wouldn’t sit through that,” Kelly says, as honest as Fox News is inaccurate. I’m with Kelly on this one, though. I think meetings are a personal thing, and if you need someone to get you there on occasion, okay, I’ll do my part. But Braunwyn is going to two a day on her own. She does not need the help.
She texts Gina and asks her to go to a meeting with her and then have coffee to hash out their differences. I think that my “kids” would have a very convenient “playdate” during that “meeting,” but I’d totally be free to meet her for coffee afterward. The only thing worse than sitting through an AA meeting with your best friend who is newly sober is sitting through an AA meeting with someone you don’t even really like who is newly sober.
While we’re talking about Kelly Dodd, let’s go a little easy on her about her comments about the coronavirus this episode. This was filmed way back in January, when COVID was still just bubbling up in China and none of us thought it would totally upend our daily lives and the world order like it has. Just like Kelly, when I was first reading about it in China, I thought, Oh here’s another one. Remember when we all freaked out about Ebola and swine flu and nothing happened? In hindsight, yes, Kelly should have taken it more seriously, but you can’t fault her for saying that back then. If she were to say the same thing now, okay, have at her, but let’s give all these ladies some leeway.
While Emily and Kelly are hanging out —and cringely saying that Braunwyn was better when she was drinking — Braunwyn calls and says she and Sean are in the hood and why don’t they just pop by? Um, why not send Sean home to polish his immunity necklaces and give the nannies the night off? He doesn’t have to come to everything. It’s not like he’s Simon McCord or would look as good in skintight red pleather pants.
What they discuss is Braunwyn’s call with Shannon, which happened a bit earlier. Braunwyn called Shannon and wanted to make sure that, even though they’re fighting, Shannon, her boyfriend, and all of their kids, including Lemonade Boy, were going to attend her vow renewal. Turns out it’s her and Sean’s 20th wedding anniversary, and they decided to renew their vows every ten years. Um, is that a good idea? Why don’t you ask Shannon about that? And why would Shannon even want to go to Braunwyn’s vow renewal? Doesn’t she still have PTSD from when she did it with David and then got divorced, like, a year and some change later?
The fight goes something like this: Braunwyn wants Shannon to come and put their differences aside. Shannon can’t stand that Braunwyn still thinks she called Gina’s tiny condo “sad” when Shannon thinks she does not. Braunwyn won’t take it back. “I only have what I heard,” she says. “I can’t say I didn’t hear it because I did, but if we’re going to move past it, we have to find some middle ground.” Have you ever known Shannon to want to find middle ground? She could ride for 48 hours on a Peloton and she still wouldn’t find middle ground.
What I want to tell the both of them is to just get over it. Yes, I know they’re doing their jobs and keeping the tension alive, but this fight is dumber than Brody Jenner after a case of Whip-Its. Gina doesn’t care that Shannon said her house is small and, in fact, doesn’t think she did. Braunwyn has enough going on right now. Can’t she just relent and say, “You know what? I must have just misheard you,” but know in her heart that Shannon said it? What Braunwyn isn’t wrong about is that Shannon will do and say anything to make people believe that the image Shannon has of herself is true, but now that she knows this, she can move forward from a place of better knowledge.
And can’t Shannon just get over it too? Can’t she just say, “Know what? Braunwyn is going through a lot. None of the other women think I said it. As long as she doesn’t bring it up, I’m going to give her a pass on this one.” No, these two are as obstinate as two Hungry Hungry Hippos, just sitting on their sides of the board making as much noise as possible as they get those sweet, sweet marbles of attention down their gullets.
They end the call saying they’re going to move forward, and Shannon is going to think about going to Palm Springs for this doomed ceremony, but she tells John later that she doesn’t think she can. “I can’t get past people saying I’m a liar,” she tells him, her face dripping in judgment like it’s a tea bag just pulled out of a mug. She stares into her crystalline fireplace on her outdoor patio, seeing Braunwyn’s face dancing in the flames. She squints and squints, trying to blur it out of existence, but it’s still there, laughing at her, judging her, giving off just enough heat that Shannon knows if she stays there long enough, she’ll burn.