My favorite episodes of Housewives are when everyone is a little bit wrong and everyone is a little bit right. That happens in this episode of the Dubrow Dubrows of Dubrow Dubrow Featuring Emily and Gina, but the things that everyone is right and wrong about are about as appetizing as a stale beignet that has been marinating in vomit in a New Orleans gutter for 24 hours. I would rather have a long chat with those people who stand outside subway stops and say, “Do you have just a minute to talk about [insert what is a very worthy cause, I’m sure],” than talk about whatever it is these women are mad about on their trip to Aspen.
The episode starts off like all of these episodes do: the women pack, talk about who they’re mad at, and get on one of the Dubrow’s private planes. Then there is the contractually obligated tour of the house (though there is no apparent sponsor for this one, but I’m sure there is one) and the women fighting about the allocation of rooms. Noella tries to use her father’s death to get herself a better room. It is the one tactic that Ramona Singer has never used, and you know if it succeeded, she would have whipped it out on the next cast trip.
There are a few funny things as everyone arrives; they get IVs and oxygen treatments like they’re at a late ‘90s warehouse party. Apparently, this is to help treat the altitude sickness so that they can drink more while they’re on their work vacation. They do nothing to cure HAFE, high altitude flatus explosion, which are the farts you get when you go up a mountain, but based on the look that is permanently on Heather Dubrow’s face, she is certainly smelling something. There is also an altercation with a tiny spider that Gina says is a tarantula. Bravo’s science editors tell us in a chyron that it is definitely not a tarantula. Can they start to do this but tell us when someone is not wearing a wig? (Also, it is always a wig.)
Things at dinner start easy and breezy enough. Emily asks everyone to tell them something she doesn’t know about them. Shannon talks about how her father bought her a Louis Vuitton Model T when she was in high school, and all the other women are like, “Is that a bad thing?” And she is like, “Yes, it was very extra. Also, you had to crank it. And it was only a stick shift. And this was at a time before women were allowed to drive on their own and MTV actually played music.” No one can relate.
Then Jen tells us that she was engaged seven times, which seems like a lot until you remember that “prostitution whore” Danielle Staub was engaged 12 more times. That is the tarantula to Jen’s itsy bitsy spider. After the revelation, however, there were no follow-up questions. I am ideologically opposed to bringing back Housewives, but in this instance, we needed Meghan King Edmonds, PI. We need to know about each of these relationships, how long they lasted, why they ended, how much the ring costs, and whether or not she still has it. I could use a spreadsheet or maybe a PowerPoint presentation. At least a seven-part podcast called Dirty Jen about a grifter doctor living in Orange County and getting serial engaged. I am already addicted.
The first argument that we do not care about is between Heather and Shannon. Heather is upset that when she and Gina were in New York City, Shannon called her and didn’t ask whether or not her podcast went well. As Wendy Williams says, “Clap if you care.” Yes, you are greeted with absolute silence. Heather says she was just calling to say hello and she thought that was a nice thing. I’m on Shannon’s side with this one. They were both in group situations, you’re not going to be like, “How did your freaking stupid live podcast where you talked about beauty pageants go?” You’re just going to be like, “Hi! We’re all hanging out. Whoo-hoo. Can’t wait to see you. Mwah. LYLAS,” and keep it moving. You don’t have time to get into particulars.
Then there is some conversation about whether or not Shannon wanted to have more fun at her dinner than Heather and Gina were having in New York. Shannon is selling it as “I said in a silly voice, ‘We need to have more fun!’” but Emily is saying it sounded competitive. Based on the tapes, I side with Emily. The thing that aggravates me about Shannon is that she can’t say, “Yes, I wanted to have more fun.” She always needs to sell it as she was joking around or totally innocent. It’s fine to own it! We love when people own it! It’s given Lisa Rinna an entire career! Are we only using exclamation points now? I guess not since that was a question mark! How could you do this to me, question mark?
Okay, so Shannon gets one point. The rest of the world gets a point. How about Noella? She has a point when she says that Shannon is taking too many punches for this stupid phone call which, honestly, is just a phone call. Who cares why she called or what she intended or what was said? Noella is right; just let Shannon be. However, I do subtract a point from Shannon for being like, “I’m just a single mom with no nanny or anything trying to run a business.” Um, one of your daugthers is in college and the other two are old enough to drive and, if not drive, take an Uber on your credit card. It’s not like you have to pick them up from field hockey practice, clean their diapers, and make sure they don’t put forks in the outlets. Raising teenage girls is its own sort of hellscape, but it is much more emotionally intensive than time-intensive.
Though Noella is right about Shannon, she is wrong about everything else. Noella accuses Gina of saying hateful things, and Heather retorts, “Oh, you don’t say hateful things.” Now we’re back to her comments about Heather throwing someone against a wall during the fight at her house that kicked off the season. Noella says once again that Heather slammed someone against a wall. Heather says, “You’re such a fucking liar, Noella,” with perfect Kyle Richards cadence. Everyone asks Noella if she saw Heather shove someone, and she says, “Just because I didn’t see it with my eyes doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”
The groan that escaped my lips. It was somewhere between exasperation and the relief you get when you’ve been touching cloth (it is an English expression worth adopting) all the way home and you finally get to let loose. It’s just so dumb. I fully believe that someone did tell Noella that Heather shoved a crew member. I also fully believe there were some behind-the-scenes shenanigans between Heather and Terry and the producers at that party. I also fully believe that Heather backed someone up against a wall wagging her dried twig of a finger in their face. What I do not believe is that Heather actually shoved someone against a wall. Look at her. She weighs less than a chihuahua turd. How is she going to move someone physically?
Heather barges out of dinner, she tells Noella that her life is messed up because of karma, which is a low blow but also, I believe, somewhat accurate. Now they’re in the car, and Heather is mad that no one supported her … even though they all told Noella that she was nuts and is clearly making things up, so I don’t know what else Heather wanted. A call asking her about her life podcast? A casserole? What?
When everyone is back at the house, the talking continues late into the night. Shannon says that she wants to be a peacemaker, and for a minute, I confuse her with the John Cena show, and I would love for John Cena to play Shannon for like an episode because he would win all the Emmys and also would be a better Shannon than she is herself. Shannon goes off and gives Noella a script on how to apologize to Heather, and as they sit down for their talk, we get a TBC, which you know means it will be lame and easily resolved.
The MVP of the whole episode and the only one I care about is Emily One Piece Simpson. On the bus ride home, she blows up at Noella for being like, “Oh, this is only the first night.” Emily points out that Noella does this annoying thing where she creates all this drama and is like, “What? Moi? Why are we all fighting?” It’s a faux-innocent schtick that we really haven’t seen since Danielle Staub. (If I say her name one more time, she will arrive and sing “Close to You” with her lesbian lover.)
What I really love, though, is back at the house Emily and Gina are sitting down at the kitchen island, and Emily says, “I think I instigated this whole thing.” Yes, Emily, you did. You did, and it was perfect. She says in her confessional that if there wasn’t so much shit between the ladies, how could she stir it. I love that Emily is self-aware. I love that she owns it. I love that she is working harder than a really skinny Cheeto (you know the ones) to make something on this season happen. She is great at her job, and if she keeps it up, she will be the only thing on this show that I care about.