I don’t know how Dr. Jen manages to do it, but she is a deadly combination of boring and annoying. The only real plot point this entire episode is that she goes to dinner at the American Airlines first-class lounge the Dubrows call home, and she gets wasted. It’s not even exciting. She doesn’t, like, throw a plate or cuss someone out. She is just blandly annoying, repeating herself and slurring her words (the editors did her so dirty with those blurry subtitles that students at Liberty University can’t watch this episode without the Catholic Jesus devouring their souls like they’re Domino’s Cinna Stix).
This is a pretty boring episode all around, mostly because it is sort of like Heather Fix My Life. Dubrow is a lot of things, but do not get it twisted, she is no Iyanla. We see Heath D go to Gina’s Casita, and she shows up with a shopping bag that says “Dubrow” on the side of it. Does she consider her house a boutique? Is there a gift shop? It feels very much like she is bringing charity to the poor relations, like when Grace Gummer’s sister showed up with a bag of old boots on The Gilded Age and Audra McDonald took one look at them and turned them into a bag full of Tonys.
She is there to help Gina go through her closet and weed out all the unnecessary clothes, including Gina’s wedding dress and her old prom dress. Oh, that prom dress. It looks like Gina was lost in the wilderness on Sesame Street and had to kill Big Bird and slit his corpse open and spend the night in there so she didn’t freeze to death and then she took the carcass, added some tassels to it, and fashioned into both a dress and a matching scarf. Heather tells her to let it go, to let it all go, and there is a sweet big-sis, little-sis dynamic going on here, but what I hate about this season is that phony is winning. Everything is centered around how amazing and perfect Heather is, and I find it very tiring.
She goes out to lunch with Dr. Jen, Emily, and her friend Tawni, who is dressed as Christine on season one of Selling Sunset before she sprung for the good extensions. Jen talks again about how her husband, Ryne, isn’t talking to her and their marriage is shit, and Heather comes up with a plan: Just come to my house for dinner, and we’ll save you. Terry and I will show you what you should do to make a marriage last 20 years, and it has something to do with … onion rings? I don’t know.
Before dinner, we have to dispatch with all the other women’s storylines. Noella visits her friend, Fake Joanna Krupa, and they sit by the pool and drink Champagne. We learn that Noella had mediation with her ex-husband, but they weren’t in the same room. He wasn’t in the same building. He was on Zoom or Teams or Google Hangout or whatever they use from tax havens in Puerto Rico, and Noella was in another room. She was disappointed that all he wanted to talk about was money but, um, what else is there to talk about? The kid. Okay. But after money and the kid, what else do they need to go through? Did Noella want to sort through their entire vinyl collection and decide who gets what? Oh, not vinyl records. Vinyl gimp outfits from the playroom.
Emily has her daughter’s Mormon baptism and a party. The most surprising thing about it is that the ghost of Lizzie Rovsek, the most boring Housewife of all time, is there eating chicken kebabs, wondering if this means that Emily’s daughter is now a polygamist. It’s kind of a sweet scene, and Emily keeps talking about her dad and getting teary because her husband, Shane, is the kind of father she wishes she had. She keeps calling him a “good man,” which must do great things for his libido. Nothing gets you hornier than being told you’re a “great man.” But Shane doesn’t need it. “I don’t need a stack of vaginas,” he tells her, and it is actually funny and I hate Shane for practically succeeding in making me like him.
Shannon and John go to The Quiet Woman, and she sits in her booth and they do not show the clip where she throws Lydia’s plate and says, “That’s not even my plate, you fucking bitch,” which is one of my favorite Housewife moments of all time, so that really is a missed opportunity. I mean, couldn’t she and John at least have done a dramatic reenactment like they were on an episode of Snapped? Shannon is mad that Gina said that Shannon is jealous of her and thinks these statements are “coming from arrogance,” and I just don’t get it. I also don’t care, but we’re going to have to follow this fight for episodes on end, and I am more tired than Archie Beador after he ate all nine lemons in the bowl.
Finally, we get to dinner at Chateau Dubrow, and Heather is like, “Oh, I just pulled this together at the last minute,” and then we see her tablescape, and there are napkin rings, orchids in little glass domes, printed-out menus, party favors. Ugh, this is what I hate about Heather. It’s all this faux modesty, so we’ll be like, “Even Heather’s simple dinner party looks like Martha Stewart’s assistant had diarrhea on her table. Just imagine if she actually tried.”
Heather invites Dr. Jen and Ryne as well as two other couples so they can talk about how they’ve been married for so long, and the reason they have a successful marriage is because the guy wakes up every day and says, “Sorry, baby.” And they all chuckle and giggle and slap each other on the arms and wear baseball hats that read “The 19th Hole,” and I want to die.
Ryne shows up, and he’s wearing a golf shirt, slacks, and a pair of loafers with tiny little Nike workout socks. Um, the point of loafers is that you don’t have to wear socks. If Ryne is complaining about wearing shoes, why doesn’t he just not wear socks? Or get some chic sandals. That’s what I don’t get about him; there is contempt behind everything he does. He doesn’t want to wear a shirt or shoes, and he doesn’t have to most of the time. But he’s an adult. He knows he will occasionally have to go to shit like this. Why not find an outfit that is classy that he also finds comfortable? No. Instead he is basically saying, “I will play by your rules, but I think they’re dumb, and because you enforce them, I think you’re dumb.” Yeah, there are lots of dumb rules, but he can find himself within that structure.
We see the same contempt at the dinner table. Heather asks how they met, and Dr. Jen tells the story. Then she asks Ryne his side, and he says, “We’ll just go with what she said.” Heather then goes through all of these gymnastics to draw him out. Jen keeps cutting him off, and, finally, Heather gets her to zip it, and Ryne says, “We’ll just go with what she said.” Your hostess is making an effort here; don’t make her look like a fool in her own house. He then goes off to peruse his phone and chomp on gum in the corner where everyone at the table can still see him. He’s like a petulant teenager who doesn’t want to behave like a grown-up.
I can’t tell where this contempt comes from. From his earlier spat with Jen, I think it has something to do with the show. It seems like he is only here begrudgingly. He doesn’t want to be on-camera, he doesn’t want to talk on camera, but he did tell us that he used to be a professional poker player, and it is so on the nose that Terry Dubrow tried to give it a rhinoplasty. Yeah, I think Ryne was roped into this and doesn’t want to play ball. In that case, don’t show up for this. Don’t film at all. This is not helping him or his brand.
He could also just be annoyed that Jen seems to be on him like beige on quinoa. She’s making him twist his chair just so; she’s making him hold her just right; she’s making him tell the stories she wants. She’s also drunk and annoying, particularly because Ryne is sober. Maybe it’s just one thing; maybe it’s all of these things. I don’t know, but their blandly unhappy marriage is the last thing I want to watch. Say what you will about Noella Mistress of the Bordello She Built in Her Garage, but at least her craziness is one of a kind. These two just seem like a John Updike novel without any of the good parts.