The Real Housewives of Orange County
There is one tiny thing from this episode that I will be thinking about for the rest of my life. When Noella talks about her tax troubles as Shannon is getting the filler sucked out of her face so that her cheekbones, Shannon tells Noella that she and David had a “Day of Truth.” In the wake of his cheating, David, an adult Cabbage Patch Doll, had to tell Shannon the truth to all of the questions she wanted to ask.
How was this not filmed? How have we not seen this? How has Tony Kushner not turned this into a Pulitzer-winning two-hander about a delusional woman and the destruction of her marriage by a man who never cared about her and just wanted to go on more Spartan runs and fuck younger ladies who didn’t build basketball courts in the center of their homes? How is Lady Gaga not trying out a new accent just to play the Shannon character on Broadway? The Day of Truth sounds fucking amazing.
Instead, we get this, a bunch of warmed-over feuds and Noella’s man taking off in the middle of the night. We’re in a tricky position because the grace period imposed by the Eileen Davidson Accords has not expired, and yet Noella is at the center of the episode. We will assess the situation without passing final judgment on Noella because this whole thing seems bonkers regardless of who she is and how she is handling it.
What we know is that Noella’s husband, Sweet Baby Gorgeous, owes almost $6 million in back taxes and, to quote Karen Huger, you have to make a lot of money to owe that much money. However, it is a problem when he seems reticent to pay it. As Noella talks to the women about her money troubles, she says that “divorce isn’t on the table.” She comes up with a plan to sell their Puerto Rico house to cover the tax debts and they are back in the black, or is it back in the red? Which one means you don’t owe any money? I’ll say it’s back in the Seamless because once I pay off my credit-card bill each month, that is the first place I go hog wild.
Before any of this can happen, he serves her divorce papers sent from Puerto Rico. “They were all in Spanish, but fortunately our nanny was able to translate,” Noella says, which is the most Housewives thing I have ever heard, and I once listened to an all-Bravo adaptation of ’Twas the Night Before Christmas. Then she says he cut off her credit cards and is nowhere to be found. We later discover they have only owned this Puerto Rican house for seven months, and she thinks that he filed for divorce to prevent her from selling that house.
So what, exactly, is going on with Sweet Baby James Gorgeous and why does he love this house so much? Is he up to some Saul Goodman nonsense? Why did he buy a $6 million house in Puerto Rico seven months ago knowing he owed that much in taxes, and why would he refuse to sell it now that he needs the money? Is the body of his ex-wife buried behind it? Did he find the Ark of the Covenant in the backyard and is protecting all the Nazis he knows from getting their faces melted off? Is this just some boring money laundering scam that his wife inadvertently walked in on? She’s used to inadvertently walking in on him with three butt plugs in his chocolate starfish in their sex dungeon, not illegal property and money transfers.
This is all craziness and way more insane than the unfolding drama between Heather, Shannon, Gina, and Nicole, who is otherwise known as the Restylane Bandit. Heather goes to see her husband Terry in his office because they are squeezing every penny they can out of this new season. They have frozen baby embryo maintenance bills to pay! After Heather lies to Terry’s face about his face and tells him he looks better now than he did ten years ago, she tells him that Shannon texted her and wants to get together to talk more about what happened at her dinner party. Heather’s response takes up three full iPhone screens when the typeface is set large enough for Shannon to see it without her readers. She says, “I don’t want to adjudicate this over text … nor do I have time in my schedule to listen to more of your rhetoric.” I can’t reprint all of it because the internet does not have enough room.
What it boils down to is a quote she tells Terry: “Without her taking responsibility for once, I don’t see how we can move forward.” I agree with Heather. Shannon is always blaming someone else; she’s going to shift the blame to Gina, who shouldn’t have said anything. She’ll blame Nicole, who should have told her friend of six years that she once sued her husband. She’ll try to make it look like she’s a good person who is wronged when, in reality, she never should have told Gina before saying something to Heather.
This lets Nicole off the hook, though, and I guess that’s appropriate because no one is mad at Nicole. She lied to Heather for six years about suing her husband, and everyone is like, “Naw, we’re cool … but GINA!” What is wrong with everyone? Heather should be pissed. And Shannon should be pissed. And Gina should be pissed. And Anna Delvey should be pissed that this is being done in her memory.
Shannon should not have told Gina, but as soon as she knew who Nicole was, she should have pulled Heather aside and said, “Um, you know that she sued your husband, right?” It’s sort of like if your straight brother is about to marry a woman you know used to be a lesbian. It’s none of your business, but you just want to check and say, “You know she used to be a lesbian, right?” I mean, if he’s fine with that, you should be fine with that, but I feel like someone should do a little background check before we are forced to call Dog the Bounty Hunter or something.
When Shannon has lunch with Noella and Nicole, Nicole says, “It’s never the time or place to discuss someone’s medical history.” This is the Fox Newsiest argument I’ve ever heard. Who wrote this? Kelly Dodd’s new husband? The only reason Shannon knew about this “medical history” was because Nicole told her. It’s not like she hacked her ZocDoc account or something. If someone tells you about it, I think it’s safe to assume they don’t mind you talking about it publicly. And here is Nicole, who didn’t tell her friend for six years that she once sued her husband, trying to look like the victim in this situation. Lady, you are full-on bonkers. You are so crazy Passions wouldn’t have you as a character because no one would believe anyone could be so stupid, and you’re trying to make Shannon Storms Beador look bad? Just give her a minute or two, she’ll make her look bad on her own and you can go back to whatever identity theft grift you have going on.
While Shannon and Heather are at some kind of stalemate, Gina and Shannon have drinks to talk over their differences. Shannon says she doesn’t understand how someone would be friends with someone when there was once a lawsuit. Yes! Exactly. That is why as soon as Shannon thought that Nicole Weiss, who she was friends with, was the same Nicole James that Heather is friends with, she should have said something to Heather. But she did not. She saved it and was going to weaponize it against her. Now that she’s caught out, she’s trying to pretend like she was wronged when this was her intention all along.
Shannon is upset that Gina said something when Shannon told her not to, but when do we ever keep our word when we say we won’t? I don’t ever. (Sorry to all of my friends.) Why would Gina? Because the thing that happened is insane and someone needed to tell Heather. Shannon then tells Gina she went out of her way to be kind to her. As Gina points out, you don’t have to go out of your way to be kind; you just do it. That’s the thing about Shannon, she needs everyone to think that she is a good and kind person, but she also wants them to see her kindness as a gift, as a prize that needs to be continually earned. It can’t be both. She’s either good, or she’s not. The problem with Shannon is she is not a good person. She is mean, petty, vindictive, and absolutely perfect for this show and we adore her for that. What makes her amazing is that she is not good. But that she has to cling to this idea of purity like she’s a spent Bounce sheet static clung to your trousers is so annoying. I don’t know that I love Heather, but I’m hoping she might be the only one who can make Heather take a different tack.