I initially thought that Dr. Jen was just a little bit out of place. Maybe she wasn’t the showiest or the craziest, but that she would come along. Now I think that she might be the deadliest combination of all. No, not eggy farts and close confines. I mean she might be both boring and annoying. All episode she is talking to Heather about how she needs to fix her relationship, and Heather keeps giving her vague platitudes like, “nurture your relationship,” “make your family a priority,” and “maybe give him a stack of vaginas for his birthday.” She thinks she’s helping, but these are all things that I could have picked off of Caroline Calloway’s Instagram Stories.
We also get to see Jen with her daughter, CeCe, who I am obsessed with mostly because her name was Vera (A child named Vera? On this side of WWII?), but she changed her name to CeCe when she was 2 because she could feel that bullying coming from about four years in her future and cut that shit off right then and there. But it’s when we see Dr. Jen finally try to make things work with Ryne that it all falls apart.
The easy thing is to blame his awful condescension and take Jen’s side. But this isn’t coming from nowhere. Ryne, a flip-flop lodged in a storm drain, may be a total douche, but he didn’t get to his patronizing, head-patting, Chihuahua-smothering self all alone. When Jen tells him about her day, how hard it is at the office, and how stressed out she is, he hardly responds. She tells him she just wants him to say he’s proud and knows she works hard. He says all of these things like a prisoner coming down a mountain. You know, a con … descending. Sorry. I will see myself out.
His venom is barely disguised under a backward-turned baseball cap, which, if he isn’t wearing one physically, he certainly is spiritually. Then she tells him that he can’t just say it; he needs to consider what she said and react accordingly. Ryan is giving her nothing that she needs, but what she needs is maybe way too much. He says in confessional that it’s always the Dr. Jen show, and she just needs too much attention and validation. Maybe he just doesn’t give her enough, and she’s so starved for it she has to eat for two. Or maybe she just needs this all the time, and Ryne is as exhausted by it as we all are by his name.
Eventually, he tells her that they’re going to talk about it another time, which seems to me like he is not only fed up but not doing this on camera because he knows that he is going to come off looking like a twatwaffle. He gets up and leaves and says, “That’s enough,” like she’s a child and I hate them all so much in that moment I just want the deep dark sea to rise up and swallow them all, except for CeCe née Vera, who can become my foster child and I will train her in the dark arts so she can one day seek revenge on the sea.
This is all that really happens in an episode that is otherwise as tame as a 14-year-old house cat. Yes, it starts with the continuation of the dinner in Cabo, but all that you really miss is Emily and Shannon getting plastered, wearing all the sombreros at once, and then flashing their undergarments while falling off an oversized piñata that Emily throws over her shoulder and threatens to take home. She used the same move the first night she met Shane, which explains how we got where we are.
Then the ladies are back in the OC. Heather and Gina go out to lunch, and Gina’s blush is slowly creeping up her cheek like it is waging war on her hairline. Either that or her fake tan is reflecting her magenta shirt. Either way, it is scary.
Shannon has Emily and Shane and Heather and Terry over to her boyfriend John’s house on the water so they can go for a boat cruise and eat dinner served by an adult human named Mac Noodlez and his half-brother, Willie Noodlez, and they are exactly what you would expect from a duo of white dudes (a white dudes-o?) ripping of Benihana. The conversation then turns to all of their father trauma, and it is so dark that I had to roll around three Xanax in the dust at the bottom of a Sour Patch Kids packet and retreat into a drugged-out haze for the rest of the episode.
The next day Shannon and Emily go to the Quiet Women, a UNESCO world-heritage site, and we get to relive Shannon Beador saying, “That’s not even my fucking plate, you bitch,” which I hope is the first line of her biography one day and we will all read it wistfully, nodding with tears in our eyes. Noella comes to meet them, and Emily asks her about something Dr. Jen told her, and that thing is a stack of vaginas. I am not incredibly familiar with female genitalia, but why do they need to be stacked? Are vaginas like Oreos or deck chairs or one-dollar bills? What else is even stacked? Russian nesting dolls?
Apparently for her ex-husband’s birthday, Noella “got him” a stack of vaginas, and she was on the bottom and there were two other women in stockings and garters above her all lying on the bed and they made a vag sandwich, but the sandwich was either all meat or all bun depending on how, exactly, you want to use a vagina. But why would you do this? A stack of vaginas is not a thing. An orgy (or in this case a four-gy) is a thing, but a vag stack? No way. It’s just inconvenient for everyone. He can only reach one at a time and would probably need a step stool, and the rest can only lay there, trying not to suffocate under the weight, filing their nails while waiting their turn in this sex train that has become completely derailed and laid on its side.
The ladies recreate the vag stack at Emily’s game night, where they barely play any real games. It is like putting a plunger between your legs and then getting a roll of toilet paper on it. What even are these games? What happened to a round of Scattergories? What about Taboo?
Noella gets all mad that Dr. Jen brings this up, but you know Noella tells everyone about this. She has the photo of it in the favorites folder on her phone. It’s not like she says something that is a secret. Noella is just looking for reasons to get mad, though. At the beginning of the episode, Heather says that everything with Noella is always negative and she’s looking for reasons to fight. Yes, this is true and why she is on reality television. That is also why she is more exhausting than paddle-boarding in a hurricane with jet lag.
The whole vag stack thing sends me on a real emotional journey, but suddenly I’m also going through a whole dark night of the soul when Heather shows up at Dr. Jen’s house for drinks. She comes with a huge bag full of shit because Heather Dubrow can’t let anyone else have the say or entertain; she is going to do it the way she wants it done, and that way is so over the top that it is kissing the underside of the International Space Station.
Heather shows up, and Jen says, “I’m so glad that Heather is hosting in my own house,” and if she did that to me, I would have put her right back in a Lyft faster than a Proud Boy lights a tiki torch. But then she pulls out two pineapples and some crazy device where you screw it into the pineapple, which takes out the core and creates perfect pineapple rounds for you. Genius. Okay, sister, I am back in. Then Heather pulls out a Ziplock of ice and says, “We have different kinds of ice at our house. It’s a whole thing.” Nope. Sorry. I’m out. I’m done for good. Sorry, this is over. No one deserves this, no one deserves Dr. Jen, no one deserves Ryne with his fake name and dog-breath hands. No one deserves any of this, but you can send me that pineapple-corer thingy if you want.