Before we get into talking about this dinner party of horrors and what a freaking shady shit-stirrer Tamra is, let us recount all the things we learned about Vicki Gunvalson last night. 1) She would like to have a catheter bag permanently installed for convenience; 2) Her vagina is perfect; 3) She is capable of tact. That last one was the most shocking, right?
How did we get to talking about Vicki's vagina at a dinner party, you may wonder? How did we not get to talking about it sooner, is what I ask you in turn!
It sort of comes back to Tamra who, being desperate in the party's awkward silence, starts talking about favorite body parts. Eventually Brooks is asked about Vicki's best body part, and though he initially says her brain ("Bullshit," says Tamra), when pushed he says, and I quote, "There's no doubt it's her vagina," followed by, "I freaking love it down there, are you kidding me?" I was hoping to think about the intricacies of Vicki's vagina at some point today, so thanks, Brooks.
Vicki is embarrassed, but later confirms that she had C-sections and so the vajay is perfect. The more you know! She views other netherparts less favorably, particularly the ones involved in waste elimination. "I hate getting gas, and I hate going potty," says Vicki Gunvalson, and if that's not her tag line for season 10 a grave injustice has occurred. Anyway, insurance mogul and perfect-vagina-haver Vicki Gunvalson is too busy to go potty! "Like, why can't we just have like a catheter bag and just go whenever we want?" Yeah, those lucky bastards with catheter bags are living the life, I'll tell you. Can I add that Vicki really needs to change the lighting in her office, because in every scene shot there she literally looks like her face is melting.
So, if you are a fan of Real Housewives Dinners from Hell ™ this episode is for you! Lizzie and husband Christian are renovating her parents' beach house, and she thinks it would be "fun" to have all the ladies over for a dinner party. HAS SHE NEVER SEEN THIS SHOW? Prior to the party, the Gunvalsons and the Dubrows have a double date in which they discuss Heather's feud with Shannon. To summarize this feud, which will be talked about to infinity until this season is over and probably beyond: 1) Heather thinks Shannon yelled at her at her Christmas party; 2) Shannon thinks Heather spread gossip about her marriage and knows that Heather kicked her out of her house; 3) They just hate each other; 4) It is so fucking stupid, particularly on Heather's part.
Though overall she's disappointingly mellow about the situation, Vicki is subtly Team Shannon. If there's one person who knows the distinction between raising your voice and yelling, it's Vicki Gunvalson. And she doesn't think Shannon yelled at Heather. Because she didn't! Shut up, Heather. Vicki also doesn't understand how Heather can't have sympathy for Shannon, and says plainly that Heather isn't being very nice. When Vicki and Tamra later talk about the impending dinner party, Tamra wonders if it's going to be a shitshow. How many seasons has she been on Real Housewives? Is that even a question? In other news, Shannon cooks in a crock pot. That stew looks delicious! Team Shannon!
So, there's this other thing. Apparently, according to Shannon, Tamra has told her and David multiple times in private that Terry Dubrow said he wanted to "take the Beadors down." Which, frankly, seems like a weird thing for Terry Dubrow to have said, even at his creeper-est. When she gets to the party, Shannon pulls Tamra aside and asks her to confirm this statement. Tamra doesn't recall ever saying that Terry wants to take down the Beadors, and furthermore doesn't think he's the type to do or say any such thing. Shannon doesn't know what's going on with this denial, but suspects that Tamra is trying to make her look like a whackadoodle. Which, you know, is not that challenging of a task, really.
To her credit, Shannon displays some actual wisdom and decides that, with no one backing her up about this takedown thing, the best strategy is just to drop it and not give Heather the chance to spin it and make her look crazy(er). Instead, she'll just eat salad and enjoy the fire dancers that Lizzie has arranged, for her party that has the scintillating theme of "fire."
But let me tell you, that guy who spews fire from his mouth has nothing on Tamra Judge.
Everything is awkward (vagina dialogues) but fine at dinner, until Tamra turns to the Dubrows and says Shannon is accusing them of planning a takedown. They are incensed, and Terry wastes no time in yelling across the table, "Shannon…you think I wanna take you down?" Shannon responds that that's what she was told, and Terry says that it's all BS. Tamra continues to deny that she ever said this, and Vicki interviews that Tamra seems to have amnesia, because she told her the same thing. OH SHIT! Vicki does not say this at the dinner party, however, because she's somehow turned into the measured one. Up is down! Left is right! The seas have run dry! It is a puzzling turn of events, I'll tell you.
So, here's the thing. Even at the beginning of this argument, Shannon is totally calm and rational. She tells the Dubrows, quite reasonably, that she asked Tamra to confirm the takedown thing, Tamra would not, and so she dropped it. She also, quite diplomatically, says she's sorry for calling Heather condescending in front of a group of people. To which Heather responds, "Are you talking about your party when you yelled at me? Is that what you're talking about?"
Heather is horrible during this whole incident (I'll get to Tamra in a minute), and her guise of being the reasonable one makes her even MORE horrible. Because the worst thing about this is that Shannon seems to be engaging in this argument like a real person, while Heather (and Tamra) are engaging like Real Housewives. It's a nasty scene devised to make Shannon look crazy(er) and possibly actually burst a blood vessel. I don't like it one bit.
And why is Terry getting so turnt up?
Calm down, Swan.
The other puzzling thing about this incident is that Heather and Shannon (and husbands) maintain their focus on one another, and don't collectively turn to Tamra and ask WTF her problem is.
I understand that Cut Fitness needs new floors, but isn't there a storyline other than "Lying shit-stirrer" that can guarantee that her Housewives contract is renewed? Lizzie correctly clocks Tamra as the real problem here, and hopefully will eventually call her out directly and not just in an interview.
There is then a whole series of tete-a-tetes on the balcony, and to her credit Shannon does not end up jumping. Yet. First Tamra and Heather talk alone, and Tamra not only says that she's not a liar (in itself a lie!) but says of Shannon, "I mean, she's clearly drunk." Frankly, this is the one time I think that Shannon is NOT drunk! That was not cool. Heather and Tamra also call Shannon crazy, which is ALSO not cool even though it's quite possibly true, and then the Househusbands get all turnt up again and methinks that Terry has possibly been taking some acting lessons from his wife, whom you may have heard has had a notable guest appearance on Hawaii Five-O.
Vicki stays out of it, ostensibly because she doesn't want Tamra to start getting ugly with Brooks, and also because she doesn't want to jeopardize the chances of Doctor Terry giving her a discount on a catheter bag. Meanwhile, Lizzie vows to never have any more dinner parties.
This all goes on for a while, until finally Shannon has had ENOUGH of hearing how Heather's holiday break was ruined. She says, "You are not going to spin this on me. I came to you, Heather, as a mother, asking you in pain. I was broken. You told me I drank too much, you said you owed me nothing, you took an opportunity." And then Heather interrupts and Shannon yells that it's her turn and Heather says, "You can't scream at me AGAIN," and then Shannon's eyes actually pop out of her head cartoon-style and that mental breakdown looking thing from the previews actually comes into being.
As was likely her plan all along, Heather remains veeeeery calm while Shannon goes completely off the rails. Shannon yells that she's fucking had it with Heather, and the rest of them will all see the truth. She has the look of a scared animal, which is almost too much to bear, but is also rather riveting in that way that Housewives continually makes us question our collective moral compass.
Tamra, WHO STARTED THIS WHOLE FUCKING THING, grabs Shannon's face and tells her to stop. And what I think we're seeing in this moment is a veteran Housewife trying to give a rookie some legit advice about not cleaving yourself wide open and presenting a handful of intestines to the cameras. It's a little late for that, eh? Vicki looks horrified but stays seated. Lizzie explains to Shannon that they're all worried about her right now, and Shannon yells back that there's nothing to be worried about. Um, well. I would just maybe move her a few feet back from the balcony railings? Shannon's final word on the matter, at least for this episode, is that Heather is spinning the situation and saying all she does is yell, which she doesn't. Except for right now, when she is definitely yelling.
Next time: Heather wonders if Shannon is having a psychotic break. Oh she WOULD suggest calling an ambulance, wouldn't she?
[Images via Bravo]
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