Shannon’s Feng Shui “consultant” (really?), Elaine, stops by to analyze the energy in the Beadors’ new house. Shannon feels her relationship with David was better in the old house, and Elaine immediately solves all of Shannon’s marital problems by pointing out that the relationship corner in the new house is occupied by a toilet. Move the toilet, and voila!–Shannon’s relationship energy will stop draining away and all will be well. Shannon, normally completely snowed by the advice of her coterie of charlatans, protests that some relationships need to go down the drain.
Vicki is packing her office and in the most dramatic fashion possible, assures us that moving her office is “10 x 100,000,000” times more difficult than packing up any house. After all, she has to change her stationery, notify the post office, move furniture–things that no one has ever had to do when moving to a new house. As Vicki rants about how stressed out she is about this move, her awesome battle-axe of an office manager dispassionately tells her to just calm down. How did Vicki find this woman? She is perhaps the only person alive that could work in close proximity to Vicki Gunvalson and remained unmoved by her drama queen nonsense.
Back to Shannon’s, where she and Elaine take note that her bowl with 9 lemons/oranges in it is missing. WHAT??!! That explains everything that is wrong in Shannon’s life! Elaine comments that the sink is female and the oven is male, and when they are placed opposite each other there can be some tension between the sexes. I can only think that Elaine has some wily scheme where she gets a cut from whatever contractor Shannon will hire to remove the toilet from the relationship corner and totally reconfigure her kitchen.
Meghan and Jim are leaving La Quinta to return to their home in Orange County. On the way there, Meghan tells Jim her concerns about reuniting with the other Housewives. She feels torn because she is friends with both Kelly and Shannon and Tamra. What to do? Jim’s response is, “What are we having for dinner?” Jim is perfection.
Lydia and Doug are staging a photo shoot for their new magazine, “Nobleman,” starring themselves. They are pretending that they’ve engaged the new housewife and her husband to be their models, but it’s just a way of introducing Peggy. Lydia immediately intrudes on Peggy’s private business by asking her about her recent surgery, which was a preemptive double mastectomy. This is not your run-of-the-mill OC surgery, which I’m sure is something you discuss with your nail tech and the Starbuck’s barista down the street. Peggy chose to have it performed because her mother died from breast cancer and she, Angelina Jolie-like, wants to avoid the same fate. It’s a big deal. Upon hearing Peggy’s story, Lydia giggles and suggests she meet some of Lydia’s “friends” for a distraction. Even though Peggy knows this scene is just a setup for her entree into the Housewives cast, she can’t help but look a trifle bemused at Lydia’s cavalier reaction.
Tamra is preparing to throw a second birthday party for her granddaughter Ava, so as she scouts the locations we are treated to a commercial for local event venue Rancho Las Lomas. Tamra humble-brags that so many people are invited to Ava’s party that she feels like she’s throwing a wedding (Tamra still has a long way to go to catch up to the Queen of Humble-Bragging, Kyle Richards). This is a good excuse for Tamra and her is-she-or-isn’t-she daughter-in-law-to-be, Sarah, to discuss the guest list. Sarah has invited Briana and she is coming and bringing her two boys. This makes Tamra uncomfortable because, even though she “loves” Briana, she unfriended her on social media after her trouble with Vicki last year. It had nothing to do with Briana, but she just couldn’t stand to see Vicki’s face. Tamra shows a flicker of self-awareness when she allows that this was an immature move.
Kelly and Michael bicker as they get ready to go work out, and I must point out that Kelly has way more than nine oranges in her bowl, which totally explains the problems she has with Michael. Even though Michael almost kills them on the way to the gym, Kelly believes that the couple who plays together, stays together, so she’s committed to working out with him a maximum of three days a week. This is probably a better activity for these two than getting into altercations in bars while they are shit-faced, so…progress.
Shannon’s daughter is getting ready for her winter formal, and the makeup artist has done her eyes like she’s getting ready to perform the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter at the next midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Shannon delivers the obligatory Housewife lamentations of the trauma of seeing your children getting older–blah, blah, YAWN–as she bustles about the kitchen preparing pre-formal snacks for the kids. David watches as she burns the bread, and thinks of how good of a cook his mistress was. To drive in the knife about what a failure his wife is to him, when Shannon eats a piece of bread, he says, “No! Don’t eat the bread!” She then seeks his approval by showing him that she only ate a tiny piece. Smh.
David points out that Sophie’s dress is a little short (yet another dig at Shannon?), and Shannon responds that she let her buy the dress because she wants to be a cool mom. All three of her daughters vehemently refute this notion. Shannon should just own the fact that she is the furthest thing from cool–she sang the praises of cotillion class, for God’s sake!–and be at peace with it. But poor Shannon is not at peace with anything about herself or her life.
It’s time to meet Peggy and her family. I will abide by The Real Housewives Institute’s Eileen Davidson Accord (tm Brian Moylan) and reserve judgment on Peggy until the fifth episode of the new season. Peggy was born in Kuwait and is 100% Armenian. Her husband has built an empire having something to do with the kind of cars driven by LA club owners with nebulous ties to the Russian mob. The difference between Peggy and her husband (Deko?) and everyone else in Southern California is that their cars are owned, not leased. Deko (sp?) showers Peggy with diamond jewelry as a way to express his thankfulness that she got through her double mastectomy.
Vicki and Steve stop by Briana’s as she’s getting ready to go to Ava’s birthday party. This concerns Vicki because in the past Tamra has attempted to create a wedge between Vicki and her daughter, but stoic Briana assures her mother that she doesn’t want to hear it anymore. If she becomes uncomfortable, she’ll just leave. The only interesting thing about this scene is watching Steve interact with Briana’s boys.
Ava’s birthday party is not quite as over the top and child-unfriendly as the one Taylor threw for then 4-year-old Kennedy. At least Ava has a bouncy house. Briana shows up but leaves after about 5 minutes, having avoided Tamra the whole time. Now that that potential drama is over, it’s time to get to the main event. Tamra introduces Shannon and Lydia and Lydia immediately launches into the story about her dinner with Vicki. Shannon is taken aback (and a note to Bravolebs–it is “taken aback,” not “taken back.”), but keeps it together for the moment, enough so that Lydia’s fairy-dusting mother concludes that she is a bright light who exudes positive energy. I think we could all benefit from smoking whatever kind of weed Lydia’s mom smokes.
Ava blows out her candles, and why is the child flanked by her father and Tamra, while her mother is pushed to the side? Lydia, Tamra and Shannon sit down to talk about Vicki. Shannon explains why she hates Vicki, and Lydia makes the mistake of telling her that she is acting just like Vicki acted at their dinner. She means that even though Vicki hurt Tamra and Shannon, they hurt her as well. Shannon is having none of that, and before she loses her shit, she articulately explains that Vicki hurt them by lying about cancer and saying unconscionable things about their husbands, while they hurt Vicki by calling her out on it. Well said, Shannon!
Lydia thinks Shannon has taken some crazy pills and wonders why a woman she just met is yelling at her. Probably because Lydia, a woman Shannon just met, is making erroneous assumptions about her relationship with a woman who will say or stoop to absolutely anything for attention. Lydia’s husband breaks up the tete-a-tete-a-tete, and she and her mother discuss Shannon. Lydia asks why she called Shannon a bright light and her mother qualifies her original assessment by saying that Shannon is also a lost soul.
As Lydia says her good-byes, Tamra tries to mediate between her and Shannon, explaining that Shannon is very emotional when it comes to Vicki. Lydia accuses Shannon of “screaming and yelling” at her (which she clearly did not), and Shannon explains ad nauseum that she is nothing like Vicki Gunvalson, and is offended by the comparison. She once again brings up that Lydia’s mother called her a bright light (how sad that she’s clinging to these kind words from a total stranger–maybe Shannon is Blanche DuBois!), and stalks away right before Lydia calls out that she also said she’s a lost soul. Learn when to stop, Lydia! If Shannon was “done” before, she is now “fucking done” as she storms off into the parking lot, pulling up her pants as she goes.
Next week: Shannon loses her shit on Kelly Dodd.