RHOC Ep. 15 Recap: #FireVicki

This week I noticed the “fire Vicki” hashtag all over Twitter and I wholeheartedly subscribe to it. This week’s episode, more than any other, demonstrated how superfluous the odious Vicki Gunvalson has become to the show, and she simply must go.

I could not care less about the status of her heart–physically or otherwise–or how her lifelong histrionics may have adversely affected it. The scene with her cardiologist was yet another tedious example of just how little she brings to RHOC. #FireVicki

Peggy and Diko going through their kids’ baby clothes for the sole purpose of letting us know that their kids wore Dior baby clothes. Just ugh.

Tamra and Shannon are on the phone, talking about the Diko-David dustup. Tamra thinks Shannon has a hard time letting things go, and a truer statement has never come out of Tamra’s mouth. Shannon becomes irritated when Tamra counsels her to stop giving the situation life, saying she’s giving it life because Tamra keeps talking about it. This may be an insight into Tamra’s behind the scenes shit-stirring. WE haven’t seen Tamra talk about it, but because she knows that doing so will inflame fragile Shannon and fuel the conflict between her and Peggy, she probably brings it up nonstop when the cameras aren’t rolling.

Meghan is having a dinner party so the other ladies can benefit from her friend “Mystic Michaela’s” insights. Mystic Michaela reads auras, so she’ll probably have a field day with this crowd. Meghan displays her own insight when she muses that some people are intimidated by psychics because they don’t want to acknowledge the things they’re hiding. So it comes as no surprise that Peggy doesn’t like psychics. Or that Vicki declined Meghan’s invitation because, according to Meghan, she was “very scared” of the psychic.

Lydia arrives as everyone is sitting down to dinner, and is disappointed that Vicki and Kelly aren’t there because she was hoping to invite all the ladies on a trip to Iceland.
The premise for this trip is that Lydia is going there to do a piece for her magazine, which is complete and utter bullshit. Lydia’s magazine is a vanity project for her and her husband, and the idea that she has legitimate business in Iceland is nothing but a transparent plot device. If she did have legitimate business there, she would NEVER invite this group of crude, feuding rubes to accompany her.

They call Vicki and Kelly, and everyone agrees to the trip, because they are contractually obligated to do so. Peggy doesn’t even know where Iceland is. Is she an Armenian nesting doll that has never seen the light of day? How else could she be such an unmitigated ignoramus? She has about as much personality as an inanimate object, so I guess it’s possible.

When Meghan asks Peggy if she’s in for the Iceland trip, Peggy responds by attacking Shannon, apropos of nothing, about David’s questioning of Diko. Talk about someone who can’t let anything go! Peggy is giving Shannon a run for her money. Shannon explains that David asked whether Peggy had cancer because he was concerned after Diko told him his wife just had a double mastectomy. Again, YOU CANNOT BE OFFENDED WHEN PEOPLE ASK IF YOU HAD CANCER AFTER YOU TELL THEM YOU (OR YOUR WIFE) JUST HAD A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY. Fucking DUH. When you engage in attention-seeking behavior, you can’t be mad when your behavior receives attention. And telling someone during a casual cocktail party conversation that your wife had a double mastectomy is attention-seeking behavior. God, I hate these two.

Peggy listens to Shannon defend David, but instead of engaging in discourse that may resolve the situation, dismissively asks, “Are you done?” Then she delivers the scripted line that is sure to make Shannon go off the rails: “Do you trust your husband? Has he ever lied to you about anything before?” Really? This is such an obvious ploy on the producers’ part. Are we to believe that because Mystic Michaela said Peggy was intuitive, Peggy has intuited Shannon’s uncertainty about her marriage? We’re not that stupid, and neither is Shannon.

For not understanding English, Peggy is showing herself to be a master of deflection. She asks Shannon an incendiary question–WAY worse than anything David asked Diko–and when Shannon yells that of course she trusts her husband, Peggy acts like it was an innocuous inquiry that was not intended to set Shannon off. Lydia backs Peggy and launches her own attack on Shannon. Lydia needs to STFU and go back to her pumpkin patch because she is always wrong. She wants Shannon to give Peggy a chance to explain herself, but as Meghan points out, Peggy is woefully inarticulate and her semantic meanderings are going nowhere.

Peggy is awful. She is phony, she has the personality of a concrete stoop, she’s rude, she is unable to express a single substantive thought, and her only purpose on this show is to torture the already-tortured Shannon. I am going to take Tamra’s advice and not give her any more life. #FirePeggy

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After Peggy and Lydia leave, Tamra guns for Shannon. Shannon may be volatile, but she has every right to feel victimized and confused by Peggy and Lydia’s treatment of her. Tamra has no storyline so she is fomenting a conflict that has nothing to do with her and throwing her good friend Shannon under the bus while she’s at it. She is yelling at Shannon to stop acting like an asshole and getting riled up over nothing when Meghan interjects with a much-needed reality check. If they wake up her sleeping baby, their ridiculous drama will pale in comparison to Meghan’s wrath. Meghan is such a breath of fresh air. What is she even doing on this show? She has absolutely nothing in common with these toxic harpies. When they finally leave, Meghan and Mystic Michaela share a laugh over how “great” Meghan’s friends are.

The next day, Shannon comes over to Tamra’s house with a mea culpa and a serious ephiphany. She has finally come to grips with what everyone already knows–that her emotional fragility and consequent downward spiral have been caused by her disintegrating marriage. Like too many women, Shannon is so defined by her relationship that she would rather stay in a miserable marriage than face being alone. She acknowledges that now that she and David are once again in a bad place, she isn’t over his affair, and her insecurities are manifesting themselves in self-destructive behavior. Shannon finally realizes that her happiness and self-esteem cannot be entirely dependent on the state of her relationship, and I am SO PROUD of her. Hopefully with this newfound insight, she can turn things around for herself. Good for you, Shannon!

The episode ends with the obligatory packing scenes, featuring too much of the lame and boring Sulahian family. And with that, the ladies are off. America apologizes in advance, Iceland.

Next week: The ugly Americans embarrass themselves (and us) in yet another country with their cat-fighting, callowness, and lack of respect for the local culture.





RHOC Episode 4 Recap: There’s A New Puppet Master in Town

Shannon arrives at Tamra’s to rehash the Quiet Woman debacle. Tamra asks what happened, as if she doesn’t know. Shannon lost. her. shit. That’s what happened. Over at the beach, Kelly Dodd and Michael gossip about the evening. Michael thinks that Shannon and Kelly could be friends, but Kelly thinks the new puppet master–Tamra–won’t let that happen. She hatches a plot to cultivate Tamra in hopes of repairing her relationship with Shannon.

Lydia is throwing a birthday party for her son Stirling’s 8th birthday. It is a ridiculously over-the-top movie-themed affair. These OC parents need to learn to manage their children’s expectations. Eight is not exactly a significant number, so when Stirling gets this kind of shindig for his eighth birthday, what is he going to expect when he’s 10? 16? 18? I feel sorry for the actor who is reduced to playing emcee at a kid’s birthday party. He is surely lamenting the state of his career as he mugs and clowns for a roomful of children.

Vicki and Kelly arrive and we meta-rehash the Quiet Woman incident. Not only do Lydia, Vicki and Kelly talk about it, but in the midst of their conversation footage is shown of Kelly filling Vicki in about it on the ride over. Enough about the Q-Dub already. Is this season so uneventful that any drama that goes down needs to be milked to this extent? I hope the PTB at Bravo realize this show has jumped the shark and cancel it. It makes me happy to think of Vicki Gunvalson losing her national TV platform and being left with only her minions at the Coto Insurance empire to feed her pathetically needy ego.

New housewife Peggy shows up in her ridiculous two-toned ride. Vicki, never able to conceal her rampant materialism, is mesmerized by the size of her ring. She is probably recalling bitter memories of Donn’s failure to gift her with extravagant baubles. Don’t worry Vicki–it’s probably fake.

The women engage in small talk before the conversation turns to Shannon. Lydia’s mother is dying to sprinkle her with fairy dust. Vicki kisses up to the new girl since she needs to line up some supporters before the season gets into full swing. When Peggy tells her about her recent mastectomy, Vicki says that if she needs anything–anything at all–just call Vicki and she’ll be there day or night. I would find it a bit off-putting if someone I just met came on so strongly, but Peggy is touched.

Vicki picks Kelly up for her vaginal rejuvenation appointment. God, the Housewives need some new material! It was icky and boring when Sonja did it, and it’s icky and boring when Kelly does it. What’s next? Vicki and Kelly scream and writhe through the 957th Real Housewives bikini wax scene?

Speaking of needing new material, Shannon’s daughter is learning how to drive. Shannon obviously went to the Kyle Richards School of Drama because she feigns horror just like Kyle did when she shot this exact same scene with her daughter. Shannon’s performance is a little better because her neuroses are more authentic.

Tamra is nervous about the speech she’s slated to give at the upcoming Erasing Family gala, at which she’ll continue to exploit her teenage daughter for sympathy and ratings. Tamra fake-cries as she recounts their latest meeting to Ryan. Things with Ryan and his on-again-off-again fiance Sarah are difficult. He finds step-parenting challenging but through his experiences has learned to appreciate why Simon was such an asshole to him. Tamra wants Ryan and Sarah to understand that, if they break up for good, they need to maintain a healthy relationship for their daughter’s sake. She doesn’t want him to go through a messy divorce/split like she, her parents and her grandparents went through.

Kelly arrives at Meghan’s with a gift for baby Aspen. I’m so glad Meghan spells Aspen’s name with an “e” instead of a “y” like the Sister Wives. If you try too hard to be unique you just end up looking like you’re trying too hard to be unique. Meghan hasn’t seen Kelly for awhile because she heard Kelly was dating some guy and asked her about it. Kelly didn’t appreciate the question and, when Meghan was seven months pregnant, fired back that “she just thought [Meghan] should know” that Jim is cheating on her. What a good friend.

Meghan wasn’t upset about the substantive information contained in Kelly’s text because she knows it’s not true. She was upset because Kelly sent it to her when she was seven months pregnant. So she cut Kelly out for a few months then let her back in because it’s easier to be friends with Kelly than to fight with her. Meghan is wise beyond her years.

Kelly tells Meghan her version of the Quiet Woman (again?!) story and acknowledges that she told Shannon to “keep eating” just to push her buttons. Meghan says she’s good at that, and before the conversation can go south, the nanny brings Aspen into the room. Nothing derails a potential catfight like a cute little baby.

Vicki arrives at Peggy’s and starts foaming at the mouth when she sees all the fancy cars in Peggy’s garage. She laughingly dubs Peggy a princess and thus confirms that she is kissing up to her out of necessity. Nothing awakens the green-eyed monster in Vicki more than her perception that another woman has more stuff or a more generous husband than Vicki does. Vicki is surely gnashing her teeth, but she’s playing the long game with Peggy and keeps her jealousy under wraps for now.

Peggy likes Vicki because she believed Vicki was sincere when she offered to drop everything if Peggy needed her. Poor, naive Peggy. She’ll learn. Peggy starts to talk about how she doesn’t like to talk about her mother’s death. Then lets us know that her father recently died. Vicki takes the opportunity to make it about herself and her mother’s death, because no matter how bad anyone else has it, she has it worse. There is a flashback of her shameless display at Shannon’s Bunco party when she got the news of her mother’s death. Any semblance of dignity that may lurk deep within Vicki Gunvalson is immediately jettisoned when she identifies an opportunity to be the center of attention.

Tamra’s family gathers at her house to pre-party before the Erasing Family gala, sans her mother. Tamra feels slighted by her mother’s absence but suspects it’s because her father is there with his new wife, aka her mother’s former best friend. Tamra says that when you’re erased from your child’s life it makes you feel like a bad parent. Maybe that’s because your child erased you from her life because you’re a bad parent.

Tamra gives an inspirational speech in which she describes how whenever someone tells her that her daughter will eventually come back into her life, she wants to punch them in the throat. And then she wants to punch them in the throat again. And again. Those Christian values are really on display here.

Next week: The Eileen Davidson Accord expires just in time for Peggy to tell Meghan to zip it.