Heather Dubrow loves to celebrate. She loves theme parties, non-theme parties, or even just a small soiree on a Tuesday. At any fete, you simply must have a fabulous cake, she tells us. Which explains why we begin tonight with Heather at some fancy cakerie asking if the proprietor can make a custom one for her latest excuse to let loose: the Dubrows have developed a sparkling wine! Because of course they have. This cake will need to look like their bottle of bubbly, which won’t be a problem. But getting it to Napa, the site of the bash, might be as these cakes don’t ship well. Egads! Thankfully, this problem can be solved by throwing heaps of money at it. “We’re taking a private jet,” Heather plane-drops. “Oh, perfect,” says the owner, as though her cakes abhor commercial travel.
Meanwhile, David and Shannon are wrapping up their couples therapy retreat. Shannon is convinced they are most definitely never, ever, ever going to get divorced, not because of undying love or anything rational like that, but because she doesn’t want to be a statistic. Let’s let Shannon break it down by the numbers for us. “The divorce rate nationwide is 50 percent, and it’s 60 percent in California. But in Orange County, it’s 70 percent,” she sniffs. “I’m not going to be a part of that.” I wonder what the divorce rate is among cast members of RHOC? Back to her laughable attempt at therapy. The twosome are instructed to write their own eulogies, to be read by their spouse while they lie in repose beneath a cheesy foam headstone.
Shannon takes her place on the ground, eyes closed, wrapped in a black blanket, and it looks like David is stifling a laugh. I can’t say that I blame him as this is freaking absurd. David kneels and begins reading Shannon’s words. They’re mushy and emotional and when it’s time for David to add his own thoughts, off-script, all he can muster is, “Shannon came with the gift of forgiveness,” hammering home that he should be absolved of his infidelity. He then appears to cry, which never happens, according to Shannon. They switch places. David’s words for Shannon to read are, uh, less touching: “David put up my issues to the best of his abilities. We argued, yelled, screamed at each other, but I loved him.” Shannon “would’ve written more” but this is still positive, she thinks.
We get a much-needed reprieve from this malarkey by heading to a juice bar to meet Heather and Tamra, where Tamra whines a bunch about not feeling herself then cries. Heather gives her a pep talk that ends with, “We’ve got to get Stella her groove back!” How inspiring. And then suddenly we’re back to Shannon and David. Ugh. Seriously?
Now they’re sharing ways they’ve caused each other pain. David’s is quite clear (he slept with someone who wasn’t Shannon) and Shannon’s is quite delusional (“I didn’t respect you, David”). There’s a whole bit wherein the therapist tells Shannon that if she doesn’t get over David’s affair, then he will likely walk away from the relationship. Sooo… this turd gets to cheat on her, lie to her about it, put her (and the kids) through an emotional wringer, then go to some half-assed therapy retreat where she’s forced to absolve him, lest he leave her…? Shannon agrees to this nonsense, promising to do whatever it takes to forgive him. At this point, I have to stop my girlfriend from throwing a remote at our TV in anger. The therapist makes Shannon sit on David’s knees and hug him. “I love you,” she whispers. “Yeah,” he replies. Shannon. Honey. Leave David. Like, yesterday.
Speaking of good husbands, Jim Edmonds and his wife Meghan are pursuing some overpriced home decor store. Meghan wants to redo the house, since Jim Edmonds’ second ex-wife was responsible for most of the interior design. Showing just how sweet he can’t be, Jim Edmonds flatly says he doesn’t want to “buy things we already have just because you want to change it.” Then he scolds Meghan about not breaking some glassware she touches. We learn Meghan’s also got a failed marriage, and that she “can’t be sure this [marriage to Jim Edmonds] will work. That’s too optimistic and I like to be realistic.” …Uh, what? If you’re not sure, why did you marry him?
Moving on, we check in with…Shannon and David and NO. NO MORE OF THIS. NOPE. Over at Tamra’s house, Eddie’s making dinner, while Tamra, clad in a shirt bedazzled with “Muscles and Mascara,” fields a phone call from the last person she ever expected to hear from: Vicki, wasted in Mexico and thinking about Tamra. We’re treated to a flashback that shows these two wasted together in Mexico, behaving more immature than most teenage spring breakers.
Tamra inquires about Brooks, who most definitely does have cancer, but feels good enough to travel and whoop it up in between chemo treatments, Vicki says. (Eddie sneezes ‘bullshit’ and I like Eddie a little more for that.) Tamra’s constant fighting with Brooks drove a wedge in their friendship but Vicki’s ready to move on in the most Housewife way possible: by throwing a party. They trade barbs that are meant to be funny—“I’ll punch you in the throat!” and “I will go full throttle on you, bitch”—but I suspect both are actually dead serious behind the forced laughter.
At Vicki’s ‘Let’s-All-Be-Friends-Again!’ bash, the hostess walks around in a Mr. Rogers cardigan, dressed her age for once. Brooks appears and Vicki tells us she doesn’t care what people think about Brooks living with her, but she can’t possibly be expected to live alone since she never has. Then it’s time to hang the pinata as this is a Mexican party since Vicki loves tequila and speaking Spanglish to people who wait on her.
Heather Dubrow is very excited for Vicki’s party. It’s not because she loves to celebrate mundane and silly things. No, she’s got a far more selfish reason. She’s looking at it as a test run for how all the women will interact in advance of her sparkling wine launch in Napa. “Let them get all the sparks out now,” Heather smiles. Jim Edmonds and Meghan arrive at Heather’s home and Jim Edmonds grins at the Dubrow’s daughter, which makes him seem human. Meghan’s nervous about the party and eloquently explains why. “I’d be nervous of me if I wasn’t me.” We meet Katie Hamilton, another OC housewife married to a former baseball player. Is it a law that women must marry at least one former baseball player to live in this area? Katie, the Dubrows, and the Edmonds’ climb into a rented party bus intended for 20 and set off to Vicki’s house.
The mariachi band plays as current and past Housewives trickle into Vicki’s party. Tamra and Eddie arrive, and Brooks lets them in. Tamra tells him she’s sorry for his “circumstance,” and Brooks assures her cancer is mind over matter, adding “It’s all good. It’s all curable.” Brooks professes to be “basically vegan” now, though I’m not sure if he understands what vegan means, given the white bread, cheese, and Hidden Valley ranch dressing he ingested during last week’s episode. He’s eating a ton of refried beans, which leads to he and Tamra having a discussion about flatulence. Tamra, ever the classy broad, shares Eddie’s penchant for giving her dutch ovens.
Heather and her mostly empty party bus arrive. A well-lubricated Tamra shouts greetings the way you yell at your deaf grandmother. Meghan walks around introducing herself, though the reception from Shannon isn’t a warm one. Flashback to last year, when she took a tequila shot with David at some event and ignored Shannon. “I think she thinks I flirted with her husband last year,” Meghan says, devoid of any shame. Jim Edmonds approaches and makes small talk and Shannon tells us that “they seem like a nice couple.” Shannon cannot read people to save her life.
Dinner is served and Brooks says grace (“Lord, I pray that you grace this food to nurse my body”) and Heather thinks Brooks’ illness “teaches us to enjoy every moment on earth.” She should put that on a designer cake. Over dinner, Tamra, Lizzie, and Meghan talk about anal sex, because they don’t understand what comprises polite dinner conversation, and then Vicki emerges, wearing an ill-fitting sombrero, screeching that it’s pinata time.
Meghan succeeds in whacking the donkey open and candy, handcuffs, and little bottles of booze spill onto the ground. Vicki and Tamra hold hands, which freaks out the other housewives who were SURE this friendship would never be rekindled. Before anyone can go, there must be a group tequila shot, since “doing a shot together is like wiping the slate clean,” says Vicki. A brilliant strategy I’ve seen employed in many a frat house.
Guests dwindle out but Vicki and Tamra are drunk enough to have one more glass of wine together. It’s a slurring heart-to-heart, where each just shouts about how hard their lives are over the other. Maybe the slate is still a little dirty and this calls for more tequila? Eventually, they both begin speaking at a reasonable volume, hug it out, and agree to be friends again. We’ll see how long this tenuous relationship will remain stable.
Since you aren’t Meghan, would you be nervous to meet Meghan? Do you think Meghan’s marriage will last? Does anyone seriously care about Shannon and David’s journey to save their relationship? Have you ever flown a cake on a private jet? Will you buy the Dubrow’s sparkling vino?