What makes Shannon’s opening line unconvincing is that she phrases it like a question. “When life gives you lemons… put nine in a bowl?” Like if you can bear to lift the weight of those enormous, bitter lemons, do your best to put them in a bowl and still, no guarantees? You’re not selling it Shannon, and sadly, it seems like this season your story is not a happy one.
Heather has “developed” a sparkling wine in Napa named Colette after their fourth child of the troubling ongoing pacifier usage. By “developed,” I believe that Bello Family Vineyards tapped her for publicity. But ok, “developed.” And now it is time to launch that wine with a party and that party is all about Cake! Diane, the owner of the It’s All About the Cake bakery has a sit-down with Heather, who admits that she loves to “do special cakes.” By “do” I believe she means “buy” and by “special” I believe she means “outrageously expensive.”
Heather also manages to squeeze into this scene that they are “taking a private plane” to Napa. Now, Heather, let me say that your fashion here is on point. That buttery taupey leather motorcycle jacket screams Yolanda Foster and I mean that as a compliment. But your private plane, which we get to see in the previews for the next episode, is not. No need to brag about it to your cake lady for God’s sake.
There is something so shockingly media unsavvy about Tina Konkin, the couples therapist running Shannon and David’s retreat, that I am beginning to fall for her hokey shit. She has Shannon lay under a foam tombstone so David can read a eulogy Shannon wrote. This sounds ridiculous, right? Let me tell you there were actual tears in my eyes. I can’t even. “She took care of me.” Simple. Sweet. He’s in tears. I hope you kids work it out!
Tamra meets Heather at some next level OC juice bar joint where she immediately goes on record in her interview saying “Heather is the only person I trust.” The writing is on the wall. I’m calling it now: Heather betrays Tamra in the next three episodes.
When Heather tells Tamra that Lizzie of last season is coming on her Napa trip to eat cake and drink sparkling wine, Tamra is immediately in tears, which she attempts to dismiss by saying she’s “…good, she’s just crying a lot lately.” I have to ask, Tamra, when was your last period? Go get some hormones. Seriously.
At the end of couples therapy, Shannon says “I love you,” and David says, “Yeah.” I get the sense that he is really trying to make something work that is never going to really work to his satisfaction.
Finally Meghan shows up to announce, “We’re trying to redecorate our house. Again.” Keep trying, Meghan! Soon, maybe, you’ll figure out how to redecorate your house, which, it turns out, your husband is totally disinterested in doing since it was already decorated by your predecessor: “wife number two.” But Meghan wants them to buy new things together! “Our things.” Which may be the most shallow relationship ideology ever uttered aloud on this show. Which is saying something. Anyway, Meghan thoughtfully counts up her and Jimmy’s past marriages (two for him, one for her) and concludes “I can’t say that I know for sure that this is gonna work.” Girl, I know for sure. It’s not going to work. He is interested in nothing you say. So I guess you should go buy whatever stuff you want?
Back at Shannon’s Tuscan estate, David is asking their three daughters individually to forgive him for abandoning the family. While part of me absolutely cannot believe that they would do all of this on television, I am also moved to tears AGAIN (a record!) with the Beadors this episode. When David’s oldest daughter says, “I can never forget what happened, but I do forgive you,” we are all in tears. I love you guys! But I still can’t say I’m optimistic.
I can’t decide what to make of Vicki admitting she just hates to be alone. She is one of those old timey women who moved from living with her parents to living with her husband. On the one hand, this surely must translate into lower standards. On the other, it’s true, Vicki, you don’t have to be alone if you’re happy with Brooks.
I hate to be hard on Heather but when she tells Meghan that “Vicki has a beautiful house…” it just sits a little funny with me because Heather, you’re building Kim Kardashian’s house. Remember? You have lights for your lights and 14 bathrooms.
Vicki’s party is full of the ghosts of housewives past. Lizzie of last season (and last season only) looks like a caricature and Jeana of the early days who has lost 50 pounds. Lizzie’s horrifying fur coat is the most dramatic thing going on at this party. Shannon is out in the cold, trying to cling to Vicki who gently rebuffs her with sham housewife diplomacy. What Vicki should be doing is spiking the margaritas with ecstacy or something. This party is a snooooooze.
Finally, Meghan meets Shannon, who tries to play it off like last season’s encounter at Heather’s groundbreaking party/ceremony/hoe down was no biggie. To catch you up, last season, Meghan and David did shots together and David failed to introduce Shannon to her. Shannon made a big deal about this on camera, footage which Meghan has surely seen. But Shannon’s not going back there. She has this to say about Meghan: “Meghan’s got a nice smile. She’s pretty.” And then she gives this face-shrug that says: What else you could possibly say about Meghan?
This party is so boring the producers try to make something out of the fact that Lizzie catches Vicki and Tamra holding hands. They keep replaying the same few grainy seconds of Vicki and Tamra’s crotches, with their hands laced together, and I swear the way they were being so salacious about it I started to think there was more than just handholding going on. Seriously, rewatch that scene. It’s suggestive. Because nothing else is happening.
Even when they gather round to try and force some telegenic energy into the party by doing a shot together, Heather tosses her to the side. Again. I’m usually team Heather—you’re probably one of the smartest housewives of all time--but you really annoyed me this episode. Seriously, when everyone else is doing a shot, just do the shot. Here’s some more advice: Shannon, Vicki is not your true friend. You are a second year associate at the firm where she’s a name partner.
They have to pad the end of this dud fiesta with a tribute reel to Vicki and Tamra’s many mutual apologies. But this only serves to make this season’s look a little less sincere. Even though they ultimately agree to have each other’s backs, I can’t say this rapprochement has legs.