The last of the “previously on” reel is that moment where Meghan first approaches Shannon at Vicki’s lame party, and Shannon’s face seizes into a smile so strained it looks like the skin on her cheeks might rupture. “Oh, no, it’s fine,” Shannon manages to sque, in the throws of a quiet panic attack. Dare I say there is something predatory about Meghan?
The episode opens at dinner with Tamra and Meghan, where Heather dutifully remarks, “Really fun party!” about Vicki’s lame fiesta. Tamra nods like she’s not quite sure she heard what Heather said, totally unconvincingly. Here’s the thing about Heather this season: crazy eyes. Definitely crazier than before. What has become of her late-in-life career renaissance, I wonder? Could this be behind the crazy?
The ladies dutifully talk about other stuff for five seconds before jumping into the Shannon analysis. Meghan offers up a story of how she reached out to Shannon for help with a charity event that Shannon had herself hosted the year before… a “wine procurement party.” I believe Meghan is speaking these words phonetically, otherwise she would at least try to explain how that could possibly be for a charity. Is it a charity to buy wine for underprivileged families who want to throw dinner parties? Anyway, there’s a flashback to Meghan calling Shannon and Shannon has no idea who she is. After the call, Meghan’s real douche of a husband asks, “Did you forget your name was Meghan King Edmonds?” I hate this baseball superstar I’ve never heard of.
Shannon runs over to Vicki’s house to watch her pack her tiny lacy thong underwear to go collect an award at the “Oscars for the insurance people.” This whole scene is gratuitous: Shannon desperate to get Vicki to talk some shit about Tamra or Heather ahead of the Napa trip. Vicki, carefully folding the tiniest sheerest g string with a little purple bow, the only thing she has left to pack. As the longest serving housewife, Vicki is a top notch exhibitionist.
If there’s going to be a vote about Katie (Heather’s Christian neighbor and another baseball wife) getting a spot on this show, I say no. A thousand times, NO.
As Meghan distributes her bedazzled wine glasses on the private plane to Napa, Katie and Tamra get deep into the Jesus talk. Tamra insists “I know what people are going to say. She’s going to church because she’s done so many bad things in her life and she just wants to look good.” This is such a farfetched idea that it must be the real reason Tamra is going to church. It’s like she unwittingly told everyone the truth. In any case, one can’t help but wonder how Tamra getting “saved”, has affected her relationship with Eddie. I wager not well.
Tamra, if it comes down to Jesus or Eddie, choose Eddie.
When Tamra gets to her room in Napa, the card on her gift basket reads “Tamra Barney,” which she dramatically asks the porter to remove because it would upset Eddie who is angry that Tamra still hasn’t legally changed her name. Here's a thought, Tamra... If you want to be subtle, you could have just thrown the envelope away like we all do after we open it. When Tamra remarks to no one in particular, “All I need now is my husband,” it’s confirmed: Tamra and Eddie are having problems.
As are Shannon and David, who approach the group before the party in their chauffeured golf cart already bickering. “I did nothing wrong today, Shannon,” David says. And when we learn that Shannon is upset because David stopped at a Japanese restaurant and had a bunch of sake shots with Christian, Lizzie’s husband, I would tend to agree. Shannon, you know, I see the flashback scenes of you in seasons past and I have to say, you need to get back to drinking. Maybe you thought you were looking too drunk last season, but it’s way better than this constant on-the-razor’s-edge-of-sanity thing you have going on this year.
At the sparkling wine party, Shannon sticks to the side of the room like she is a new prisoner on the yard trying not to get shanked. She is desperate for a drink, and not just any stupid methode champenoise, Heather! Vodka. While David dutifully helps her find some liquor, Tamra discovers that the Colette cake is a fake. I don’t understand this, truly. Heather went so far as to tell the cake lady about the private plane because it meant they didn’t need to worry about shipping. But then, fake cake? Is anything sacred?
Heather divulges to Terry that the cake is fake right before announcing that the cabinets in their house are $135,000 over budget. I keep trying to come up with a good way to quantify what this means in terms of class warfare, but the numbers speak for themselves. Time to light the torches, people. More interesting, though, is what it says about Heather, who must have nothing else going on. Because constantly talking about how much you're spending on your new home is incredibly tacky but it will get you airtime.
Heather’s speech about their new sparkling wine has little of substance beyond the fact that she refers to Colette, their fourth child, as THE SURPRISE. But didn’t she tell Meghan they used IVF for Colette? So, how much of a surprise is it really after giving yourself shots and getting intravaginal sonograms and spending tens of thousands of dollars when you end up pregnant? Heather, we get it, you were an older Mom. You like $7000 toilets. You have lights for your lights. We are all impressed!
The next day they gather to visit a “winery” that Lizzie describes as Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory meets the Red Light District, which is a surprisingly apt description. Amid the giant metal vats of wine, Real Dolls in latex leotards hang from their ankles. The vintner serves wine straight from the barrel with what looks like a three-foot-long glass dildo shaped like an elbow. Only at this vineyard does it make sense for Tamra to request that she get to “take it from the source.” She puts her mouth right on the tip of the glass dildo, which silently disgusts Katie the Christian. Her hot pink lip curls into her orange upper lip. Katie, be gone.
That night, the other super classy vintners, the Bellos, are throwing a party for the ladies at their home. Heather is proud that she allowed this to happen without dictating what kind of toothpicks go in the hors d’oeuvres. Congratulations, Heather! Shortly into the party, Shannon tells Meghan that she has 58 chandeliers in her home and 90 percent of them are antiques. I thought Orange County was famously sunny. What’s with all the lights?
Chuffed about this intimacy Shannon has shared, Meghan requests a sit-down. Here she brings up, again, Heather’s hoe down and segues into how offended she was by the “wine procurement party” phone call. Shannon backpedals through several different excuses and rationalizations for being rude to Meghan: how did she get her private cell phone number? Shannon thought it was a sales call! Meghan didn’t say her full name! Shannon is spinning, struggling to remember why she is so upset. Finally, she storms off, leaving Meghan with these parting words. “I start charities, Meghan.”
Shannon, it's time to step back and reassess. Maybe a reality show isn't for you! Maybe, you could just start a few more charities, count your chandeliers, snuggle your crystals and call it a day.