This Shannon / Meghan showdown has legs. Shannon is, on her best day, a nut, and this season is not her best day. Plus, Meghan is like her crazy kryptonite. Every time she’s on the scene, Shannon has a hard time keeping her shit together. Here’s the question: how much is Meghan just fumbling along in the dark and how much is she actually, actively provoking Shannon?
Because the other stuff Meghan has going on is so damn boring. As she continually points out, moving is painful. I vote no more moving or whining about moving. Meghan, if you hate it so much, maybe don’t sign a four-month lease, even if Bravo is paying for it. Aren’t you basically like Hayley’s other Mom? Doesn’t she need a stable home?
The dysfunctional constant moving around is already taking a toll on Meghan’s marriage, but it’s not why you might think! It’s because Meghan is annoyed that her douchey husband Jim doesn’t contribute enough when they move: it’s all on Meghan, she testifies in voiceover as we watch Jim tape up a box while she drinks her coffee. Jim moves a big ornamental indescribable tchochke (from Pier One?) while Meghan drinks her coffee. Maybe this is just a bad edit?
Shannon just happens to call Meghan in the middle of this filmed move. I love how everyone on these shows has to talk on speakerphone all the time. Anyway, Shannon extends the olive branch by inviting Meghan to Bungo? Bunko A dice game? But Meghan hesitates. Shannon has to literally use the phrase “extending an olive branch.” You can see the big wheels turning in Meghan’s head as she weighs the value of truce versus conflict. She knows, as she explains, that she can’t say no or she’ll look like an asshole, but she needs to keep the drama going in her otherwise snooze of a life. Shannon assures Meghan that she’ll be a welcome guest, and Meghan replies, “I look forward to you proving that.” So is this just a lucky jab that happens to land or is Meghan secretly the ninja provocateur that everyone, myself included, has prematurely discounted?
Because instantly Shannon is all sorts of bent-out-of-shape, huffing to herself, “I don’t need to prove myself to a thirty-year-old.” Which is an interesting wrinkle in my own bias. See, I initially disliked Meghan because she calls Tamra old in a future episode, and yet, here she is the victim of Shannon’s agism.
Meanwhile, Tamra and Vicki are at the spa. The most interesting part about this is watching Tamra pretend not to be freaking the fuck out about becoming a grandma. “Nobody wants to get old in Orange County,” she says in voiceover as the massage therapists apply some sort of ‘marshmallow’ paste to their entire bodies. I believe Tamra when she says she would try literally anything to stay young. She would shank Vicki right there in that massage room to go back in time ten years on her face.
I guess we go to the salon with Heather and her four kids to see Terry not show up for something. Instead, we get a clip of his apparently successful (?) show Botched that includes this important question: “Her vagina is near her belly button?” This would be my title quote but technically it’s from a different show.
Back at Shannon’s house, the strategic (or was it just luck?) blow landed by Meghan is still smarting. Shannon speeds back to her large oval lady’s desk (surely an antique!) where I imagine her writing reams of correspondence regarding the many charities she has ‘started.’ But she’s not doing charity work right now. Oh, no, she is dialing up Meghan, unable to shake it off. Sadly, Shannon, this is where you lose the higher ground. Couldn’t you just let Meghan get the last word? I understand why David is convinced Shannon will never get over his affair.
Thank God we’re getting back to coffee enemas. Lenka, the “Health Coach” shows up at Vicki (and Brooks’s?) house to teach him how to expunge all the toxins in his body with plant-based food. Brooks reports that despite working with her for four months, he’s just completed his third round of chemo and it’s not going that well. Perhaps it’s because Lenka believes in “starving the cancer” by eliminating the hard work of chewing and digestion from Brooks’s life. What kind of life is that, you may wonder? One that leads to bad chemo results. Brooks, wake up man! You need energy to fight the cancer. Don’t go down with a cup of green juice in your hand and a cylinder of organic coffee up your ass. Just sayin’.
Shannon’s getting ready for her bunko(?) house party, putting everything together with her own hands as an act of love when David comes in and screws it all up for no apparent reason. He cryptically says he ran into “that girl from the beach,” which Shannon thinks means his sidepiece. At the thought of this, her face turns to pale wax. It was like her skin suddenly adhered to her skull. In her interview, she explains that really, it was all a silly misunderstanding and David just ran into an old friend, but this whole sequence is really odd, particularly when Shannon proceeds to gush even more about the affair to her friend Kristina. Welcome to the party, Kristina! Let me bend your ear about all the lies my husband told to conceal his infidelity. Bunco!
So it’s Bunco. I looked it up. Although Bunko is an acceptable alternate spelling. “Old Lady Bunco” is what Meghan’s douchey husband, Jim calls it, although Meghan refines this by adding “It’s a game old people play in Mississippi.” Nice, Meghan. Here’s a question: do you think Jim’s reluctance to purchase a home with you has anything to do with his doubts about your marriage?
In some weird next-level reality television moment, we see a scene of Heather filming for Terry’s show Botched. And I have to say, through the lens of a reality show within a reality show, Heather looks a little shticky. Like she’s acting. But it could just be that there are twice as many cameras present. It’s also like Terry is acting because I am pretty sure it’s ethically borderline for him to be performing any sort of medical procedure on his own wife.
I am happy to report that Shannon puts out a nice spread for Bunco. Good job, Shannon. I can feel the love. Meghan is the first to arrive, which is either impressive or just bad planning, but she seems down for peace talks. Maybe Shannon just squashed the whole conflict by “extending the olive branch,” an act Tamra points out can also be viewed as a “fuck you.” I believe this marks a historic event: for the first time in Real Housewives history, we are witnessing a competition to be cordial. Who can out-nice who in the Shannon / Meghan showdown? Shannon gives Meghan wine for her charity, Meghan presents Shannon with a candle and a diplomatic note. It was some crazy shit.
Then the Bunco starts and I can’t pay enough attention to learn the rules of this ridiculous dice game. Is there literally zero skill involved? How can you get excited about just rolling dice? Is it strange that I’m disappointed? I didn’t expect them to all sit around playing chess but even charades requires some neural activity.
Meanwhile, Vicki unusually receives a phone call on Shannon’s landline in the middle of her Bunco party. She crumples onto the floor in one of the most-hyped moments from this season. It is, of course, very sad for Vicki that her Mom died suddenly, but the way she keeps wailing “How could she die on me?” is a little… um… self-involved? “Who’s going to worry about me?” she cries, yet her face can’t seem to produce much expression, immobile except for her eyelids.