Real Housewives of Orange County Recap, Season 17 Episode 13


Like George Costanza and the pigeons, I thought I had a deal with the Real Housewives. They launch silly projects, wear awful clothes, and eat insane things, and I make jokes about them. Now, the women themselves are right there in the show stealing my material. First, Tamra makes a joke about Jenn’s boyfriend Ryan’s awful taste in clothes, which I would normally describe as an Armani Exchange collab with the original Space Jam. Tamra stole my thunder, and I was going to say the jacket he wore to dinner with Jenn’s mom had more patches than a pirate convention.

Then Heather said that Emily was at her party eating a cucumber with her fingers like it was a Fruit Roll-Up. Okay, I was going to liken it to a Fruit by the Foot or a Bubble Tape, but sure, Heather, make a worse version of my joke. Then Tamra and the rest of the guests at the HD party had to hear all about Fireside, the “first fully interactive live chat app.” Tamra says exactly what I was going to say, “This is not revolutionary. This is like Instagram Live, or TikTok, or OnlyFans.”

I was all ready to do a deep dive on Fireside, especially since Heather Dubrow’s PR reached out to the Housewives Institute when the “network” launched and made us sign an NDA before we could get the press release. However, there’s just, um, not much there. It is literally Instagram Lives all saved up, and you can click on them and listen to Heather talk about her skincare regime and whatnot. Heather’s HD extravaganza is not so much for launching an entire channel as it is Heather having a full sit-down lunch with her friends in their best “auditioning for Housewives” cosplay for signing up for a new social media account. It’s like when we all joined Threads for two days, but instead of just posting out profiles on the Platform I Refuse to Call X, we had a meet-up at a bar and had passed hors d’oeuvres.

But before we can totally roast Heather’s party, let’s first take on Ryan. Jenn’s mother, Kristen, is in town to meet Ryan for the first time. She waited two years because she loves Jenn’s ex, Will, so much that she made a photo of him on her lock screen. Jenn says that she needs someone who knows her, meaning her mom, to meet Ryan and let her know if this is a good idea or not. Jenn, I don’t know you one single bit and I am telling you right now, Molly, you in danger, girl. Jenn says she’s worried that her mother is going to say about Ryan, “Absolutely not. You’re out of your damn mind.” Well, her mom may not be saying that, but I am, and I really hope Jenn listens.

What really concerns me the most about Jenn’s relationship with the president of the Laguna Beach chapter of the Lollipop Guild is that Jenn says her mother asked if she has any concerns that Ryan would cheat on her and her response was, “Nope.” Jenn, like so many Housewives, says her mother is her best friend. Well, why is she lying not only to her mother but also her BFF 4EVA LYLAS? Just last episode Jenn told Ryan to his face that she’s worried that “someone came between them.” Ryan is totally going to cheat on this woman. He is not a good partner for her, and even though he says it, he is never going to give her the commitment she needs. Sure, Jenn’s mother might meet them for a meal where she constantly compares Ryan to Jenn’s ex and doesn’t even ask one question about him, but he should never get a clean bill of health. This man is a dud, and the only one who doesn’t seem to see it is Jenn. Also, probably Archie Beador because he’s such a good boy; he loves everyone, don’t ya, Archie? Yeah, that’s a good boy. [Belly scratches. Belly scratches.] That’s a good boy.

Jenn and the rest of the ladies show up for Heather’s big launch party, well, except for Shannon, who has something better to do, like meet Dr. Moon to talk about doing at-home colonics, even though the last one she did left her with an enema tube stuck in her chocolate starfish for three months or something. Emily Simpson, the queen of the one-piece, gets so wasted at Heather’s lunch she starts acting, as Gina says, like a dick. And praise be to Satan or whatever dark creature you worship for Gina saying that. May you all have a friend that is so good she will tell you to your face when you’re acting like a dick.

Yeah, Emily’s not great. She’s eating with her fingers, as mentioned above; she’s roasting Heather for printing HD on every flat surface, including her own ass (ZING!); she’s passing her caviar around the table because she doesn’t want to eat fish eggs. What Emily is really mad about, however, is that Heather told her that Shannon was talking shit about Emily and Gina at BravoCon, but she can’t tell her what she said because “It is in the vault.” Later, Gina says she was also in the room when Heather said this to them both, but she thought it was Tamra who was talking shit at BravoCon. But then why would Heather say, “But that’s in the Vault.” That was Shannon’s gripe. I don’t know; I believe Emily on this one.

This comes up again when all of the ladies land in Mexico. Apparently, there is a tunnel from Southern California to Playa del Carmen because that is the only place these ladies ever go. It’s also where Scheana got married. OMG. Imagine if they were there when Scheana was getting married, and Emily Simpson was rocking a black one-piece in the background while doing a stand-up paddleboard?

The ladies all sit down to their first dinner in Mexico, and Tamra is like, “WTF, HD. ICBYSYHADTU.” That, obviously, is the universally acknowledged acronym for “I Can’t Believe You Sold Your House And Didn’t Tell Us.” Yes, the $55 million sale of her house, which we’ve followed every step of the way, went through, and Heather never told the women. It had gone through when she had her big party and said nothing. But it’s not just about the house. It’s about them having to be out in three weeks, it’s about how she packed up all of her stuff (or who did she pay to do it for her, more likely), it’s about where she is living now. We’ve all moved, and we know that the only thing worse than moving is having to sit through the insufferable conversation at a dinner party featuring the Mara-Phoenixes. You really have to work hard to keep either of those tortures quiet.

I’m with all of the women on this, that it just feels weird that Heather didn’t mention anything. Yes, she had an NDA, but once the sale was final, which it was by the time she had her HD party, she could tell people then. Heather not only has an NDA, but she also has a publicist, and I have a sneaky suspicion that Heather is the one who planted that story. So she is all, “I wanted to tell you in Mexico, but it leaked,” and I think she is lying through her veneers. She even has a conversation with Terry before the trip about how she’s thinking about how she will tell the women and how she will mitigate them being upset that they didn’t know before. Heather Dubrow does more calculaton than the Abacus World Championships. There is no way this happened without her orchestrating the whole thing.

The women get mad because Heather (and others) criticized Shannon for not sharing, but then Heather didn’t share her real estate news. It’s really the opposite end of the spectrum. Everyone was mad at Shannon for saying things off-camera that she didn’t want to discuss on camera. Everyone’s mad at Heather for discussing things on camera but not discussing those things with them. I think what Heather did was worse. Heather is saying, “I care more about what the public thinks about me than I care what you think about me.” Shannon is saying, “I care that you know the truth, but I want to keep it from the public.” Shannon’s crime is not wanting to look like a dick. Heather’s crime is being a dick and not caring if she looks like one.

Even though I think Heather sucks because of this, I think that Emily Simpson, my only ride-or-die on the OC cast, sucks even harder when she gets into it with Heather at the Mexico dinner. It starts when Emily is actually defending Heather and saying she didn’t care about her totally staged paparazzi pictures. Heather then uses that as an excuse to say that Emily behaved like a dick at her party, which Emily did. But Emily thinks it is only about her comment about the HDs. Then Emily says Heather body shamed her because she compared some cookies to her boobs. (Yeah, I don’t get it either.) Then Heather is mad that Emily said she wore a whole training costume for the slip-and-slide. Then they just start calling each other shitty friends, and the whole thing devolves.

This is such a silly, petty, stupid fight because it is clear that Emily and Heather just don’t like each other and are looking for any sort of ammunition to try to sink each other’s battleships. There’s no right side in this fight because, in real life, they would just avoid each other like Kim Kardashian trying not to see those pictures of Ye on a boat in Venice. But they’re stuck on this cast, so here we are.

While I disagree with Emily being so aggressive to Heather after misbehaving at her party, she does have an excellent point when Heather says she’s held to a different standard. “You are not held to any standard,” Emily says. “You get to be pretentious. You get to be a jerk. You get to be self-centered. You get to be egocentric, and we all have to be like, ‘That’s just Heather.’” (Emily also gets extra Intro to Writing credits for the parallel structure.) She’s right; Heather just gets to be her, have no fun, poo-poo everyone’s ideas, and they just have to take it. That kind of sucks. Now, if only they would stop taking my jokes, then all of us could be happy.

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