Read more of our Real Housewives of Orange County coverage HERE.
Is there anything funnier than a middle-aged woman, wearing a Kim Petras wig and a Wet Seal dress, pleading to a backyard party that she’s never been more in love?
At some point, we’re going to have to seriously examine whatever the hell is going on between Shannon and her mysterious (and boring) boyfriend, John, which, according to all her castmates, isn’t good. However, tonight’s Real Housewives of Orange County, where Shannon is finally confronted about withholding information about her relationship, is maybe the most classically RHOC episode we’ve seen so far this season. Unfortunately, Shannon Storms Beador is at her television best when her personal life is at its worst.
The first half of this episode is mostly scenes of the cast getting ready for Jenn and Tamra’s “You Do Me and I Do You” party where they all have to dress up as one another—except for Vicky. Tamra’s husband Eddie has a new office; although, the couple has no idea what their next move will be post-Cut Fitness. Jen confides in a friend about her obvious misgivings about marrying Ryan. And Heather and Gina meet up to discuss Shannon’s ironic cone of silence around John, given that she’s put in her two cents about Gina and Travis’ relationship.
In all fairness, the flashback we see of Shannon discussing Gina’s attachment to her previous marriage to Emily didn’t seem malicious or even gossip-y. Plus, Gina’s spent most of the season talking about how triggered she is by Jenn’s affair and crying at the drop of the hat. It would be weird if her friends didn’t express their concerns amongst themselves, at some point.
However, as we see later on in the episode, Shannon can’t handle the slightest implication that her and John’s relationship isn’t absolutely perfect. It’s unfair to the women that she won’t share this part of her life. But it’s mostly unfair to viewers who, at the very least, expect relationship turmoil when they tune into a Real Housewives franchise, especially on O.C. where the men are particularly sketchy.
This conversation blows up at Jen and Tamra’s party where everyone makes what initially sounded like a boring costume assignment pretty funny. To the naked eye, the OC cast all have the same “suburban mom who shops at T.J. Maxx”—as a Maxxinista, this isn’t shade— aesthetic. But these costumes really exaggerated all their peculiarities and tacky fashion habits.
The top prize goes to Shannon, who had the gall to show up wearing Gina’s heavily mocked platinum-blonde hair from when she was going through a divorce. (You can still see the trauma in Gina’s eyes from all those Twitter comments.) This costume is especially funny because, in a previous scene, Gina tells her makeup artist that she has so many looks for the women to choose from and even compares herself to Madonna. But when you think of Gina’s style choices throughout her time on the show, you really only think of that terrible hair complemented by an equally terrible tan.
The flashiest costume goes to Tamra, who’s basically wearing a “Slutty Heather Dubrow” Halloween costume, complete with a cash cannon and several large, pointedly conspicuous fashion labels. I actually appreciated the irony of this look, given that Heather probably considers herself the quiet-luxury type. However, Tamra is trying way too hard to piss Heather off, humping the ground and yelling “I’m slutty Heather Dubrow!” The whole night, she thinks she can turn the women against Heather for talking about Shannon and John. But it quickly becomes clear that no one really cares. And Tamra is, once again, alone in her poorly executed takedowns.
So the women all laugh at each other’s costumes and play a dirty card game. (This very low-key, boozy party actually looked really fun.) Once everyone’s drunk enough, Tamra brings up Heather telling Emily that Shannon and John’s relationship was “not good.” So Shannon pulls Heather away from the table to confront her. Heather looks appalled that she’s been made out to be the bad guy when everyone’s made comments about Shannon’s relationship. And she lets her know that the other women are sharing specific details about her and John’s fights amongst the group.
Shannon tries to normalize her and John’s issues by making it seem like they have a healthy amount of conflict. However, she keeps emphasizing that it “devastates” and “paralyzes” her when they fight. (She says this while imitating two daggers impaling her chest). Meanwhile, she doesn’t even realize that she’s making her relationship sound way more excruciating than whatever Heather allegedly said.
At one point, Heather notices Tamra whispering about Heather to the other women. It’s honestly embarrassing how Tamra thinks she can rally the women against Heather when they’re actually frustrated that Shannon won’t talk about her romantic life. They also seem genuinely concerned that Shannon is seemingly trapped in a toxic relationship, which Tamra—her closest friend—noticeably doesn’t seem to be.
So Gina chimes in and calls Shannon a hypocrite for making her relationship off-limits, considering she was talking about her and Travis. Now, the conversation shifts from Heather defending herself to Shannon screaming to a picnic table 20 yards away that she’s “never been more in love” and that she’s “never hurt more” than when she and John are fighting.
Shannon does her first of maybe four dramatic storm-offs. Her eyes look completely black, and she does a lot of her signature airplane-marshaller motions. Emily and Tamra follow her inside the house. And, of course, Tamra just wants to hear what Heather said about her, while Emily is actually trying to get through to Shannon.
In a confessional, Emily says that John apparently calls Shannon fat and unattractive, which makes her tear up. We also hear from Heather that Shannon pays for everything, that she and John never have sleepovers, and that their families don’t have a good dynamic—which doesn’t help Heather’s case that she wasn’t gossiping, but thanks for finally filling us in!
Overall, it seems like John might be just as cold and unaffectionate as Shannon’s ex, David Beador. He just has a softer, more innocuous look to him.
So Shannon is going from room to room, declaring that her relationship is ruined, thanks to the women. Emily finally pins her to a wall and reminds her that she was the one who told her, Emily and Heather about her issues with John–which, of course, Shannon forgot because she was probably drinking when she spoke to them. I’m not implying that she’s an alcoholic, like Tamra has—more that we all start disclosing embarrassing things when we drink. Case in point: Emily tells Shannon that she confided in her when they had drinks at Javier’s, to which Shannon takes a long, meditative pause.
Still, there’s no way to calm Shannon down, and she eventually flees off with Vicky. Gina, Emily and Heather sit down and reiterate that they’re all worried about Shannon, despite Tamra trying to make this whole thing a Heather issue. And Tamra looks like a fool for the 12th time this season. Thank God this storyline continues next week!