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‘Real Housewives of Orange County’: Shannon dances on a bar in Mexico as the Tres Amigas party on

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Everyone is mad at everyone else near the end of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” this week, but the Tres Amigas aren’t quite done with their last night on the Riviera Maya in Mexico.

It’s 12:30 a.m. and Shannon Storms Beador, Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson are still at it. Tequila. Dancing. Tequila and dancing on top of the bar.

“Tonight, to be able to all dance on a bar top together, even though we’re old ladies,” Shannon says, bringing Tamra and Vicki in for a group hug. “We can sometimes still have fun.”

Yes, you can! And normally we’d make a few jokes here about the old ladies atop the bar, trying not to fall down. But this week? Yeesh. Real life intruded on the semi-reality of the show when news broke that Shannon got popped on suspicion of DUI and hit and run after police say she literally drove into a house in Newport Beach on Saturday.

This week’s episode started with Shannon and several of the others going snorkeling to look at sea turtles, a sweet moment that — wait, what? They’re pouring tequila into their snorkels to take shots through mouthpieces? Ugh.

Not a good look, on a show that at times makes questionable decisions on how to highlight the housewives getting hammered on camera. See Exhibit A, the time many of the housewives ridiculed and disparaged former housewife Braunwyn Windham-Burke’s decision to stop drinking because she’d decided she is an alcoholic.

OK, back to the fun and games, such as they were, which truthfully wasn’t much fun at all. With only the finale to go next week this season’s reliance on who-said-what-about-whom gossip and recriminations is thankfully almost over.

The episode picks up with the aftermath of the previous one, in which Tamra, with a little help from Vicki, had once again left Jenn Pedranti in tears by trashing her boyfriend Ryan for his acknowledged promiscuous past.

In her room at the Mexican resort, Jenn calls Ryan to ask him if there’s anything more he needs to tell her — Tamra had claimed Ryan was carrying on for a year behind Jenn’s back, while Ryan had previously only admitted to a single one-nighter during a period of several months when he and Jenn were taking a break from each other.

Ryan seemed sincere in his insistence that that is all there is, but dude, when you’re on a break, read a book or something and leave the ladies alone for a hot minute.

The next day the women divide up. Team Turtles ‘n’ Tequila includes Gina Kirschenheiter, Emily Simpson, Shannon and Tamra. Team Parasailing has Heather Dubrow, Taylor Armstrong, Jenn and Vicki.

The Turtles spend more time on the boat as far as we can see. Shannon more or less slides down the side of the boat, scraping her arm, because she’s afraid to get in the water. The usual housewife joke about the warm water — who peed?! — is every bit as funny as it always is. These people.

The Parasailers are more entertaining in part because the sight of an outdoor massage session on the way to the boat triggers Vicki’s memories of the two times she had a massage that ended more happily than most normally do. On the boat, she proceeds to tell the others exactly how that works. Heather’s mouth literally is agape, while Jenn looks terribly confused with a dash of embarrassment thrown in.

Then tag-teaming the parasail with Heather, Vicki screams bloody murder the entire flight. She is so loud you absolutely know that just outside the frame, thousands of parrots take off to escape the caterwauling.

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You know how Twitter, excuse me, X, always used to have a main character? Someone who said something dumb or offensive, who spends the next day or two the target of tweeting torpedoes? This week on the show it’s Heather who takes all the incoming fire, and for once, you actually feel a little bit sorry for her.

Everyone starts to blame Heather for saying every mean about everyone else. No matter that it’s pretty obvious Tamra has said as much or more mean stuff about the others. And that Emily totally misunderstood a key piece of information that Heather shared with her a few episodes back.

Heather is “it” and the fine face she puts on everything is starting to crumble. By the time the van drops her, Jenn, Gina and Emily off in Tulum to shop in the tourist town, she’s almost in tears.

“I’m definitely at a breaking point,” she says. “If retail therapy can’t cheer me up, that’s a problem.”

Jenn, Tamara, Vicki and Shannon have opted for a different kind of therapy — a session with a shaman named … Charlie? Yes, Charlie, who Jenn hopes will bring some resolution to the strife between her and Tamra. Spoiler alert: It’s probably going to take more than Charlie the Shaman blowing his conch shell for that rift to mend.

Later, they all meet for dinner at a Tulum restaurant that looks someone had the idea of “What if a monkey house, but with expensive food and cocktails?” To get to the bed-like tables around bar tops you have to walk across nets, which is absolutely beyond Shannon and Vicki’s ability to do. Fortunately there’s a walk-around option.

There is no option that allows Heather to escape the arrows that start flying her way during dinner, when at the moment it appears like Tamra has been caught talking trash on Gina and Emily, Tamra deftly turns the target right back on Heather. She may be evil, but you have to hand to Tamra, she is not an easy villain to vanquish.

As things heat up, Vicki leaves the table to get a shot of tequila at the bar because, as she explains to the camera, she’s just not someone who enjoys being around people who are fighting.

Chef’s kiss to the editor who put together the montage that plays next of scenes of Vicki absolutely losing it in episodes from 2006 to the present, most of which involve her screaming some variation of bleep you at the others.

Eventually, Heather joins her in the bar, too, announcing as fed-up housewives often do, “I’m done with the show, I’m out.”

If she’s out, and if Gina and Vicki are out, as they declared earlier in this episode, and if Shannon is out, which she announced several episodes ago, then that means — ah, who are we kidding? As long as the Bravo checks clear, none of these women is going anywhere.

Related links

Real Housewives of Orange County: Sesame Street-Sasquatch baby drama
Real Housewives of Orange County: Emily tries to ruin Heather’s party
Real Housewives of Orange County: Knives out at the pumpkin party!
Real Housewives of Orange County: Tequila Tammy and the taco turmoil
Real Housewives of Orange County: Vicki’s back and she’s doing a keg stand


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