By Karen Valby
Updated February 26, 2010 at 05:45 PM EST

Jeana is eating up this season of Housewives. Vicki, still stinging from the perceived gang-up in San Francisco, lamented the nature of “fair-weathered” cast friends while she blended a pitcher of margaritas. Hmm, two glasses? Vicki waddled out to the pool and there with a wicked half-smile on her face was the once spurned Jeana. Vicki was feeling in the need of a real friend now that Tamra and the rest of those “bitches” had turned on her. Who better than the woman whose house she toilet papered just a few episodes ago! “At the end of the day we always had each other’s back,” she said pitifully to Jeana, who nodded unconvincingly with a condescending grin. Cut to her solo interview where Jeana restrained herself from cackling with delight. “Sometimes you get what you give,” she said happily. Meanwhile, Vicki decided that all she’d give Tamra for her 42nd birthday was a gift bag delivered by her mortified assistant. She, of course, insisted that her absence at Tamra’s Hos and Mos birthday lunch was nothing personal. (“It’s Tuesday at 11 o’clock! I’M WORKING! I’M WORKING!”)

Oh for the love of… Alexis, who calls her fake boobs her twins, carted her already handsome 58-year-old mother off to her plastic surgeon’s office. Now Penelope struck me as a perfectly reasonable woman, good humored and resilient despite the fact that fate saddled her with a daughter who used to balk at walking to school out of fear that her hair would assume the smell of air . (Also, the woman looks exactly like a character actress that I can’t place. Is it one of the waitresses from Alice? No, that’s not right. Someone out there help me!) Anyways, to witness her request for a straightforward brow lift balloon to a long laundry list of inane procedures and then the doctor marker up her remarkably unlined face was pretty depressing. “Okay you’re going off to Tahiti,” the doctor’s assistant purred at her as she went under the anesthesia. Run Penelope! Alexis was good enough to forego her Lexi time (massages and spinning classes) to sit bedside her Ma during recovery. Hey, anything in the name of cosmetic procedures that mysteriously help people evolve into more compassionate human beings!

Lynne finally had the makings of a proper story line on her plate and yet she may have taken one too many Ativans to rise to the occasion of genuine drama. Tamra brought some Bitch wine and protein bars (that’s how they roll, y’all) over to Lynne’s mom’s house so they could engage in some proper girl talk. Lynne’s method of coping is to grin and slur her way through her family’s financial collapse. “Nobody’s going to pull me down,” she said nonsensically. “I’m not going to let it happen… I’m not going to be the victim.” What on Earth is this woman smoking? Tamra, whose crumbling marriage is the stuff of genuine anxiety and sadness, made the mistake of trying to have an actual conversation. “Is he cheating on you?” she asked. Lynne just grinned and swayed, blinking slowly. “He’s germaphobic, he would never cheat on me.” All of Tamra’s bitchiness this season was forgiven by her excellent reaction laugh to Lynne’s non sequitur ridiculousness.

What’s so hard about all of this is that Lynne thinks her girls have suffered for Frank’s irresponsibility. (And for the thousandth time, those ding dongs reminded us that they are like so over all of this. Peace out, Orange County. They are headed to L.A. where they will go to college, get jobs, lobby hard for their own reality show. Later Frank took his wife out to dinner to once again apologize and start fresh. Boy was she ever letting him have it too. He tried telling her hair looked pretty and she told him that she did it herself to save money. Burn! Also, she didn’t even get a spray tan and could he believe how white she looked? Frank declared her an angel and took the opportunity to man up. He explained dollar by dollar how they had gotten into this mess in the first place, announced a new realistic family budget, and surprised her with news that he had gotten them all part-time jobs at Subway to help with the bills. He gave her a dopey grin and blamed the whole silly eviction nonsense on a couple of innocent errors. “Hey, I’m optimistic!” he said joyfully, while slipping her a note under the table that they were going to have to dine and dash at the end of the night, so heels off after dessert. They clinked glasses, and all was forgiven in La La land.

Tamra and Simon had the worst birthday night dinner ever. She declared herself a truck driver with tits, he grimaced. He compared Vicki to Hitler, she blanched. That damn shot of happiness never did arrive. Next week, she demands a divorce. At the end of this long, tepid season I think we all deserve a shot of happiness. In a New York shot glass!

What did you all think? Who is the least likable person on this show? How psyched was Jeana to make a reappearance? Tell me that Gretchen is not in a mini-wedding dress in the preview for next week!