Vicki talks with her deceased mother with ease while Meghan struggles to communicate with her stepkid.

By Sean Evans
July 21, 2015 at 02:20 AM EDT
Credit: Bravo
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Shannon “Lemon Bowl” Beador brings us to see Dr. Tim, whose chyron reads “Holistic Specialist.” Oh boy. Shannon’s gained 15 pounds and has now come back to Dr. Tim to hold her belly fat for photos then yelp during simple exercises. Tim hits her “chi center for emotion” in her hand and Shannon suddenly wants to cry. You see, Dr. Tim has just released a flood of bad juju. I imagine if Bravo possessed the same technology as The Magic School Bus and was able to shrink down and go inside Shannon’s body, we’d see a bunch of angry little cells with David’s cheating face on them, running amok, scaring the bejesus out of all the happy little cells with Shannon’s face, making the Shannon cells cry. Then vodka would come flooding into the bloodstream and all the little cells would get wasted and pass out.

Tamra Judge and husband Eddie are at their gym for a video shoot. Business fell off, so they want to do something different, namely “quickie videos” for the Internet, says a bubbly producer the duo has hired. This phraseology confuses Tamra: “So we’re doing sex-based workout videos?” The producer patiently explains this is a play on words, while Eddie shouts that sex sells then asks his wife when she became “a prude.” Tamra’s talking head shares they’re having trouble running this venture together before Bravo shows clips of Eddie condescending his wife. (Somewhere, Master Condescender Jim Edmonds is laughing at this.) They start filming, Eddie wearing a backward baseball hat to further appeal to the youths of the Interwebs.

Eddie lobs a hammy intro over to Tamra, who rightfully calls him on it. This isn’t some comedy show; it’s a workout video, she admonishes. Cut to the Judges’ camera guy rubbing his face, realizing this is going to be a looooong shoot. Ever the gentleman, Eddie mocks her in front of the crew and they bicker in that way couples do when they’re each trying for points from on-lookers. The second take is no better and I feel sorry for the now-less-bubbly producer and camera dudes, who likely were way underpaid to deal with this crap.

The mood over at Vicki Gunvalson’s house is equally bleak, as we’re still on her mother’s death. Vicki’s brother Billy is here and he’s not doing so well so Vicki decided to have a median medium come over to help with some closure. Vicki, I’m sorry your mother passed away. But two episodes of “I want my mommy” later, this is entering ridiculous territory. You’re now going to have a séance “for closure” … and you’re going to film it? C’mon. “If it gives me a sense of peace, what’s the harm?” Vicki seemingly answers me from the TV. It’s your money and time to spend errantly, lady, so let’s get on with it.

Also attending this circus act are Brooks, Tamra, and Shannon. Vicki tells Shannon “I have vodka for you,” to Shannon’s immense delight. The ghost whisperer, Tim Braun, arrives and Vicki deems him “cute” as she ushers him into the living room. Vicki asks some questions and Tim Braun explains the rules of a séance that he has fabricated given that he and his profession are a total joke. We learn that Tamra believes in mediums, but only one that she knows. The rest are “sketchy people who claim they can talk to spirits, but they just can’t.”

Tim Braun needs everyone to have their feet on the floor and their eyes closed. Tamra keeps hers open to spite this charlatan, and I like Tamra more for that. Within seconds, Vicki’s mother has arrived. Well, imagine that! Tim Braun says she’s “chomping away so quickly, saying ‘Billy, Billy, Billy.’” Vicki puts her hand over her mouth as though this is the most astonishing turn of events, but how the hell can it be? You JUST told this fraud you wanted to speak to your mother. Out spews some generic gobbledygook that Tim Braun most definitely recites to everyone who has lost a loved one: “The last thing she remembers was closing her eyes. She wants you to know that there was no pain and there was nothing you could do to stop this.”

Vicki’s mother also shows Tim Braun her teeth, saying they’re finally all perfect. This is shocking because Vicki’s mom did have dental issues! …But doesn’t everyone by age 82? You got lucky on that one, Tim Braun. Then he points at Brooks and says “there’s a charisma in [Vicki’s mom’s] eyes which means she likes you.” Tamra winces and this is also a generic guesstimation. Vicki says otherwise, but I feel like Vicki’s mom didn’t care for Brooks. Next, Tim Braun wants to know if any grandchildren have a tattoo. What a delightfully broad stab in the dark, Timbo. Sure enough, one does. “She loves it though it should be the last one!” Tim Braun chuckles, pleased that he’s selling this dog and pony show so well.

I’m not the only one rolling my eyes. “What’s the tattoo?” Tamra smugly asks Tim Braun. He asks her to repeat the question; a trick dishonest folk employ when stalling for time to answer a legitimate question that could undo their entire house of lies. He then thanks her for this “great” inquiry. Translation: Shut up. “Let’s see if she can show me,” he says followed by a pregnant pause. And he just never answers Tamra. He merely repeats himself that Vicki’s mom likes this one tat. Tim Braun has dealt with skeptics before and so he now trots out the ole catch-all regulation: “It has to be really, really quiet. When things like Tamra interrupting happen, I get cross-interference and I can’t hear your mother anymore.” Duh. Everyone knows you can’t hear ghosts over haters.

Finally Tim Braun says Billy needs a colon cleanse because he’s blocked up, though Tim keeps saying, “I want you to get this.” With the editing, I’m having a hard time discerning if this is the advice of Tim Braun or a specter. Either way, Tim wants to know if Billy knows what he’s talking about. “Yeah,” Billy says. “I didn’t know that, but, yeah.” WHAT? You didn’t know you had bowel issues … because you don’t have bowel issues and Tim Braun is the only one in this room that’s full of s—. This is the end of Tim Braun, though it doesn’t have to be! A quick check of his cheesy website reveals for the low fee of several hundred dollars, Tim Braun will call your cell phone and give you a reading! Remotely! WOW! I will wait here while you schedule your appointments.

NEXT: Meghan Edmonds doesn’t understand parenting, money, or teenagers.

Meghan “#KewlestStepmomEvaaaa” Edmonds and stepkid Hayley can’t get the Internet to work at their house. Womp, womp. We learn Hayley is doing independent study through a public school. This means she gets her own curriculum and coursework, on which she works on at home, alone, and only goes in once a week to take a test. That sound you just heard was my head exploding that this is even an option. Hayley’s using the program’s freedom to spend more time with her ailing mother, but apparently Hayley’s also blowing off that one day a week and missing assignments. Let’s see how Stepmother of the Century fields this one. Ready?

Meghan declares it’s allowance day and gives Hayley “a hundred dolla!” With this money comes responsibility. “You have to go to school; graduate; put the dishes away. This 100 bucks can get you whatever the heck you want. If you save it, that’s cool because then you can buy something that’s actually yours. No one just handed it to you for the hell of it,” Meghan yammers. Uh, she has to do those things anyway so you are literally handing her money for the hell of it, Meghan. “Parenting is hard,” she says. “To not grasp how to parent Hayley is beyond frustrating.” I hear ya, Megs. “Beyond frustrated” is precisely how I feel watching you talk about parenting.

Shannon and David Beador are out to dinner at Mare, a culinary lounge. Fancy. This must be one of the few restaurants in town that David didn’t visit with his affair! Shannon orders a “[brand redacted] vodka, neat, with some sparkling water in a glass with ice and lemon on the side. I like to mix it myself.” I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again: WHY ARE WE SUBJECT TO HEARING THESE DRINK ORDERS? Unless they order something ridiculous, i.e., a carafe of vodka made from unicorn tears over ice chiseled from Mount Everest by baby Jesus and a separate glass rimmed with dust from the surface of Pluto, I don’t care how these people get blotto.

They’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, which has kinda sucked for one of the Beadors in the past. Want to guess whom? “It’s not that David forgets about it,” Shannon begins while I groan. “But he hasn’t always made an effort.” Isn’t that splitting hairs? David pulls out a bag and we learn he didn’t get her a gift last year (not shocking) and hopes this will make up for last year (not shocking and tacky) and all the other years he didn’t get her gifts. Dude. How many years did you not get your wife a gift?! Of last year, Shannon says, “Granted, he was still having the affair.” Shannon … are you using David’s affair as an excuse for why he didn’t get you a gift last year?? You … you can’t be serious. Anyway, David bought her a heinous dragon bracelet cuff thingy and he says some words about love and honor and Shannon cries because David has managed to mimic an emotion and appear human.

Heather meets Tamra somewhere in nature to go up and down some 500 steps together. Heather starts the workout with a quick slight: “My ugly sneakers match your bra!” Up and down the steps they walk (T: “Can you imagine running these?” H: “No!”) until Heather wants an escalator. I’m sure she must know a guy. Maybe her new galaxy home can have a gold and platinum escalator! As is Housewife tradition, they have a quick talk about their husbands disappointing them on a beach and then it’s off to bowling night with the gals.

At the alley, Meghan’s here to win, which means putting on bowling shoes. “You can’t win in high heels,” she sniffs. We’ll see because Tamra and Heather are about to try. “I wish Gucci or Louis Vuitton would make bowling shoes,” says Vicki, no trace of joking. “Whoever is making them now is doing a bad job.” Take THAT, manufacturers of rental bowling shoes. Though Vicki also hates losing so she’ll wear the uggo shoes. No one’s good at bowling, although Meghan’s passable. “I’m the young one. I should be the one winning.”

Tamra wants to tell Vicki’s daughter Briana that she’s okay with Brooks so Briana should be, too. Vicki doesn’t know about all that but would take Briana to Vegas and “dance with her on the bar tops because that’s what she needs.” No one ever “needs” that, Vicki. Do you, Meghan Edmonds, and the Beadors all take the same awful parenting classes? Everyone’s having a great time bowling until Vicki forgets her mom died and then remembers again and has a whole new reaction. We learn Vicki still calls her mom every day and leaves her a voicemail message like she’s still alive. *Crickets* Vicki wins by three pins and Meghan, who “got an A+ in bowling in high school,” is bummed.

After, the women meet Lizzie from last season at some restaurant. Lizzie from last season missed bowling because she “has a broken rib and bowling and broken ribs don’t go together.” I have many questions here, but we’ll just move on. Heather orders for the table, which means everything on the menu, although I’m sure this meal was comped. An avalanche of food comes out, which Shannon worriedly eyes, again declaring her intent to shed her Affair 15. “Why are you so self-conscious?” says Tamra. “Stop talking about yourself.” If everyone, including Tamra, followed that mandate, Bravo would not exist and Andy Cohen would be a very poor man.

Vicki brings up a seemingly spontaneous idea for a girls’ trip, but it’s really their contractually required international venture of the season. In which tropical paradise will we see you ladies scream and fight this year? Tahiti! Oh, how lovely. They name one specific island, but I couldn’t make it out at first since the women were too busy whooping over the fact they’re going to get paid to sun themselves, drink excessively, then tear each other to pieces in a beautiful, beach setting. Heather can’t believe there’s a destination for rich people that she doesn’t know and tries to Google it. Vicki is pleased she knows something that Heather does not. (Though Vicki doesn’t know how to spell it. Neither does Meghan, nor Lizzie from last season.) We learn it’s Mo’orea. Oh yeah, and Shannon’s not looking forward to wearing a bathing suit.

Vicki and Tamra share a limo ride home where Tamra mentions telling her mom about Caitlyn Jenner, which prompts Vicki to sigh, “Why do you talk so much?” The subtext here is “Why are we talking about your alive mom and not my dead mom?” Thus, Vicki starts talking about her mother again, though fate is merciful and the limo breaks down and we move onto Meghan. (Okay, not THAT merciful.) She came home and found Hayley shanked some homework assignments, which makes Meghan cry about parenting and doing it alone, since Jim Edmonds is in St. Louis. Sure, but with Jim Edmonds gone, at least no one’s crapping on your every move, 24/7. Meghan cries about feeling like a failure, though last week she was crushing it, according to herself.

At her gym, Tamra wants to teach a glutes class since “the booty is the most important thing on a woman.” So she created one. Eddie wants to see it to generally belittle and tear her efforts apart so that all happens. Fed up, Tamra’s going to go back to real estate. That’s cool with Eddie, who calls it his gym only to be reminded by Tamra that she owns 51 percent of “his” gym. Oh snap.

Did you have to Google where Tahiti is located, like I did? Would you use Tamra and Eddie’s videos to work out? How about to laugh at? How did your remote reading with Tim Braun go?

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The Real Housewives of Orange County

Bravo turns its cameras on California’s ladies who lunch (and shop, and tan, and get plastic surgery, and bicker…)
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