The housewives investigate: Who stirs the pot the most?
Credit: Bravo

Well, that did’t last long. After last week’s big moment of forgiveness between Shannon and Kelly during a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, it seemed like maybe the Housewives — minus Vicki, of course — were all going to start getting along and getting back to what this series is supposed to be about: rich women hanging out and spending a lot of money. But that fantasy started unraveling right away in this week’s episode, and it all started with something that didn’t happen on camera.

Apparently, right after the St. Paddy’s Day Kumbaya moment, Shannon and Kelly met up later in the evening, where Kelly thought she caught Shannon trying to record their conversation. This hit a nerve for Kelly because she’s often suspected that Shannon has tried to set her up and humiliate at her various gatherings, which Shannon has always denied. Kelly asks Meghan what to do while they shop for baby cribs, and they agree that Kelly should talk to Shannon, hear her out, and do what it takes to make sure their reconciliation is not short lived.

It gets messy, though, when Meghan beats Kelly to the punch and calls Shannon to tell her about Kelly’s concerns, which then prompts Shannon to immediately call Kelly to tell her she wasn’t recording her and that she’d never do that (she’s too technologically illiterate to even attempt it, she says). Surprisingly, the alleged recording isn’t the problem — in the spirit of new beginnings, Kelly takes Shannon at her word and puts it to bed. Instead, it’s Meghan’s heads-up call to Shannon that Kelly starts to harbor a grudge about — a grudge that hits its boiling point at drag queen bingo.

Yup, drag queen bingo — that’s why the Housewives were dressed up as hair-metal rockers from the late 1980s in last week’s preview. Because drag shows typically involve men dressing up as women, Shannon decides that the Housewives will dress up as men as they make the drive up to Hollywood. While they’re hunting for costumes, Meghan calls Shannon to tell her about a lunch she had with Vicki, where Meghan tried to get Vicki to back down from the allegations that Shannon’s husband beat her. That didn’t happen — you’ll be shocked to learn that Vicki still believes she’s the victim in that friendship — so Meghan suggested that Vicki show Shannon the texts and photos she claims are proof, but nobody’s really having that, either. Vicki says she doesn’t want to hurt Shannon any more than she already has; Shannon doesn’t want to see them because she doesn’t trust any of Vicki’s documentation after the whole Brooks debacle. And Kelly takes this another sign that Meghan is a pot-stirrer. Strike two, Meghan!

Kelly starts picking a fight with Meghan before they even meet up at drag bingo, complaining about her meddling as they get ready and are driven to the event. Tamra and Shannon had Kelly and Lydia come to Shannon’s house, where they sprung the whole drag thing on them in order to successfully pressure Kelly and Lydia into participating. Kelly is totally game and wastes no time getting into character; Lydia, self-described “really strong Christian,” is not so excited about dressing up as a dude and going to a drag show. Sure, she doesn’t like when social gatherings get too raunchy or sexual, but based on Bravo’s editing, it seems like the subtext here might be that she doesn’t really feel comfortable going to an event attended by mostly LGBT people? Joke’s on her, though — her sad Abraham Lincoln drag outfit is only a few steps away from making her look like new gay icon the Babadook. (Recap continues on page 2)

At the Hamburger Mary’s in West Hollywood, the ladies are joined by Tamra’s psychic, Scott. Now, it’s funny that Shannon is the one who gets accused of setting people up and manufacturing drama at her social events, because Scott is so clearly there to spark some friction in the group — why else would he be doing unsolicited readings at the table, trying to predict who’s going to fall out with whom and which Housewife is in a conflict in another? Scott brings up why Vicki isn’t there, and the answer — that most people in the group don’t get along with Vicki anymore — has Kelly feeling like she stumbled into a trash-talking Ex-Friends of Vicki support group.

After Shannon gets spanked by a drag queen for calling out a false bingo, Tamra asks Scott if Kelly is going to be nice to her, which is the match that ignites the episode’s big blowout. Kelly, hearing this, makes a comment about whether Meghan is going to be nice to her, and suddenly Meghan and Kelly are hashing out their entire friendship history. Meghan brings up the time Kelly told her that her husband was having an affair while Meghan was seven months pregnant; Kelly admits it was retaliation for the time Meghan inquired about whether Kelly was having an affair after Meghan supposedly got a tip about it on Twitter. (Shannon and Tamra are aghast at the news that Kelly was flinging around infidelity accusations so maliciously; meanwhile, Lydia sneaks away to the bathroom to hide out from everything, and I don’t really blame her.)

Kelly also gets mad that Meghan told Vicki about her infidelity accusation, which prompts everyone to start raining on Vicki again, and the next thing you know, Vicki is yelling at Meghan about how she’s a bad mom who neglects her baby. It really does fall apart rather quickly, but on a scale of 1 to the Quiet Woman, I’d say this was about a 7, because after briefly composing herself in the bathroom, Meghan tries to be the bigger person and say goodnight to Kelly and wish her well. Kelly pretty much ignores her. So much for the luck of the Irish healing all rifts.

With all that going on, it’d be easy to forget about what the two non-bingo participants were up to: Peggy took her daughter Gianelle to New York to look at LIM College, but unlike when other Bravo Housewives take trips with their kids, Bravo didn’t feel compelled to send a camera crew with them, so we only get a few seconds of what looks like iPhone footage. Vicki, on the other hand, is getting annoyed that Kelly is hanging out with the other women, perhaps because she feels threatened and like she’s losing a crucial ally in Orange County’s very own cold war. She is also testing the marriage waters with boyfriend Steve by not-so-subtly dropping hints about her desire for a ring when she’s not bragging to the cameras about their active sex life: “Physically, Steve satisfies me. And he knows I need a lot of it. I do. A couple times a day.” Talk about whooping it up!

The big rift among the Housewives may not last much longer, though, as we learn from next week’s previews that Vicki asks Tamra to sit down with her over coffee. Will they actually sit down and do it? And if they do, will it even go well? I think the answer is probably no, given that next week will also find two blasts from the past — former Housewives Gretchen Rossi and Lizzie Rovsek — returning to the show and adding fuel to some of Vicki’s allegations about Tamra’s husband.