Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Orange County – S12E06

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Welcome back to Queen for an Episode, the feature where I figure out whose delusions of grandeur to feed into this week. Let’s head over to Orange County, which is currently celebrating its 13th straight year of 2004. This week, Meghan hosted a sip-and-see, uniting the women for the first time this season. That’s why your walls are bleeding. Chuck a Band-Aid on ’em and let’s dive in.

7. Meghan: I get the value of a voice of reason on a franchise like OC, but I can’t help but find Meghan lethally boring any time she’s not directly engaged in a conflict. As of now, her function is keeping Peggy relevant, but I’m skeptical of Peggy’s own value so it doesn’t do much for me. Doesn’t anyone have a disease they can fake? Put this woman to work.

6. Lydia: Lydia is presently engaged in the work of conjuring up reasons for these hate vipers to appear in the same room as one another. Which is fine, and necessary legwork, but “human Doodle poll” isn’t a scintillating logline for a Housewife.

5. Peggy: Everything interesting about Peggy is currently occurring off-the-books, from her homophobia against her brother getting blown up by Estella Sneider (mother of Mauricio “Maurice” Umansky) to the recent revelation that her and Diko have been divorced for 20 years. On the show, she’s just giving discount Yolanda, which is hard to pull off when your fridge door is opaque and common. I do support her grudge against Meghan for vibrating her phone off a table. Sending someone to the Apple Store is the worst kind of petty I can imagine.

4. Kelly: I haven’t been jazzed on Kelly’s S12 so far. In fact, I’m calling it as her last: the fans seem restless and Kelly is an easy sacrifice, given that she’s unpopular and hasn’t been doing much. But Vicki needs her flying monkey, someone to go undercover at faux-conciliatory smoothie luncheons and report back over retching seshes at children’s boutiques. Why not Kelly?

3. Tamra: That looong shot of her teetering down the hall in her heels and party dress as Archie the dog trots languidly beside her was a beautiful touch of the subtle absurd.

2. Shannon: Imagine going to a party where you know you’ll have to freeze out Vicki Gunvalson the whole time, and you manage to withstand it without cramming half a chocolate cake down your gullet, and then fucking Lydia chirps up to let you know you’ll have to do the whole goddamn thing again in a few days. Get the woman her vodka and Perrier, what a trooper.

1. Vicki: I could go on about the finer points of Vicki’s comic delusion: her almost honking all over that baby store, her insistence that the sip-and-see is a product of that most reviled generation, “millenniums.” But really it all comes down to the moment at the very end of the episode where, following an unhinged speech about Tamra and Shannon, their cruelty, their persecution of her, she finally got down to brass tacks: “I want to punish them for not being my friends.” Honeyed tone, slight smirk. One of those beautiful, chilling character moments the best of these women can deliver.

Next week on The Real Housewives of Orange County: Meghan purchases new throw pillows.

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