Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Dallas – S02E12

queenofdallas

In the finale of Dallas‘s superlative second season, everyone ends up where they were all along. Time is a circle, my friends.

Season two of RHOD barreled forward at a truly impressive clip, so it was a bit surprising when we got to the finale and the show slowed down to dwell on the past. We revisited old storylines the season seemed to have forgotten: Stephanie’s mansion with the pool in the living room, Brandi and Bryan’s attempts at baby number three. We saw people regressing to old behaviours — Mark’s attempts to ply Cary with expensive accessories showed us nothing has really changed in their marriage, and while Dee literally handing off the keys to Ultimate Living to her daughter was a nice image, you’d be naïve not to remember she cost D’Andra her future at the Department of Energy with a similar scam ten years back. We met LeeAnne’s mom and got a glimpse into her literal past, including a joint therapy session to hash out some of her childhood abandonment issues.

All of this looking back was nice, if a bit sleepily paced at times. But at its core, season two of The Real Housewives of Dallas was a love story, between two women who were fated never to make it work. On the one side, LeeAnne: raw, impulsive, dark, but honest. Painfully earnest to a fault. On the other side, Brandi: duplicitous, whimsical, desperate to please. Theirs was never a relationship of reciprocal love. LeeAnne loved Brandi like she loves everyone in her life, throatily and with every fibre of her being, but Brandi’s heart belongs to Stephanie — the woman in the cast most like herself, but effortless (maybe more accurately, the woman Brandi would like to be). LeeAnne is a tool Brandi used to get Stephanie’s attention, then found herself unable to discard. There’s not an exit strategy for a lover like LeeAnne, who does nothing in half measures. Any breakup is guaranteed to be messy, especially for someone like Brandi, who only knows how to tell people what they want to hear, whose thirst for drama and attention means she can only pluck up the nerve for betrayal in the most public of settings. That Brandi’s tide changes are strategic could only wound LeeAnne, who traffics in crimes of passion.

In a way, it makes sense that the Dallas finale spent so much time circling back to the past. LeeAnne and Brandi, the story of the season, ended up right where they started — not at the beginning of S2, with LeeAnne as a shaky Brandi’s interim support system/unwitting patsy, but at the beginning of the entire series. LeeAnne, desperate for some sort of acknowledgment from Brandi that she’s clearly not destined to get (not sincerely, anyway, and not when it doesn’t suit Brandi’s agenda). Brandi, wilfully ignoring LeeAnne’s humanity not out of any real dislike but because it’s socially expedient, because she wants in with someone who dislikes LeeAnne, so LeeAnne becomes more useful as a component of that puzzle than a potential friend.

This is a reading of the situation, I admit, that privileges one side over the other. It assumes a high level of reckless self-involvement from Brandi, and it ignores a lot of hard truths about LeeAnne (she really needs to stop threatening to kill people, for example). But that’s what I took away from this finale. I wondered why they incorporated LeeAnne’s mom so comprehensively into the show in the eleventh hour, and by the end of the episode, I knew. This is a story about LeeAnne getting abandoned, again.

Finale rankings:

6. Stephanie
5. Cary
4. Kameron

3. D’Andra
2. Brandi
1. LeeAnne

P.S.:

RHODdandra3.png

Told you so.

2 thoughts on “Queen for an Episode: The Real Housewives of Dallas – S02E12

  1. :'( </3 that was beautiful. this episode was truly devastating.

    i agree with this interpretation. yeah, leeanne needs to take the hint, if only for strategic reasons, that What She Thinks Is Killing And What They Think Is Killing Are Two Different Things. d'andra's point of "she's not REALLY gonna kill you 😛 " is still valid; brandi knows this. but leeanne still gave brandi ammunition she didn't need in that moment. she obviously knew something was coming, though, which is tragically why she threatened to slit her little throat in the first place. the whole thing just makes me sad.

    also, on the issue of whether it's Cary or Stephanie masterminding everything: i got the sense they were both desperately trying to reel Brandi back in together this week. she may not have much money, but i wonder if they care that she's probably worth more than both of them combined to Bravo. in a RHOD Season 3 where Brandi is aligned with LeeAnne, Stephanie and Cary are lucky if they get to make an appearance at a SparkleDog event. i don't think this wouldn't have happened regardless, but i do think the stakes might be higher than just trying to stick it to leeanne. for women who are worried about brandi ruining their reputations, they sure don't seem to want to stop associating with her. i like that the show seems to have reversed the social pecking order for leeanne and brandi.

    1. i tend to think, yeah, that leeanne is very clearly not about to murder anyone. i’m sure having a woman like leeanne, who gets angry and smashes things and has a police record for chasing a man with sandpaper, make threats on your person is discomfitting. but i very sincerely doubt she’s homicidal, and even if she were, the presence of the cameras neuters her. when the women have their ARE WE SAFE??? meltdowns, it just reminds me of NJ2 when danielle staub was pretending the manzos were going to kill her.

      and yes, she didn’t pull brandi aside for a hug and throat-slitting threat for nothing. leeanne saw this one coming down the pike.

      i don’t know if i’d say brandi and leeanne are at the top of the heap socially, but like you say, they have the most job security. if dallas comes back for season three (fingers crossed), i can’t imagine either of them is left off the list on the strength of their s2 performances. that didn’t help tiffany much though.

Leave a Reply