'The Real Housewives of Orange County' recap: Back the truck up
By By Stephanie Region
May 23, 2012 | 10:27 AM
Bravo named tonight's episode "Scream Therapy," but there isn't much screaming and there is only a tiny bit of therapy. But there is 'unloading,' some non-sequiturs disguised as logical conclusions, and despite all of that, two of the Housewives earn my respect! And one of them is not the 'Wife you think. Tonight we have shock and some situations that will make you want to do a double take, so for the sake of accuracy, I am going to rename this episode "Back the Truck Up."
First up, while discussing her rift with Briana, Vicki says, "I never thought I was the perfect person, but I thought I was the perfect mom." Wow. Maybe I shouldn't believe every woman's magazine article I read, or every Lifetime movie I see, but I think calling yourself a "perfect mom" is a no-no. Even the best mothers just do the best they can and never really think they are perfect. I mean, thinking you can always do better is an essential part of being a mom, right? I don't have any kids so I don't know for sure and I'm willing to let that slide … but after Vicki recites the sticks and stones nursery rhyme, the hazard lights come on. And then Brooks breaks it down. He tells Vicki that Briana's words aren't hurting her, the truth is hurting her. What?! Brooks actually said something genuine, logical and true? Back the truck up!
In other news (at least she thinks it's news), Heather decides to take her husband's last name. After 15 years and four kids. Heather tells her friend that part of her reluctance is that she has never liked the name Dubrow because people don't know how to pronounce it. She says people say "Du-brow" like "eyebrow". She really wanted to say "Du-brow" like "low-brow" but somehow she stopped herself. What I love about this vignette is that Heather breezed into the DMV to change her name and assumed everyone would care. From the check-in desk to the new license photo, nobody gave a crap. For once, DMV employees did what I wanted and needed them to do, which was to not pay Heather one lick of extra attention.
Tamra travels outside of the O.C. to research opening a fitness studio. She finds a studio similar to what she envisions opening and asks thoughtful, business-minded questions of the owners. Her goal of financial independence is admirable and the seriousness with which she is approaching the business venture is commendable. What?! I actually respect something about Tamra? Back the truck up!
Never fear — my newfound respect for Tamra is short-lived and comes to an end at the tête-à-tête that Alexis arranged with her. For some reason, Alexis still cares the negative things that Tamra thinks and says about her. When she tries to call Tamra on it, Tamra keeps it real and tells Alexis she is "an extremely shallow person." While the allegation is true, Tamra lost my newly won respect when she called Terry Dubrow, as her lead witness because he is "the most successful plastic surgeon in Orange County." Sorry Tamra, I can't go there with you.
Later Gretchen and Slade go to therapy to address his child support issues and how his unstable, unpredictable financial situation is affecting their future together. Gretchen gets mad props for this. She could have easily ignored her concerns and charged ahead with a wedding and a few babies or she could suppress her feelings leading her to express them in an unhealthy and unhelpful way, but she didn't. She conducts herself with maturity and diplomacy. Say what you will about Slade, but Gretchen loves him and she's got her eyes wide open.
I'm looking forward to next week's episode because Vicki thinks the perfect way to deal with the discord between her and her daughter is a girl's trip to Costa Rica. Because a getaway cures everything, of course. Let's all get ready for the ladies to take their show on the road. All the 'Wives are down for the trip and luckily they don't have to worry about getting lost — Alexis is quite confident that "Costa Rica is in Mexico. So it's south."