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Real Housewives

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 4 - Charity Case

Glenn Rowley

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The trip to Napa isn't over just yet. This week we starts back in the midst of the fight between Meghan and Shannon on the ladies' last night in wine country. To briefly recap, Meghan was offended by Shannon treating her dismissively when the newbie called to ask a few questions about the upcoming charity event she was throwing. For some reason, Shannon thought it was a telemarketer calling rather than, you know, her co-star and decided to jump on the 'offended' bandwagon because someone gave Meghan her private cell phone number. No one gets Shannon Beador's private cell phone number, people. That thing must be like the Batphone. Rather than apologize and move on, Shannon decides to storm off up the stairs at the Bello estate. Caught up? OK, good.

So, Shannon feels justified in stomping away from the conversation because she feels that her new co-star is insinuating that she's being uncharitable. "Who do you think you are, miss thirty-year-old?" Shannon demands in her confessional. The nerve of this young princess. Heather comes over to a shocked Meghan to find out what's happening, and points out in her interview that Shannon flying up the stairs flinging accusations left and right is very reminiscent of the drama that happened last year at Lizzie's beach party. Tamra, who's also getting caught up on the fight, thinks Shannon's behavior is "really weird" and there must be more to the story. Ever the vigilant hostess, Heather goes to check on Shannon, who's now crying in a room upstairs. The entire situation looks confusing to the other 'Wives. As Heather points out in her confessional, even if the phone call situation is irritating to you, why does it need to devolve into a huge blow-up? As viewers, we know that Shannon has a lot of stressful things going on in her personal life, (besides Vicki, the other ladies don't know about David's affair), but it certainly is a concerning pattern of behavior when you can't make it through a conversation without flying off the handle.

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After pulling herself together and calming down a smidge, Shannon returns to the party, promptly gathering Tamra, Lizzie and Katie on the couch to tell her side of the story. Conveniently, Meghan chooses the moment to return to the room as well, kneeling beside Shannon to try to fix the problem. "Is it OK that I'm right here?" Meghan asks Shannon, probably wary of getting her head bitten off again, and tries to apologize for the conversation escalating. Rather than accepting the apology, Shannon starts round two by getting defensive and saying she felt completely ambushed by Meghan's "attack." She gives 1000% when it comes to charity and bends over backwards for her friends, you see, but Meghan wisely points out that Shannon didn't even bother responding to her text message, so that wasn't the impression she got. Shannon brings the issue back to her PRIVATE CELL NUMBER to which Meghan epically retorts "congratu-fu**ing-lations!" Easily the funniest moment of the night. You're not the Queen of England Shannon. It sounds like reality TV stardom may have gone to a certain Housewife's head after last season...By this point in the conversation, Shannon won't even look Meghan in the face, and yet accuses the newbie of being childish and immature. Pot meet kettle. Eventually, Shannon offers a disdainful apology. "I'm so sorry that I didn't open up to you, Meghan, and I didn't call you back," she says. "I'll be there for you next time." Meghan, however, calls B.S. on the fake apology, because it - correctly - doesn't feel very genuine. With that clearly not settled, it's time to go home leave Napa and go home.

Back in the OC, Vicki's back from her trip to Florida, and apparently left Brooks home alone for the week (he does live there now, after all). While she was accepting her insurance award and taking her grandkids to Disney World with Brianna and Troy, Brooks was undergoing chemotherapy. As she points out in her interview, Vicki feels guilty having to leave Brooks but life goes on when someone gets sick, and she can't just sit by his side the whole time. She also references her mom trying to talk to Brianna about Brooks, which is sad foreshadowing knowing what's coming. Brooks claims that the treatment went just fine and calls it an issue of "mind over matter." That's an awfully good attitude to have, but did you really just have chemo? The conversation moves from chemotherapy to alternative treatments like vitamin C therapy and coffee enemas. Do these things actually work? 

Meanwhile, Meghan is putting the finishing touches on her charity event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation with the JDFR event planners. Jimmy's coming home with a new Louis Vuitton purse for her and she's taking full advantage of her assistant Melissa, who she calls "a friend that I pay." The event is the organization's annual wine procurement party, where guests donate and bid on fancy bottles of wine all while drinking other bottles of wine. Being brand new to the area, the party will also serve as a sort of coming out party for Meghan to the OC social circle. Her goals for the party are for the guests to 1. have a ton of fun, 2. raise a ton of money and 3. leave the party saying "and isn't she a sweetheart, by the way?" No pressure. 

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Heather's still in charge of overseeing the construction of the over-the-top Dubrow mansion. Fancy Pants points out that this new home isn't exactly the bill of goods Terry sold in her Season 8 about downsizing and being together more, but it's Terry's dream house and she's happy to help execute it for him. Talk about marriage goals. First she's working out the lighting in her closet, which naturally will be chandeliers only. Chandeliers give off Heather's kind of light, she explains. Chandelier light equals fancy light, which couldn't be more fitting for our Fancy Pants. Last week, we learned that the Dubrows went over $160,000 on their cabinet budget, and this week's revelation is that the line item for the house's stone budget is a half a million dollars. Oh, and the building materials for the master bathroom are an additional 100 grand. I can't believe these numbers. Heather ends up having to write a check right then and there for $250,000. No, this definitely isn't "wife math."

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Next up, Vicki, Tamra and Shannon meet for dinner at the Canyon Fireside Grill. At first, the conversation is all about big life things like how becoming a grandma will change Tamra and Shannon researching treatments for Brooks by finding the right combination of Western medicine and holistic, natural options. However, the dinner eventually turns to Shannon rehashing her burgeoning feud with Meghan over the charity event, with Shannon justifying her behavior because she was "irritated" by the whole thing. In her interview, the holistic housewife snidely points out that the party SHE threw last year for the same charity had three times as many people as Meghan's will. So there. She also refers to the newbie by her full name in her confessional, which is a sure sign that you've made Shannon's sh** list (just ask "Heather Dubrow").

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Shannon brings up that, even though the party is the following evening, she still has yet to receive an official invitation - despite having her dress, makeup and donations ready to go. "Did you guys get invites?" she wonders to Vicki and Tamra. Both women quietly point out that yes, Meghan called each of them earlier that day with the formal invitations. This puts Tamra in the enviable position to explain to Shannon that she's not invited to the party. For some reason, Shannon seems shocked by this turn of events. How could her behavior in Napa possibly have been bad enough to warrant a non-invitation? She's insulted, claiming Meghan's true colors are being shown, and Vicki quickly takes her side by saying she won't go to the party either. There's quite a bit of talk about Meghan's age - "this is what thirty-year-olds do," Shannon remarks. The ageist remarks towards Meghan are really uncalled for. Just because she's younger than you, ladies, doesn't mean she's lesser than you.

The day of the party, Heather stops by Meghan's to offer some advice about the situation with Shannon. Simply put, Heather feels the new 'Wife may be making a mistake by leaving Shannon out - she's been involved with JDRF in the past and it would be awkward if she wasn't there. As a friend, Heather counsels, not inviting Shannon may turn things into DEFCON 4. (I actually looked up the DEFCON system, and DEFCON 4 means 'above normal readiness' with increased intelligence watch and strengthened security measures. So, there you go, it's not just a bad '80s movie). Meghan explains that she doesn't have time to think about the fight with Shannon, since she has the party to get ready for in a matter of hours, which wouldn't be the place to settle this conversation. In Meghan's mind, Shannon excluded herself by her behavior in Napa, and as a hostess, she's really protecting Shannon from her own unpredictability. Honestly, no one could reasonably argue that Shannon is in total control of her emotions. Seeing it's a losing battle, Heather gives in to Meghan's decision - clearly the newbie can stand her ground.

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Meanwhile, Tamra's getting ready for the party at Vicki's house and the OG has dug in her heels about not going. Vicki doesn't want to get involved, but she's put her stake in the sand and decided to take Shannon out to dinner instead. To smooth over the situation, Vicki calls Meghan to explain why she won't be showing up to the party. The OG claims she didn't want to offend Meghan or cause a problem, but she just can't deal with the thought of Shannon feeling left out. Meghan explains that she does need to talk to Shannon about the situation at some point, but reiterates that Shannon honestly brought the dis-invitation upon herself. After hanging up, Meghan wonders aloud why Shannon would go to the trouble of getting a dress, hair and makeup for the party when she hadn't received an invitation. You're either invited to the party or you're not. There's really no room for any grey area here. Meanwhile, Vicki finally notices that Tamra's boobs have magically grown a cup size, but it takes her a minute to figure out that her BFF got implants and it didn't just happen naturally. Classic Vicki.

After all this build-up, the charity event finally arrives. At this point, my roommate who's more of an ESPN guy walked in and his eyes about fell out of his head when he saw Meghan in her dress. According to him, "they've finally cast a hot Housewife." So, congratulations Meghan, for bringing a new demographic of viewer to the show. Meghan deems the decor "classy as f***" and the party starts filling up. When Tamra shows up as sees the crowded house, she jokes that Shannon should've just come to the party - the house was so full, Meghan probably wouldn't have even noticed! Meghan's happy that Tamra came, and says she didn't know whether Tamra would pull a Vicki and take Shannon's side. Meghan also explains that she knows she needs to work things out with Shannon, but she doesn't want to come across as a mean girl. Tamra offers the newbie some advice from "one former mean girl to another": don't be mean. It never works out in your favor. Sounds like last year's mean girl may have finally learned her lesson. Heather, Lizzie and Katie arrive at the party too, but Lizzie's wondering where Vicki and Shannon are.

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The answer to that mystery is out to dinner with each other! Vicki's wearing a fur vest and Shannon's ordering her second Grey Goose soda with a splash of cranberry juice in a tall glass of the episode. At least we now have her drink order memorized. Shannon assures Vicki that she's fine, but continues to harp on the drama with Meghan. Didn't she at least deserve a phone call? She insists she doesn't have a clue what mistake she made to deserve being treated this way, for Meghan to go "out of her way" to be malicious. Does she have selective memory or does she really not see her behavior in Napa as problematic? Meanwhile, Meghan's giving a speech at her event, explaining why the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's cause is so personal to her - having a friend in St. Louis whose son has the disease. Shannon claims she has enough other stuff going on in her life (like her husband's affair) and doesn't care about the party, but now she's tearing up. 

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Heather and Tamra are also discussing the drama while at the event, and agree that while Meghan not inviting Shannon was a DEFCON 4 move, Vicki's escalating it further by not coming. Why put yourself in the middle? Meghan interrupts to once again explain her position, which the other women seem to understand. At dinner, Shannon claims that when she was 30, she didn't have the "ego" of thinking she was right all the time. That must have only developed in her 50s...Vicki piles on, saying that Meghan was handed the "cash cow" by marrying Jim and that the newbie comes off as "entitled." I love Vicki, but that's a quite a harsh and judgemental thing to say, especially since she's spent considerably less time with Meghan than the other ladies have. And again, all the judgemental comments about Meghan's age are condescending at best and downright rude at worst. She's 30. Get over it. With Meghan being only a few years older than me, the ageism from some of the veterans is going to get old real quick.

Lizzie calls from the party to check on Shannon, and quickly realizes the fun bus is in Laguna Beach looking hot and doing shots. She wants to join the real party! The other ladies - minus Heather - decide to meet up with Shannon and Vicki, and explain to Meghan why they're leaving her event. As Meghan points out in her confessional, she made the decision to not invite Shannon and she can deal with the consequences of that choice. See? That's called being an adult. So, Lizzie and Tamra crash the girls night out with Christian in tow. I didn't see my favorite OC husband at the charity event, but he looks ready to party at the bar. Dear producers, more Christian Rovsek please. The new arrivals are starving, seeing that people in the OC apparently don't know how to feed their guests at charity events. Two spoonfuls of taco meat isn't going to cut it. As Meghan and Jimmy recap the success of their first OC event as a couple, Shannon remarks at how grateful she is for the support of her friends, who always have her back and make her feel better. The episode ends with a toast from Tamra about not being left out and we'll have to wait until next week to see the continued fallout from this new feud. For now, though, it's nice to end on a happy note all around. Woo-hoo!