It must be the year of the girl code across the Housewives franchise because this is the second time in the last month that the unwritten rules of female friendship have been the focus of drama. First, Luann took the term and ran with it on RHONY and now we have it as the title of this week's episode in the OC. Being a man, it feels like I'm getting a crash course on Girl Code 101.
The morning after the dream team's whoop it up night does not look pretty. Vacation Shannon's on her nebulizer again while Vicki and Tamra are hiding from the world in Vicki's bungalow. Tamra feels like "nine miles of dog sh**" and says in her interview that out of all the times she and Vicki have partied on vacation over the years, the night before was the most drunk they'd ever been. Ever the responsible mom of the group, Heather tries to rouse the hungover pals from bed, reminding them they can't drink the way they did at 18 (she probably meant 21?). However, Vicki's incapacitated for the day and throwing up, so Fancy Pants and Tammy Sue leave her behind to meet Lizzie and Meghan for some underwater helmet diving. Out on the boat, Tamra starts getting her second wind as their dive instructor explains how the helmets work. The ladies aren't so sure about the instructor's assurance that the giant helmets won't fill up with water, but the science must be correct because Heather's the first one on the ocean floor and she doesn't immediately start drowning. If I were on vacation, this activity would be at the bottom of my to-do list - as Tamra pointed out, being weighed down to the ocean floor by a giant helmet is exactly how the mafia kills people - but I must say it looked pretty neat from the safety of my couch. While the brunettes were playing with the stingrays, Tamra managed to inform Meghan that Heather's friendship with both her and Jimmy's ex-wife Allison was brought up by the blondes the night before during drinks. Meghan is quick to shut the conversation down, saying that Heather's dual friendships are none of the ladies' business, but I smell trouble brewing.
Instead of helmet diving, Vicki and Shannon opted to lounge on the beach in matching white ensembles while hydrating on light beer and Perrier. With the trip winding to a close, Shannon says she misses David and is ready to be home. As Vicki is the only one in the group whom Shannon has confided in about the affair, the OG checks in on how things are between the Beadors. She explains that in this day and age the statistics are high that one person in a marriage can be unfaithful, while Shannon credits Vicki's support for helping her get through the difficult year. Vicki asks how long she thinks the affair went on - a couple of weeks? Months, even? Shannon tearfully confides that it started just a few days before she met the ladies (a.k.a. started filming for the show) and lasted over eight months. If you do the math, the affair encompassed the entire production period for Season 9 and was still going on when the reunion was filmed. Then comes an even bigger shock: this woman actively befriended Shannon while the affair was going on, feigning concern for Shannon while using the information she'd been confided to monitor how much Shannon knew. I don't have any words for this beyond Shannon's own: sick and demented. So far, the mistress' identity has been kept secret from the public, and she had better hope it stays that way or she'll have legions of angry fans after her.
Shannon, however, is determined to see the rocky road as a blessing in disguise, claiming that one day she'll say it was the best thing that ever happened to her marriage because it brought them to where they are today. Vicki wisely points out that relationships take effort, but it's how you get through the hard times that will make or break your life. Shannon admits that she hasn't told Tamra, Heather or Lizzie about the affair and Vicki promises she hasn't told a single person and won't in the future. Shannon explains in her confessional that she learned her lesson last year about confiding in some of the other women (i.e. Tamra) and she appreciates Vicki's friendship and loyalty. And with that, the two decide to go for a swim, which ends up being more like Vicki dragging her friend into the ocean.
That night, the ladies stay in for their last dinner in Mo'orea and Vicki claims it's going to be a "really composed" night. Let's be real - when has there ever been a composed dinner on the Housewives? The night kicks off with the OG toasting to the great trip and a show by Tahitian fire dancers, but takes a turn when Meghan asks Vicki and Shannon if they missed the other girls during their day on the beach and Tamra asks whether they talked about the rest of the women. The answer is no and no. However, Meghan immediately follows that up by asking a question she already knows the answer to: whether they talked about her the night before. Her reasoning in her interview is that if the two can talk behind her back, they should say it to her face. Vicki claims she doesn't remember much about the alcohol-fueled night before, which may be true, but Tamra reminds her of the discussion about Meghan as a stepmom. Vicki goes for the kill as the entire issue gets worked over again, and by now the dead horse has been beaten. But that can't possibly be all, Meghan insists, because we talked about that already. Oh right, there was the girl code issue of Heather being friends with both Meghan and Jimmy's ex-wife Allison, which Tamra is quick to bring up.
Tamra insists in her interview that after last year's debacle in Bali, it's important to her that all the cards get put on the table - if a conversation happens behind someone's back, it should also be said to her face. Valid, but also a surefire way for trouble to get started. Apparently, she'd already told Fancy Pants in private about the girl code conversation and made it sound like Shannon was being extremely negative about her. Having seen last week's episode, I would say it was slightly negative, but certainly not extremely. As the details of just how negative Shannon actually was get debated, Tamra starts backtracking and tries to smooth things over by minimizing what she said (which seems like the opposite of what she was trying to accomplish in the first place). However, Heather isn't letting her off the hook with an insistent "yes you did" when Tamra denies repeating some of her comments. By now, Shannon's angry at Tamra for tattling, Heather's frustrated and Tamra enlists Vicki to run to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, Tammy Sue immediately starts blasting Heather for going after her, but Vicki thought they were actually going potty. In separate interviews Heather reiterates that Tamra was the one who wanted to get everything out in the open, while Tamra accuses Fancy Pants of breaking their girl code by making a big deal out of nothing. Sure she's being talked about, Heather goes to the bathroom to confront her friend.
Left back at the table with Lizzie and Shannon, Meghan asks the two why they think the others went to the bathroom - remember she's new - and Shannon explains that there are some pot-stirrers in this group of women. Lizzie backs her up by saying that when people aren't honest about what really happens, it can cause issues within the group. Meghan presses for more info and Shannon eventually concedes that Tamra's pot-stirring, which came to a head in Bali last year, affected her friendships with both Lizzie and herself. The newbie however claims she hasn't seen Tamra stirring any pots, which is probably because she wasn't on the show last year when Tamra was the undisputed villain of the cast. Meanwhile in the bathroom, Tamra attacks Heather for coming at her so hard and insists it felt like her friend was tossing her to the wolves. Heather rightly counters that if Tamra says something to her in private, she needs to be able to back it up in public and that she doesn't want any fingers pointed at her because she didn't even bring the issue up in the first place. Exiting the restroom, Heather is 100 percent done with the arguing, and points out in her confessional that this is why you go straight to the source rather than rely on secondhand information.
As the ladies drive their golf carts back to the bungalows, Meghan continues to fuel the night's fighting by telling Tamra that Shannon called her a pot-stirrer. This never-ending game of telephone is just too much at this point. Once they arrive at their rooms, Tamra immediately confronts Shannon about the comment, which then sparks another round of bad blood between Shannon and Meghan. The former gets worked up, claiming that every woman in this group is capable of stirring things up and the latter points out that she has to include herself in that accusation. Shannon angrily claims that she's merely defending herself and that she has enough going on in her life, to which Meghan cuts her off and tells her to "storm" like she always does. "Excuse me?" Shannon incredulously asks, and goes off on the newbie because she will not tolerate being judged by someone like Meghan, who has accused her of having judgy eyes, being uncharitable and this, that and the other thing. She then proves Meghan's point by doing what? Storming out of the room in anger. In her interview, Meghan says that whenever Shannon doesn't want to take accountability for her actions (like calling Tamra a pot-stirrer), she storms out. Over the course of two seasons, it really is the woman's go-to move. Surprisingly though, Vicki, Tamra and Heather all follow her out to try to calm the situation. Left inside with Meghan, Lizzie tries to tell the newbie in a roundabout way to just shut up and stop causing problems. Outside, Shannon claims that if she's not getting along with a thirty-year-old, her life isn't going to be over. What a great way to end their time in Mo'orea!
The next day, the ladies pack their things, including Tamra's copy of The Bible for Dummies, and head back to the island of Tahiti. That night, the women finally have a nice sunset dinner on a private beach. Vicki starts the meal off by saying that the trip has been a great girls' getaway, despite a few hiccups. Surprisingly, Meghan and her giant bedazzled headscarf take the opportunity to apologize to Shannon for their fight the night before, admitting to having bad timing and being immature. However, in her interview, she claims she can have enough humility to apologize because she's the bigger person, so the issue clearly isn't settled. The subject of Brooks gets brought up, with Vicki saying she just wants him to have a clean bill of health for his birthday. Tamra happily admits that this trip has done wonders for her friendship with Vicki, and that she feels the two have reached a place they haven't been since before Brooks came into the picture. The OG takes a moment to thank all the ladies for supporting her relationship with Brooks, saying that as you get older, not having a partner to go through life with makes things lonely. She ends the night by saying that all the women (well maybe not Meghan) at the table really "get" her. Vicki Gunvalson may be complicated at times, but her heart is always pure and she wants the best for all the ladies. We finally get a true bonding moment we've been waiting all vacation long for, and with that the trip to Tahiti is over! Who's ready to get back to the OC next week?