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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: death

RHOBH Ssn 7/Ep 3 Recap - Going Commando

Glenn Rowley

erika-jayne-rhobh

Conflict is sparked this week on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills when a minor fashion moment leads to major tension between Erika Girardi and Dorit Kemsley. Plus Lisa Rinna and Kyle Richards hit the Big Apple with their daughters! Read on for all the white party drama...

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We open in New York City. Wait...which Housewives am I watching? In the magical happenstance of reality TV, both Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna are in the Big Apple for business trips with their daughters. After the runaway success of her pop-up boutique last season in the Hamptons, Kyle's decided to open another Kyle by Alene Too on the Upper East Side and has brought 16-year-old Sophia along for the trip. Meanwhile, Lisa Rinna is hustling to launch Delilah Belle's modeling career. I've said all along that Rinna wants her daughters to become the next Gigi and Bella to come out of RHOBH and getting a foot in the door for her eldest and blondest is the first step in the master plan. Via confessional, Rinna admits that sometimes she wishes she could turn to former 'Wife Yolanda Hadid for advice on how to pageant mom a modeling career or two, but after last season's M-word mess, that bridge has officially been burned. 

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Back in Beverly Hills, Dorit Kemsley helps Lisa Vanderpump find the perfect birthday gift for her husband Ken Todd's birthday on Rodeo Drive while Erika Girardi visits the rehearsal for her latest Erika Jayne video, "Xxpensive." Out of the dozens of sexy, sassy hopefuls, Erika and creative director Mikey Minden selected four backup dancers who now must learn and perfect the song's choreography. An insane amount of work still has to be done before the actual video shoot, including wardrobe fittings, hair and makeup, a tech scout and wig consultations. I, for one, am just counting down the days until we get to see Erika Jayne drop into the bikini-clad split we've been promised.

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Later that evening, Lisa Rinna and Kyle meet at a rooftop hotspot for dinner with their daughters. Delilah Belle recounts her cringeworthy meeting earlier in the day with iconic magazine CR Fashion Book, at which her mother dazzled the room with a story involving her narrow hips, birth canal and Delilah's elongated head as a newborn. Never change, Lisa Rinna. Other topics of conversation on the rooftop include Rinna's plan to leave her two teenage daughters in New York City by themselves for two days while she jets off to Pennsylvania for a QVC appearance and 18-year-old Delilah Belle matching with mystery 35-year-olds on dating apps for the rich and famous. (Don't worry, the 45-year-old producer just off-camera in the girls' confessional is too old for her.)

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Over the course of just a couple years, Eileen Davidson has suffered six deaths in her family, including her sister, her father-in-law and most recently her mother. The sheer amount of tragedy has thrown the soap actress for a loop, and she's decided to meet with a therapist to process her feelings. In the session, poor Eileen admits to feeling embarrassed about how many people in her life have died - as if they're a maximum amount of death that's allowed to happen within a certain period of time. The therapist helps Eileen identify that, in her life, the emotion of sadness often gives way to embarrassment, which creates internal shame. This is a cycle that goes back as far as Eileen can remember, even to feeling shame as a young child that her parents were always fighting. After such an important breakthrough, hopefully Eileen can begin to heal and break the shame cycle that's been operating so pervasively throughout her life.

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Kyle's finally back from NYC, so she and a few of the other 'Wives are headed to a White Party at LVP's West Hollywood hotspot PUMP. (Sorry not sorry, but like I said during my livetweet, there ain't no white party like a Kyle Richards white party.) Dressed in her best white, Kyle meets LVP, Ken, Dorit, PK and Erika at the Sofitel for pre-party drinks before realizing her white underwear is showing through her dress. Oops! When Lisa Vanderpump jokes about the faux pas in her classically cutting way, a small spat breaks out between the women over British vs. American humor. Erika suggests she and Kyle start adopting fake British accents so they can insult people, but when Dorit chimes in that Americans need to "calm down" with their sensitivity to British humor, Erika bluntly checks the newbie by reminding Dorit that she was born in Connecticut.

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This somehow opens the conversation up to Dorit's initial impression of Erika, whom she describes as "very poised" and "a bit guarded," which she finds shocking considering the general fabulousness of Erika's alter ego. As we've learned, Erika is simply cautious when meeting new people, choosing to operate under the "respect is earned, not given" way of thinking and describes herself as a naturally shy introvert. Dorit, however, doesn't buy this explanation, describing her fellow 'Wife via confessional as "snooty," "cold" and "frigid." Changing the subject, LVP playfully reaches up Erika's skirt and asks if she has any underwear Kyle could borrow, to which Miss Girardi reveals she isn't wearing any. After all, who would want to break up a stunning Thierry Mugler design with a panty line?

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The next day, Dorit and PK are discussing the party at home and it quickly becomes apparent that Erika's commando moment has snowballed into what will forever be known as #PantyGate. According to PK, Erika didn't have her legs crossed during drinks and (being the straight male that he is) he couldn't resist taking peeks up her skirt like her ladyparts were being served on a silver platter. Excuse me? His excuse is he was simply distracted by Erika's inadvertent flashing throughout the evening but he apparently didn't have the courage to mention it to Erika, deeming it too "inappropriate." Then, in a shining moment, PK questions what he was supposed to have said, particularly when he "didn't mind the view." Again, EXCUSE ME? Dorit seems rather unfazed by her husband's misogynistic reaction, choosing instead to lay the blame on Erika for having an "unladylike" moment. If it had been Dorit, she claims she would've done everything possible to keep her legs crossed. However, she plans to have a laugh about it with Erika the next time they're together and it seems that #PantyGate is just getting started...

What did you think of this week's RHOBH? When it comes to #PantyGate, are you Team Erika or Team Dorit? Was PK in the wrong? Leave me all your thoughts and opinions in the comments!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 9 - Busted BBQ

Glenn Rowley

faye-resnick-bbq

We're at episode nine and the gang is finally all here! That's right, we finally have a full cast and updated intro, and it only took a little over two months. I was so excited to finally see Kathryn in the opening credits, but there's one thing I'm confused about. Prior to the season, Bravo revealed that her tagline would be "My advice: always speak your mind and carry a good handbag." (Which, as of this writing, is still her reported tagline on Bravotv.com...) However, when her moment finally came, sandwiched between Yolanda and Lisa Vanderpump, we heard something completely new: "Don't hate the game, just marry a player." It's amusing and is clearly supposed to reference her marriage with former NFL linebacker Donnie Edwards, but I don't understand the reason for the switch. I'm just happy she's finally here and that gaping spot behind Yolanda in the main title is finally filled.

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The episode starts with Lisa V. and Ken taking a casual trip down to the local sex shop. Before you jump to any conclusions, no this isn't for anything to do with the couple's twice yearly roll in the hay. Apparently, Ken has taken out the lease on the space with hopes of turning it into an English tavern and restaurant. Lisa isn't pleased that Ken made the decision without consulting her, but she's so distracted by the various whips, toys and vibrating rubber duckies that she doesn't know where to direct her frustration. Ken tries to use the excuse that in five to ten years, they can gift the restaurant to Max, but Lisa's still not budging. It'll take much more than a shot at her motherly soft spot to get her to change her mind.

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After last week's teaser, we finally get a proper introduction to Kathryn. Can I just start by pointing out how stunning with a capital S Kathryn is? Like I mentioned, the newest Housewife is married to Donnie Edwards, a retired NFL star who played 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. He also happens to be nearly nine years her junior. That's a touchdown for sure. Right after high school, Kathryn moved to Paris, became a professional model, and eventually moved back to LA in 1984. Due to their successful careers and some smart investment decisions, the Edwards' are rolling in dough and apparently don't have to work for the rest of their lives, splitting their time instead between Brentwood and San Diego. Rather than have children, the couple live a rather nomadic life of traveling the world and shopping for 3.8 million dollar diamond necklaces. Small change, right? My first impression of Kathryn so far has been great - I'm digging this girl. 

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Following a quick montage of Kyle inviting all the ladies to a BBQ at her house (as she hopes in her interview that Faye and Kathryn can start fresh upon meeting for the first time) and Eileen and her family packing up for a trip to Italy, old acquaintances Lisa Rinna and Kathryn meet for breakfast at LA eatery Sweet Butter. These two go way back to the early 90s, though I can't quite get a read on how close they really were back then. However, Kathryn points out that she knew Lisa Rinna before her famous lips, so you know that was quite a long time ago. Incidentally, we learn that Kathryn's lips (and boobs) are real - beyond Botox and fillers, she's never ventured into plastic surgery territory. This is virtually unheard of in the Hills of Beverly, which Lisa Rinna's lips are all to quick to point out.

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Next, Kyle meets Faye Resnick at home decorating store Modshop to go over some ideas for her brand new dressing room. Having decorated Kyle's home, her store and Paris and Nicky Hilton's abodes, this is Faye's area of expertise. While they shop, Kyle brings up how she met Kathryn and gives Faye a heads up that she'll be at the BBQ that weekend. Despite both women being connected to Nicole Brown Simpson and the murder trial of the century, Faye expresses that she's not ready to have a conversation with Kathryn - or anyone for that matter - about such a painful time in her life that's now 20+ years in the past. As a refresher for those of you who don't know, Faye was Nicole Brown Simpon's best friend at the time of her death, and had actually been living at Nicole's house with her prior to the murder. (Just a few days before, Nicole actually held an intervention for Faye - who was dealing with drug addiction - coincidentally putting her in a rehab center the night of the crime.) 

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In the most touching moment of the episode, we see Eileen arrive in Sant'Angnello, Italy to spread some of her sister Connie's ashes. The country was one of Connie's favorite places, so it feels appropriate that it should be the final resting place for a piece of her. Via confessional, Eileen tearfully explains that her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, but chose not to tell her family that it was in fact terminal. In doing so, Eileen and the rest of her family were blindsided by Connie's death, left behind with pain, guilt and questions about what they could have done had they known the gravity of her illness. Looking out over the Mediterranean from the balcony of her villa, Eileen says a few emotional words before spreading Connie's ashes over the water. It's an incredibly vulnerable moment to share with cameras filming, but Eileen must have felt it was an important part of her journey to share on the show.

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Back in Beverly Hills, Saturday rolls around quickly and while Kyle is putting her last minute touches on the dinner party, Kathryn stops by Villa Rosa on her way to the BBQ to make friends with Lisa V. and her swans. The two women sit down for a cup of tea before heading to Kyle's, and Lisa is immediately on the offensive - asking pointed questions about the newbie's life while offering virtually nothing about herself. It's the exact same thing she's done this season to both Eileen and Erika, and before Kathryn can even finish a sentence, Lisa is already on to the next question. "You're married to someone younger, right?" "How much younger?" "What's that like?" "Do you feel the age difference in your relationship?" The questions come rapid-fire one after another, leaving Kathryn feeling vaguely as if she's been interrogated. Welcome to LVP's world, Kath...

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As the women arrive at Kyle's, they are surprised by three things: Kyle's gorgeous purple dress, the lack on any actual barbecued food and the fact that Yolanda showed up for the party. Just 10 days out from her surgery, Yo is nevertheless there, bandaged up, in flip-flops, sans-makeup. However, no one is more shocked to see the Dutch beauty than Lisa Rinna, who looks like a deer in headlights as the comments she's made about Yolanda possibly having Munchausen syndrome flash through her mind. A backyard BBQ certainly isn't the time to bring up that drama, so Yolanda educates the girls about why she's stopped using nail polish, hair dye, makeup and basically anything artificial. (Apparently the toxins in these products aren't worth the potential risk to Yo's health.)

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Kathryn and Lisa V. are the last to arrive, and are both visibly taken aback by the sight of Faye at the party. I understand why Kathryn might be wary, but I have a really difficult time seeing why Lisa would be the least bit surprised that Faye would be at an event thrown by Kyle. Ever the hostess, Kyle tries to facilitate a friendly introduction between Faye and Kathryn, but it quickly awkward as Kathryn turns her attention abruptly to Erika's neon pink stilettos. Pulling Lisa Rinna aside, LVP explains that she's still holding onto Faye's perceived attack at her 30th anniversary party in the Season 3 finale, and she hasn't seen the recurring cast member since then. With near-perfect timing, Faye walks right by the gossiping pair, and Lisa Rinna stops her, putting it all out on the table by asking what the deal is between her and Lisa V. Faye rather graciously explains that both she and Lisa were merely being protective friends of Kyle and Brandi, respectively, at the time, and expresses that she doesn't harbor any hard feelings about the issue anymore. Granted, it has been three years now - you'd think it would be time for Lisa to just let it go.

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Once Camille(!!!) arrives and the ladies take their seats - with Kathryn conveniently seated directly across from Faye - conversation turns to Yolanda and her recovery. The women remind Lisa R. that she needs to come clean to Yolanda eventually about what she said, and the M-word gets thrown out again. Overhearing the conversation, Erika finds the accusation alarming and points out in her confessional that Yolanda has a really wonderful life. Why would she choose to be in bed all day with a bathrobe on? Kyle asks aloud what's going on with Bella and Anwar's Lyme disease and Lisa V. chimes in that Yolanda maintains the two kids have it, but her ex-husband Mohamed says they are just fine. Obviously confused, Kyle questions what that means, with Yolanda saying one thing and Mohamed saying the complete opposite, but Lisa quickly tries to shut the conversation down. This Lyme disease subject simply refuses to die, no matter how hard any of the women attempt to quiet the gossip. 

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Changing the subject, Erika asks Lisa Rinna about the Playboy cover she shot while pregnant, which leads to an informal survey of how many women at the table have appeared in the famous magazine. The answer is three: Lisa Rinna (twice!), Camille and Faye. Almost immediately, Faye excuses herself from the table, followed by Kyle, giving Lisa R. the perfect opportunity to ask Kathryn what the deal is between them. Kathryn fills the two Lisas and Erika in on the book Faye wrote about Nicole, in which she alleged that Kathryn's husband at the time, Marcus Allen (who was O.J. Simpson's best friend), was having an affair with Nicole, and that Kathryn turned a blind eye to the indiscretion. However, Kathryn maintains that she never actually read what Faye wrote about her, only ever hearing from other sources and the tabloids that she was being dragged into the O.J story. Nevertheless, she's planned out a confrontation with Faye for the past 20 years, saying that Kyle's friend is someone she's always "held a dagger for." Ever the pragmatist, Erika finds it a tiny bit ridiculous that Kathryn is so worked up over something she never actually read. If you're hellbent on confronting someone over something they wrote about you in a book, shouldn't you read it first?

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When Faye and Kyle return to the table, Kathryn is fired up and decides now is the time to bring up the giant elephant she's been waiting 20 years to confront. Kathryn point blank tells Faye that she doesn't appreciate being brought into the story of O.J. and Nicole, which only happened because of what Faye alleged in her book. Faye had never met Kathryn and didn't know her and the newbie insists that if Faye had anything to say to her, she should've said it to her face. However, Faye counters that she doesn't have anything to say to anyone about that time in their lives - sometimes the past is best left in the past. This clearly isn't the conversation Kathryn was hoping to have, but Faye effectively shuts it down by simply smiling and refusing to engage in an argument. To Faye, there isn't much left to discuss at this point, which all but takes the wind out of Kathryn's sails. The new 'Wife presses the issue for a second round by specifically bringing up the book, but Faye calmly insists that there was nothing pejorative or slanderous in what she wrote about her. Kathryn agrees that there wouldn't be anything disparaging to write about in the first place, and Faye asks if she feels better having gotten it off her chest. The only thing Kathryn can really do at this point is say yes.

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Addressing the table, Faye explains that she isn't looking to have a merry-go-round of conversations about O.J. or Nicole, and issues a blanket apology for anything she's done to offend anyone in the group. In her interview, Kathryn admits that she feels slightly cheated out of her big moment because she was ready to destroy Faye with a verbal smackdown. But clearly, Faye had the upper hand in the situation. Feeling the need to defend her BFF, Kyle voices that besides any issue Kathryn has with her, Faye has always been a loyal and dedicated friend during their 20+ years of friendship. She's the person Kyle knows she can count on at 3 in the morning - if she needs her, Faye will be there. Now, Faye has been villanized quite a bit over the course of the show's history, but I have to say that being this type of friend to not only Kyle, but her entire family, definitely counts for something and has to speak volumes to her true character. There's more to Faye Resnick than what we see in her sporadic and memorable appearances on the show. In her final confessional sound byte, Kathryn says it's fine if Faye wants to move on from the past, but vows she'll never be her friend. Based on the previews for next week, it appears that this elephant named O.J. is far from being put to bed.

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 2 - Ciao, Tuscany!

Glenn Rowley

kyle-richards-tuscany

Ciao bella! We're off to Italy this week on RHOBH! But first we start at home with Kyle and Mauricio, who's showing five listings on a Saturday to pay for the European vacation. All in all, they'll be going to the French Riviera, Tuscany and Florence before heading to London for Nicky Hilton's fairytale wedding to James Rothschild at Kensington Gardens. Once Kyle, Mauricio and the girls dock their yacht in Italy, Lisa and Ken are meeting them to join in the fun. Since Mauricio's instituted a strict one bag policy for the trip, Kyle's left it up to Lisa to bring a dress for her to wear to the wedding. As Lisa rummages through her closet for the perfect gown, Ken snidely asks if she has a muumuu for Kyle to wear, citing her penchant for wearing a parade of flowing kaftan dresses. Brushing off the rude dig, Lisa chooses a gorgeous black-and-white Badgley Mischka (decidedly non-muumuu) gown.

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Meanwhile, Lisa Rinna's at home showing off her new "big, fat, f***ing" diamond earrings to Amelia and her friends. As she gathers the girls around her phone to watch an amusing video of her parents falling off a chair (really it was pretty funny), Lisa explains in her confessional that she doesn't call her aging parents as much as she should. Therefore, when they do talk, she makes a conscious effort to connect with them. Lisa calls her parents on speakerphone and - while hearing the definition of "too much information" regarding her dad's penis catheter - opens up in her confessional about coping with her parents' steadily increasing health problems by refusing to wallow in negativity and always look for humor. Because if you're going to deflect and distract yourself from the reality of your parents getting older, you might as well do it through laughter.

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In an unexpected turn of events, Kyle calls Lisa from her Range Rover to inform her of a revision in the trip itinerary: she will no longer be going to London for Nicky's wedding. Apparently things have gotten so bad with both of her sisters that Kyle's been uninvited by Kathy. So, there's no need for a dress after all. At first Lisa thinks she's joking, but soon realizes the severity of the situation and points out to Kyle that this type of family drama can cause long-term, permanent damage to relationships. Kyle's relationship with Kathy, the oldest of the three Richards sisters, has certainly been a roller coaster for the past several years - with Kim's issues, business dealings between Kathy's husband Rick and Mauricio and now Kyle's deal with Warner Brothers to produce a TV show based on her childhood all contributing to the mounting tension. Being uninvited to her niece's wedding obviously isn't something that feels great, so Kyle's just ready to get away and escape for a while in Tuscany, wedding or not.

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Eileen and Vince are still reeling from the death of Vince's father, actor Dick Van Patten, and take a trip out to Palm Springs to visit his star on the walk of fame there. Once they find his star, Eileen explains in her interview that they've recently been dealt a one-two punch of death in the family - first with her sister Connie losing her sudden battle with breast cancer and now with Vince's father dying. Dickie's passing has been hard on Vinny, but more than anything has made him want to make sure he enjoys his life. Eileen points out that they're both determined to seize the day and be happy to honor Dickie's memory. There's simply no time like the present.

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At the same time, the two Lisas meet for lunch in Beverly Hills. After admiring each other's sparkly shoes, Lisa V. asks Rinna how Eileen is doing, and Lisa R. fills her in on the memorial/celebration of life the Vince and Eileen threw with their family and friends. Then, conversation turns to Ken's impending 70th birthday party. Lisa V.'s at a loss for what to get the man who honestly has everything. The answer? She's found a miniature horse for sale in Ohio that's apparently half an inch taller than the smallest pony in the world. Always down for an adventure, Lisa Rinna immediately agrees to fly to Ohio with her to pick the horse up. This is one surprise that's sure to blow Ken's mind.

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Meanwhile, Yolanda is at an oral surgery appointment, accompanied by her "health advocate" Daisy. She's having all the mercury-based fillings taken out of her teeth in an effort to combat the high levels of heavy metal found in her blood work. It may seem like a random treatment, but at this point she's willing to take any small step in hopes that it will make a difference. Just as the surgery is about to start, David arrives to hold her hand through the procedure. Halfway through, Yolanda starts worrying that she's choking as her heart starts racing, sending the machines into a panicked chorus of blips and beeps. However, the sensation is simply because her throat has been numbed and the surgeon advises her to stay calm. The rest of the surgery goes well and soon all of the metal has been removed from Yolanda's mouth. David makes an awkward joke asking the surgeon how soon they can have sex, and the scene officially turns uncomfortable. In light of their divorce announcement, every scene between Yolanda and David will look suspicious in retrospect. In her interview, Yolanda confesses that she's willing to do anything at this point to get her life back. As a sedated Yo says goodbye, David leaves the surgery without so much as a wave. Like I said...hindsight.

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After a camera- and drama-free week in Nice, San Tropez, Monaco and Portofino, Kyle and her family finally dock their yacht in La Spezia, Italy. They're looking forward to a relaxing time in the Tuscan countryside...and also the shopping in Florence. Of course, Mauricio rented a gorgeous, bright red Ferrari to zoom around Italy in. As they say, when in Rome. At roughly the same time, Ken and Lisa land in Italy as well. On the drive to the villa, Lisa laments missing living in Europe and wonders aloud if they should move back some day, far from the bright lights of reality stardom in Beverly Hills. The best part of Europeans' unique sensibility is their penchant for drinking at lunch and sleeping in the afternoon - something that would certainly work for Lisa. By 3:45 p.m., Kyle and the girls arrive at the villa while Mauricio and Alexia manage to get majorly lost cruising through the countryside in the Ferrari. Mauricio insists there must be multiple ways of getting to the villa while Kyle points out in her interview that apparently if you have a penis, it's impossible to get lost. He and Alexia manage to find the villa at 5 p.m., well after Lisa and Ken's arrival.

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Once Mauricio and Portia are in the pool, Kyle and Lisa decide to take the Ferrari for a spin themselves. Kyle used to steal Kim's car when she was 16 and was even driving herself to work at 13. Hold on tight, Vanderpump, here she goes. And...Kyle proceeds to drive the car in first gear. It's been a while since she's driven a stick AND she's in a foreign country driving on the opposite side of the road OK? As a viewer, it's nice to see the OGs back up to their partners-in-crime antics and Kyle admits that with everything going on in her family it feels good to let it all go for a little while on a joyride with her friend. Driving the Ferrari, she's feeling very James Bond-esque, which officially makes Lisa the Pussy Galore to her 007.

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Back in Beverly Hills, Lisa Rinna and Eileen pay a visit to an ailing Yolanda. Daisy the health advocate shows them Yo's closet full of medication and it's truly stunning. For Eileen, seeing the hundreds of pills and supplements brings back a flood of memories of her sister Connie, who chose to battle her breast cancer holistically as well. Equally shocking is seeing Yolanda cooped up in bed. The threesome convenes in the living room of the condo, where Yo tells the girls that she's determined to stay put until she gets well. At this point, she doesn't even remember what it was like to be normal - she even had a two-foot-long parasite taken out of her body the week before. What?? Even in the midst of her battle, Yolanda makes a point to ask how Vinny is doing in the wake of his father's death. That's classic, compassionate Yo right there. She tearfully admits to Lisa and Eileen that she's scared but the two attempt to buoy her up by telling her to just have hope. Both ladies are shaken up as they leave, and agree that it was difficult to see Yolanda in that condition. Lisa thinks that Yo's so desperate at the point to find a cure that she's just stabbing in the dark at anything she can find. I don't know about you, but it hurts my heart as a fan to see Yolanda cry. 

Before dinner in Tuscany, Kyle and Lisa are also discussing Yolanda's health and the surgery she just had. Lisa is confused, admitting that it's hard to understand what's really going on anymore after so many drastic and complicated treatments. Obviously something is seriously wrong but maybe it's not Lyme disease anymore? Kyle points out that in some cases, your mental state can dictate your physical state - like how she was sick for two years after her mother died. However, to their knowledge Yolanda doesn't have that stressful of a life and hasn't suffered any kind of traumatic loss. (Hmm...remember, hindsight.) Plus, after trying so many cures in such a short amount of time, how can you know which one is really working?

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Dinner is served and Kyle, Lisa, Mauricio, Ken and the girls gather around the table for some delicious-looking Italian cuisine. After Tuscany, Lisa and Ken are going to Monte Carlo, but there's been a slight change in plans: Kyle is going to Nicky's wedding in London after all. A surprised Lisa asks what's changed but Kyle doesn't want to talk about it. She spoke with Nicky, emailed with Kathy and decided she doesn't want to miss Nicky walking down the aisle. However, Mauricio, Alexia and Sophia are still on the "not invited" list, while Farrah's a bridesmaid and Portia is a flower girl. This is officially confusing. Sensing the underlying tension, Lisa points out Kim and Kathy's tendency of pulling Kyle's strings, leaving her feeling manipulated and pulled in two different directions. Who do you side with when your husband and daughters are on one side and your sister and her family are on the other? It seems like a lose-lose situation for Kyle to be stuck in. Kyle tries to squash the conversation, but Lisa keeps going - pointing out that Kyle shouldn't be manipulated by either one of her sisters. Plus, if she wants to go to the wedding, Lisa didn't bring a dress. Furthermore, she doesn't understand why Mauricio wasn't invited to the wedding, let alone Alexia and Sophia. (Rumor has it that the familial tension sprung from business dealings between Mauricio and Rick Hilton...) Kyle tries to change subjects yet again by saying all that matters is that she'll be there to see Nicky walk down the aisle, but Lisa points out that her emotional investment should matter as well. For years, Lisa has watched this never-ending cycle of family drama affects Kyle tremendously, and thinks that at some point she needs to detach herself for her own sanity's sake. As Kyle starts getting emotional, Alexia effectively shuts down the conversation, asking that they stop talking about this for the rest of the trip. With that, the chatter finally stops, but the problems between Kyle and her sisters seem far from over...

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 20 - Reunion Part 1

Glenn Rowley

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It's reunion time in the OC! After a season of seemingly nothing but rumors and drama surrounding Brooks and his fake cancer, the 'Wives sat down with Andy Cohen on a soundstage set somewhere in California to rehash the most controversial season yet in Orange County. Thankfully, and somewhat surprisingly, we were spared any mention of Brooks, PET scans or the dreaded "c" word during Part 1, which focused instead on much of what happened towards the beginning of the season. As I did with RHONY, I'll split up the three-part reunion by package and topic of conversation. First, let's break down the seating on the couches and the Housewives' reunion looks...

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On the Couches

Seating is a little tricky when there are only five women in the main cast, as there are significantly fewer arrangement options than say, the eight 'Wives in NYC. In fact, as the season raced on part of me wondered if the reunion would simply be 4 on 1, with Vicki on one side of Andy and the rest of the women on the other. Ultimately, the seating chart Bravo decided on - with Vicki and Heather on the left couch and Shannon, Tamra and Megan on the right - was one of the only arrangements that could've worked. The only other option would've been for Tamra and Heather to trade places, but Tammy Sue had much too significant a season to be relegated to the end of a couch.

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Vicki and Shannon are the natural, right picks for the hot seats next to Andy considering that they ended the season at each other's throats with their friendship having self-destructed in a kamikaze of betrayal and hurt feelings. So yes, the seating makes sense. However, my biggest disappointment is that it's honestly not all that different from where the ladies sat last season. Vicki and Tamra have basically traded places, Lizzie's been traded out for Meghan and Shannon and Heather are in the exact same spots they occupied at the reunion for Season 9. It would've been downright revolutionary had production merely switched the couches, with two women on the right and three on the left. I guess the more things change in the OC, the more they stay the same. 

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Ranking the Housewives' Looks

When it comes to reunion looks, the first ladies of the OC are significantly different from the rest of the Housewives in other cities. They generally tend to stick to short cocktail dresses in solid colors, forgoing the floor-length gowns and over-the-top ensembles found in other cities across the franchise. This reunion was no exception. My favorite look this year goes to Heather for her edgy, black Tom Ford number. Her makeup is also ON. POINT. this year – I couldn't stop noticing every time there was a close-up of her face. As for the others, I liked Vicki's pearls, but she might be trying a teensy bit too hard with the angelic white after a season of being demonized. I'm glad Tamra finally moved away from the pink she's worn for the last two reunions, but the tiny stomach cutout makes no sense to me. The color of Shannon's deep purple Yves Saint Laurent dress is simply gorgeous, but runs the risk of looking slightly madame with its conservative cut paired with her jewelry. And Meghan was almost my runner up for favorite look for her red dress mixed with the new brunette locks, but the dress is a basic wrap-dress – too basic to really stand out. Far and away, Heather blows the rest of the ladies out of the water.

Stepmom Wars & Sweeping Judgements

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After a couple of questions about Tamra's granddaughter and Vicki's double nip-slip on Instagram, things kick off with a package about the tension early in the season between Vicki and Meghan. Being a new stepmom may be tough, but being the new girl around the OG of the OC is even harder. Vicki stands by her opinions from Tahiti about what a stepmom's boundaries should be and the difference between biological and stepchildren, but Meghan's defensively points out that since Vicki doesn't have stepchildren, she can't know the difference. Newsflash Meghan, by that logic, you can't understand the difference either since you don't have biological children. Five seconds later, Vicki's backtracking to say she doesn't understand how it all works since she doesn't have adopted or stepchildren, but Meghan's not letting it slide, calling her opinions disrespectful. 

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Tamra and Heather both get dragged into the conversation, with Tamra backing Vicki's opinions as a mom and Fancy Pants being asked whether her friendship with Jimmy's ex-wife Allison is a conflict of interest in her relationship with Meghan. However, she insists the former MLB star and his second wife didn't break up because of the newbie 'Wife, so it wasn't an issue. When the OG and the 30-year-old (31 now!) start arguing over whether Vicki was a hypocrite for gifting Briana a car after she told Meghan to take away Hayley's, Heather puts a stop to the conversation by telling Vicki she can't issue such "sweeping judgements" about how other people should live, parent and behave. Isn't that the entire job of a Housewife though?

Remembering Vicki's Mom

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Next conversation turns to the biggest tragedy of the season - the sudden death of Vicki's mom. Andy asks if Vicki regrets the cameras being there when she found out, but she says she was in so much shock that she didn't even realize the cameras were filming. There was quite a bit of debate on social media about whether the cameras should've gone down and given Vicki privacy, but I feel like the situation was actually treated very compassionately and didn't feel exploitative. For her part, Vicki claims Bravo handled everything very graciously and were nothing but supportive of her in her time of need. At the end of the day, it was Vicki's decision to include the unexpected tragedy in the season's footage because it's what was happening in her reality. She then shares a hilarious story about when her mom was arrested in a TJ Maxx for keying a motorcycle that was riding her butt into the parking lot. Joanne Steinmetz, you will be missed.

Judgey Eyes and CharityGate

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After a funny montage about the Housewives' very specific ordering habits at restaurants, the ladies relive Shannon and Meghan's feud that drove the early part of the season. From being disinvited to the JDRF gala to having "judgey eyes," Shannon couldn't do anything right when it came to Meghan. Andy asks if Shannon thinks she overreacted in Napa with the whole private cell phone drama, but she insists that she stormed away because she knew what Meghan was trying to do. At the time, she had just come from the couples retreat and had a ton of stress on her marriage - the last thing Shannon needed was to get pulled into a brawl with the new girl she barely knows. However, Andy points out that by the end of the season, things started looking up for the pair and Shannon explains that they were tentatively trying to move their relationship forward. Meghan says the turning point was when Shannon went out of her way to make a few calls to get LeAnn, Jimmy's cancer-stricken first wife, into her doctors. At the time, Shannon had no reason to do anything kind for Meghan or her family, but she did it out of the goodness of her heart. Now Meghan loves Shannon! No really, just ask her.

Tamra's Secret Battle

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Part 1 ends with the focus squarely on Tamra, who spent much of this season getting her groove back after a terrible Season 9. After a year of staying silent, Tamra finally opens up on the couch about the nasty custody battle she was going through at the time and how her oldest daughter Sidney cut off contact with her after moving in with Tamra's ex-husband Simon. The process was any parent's worst nightmare, but Tamra chose not to disclose it on the show in order to protect her kids. Knowing everything she was really going through at the time certainly helps put her bad behavior in better perspective. 

xoxo, Jesus Barbie

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The topic turns to Tamra's recent religious conversion and all the changes she's been making in her life. Andy asks what Tamra thinks her former nemesis and outspoken Christian Alexis Bellino would think of her being baptized and Tamra says she hopes Alexis would be supportive. Surprise, surprise, Andy got an email from Alexis the night before the reunion, which she asked to be read to Tamra. In the email, Alexis goes for the jugular, calling Tamra out for not being a good Christian and making a "mockery" of Jesus. According to Alexis, someone's faith shouldn't be put on display for entertainment, signing the note "Jesus Barbie." The ladies are all understandably shocked by this judgmental outburst and Tamra defends herself by saying that Alexis is the kind of Christian that gives Christianity a bad name. If Alexis was such a good Christian, she probably shouldn't be judging Tamra so harshly. And with that, we're left with a cliffhanger until next week's Part 2!

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 5 - Game Changer

Glenn Rowley

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This episode was so difficult to watch. I felt so much for Vicki this week. In one of those all-too-crazy moments of lives coinciding, I'm writing this recap roughly 1o hours away from where I live, as I'm with family for my grandpa's funeral, who passed away last night. Watching Vicki's heartbreak was a poignant reminder that in the midst of the fighting, feuds and entertaining moments that we call reality TV, real life is still happening. Just like it is for all the fans and viewers. That fact has perhaps never been more apparent than in the passing of Vicki's mom. However, before we get to that life-changing phone call, let's start at the top.

Meghan and Jimmy are moving AGAIN. We're only five episodes into the season and this is officially a nightmare. They've been packing for pretty much every single episode. They're also kind of bickering, with Jimmy taking a couple of shots at the female gender for creating so much clutter in their house. Meghan tries to do a little damage control in her confessional by claiming that no one's giving out compliments during a move, it puts everyone on edge. That may be true but there's no getting around it: Jimmy Edmonds is getting a bad edit. Every time he's been on screen this season, he's appeared dismissive, condescending or downright rude to his new wife. This time, even his sweet mom is there to help and it's not doing his attitude any favors. Kind of reminds me of the Jim (Bellino) who came before him on this show. (Speaking of, maybe Jim Bellino is the reason everyone seems so insistent on calling the newest Househusband 'Jimmy'? Just a thought.) The bad marriage edit continues as Meghan explains in her interview that the stress of constantly moving is adding tension to their marriage.

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Apparently, the Edmonds also happen to be moving into a rental in the Beadors' neighborhood, which is the perfect cue for Shannon to give Meghan a call. What could this possibly be about? Judging by their previous interactions regarding phone calls, I'm bracing myself for another disaster. However, after starting with a slightly passive-aggressive "I heard you had a good party the other night..." Shannon's actually calling to invite her new frenemy to a bunco party at her house. Definitely not what I was expecting, and from the look on her face, it came out of left field for Meghan too. Rather than just accepting the invitation, Meghan can't help but point out her surprise at Shannon calling her, considering their recent history over the charity phone call from hell. Shannon explains point blank that this is her attempt at extending an olive branch and moving forward, but Meghan can't seem to let it go. She's officially beating a dead horse - the charity event is over and there's no way this feud has enough potential in it to last the entire season. Shannon starts getting defensive because Shannon Beador is a person of her word. After assuring Meghan that the newbie would be safe in her home - literally - Meghan pops back that she looks forward to Shannon proving it to her. The look of indignation on Shannon's face here is priceless. Proving herself to a 30 year old? Preposterous! After reiterating the invitation, she hangs up and stomps off, muttering under her breath about the unbelievable balls on this new girl. I think Defensive Shannon might be my new favorite Shannon. 

Across town, Vicki and Tamra are having a day of relaxation at Spa Gregorie's. Wearing fluffy robes and sipping complimentary alcohol, the two discuss Tamra's impending grandma-hood. While Tamra's assuaging the viewers' fears that she could ever possibly wear granny panties, Vicki predicts in her interview that becoming a grandmother will inevitably change Tamra's perspective on life. According to the OG, Tammy Sue is due for a little softening of the heart. Talk of grandmotherly changes done with, the two get naked for Hydraquench body treatments and sauna masks. Tamra points out that, although the two have had their share of ups and downs in the past few years, they can always have fun together, and it's nice to see them putting effort into rekindling the BFF-ship. We're also treated to a shot of Vicki's bare butt. This is really a bizarre situation.

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Meanwhile, Heather's taking her four kids to the Bellagio Spa and Salon to get their haircuts. She explains in her confessional that she used to take them to a bonafide kids haircut place, but eventually you need a real haircut. Does this mean she'll be sharing her in-house salon with the kids? This entire sequence serves to explain that the Dubrow kids are feeling the strain of their dad not being around as much because of his work schedule. On top of his regular surgery practice, Terry is in the midst of filming the second season of Botched with fellow Househusband Paul Nassif for E! As a result, he's gone from home even more than usual, and Heather's feeling frustrated at having to be everything to everyone while Terry's busy filming. 

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Riled up from the end of their previous phone call, Shannon decides to call Meghan back. Maybe they should just stick to email at this point? Pony Express? Shannon explains that she's having a hard time swallowing Meghan's "prove it" comment, and reiterates that she's extending an olive branch and she doesn't need to prove anything. Shannon makes a point in her confessional to clarify that she's "clearly the bigger person here," and that in the interest of moving forward, the bunco party invitation will remain open. Again, she stomps off in a huff because this girl is just such a "f***ing thorn in [her] side." By this point, I'm pretty much dying of laughter. I've never been the biggest Shannon Beador fan in the world, but I could watch her get riled up over little things every day and be completely set for entertainment. For the past two weeks, I've been firmly Team Meghan, but I have to say, I'm starting to see Shannon's side in the situation. Seeing Shannon Beador's perspective is something I never expected to do, but it's happening. 

In Coto de Caza, Vicki and Brooks are at home meeting with their health coach Lenka. I must say, it still feels weird not to clarify it as her home since he's now moved in and taken his place as man of the house. Apparently Lenka believes that you can rid your body of any chemicals and toxins in it, like cancer, through plant-based food. Vicki wisely explains in her confessional that she's not an oncologist or doctor so she doesn't know how to cure cancer. If she did, there'd already be a cure. For some reason, I believe this. Anyway, Lenka's philosophy is to starve the cancer cells in Brooks' body. She also recommends "forest showers" and organic coffee enemas. This is the second time coffee enemas have been brought up and I'm praying that Brooks Ayers and a coffee enema does not get shown on my screen. Please no. Vicki also points out that she learned so much about holistic medicine last year from Shannon, and if it works for her, why wouldn't it work for Brooks? I'm all for using holistic medicine to supplement oncology, but if Brooks has Stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma, why aren't they trying more aggressive treatments? 

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The next day, Shannon's finally prepping for her bunco party. Since there will be fewer than 20 people in attendance - 12 to be exact - Shannon's cooking for her guests. After all, anyone can pick up a phone and call a caterer, but not everyone can slave in a kitchen for hours before a party. At this point, David walks in with a smile on his face and launches into a story about how he just ran into a girl Shannon saw at the beach the other day. How funny is that? Immediately, Shannon looks panic-stricken and utterly terrified. Is he trying to tell her something in code? Did he see his former mistress? As it turns out, he really did just run into an old friend of Shannon's, but her reaction is both warranted and painful to watch. She explains in her interview that David's promised that if and when he ever runs into his former mistress again, he'll just keep walking and never speak to her. As part of repairing their relationship, Shannon's choosing to trust him. Talking to her friend Kristina, Shannon claims she brings up the affair enough, so she wants to be careful not to bombard him with constant pleas for reassurance. It's a razor-thin line to walk when there are clearly so many valid trust issues that need to be worked through. The one thing Shannon does promise is that if David ever makes contact with the woman he cheated with again, Shannon will be out the door and never coming back. In order for the Beadors' relationship to succeed, there has to be absolutely no secrets between them. Well, it's certainly more difficult to keep secrets when you're putting your marital issues out there on national TV for the world to see. This storyline is uncomfortable to watch, but I hope it's helping some couple out there who are watching the show and working through their own infidelity issues. I also hope that couple has a qualified marriage counselor.

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Before the bunco party, Meghan and Jimmy are unpacking in their new four-month rental. At this point, I'm confident that watching other people move is as much fun as actually moving yourself. Meghan claims that neither wears the pants in their relationship and that, while he controls a bit more of the finances, she even put her name on their last house. Feminism! The Edmonds now have four months to find a house under $10 million with a three car garage and a view of the ocean. Tick tock. Also pre-bunco, Heather's going to Terry's practice to film a segment for Botched. Thanks to the E! hit, the good doctor has become a veritable star on his own, like the reverse of a pre-divorce Kelsey and Camille Grammer. Each week on the show, there's a small human interest story, and in this particular episode, the human interest story will be about removing some sort of growth from Heather's hand. The Dubrows' date nights have officially devolved into Heather receiving minor surgery. However, out of all the OC husbands, Terry is clearly the best, even if his new filming schedule is interfering with family time seven months of the year.

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Well, the time of the bunco party has finally arrived, and Shannon's putting the finishing touches on everything with the help of her non-Housewife friends. I always find it rather interesting when a 'Wife involves so many of her other pals in filming an event. Let's face it, there's no way this bunco party would make the final cut for the season if it was just Shannon and her friends. Naturally, Meghan is the first to arrive, sporting an ultra-trendy black and white (faux?) fur vest. The tension between the two is thick in the air with no one there to serve as a buffer, but Meghan says in her interview that she recognizes Shannon trying to reach out. Maybe they can move on after all? Shannon sets aside the wine she was supposed to donate at Meghan's charity event for the newbie to take when she leaves, which Meghan sees as a passive-aggressive reminder that Shannon's still being the bigger person. One-upping the wine donation, Meghan tells Shannon she brought her a gift and has Shannon read the accompanying note on camera, which is kind of a weird thing to do. Annoyed, Shannon claims in her interview that this thirty year old is simply trying to make herself look good, rather than genuinely bringing the gift as a peace offering. Thankfully, Heather and Tamra both arrive before it can get any more awkward, with Heather sporting a blinged out cast on her hand. Former Housewife Jeana Keough is there too, and Vicki's finally the last to arrive. Vicki hasn't played bunco since Tamra's disastrous 80's party in Season 7 and thinks it's a silly game. Instead of rolling a bunch of dice, why can't they just sit and talk? Before the competition starts, we learn that Tamra is back in the real estate game and Meghan spends almost 50% of her time alone while Jimmy's in St. Louis. Red flag? Vicki thinks so.

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Being a good hostess to "bunco virgin" Meghan, Shannon explains the rules of the game. In her confessional, Meghan exclaims that she has no idea how to play bunco, but it's what old people play for fun in Mississippi. The OC ladies really love their bunco, and after 10 seasons I still don't understand anything about it other than that you roll a bunch of dice. Feel free to educate me in the comments. Over the course of the competition, Meghan, Shannon and Vicki all talk about how competitive they are and how much they hate losing. Ladies, it's kind of hard to justify being competitive in a game that is 100% luck and requires no skill. But, as Vicki states, she doesn't lose in life, she wins. his is where it gets hard.

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Vicki retreats from the game to use Shannon's landline phone, having been alerted that something was wrong. She calls Briana to find out that her mom had unexpectedly passed away. In an instant, Vicki's entire world has crumbled around her. Immediately, she collapses to the floor and starts sobbing in confusion. Apparently, her brother Billy found their mom at home on her bed. The death seems surreal, as Vicki had just spoken with her mom that morning and she'd been in perfect health. Shannon comes to check on the situation and finds her friend crying hysterically. Soon, the rest of the group is alerted to the noise and rally around Vicki in tears. Heather calls Brooks to come pick Vicki up and then tearfully calls her husband to inform him of what's happened. As Heather puts it so perfectly in her interview, this group of women isn't perfect. They have differing opinions and fight sometimes, but when push comes to shove, they're all friends and need to be there to support each other in times like this.

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Eventually, Brooks arrives to bring an inconsolable Vicki home. Still reeling from the sudden loss, Vicki tearfully explains that she wasn't ready to stop learning from her mom and she doesn't know how she's going to function without her. I don't know how anyone could've gotten through watching this without breaking down in tears. I certainly didn't. In her interview, Vicki tearfully reflects on what she'll miss most about her mom - her spunk and love for life. Flashbacks play to some of her mom's funniest moments on the show, from calling Vicki's blonde hair yellow to justifying her road rage. The love between mother and daughter is evident in the clips and it's painfully clear how much Vicki adored her mom. As she says in her confessional, her mom was a whoop-it-up lady at the age of 83, and that's where Vicki gets it from. The episode ends with a touching title card "In memory of Joanne Steinmetz."

As I said, this episode was painfully emotional to watch. I can't imagine having to experience such a sudden, life-altering trauma on top of having that moment captured on camera. However, the flip side of that is that fans and viewers have the opportunity to reach out and support the OG we've loved watching so much for the past 10 years in the wake of her loss. So, in that spirit, share your thoughts and send Vicki some love in the comments below...