We're three weeks into The Real Housewives of Dallas and, thankfully, seem to be finally be moving past all the potty humor and poop talk. However, what some of the 'Wives think is a funny joke has a widespread ripple effect this week as questions are raised over reputations, charity and who the real Dallas socialites are. Plus, cracks begin to show in one 'Wife's seemingly idyllic marriage and I'm left wondering whether we're going to be seeing yet another classic Housewives Marriage Escape Plan as the season moves forward...
We start this week with a classic Housewives juxtaposition. On one side we have queen bee LeeAnne Locken in happy domestic bliss with her boyfriend Rich and his 17-year-old daughter from his second marriage Elise. Up to this point in the season, the Mouth of the South has been consistently intense, but seeing her in a different light shows viewers a softer side to the queen of the Dallas charity scene. Wrapping presents and dishing with Elise about her new boyfriend, LeeAnne is funny, charming and positively beaming with happiness. And best of all, she looks like a really fun, awesome quasi-stepmom. This happy family scene is bumped up against Brandi Redmond watching her husband Bryan pack for yet another business trip. It's only been three episodes, but it would appear things in the Redmond home aren't quite at happily ever after. In her confessional, Brandi tearfully laments how Bryan's dream of becoming a multimillionaire by the age of 40 has come between their relationship and left her feeling lonely at home without him.
With their men out of town, Brandi and Stephanie Hollman decide to have a good old-fashioned girls night out, starting with dinner at Bistro 31. While there, they call up Cary Deuber and convince her to join them. Over drinks, Cary reveals to her fellow 'Wives that she's been married three times, but has never had a bachelorette party. Maybe it's because they're halfway to white girl wasted, but Stephanie and Brandi come up with a brilliant idea to fix this problem: an impromptu trip to La Bare, the strip club with the finest male strippers in Dallas. Arriving at La Bare, Cary is hilariously shocked to find that her friends seem to be on a first-name basis with the owner of the club. Next thing we know, Brandi is up onstage, writhing around, gyrating and giving a drunken lap dance to one of the male dancers. Wow, this girls night out sure went from zero to 60 faster than you can say "Magic Mike."
Meanwhile, Tiffany Hendra and her hunky husband Aaron are having a chat in his makeshift studio in their home. Feeling responsible for uprooting Aaron from his life in LA and taking him to Texas, Tiffany wants to help introduce his music to the people of Dallas, and what a better way to do that than by throwing a charity concert? This idea will actually hit two birds with a single stone - getting Aaron's music out into the Dallas scene while also properly introducing Tiffany to the charity world as more than just LeeAnne's pretty best friend with the hunky husband. I think it's a great idea too, but I can't help but be distracted throughout this scene by Aaron's perfect hair. Sorry not sorry.
Recovered from their white girl wasted hangovers, Stephanie invites Brandi and her two girls over for a playdate with the Hollman boys. As the kids jet around the gated community in a motorized toy car, Stephanie asks if Brandi had fun the previous weekend at La Bare. Unexpectedly, this question causes Brandi to burst out in tears - apparently she told Bryan everything that happened at the strip club and he is less than pleased with his wife's risqué behavior and what it could do to his reputation as a businessman. Stephanie tries to cheer her BFF up by insisting she didn't do anything wrong and that Bryan probably doesn't understand the difference between male and female strip clubs, but Brandi still feels terrible about what she did while she was drunk. Honestly, it wasn't really the end of the world, but I think we can all agree that mounting a stripper on national TV probably isn't the smartest idea in the world...
In addition to being a newly-christened reality star, Tiffany is also a popular lifestyle blogger! On her site Sanctuary of Style, Tiff showcases the closets of her stylish friends and acquaintances, and she's decided to highlight her fellow 'Wife Cary. Hilariously though, the star of the segment turns out to be Cary's plastic surgeon husband Mark, who has a better eye for style than possibly any Househusband who's ever come before him. In fact, the secret to Cary's enviable wardrobe is that Mark is the one picks out most of her best outfits! Shooting Sanctuary of Style also gives the two couples and opportunity to bond over their respective love stories, and Tiffany comes away from the afternoon wanting to develop more of a friendship with Cary. Uh oh, I really enjoy the easy dynamic between the two 'Wives and their husbands, but any guesses how her bestie LeeAnne will feel about this development?
Over at the Redmond home, Brandi's husband is out of town again and her mom is visiting to help her out with the girls. Last week, Brandi opened up about her unconventional upbringing - her mom had her at the age of 16 and she's never met her grandfather as a result of her mother being disowned. However, Brandi was shocked when a package arrived in the mail for her girls from none other than her estranged grandfather. According to his letter, he would like to get to know Brandi and her family, and she has no idea what to think about it. Her mom tearfully explains that the dynamic was actually a bit more complicated than the narrative she told Brandi and her brother. Part of their strained relationship actually comes from the fact that Brandi's mom took her mom's side in her parents' divorce and essentially left Brandi's grandfather alone. This new development goes against everything Brandi thought she knew about her grandfather and leaves her confused about what to do next.
Over at LeeAnne's house, Tiffany fills her BFF in on the Sanctuary of Style shoot with Cary. More specifically, she lets LeeAnne in on the fact that she wants to pursue friendships with both Cary and Stephanie, even if it means having to be around Brandi. As a viewer of the show, this is a smart move on Tiffany's part because it's going to create more interaction among the Housewives and lead to a more cohesive group. Tiffany bridging the gap between the two cliques of women is also bound to cause more tension - particularly for LeeAnne, who's still bothered by the fiasco the other three caused at the Mad Hatter's luncheon. However, if her bestie is wanting to reach out to the other 'Wives, then LeeAnne figures she might as well invite Stephanie and Cary to lunch to let them know how things really work in the Dallas charity world.
Brandi's husband Bryan is finally home from his business trips, but the two are barely speaking because of the strip club incident. The tension in the air is thick, but Brandi plows ahead and tells Bryan all about the package from her grandfather and everything she learned from her mom. Due to all this new information coming to light, Brandi's decided to invite her grandfather (whom she's never met) to come to Dallas for a visit so she and her family can get to know him. Bryan points out that he doesn't even know the man's name - apparently it's John - but promises he'll try to be in town when the visit occurs...as long as business doesn't come first. With that, Bryan makes an excuse that he has something to do before his next conference call, leaving Brandi feeling alone and neglected.
Finally, Cary and Stephanie arrive at Bread Winners Café for their lunch with LeeAnne. Cary isn't particularly looking forward to the meeting - she's been in surgery all morning and doesn't really have time for whatever LeeAnne has called them together to discuss. Stephanie openly wonders if either of them will be able to get a word in edgewise with the Mouth of the South, but Cary promises that however loud LeeAnne can get, she can get louder. LeeAnne arrives with a single mission in mind - to educate the other girls on the process of being involved in the Dallas charity world and, as she puts it, "earning your wings." In fact, LeeAnne specifically starts the conversation by expressing that she's not here to criticize her fellow 'Wives or tell them off in any way. However, she explains that one thing she does care about is respect, especially at a major event like Mad Hatters. One thing Brandi definitely didn't show by wearing a hat with plastic poop on it was respect - respect for the event, respect for the cause or respect for the dozens of older women who have spent years turning Mad Hatters into a major philanthropic force for good.
Next, LeeAnne shows the other women media coverage from the event that specifically made reference to Brandi's hat - including the blog Oh So Cynthia, which Stephanie explains in her confessional is like the "TMZ of the Dallas charity world." Pulling out the piece of plastic poop that Cary tried to leave in her seat, LeeAnne pointedly explains that the fake fecal matter clearly wasn't appropriate at an upscale charity event like Mad Hatters. Cary, however, counters that it isn't really appropriate in the middle of a restaurant while they're eating lunch, and can't believe LeeAnne brought props and handouts to the meeting. Cary also points out that she simply doesn't put as much stock into other people's opinions, and accuses LeeAnne of wanting to be a part of Dallas high society by getting in with the right people. LeeAnne insists that she merely places importance on being proper and that, while she may be "fun as the day is long," if someone bows at her, she will bow back, so watch out. (According to Southern slang, "bowing" at someone means preparing to fight someone. Who knew?)
The conversation begins to escalate into an argument, with Cary demanding to know why LeeAnne insists on acting like some sort of big Dallas socialite. According to the RN, you can only be a part of that type of high society if you're born into it with the billion-dollar fortunes to back it up. LeeAnne tries to point out to the other women that your reputation is molded by the people you associate with, and theirs are being tarnished by Brandi and her poop hat, but Stephanie stands up for her bestie and makes it clear she has no intention of distancing herself from Brandi just because she wore a hat with fake poop on it to a charity event. With the conversation going around in circles, LeeAnne decides her point of view is falling on deaf ears and abruptly stands up to leave the lunch. Left in the queen bee's wake, Cary and Stephanie aren't sure what to think, but declare themselves officially over the charity drama and wash their hands of the whole subject. However, something tells me this issue is far from resolved...