Do not read on unless you've seen The Real Housewives Of Vancouver Season 2, Episode 8 (or if you don't mind spoilers).
We've made it to episode 8 of The Real Housewives Of Vancouver, and I'm counting down the days until the hapless, haggy housewives no longer form a blight on Vancouver's pristine landscape.
We begin at the Gremlin's cave in West Vancouver, where Jody and her young daughter Hannah are baking, and the Gremlin Queen has invited Texan Amazon Robin over to join them ... and, of course, to turn her against Mary once and for all. (Mary can feel a speck of schadenfreude at Jody's expense this week. The gremlin's clothing store was vandalized by animal welfare activists, The Province reported. Jody, in true fashion, blamed the whole thing on Mary.)
Robin comes over, and one of Jody's first questions is whether she had fun in Toronto. Robin, of course, did not. She got in the middle of a series of conflicts as Amanda tried to pull her out of her friendship with Mary, and she was later too hungover to attend a Top Chef Canada garden party, which disappointed the Gremlin Queen immensely.
Jody takes one last stab at severing Robin and Mary's friendship, but it doesn't take. She ushers Hannah out of the room and begins to lose her temper as Robin rejects every one of her overtures:
"I think Mary is Lucifer!"
"She is a terrorist! She annihilated a company that has worthiness and she defamed us, it is disgusting!"
What's funny about this exchange is that Jody begins to betray a hint of a psycho-Latina accent as she gets madder and madder. Thankfully, Robin doesn't bite. Like us, she sees a lot of irony in Jody describing Mary as the devil. What's also notable is Mary has proven herself capable of riling up Jody by doing absolutely nothing.
After a brief interlude we meet Ronnie, who has invited a psychic over to her house just as she has ended her friendship with Mary. The whole episode is a brilliant exposé into how fake psychics really are. Psychic Char Margolis sits down with Ronnie and begins intoning names that start with "R," not unlike John Cusack trying to guess the name of Catherine Keener's character in Being John Malkovich. Watching Ronnie's reactions, she mentions a "RRRRobert," a "RRRRose," and boom, Ronnie jumps in, saying that "Rose" was her grandmother's sister.
"I think that's her spirit that's here," Char says.
I just want to say it here: the South Park creators really are genius. In an episode titled "The Biggest Douche in the Universe," they demonstrated how alleged psychic John Edward managed to convince people he could communicate with the dead. Edward's caricature would intone various letters and phrases before audience members would jump in and say he was reaching their loved ones. Edward went on to win the intergalactic "Biggest Douche in the Universe" award. I'd nominate Char for the same thing, but Ronnie is just so gullible that I can't hold it against the woman who's conning her.
The psychic then works her conniving magic on Amanda, possibly the only cast member who could be more gullible than Ronnie. Char guesses that Amanda is a "businesswoman," that she's "selling a product line" or "thinking of selling a product line." Which means Amanda could be anything from a proprietor to a salesperson to a distributor, but indeed, she's the CEO of Motherfern Kombucha, so she's impressed.
Char is concerned about a woman wanting to do business with her, a name that begins with a "J" or a "G"... GREMLIN! Sorry, JODY! For a second it looks like Char is turning Amanda against Jody, but that line of inquiry is quickly abandoned as the psychic divines that Amanda had to "find her own way a lot."
"It's amazing you've turned out the way you did," Char says. "I call people like you one of God's children."
I like to think we're all God's children. Sorry, Amanda's not special. Nevertheless, the con works. Amanda starts crying so hard that you can see the blood injections swirling around inside her face. Something strikes me about Amanda at this moment. All season long I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but now I have it: she's plain. White, Wonder Bread plain, like Ann from Arrested Development. She's not pretty, she's not ugly, she's just plain old "Plant." Or "Egg." "It's as plain as the egg on Plant's face." Wait, who's Amanda again?
The main arc of the episode concerns a weekend trip to the remote Rockwater Resort in Halfmoon Bay on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast. Amanda says they're going "Glamping," which is what classy girls call "camping." Which, I guess, means that she's not going. Mary's not invited and Jody is allegedly not coming because she's sick. Which is bullshit, of course, because we all know that gremlins can't be exposed to too much water or light. (Jody never gave birth to Mia, by the way. She merely sprung out of Jody's back when she was splashed with water.)
On the way, Ronnie admits that she and Mary had a "thing" one night when they were younger, which she later reveals was unsatisfying. Robin tries mightily to get more details about the one-night stand but it doesn't work. And suddenly the tension between Ronnie and Mary makes just that much more sense. They're greeted by champagne and hors d'oeuvres upon their arrival and Ronnie and Amanda argue about walnuts vs. "Pecahns." That's how Amanda pronounces "pecans" in a fruitless effort to sound sophisticated. She probably also pronounces the "Target" store chain like it's French.
Robin presses for more details about the "little lesbo thing" but Ronnie demurs, saying it "wasn't that memorable."
"If I were another girl, I'd want to have sex with me too," Ronnie says. Except no, you wouldn't.
The girls sit around, sipping champagne in the gorgeous setting and they all start telling each other their dirty secrets. Robin admits that she had sex in a graveyard once, which gives me an opportunity to accord her with a new nickname: CORPSE BRIDE! Ioulia, ever the jokester, follows this up with a joke. So there's this guy walking around a cemetery, he sees another guy there having sex. Buddy asks the other guy, "Where did you get the chick?" The guy responds, "It's a graveyard, just dig yourself a couple!"
All right, normally I'd castigate the other housewives for not understanding a sophisticated joke, but this one passes me by too. Unless the fact of the joke is that it's so mortifying that only the teller ends up laughing at the others' reactions. Those jokes can be funny, but this one wasn't. The girls finally arrive at their tents, burned out from what looks to have been a ten-minute walk. They play croquet, and of course cut the game short so they can drink champagne. Perhaps Ronnie is hurting from playing the game in Prada high heels.
Eventually they play the housewife equivalent of guys comparing their sizes by rattling off how long they were with their husbands. Ronnie says her first marriage lasted all of six minutes, and Robin just five months. Ronnie and Amanda pounce on her at this point, telling her that she has trust issues and can't tell when someone's bullshitting her or not. This is, of course, a vain attempt to turn her against Mary.
The girls depart each other's company, and Robin seizes the opportunity for a bubble bath, where the foam thankfully covers up anything racy. She gets on the phone to Mary and relates to her the fact that Ronnie spilled her guts about their one-night stand. Mary fervently denies this, and she could be lying, but if I were in her situation I'd probably do the same thing.
Finally it's time for dinner, and all are determined to avoid any drama. Out of the blue, Amanda asks Robin whether she's talked to Mary at all (a move that blatantly shows how scripted the show is). Jody calls into the dinner, ya know, just to say hi, and Robin apologizes for the way she spoke to her at her house. Jody's response? "I've heard worse from much smarter people." Robin has ample opportunity here to bring up Jody mistaking Oklahoma as a region of Texas, but she lets it go.
Finally, Ioulia calms everything down, and the housewives enjoy a meal for what seems like the first time this season. Ronnie says she's starting to like Amanda, which leaves me incredulous because it was just the last episode when she was mocking the Amazon for taking Ativan. Ronnie should have ripped her head from its socket for that one, but I guess that doesn't fit the script.
Then things get a little serious. Talk turns to Amanda's wilder days, and somehow the conversation comes around to the fact that she was sexually abused as a child, and then again in high school. It's an emotional moment as the housewives comfort her for what is clearly a very traumatic series of events. Finally, the housewives return home, but the fun's not over yet. Ronnie wants to keep her birthday energy going so she arranges for Amanda, Corpse Bride and herself to take a yacht from her Howe Sound home to Granville Island, where they'll meet Ioulia and Jody for lunch at Dockside Restaurant.
"The trip from Ronnie's house to Granville Island is about, oh, 40 ounces of vodka long," Robin says, and boy, she isn't kidding. Amanda abstains as usual, but Robin and Ronnie are falling over themselves and slurring their speech by the time they arrive.
"Someone should call the Coast Guard," Jody remarks, providing an excellent reason why we still need a base in Kitsilano. Thanks, Harper. Suddenly it seems Mary doesn't have to be present for there to be tension. They all sit down for cocktails and neither Robin nor Ronnie can string together a coherent phrase. Somehow Mary comes up in conversation and Ioulia tells her, "Don't bring the f--king name Mary here," earning my infinite respect. Robin says she doesn't see Mary as the malicious, evil presence that Jody and Ronnie are convinced about, and it antagonizes the birthday girl.
She withholds her anger, until finally Ronnie orders vodka shots. Ioulia tells her that they don't serve good vodka at the restaurant, and Robin says...
Wait for it...
"To an alcoholic the vodka doesn't matter."
Um, wow. Ronnie's alcoholism up to now was just a grey area but it seems there's more to the story, and just bringing it up sets her off into a rage. She flies out of her seat, points a finger directly in Robin's face and for a couple of minutes it looks like the two are going to scrap. Robin doesn't back down, drunkenly telling Ronnie that she's not afraid of her as Jody tells her it's time for the Corpse Bride to leave.
"If you have a problem, then get the f--k over it. If you don't like what I'm telling you, then you have an issue," Robin yells.
Then, suddenly and inexplicably, everything calms down. Jody baits Robin a little by telling her she has an attitude, but Robin fights back again. Ronnie reminds everyone that it's her birthday, they all clink glasses and it seems everything is back to normal.
The end credits provide us with a scintillating teaser of next week's episode, when Amanda starts to fall off the wagon...
You can watch Real Housewives Of Vancouver on Slice every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT.