According to an online quiz that I’m positive is completely reputable and totally scientific, the owl is my spirit animal.  Yes, both Ollie the Owl (I named my spirit animal – it makes it so much more meaningful) and I are brimming with intuition and wisdom and with this new validation I feel I can make a statement: Shannon is a walking, deflecting frayed piece of a gnarled nerve that I imagine she likes to chew on so she won’t bite her nails or actually consume anything with a caloric content and she very well may be whatever the clinical definition is for “completely deranged.”  Now, I realize that I am not a doctor and sure, I barely passed Biology, and okay, maybe the results of that quiz were wrong and I’m really a koala, but I still feel relatively comfortable offering up such a diagnosis because to look at the scenario in any other way would require that we believe that Meghan was legitimately out of line for initially calling Shannon on her very own personal bat-phone and then trying to calmly explain to the nut that she felt that Shannon was dismissive of her.

What’s the evidence of Shannon’s lunacy?  Let us count the crazy:

1.    After Meghan neither says nor insinuates any such thing, Shannon declares, “You can’t insinuate that I’m uncharitable!” and then goes stalking from the party to hide in a bathroom with her husband who gets to once again be reminded of just how much fun his marriage is.

2.    In case we didn’t remember that Shannon fleeing from a party is de riguer, Bravo thoughtfully provides us with a desaturated-looking flashback of Shannon screaming, “You will all see the truth!” from a dinner party last season and I’m once again reminded that there really should be a Lifetime movie called Shannon at the Nuremberg Trials and I hope it will also star Kristen Wiig.

3.    Shannon keeps shaking her head and saying she has been “completely ambushed” by Meghan.  I think we should take a quick vote and agree to never send this woman to war.  Not to worry, though – David has already volunteered to take her place so he can locate himself just a little bit of peace and quiet bliss in sunny Baghdad.

4.    When the rest of the Housewives gather around Shannon to see if she’s okay and then Meghan enters the room, Shannon’s outward reaction is similar to how you’d maybe look on the inside when you are on a first date right after a breakup that almost psychologically mauled you and into the restaurant saunters your ex-boyfriend.  And when Meghan crouches beside Shannon and asks if it’s okay that she’s right there and then apologizes again, Shannon announces that she felt ambushed and that Meghan was giving off the impression that she’s not a charitable person.  Well!  That’s the very opposite of who she is and just because she refuses to charitably listen to the rational one crouched before her right now doesn’t mean anything and how dare Meghan call an unlisted number and those imbedded diamonds pounded into her teeth (blessed by a holistic doctor who giggles every time Shannon leaves his office) have been warning her about Meghan for weeks now.

I think, though, that my favorite part of this scene occurred when Shannon turned to the rest of the women and tried to meet their eyes so they all could nod gravely at how horrible Meghan is, but at that precise second the women suddenly remember that there’s a scuff mark on the floor that Tamra thinks is in the shape of Jesus and they must all collectively stare at it until Shannon looks away and back at the mean lady who says to her, “Okay, my face is here,” a comment that causes Tamra to mull that when you’re Meghan’s age, you think you know it all.  And if “all” means that Shannon is an asshole – a sad, damaged asshole who is probably in over her head and should not be on television while she is systematically imploding like she’s an SUV in a Michael Bay movie – then yes, Meghan in fact does know it all.

Putting the senseless fight to bed for the moment, Shannon offers Meghan a kind of snide apology that is all but covered in a syrup of sarcasm and Meghan looks directly at her and says that she sounds less than genuine and that means that it’s official: Ollie is out.  It’s Meghan who is my spirit animal!  And the first thing my brand new spirit animal and I are going to do is locate Shannon and her spirit animal (I’m guessing it’ll be a parrot that never shuts up) and ask for a donation to our Spirit Animal/Human Being charity that raises money to provide tranquilizer darts in bulk to the spirit animals who have been claimed by hysterical, insane people.

Back in Orange County, Vicki is home from Florida and Brooks greets her with the news of his upcoming coffee enemas that he’ll be trying as a way to hopefully clean out the toxins from his liver and that means that we get to hear Vicki use the term “butthole” and I’d like to officially thank Vicki for contributing to my weight loss because I ate pizza this weekend and simply hearing the butthole comment immediately brought on the sweats and the vomit and I believe I’ve discovered a new twenty-first century form of an eating disorder that I will coin Bulimia By Bravo.  Support groups for this grave disease will be posted on Brandi Glanville’s Twitter because that woman is going to need something to do until her tampon endorsement becomes a terrifying reality.

Over at Meghan’s house, she receives a phone call from her devoted husband informing her that he has just bought her a new Louis Vuitton purse.  That’s a sweet gesture, but the guy has not smiled at his wife so far this season and that worries me a bit.  There’s no time to worry about such a thing, though!  The charity event planners descend upon Meghan’s house and they discuss the logistics for what is apparently a combination of a Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser and Meghan’s debutante ball where she will present herself to Orange County society.  And as the meeting ends, Meghan pats one of charity women on the head like a dog.  

I might have to crate my spirit animal.  Such a thought brings me grave sadness.

Bringing Heather grave sadness is the fact that the stone budget for her behemoth of a new home has skyrocketed to more than a quarter of a million dollars, but at least she will eventually have several chandeliers in her closet that will give off fancy light.  But across town is where the real sadness is because that’s where Shannon is, meeting up with Vicki and Tamra for drinks.  Shannon orders vodka in a tall glass, bringing the total of how often I’ve seen her without a drink in her hand to once, but that time was during couples therapy and I’m pretty sure I saw the outline of a flask in the back pocket of her jeans.  As she mainlines her daily intake of hard alcohol, Shannon tells Vicki and Tamra how awful Meghan was to her and, just so they know, the charity function sheheld was huge and a magazine covered it and it was attended by three times the amount of people who are going to Meghan’s party and that party might as well be held in a shed.  But her confidence dampers when it dawns on Shannon that she hasn’t actually been invited to the party of a woman whose face she recently screamed into and she actually appears flabbergasted about it and that reaction nicely bolsters my theory that she’s legitimately crazy.  

After Tamra confirms that Shannon is not invited, Shannon, the goddess of self-awareness, cannot believe that Meghan is “banning her from her home” for no reason – and for a charity event no less!  (Why Bravo did not immediately cut to a flashback of last season showing Shannon screaming that Heather kicked her out of her home so we can start a flowchart of Shannon’s patterns of behavior to use as exhibit C at her eventual manslaughter trial is just beyond me, but someone clearly needs to be fired.)   The scene blessedly ends on Shannon murmuring, “You know what?  True colors are showing.  I’ll have to cancel my hair appointment,” and on Vicki declaring that she will not attend the party either to show solidarity for a lunatic and choosing to believe the story of someone she knows is delusional is the saddest thing Vicki has done all episode – and we’ve already seen her talking enemas with her boyfriend in the kitchen.

On the day of the party, Heather appears at Meghan’s house to appeal to her that maybe she should just invite Shannon so things don’t escalate, but Meghan responds that she’s given it some thought and she’s actually not inviting Shannon because she doesn’t believe that Shannon will be able to control herself from causing a scene at the event. As her belief has been formed based upon her own observations of Shannon’s public emotional explosions, the new girl’s got a point.

But what’s starting to make me really annoyed is how orchestrated the fight between Shannon and Meghan has become.  It’s as though Bravo is trying to make this fight into a bloody brawl with all kinds of causalities and that means viewers are forced to watch as it needlessly morphs into an epic war so we can all pretend to care, but the manipulation of it is striking me as really obvious this season.  Here’s two examples:  Tamra goes to Vicki’s house to get her makeup done for a party Vicki is not attending and then watches as Vicki decides she should call Meghan to tell her that she will be going out with Shannon instead.  And later on, Tamra makes sure to tell Meghan that they are leaving the party to go meet up with Shannon and Vicki when nobody even asked where the fuck they were going after the event.  Then there are the party scenes with Lizzie and Katie, two women who keep showing up but are not official Housewives, and they discuss the fight too but I’m starting to believe that those scenes were shot in a warehouse using a green screen and canned party noise because they don’t actually add anything to the show and they simply exist to allow for even more exposition of something we’ve already seen happen.  And though I realize it shouldn’t matter in the context of anything, I feel the need to reveal that I have a brand new phobia and it’s of Katie’s hair. I have a very hard time staring directly at Katie’s hair.  I think I’d rather watch Brooks getting his enema.

Over at Meghan’s house, the place looks beautiful.  The hostess looks beautiful as well, and I’m going to be sure to tell her that since her husband is the least complimentary guy I’ve ever seen on television or in real life.  Vicki stuck to her word and didn’t show and she’s amazed and more than a little disgusted by Meghan’s balls and how they dangled in the way of allowing her to invite Shannon to her party.  I’m never one to want to castrate symbolic balls, but I don’t credit Meghan’s balls for this decision.  I credit her sanity and that she clearly remembers that she’s not just a reality show participant, but she’s also a person and that means she doesn’t have to engage with assholes all the time.

Speaking of assholes, Tamra shows up and kisses Meghan hello and tells her that the thing between she and Shannon is not her battle so she’s staying out of it, which she manages to do for well over an hour.  Tamra hangs out with Heather and Lizzie and Katie (I feel like someone is trying to make Katie happen and I wish they’d stop.  It’s never going to happen, guys) and marvels over the lovely relationship Meghan has with her husband’s ex-wife and the party is enchanting and looks even more so by how we keep cutting back and forth between it and Shannon and Vicki drinking across town.  Shannon explains that she feels she was owed a phone call (from someone she never called or texted back) saying that she was officially not being invited to the party and, to her credit, Vicki thinks that’s a ridiculous thing to expect.  Still, Vicki allows Shannon’s hallucination to continue about how people are just randomly malicious towards her and that not a single one of her actions has contributed to how she is perceived and they continue to drink and drink and then drink some more and that’s when Lizzie calls them from the party and tells them she is on her way and Tamra joins them and says a quick prayer that Lizzie will talk more about anal sex in the car on the way over to the bar since that’s now the basis of their friendship.

Before Tamra leaves, she tells Meghan exactly where she is going and Meghan is completely fine with it.  But maybe she’d be less cool with it when Tamra, who earlier declared that she would not get involved, gives a toast at the bar that Shannon not being invited was uncool and it made her an outcast it was wrong to do to her – and Shannon positively beams and knows right then and there that she will sleep peacefully tonight because she understands that real friendship means having women around who will do shots with you and won’t judge you for doing ten more shots before you can so much as gaze at yourself in any sort of reflective surface and actually have to deal with anything that’s real.  

Here’s to true friendship, everybody!