It takes a very special form of bile-spewing creature to make it into the Top Five Worst Housewives of All Time in less than a season, but Kelly Dodd – asshole extraordinaire – has managed to reach that pinnacle. She's already proven she has what she so succinctly coins "anger issues" that rival the table-flipping rage of felon Theresa Giudice. She's also mastered the fine art of furious projection previously made famous by Professional Victim, Kim Richards, in that she strikes out both blindly and cruelly at anyone in her airspace just to take the focus off her own disgraceful behavior. (Kelly might also drink as much as Kim did in Kim's sickest heyday.) It's difficult, actually, to choose the very worst thing Kelly has done so far this season since her behavior thus far has mirrored that of a third grade sociopath stricken down with both a superiority complex and insanity, but I suppose it's nice that we have a choice. So which terrible action was the very worst? Was it when Kelly shrieked "Cunt!" and "Dumb fuck!" across a dinner table while proclaiming herself "an amazing mother"? Might it have been the moment she told Shannon she was ugly with a sick smile smeared across her face? How about the way she's decided Vicki Gunvalson is awesome and just slightly misunderstood? These are, of course, all excellent options for anointing Kelly with a crown made out of dogshit and her own broken dreams, but the single grossest thing I think she's done went down in the final two minutes of last week's show, after she'd already made Regan in The Exorcist sound like a Disney Princess. Yes, Kelly insulted half the people at the table with filthy epithets, tried to then hug her victims, announced she doesn't need to suck dick because she's a multimillionaire who's never had to develop a gag-reflex, and smiled serenely at Vicki, her soul sister. All of that was despicable, but the worst of it was in the aftermath, when she decided it would be hilarious to make fun of Heather's mannerisms and voice because all that action proved was that this very sick woman has not – and may never – learn a single thing. She's shown herself to be as idiotic as the black stools upholstered with muppet fur lining one of the twelve bars in her home and I fear nothing short of an exorcism that comes with a complimentary brain transplant can save her now.
As for the rest of our Housewives (who should collectively and immediately demand raises for having to be associated with this demonic entity), my guess is they're all dealing with some PTSD from what went down at the very worst Pre-Insemination Party in our country's history. While none of this was captured on camera, I imagine Tamra channeled her shock by working tirelessly with her trainer to start a new prayer group expressly meant to save Kelly Dodd's warped soul in between learning the proper way to do lunges in front of judges while wearing a bedazzled bikini. I assume Heather scheduled an emergency meeting with her contractors and demanded they build her a bunker adjacent to the porte-cochere where she can hide out from the lunatic just in case Kelly ever shows up unannounced to try to give her a hug. There’s no doubt Vicki is just thrilled someone else is loathed nearly as much as she is. And Shannon? It’s pretty clear Shannon thinks Kelly is a waste of fucking space and wants nothing to do with her anymore, which obviously means Shannon Beador is my newest spirit animal and the owl that was my previous spirit animal can now suck it.
Tonight’s episode begins with Meghan in the fertility clinic with her mother. Her husband is nowhere to be found, but maybe he’ll deign to make it to the actual birth of their child. He does, however, answer the phone when she calls him from the examination room to discuss whether or not she should go ahead and implant two embryos inside her uterus, though he’s pulling for the male embryo so there can one day be a Little Jimmy Edmonds scampering about this great land. As the procedure gets underway, Meghan muses that she never imagined her husband would not be in the room with her as she got pregnant. Then the doctor tells her she should not have intercourse for the next twelve days, something that should be no problem whatsoever since Meghan is married to a man who is not only absent, but also appears not to be able to stand her.
Across town and still haunted by dining with a heathen, Heather meets up with Tamra at a cute little place where her daughter can make a book with her own original story. Heather explains that she was willing to overlook Kelly’s horrific behavior at Shannon’s party as perhaps just a drunken aberration, but now she sees no other option than to distance herself from the pig. Tamra, however, has reached deep into her soul and only feels badly for Kelly. She realizes this is a woman who is just not okay (which means the producer who cast Kelly will get a huge bonus) and something must have happened in Kelly’s life to make her want to lash out and verbally maim those around her. Hearing this overt compassion, Heather compliments Tamra for her newfound kindness but continues to maintain that she would rather be anywhere on the planet than beside a woman who bellows the word “Cunt!” over appetizers.
Speaking of the Creature From Newport Beach, Kelly has managed to stifle her anger issues for a fraction of a second in order to stop by Meghan’s house with a gift that’s meant to wish the impregnated one well while also possibly absolving herself of her sins from the evening before. Meghan greets her warmly, shows off her ultrasound, announces she’s high on Valium, and then tells Kelly outright how wrong she was the night before and that she’s on Shannon’s side since Shannon wasn’t the one shouting derogatory words across a dinner table. Right away, Kelly admits she feels terribly about her actions – but how many times can someone lose her fucking mind onscreen and then apologize for her actions? Five times? Twenty times? I mean, at what point do these apologies stop meaning anything? At what point does watching Kelly’s eyes flood with tears make someone feel sorry for her, because I’m far beyond that point already and I don’t even know the woman in real life. I’m proud of Meghan in this scene for being blunt and honest. (I’m also proud of her for not telling Kelly how hideous the cropped leather jacket she’s wearing is, for that might be a bit too cruel at this particular moment.) By the way, Kelly’s excuse for her behavior is she’s never dealt “with girls like this.” Um, I’d just like to reiterate here that The Real Housewives is not a new franchise and this particular installment has been up and running for close to a fucking decade. This show has never even pretended to be about weaving friendship bracelets and singing Kumbaya around a bonfire. This is a show where women are paid to antagonize one another in fancy houses and on tropical getaways, so to maintain that you didn’t expect this sort of behavior would be like me going on Bachelor in Paradise and expecting to walk away without a sunburn and a raging case of chlamydia. It’s an excuse that just doesn’t fly and I do not feel the slightest bit sorry for Kelly and I will therefore not be joining Tamra to pray that this woman’s blackened soul one day turns a fluffy shade of pink. I’ll instead spend my time praying for things that are far more important and more likely to come to pass, like eventually getting my very own pony and finding a guy who doesn’t sweat on my pillowcases in the dead of night while the air conditioner blasts away.
As for the woman who was actually called a cunt, she’s at home when the phone rings. It’s her husband and he’s calling to sing her Happy Birthday. The guy is trying. He’s planned a big overnight birthday surprise for her and she looks positively giddy about his thoughtfulness. I’m rooting for this couple. I’m also rooting for David not to lose his entire mind while Shannon packs her entire bathroom cabinet for one night away from home. It turns out that David has planned a surprise party and a vow renewal for his wife and most of the other Housewives have been invited to attend. Heather, Meghan, Tamra, and their husbands take a party bus over to the venue while Shannon rides to the undisclosed location with David. On the way, she tells him that Vicki called earlier in the day to wish her a happy birthday and to invite her to celebrate Vicki’s upcoming birthday as a way to put all the anger (and Vicki’s lies), sadness (more of Vicki’s lies), and the past (years filled with Vicki’s lies) behind them. It’s worth noting that Vicki made those pleas while she got her feet rubbed with Kelly beside her and I now have a brand new night terror that will surely keep me up for the next century. Shannon’s reaction to Vicki’s phone call is rather simple and perfectly glorious. She feels no anger about that fucking moron; she just doesn’t want to be her friend. Cheers, Shannon! You’re one of the only Housewives ever to make a bit of sense and I salute you!
While those who have not yet offended an entire continent of human beings head over to a party, Vicki and the other outcast meet for dinner so they can discuss how messed up it is when people get offended by little things like being called dumb fucks or getting lied to about cancer. It’s nice to see Kelly drinking in this scene since she handles her liquor oh so well, but there’s very little time to concentrate on that issue when there’s a wealth of other nuggets of insanity flying about, like when Kelly tells Vicki how she tried to make amends with Shannon by acting like “the bigger and better person.” Unfortunately, Shannon is such a “Negative Nellie” – a term I don’t quite care for – that she could not accept Kelly’s kind apology. Even so, Kelly does admit that she was out of line to scream, “Shut the fuck up!” at Shannon, but thankfully Vicki is there to absolve her of her sins. See, Vicki’s mother was also a screamer and she too has shrieked bloody murder as cameras were pointed straight at her face and really, Vicki sees herself as a mentor to Kelly and I’d love to recount the rest of this conversation, but I am laughing my ass off at the moment and I’m simply unable to type anything else...
Okay, I’m back. I have fought through the giggles because I have a job to do and part of that job is to actually transcribe this sentence Kelly Dodd said to Vicki Gunvalson without vomiting: “I want you to teach me how to be a better person.” Kelly? You’d be better off taking a wellness course with Lucifer himself than relying on this confirmed idiot for any sort of advice on personal betterment and the fact that you don’t know that is not even sad; it’s just pathetic. Even more pathetic – which I hardly thought possible – is the way Vicki the Mentor tells Kelly it would probably wise for her to suffocate the feelings of wanting to divorce her husband because “being single sucks.” Yes, Kelly has managed to snag herself a mentor who can tout both settling and incredible desperation over one meal. Score!
Back at the event where the drunken misfits have been banned, the invited guests stand around and drink champagne while waiting for their hosts to arrive. Heather has been put in charge of corralling the guests to be quiet so Shannon will be surprised when she walks in. The plan works. Shannon is shocked and excited and truly blown away by everyone’s thoughtfulness. Everyone she cares about is there, even the stars of Flipping Out – and that pleases me immensely because I’ve got myself quite the crush on Gage. (I know he’s gay. I also just know he would not sweat all over my pillowcases, so allow a girl a moment to fantasize, okay?) Anyway, at some point David leads Shannon away for yet another surprise, their vow renewal ceremony. Their kids are there to witness the next stage of their parents’ marriage and it’s all really lovely. I actually had tears in my eyes the entire time – but I’m officially blaming them on allergies because I don’t want to appear soft after using the word “cunt” nine times in this recap alone. What I will admit is how truly moving it is to see two people rebuild a relationship that was once broken almost beyond repair. This couple might be living proof that a reconciliation that once seemed impossible can be realized and, if not for that terrifying scene with Kelly and her mentor from the fiery depths of Hell, I’d probably sleep like a baby tonight.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at nellkalter.com Her Twitter is @nell_kalter