Look, in the sky! The clouds are parting and a heavenly ray of sunshine is screaming down towards Earth. It is the holy light of the Housewives, our most pious and delicate and wonderful and, occasionally, homeless creatures.

Last night's episode was all about faith. Faith in God, faith in family, faith in Merv Griffin. I mean, when you think of the phrase "Real Housewives" you immediately go to the word "faith." Well, actually, first you go to "ham salad," but right after that, it's all about faith. These women just exude piety and beautifulness. And they breed it, too. I think we all feel a little more of God's love in our hearts whenever they are near. Or not. I don't know.

WHEN LAST WE LEFT, all of the Wivery Wives were gathered in Sam Flamenco, a beautiful rocky city full of degenerate old Europeans, because their friend Cynthia Swann had thrown herself off the Golden Gate Bridge and they had to fish the body out before the pelicans ate it. They were a little late because Vicki had to stop and get her face re-skewered, so the pelicans had already done a number on her. Vicki stood there in her waders and big yellow fisherman's hat, staring at the beak-mangled body of Stockard Channing, and she said "Hey, who wants lunch?" So it was off to lunch!

Lunch for these ladies is mostly just sitting around and bitching (another brilliant zinnggggerrrr...) There is so much to bitch about. Their husbands aren't rich enough, their girls aren't pretty enough, their boys aren't in and out of jail for stupid misdemeanors enough. These are what my grandmother, Stockard Channing, used to call "high class problems." (Hurling yourself off a bridge in California while wearing a 1989 Talbot's suit is also something of a high class problem, but I guess Grandma Channing didn't really care about that.) Mostly though, the ladies like to bitch about each other. And these days their favorite target is Vicki. Because, see, Vicki threatens them. Vicki makes her own money and her husband hasn't implanted a Warren Jeffs-designed microchip in her brain that triggers her pain receptors every time she has an independent thought. They don't trust that, they don't like it, and when they are lying in bed at night, listening to the house and their hearts settle, they are jealous of it. Plus, Vicki's kinda a bitch. So, they attack her.

Reeoowwrrrr!, they go, flashing their orange talons at her. Galllloooooooooo!, Vicki goes, scared as a water buffalo, jabbing her horns at them to protect herself. They struggle like this for some time until Vicki stomps away. Vicki always stomps away. When she was giving birth to Briana it hurt so much she just took off her girl parts and stomped away. "No, I'm not doing that anymore, I don't need to sit here and take that." Have you ever seen someone stomp out of a restaurant? I think I maybe have once, but maybe not. Anyway, it's not a common occurrence. Unless you're on this show, and then it happens every time you have a meal. So all the ladies weren't surprised, but the producers had taped a $100 bill to the back of Vicki's dress in the hopes that at least one of the girls would go out and follow her and try to get her back. It worked! Greedy Gretchen bounded out first and squeezed Vicki's shoulders and told her that everything was OK, especially with Alexis.

Alexis had been the main lunchtime antagonizer, because she really doesn't like it when Vicki tells her things about how to do things. And then Alexis has the gall to act like she's better friends with Tamara than Vicki is and Vicki doesn't like that, so they just bicker like two old sea snakes while Gretchen replays Baby's Day Out in her head and Tamara quietly enjoys being fought over. Yeah, that had been the big restaurant brawl and Vicki stormed out and Gretchen followed and then so too did Alexis. They stood on the curb and the Rice-A-Roni trolleys rolled on by and the men on rollerblades pointed and said "Look, Gideon" and "I know, I see it, Lance" and high above them all the pelicans fixed their horrid black beady eyes on the scene and waited. But, sadly for them, there was no bloodshed. A dribbling Vicki agreed to go back in, even if Alexis is a total bee's natch.

Back inside the girls sat down and then there was a loud sound of a conch shell being blown and a shattering of dishes and Lynne came tumbling out of a large vase. "What's goin' on," she asked lazily, her voice the timbre of waffle batter. "I was in the bathroom..." Ha. Hahahah. Ha. Lynne was just in the bathroom, missed the whole damn fight. God I love that batty bitch. She's just such a wackadoo. "I was playing cat's cradle with myself. What'd I miss..."

Briana, Vicki's maybe-sick daughter was there and was trying to mediate and felt awful and yelled at all the women and they were shamed by someone half their age. As means to a peace offering, Alexis decided to lay hands on everyone and say a Jesus prayer to Space Jesus so Briana wouldn't get sick anymore. The prayer was... fantastic. It went something like this:

"Dear Space Jesus, in your name we trust, heavenly Father. For you are our Father and Uncle Art is in heaven, and you are our leader, Shepherd, please lead us and father us, Father, because blessed be the Space in which you are Jesus, Space Jesus, and you guide us every day, Guider, because you live in Space and wear a big brown wig, and please don't let Briana be sick, and may all of our boobs be forever perky and beautiful, and please Father, look down upon us and make this crab salad have a little less salt in it, and tell the waiter we'd like some lemons for our water, Heavenly Father, in all that I've done wrong, I must have done something right to deserve your love every morning and butterfly kisses at night, ohhhh butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer, sticking little white flowers all up in my hair, dear Heavenly Jesus Father In Space, please fix Briana's broken leg or whatever her illness is, and in conclusion please bless Jim, O Terrestrial Earth Jesus that he is, for teaching me to love the Gospel of the Sex Basement with all my heart, every anguished wail that comes roaring up from that dank dark place is going straight up to you, dear Space Father."

When the ethereal light had died down and Alexis' hair had stopped billowing in a strange holy breeze, all the girls unclasped their hands and they looked at her and they knew that she was a holywoman, a true shaman. A priestess of the highest religious order. And they knew, with sudden supernatural force, that they had all been instilled with a deep, religious, sexual lust for the leathery fireplace bellows made animate by the Holy Spirit that is Jim. It is how he spreads his love seed. Our God is an awesome God indeed.

NEXXXXT. Next Lynne. Oh Lynne. She sputtered by in her jalopy autogyro made of paper towel tubes and the dried husks of stink-beetles and finally alit on the roof of her soon to be not-house. Yes the Swam Manchego trip was over and it was back to stupid old Orange County, a place where problems grow like weeds. The problem is this: Her hubby, named Hubby, didn't pay her automo bills, didn't pay her telephone bills and, most importantly, he didn't pay their rental bills. And he lied about it, because trying to discuss numbers and money with Lynne is like trying to describe the plot of The Manchurian Candidate to a pile of flan. So he feels like she should have done more and she feels like he should have just kept doing everything forever and so they are fighting and so Lynne isn't staying with him anymore. As an even worse punishment, Lynne took the two gorgeous, precious daughters with her. Oh what torment!!! To be away from the sonorous and lovely Alex and her sister, Miguel Ferrer. He just couldn't take it. He missed them so. To get them back, he summoned them to the crumbling Eviction House and presented them with a plan.

So they're broke, right? They ain't got no funds, no cash, no dough, no doughlars, no simoleons, no spacebucks, no clams, no bones, no millionaires' matches. Straight nerfin. And what's the best thing to do when you're in such a fiduciary pickle? Take the whole family on a vacation! Seriously. In the saddest and most telling and just like... sigh... economic moment of this economically-tinged season, Hubby said with stupid, blurry, teary American Cheesehead optimism: "You know what? Let's take a trip. C'mon. We haven't been on a trip together in ages."

And isn't that just the saddest thing you ever heard? Just the most wonderful, O Beautiful For Spacious Falling Skies thing that anyone facing eviction could ever say to their dumb, overly tanned family. Let's go on a fun trip. Meanwhile the housing authority is breaking down the door and the kids are being taken away and, oh biscuits, the dog is dead and Lynne has wandered into the air ducts again and is rattling around up there. But sure. Let's go to Atlantis.


What else. What else. Oh. Um, Tamra and Simon went to dinner. They went to sexy romantic dinner and I'm told via email that there was some issue occurring with Simon's toes and that's all I know about that. When you're itching to get through an episode of Real Housewives so you can go watch Olympics, you miss some things.

Here's something I didn't miss: Gretchen and Doug Smiley are in lurrrrve. Or they are in TV love. Whatever it is, it involves meeting the folks. Obviously, because of his age, Doug's parents have long since passed. But Gretchen's parents are still bravely soldiering on in their early 40s, those feisty old coots. Gretch and Doug met them at a big house in the middle of the desert that they were renting. You know whose house it used to be? Merv Griffin's. Yes. Merv Griffin. Why... Oh, forget it. It's not worth asking. Just go with it. Gretchen and Doug rented Merv Griffin's house so Doug could meet her parents, as is custom in California. It's not the best tradition though. As it was Merv Griffin's house, confused rent boys kept showing up for their "three o'clock" and Doug kept wondering why all the chairs had these weird things sticking up from the middle. "It's like you're... supposed to sit on it or something..."

Basically Gretchen's dad thinks Doug is a fine guy, even though he is not a fine guy with children he never sees and no job and he calls himself "Slade." But, he does like to ride bikes fast, so he's a winner in papa Rossi's eyes. Mom does not care for him, sees right through him like that nice glass rolling pin she found in Merv's bedside drawer. The Rossis both seemed like normal people, which pretty much always seems to be the case on this show. Most of the moms and dads are just regular folks who seem a bit, or a lot, out of place in this faux-fabulous world of horrors. I feel bad for them. I'm sure they feel bad for themselves. Being the parent of a Real Housewife must mean a lot of Thursday nights spent crying yourself to sleep.

Doug kept dropping hints that he was going to propose, because his and Grechen's is a special kind of love in which he enjoys being on TV with her and sometimes putting his penis into her fagina. That's a really rare sort of passion there. So he basically told Dad that he wants to propose and Dad's like "The fuck do I care? Do you think she'd be on this TV show if I managed my daughter's life for her? Enn Ohh my friend. Ennnn Oh." But just as he was about to pop the biggest, juiciest question since he proposed to Jo all those several years ago, Gretchen went on some drunken tirade about how marriage is horrible and awful and should be a "lease" because a playa's gotta play and freedom ain't free and you're not gonna pay a lot for a muffler and other hackneyed catchphrases about relationships. Doug looked crestfallen. He frowned his face and farted with his eyes and Gretchen's mom cackled and screeched and laughed and laughed and laughed into the night, the sound shooting up into the satin sky like wails from a holy Sex Basement.

Speaking of that Sex Basement, over at Alexis and Jim's temple they were having the preacher and his wife over for dinner. No it wasn't Courtney B. Vance and some shivering crackhead. It was actual religious people. You know, white people. They were a square little pair (with dark brown hair and they live in a lair and the wife uses Nair and the husband loves Fred Astaire and her sexual cupboards are bare and life isn't fair) from some Southern part of the electric-cord bible belt and Alexis really wanted to impress them with her healthy, sunshiny California Christianness. This meant presenting a beautiful dish full of various granolas ("This one has raisins, this one does not have raisins. This one is considering having raisins but it feels it's a big step, and this one voted for a constitutional amendment banning raisins. I like that one best.") and slops of yogurts and fresh squeezed tequila worm juice. The pastor and his sharp-featured wife were all tight smiles and nervous shoulders. Clearly they were uncomfortable in front of the cameras. So mostly it was Alexis who did the talking. See this juggy fuck is so wrapped up in her stupid self image that all she can really do is think and talk about how things relate to her. What does Christianity look like when framed by her? What does friendship mean when she is one of the friends? Etc. Etc. It's awful.

So the pastor listened and nodded his head and eventually the quiet wife swallowed a bunch of pills and was dead and the conversation meandered to where Alexis had wanted it to meander all along: Why are women jealous of Alexis? Ohhhhhh why are they jealous of her big fake tits and her tunafish-belching husband and her three little angels who are all ready ruined. It's not Alexis's fault that she's perfect. Plus, God wanted her to get new boobs. At least that's what Earth Jesus told her, and she believes him unconditionally. Alexis is just a good Christian woman, she believes in good Christian things. Christian this and Christian that. She has a Christian dog and a Christian spatula. She takes Christian poops and finds Christian schadenfreude in watching other women fail. Christian, Christian, Christian. You know what Alexis? Your man Christian's a cake boy. If there really was a real magical space angel named Jesus Christ who lived a million years ago (there was not), I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want you using his hippie philosophy as a fucking business card, you hack. You wanna be religious, fine. But don't fucking brag about being a grown ass adult who believes in magic. That is the height of frustration for me. That is my letter to a Christian nation. Hey Christian Nation, kindly shut the hell up. Nobody else wants to listen to you drone on smugly about your myth cycle. Show don't tell, please.

You know what guys? I'm gonna have to end this thing here. No lame poetics or anything today, because I am hungover as a mother and it's my boss's last day and he's letting us post anything, so I don't want to spend all my time writing a boring old recap. I LOVE YOU GUYS. Not like Christian love. Like real love. Like Doug and Gretchen love.

OK, that's it. Goodbye goodbye goodbye. Have great weekends. Have fun at church. Have fun not going to church. Just have fun. And be safe. Girls, if you're at a bar this weekend and some man who looks like a walking version of the heap of triceratops poop that Ellie Sattler digs through in Jurassic Park sidles up to you and starts slurring about God and his sex basement, you run. You just run and run and run and never look back. Just make sure you're heading east. Nothing good lies west. Nothing but a hot sandy place full of lost souls. Which, come to think of it, sounds a lot like hell.

UPDATE: I totally forgot that there was this part where Breastuhses and her Pizza the Hut go to a fancy dinner and she asked for "Surf & Turf" and thought it was lobster, but then Pizza the Hut was like "you thought there was lobster in that, do you even know what you're ordering? huh huh huh" in his steak-filled voice, trying to embarrass her. And Tits just smiled and thought about other things while Pizza sat there chuckling horribly, Big Mac special sauce pouring out every orifice, the waiter quietly crying and wishing he'd never broken up with Darren and left Pittsburgh.