Last night was the season finale of American Sun Fart, and boy was it a doozy. A corker! A real ho-down showdown. Tears were shed, insults were hurled, and drinks were thrown into people's big stupid faces. Let's recap!
Oh where to begin. Where ever to being? Oh, well, we'll get to the big news. You might remember that at the end of the last episode, Vicki was having poop/blood problems, namely she was pooping blood, and so she got rushed (off camera) to the hospital and everyone was scared. Well, Tamra was scared, Alexis and Gretchen were kind of upset that Vicki couldn't make it to Alexis's big fashion show. "Vicki can't poop blood while Alexis poops dresses! She should have waited to poop blood until Alexis was done pooping her dresses." Something like that. Well anyway, it turns out that Vicki really was having bad problems. She had five ulcers in her colon. Oh... Uh... That's it? Just five ulcers, in your colon? That's nothing, that's... Jesus Christ, you need to calm down Vicki!! You have five ulcers in your colon? Five?? That's a lot of ulcers I feel like! I don't know much about ulcers, but I feel like one ulcer is a lot to deal with, let alone five, in your colon. Vicki told us that it was all stress related and that she knows she needs to get a handle on it or it will kill her. Too bad then that Vicki is getting divorced. Yup, off camera she filed the papers and now Donn won't talk to her and she can't stop crying. Poor, poor bloody-pooped Vicki. Five ulcers. Good grief.
So the fact that Vicki was really sick ought to make Gretchen and Alexis feel bad, right? Eh, not really. Gretchen lamely told us that she went to visit Vicki in the hospital when she found out that she was, in fact, having her backdoor bloody show, and Vicki was all [shrugs] about that. Then Alexis explained to us that when she heard Vicki was sick she called her at home and was like "I hear you're sick" and then Alexis told us that Vicki apologized a bunch of times for missing the fashion show, and Alexis said "And I mean, how can you be mad at that?" Wait, Alexis, you were considering being mad about it? Like maybe all the way until Vicki apologized "many times" to you for missing your stupid horrible fashion show for stupid horrible people, hosted by you, a stupid horrible person? Oh great. "Alexis, I'm sorry I missed the launch of JesusDick™ Crotchless Panties by Alexis, but I was having my arm amputated because of bone cancer." "Hm... I guess if you apologize a few more times I'll really have nothing to be mad about." Way to go, Alexis! Absolutely way to go.
Alexis was kind of a hit parade of awfulness last night. After her whole stupid Vicki thing, there were a couple scenes where she was getting ready for Vicki's big end-of-season party (more on that later, obvs) and ohhh boy was Alexis gross. First her little dukeling of a kept gay came over to help her dress and there was the usual sad flouncing. I don't understand why all these young men — all the ladies seem to have at least one of these creatures — get themselves involved in these strange, tilted "friendships." I mean, I do. Hello, TV cameras. They're all clearly hoping for some Brad Goreski-type ascent to fame, desperately wishing to become America's next lisp-hissing fashion dictator. I get that. But is that really worth glomming on to the likes of Alexis, who thinks that you're great and sassy and all that when you're helping her pick out what satin mini-toga to wear to parties, but actively and vocally thinks that you're eventually going to rotate on a spit, and not the good kind, for all eternity in hell, the poison gases of Earth Jesus Jim's acid farts raining down upon you from sweet ham-bliss heaven? I do not think it is worth hanging out with someone like that, no matter the reward. But that's just me.
After Alexis had lashed an orange piece of toga satin around herself, she paraded downstairs to meet the friends she was bringing to Vicki's party. "Look how hot my friends are!!" she exclaimed, which I guess is nice enough. "Seriously I was like 'I'm only inviting my hot friends,' and I went down the list, checking you guys off." OK, OK. Settle down, Alexis. The initial compliment went over well, you don't need to then make it some terrible thing where everyone feels uncomfortable that you "jokingly" judge your friends by hotness. Simmah down nah, Alexis. (It's still 1998 and that joke is still funny, right?) Feeling the adrenalin of saying awful things coursing through her, Alexis then started to talk to us, the viewers at home, about Vicki's divorce. She smugly said that clearly two of the ladies on the show are getting dibborced right now, so they're formula for marriage doesn't work, but Alexis isn't getting divorced (yet yet yet, ohhh yet) so she wins. And this, she described to us, is the problem with how "liberal" America has gotten these days. See women want to be CEOs and the President and so that's why divorce. Yup. That's the leap. That's the leap these festering idiots always make. Some general social "ill" is occurring and blah blah things we don't approve of. Ipso facto, therefore, henceforth, etc, amen. That's it.
Anyway, Alexis thinks that women being too ambitious is what gets them divorced, but that's not her. No, she wants to be her husband's "baby" and be "cherished" by him. Ew. Baby? Ew. But yeah, that's why she and Jim are doing so strong, because she lets him ultimately make decisions because he's the man and she "came from my husband's rib." No no no, that's not right. Maybe one time your husband came on some ribs. I think that's maybe what you're thinking of? That might be it? (Ew, sorry.) Or maybe it's just that beautiful Jim is made of spare ribs? Whatever it is, you did not come from Jim's rib, Alexis. That's something from a storybook that people who lived a long, long time ago made up to try to explain simple biology. Don't stress about the rib thing! Oh and, 'Lexy? You may think you're pulling one over on us, but you're not. It is painfully obvious to all of us, to every single one of us, that all this religious mumbojumbo is just a sad flailing attempt to justify to us and to yourself that you've tied yourself up with a nasty misogynist prick who treats you like property. You know it, we know it, so can it with the moralizing please. Own your choice! Yes, you are married to a sentient, breathing sack of sour mustard and fried clams! Embrace the suck! Just live with it. Please don't justify your shitty, miserable marriage by telling all women that they're doing things wrong. That's how sociopaths do things, Alexis. They reframe the entire world to fit their own psychology. You don't want to be a sociopath, do you Alexis? I don't think so.
Anyway, beautiful Jim said he wasn't going to go to Vicki's party, because he doesn't like to be around people who don't like him. Oh gosh, really? That's going to suck to have to move to a cabin in the middle of the woods for the rest of his life. But, like he said, he doesn't want to be around people who don't like him, which is namely the entire population of the globe, so... I guess it's the cabin. Or Antarctica. Or the middle of the Gobi desert. Nuts. I guess Alexis will come with. Though, uh, and this is awkward, not the kids. Yeah... sorry. The kids don't, well... Well you know. Bye, Jim!
Who else! Who else was coming to the pahhhty? Obviously Tamra. Tamra is still all incensed about Jeana Keough saying nasty things about her in the press, so she's decided to serve Jeana with a Cease & Desist letter at the party. Of course at the party. Because it's the last episode of the season so this is her last chance to do it on camera! And that's really all that matters. Tamra's hired actor boyfriend Eddie — who I suspect is doing this show in the hopes that he'll be named the next Bachelor, wouldn't that totally make sense? — cooed at her and tried to soothe her and calm her down about seeing Jeana and everyone, and it was a sad scene. Tamra there, knowing in the back of her head that this guy isn't even a good actor, that he can't even say some pat meaningless sentiment correctly, but hugging him still, drinking champagne with him anyway, because what can you do? What can you really do?
Gretchen was coming to the party as well and in an earlier scene she just sorta justified her business with Slade saying that she likes Slade and that's that, haters be damned, and I believe we cleared this up last episode: If a rich old great uncle I didn't even know I had died and left me, for some reason, his vast fortune of shits, so I suddenly have literally millions of shits, more shits than any one man knows what to do with, and Bravo asked me to give one single shit about Gretchen and Slade, just one measly shit, I couldn't give it. I could not give one raggedy shit. My great uncle's will stated that I'm free to give the shits to whomever and whatever I please, and yet I couldn't. Not to Gretchen and Slade's relationship. There is just no way that I could give a shit. Honestly. Please fire both of them. No one cares about Gretchen's stupid Bootay line (watching people hawk stupid products is not fun, Bravo), and Slade is a puffy loser who's just depressing to watch. Either get married or stop talking altogether and disappear forever, guys. We're done with this storyline. Seriously. No more. I'm going to go count my shits and though there are many, you still get not even one.
THAT'S THAT. Time for the parrrtyyyy! Vicki had planned the party before her divorce and she wasn't about the cancel it now, even though she totally could have and everyone would have understood, but secretly Vicki wanted everyone at her house, she wanted to be all teary and brave with a sad non-secret, she wanted people fussing and fretting over her. So of course of course the party was going to go on. This was Vicki's true moment to shine, to be dramatic and felt bad for and really just the teary star of the personal/public drama she's long wanted to be the center of. I feel like if some reality TV producer approached her and said "Would you want to do a whole reality series that's simply you staring pensively off into the distance while mournful, meaningless voice-over that you record plays over it?" she would pass out from excitement and commit to ten seasons. That's really, really what Vicki wants. So the party was perfect for her.
She was upstairs being all sad (and, look, I don't doubt that she's genuinely sad about Donn, I'm sure it really is a hard thing, but the element of theatricality in all of her misery was too glaring to ignore) and couldn't stop crying and meanwhile her guests were all downstairs milling about, wondering where she was. So Tamra went upstairs to check on her and Vicki blubbed a lot and said "I miss Donn, I do miss him" and Tamra said "I miss Simon too, but not enough to take him back. I mean, you only get one shot at life, just one, and I'm not going to waste it with someone I don't love." Well done, Tamra! It was dramatic and oddly thoughtful and even a little existential, and it was a nice curious quiet moment in this otherwise loud and stupid episode.
To prepare the party for Vicki's entrance, Tamra went downstairs and warned Peggy that people should know not to talk about Donn. Now, when Tamra said that, I think she meant like "Subtly indicate to the people that you're talking to, you know the ones you're friends with maybe, to just sorta lay off the Donn talk today." That's what a normal person would have taken from Tamra's instructions. But Peggy is not a normal person. Peggy is, and I didn't think this possible, actually dumber than Alexis, so she started walking around to everyone saying "EVERYONE, ATTENTION, ATTENTION, DON'T TALK ABOUT DONN. EVERYONE EVERYONE, LISTEN TO ME, DO NOT TALK TO VICKI ABOUT DONN AT THIS PARTY." I mean she went up to basically every guest at the party and yelled this to them. It was so tremendously embarrassing for her and for everyone. Peggy is the festering worst. When she wasn't screaming into a megaphone about being polite and not mentioning Donn, she was trying to act all buddy-buddy with people while also trying to stir stuff up for sweet, sweet camera time.
Mostly she walked up to Alexis and engaged in a fight with her, bringing up the terrible, deep tragedy of Lipgate. Do you remember where you were when you first heard about Lipgate? (Just a wild guess: You were on your couch watching Real Housewives a few weeks ago.) Lipgate was when in some limo Alexis said "Your lips are bigger than mine" to Peggy, who has had her lips surgically made bigger. Peggy was deeply, gravely offended by this heinous thing, and she wanted to get to the bottom of why, why God why, Alexis had said it. Really this was about a general feeling that Peggy has that Alexis is always putting her down and competing with her. Which is true, but Peggy is doing that same thing back to Alexis, so they are both two terrible idiots eating each other's tails like the dumbest ouroboros you've ever seen. They went back and forth fighting about this idiocy for a time, everyone else clearing outta there lest they go deaf from stupidity, and it was just gross. Peggy is so gross, clacking away about nothing with her monster features. It's a rare thing that can make Alexis sympathetic, but I was on Alexis's side on this one. Alexis kept saying "You've changed, I don't know why you've changed." You don't, Alexis? You don't remember when Peggy started being on a TV show this year? Remember that? Obviously Peggy has gotten terribly comfortable being on camera and now wants to be a STAR. A star is born in a dank crumbling castle and the midwife shrieks and shrieks and shrieks and says "It is of the Devil, we must burn it, burn it!" but the dark lord of the castle silences the midwife and takes the mewling, taloned child in his arms and knows that the witch was right, that this dark entity will grow fierce and (falsely) powerful, he grins and says "Peggy... Its name is Peggy," and lightning streaks the sky and the horses in the stables whinny and whine. A star is that.
Finally Vicki was carried downstairs on her bed made of tears and everyone cooed over her, including Tamra's actor boyfriend, who tried to act all sensitive and There For Her. Eddie, can it. No one's buying it. Go back to sadly auditioning again and again for the Thunder From Down Under and leave all these people alone. (Earlier, disgustingly, Peggy had been terribly flirting with Eddie, because she is gross and also stupid, too stupid to realize that Eddie is only there for Eddie.) Other people comforted Vicki and she liked this, really loved everyone turning and quietly staring as she entered, really liked hearing the hush of the crowd and the softening of voices. Ohhh she wished it was like this every time she walked into a room! Oh she felt so special and cared for! She wanted to stick her thumb in her mouth and say "Goo goo gaga" and suddenly it would be the early '60s again and she'd be a baby and she could do it all over again, she could do it without all the big, dark, mysterious hurt, that looming unnamed pain that ruined her long ago that she will not talk to us about. But, sadly, that's impossible, physics and time and biology being what they are, we do only get one shot, so this pity party would have to do.
And things were actually going quite swimmingly, until. Until Peggy, crazed now with Camera Madness, staggered up to Jeana, who she did not really seem to know, and said, interrupting a conversation, out of nowhere, "I'm pretty good friends with Tamra now and I don't know why you're saying these things." Peggy was trying to act the mediator on this, even though she barely knows either of them. Peggy, who invited you? Seriously, who invited you? Just go on home now. Go on. Take that little pudgy manling you came with, Micah, take him home with you. You go on and git now, Peggy. Nobody invited you and you're scaring the guests. Jeana acted cool and breezy in response, or did at least until Tamra came stomping over, courage screwed up, eyes fixed and coal burning, and started in on Jeana about various things. Jeana did that infuriating "I am talking calmly. You are the one who is crazy" calm voice thing that is so maddening, all the while saying that she doesn't believe Tamra's claims of abuse (I didn't know that we knew there were claims of physical abuse? Did we know that?), which is a somewhat shitty thing to say out loud in public in front of random people. This made Tamra angrier and angrier so she eventually shoved the letter in Jeana's face and yelled "This is a Cyst and Deceased letter from my lawyer!" She really did yell that! It was fun. Jeana was trying to be all calm but Tamra was raging now, so Jeana said "I will throw you in the pool so fast...." and then Tamra just up and threw a dang drink right in Jeana's dang face. Right into her eye! Yiiiiiiiikes!
A low shriek-wave rippled through the crowd and heads started turning. Jeana retaliated by throwing a full glass at Tamra, who got out of the way, so the thing went splashing onto one of Alexis's random friends. The random friend started spitting and squealing and threw a drink back at Jeana and then ran up and pushed her into the bar, Jeana staggering and reeling, and all hell broke loose. Screams and grunts and yells rang out through the backyard, Jeana storming away with her gay attendant, who kept turning around and hurling pathetic insults at the raging ladies. Tamra chased Jeana to the driveway and yelled more things, about how Jeana is a terrible person and is going to hell, and yes she probably is Tamra, but what about you? What about you?? Back in the backyard, Vicki's daughter was rolling her eyes and saying charming things like "I'm in my twenties and even my friend don't do this. This is ridiculous." (How did that girl survive? How did she become so normal and well-adjusted? It boggles the mind, honestly.) Meanwhile the dumb lady who got caught in the drink crossfire was now raging with Quinn of all people, yes Quinn from seasons ago was back wearing a white wig and looking very much like an old Caroline Rhea in a traveling stage production of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. So those two eighth-tier characters were fighting and the principal players were all trying to get calm and composed again, and eventually the sound died down and everyone breathed and relaxed a bit and the piano music started again and the party was a party again. A summer squall, quick in and quick out, only a few casualties. (Namely drinks, precious precious drinks.)
There was some recapping of the drink throwing for those who missed it (Tamra's story changed from "Jeana threatened to throw me in the pool" to "Jeana tried to throw me in the pool" very quickly, like a one-person game of Telephone), Jeana returned home and tearily called Simon to inform him that his ex-wife is crazy, Quinn lay facedown in the middle of the street but no one bothered to check on her, and Peggy and Alexis stood coolly apart, pretty much done with each other. Gretchen went up to Tamra and asked what had happened and they seemed sorta friendly for a moment, but then Gretchen said, correctly I may add, that hey maybe Tamra now knows what it's like to have people saying nasty things about you in the press, and the point was mostly lost on Tamra, or at least she pretended it was lost, and amidst all this Vicki walked up and said "Hey what's all this drama, this is supposed to be my divorce party." Aha! You're caught, Vicki! You're caught! This was a party all about your elegant sadness after all, wasn't it? That's fine. At least you accidentally admitted it. Accidentally admitting something is about as close to honesty and apology and clarity as these women ever get, so we'll have to take it.
And then of course there were updates. Meaningless stupid updates about Gretchen being spotted shopping for but not buying a wedding dress. About Alexis curling up next to her rancid brisket of a husband and letting the sun creak dimly and old-fashionedly around the Earth. About Vicki soldiering on. About Peggy not talking to Alexis and enrolling Micah in the third grade. ("Do you have a Lambumginny car? I have a Lambumginny car, so ha.") And about Tamra, moving on with divorce, swooning along plasticly with Eddie. All of them just churning and churning and churning on in this sun-soaked roundelay.
You only get one shot at this! Is what Tamra said. One shot! We are noise and a jumble of electricity and, if we're lucky, a little bit of light, and then we are gone. And this is how these women, these particular five ladies, have chosen to spend it. Camera-glinting this. They all posed for a picture at the party, the traditional wistful end-of-RHOC music playing, all of them standing there in their horrible bright dresses (well, Vicki in dark for mourning), a dull party listlessly swirling around them. They only get one shot! But then there was the photographer, taking snap after snap after snap. Maybe, they all thought just then, maybe they could cheat this somehow, maybe they could get all the shots they needed. Maybe they'd somehow figured something out, discovered the secret. Maybe they were winning, maybe this sour taste, the one eddying around in their mouths, maybe it was the taste of victory.
Or maybe it was the fruity drinks the bartender had made. And maybe it was just a camera and some lights and some dresses and pretty soon it would all be gone. There'd be only echoes, a faraway shattering of glass, the faint phantom billow of a loose dress. That's all. Just the sway of the palm trees, the dim midnight blue of the sky. And somewhere the ocean, forever tearing the land away, raging on for eternity. Louder and bigger than these ladies could ever hope to be.