In this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Lizzie has a lackluster birthday. Heather and Tamra decide it’s time for a girls’-only getaway. Heather throws a racy Valentine’s Day party. And Vicki warns Lizzie about Tamra.

Mean Girls

Vicki and Tamra meet for a walk and talk. Tamra is feeling very poor, poor pitiful me. What better way to make yourself feel better than determine that somebody’s else’s life is a bigger mess than your own. Enter Shannon.

Tamra brings up Shannon’s dinner party meltdown, and Vicki points out that all the ladies have had their own “moment” (roll film). Vicki also calls Tamra out for being a “flip flopper” and going back and forth between Shannon and Heather all night. Vicki thinks Tamra and Heather (in particular) are just being middle-aged mean girls. Vicki believes that all the ladies should be supporting Shannon as she fights to hold her marriage together.

You Say It’s Your Birthday

Lizzie is turning the big 34, and she’s planning a small get-together in LA to celebrate. You would think after her disastrous dinner party, she’d roll with a different crowd for her birthday. Shannon has already bailed, citing poor health. Lizzie hopes she’ll change her mind and come, especially since Heather is going to Vegas and won’t be in attendance. Lizzie is determined to reach out to Shannon, blaming her emotional volatility on not knowing who or what to believe. Lizzie thinks Shannon is just desperately looking for someone to trust. I don’t think Shannon has the stones to be a Housewife. All these women are cutthroat bitches. If they weren’t, who would watch?

Lizzie and her husband, who definitely needs to comb his hair, board a party bus and wait for the other guests to arrive. Shannon decides to remain in hiding, and Tamra begs off at the last minute, using the sick kid excuse. All hope is not lost. Vicki and Brooks show up, so the party (lame as it is) can get started.

Lizzie’s husband thanks Brooks and Vicki for attending their dinner party and the couple agrees it was a nice event. Really?

Lizzie tells Vicki she feels bad that Lizzie lost her sh*t, and Vicki replies that Brooks heard Tamra say that Shannon “needed help.” Always Shannon’s champion, Vicki defends Shannon and feels the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Beador is just simply pissed off and fed up with all the lies. Then Vicki spills the beans that Terry did indeed tell Tamra he was going to “take down” the Beadors. What is this, a Scorsese movie? And why is Vicki coming clean now instead of at the dinner party? She could have helped Shannon save some face. Vicki claims to be scared of Tamra, so maybe that’s why she always talks about the woman behind her back. It’s not as if this isn’t being caught on film or anything.

Lizzie is starting to question Tamra’s character, especially since she’s being warned about her by one of her supposed closest friends. Looks like we’re gearing up for a Tamra/Lizzie showdown.

Lizzie is bummed that she has to sit at a huge table, reminding her that she has no friends. Don’t be as boring as white paint and maybe people will want to hang with you more.

The Tamra bashing continues as Lizzie makes it clear that she heard some not-so-flattering comments about Brooks from Tamra. Vicki is still holding a grudge that Tamra shared her concerns about Brooks with Briana. Vicki is convinced that Tamra filled her daughter’s head with lies about Brooks and is responsible for the fact that Briana and Brooks have yet to bond.

All of a sudden, Vicki proclaims that she doesn’t want to throw Tamra under the bus, but that she wants Lizzie and her husband to know what Tamra has done to her. You can back the bus up, Vicki, but the damage is already done.

Vicki feels it’s her responsibility to warn Lizzie that being friends with Tamra means getting hurt.

While Lizzie declares this birthday her worst ever, Vicki’s glad she came and has definitely done a turnaround when it comes to the buxom swimsuit designer.

Bali Beware

Tamra and Heather are both feeling the need for a girls’ getaway. Tamra still hasn’t gone on her honeymoon, and Dr. Dubrow can’t make time for a 15th wedding anniversary trip with his wife. They decide to ditch the guys, head to Bali and make their own fun. They call Vicki, who insists that they include Shannon. Heather’s not on board with traveling to paradise with someone who could conceivably push her out of the plane. Tamra suggests inviting Lizzie and her friend Danielle, the brunette who has been peripherally present all season, and then invite Shannon. One caveat: she has to promise not to throw any hissy fits.

Shannon isn’t the only ticking time bomb. It turns out that Vicki made a snide comment before boarding the bus the night of Lizzie’s birthday dinner. She said she couldn’t believe she had to hang out with dumb and dumber. Lizzie’s friend Danielle is livid, but Lizzie is used to making allowances for Vicki, so what’s one more? She’s just thankful somebody showed up at her blah birthday bash, and she desperately wants to get along with the insurance mogul. Why this wasn’t shown when it occurred is odd. It’s hard to believe Lizzie could get past such a catty comment and still spend the evening with Vicki and Brooks.

Did You Say Anal?

Heather decides to throw a Valentine’s Day soiree. Whoever isn’t in attendance always gets talked about, so now, it’s Vicki’s turn. Shannon tells Tamra that Vicki told her that she didn’t want to come to her party. Although Heather admires Lizzie’s directness in general, the hostess is not thrilled with Lizzie’s timing in this particular instance.

Lizzie isn’t so much chapped off over the fact that Tamra didn’t show. Her problem is that Tamra didn’t bother to let her know until after she’d been sitting in the limo for an hour. The whole controversy kind of peters out right there. Whether it will emerge again in Bali remains to be seen. How Lizzie can call out Tamra for an etiquette infraction but let Vicki get away with her bad behavior is strange.

The group sits down to dinner and talk turns to the ladies’ upcoming vacation. Terry asks what they plan to do if they invite Shannon, and she breaks. Lizzie thinks that if this pilgrimage turns out to be Eat, Pray, Love in nature, Shannon might have a breakthrough as opposed to a breakdown.

Heather channels NeNe Leakes and prepares a game that involves each guest to answer questions about relationships, sex and whatnot. This results in Lizzie and Tamra screaming across the table at each other, asking if the other does anal. This party is a big hit, and it’s one of the few times you can actually see the women enjoying each other.

A Peace Offering

Heather and Tamra decide to meet with Shannon to lay out the terms for her to join them in Bali. Shannon doesn’t have to face the firing squad alone; she’s got Vicki for support. Shannon arrives, and after some small talk, Heather starts blathering on about the women coming to a healthy place and “find their salvation.”

Shannon is fairly sedate, and says she’s not sure how they got to the place they are currently in, but she’d like to see some positive change as well. This earns her a golden ticket, which is an invite on the trip. Shannon takes this as an olive branch. Let’s hope she doesn’t get pricked.

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays at 9pm on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.