Before we begin, if I may: at a dinner party last week, a friend of mine was telling me how much she enjoys my Real Housewives of Dallas recaps. Always nice to hear. And painful. “You know,” she said, “those recaps could lead to a writing job.” Yes, I suppose that is possible. Maybe one day I will have a writing job. Perhaps this recap of Episode 6, titled “Locken Loaded,” will impress someone enough to give me a job that entails writing.
The show opens in Stephanie’s house, where she and her husband, Travis, are having a disagreement about redecorating their son’s room. Basically the gist of disagreement is that Travis does not think Stephanie can handle the task, even with the help of the two decorators who have been hired to help her. Stephanie thinks she can handle it. In her confessional (I’ve learned that’s what they are called), she says, “I love Travis. I really, really do. And I adore the bracelet he gave me for my anniversary. But the one gift I really wish he’d give me is just to trust me.” I hate to nitpick, but I think the possessive pronoun she wanted there was “our.” “I adore the bracelet he gave me for our anniversary.” I’m sure this is a meaningless grammatical slip-up and not a clear window to Stephanie’s soul, which has been rotted by self-centeredness.
Over to Brandi’s house. To the strains of sensitive piano music, we see her in yoga pants, readying herself for the day. In her confessional, she talks about how she’s still pissed about her husband Bryan’s showing up late to the reunion with her long-lost grandfather. “I’ve honestly never felt more alone in my marriage,” she says. “I feel that Bryan’s not giving me and our family the attention that we deserve. And I don’t know how to deal with it anymore.” My suggestion: put on as much makeup as your face will accommodate, go on TV, and tell strangers about it.
To Marie’s house, where Brandi allows the Bravo cameras to show her from behind, in yoga pants, ringing the doorbell. Not since Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus has America seen such a brave woman. Marie answers the door wearing the sartorial antithesis of Brandi’s outfit. It’s a flouncy yellow skirt paired with a fuchsia blouse and pair of 6-inch heels. She tells Brandi that her 10-year-old daughter, Sophia, just got home from school. So it’s maybe 4 o’clock? Who dresses like this on a weekday afternoon while waiting for a woman who shows up in yoga pants? I’ll tell you who: someone who is overcompensating for not having been chosen as an official cast member of a reality TV show.
Then something bizarre happens. Brandi, the former Cowboys Cheerleader, proceeds to give Sophia another slut lesson — sorry, dance lesson — like she did in Episode 2. Only this time she does it on a marble floor, in a hallway. With no music. It is sad and awkward. In the Park Cities, it is considered child abuse.
Cut to LeeAnne’s. Rich messes with their dog on the couch. Behind the couch sits a treadmill. This, too, is sad and awkward. I’m worried that LeeAnne and Rich might need to move to East Dallas. LeeAnne tells her boyfriend about Marie texting nasty stuff about her to Tiffany. Rich tells her: “You let stuff bother you too much. A lot of stuff can get taken out of context.” If they had let Rich run this show, it would have been over before it started, and I would have kissed him. He makes way too much sense.
Back to Marie’s. Brandi has finished shaking her ass all over Marie’s marble hallway with Marie’s 10-year-old daughter, and now she wants to talk. Brandi says, “I know LeeAnne could benefit from therapy.” In a confessional, Marie says, “I love LeeAnne. She’s been a valuable partner with me in the Charityworld for almost 20 years now, but her behavior was totally crazy.” Brandi complains that LeeAnne wants her to address LeeAnne as an elder. Marie tells Brandi, “You know, LeeAnne and I are very close in age, and I would greatly appreciate you not addressing me as your elder.” They share a genuine laugh. Somewhere in the house, Marie’s daughter is cutting herself.
Commercials. We have a moment to consider that last joke and whether it was appropriate. We agree it was not appropriate.
Now we see Cary and Mark shopping at Stanley Korshak. Cary needs some new clothes because Mark is going to photograph her and use the images to update the website that promotes their plastic surgery business. Cary says in a confessional: “The image of our practice is definitely tied to the potential of getting clients.” Stop right now! Go back and reread that sentence. It’s a koan. Meditate on that phrase long enough, and it will bring you enlightenment. And maybe even breast implants.
Back to Stephanie’s house. She and Brandi sit on the floor in little Chance’s redecorated room. There are two poufs, one blue and one gray. Brandi says, “I’m loving these blue balls.” Which produces lots of laughter, even though, again, there is but one blue ball. Brandi is undeterred and continues with her standup routine while sitting on the floor. She riffs on aging and balls turning gray and gray pubes, the fear of which keeps her dedicated to waxing. She compares pubes to dental floss. Stephanie laughs the laugh that launched a thousand ships. Now the captains of those ships scuttle their vessels and drown their crews, because that’s the only fail-safe way to escape Stephanie’s laugh.
Then Brandi does something really mean. In a confessional, she says, “There are two amazing things about Bryan that every woman wants in a man. For one, he’s been known to chew off his toenails. [laughing] No. 2 is that he likes to pick his nose. That’s like the man of your dreams.” If you were feeling more alone than ever in your marriage, would you put on that much makeup and go on TV and tell people that your husband chews his toenails and picks his nose? SMDH.
Speaking of initialisms, Brandi continues to riff on her husband, telling Stephanie about the toenail thing, hypothesizing that that’s why Bryan was late to the reunion with her grandfather. They literally ROTF and LOL. Imagine if Carrot Top came out on stage and, before he even produced the first prop from his trunk, you laughed so hard that you lost control of your bowels. Such is the degree to which these two women over-laugh in response to material that is not in the least bit funny.
Then it gets real serious, and Stephanie suggests that Brandi go on date night with Bryan so that they can heal their marriage on TV.
Back to LeeAnne’s house. She and Tiffany are headed to Marie’s house to clear the air. Tiffany has printed out the texts about LeeAnne that she’s been receiving from Marie. Here is one of them: “She is spirituality/emotionally about 14 and we can’t do anything about that and it is not what she’s been …” That’s all of the text you could read on the screen. Presumably autocorrect is to blame for the “spirituality” thing. LeeAnne in a confessional: “My reputation in the Charityworld is too important for me not to know what’s going on.”
Cut to Marie’s circular drive. LeeAnne and Tiffany pull up in LeeAnne’s aging Mercedes. They get out, stand in front of the car, hold hands, and pray. Here is Tiffany’s prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, we just ask that You give us resolution and peace. Give LeeAnne strength right now. We give You all the glory. Amen.” LeeAnne tells the confessional camera: “If God is showing us these text messages because He’s trying to alert us that someone is trying to damage our relationship, then we need to pray that we are able to see what He wants us to see.” I’ve taken the liberty of capitalizing all the pronouns for God, because I know the girls would want it that way. But to be clear: God has nothing to do with this. It’s not like Marie texted Brandi and those texts miraculously showed up on a piece of LeeAnne’s toast, like an image of the Virgin Mary. No, no. Marie texted Tiffany, and then Tiffany — not God — showed those texts to LeeAnne.
Marie answers her door with a coat hanger stapled to her head. The three ladies repair to a couch. Little Sophia is in the kitchen, plowing her way through an entire gallon of chocolate ice cream, doing whatever she can to make the hurt go away. Tiffany produces the printed texts from her purse. LeeAnne reads some. She starts off in a fake calm voice, like a truly crazy person, as she tells Marie about the cocktail party she stormed out of.
“Do you know why I left, Marie?” she asks. “Do you, do you know why I walked out, in the poor manner that I did?” She’s calm but her word choice belies the fact that the gears are starting to slip. “Do you know why I walked out?” Marie says it was because LeeAnne felt threatened. “Nope. I wasn’t threatened,” LeeAnne says. “That bitch doesn’t scare the fuck out of me. I was about to fucking lose it.” Now the dramatic strings music builds. LeeAnne ups her intensity. “I am so tired of her being so mean and so evil to me for no reason. By the time I got in the cab, do you know that the cabbie” — now trying really hard to cry — “didn’t even charge me for my cab ride because I couldn’t catch my breath?” But she can’t cry so instead she gets really angry and starts yelling. “And I’m not having a fucking mental breakdown! I’m pissed as hell!” Pause. “I’m so mad.”
Then, inexplicably, it’s over. Marie doesn’t yell back. There’s no resolution. No one wins the argument. They just end the scene. You know how there are times when you have sex and everything gets all crazy for a few minutes, and maybe you even use foul language? And then it’s over, and you go get a glass of water or whatever, and you pretend that nothing just happened and you’re not really a filthy, rutting animal? That’s kind of what happens here.
Marie says, “I appreciate you being open.” Tiffany and LeeAnne leave.
Cut to Cary and Mark, who are at a friend’s apartment for the photo shoot. Cary takes her top off, which, of course, I paused and took a picture of. But I’m not going to show you her blurry nipples, because right at that moment, Bravo put up a graphic at the bottom of the screen to promote a show called Shahs of Sunset, knowing that people like me all over the country, people who hope one day to have writing jobs, would pause the show and take a picture of topless Cary and inadvertently promote some other dumb show. Not this guy.
Instead I’m going to show you this picture of Cary at the photo shoot:
Cut to Brandi’s house, where she talks about raising Brooklyn and Brinkley without Bryan’s help. As she calls Bryan to set up date night, she lets Brinkley squat barefooted on the countertop where she’s making dinner, which is gross.
Something happens with the samurai statues in front of Stephanie’s house. It’s boring.
Cary and Mark review the photos he took of his wife. She says in a confessional, “I’m really not looking forward to seeing my 40-year-old ass.” (Yes, she is.) Staring at a computer monitor, she complains about looking “freckle-y” and “not tan.” She says in a confessional: “Mark doesn’t photoshop any of the pictures of me. Like seriously? Can we get some photoshop up in this shit?” Humblebrag alert. Mark asks his wife, “What’s wrong with you? Why do you not realize how perfect you are?” She answers, “I don’t love me as much as you love me,” and laughs and slaps his leg. Then they kiss and tell each other that they love each other.
I think Cary and Mark are the perfect couple. He’s a plastic surgeon who is way into women’s clothes. She’s a woman who’s way into her looks. Yes, this is her third marriage. But as long as Mark’s hands are steady enough to hold a scalpel, they will live happily ever after.
Cut to a flyover of downtown. There’s the D Magazine building!
Over to Stephanie’s house, where the room redecoration is revealed to Travis. He calls his son “dude” about a dozen times. Featured prominently is a locker from Hollman, the world’s largest manufacturer of wood and laminate lockers. Travis is pleased. He puts one of his sons in the locker’s drawer and shuts it.
Are you ready?! It’s time for date night. Bryan and Brandi leave Brooklyn and Brinkley with their babysitter, Bristol. I’m kidding! Their sitter’s name isn’t Bristol. It’s Alejandra!
The couple goes to Texas de Brazil, which is empty save for their table because date night has to happen at about 3 o’clock to accommodate the Bravo cameras. They order martinis. Brandi proceeds to tell Bryan how distant she feels and how he’s not reciprocating and how she’s not getting enough attention and so on and so forth. She peppers every sentence with seven “like”s. Bryan looks aggressively disinterested, rolling his eyes, not even bothering to sit facing her. But I find it hard to blame him.
Finally, after Brandi says something about having an issue, Bryan stabs himself in the thigh with an EpiPen, wakes up, and says, “An issue that I don’t give you enough attention?” Brandi says, “Yeah.” And then Bryan says, “Seriously?” in such a dismissive fashion that even the Texas de Brazil staff, as they prepare for the dinner service that won’t begin for another three hours, is shocked.
When we return, Bryan says, “I feel like I give you all the attention, and you always say I don’t give you any attention.” Please read her following response carefully. I had to rewind probably 10 times to transcribe this accurately. She says: “I want everything that we do to be together. Like, I want, like, I want us to, like, have opportunities with the girls together? And just share those moments more? Everything is just so, such a separation, you know? Like, sometimes I just want it to be more together. You know?”
I believe Brandi was 36 when this scene was taped. What 36-year-old talks like this? On the one hand, I feel for her. She wants what we all want, to be loved. To feel connected to another human in this journey we call life. To have a husband in the house who will tell his daughter, “Get off the counter with your bare feet, you feral child.” But on the other hand, she’s insufferable. All the martinis and carved meat in the world couldn’t keep me seated at, like, a table with her.
And so it happens with Bryan. He grows even more visibly annoyed.
“Did I do something wrong?” she asks.
“Yeah,” he says.
“Tell me what I did.” Dramatic music builds. He won’t answer. She wrinkles up her face and whispers with subtitles, “I don’t understand you.”
She starts to cry.
“Are you going to cry?” he says bitterly. “Seriously? Wow. I didn’t see that coming.” Then he says, “Dude,” drops his napkin, and leaves the table. “I’ve had enough. I’m done.”
Bryan comes across as a callous jerk. Brandi shows herself to be a twit. Texas de Brazil looks deserted and unpopular. Everybody loses here. Well, everybody but us. Because if it hasn’t happened already, someone will surely turn this into a GIF: