Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Season 16 Episode 14

This season of RHOC has been like a wave pool at a Vegas hotel. One minute you’re enjoying yourself in the company of old friends, the next minute, you’re wondering if the drunk woman next to you is responsible for the turd that is slowly floating its way towards you. This episode is definitely more of a Snickers bar in the water kind of episode. We have the end of Jen’s launch party; we have Gina’s skincare line CaraGala, which I swear I heard pronounced, spelled, and styled differently every time it is seen or uttered throughout the broadcast. Then there is the stale Ritz Cracker of a fight between Gina and Shannon. Ugh, put it all to rest.

But then the wave swells again as Gina and Emily have what I think is one of the best scenes in Real Housewives history. It all starts way back in Mexico when Gina, Emily, and Noella went to that sweat lodge and had some ceremonies with an indigenous shaman. Because Noella passed out in the middle of it, they never got to finish the ritual. Since then, Gina feels like she brought a ghost home with her like she’s Greg Brady with the bad luck amulet he found in Hawaii. Gina doesn’t want to say that she sees ghosts, but she fully sees ghosts, and she’s hallucinating like Noella when she was on an Ayahuasca trip to Tulum that Sweet James paid for.

I don’t know if I read too many comic books or I’m just a crazy loser, but I firmly believe this is happening. I believe that something was unlocked in Mexico, and Gina’s soul has been in goblin mode ever since she stepped off the plane. Like the good Italian Catholic girl that she is, Gina knows that this is not some bad mojo. She knows that this is a full-on demon. This is an agent of Satan himself and no amount of smudging, rose crystals, and chia puddings will drive it out of her. She calls Shauna, a psychic medium, to come and help cleanse her soul. I’m a little upset because Gina should know that the only person that Catholic Jesus allows to chase off demons is really old nuns who taught in a Catholic school. Get Sister Mary Dormity up in there with a full habit, a wooden cross around her neck, and a ruler, and she will smack Gina on the knuckles until that fiend runs right back to the infernal underworld from when he came.

Shauna is much gentler. She has Gina exhale and then pull out her breath like the demon is an invisible version of one of those scarves that a magician pulls out of his hat for an entire afternoon. We know that’s not what a demon looks like. A demon looks totally haggard and gnarly, like Andy Cohen coming home from Horse Meat Disco at six in the morning. Shaunna keeps pulling the phantom thread and then throwing it out of the window. In a confessional, Emily says, “I hope it’s not in my car. I parked across the street.” And just like that, Gina is cured and she says, “This contract is now ended,” and the demon is destroyed, like a whole box of Magnum bars in my freezer on a hot summer day.

This is such a wonderful scene because it is kooky, but Gina and Emily are taking it just seriously enough. Like I believe they believe it, but I also believe that they know that they are the stupidest Southern Californians alive for doing it. As Gina is getting the spirit sucked out of her mouth hole, Emily is cowering on the couch under a pillow. I couldn’t tell if she was laughing at this or hiding from whatever it was that was trapped in Gina’s aura. Is she afraid? Is she cringing?

The genius editors contrast this with an earlier scene where Noella sees her “teacher of conscious relationships.” That is not a job title. That is a SNL Weekend Update parody character played by Bowen Yang. This reminds me of the “mindset coach” that we saw on Selling Sunset Because both of them were peddling the kind of Ancient Grain wisdom Bowl for people who have a VIP membership to Fabletics. They talk a lot about manifesting and self-love and Noella letting go of the hurt her father caused her. I am genuinely sad for Noella that her father passed, and she still had some regrets about their relationship (or lack thereof), but just how sincere she took all of this is not what I want. I want Gina and Emily having an exorcism and clowning on it the whole time. I want Housewives to be fun again.

What is not fun is the fight that Gina and Shannon have at Jen’s party. Shannon says that Gina is arrogant, Gina says Shannon is pitiful, they go round and round, and Gina slouches out of the party with her friend Tatiana who wants to get cast on the show worse than Mr. Puppers wants to get out of Ryne’s clutches most of the day.

Gina says that Shannon wants to write “a hero story about herself,” which is the most astute thing anyone has ever said about Shannon. Gina’s illustration is how Shannon hooked her up with an attorney and now brings it up all the time that the attorney kept Gina from getting arrested. (To make it worse, when Gina’s mother meets Shannon, she thanks her for exactly that.) That’s what drives me crazy about Shannon, and it’s something that Heather picks up on too. Shannon tells her, “I am nothing but a supportive friend, and that’s it.” Shannon has to have everyone think she’s perfect. She has to have everyone think her relationship is the best, her man is the best, her business is booming, she is having so much fun that she peed her Spanx and then ate an edible. Or did she eat an edible and pee her Spanx?

Either way, Shannon can’t let herself look bad, which is detrimental to being on this show. This show is all about looking bad. It’s about messing up, being awful to your “friends,” and then apologizing for it. But Shannon can’t apologize. She can’t admit that she’s wrong. She can’t go through the insult, apologize, repeat cycle because she can’t ever admit that she insulted anyone and therefore won’t apologize and can’t repeat because she’s still stuck on something that Heather said about her when she first joined the show 18 trillion years ago. (2 trillion years for each lemon in the bowl.)

It looks like this fight will only worsen when the ladies go to Aspen. (I can’t believe RHOC went to Aspen, and RHOBH just filmed there, and Ramona Singer has never gotten to take a trip there even though she’s been lobbying Bravo for it for almost two decades.) I don’t care about Dr. Jen’s brain scans, but I care about it more than Gina’s skincare line, which has gotten practically no attention. I don’t even know what it is, how she’s marketing it, or why she’s qualified even to launch one. I would much rather watch a show called Gina and Emily: Ghost Huntresses because at least that gives my funny bone a supernatural tingle.

Leave a Comment