At times,, the drama on can seem contrived and phoned in, but that was not the case with the now-defunct Barneys this season! We’ve watched their taut, barbed rope of a marriage unravel this season in an excruciating display of chauvinism and misplaced loyalties. The good thing for Tamra is that the rope that unraveled had been getting tighter and tighter around her neck, and now she will be able to breath a little, even if it is with Simon’s friend.
Thank God! Love her or hate her, as evidenced on the Television Without Pity boards, nearly everyone with a pulse was close to drawing a warm bath and slitting their wrists in Tamra Barney’s honor after watching this mess.
Simon Barney started from the beginning of the finale episode in top controlling form, whining that every single dress Tamra pulled from her closet wasn’t fit for a “married lady” and looked sl*ttish. When she finally settled on a formless black number that covered everything nun-style besides showing a bit of leg, Simon still wasn’t satisfied, but because he is so laid back and accommodating, he “let” his
ward wife wear something he considered to be fit for the street-corner.
(The dress in question is in the photo at the top of this post so you can judge for yourselves. In my opinion she looks a little sexy, but not in a trashy way. Her whole ensemble from the dress, to her jewelry, to her hair look fun and tasteful!)
After Dressgate 2010, the unhappy couple retreated to the limo, where the horror show really began. For a moment I thought I was watching an Ingmar Bergman miniseries. Witness the marital warfare for yourself:
Simon is clearly engaging in emotional abuse and warfare, and the kicker is that he’s complaining about Tamra going off to Housewives functions, which appear to be the only current source of income for their family! After weeks of biting her tongue on camera about the situation, kudos to Tamra for finally bringing it up. After Simon accuses her yet again of not being home with the kids because she was attending a Housewives event, Tamra spits back “Really? Well if you were working and making money, we wouldn’t be in the f**king situation. You’re an a$$hole, f**k you.”
Well put, Tamra.
When they get to the event, Simon goes into a kinder, yet still emotionally brutal “Oh let’s not fight, we would be happy if you just changed” mode. Tamra dries her tears long enough to walk in and find (perhaps sarcastically) nice things to say about some of the ridiculous things she finds inside, like Vicki’s exposed back and Alexis’ mom’s new face and goth-horror-show makeup. What Alexis has managed to do with her naturally beautiful mom who had a bangin’ body and was aging well is atrocious. All she really needed was some light makeup and a gallon of conditioner and she would’ve been fine, but now she’s walking around looking like a washed-up goth rocker dating a cheap lipstick salesman.
Jeana is also at the party, and is in top snarky form, suggesting that Lynne Curtin hasn’t yet arrived because she’s been at the wrong hotel for hours. Last year this barb might have seemed a little harsh, but after witnessing the reality of Lynne’s disaster parenting and money management, it didn’t seem completely undeserved. Some of Jeana’s other advice on marriage and parenting fell on the deaf ears of those aware she is divorced and her children hate her.
When Lynne and her husband Frank did finally roll into town, their teenage girls popped out of the limo lit like New Year’s Eve because they’d been drinking liquor like water on the ride over. They poured the devil’s sauce into their water bottles and guzzled it while Lynne claimed to be oblivious because they were “completely at the other end of the limo.” (As funny as that sounds, she may not be lying because her powers of obliviousness are of super-hero caliber!) The girls, Raquel and Alexa immediately demanded more alcohol from the bar, before clamoring loudly and falling on themselves at the party. Even Gretchen and Slade, who are usually not the epitome of decorum and grace, became disturbed by the situation and asked the Curtins to do something about their daughters. Lost-in-space Lynne and Frumpled Frank seemed completely paralyzed when both Slade and the hotel staff demanded parental action.
Raquel eventually stormed off, leaving Alexa inconsolable. Lynne, in a rare moment of trying to directly address the core issues of her children’s problems, sat down with Alexa and asked how to fix it. Alexa shot back with a bitter rejection of Lynne’s too-little-too-late gesture, and Lynne jumped right back into her normal state of bewilderment. Jeana and her daughter Kara arrived on the scene and Lynne was relived that other surrogate parents had at last arrived to relieve her of parental responsibility. Kara really did kind of help, with a much-needed upbeat pep talk laced with shreds of insight that Alexa shouldn’t let other people like her sister dictate how she felt about herself. She offered to help Alexa feel better by talking to a cute friend her brother brought, and Alexa traipsed off with her. It was a superficial fix, but there was something much different about that interaction than any Alexa has had captured for the show so far, including Gretchen’s little depression ambush. Kara seemed genuinely concerned about Alexa’s mood with no other agenda for herself. She listened, told her something to boost her confidence, and then offered a temporary solution, which is much more than her mother’s ever appeared to do for her.
Meanwhile, back in adultville, Tamra started bawling on Vicki’s shoulder about the sorry state of her marriage while Simon was across the room bragging about how great he and Tamra were getting along these days. Vicki tried to turn the situation back around on herself, but otherwise was a great comfort to Tamra, especially after that terrible blow-out in the car. Simon got wind that his wife was crying somewhere, and immediately headed over to tell her to stop. When he confronted her, she wouldn’t reveal the real reason she was crying, and then he summoned her over not to ask if she was okay, but to tell her to cut the tears asap.
Gretchen and Slade really seemed like two of the most sane people at the party. Gretchen had her hair done like she was getting married and showed up in a white dress while Slade wore a tuxedo-esque outfit, causing people to half-heartedly speculate if they had gotten engaged. Gretchen’s lipstick was intensely red, but looked pale in contract to Alexis’ mom Penelope’s face. At some point Gretchen talked to Lauri Waring, who sort-of not-really “dated” Slade a few seasons back, and Lauri was a little shocked that Gretchen is considering marrying him, but it really wasn’t much of a dust-up.
That’s about it! Now we can all sit back and wait for The Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion Show, where we will once again get to watch Andy Cohen risk getting whiplash as he tries to herd these alley cats and their spouses through two hours of fighting, screaming and crying beginning Wednesday, March 10th at 9 PM!