Author Note: Jesse Ferreras is the associate news editor for The Huffington Post British Columbia. He has never watched The Real Housewives of Vancouver before this season.
Do not read on unless you've seen The Real Housewives of Vancouver Season 2, Episode 4 (or if you don't mind spoilers).
Finally, things are getting good. Last week's edition of The Real Housewives of Vancouver saw Ronnie Negus and Amanda Hansen nearly come to blows at Yaletown's Blue Water Cafe.
Amanda spent the entire episode sassing nearly all the other housewives before Ronnie blew her top. She called her a "cantankerous bitch" in front of all of them. Battle lines were drawn as she, Robin, Mary and Ioulia left her alone with Jody, who's rapidly becoming Amanda's puppetmaster with a hand jabbed firmly up her toned ass.
We pick up this week with Amanda on her 34th birthday. She drags Jody and Robin on a trip to Ambleside Dermedics, a cosmetic clinic in West Vancouver. She's getting a "vampire facelift," which is exactly what it sounds like: a procedure that makes you look younger by injecting your own blood into your face. Amanda should take some advice from Lance Armstrong: taking out his blood and re-injecting it later did not do him much good in the end.
So with that out of the way...
Robin meets up with Mary and Ronnie at the Cactus Club Café on Kits Beach. Robin, now playing the role of intermediary between the two camps, is rightly mortified at what she's just seen. She shows Ronnie and Mary the video of the injection, although neither seem too perturbed. Ronnie, of course, looks to have endured a level of plastic surgery that would protect her face from a nuclear holocaust and Mary is on the verge of cat-eyes, so it's unlikely that this process surprises them.
Ronnie says she's going to have dinner with Amanda in an effort to patch things up from the Battle at the Blue Water ... not exactly the Battle of Actium, but epic within its own context.
The next segment shows Jody at home, gardening in a sombrero. In the course of her domestic tasks she has to say goodbye to her son Josh, who is readying to fly off to Ryerson University in Toronto. Jody, we learn, has a heart. It may pump sulphuric acid through her veins like the xenomorph from Alien, but it's a heart nonetheless.
Next we check in on Mary, who has invited Amanda for coffee at West Vancouver's Encore Coffee and Tea. It's a frosty reception. Amanda greets her with a look of death that shows the "vampire facelift" has done nothing for her complexion. She's pale white. Anyway, Mary tries to explain what's happened between her and Jody. Without having seen the last season, I can relay that Mary said Ronnie came between her and Jody and that she took the brunt of the gremlin's wrath. Mary nevertheless believes that Jody still has some good parts to her, and Amanda shows a modicum of intelligence when she wonders whether she's insane.
Then Mary, finally breaking the ice, hands Amanda a birthday gift from Principessa Beauty Inc. Amanda suddenly feels obligated to invite Mary to her birthday, knowing full well that Jody is going to be there. Mary annoys her further when she doesn't even accept the invitation. I'm getting bored just describing this exchange, so let's move on, shall we?
Robin, as you may recall, failed an audition to sing The Star-Spangled Banner at an equestrian event. This week she meets up with the woman who rejected her -- but it turns out she didn't, really. Robin learned via Mary that the organizers were looking at "other options," but she didn't properly relay the message that she hadn't been rejected outright. Instead, the organizers want her to do a duet with a younger singer. Robin is relieved, but she wonders why Mary didn't relay the information properly.
Next, Amanda and Ronnie meet for a peacemaking summit with an atmosphere as frosty as when Menachem Begin met Anwar Sadat at Camp David. The only real difference is that something got done at Camp David. Ronnie accuses Amanda of being oversensitive, and she counters that Ronnie is harsh. The two exchange displeasantries until Amanda says she wants a tattoo of a white snake. Somewhere inside this conversation the frost seems to lift between the two, and Amanda invites Ronnie to her birthday.
At this point in the episode I realize that we've seen everyone but Ioulia. I'm beginning to think she's ditched the thing, and I like her even more than I did last week. Then we pick up with Robin and Mary, who are off to Thunderbird Equestrian Show Park, where organizers of a grand prix event continually prove they have no courage because they can't just tell Robin she won't be singing.
As they practice their duet, I get an idea of what Arthur Dent felt like having to listen to Vogon poetry in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Their harmony clashes worse than Catherine O'Hara and Eugene Levy singing the Terrier Song in the movie Best in Show. Cole is a fine singer, but Robin continually struggles to hit the right notes, and in the end everyone but the organizers realizes that this collaboration is just not going to work. Robin, seriously girl, just let this one go.
Finally it's party time, and the housewives and their guests gear up to meet at Q4 in Kitsilano. Ioulia finally shows up as one of the guests, losing a small bit of respect from me when I learn she hasn't ditched the show. Amanda brings along her boyfriend Kyle from Seattle, and I just can't help noticing how much he looks like Paul Ryan. He, in turn, brings along his sister Kari, who brings her firefighter husband Troy.
Now, you'd think a firefighter might be a gentleman, but no. Kyle asks whether things will get crazy at dinner, and says that Troy can put out any fires. Troy's response? "I won't hit a bitch but I'll shake the shit outta one." Umm ... yeah, I don't want to see what happens when this guy tries to rescue a kitten out of a tree.
Mary, Ioulia and Robin head down together in a stretch limo and Robin is wearing a dress that hikes about halfway up her posterior when she sits down. Big credit is owed to the cameraman who captured a money shot of her hide when she climbed out of the limo. I feel validated when Mary says that she feels a "cold chill" whenever Jody and Mia enter a room. Seems my Lord of the Rings analogy from the season premiere was an appropriate one.
Jody brings Amanda a cake designed by Alexander McQueen. And just so you know, that stirring that you heard in the ground on the Isle of Skye was the late designer turning over in his grave. Jody, Mia and Mary prove early on that they simply can't be in a room together. Jody shows Robin an article reporting that Mary claims she was "robbed" of the Miss America title after being crowned Miss Ohio. Understandly, this deeply embarrasses Mary.
(Should I? Shouldn't I? Oh what the hell, the article's right here.)
The whole exchange proves that Mary can't keep up with Jody's cruelty. Mary's response is, "At least when I wore a tiara it was as Miss Ohio, you don't have a right to wear one." Jody then brings up an alleged 21-year-old boyfriend who plays for the Vancouver Canucks: "Story is around town that Mary's a bit of a puck bunny," she cackles.
(This proves the theory that soccer wives vastly outrank puck bunnies. The proof is in the formula: Victoria Beckham, Shakira, Melissa Satta > Carrie Underwood, Paulina Gretzky, Mary Zilba.)
Mary has plenty of potential retorts at this point. She could have said, "At least I dated a hockey player, you couldn't date a benchwarmer in the beer league!" Instead we're forced to watch as she responds to machine-gun fire with a cap gun. Here's some advice for you, Mary: you have to get dirty if you want to fight with the pigs.
Soon it's time to open gifts. Ioulia gets her a shawl designed, again, by Alexander McQueen. And the late designer turns to the other side of his grave. Jody gets her a tiara, Robin gets her a push-up bra, and Amanda fails to appreciate the gift's irony. The episode cuts mercifully short at this point, as the housewives continue bickering at the dinner table. And that's good, because I don't want to wait around to see Troy "shake a bitch."
You can watch Real Housewives Of Vancouver on Slice every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST/PST.
From L - R: Ronnie, Robin, Jody, Amanda, Mary, and Ioulia
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