You know how Shannon Beador dressed up as Gina Kirschenheiter? For better or for worse, it was part of a costumed party.
On The Real Housewives of Orange County, this lighthearted get-together took a turn for the serious.
First, Shannon confronted Heather Dubrow over “concerns” about Shannon’s relationship. But this wasn’t really about Heather.
It ended with Shannon having a tearful, yelling meltdown — declaring that she has never been more in love. Despite their “fights that paralyze” her. And a whole lot of other stuff.
It all started off so fun and carefree. Mostly.
Okay, Shannon’s decision to dress as Gina’s most busted looks — from when her life was in shambles — was not a tasteful choice.
Some costumes were better. We loved Gina’s (the real Gina’s) booty when she dressed as Emily. Emily falling for real while dressed as Shannon was very on-the-nose.
It’s unclear why producers decided to prolong Vicki’s “Friend” role so much this season.
Either way, she used it as an opportunity to show off her keg stand skills.
Like we said, standard pre-drama shenanigans.
Even the initial “conflicts” were pretty friendly.
Tamra, dressed as Heather, decided to make it a little bawdier than Heather would have.
But there wasn’t real animosity. Not yet, anyway.
But inside, Emily Simpson and Gina Kirschenheiter compared notes.
Shannon has spoken to both of them about her relationship. But she has done this separately. There’s a lot of that going around, and people are starting to notice.
Interestingly, they have different perspectives on Heather’s role in this. Gina sees Heather as just another concerned friend. Emily seems to see her as stirring the pot.
As darkness falls, Shannon sits a short distance from the group, chatting with Heather.
She is now under the impression that Heather is spilling the beans of what she’s confided in her.
(Remember, Tamra has led Shannon to believe that people know what they know about her relationship issues from Heather)
But Heather Dubrow has no interest in taking the blame for this.
One, she resents the implication that she cannot keep a secret.
And second … it’s not a secret. Because Shannon has told a lot of things to a lot of Housewives.
At the table, Emily makes a similar point.
She knows that Shannon wants to talk with people one-on-one about all of this, but does not want it to become a topic of discussion.
But when everyone knows the same stuff … Emily describes it as a bit “unfair.”
To the confessional camera, Heather observes that Shannon seems to really focus upon who is saying what about her relationship.
Heather would rather see her focus upon the relationship itself.
She sees a lot of problems. And she’s far from alone.
But, during her own confessional, Shannon cannot stop raving about John Janssen.
She praises his treatment of her and her daughters. According to her, this is the most she’s loved someone, and the best relationship of her life.
Considering everything that we heard later in the episode … that is so profoundly sad.
Simply put, Heather says, she has voiced concerns.
She’s not spreading information, just her opinions about the relationship as a whole. And the people to whom she’s speaking already know — because Shannon has spoken to them, too.
Back at the table, Tamra is quietly asking people if Heather has spoken to them.
She’s not being loud. But she’s also not being subtle.
Heather picks up instantly on the whispering that’s going on.
As Heather asks Tamra what she’s whispering about, the two conversations merge.
Not everyone is on the same page, however.
But the crux of it all is that everyone is talking about Shannon’s relationship. And that’s a nightmare for her.
As far as Shannon is concerned, this conversation is just a “rat feeding frenzy.”
Speaking frankly, she clearly feels extremely insecure in her relationship.
If her fear is that mere talk about the romance is going to kill it, it’s dying anyway.
Standing up, a furious Shannon tells everyone — but especially Gina, it seems — “You owe my boyfriend a huge f–king apology.”
For … discussing their relationship?
John Janssen may be a private man, but … that’s not Gina’s fault. Or Heather’s or Tamra’s or Emily’s.
But Gina wants to point out two things.
First, that Shannon has discussed other people’s relationships the entire dang time. She’s being a hypocrite.
And second, that everyone — including Heather — is just expressing their concern. Worrying is just that.
At this point, Shannon has had enough.
She just about crab-walks away as she grows increasingly irate.
And friends like Emily and Tamra following her to try to console her doesn’t help.
The veins and tendons showing on her neck, Shannon hisses that “this is my LIFE!”
Emily is trying to console and reassure her.
But it’s just not working.
Given that she’s not exactly masterminding a takedown, Heather asks why this is all about her.
When Tamra confronts Heather, believing that Heather is blaming Tamra, Heather tells her that it’s untrue.
As a rewind illustrates, Heather simply told Shannon that “all of these girls” were discussing her relationship. Which is true. Heather didn’t single out Tamra.
Shannon seems to think that she has only spoken to Emily about her relationship issues once, years ago.
Emily tells her that they have had many conversations about John. Emily has heard more than enough directly from Shannon.
To the confessional camera, at first, Emily just shares that John doesn’t seem fully invested and that Shannon can do better.
Heather gets more specific, noting many things — like that he’s apparently never stayed over — as red flags.
And later, Emily tells the camera that John has insulted Shannon, calling her “fat” as an insult. Dealbreaker stuff that Shannon has seemingly chosen to ignore.
At this point, Shannon is completely losing it.
Emily cannot calm her. Vicki cannot calm her.
She’s admonishing castmates and producers alike that none of this can be the on-screen topic of discussion. (Girl, then don’t have a meltdown about it)
But Shannon doesn’t think that she’s having a meltdown.
Insisting that she’s “not a crazy person,” Shannon tells anyone who will listen that she and John simply have “normal fights.”
No. They are not normal or healthy, by the sound of it.
Inside, Emily and Heather talk things out a little. And Gina comes to mediate.
They again talk about how Shannon worries that John will leave her when hears about any of this.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Emily said, Shannon deserves better.