Previously: Kameron and that blasted pink dog food. Stephanie and her new house is not a home. D'Andra and Mama Dee. Cary and Dr. Sniper, er, Deuber. Brandi and Stephanie reconcile, and Brandi says she had a miscarriage. The Two Faces of LeeAnne (aka Stephanie).
Opening credits. These taglines just get cheesier as the season drags on. Writer's note: I must point out that I'm doing this labor of, well, labor on Labor Day.
"I'm scared of fish."
Travis and Stephanie are checking out their newly won-at-auction house. (We checked; they are the owners of record. Because ... journalists.) Travis says they can definitely keep koi in the fountains out front.
Designer Amanda shows up with an inflatable black swan pool float. I like her already. That's my kind of sense of humor right there.
The inflatable serves two purposes: It matches Ziggy, the real black swan that came with the place. And it helps Travis navigate the pool in the living room. I keep thinking that Ziggy lays golden eggs or something, because for $5 mil, I'd better get more than him as a perk.
From the sounds of all the reconstruction the couple wants done, they just want to keep the skeleton of the house. That's a lot of changing around to put on top of the original investment. Of course, Stephanie told Amanda that money is no object, that "there's no budget."
Travis, after saying she's being a pain in his you know what, tries to speak up about that, saying, "I'm the one making the money, so ..."
Steph puts a pin in that: "I get equal say."
Girl, y'all need to talk. He already reminded you that you're good with a mop after you questioned who was going to clean up the mess from the pool. He's saying a lot more here than just jokes.
Travis is quick to give that look, even though he starts talking about installing a glass elevator.
Anyway, Stephanie notes that the best part about the house is that Queen Heidi Dillon lives across the street. Travis seems less than impressed.
"Baby fever in a major way."
Brandi and her husband Bryan, seemingly more affable this season than last, visit Dr. Holt, Brandi's OB/GYN.
Brandi says that she wants a baby (this, after telling Stephanie in last week's episode that she and Bryan just don't talk about it). She tells the doctor that she had a mommy makeover. She's crying as she tells the doctor about her miscarriage and that she blames herself for getting the mommy makeover.
Brandi says she was warned after the makeover that if she were to get pregnant, it could be hard for the baby to be carried to term because there might not be enough room for it to grow.
The doctor reassures her, as good doctors do. Brandi says she's scared.
"Wait, wait, I'm talking."
LeeAnne and D'Andra meet at Saint Ann Restaurant and Bar. Do you notice that LeeAnne is always waiting on the other person? Just thoughts ...
D'Andra is proud of the progress LeeAnne has made cleaning up her "tarnished reputation" after the first season of Real Housewives of Dallas supposedly did so much damage to it. Her Bravotation is up, though, so there's that.
But LeeAnne's stunt at Stephanie's Halloween party does not sit well with D'Andra. At. All.
D'Andra gets right to it: "You cannot do this stuff and be a motivational speaker."
"You have to be positive ... wait, wait, I'm talking. You cannot go to somebody's home, dress up as them, make fun of them and then go write an inspirational quote on your Facebook page."
Come on, now. Bring it!
"It doesn't work that way."
D'Andra doesn't let up in confession: "I've been friends with LeeAnne for years. So I'm not afraid to give her crap right to her face." Heh. She's the only one of the crew like that on this show.
LeeAnne takes that but changes the subject, saying she thinks Stephanie is a social climber. We see in a throwaway scene from last weeks' episode that Kameron won the costume contest at Stephanie's party because she was everything the hostess "wanted to be." A pink princess? Well, OK.
(Cary was everything I wanted to be, but ... hey, now!)
LeeAnne explains her theory by saying that now that Stephanie has this house on this private drive that she's stepped her game up to enter the Dallas social scene on a more equal footing.
D'Andra speaks for all of us: "Oh. My. God." And then D'Andra gives some advice: "What you have to do is reconcile your behavior with who you want to be." Sister, you'd better sing that song!
LeeAnne confesses: "D'Andra's right ... but you know, I'm still gone be me."
D'Andra, still speaking for everyone: "Cut the crap."
"Two against one isn't fair."
Brandi is on the floor with Brinkley and Brooklyn. Seven-year-old Brinkley is giving her the business, using Brandi as a jungle gym or a gymnastics apparatus as Brandi calls her grandfather.
This is the formerly estranged grandfather we met last season. He had a stroke and Brandi is checking on him to let him know that they're coming to Memphis for a visit.
"I sparkle, honey."
Girl, me, too. Like the T-shirt says, "Glitter is my favorite color." I digress.
We swoop over Dallas with the camera and swoop into the annual PositiviTea Luncheon at the Westin. The luncheon benefits women with HIV.
LeeAnne's grateful that they asked her back to be the keynote speaker.
"That anger that they saw was just one facet on my diamond," she says.
Queen Heidi introduces her as her "dear friend" and the "heart of the South," though the self-named "Mouth of the South" is "not wrong." I love D'Andra's face during all of this. Her eyes are distant, as if she's thinking of a long vacation far, far away. But her mouth is pursed, as if she knows exactly where she is.
LeeAnne speaks. Everyone is bowled over. One woman's hand is on her heart the entire time. LeeAnne joins the congratulatory trio of Brandi, Kameron and D'Andra and invites Queen Heidi over. (It's almost as if LeeAnne is uncomfortable with positive attention from her friends. Discuss.)
What better way to stir any pot than by inviting the queen pot stirrer to join the coven?
LeeAnne points out Heidi's shoes -- remember to watch Brandi's face here -- which prompts Kameron to baby talk that Heidi always has a "statement piece" and then she starts baby talking about dressing her dog in Cavalli or some such (I'll admit I spaced out here).
I spaced out because I was too busy laughing at Brandi's face. Girl, you'd better not ever play poker. Brandi went from rolling her eyes to clear disdain for the whole scene.
Brandi confesses about her hatred for some of the activity at the Dallas charity events: "It's just a bunch of women trying to one-up each other talking about material things and I'm eyeing the exit but I don't want to be rude to LeeAnne."
Honey, your cue to leave was when LeeAnne essentially changed the subject by inviting Heidi over. You missed your chance. Remember, when you point a finger, there are three more pointing back at you...
Brandi makes a lame joke and Kameron jumps in to ask how she comes up with that stuff.
Kameron confesses: "I've gone out of my way to be nice to Brandi." Then she says that Brandi's eyes get squinty (pretty sure that's the heavy eyeliner). "She, like, analyzes me."
Y'all, this is where my popcorn came out. For the first time in the history of this franchise, I forgot this was a job, recapping this for y'all. Ish just got real! I put that poison pen down and just watched!
Brandi is unleashed. I don't know whether it was the trouble she has seen or the blues she's finally felt or her time away from Stephanie, but ole girl is on it. I think this alter ego deserves a name, much like Beyonce has Sasha Fierce and I have Taquanda.
For now, I'm just going to call her "Brand New." Anyway ...
Heidi brings up Stephanie and Travis buying the house, dissing Travis by not even knowing his name or trying to recall it. Brandi notes in confession that it was awkward that LeeAnne knows they have this new house and she doesn't.
As Steph said, that's what happens when you don't talk with someone for four months. I cannot spot the lie.
Heidi and LeeAnne agree that the house is just a money pit built on a marsh. LeeAnne even calls it a "sinkhole."
Brand New in confession and in full force: "LeeAnne. Here she is ... She's given this amazing speech. She's been motivating. And all of a sudden, she's talking [actual bleep] about somebody buying a freaking home! Like, really?! That's one thing that bothers me about LeeAnne."
One thing, Brand New? Girl, take a deep breath and tell us how you really feel. Brand New is so done with all of them.
In the circle, Brandi mentions that Stephanie did say that she wanted to live closer in than Las Colinas. LeeAnne pounces in to say that Stephanie wants so badly to be part of Dallas society. We get a flashback to Brandi confessing from last season that she worried that Stephanie worried about what others thought of her.
They all agree that "you have to live in the ZIP code" to be part of Dallas society. Whatever, man.
"The '90s called and they want your office space back."
D'Andra goes to work.
She wants her ideas for her mother's company to be implemented now so Ultimate Living will be around 20 years from now. Her problem? "Nobody knows who's really ... pulling the reins here. It's time for me to take over. And hopefully, it's not when she's pushing up daisies."
D'Andra is tired of the attitude she gets from the company employees when she asks them to do something. She says, "I've had my gut full of the eye rolling and the hair flipping." Lordt, honey, you're on the wrong show.
Mama Dee: Employees have to respect you.
Now, I read that as that they don't. Or maybe she doesn't. Mama Dee just wants to be relevant and her giving you complete control will not let her be that.
"You gotta protect the leather."
Kameron and Cary meet at Tacos and Tequila.
Kameron owns something that's not pink. She forgot her umbrella, but not her rain coat for her Birkin.
The viewers are treated to a back and forth between this meeting and one in which Brandi and Stephanie meet for a "first date." They order shots of tequila and neither of them can take it "all at once." What a difference a year makes!
Kameron: "If I'm gone in Cabo too long, like, I feel guilt." The editors are not helping viewers like (empathize with?) Kameron very much, are they? Cary feels the mom guilt, too, which is why she's focusing more on her baby girl this year than her duties at the office.
After Brandi tells Stephanie that her new house was the subject at the charity event, Stephanie says that she's not social climbing, she wants to live by the children's school. Ah, Stephanie, you and Brandi are hiding things from each other.
I mean, you didn't want this house at all. So, are you lying to Travis or to Brandi? Both things can't be true. Can they? Even I'm confused at this point, and I'm an impartial observer.
I'm all Jimmy Carter up in this piece.
Kameron: "I barely know Brandi but I haven't seen any social grace from her. At all. Yet."
Girl, Brandi does not owe you anything. And why should you care? She recognizes fakery when she sees it, and you recognize derision when you see it. Y'all play too much. A friend of a friend does not have to be your friend. Sigh.
Plus, we all know why Brandi seems to be studying you. She's working on her impression, which we learn in the next scene, is already pretty darn good.
At least it's good enough to get a good laugh out of Stephanie. I laugh, too. It's pretty good to be a work in progress.
Plus, Kameron, like I said, she knows what you're thinking and now saying: "She's more simple than I am."
"What a dumb question. Everything's new."
D'Andra has decided she's going to have "the talk" with her mom. Her husband gives her a go get 'em, as husbands should I guess. We're at 3131 Turtle Creek.
Nobody can put someone in their place as quickly as Mama Dee. She and my mother would get along great. She admires D'Andra's jacket and asks if it's new, and then answers her own question.
And she answers D'Andra's question, too. Mama Dee isn't satisfied that D'Andra can manage money. She has worked too hard, with little education and nothing more than her bootstraps to build this company. She is afraid D'Andra might lose the company so she wants to set her up correctly.
"This house is like Chateau Shut the [Expletive] Up."
Stephanie confesses: "It's like old times, like us against the world. I snatched her from LeeAnne."
Brandi, I have three words of advice for you: Move to Alaska.
Stephanie says that LeeAnne will always be in the neighborhood because Queen Heidi lives around the way. Brandi says she has a rule that LeeAnne is not allowed in her home because you never know what's going to come out of her mouth. She's thinking of the children.
The two decide to prank call Heidi. But they're nervous about it. I'll bet they are. Heidi's flying monkeys stay at go and now they can just walk across the way and snatch some wigs. Word to casting agents:
Brandi needs a voice-over gig right now. I love this prank call voice she's using on Heidi, who does not have time for it.
The person on the other end of the line hangs up. Our dynamic duo is back. They shrug.
"I appreciate your opinion."
The mothers in our crew come to Cary's house for the little one's birthday party, much bigger than last year's solitary affair but not half as cute.
Zuri's surprise this year consists of ponies and a lemur, which Brandi calls a monkey.
Anyway, all seems to be going fine until Brandi invites Cary and Stephanie to go with her to Tennessee. They are way too happy, jumping up and down as if they just won the grand prize on Price is Right. (Producers, your slips are showing.)
Kameron, who is standing right there, says, "Don't worry. It's not awkward at all that you give them gifts in front of my like this." Blah, blah, blah, etiquette.
One thing I appreciate about Kameron and D'Andra. When they have a bone to pick with someone, they whip out that toothpick and go to work right then and there.
To Brandi's credit, she did apologize as she was handing the gifts of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire to the other women. She told Kameron that she was sorry she didn't have one for her. And why be angry about an invitation that you would decline anyway?
Oh, reality TV. I wish I could quit you.
Brandi's face says WTF. Her mouth says, "I appreciate your opinion."
Brandi confesses: "She should probably take an etiquette lesson herself."
Next time: Brandi, Cary and Stephanie invade Tennessee; let's hope Tennessee does not take this as a sign of aggression from Texas. LeeAnne, D'Andra and Kameron ... talk?