Previously: LeeAnne Locken takes a bite out of Cary Deuber and Stephanie Hollman. Brandi Redmond sighs a lot because her husband is going away. We almost start crying, too, but for other reasons.
Brandi is always in the kitchen, and those plates actually look good. She cuddles with a little one and they talk about the dog. Of course, Brandi finishes the conversation with "and then she pooped on the stairs." I get it. When you're a mother of two little ones and they're your constant companions, you might think about poop all day, too. How to clean it, who to blame it on, keeping close tabs on bowel movements, etc. But if you're on TV, that's the equivalent of being in mixed company. I wrote all that to write this: Stop. It.
Brandi talks about the pets -- dogs Whisper and one that doesn't really have a name but she calls it Sugar Butt -- and a rabbit named Playboy. Original. And she tells us something we knew before she even said it, that Bryan has nothing to do with any of them.
Bryan is home, though, and the entire family is at the breakfast bar. While brushing 6-year-old Brooklyn's hair, Brandi tells Bryan that Stephanie wants them to go with her to Coweta (her hometown in Oklahoma for those of you who they lost in Episode 1, "Everything's Bigger in Texas"). Bryan says the bunny scratched him on his lip. The girls argue about which one of them dropped Playboy on Bryan's face -- there's a series of words I didn't think I'd ever type -- and Brandi passive-aggressives that "they don't care what they have to do to get Bryan's attention; they'll drop the bunny on his face."
Bryan sounds less than enthused, but a little interested, when he finds out that Stephanie, Brandi and the children are all going to drive in one car. Me, too.
That three minutes and 45 seconds quite possibly was the longest in the history of the history of television.
Here comes a swoop and there's a woman walking while wearing a big old Cowboy hat and talking into the speaker on her cellphone.
The camera stops on LeeAnne, looking city chic to the most, driving and talking.
She POVs and now we know her daily schedule: "My days start with charity. I am either on the phone, shooting an e-mail, going to a board meeting, connecting donors with charities ... this is what I do. Charity, charity, charity, charity, party, rest. Right? I mean, even God rested on the seventh day."
She trudges up the stairs to see her friend Heidi, "someone you want to be friends with."
Heidi already has my heart when she answers LeeAnne's complaint about the stairs with "Oh, don't be a wimp."
That's Fashionistas founder Heidi Dillon, y'all, the "queen of Charity World" and formerly of Big Rich Texas. I capitalized that because that's how LeeAnne says it. LeeAnne says they met doing the Fashionistas charity event and Heidi introduced her to everyone in town. So, that's who we can thank ...
Honey, Heidi has said all of 20 words and she's the best part of this series so far.
OK, well, LeeAnne's outfit is everything, too, and that must be noted. But I want to see what Heidi's life looks like. Now. She has this je ne sais quoi -- laid-back, but electric; glamorous, but casual; laconic, but free-spoken. As Jill Scott sings, she "incites me to chorus."
Note to Bravo: Just from the camera sweeping through Heidi's enormous kitchen and her "Taj Mahal" house -- LeeAnne's words -- I need a show featuring her. What is that fanciness that she's wearing? And how big was that painting? These are things I need to know. She shopped a show before, so you know she'd be interested. Right? I would be, too.
Back to reality, kinda: "Paws Cause benefits the SPCA of Texas. They are the benefit rescue group of Texas," LeeAnne said. And then back to Heidi. Kinda.
LeeAnne talks to the dog, as she does. And then she talks to Heidi about being the honorary chair of PositiviTEA, an event that benefits the Grace Project and raises awareness about women living with HIV/AIDs. We know where this is going, and we like it because it means more Heidi.
"You would focus on friends and getting friends to buy tables," LeeAnne says, "and I would focus on the rest." Well, when you put it like that ...
"Look at you," Heidi says. "Who says no to you?" I know, right?! And then Heidi directs her to pour more Champagne.
Now Stephanie is at Brandi's door, with children in tow. While they gather themselves, viewers are treated to Stephanie talking about how the trip is right on time because last week "has been" -- deep breath here -- "insane."
She recaps her brunch meeting with Cary and LeeAnne: "Normal people do not pull fake turds out of their purse to try to have you stop being friends with other people."
So, she's looking forward to getting away and seeing her family.
And now Brandi is chasing the dog down the sidewalk. These two ... listen, they will never be Lucy and Ethel. But they do make me chuckle. And the kids are already crying. Wait ... not before me!
Brandi's full-on chasing the dog now.
"I hate my life," Stephanie says. "This sucks." She's smiling, though, which is more than I can say, and then she brings up muzzles, tranquilizers and harnesses. Is CPS watching this? They might want to start.
During the roadtrip, Stephanie says, "I swear to God, the next time I buy a Mercedes, I'm making sure it comes with a nanny." Preach.
Back at SPCA Paws Cause, where LeeAnne is making direct eye contact. Someone should tell her that the way she does it is a sign of aggression. People have gone to war for less.
We just learned there are charities she will never say no to, and "pets is one of them."
"They're the reason I got involved in charities," she says. So, Heidi and the pets share this ...
(The camera can't help itself as it keeps floating to show off Shane Walker, the owner of Flower Reign, who is fabulous in hot pink. Including a top hat.)
LeeAnne has a personal connection to this. Her beloved first dog, Leo, led her to a vet office where she met people who were doing a charity event for rescue pets. And she never said no. Tiffany Hendra is there and friend Marie Reyes shows up. And we get more of the colorful Shane, who makes the best "no ma'am" expression when LeeAnne brings up a possible wedding. To his credit, he recovers quickly.
The women break off. Tiffany tells Marie about LeeAnne's brunch with Cary and Stephanie. Tiffany says Brandi is "sweet." LeeAnne: "So fake." Tiffany looks away.
"Tiffany's so interested in making friends that she's forgotten where her loyalty is," LeeAnne says.
Marie is having a cocktail party, to which she's invited everyone. She wants fun, not drama, she says. Sigh. Then what's a reality TV show for?
Our traveling band has made it to Coweta. Frank and Susan, Stephanie's parents, meet them in the driveway. Cue Stephanie: "My boys are very privileged and I love taking them home. ... They experience some meaningful things in life."
I'm beginning to think Stephanie doesn't like Dallas, or maybe it's just these folks she's forced to hang with. She talks about how Coweta is different from Dallas: People are nice to you and no one has an agenda and she can wear what she wants at Walmart. It's definitely the people, Stephanie.
Brandi and Stephanie get to work making deviled eggs. Brandi makes a joke about the smell, of course. I bet you can guess what it smells like to her. We meet more of Stephanie's family, including her aunt and her grandmothers. Of course, Brandi's serving the Jesus juice for a big old family dinner.
"There's really not a place to party in Coweta," says Stephanie's mom to Brandi. She knows that girl.
Stephanie asks her mother if she wants to get drunk for the first time.
"If I'm gonna have fun, I want to remember what I said and did," she replies. All of this makes Brandi a little sad, and uncomfortable.
We're at Lemmon Avenue Surgery Center. That can only mean Dr. Deuber. He and Cary are finishing up a surgery and chat a bit. The surgeries included "four breast ops ... and a lipo." (I love medical talk.)
"Baby, I am beat. Wanna go home and have some sexy time?" Dr. Deuber asks.
"Totally," says Cary. And then she says that she's invited Tiffany to go to yoga with her.
"I'll wait for naked yoga at home," says Dr. Deuber.
Tiffany says, "I haven't gone to yoga in a while." And Cary leaves her in awe with her bending and contortions. Tiffany is taking notes.
Back at Stephanie's home where they're looking at photos and clippings from Stephanie's young life. "I was a very, very good girl," Stephanie says. "Sometimes I feel guilty living in Dallas."
"I think my parents know I don't deserve half the things I get in life. I haven't worked for them. I know I'm very lucky."
So, now we know that Stephanie grew up not rocking the boat because she wanted to please her parents. Now I understand why she entertains some of this nonsense. Let's see if we can figure out the reasons for the rest of them.
The trip reminds Brandi that "the simple things that bring you all together matter most."
Tiffany and Cary bond at The Juice Bar. Even absent, LeeAnne manages to dominate the conversation. Let's talk about that Skinny Green thing that you ordered, mmm-kay?
In the middle of Tiffany extolling LeeAnne's virtues, Cary says, "There's just a lot of loud." I laughed out loud. Isn't that what you do in a hostage situation? Anyway, enough about me ...
(Can I just say that the makeup on this episode is so much better than the first three? I'm going to check the credits. Or maybe they just wrestled that blush brush out of LeeAnne's hands? Random thoughts ...)
"If we can all just hang out and have girl time outside of the charity world, I think we can all get along."
That's what Tiffany said. She thinks Marie's cocktail party at Stephan Pyles will be just the thing. Ooooh, I hope Keith Suburban is there. (He's not, but he's playing Lockhart Smokehouse in Bishop Arts on May 5.)
Now, we're back with Brandi, who is making a phone call. Seeing Stephanie's close-knit family makes her want that, too, so she's getting ready to talk with her formerly estranged grandfather, John. They make small talk. She's seen pictures of him when he played football back in the day. He says he played for the LA Rams and the Denver Broncos.
Brandi's crying and wants to bring him to Texas to meet her family.
"I'd love to," says John. "Family is important." She thanks him for taking her call. Sweet.
Ooooh, brown person in the clip of what's to come. This is another one to keep on the DVR. By my count, that's two. The first was talk-show host/actress/denizen of Charity World Nicole Barrett, who threw some serious side-eye at the Mad Hatter's Tea and Luncheon.
We're back in the car with Brandi, Stephanie and the children. Brooklyn tastes whatever's in her cup and says, "Blech. It tastes like it's wine," so she goes all Harriet the Spy and yells to the front.
"Oooh, Mommy, did you put wine in my thermos?"
Brandi answers by not giving one. But she does ask for the thermos.
Baby girl asks: "It tastes like wine and it looks like wine?"
As they laugh, Stephanie asks the obvious question, "Wait. How does she know what wine tastes like?"
Baby girl answers that she accidentally tasted wine because she thought it was grape juice before. Brandi tastes whatever it is and declares that it's nasty but it's not wine. Shenanigans. If this is any indication of the rest of the trip, the road trip was fun, though. Can't hate on that. But, um ... CPS.
Rich can rarely hide his disdain for girls' night out, but he says he's going to show up.
LeeAnne doesn't want him to. "I seem to behave more when you're around," she says. That would be bad, Rich. Stay home. Go out with Dr. Deuber or somebody.
Stephanie gives Brandi some advice as they're getting ready: "If you feel like LeeAnne's in a good place, talk to her. But if you feel like she's not, don't approach her."
Brandi: "Yeah." But, "I'm not gonna lie. I still think she needs therapy." So you know she's going to step to her.
Tiffany tells Brandi, "I want to get to know you on my own terms."
And to us, "People can be friendly without being friends."
Brandi's POV? "Tiffany was on me like a 50 percent off sale at JCPenney's and I'm just thinking, girl, just let me get some Jesus juice first."
LeeAnne: "I think it's cute that Tiffany wants to play with rattlesnakes. I just hope that this one's rattle works before it bites her."
LeeAnne is making direct eye contact. Again. But now we're in her conversation with, ooooh, her name is Erica and she gets her name at the bottom of the screen and everything. She's real and she's spectacular! Hi, Erica, you goddess! (Me, frantically waving.)
Cary dances up to the duo -- who are both obviously from Themyscira -- and as LeeAnne introduces her, Erica acknowledges that the two met before "at that tea."
LeeAnne wastes no time, pointing at Stephanie: "She thinks I'm fake. I love that." Dang, girl.
"No, I don't," vagues Cary. Erica makes a sound of disbelief and levels a look at her.
Cary's not fazed: "I think you're different at different things."
I don't know what's in LeeAnne's glass or how many times it's been in there, but she is on a tear.
"I'm made by God. I got a stamp, right here ... that says 'Made by God'," she says as she pounds her butt with a fist.
I offer up a prayer of my own: Please, God, don't see this.
Marie's "great friend," Taylor, who looks as if he might be the only male in the place, seems to be fighting off invitations. Marie seems to win, though, reminding him that he's going to the ballet with her tomorrow night. According to Marie, they met when all three were on the board of the Fashionistas.
"He's the only boy invited to my girlfriend night," Marie confirms.
Then he says he needs to "get my stuff done for the summer," as he waves his hand to indicate his face. Marie says, "Let's get you injected." Both agree that he looks 12, but he says it's because of the sweat. He doesn't want to ruin his Dolce & Gabbana shirt. Oh, so much to write about this one statement...
He says, as the camera shows LeeAnne making dog sounds, "I don't know sometimes why you're even friends with her."
Marie says it's because they've been friends for 20 years. He says, smartly, "That's why I try to get along with her."
Brandi and Cary are talking, with Cary recommending that Brandi talk to LeeAnne. I see you, Cary.
"Somebody needs to knock her up so that she has something else to talk about," Brandi cats. Cary laughs, "Seriously." Oh, wow. I'm not usually into the Kumbaya-yas, but, please, just hug it out.
Anyway ... LeeAnne's watching like a hawk, also made by God. She says, "[Expletive], I see your [expletive] [expletive]." What is in that glass?!
Taylor trashes LeeAnne just enough; he's just a regular firestarter! And he plays right into Brandi's hands when he says, "I think she needs a good therapist." Brandi thinks they can be best friends.
Now, Taylor's talking out of school, something about poop and LeeAnne and pants. And Brandi says, "Today is my lucky day." Oh, [expletive].
Now, Tiffany has joined Brandi, Stephanie and Cary. In that order. Brandi gets ready to start her own fire: "So I have to ask you a question. Have you been with LeeAnne when she [expletive] her pants?"
Tiffany looks around, presumably for a wormhole she can go into.
"How did you hear that," she asks. They all say that some guy told them that.
LeeAnne imagines the conversation is about her being a female dog. She's not wrong.
Tiff grabs LeeAnne by the hand and takes her over to the group. Tiff is trying to "understand where everybody's coming from."
Brandi dives in, and passive aggressives that she should be saying, "Miss LeeAnne Locken."
When LeeAnne says "I don't have a malicious bone in my body," Brandi has had quite enough, thank you, and tells LeeAnne that she's full of it. Direct eye contact, too. Everyone else backs up. Good for them. Mama always said that a bullet doesn't have a name on it. Believe that.
LeeAnne is amused. They're going at it, tit for tat, and LeeAnne says, "Come on in, Stephanie. I know you want to be here." Oh, man, tag team. Whoomp! There it is. (See what I did there?)
Stephanie moves closer, perhaps emboldened by her trip home. "Daddy Lessons," indeed.
Selective memory and pure bullheadedness reigns in this conversation.
LeeAnne dumps her drink -- perhaps a few too late -- and tosses the glass.
Then she turns to put a finger in Stephanie's face, telling her "your Charity World is gonna go down the toilet" while she's standing up for Brandi.
Brandi follows: "What are you talking about? That I'm a little piece of trash?" Yes, Brandi. We all heard it. And we heard it a million times before during the promos. Brandi seems genuinely confused.
Cary's still not fazed. She's just mad about the "wine on my dress." That's our girl; it's all about her.
LeeAnne stalks past them onto the patio, swinging her arms in that determined way people do when they storm off. Stephanie says between tears, "She's crazy. I cannot hang out with her any more."
Brandi can't believe she's crying and hugs her, saying, "I love you. I'm sorry." Yeah. Uh-huh. Right. I adore Marie. She's standing there like a statue, just watching. I wouldn't put it past her to be a spy sent in by LeeAnne to give her the details of this after-fight pity party. I can't believe I'm falling for it, too. Quick! Somebody get me another episode of Empire. Stat! OK, I'm back from my happy place.
Erica and Tiffany go after LeeAnne. Or they just leave. Who knows? Because then Brandi tells Stephanie, "She's not going to ruin you because of me." And we all know she's just as worried as the rest of them.
To be continued ...
Next time: Tiffany gets physical with LeeAnne to prove her love. Travis and Stephanie go shopping for an expensive bauble. And Brandi meets her grandfather.