By Contributing Writer, Xanadude
In honor of D Magazine reviewing Aaron Hendra’s album, Octobersong, and giving it this stellar review: “Why would anyone try and sound like this?” which caused wife Tiffany to respond in the comment sections “Bless your heart and thank God there’s MUCH better journalists in Dallas too! May the toxicity you all put out from D Magazine come back to bite you hard 1000 fold. That calls for a double bless your heart.” I’m going to be interspersing some song lyrics from “The Aaron Hendra Project” throughout the recap. He apparently likes to be called “The Aaron Hendra Project.” Bless his heart. Any time you see (Quoth the Hendra…) you’ll know a song lyric is to follow. Fair use invoked.
Brandi and Stephanie
We are a mere 15 seconds in before Brandi awakes her child with poop talk. The child, and the audience, asks her to stop. They have several pets, one of whom is a dog they haven’t gotten around to naming yet and another is a bunny the kids with which the kids have tried to suffocate their sleeping father. Bryan is going to be “busy” all day (Quoth the Hendra: This old ragged heart too frail to fight) as Brandi and the kids go on a road trip (four hours each way!) to visit Stephanie’s family in Oklahoma. At Stephanie’s, one of the dogs is allowed to be off leash and starts running away from everyone (I would too if I had the choice, but the radiator chains only reach so far), but, as we were reminded when the kids went driving off in a toy car last week, this is a GATED COMMUNITY and nothing bad ever happens to stray pets and free range children in gated communities. Brandi and Stephanie finally get everyone packed and the whining and crying (among the kids) immediately starts. Brandi and Stephanie look as if they are not capable of dealing with kids, pets, or even reality without being drunk. The trip is miserable for both the participants and the audience. (Quoth the Hendra: what were you thinking what was I thinking/where were we running to nothing but blue sky)
The entire purpose of this trip seems to be production driven so that Brandi’s sad and fractured family can be contrasted against Stephanie’s Pentecostal close family, who still eat every meal together and who’s matriarch has never had a sip of alcohol. Brandi immediately does something that we have not seen her do before – she matches her action to suit the situation so as not to offend her hosts and acts appropriately. She’s CAPABLE of it, y’all, she just doesn’t WANT to do it when in Dallas. She even throws in “Yes Ma’ams” and “Yes Sirs” and keeps the poop jokes to a minimum (she does ONE while making deviled eggs, but a side glance from Stephanie’s mom shuts her up).
Stephanie takes the trip to reminisce about growing up in a Christian small town where no one cared if you wore your pajamas to Wal-Mart (forgetting the difference between people not caring and people just waiting until you are gone to talk behind your back) and that she used to sneak alcohol from the local liquor store/tanning salon. Her growing up Pentecostal explains a lot – while home she’s the good girl, while in Dallas, she’s not. She has a moment of clarity when she says that she feels guilty for all the things she has, because “I don’t deserve the things I have because I haven’t worked for them,” which last exactly until she hits the Red River and is back in Texas. We briefly see the ride home as the ladies quickly revert to drinking and poop talk. (Quoth the Hendra: so many days but still no end to see/battleships and flagpoles they might win a war/but not the war in me)
At home, a solo Brandi (no husband? No kids? Where DO those kids go? Are they even real or just vodka induced shared hallucinations? They only exist when she’s concentrating on them, like The Scarlet Witch in West Coast Avengers during John Byrne’s run (Look it up.)?, “decides,” in a totally unscripted moment, to call her estranged grandfather “for the first time” and invite him for a visit. The scripted conversation is awkward but we learn the grandfather was a pro football player (what with her being a cheerleader, they have so much in common, y’all). She “Yes Sirs” to him, showing, again, appropriate behavior for certain situations, so there’s hope. (Quoth the Hendra: sometimes love’s a curse and it tears your heart It’s no one’s fault but the feelings start again)
LeeAnne meets with Heidi Dillon, founder of the The Fashoinistas to discuss Heidi’s participation in an event for HIV positive women. LeeAnne says she can never say no to charities that involved pets, women, or HIV. So, you go LeeAnne! She later meets up with FOHW Marie (who is apparently angling hard for a regular spot on the show) and Tiffany and they discuss whether LeeAnne will be ok around the larger group after the Mad Hat Tea Party chair incident. LeeAnne says she’ll be fine, but the others had best not provoke her. Oh LeeAnne, never say that around a woman angling to be on your show full time, because, as we shall see, that planted a seen in Marie’s brain that will come to fruition over this episode and next.
Cary and Tiffany
Cary and Dr. Mark are flirting with one of their female assistants over a breast lift. Dr. Mark is ready for some sexy time but Cary blows him off for yoga with Tiffany, but not before more sexytime talk is bandied about. Keep reminding yourself that Cary’s been married three times, that she stalked Dr. Mark before snagging him into a relationship and giving him a makeover to meet her needs, and now is brushing his requests for sexytime off. He has other assistants, Cary. That’s all I’m sayin’. (Quoth the Hendra: Lonely days will come and go but when you find your love you know.)
By the way, everyone is so focussed on Brandi and LeeAnne but no one is noticing how horrid Cary is. Seriously. Keep your eyes on this one. She’s a pistol.
Cary and Tiffany go to yoga. Tiffany is out of practice cuz she’s been in LA for 12 years. Cary, however, “can bend, stretch, and contort herself into a pretzel,” leaving Tiffany to wonder if THAT’S why her marriage is so successful. Which marriage, again? Oh yes, current one to Dr. Mark. (Quoth the Hendra: It’s bad but it’s my weakness I’m not lost but I can’t keep this devil down or tell it no)
After Yoga, they talk about LeeAnne. Cary is REALLY horrible about it, saying LeeAnne is a nobody (false), that you have to be BORN into Dallas society (false), that nobody likes LeeAnne (false), and that the Charity Ladies are just using her (false). Tiffany still wants discount plastic surgery and new friends, so she mugwumps around before growing a spine and defending LeeAnne. They are looking forward to the Happy Hour to sort things out.
Happy Hour High Noon
Everyone is show getting ready for this.
Incidentally, I can walk to the venue the Happy Hour is at from my home.
Tiffany beelines to Brandi to do…something? I can’t figure out what it is, beyond “I want to be everyone’s friend and that includes LeeAnne.” She’s the Kandi in the group, able to float about between everyone, stirring the pot while someone above it. Cary comes up to LeeAnne and her (black) friend Erica and pretends to throw punches. What Erica’s facial expressions during this and subsequent scenes. They are gold. Erica needs to be a full time HW. Trash talk is occurring from all sides.
Marie has invited “the one man who can join our group,” and it is someone who’s name I will not sully this recap with. He was previously on The A List:Dallas and was presented there as a truly vile human. Word on the street was he eventually calmed down and wasn’t as bad as he was portrayed, but tonight proves that you can’t go by word on the street. After joining Brandi’s group, he makes a point of saying that LeeAnne is horrible and that Marie said she once was so drunk she crapped her pants. Brandi starts laughing hysterically and using menopause jokes.
Everyone is eventually gathered together. Boytroll leaves the scene but Marie is front and center to gleefully witness this (even go so far as to say she LeeAnne really aren’t friends). TIffany tries to broker peace. Brandi escalates it by retelling the pants story (even she won’t say his name – or, more likely, he literally just popped up, said his story, and moved on without introducing himself), causing LeeAnne to go into full HW mode, and throw a drink (but just the drink, not the glass) and stalk out of the restaurant. (Quoth the Hendra: I love it when you breakdown/that’s when I start to breakdown/
feeling like I just might drown). Several times, it seems, as if she went first to Erica and then outside. She is followed by Tiffany. Stephanie is personally offended because her shoes got a little wet.
Next week: LeeAnne does the ONE THING HWs are not supposed to do and breaks the fourth wall.