How do you know that The Real Housewives of Dallas is moving on up in the Bravo world? This season, the “vacation” — a high point of the season for every "Real Housewives" franchise — sees some of the ladies actually get out of Texas. If you’ll recall, RHOD’s first season featured a trip from Dallas all the way to exotic Austin. Now, Brandi, Stephanie, and Cary are hopping on a plane and heading to far-off Tennessee. Look, it’s not Timbuktu, but it’s something.
The purpose of this trip is to visit Brandi’s grandfather, who had a stroke recently. It’s important to note that Brandi was estranged from her grandfather for years, but when she reconnected with him, her grandmother (who divorced Grandpa before Brandi was born) stopped talking to her. So, Brandi’s mother is also coming on the trip to see her father and attempt to reconnect with her mother. Also, Brooklyn and Brinkley are going, and those kids are freaking nuts.
Meanwhile, D’Andra is slowly morphing into her own mother, aka Mommy Dearest, aka the reanimated corpse of Tammy Faye Bakker, when dealing with her stepson, Keatin. The kid dropped out of college and moved in with D’Andra and her husband, Jeremy, but two months in, he’s already decided he wants to leave. Maybe it’s because D’Andra keeps harassing him. Just, maybe. Even the hubs is like, “When you get angry, you get angry, and it scares me.” Sometimes it’s a bad thing to turn into your mother.
Over at the swanky Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Brandi recalls her childhood spent at a “great swimming pool — the Mississippi River.” Personally, I try to avoid swimming holes that are opaque and the color of mud, but you do you, girlfriend.
Stephanie is excited to be “dating” Brandi again. She sees this trip as the next step in their relationship — meeting the family — and she hopes Brandi will propose soon. Based on their past relationship, that bold step doesn’t seem too far off. And then Cary proposes a threesome, but “not in a sexual way.” Sorry, Bryan, Travis, and Mark. Y’all are no longer needed.
Back in Big D, Kameron is preparing to officially pitch her idea for pink dog food to her husband, Court, and she intends to do so with a poster board that looks crappier than a fifth-grader’s science fair project. Even Hilton, Kameron’s 6-year-old daughter, thinks so. “I prefer brown” dog food, she says. “Why would you want pink poop?” It’s clear from the look on Kameron’s face that she’s never considered this possibility. Hilton suggests Kameron give daddy a flirtatious hair flip to convince him to invest in her ridiculous idea, and that might work better than Kameron’s actual business proposal, which is … oh, wait, she doesn’t have one.
Once again, she mentions she’s merely playing the “dumb blonde,” but I’m starting to think that’s her defense mechanism. “No, guys! I’m not dumb! I act like this on purpose because it’s … um … cute!” Court turns her proposal down, yet she somehow still thinks she “nailed it.”
The three amigos in Tennessee roll up to Brandi’s family reunion with lots of “Jesus juice” (that’s Brandi’s hilarious euphemism for wine), and a couple of glasses in, newly re-minted BFFs Brandi and Stephanie decide to have another baby — each at the exact same time. Cary wonders how they coordinate this, but I’d honestly rather not know the details.
Later, Brandi introduces the ladies to her Tennessee roots at a catfishing pond. To their credit, these Dallas housewives are much more willing to get down and dirty than most of the other housewives. They get decked out in waders, spear some worms onto hooks and mosey into the gray water with their fishing poles. Stephanie worries that Jesus wouldn’t like her killing the worms to catch the catfish (I mean … what?), while Brandi chugs from her flask. These gals are about as classy as they come.
That evening, LeeAnne prepares for a night out in Bishop Arts with Kameron and D’Andra, while Brandi, Stephanie, and Cary head over to Beale Street in a lit-up, horse-drawn carriage. LeeAnne is super excited to ride Kameron (yes, she literally said she wants to ride her, but not in a sexual way), in spite of the fact that Kameron’s only contribution to the dinner conversation is to question the difference between “wild boar” and “regular boar.”
LeeAnne uses the toast to take a jab at Stephanie, while over in Tennessee, Stephanie asks Brandi why LeeAnne wasn’t invited on the trip. Brandi explains that her kids are scared of LeeAnne because, well, there’s really no explanation needed. I’m scared of LeeAnne, too. She once attacked a guy with sandpaper.
Kameron, meanwhile, decides to stir things up by telling LeeAnne that Brandi said LeeAnne isn’t allowed at her house. LeeAnne is, understandably, upset by this revelation, so D’Andra takes this opportunity to really dig into Brandi, basically saying she finds no redeeming qualities in her.
Then LeeAnne gives the grossest toast I’ve ever heard: “Over the lips and through the gums, look out stomach, here it comes.” Just … no.
The next day, LeeAnne meets with the therapist whose sound advice she never takes. LeeAnne asks about her boyfriend, Rich, whom she desperately wants to propose. She says that the old LeeAnne would have pressured him to marry her, but the new LeeAnne doesn’t want to do that. Then she asks her therapist for advice about how to pressure him to marry her.
Elsewhere, D’Andra is exerting some pressure of her own. When Keatin explains that he isn’t comfortable and doesn’t want to stay with her and Jeremy anymore, D’Andra loses her shit, calling Keatin selfish and then yelling about herself and how hurt she is. I’m no doctor, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say Keatin is clearly depressed and should probably talk to a therapist and get the hell away from his crazy stepmother. Yes, she wants the best for him, but we’ve met her mother. Not the most understanding parenting role model. Keatin decides to move out that night.
Now, as much as I love reality TV, I often think people are crazy for inviting the world into their private lives to the extent they do. Case in point: Brandi taking a road trip into Mississippi to try to reconnect with her estranged grandmother while cameras follow her every move. This trip is made all the more heartbreaking by the fact that Brandi’s grandmother refuses to answer the door when she shows up. On the one hand, I admire Brandi for always being so open and honest about the struggles in her life. On the other, yeah, I probably wouldn’t open the door to someone standing on my porch with a camera crew either.
Back in Dallas, D’Andra, to her credit, is wrecked by her perceived failure with Keatin, and she wants a “do-over” on this whole parenting thing. Even if she’s utterly awful at expressing it, she clearly cares about the kid. Hopefully we’ll see him in a better place later this season.
After her ill-fated trip to meet her grandmother, Brandi returns to the hotel, where Cary and Stephanie welcome her into their giant bed with open arms, open wine, and gold face masks. “Let’s just get wasted and pretty,” Stephanie says.
Ladies, I will drink Jesus juice to that!