Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc.

Tonight’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was all over the place. Each of the five OC ladies had her own thing going on, and when paths did finally cross, the results were very, very messy.

The episode begins with Vicki Gunvalson getting a visit from her boyfriend Brooks Ayers. During last week’s installment her daughter Briana made her opinions on him crystal clear. She thinks Brooks is an opportunist. Over coffee and a few tears, Vicki shares the assessment with Brooks, but he insists he doesn’t take Bri’s words personally and that “divorce is hard.” He also assures her that he’s not in it for her money or assets but just for companionship. “I’m not going to fly the coop,” he promises. “I’ve already landed.” Are we supposed to say “aw” here?

Meanwhile, Heather’s meeting up with an old acting friend of hers named Dina Waters for lunch. They haven’t seen each other in a while (the two met on a show called Men Behaving Badly back in Heather’s acting days), and Heather wants some advice from her old pal. She is still officially titled Heather Paige Kent, even after a dozen years of marriage and four children with hubby Terry Dubrow, and she thinks it’s time to make a change. She’s suggested the idea of a name change before, but Terry never seemed to care about it. Her name was important to her for a long time due to her former showbiz status, but now it’s not.

Over at Gretchen and Slade’s place, the two have a sit-down on the porch in which Gretchen throws out the idea of the two attending therapy. Slade says there’s nothing they can’t or don’t discuss with one another already, but she says she needs someone to help her help him get out of his financial and child support rut so that they can move forward. She’s 34, and she can’t wait too much longer to have children, if they’re going to do so. “I love you more than life, and I don’t have an issue going and talking to someone because any information is going to be helpful,” he finally agrees. Now we can say “Aw.”

Alexis Bellino, meanwhile, leaves her husband Jim with the kiddos so that she can do a quick photoshoot for her second clothing line, which she boasts is doing very, very well. She says things like “sales are through the roof” and “I’m really proud of myself” again and again.
Equipped with Dina’s support for the decision, Heather heads to the necessary government offices to get her name change done. She finds that her humor and vanity are not well-received at the “tough room” that is the Department of Motor Vehicles, but gets it done nonetheless (after at least one second take on her ID photo, that is).

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc.

Tamra and her fiancé Eddie discuss her plans to open a gym. Eddie’s willing to chip in if need be, but she wants to go it alone. She recounts a sweet story about her father coming home, having lost his job with a family full of mouths to feed, and muscling up to create his own car repair business, which was successful for three decades. Tamra wants her children to look at her the way she looks at her dad.

The two meet up with the owner of a chic little group personal training center and receive good news that she too can hit the ground running and make it happen for herself. Oh, and her budget is “doable” for her goals. Great news for Tamra, but she better be prepped to work hard.

One person who’s already working hard and looking for a little break is Miss Vicki, who’s had enough stress to last a lifetime in the past few weeks. She’s interested in heading down to Costa Rica where her son Michael recently visited. Yeah, it’s got monkeys and such, but there’s also water sports and snorkeling fun to be had by her girls. So she gets all the girls on the horn to go. When she gets Gretchen’s voicemail message, which instructs callers to dial Slade if they really want to catch her, she’s a little miffed. Slade’s not invited because this is a girls’ shindig, darnit.

Heather shows up to Terry’s office, and he’s sweet when he says that his day is better thanks to her visit (another deserving “aw” moment, indeed), and she surprises him with a copy of her first signature as the legally recognized Heather Dubrow. Terry’s touched by the gesture, more so than she expected, and says that it has mattered a great deal to him but that he didn’t want to pressure her to change herself for him. “My God, Heather Dubrow finally,” he gushes. “I’m really, really happy.”

Credit: Michael Rosenthal/Bravo © 2012 NBC Universal, Inc.

Also happy are Tamra and Eddie, who interview trainers for her new gym. Some are great and creative in coming up with “cutting edge” personal training options, while others are just plain weird.

Also weird are the first moments of Gretchen and Slade’s therapy session. They fill the shrink in on their shared concerns and fears, and the doc steps in once their quibble turns into unproductive “I do this for you” versus “I didn’t ask you to” lines of discussion.

Things get really intense when Gretchen admits to having given him money for child support payments in the past and that she couldn’t have a future with him if he weren’t able to change his financial position. The therapist decides to puts a new rule into place for the couple moving forward: They need to leave each other alone for four hours a day so that Slade can clean up the mess he’s left behind with his finances. “Ten to two,” he agrees, “deal.”

Closing out the episode, Alexis invites Tamra to grab some lunch before she gets back to her gym project. Since all the women are planning to go to Costa Rica together, Alexis thinks it’d be wise for her and Tamra to try and deal with some of their issues with one another. Little does she know, she’s opened a major can of worms with Tamra.

After some deliberate prodding and tactless insistence that Tamra’s not been up front enough with her opinions on Alexis, Tamra finally explodes to declare that she simply does not care for Alexis. She calls her a whole laundry list of insults, including insecure, shallow, boastful, and dramatic, and insists they’re just different people. When that’s not enough to satisfy Alexis’ gluttony for verbal punishment, Tamra proceeds to let her know that Terry Dubrow, who is one of the OC’s most successful plastic surgeons, has called Alexis one of the phoniest people he’s ever met. Like her nose surgery, that had to hurt. The conversation does not end on a positive note, needless to say, so the drama will surely pick back up next week when the girls hit Costa Rica!

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