At first it seemed that Shannon was going to be a miserable addition to "The Real Housewives of Orange County" family, but that was before we saw her doing shots with Tamra. For all her holistic claptrap, it turns out she's just a borderline alcoholic in a miserable marriage who makes Vicki and Tamra feel better about themselves. Welcome aboard, Shannon!

While most of the episode revolved around a party at Shannon's house, it wasn't all polite conversation and fancy grilled meats. It also involved lots of uncomfortable bickering between Shannon and her husband David, Tamra flopping on the kitchen counter, bucket-sized vodka shots, and Vicki running around with a baby doll. Yeah, that was all just about as classy as you'd expect.

There was also a point where Tamra started screeching about how Heather needs to get the stick out of her ass, which was met with gleeful cackling from Vicki. While I don't disagree that Heather can be a judgmental know-it-all, Tamra and Vicki start acting like mean girls when they're confronted with someone who doesn't want to get hammered on national television and/or possibly pee on the furniture. Yeah, Vicki's never living down that trip to Mexico. 

What amazed me, though, was when Tamra and Vicki got together to talk about Heather -- and seemed oddly terrified of her. I didn't think Vicki was afraid of anyone, as she's always up for a good Jell-O wrestling match or knife fight. Their feelings about Heather really seemed to be more a reflection of their own simmering insecurities, which Vicki might want to sort out in therapy since it's not doing any good for her relationship with Briana.

After going to her therapy session, Vicki seems to feel that all she needs to do is tell Briana she's seeing Brooks and that Briana needs to accept that and all will be well. Not surprisingly, Briana can't understand why her mother keeps flinging herself at dirtbags, and she's not exactly going to roll out the red carpet for her new daddy. Vicki seems completely unnerved by the fact that Briana is saying the same thing Briana has said every single time the topic of Brooks has come up ever in the history of the show, which makes me wonder if Vicki was screaming too loudly in the past to actually hear what her kid was saying. 

I think Vicki just needs to accept the fact that Briana is not going to stick a gold star on her forehead for admitting she's still seeing Brooks. Speaking of acceptance, I think Tamra may need to let go of the idea that a baby will cure all her problems. 

Another reason Tamra gets ticked off at Heather is that she tattles to Eddie about Tamra's growing baby fever. The fact that Tamra talked to Heather about this is more upsetting to Eddie than the actual baby issue, but I think that Heather might (gasp!) actually have a good point. Tamra's feelings about having a baby (which would be complex and expensive, since she's fortysomething and she's had her tubes tied, and surrogates don't grown on trees) seem complicated by a lot of guilt and sadness and stuff that may not be the best reason to get stuck in diaper hell for a few years right after you and your husband have thrown your savings into starting a new business. 

Of course, none of this gets discussed when Tamra and Heather sit down for sashimi and tough love. I can kind of understand why Tamra says she's a little afraid of Heather, because Fancypants comes in pursing her lips and using her stern schoolteacher voice. I swear Tamra was about to burst into tears and ask for detention. 

With Tamra too frightened to throw a glass of wine, they somehow manage to mend fences and agree to go to an ugly sweater party together. I wish Heather had said she'd let Tamra pick out her sweater, though. It would go far in proving she doesn't have a stick up her ass, I'd think. 

Do you think Heather is a snob? Do you think Shannon's marriage is in trouble? Do you think Tamra and Heather are really friends again?