As Tamra Barney so astutely notes in tonight's season premiere of The Real Housewives of Orange County: "There's a reason why dogs sniff each other's asses before becoming friends."
But because no one thought to have these women investigate each other's bottoms before agreeing to go on camera together, we're left with the volatile dynamics that have characterized every Real Housewives cast. And we wouldn't have it any other way!
Tamra and Gretchen Rossi, however, are supposedly looking to bury the hatchet, and they put their plan into motion on this episode over mojitos and shrimp cocktails.
Which bears one question: Did Gretchen end up wearing her mojito?
"A lot of things have happened, but I'm sick of being angry about it," Gretchen told Tamra in her attempt to sweep their vitriolic past under the rug.
"I was totally at fault," Tamra admitted. "I apologize from deep in my heart." She even gave Gretchen a specially designed beaded bracelet—"pretty and pink and blingy like you"—with a key charm to either lock up their past or open up their "future as friends."
At the same time, Tamra sort of felt that she was "cheating" on not-yet-divorced bestie Vicki Gunvalson, who has a new boyfriend who lives in Mississippi and an estranged husband who still lives in the house with her.
But it wasn't all mojitos and asking Vicki unanswered questions about "five-hour sex" or asking Peggy Tanous whether Alexis Bellino's husband (and Peggy's ex), Jim, has a huge penis—Tamra had to get to work.
Enter new housewife Heather Dubrow and her plastic surgeon hubby, Terry, who first showed up as clients of real estate agent Tamra. Sadly, Heather had some issues with the rooftops she could see from the 29,000-square-foot lot that Tamra was showing them.
"She's tall, thin—and probably a bitch," Tamra observed—guess where!—behind her back. But she wrangles Heather an invitation to Vicki's upcoming "I'm selling my house, so I need to have people over" party all the same.
Later, however, Tamra recharacterized Heather as "everything Alexis wants to be but isn't—she's elegant, she's smart and she has real money."
Speak of the devil, where was Alexis Bellino in all this?
Well, she was finding out whether she has a cherry, pear, apple or lemon-shaped bottom over on Fox 5, where she was hired to do a live fitness segment with one Dr. Booty. "I don't know if he has a PhD," Alexis observed, "but he is very educated on the derriere."
So...Happy to have the other West Coast housewives back? What do you think of newcomer Heather? Who really belongs in the loony bin, Alexis or Peggy? And is Tamra and Gretchen's newfound friendship here to stay? Sound off in the comments (but please, put your wine down first)!
(Originally published Feb. 7, 2012, at 7:19 p.m. PT)