Bless her heart, Heather Dubrow tried, she really did try on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” on Wednesday night.
But it turns out not even Heather’s best intentions, and her very good wine cellar, could help Dr. Jen Armstrong’s Marriage.
Heather likes to help. Earlier in the episode, she showed at Gina Kirschenheiter’s house to help her purge her closet and figure out her personal style.
But Jen and husband Ryne? Not so easy. They’ve not been communicating well. And while Jen has been sharing her feelings about this with Heather and the rest of the cast, the show makes it look like Ryne mostly shares his feelings with Mr. Puppers, the chihuahua.
So Heather decides to throw a small dinner party for Jen and Ryne, to show how other couples interact.
It doesn’t go well.
Ryne, whose most notable trait as shown on his first season on the show is that he almost never wears a shirt or shoes, has no idea what’s in store, Jen confides in a confessional as their driver takes them to Heather and Terry Dubrow’s home, which is behind not one but two guarded gates.
“I just said we’re going to dinner at Heather’s house and I asked him to wear clothes,” she says.
They ring the doorbell and before it’s answered Ryne wonders why Mr. Puppers couldn’t have come, too.
“Like, who doesn’t like that dog?” hey wonders.
Inside, Heather is dealing with a devastating menu error: Someone printed the menus for the guests with the chopped salad first and the amuse bouche second, when everyone knows the amuse-bouche comes first, right?
“I like things to be the way I envision them,” she tells the camera. “So this might bother me all night.”
Spoiler alert: It does.
Inside, the Dubrows are taken aback to learn, when Ryne asks for a simple glass of tap water, that he has never had a drop of alcohol in his life.
“Marijuana? Cocaine? heroin?” asks Terry Dubrow. No, no, and no.
Ryne, who appears uncomfortable, did wear a nice pair of dress shoes, though his no-show low-cut running socks get Heather’s eyebrows a-raising for the first of several times.
Two more couples show up, friends of Heather’s who fit the theme of the dinner party of Couples For Jen and Ryne to Emulate. As everyone sits for dinner, it seems Jen has some to drink.
“Jen is hammered,” Heather tells the camera. “I like to see Jen sort of letting loose, but the more loose Jen is, the more introverted Ryne is getting. bath. Bath, bath.”
Someone calls for a toast, and Jen jumps to oblige.
“To women’s underwear,” she begins. “It may not be the best thing in the world, but it’s the closest thing to it.”
There is a silent pause and looks are exchanged.
“Oh dear,” Heather says.
Jen asks Ryne to “angulate” his chair a little bit toward her. Ryne tucks his napkin into his shirt when the steak and onion rings arrive.
It’s not going well.
We’re almost to dessert when a new wine is served. Jen whispers none-to-quietly to the caterer, “Can you fill it up? Everytime.”
Ryne’s had enough, and they’re the first to leave. On the ride home, Jen asks to lie in his arms, which he lets her, though he then strikes up a conversation with the driver about his daily cardio routine.
Inside, the three other couples all make a show of talking about how fun Jen is and how nice Ryne is.
“Yeah, but let’s be honest,” Terry says. “They’re a mess.”
Here’s what else we saw on this week’s episode:
— Noella Bergener visits her friend Keni not long after a divorce mediation session conducted virtually.
“We were in two separate rooms at the ends of a very long hallway,” she tells Keni, who — thank God, serves the first charcuterie plate we’ve seen in weeks.
— Gina, for her part, is her usual refreshing self. Just a few weeks after admitting she has sex dreams about Heather’s massive walk-in closet, complete with a button to push to request champagne, she makes sure Heather knows it’s not the same deal here.
“I don’t have a champagne button in my closet so we have to open our champagne here,” Gina says in the kitchen, where, you know, we mortals typically open our champagne.
“That’s perfectly fine,” Queen Heather replies.