Just because last week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County saw a big apology and reconciliation doesn’t mean that the fights are over.
This week, the cast took a trip to an upscale but incredibly cringe cowboy experience.
In addition to their normal luggage, Taylor Armstrong and Heather Dubrow brought some added baggage: a seemingly small dispute about a film that Taylor’s part of.
Taylor felt that Heather was being condescending. And Heather felt that Taylor, or rather the ones making the film, were being downright insulting.
Obviously, this week’s episode of RHOC covered a number of topics.
Heather chatted with her famous husband. Shannon reminded her daughters of the house rules when she’s away (“no boys upstairs”).
But, even before they departed, Taylor’s upcoming film was a topic.
While sitting down for a meal, Tamra and Taylor delved into the project.
See, Taylor felt “insecure” and even downright snubbed over Heather’s apparent refusal to join Masterpiece.
It wasn’t just what she had said. It was, to Taylor, the way that Heather had declined.
It sounds like part of this was a misunderstanding.
Heather is an actress. She has appeared on various shows over the years.
In her mind, there is a specific “protocol” that a casting director would follow to hire her. It doesn’t involve a fellow reality star who’s in the film passing her the script.
But that, as Taylor recalled to Tamra during their meal, was not what Heather said to her.
The show played footage from the previous week.
Taylor was, at the time, reminding Heather of the film project, Masterpiece. And of the script for it.
Heather came across as dismissive and condescending.
Perhaps it was intentional. But perhaps it was not.
Heather didn’t give Taylor a direct rejection. She just said “You’re so cute” and gave her an affectionate pat.
That isn’t hostile.
But, even if “cute” is often a compliment, it did not feel respectful.
Tamra knew exactly what Taylor was describing. She knows the vibe that Heather can, at times, give off.
Anyway, Taylor felt that this was hurtful.
She worried about looking like an idiot.
In her mind, she had to wonder if Heather was afraid of anyone associating their names in a scripted project.
We’re sure that that was not the case. This was never about Taylor, not really.
However, it soon became about Heather.
See, to Taylor’s surprise, the movie wanted Heather to send in an audition tape.
So Tamra and Taylor scrolled through Heather’s IMDB page.
(IMDB is arguably more official and direct than other sources, but many people prefer cleaner interfaces, like you might find on Wikipedia, to review someone’s filmography)
Taylor did not find Heather’s TV history to be super impressive. This would absolutely come up again.
The ladies took their trip to take their positions in cowgirl cosplay for a while. These trips can be so goofy.
The large houses where they could stay were depressingly brown. Did someone outlaw color? Sometimes, it seems that way.
Shannon was super picky about her room. But Tamra ended up opting to sleep nearby. They’re trying to mend things, after all.
They took turns riding a mechanical bull. Now, they were surrounded by cushions and the machine had several settings.
Gina Kirschenheiter by far did the best. Several of the ladies complained of groin discomfort. And a couple didn’t even participate.
Then they sat down to eat. It’s definitely a good thing that they didn’t do that before riding the bull.
They chatted for a while. Taylor came as bisexual! She specifically opened up about a previous, 5-year relationship with a woman. That’s longer than some marriages!
(This episode certainly didn’t film during Pride month, but it did come out during it. Happy Pride, Taylor!)
Honestly? The food at the table looked absolutely delicious.
Thus far, there was no direct mention of Heather and Taylor’s conflict.
It’s not even clear if Heather realized that there was anything more to discuss.
But the conflict was looming on the horizon all the same.
First, Shannon Beador changed into the best outfit that she’s ever worn on camera. Ever.
While she was cosplaying as a saloon madam, the ladies sat down for after-dinner drinks.
Don’t worry — Shannon didn’t serve them. She is, by her own admission, not so good way trays.
Finally, Heather and Taylor sat down to discuss this simmering point of contention.
At first, they simply discussed how they felt. Taylor felt that Heather was wary of working with a “rookie” actress.
Meanwhile, Heather just wanted a normal contract and a normal hiring process.
She would, she said, certainly read a script if a director sent it to her.
Heather quickly double-checked to make sure that she and Taylor were “good.” Taylor confirmed that they were.
But when Taylor confided in others that she had not mentioned that the director would want Heather to also send in an audition tape, things reignited. Quickly.
“Just for clarity, I was offered a role, I turned down the role, I am better than the role,” Heather told the confessional.
She continued her recap: “But now I’m not good enough for the role, and still no one has reached out to me.”
It’s not just confusing. She felt that it was insulting. And while Taylor doesn’t seem to have any experience with this, Heather was clearly taking it personally.
Then, when it came out (thanks, Tamra!) that Taylor had looked through Heather’s IMDB and not come away impressed, all hell broke loose.
“That is so incredibly rude,” Heather told Taylor. “I’m someone who has put my entire life on hold as many women do for my family.”
She admonished her: “So for you to denigrate my career is not only anti-female — but just not nice.”
Heather noted that she is at a “crossroads in my life figuring out who I am” after two of her kids have left for college. Ace, her 12-year-old son, is the youngest.
“I was excited for you – that’s the person I am,” Heather noted. “The person you are is making a mountain out of a molehill.”
She went on: “When you offered me something that was not yours to offer me in the first place and then talk to all of my friends and s–t talk my career? F–k you!”