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Above the Fire Line

Episode 10:'s Editor discusses the ladies glamping trip and Gretchen's vocal issues.

Hello Glampers!

How to Watch

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I hope you've packed your bed rolls, screw top wine, and emergency breast implant ice packs, because the wilderness is a dangerous place -- filled with skunks and people who doubt your financial claims. Let's recap the Orange County ladies attempt at camping!

Let Me Get My Microscope
Before we get into the woods, we have to confront the new species that is Tamra, sans a few cup sizes. And Vicki is not into it. Not only are they small, she's never going to have sensation in her nipples again (according to Vicki). Well now we firmly know where Vicki stands on the boobs or butt debate (boobs).

Besides just ragging on Tamra's smaller chest, Vicki fills her in on the bowling party disaster -– and on her budding friendship with Alexis. Tamra is having a hard time grasping how these two can be pals, and we'll have to see if she's right. . . There's a lot of water under that there bridge.

Eddie doesn't seem to mind the sizes, but perhaps that's just because Tamra kept the old ones on hand just in case. That's right folks. Did you know that breast implants also make delightful ice packs? The more you know! So until he can test drive the newest merchandise, he must suffice on these faux fun bags, and these two kids will just have to sit around recovering and not lifting heavy things together.

Troop Orange County
Next we see Alexis packing marshmallows and graham crackers for the camping trip. It was Mrs. Bellino's idea to send the gang into the wilderness (for that we thank her), but her doctor believes she needs a helping hand. So she decides to bring Shannon, as a friend/hair and makeup lady/nurse. Also in tow are Vicki and Briana and Heather sans hair dryer. The ladies immediately begin getting into the natural swing of things on the ride over, when Alexis breaks into dance.

Unfortunately, that seems to be a bit too active for her, and she must finish her moves and ice her face. Dancing is the most dangerous game people. Never forget.

Cat's Got Her Throat
Gretchen, meanwhile, is texting Slade drink orders because she's still on vocal rest. She's packed her bags for glamping, but Slade thinks to prevent forest fires more damage to her voice by staying home. So, despite her desire to smooth things over with Alexis, she decides to glamp another day.

Once she's feeling rested, she meets with the coach who will teach her "Fever" for the big performance. It's obvious that Gretchen's in pain when she's trying to sing, which is really rough to watch. Did anyone else just want to give her a lozenge and tell her to rest? In the car, G just breaks down. Her voice is stressful enough, and then Gretchen gets all swirled up, pondering the fight with Vicki and Slade's stand up and how everything led to the current situation. It's a big spiral, but here's hoping Gretchen can focus on what she can do at this point to get her through the performance (leaving us on pins on to see what happens next week).

Into the Woods
Once the ladies finally arrive at the lodge, they immediately begin to push the boundaries of "glam." What is too much to ask for on a glamping trip? Heather wants to ensure she has a full king bed (best for sharing with bears). Do they really have to cook their meals with their own hands over an open flame? Is this store actually stocked with unfamiliar wines, while the cabins aren't even stocked with wine bottles openers.

Also I must discuss Alexis' poem, and more importantly Vicki's attempt to make good of it -- flubert? Flumble? These should all be real words. I flumbert my words constantly. That's how language is born. In 20 years our children will be saying flumbert and they'll have Vicki Gunvalson to thank for it. Know this.

As the ladies scrounge for appropriate wine glasses (the lodge doesn't stock red and white glasses, how crude!), and communes with the natural wildlife (bugs down Alexis' shirt), things get real rustic. This land without sherpas (since Heather isn't one) and decent cell phone service is harsh. At least they managed to reach a consensus at least not to burn the plastic while starting a fire and to not alert Papa John's to their lack of wilderness savvy. And soon enough, a different kind of delivery arrived – a skunk! Thankfully, like most things, the skunk was afraid of Vicki and moved on. Smart move young animal.

Speaking of Vicki, it was lovely to see her feeling the kumbaya by the fire and saying she's changed her perspective. The idea of her apologizing to Gretchen (and being friends with Alexis) is a giant step, even if she's only taking a portion of the blame. Kudos 50 percent. Oh who am I kidding? Kudos, 100 percent. Negotiate your apology all you want.

It's also interesting to see the parallels between Vicki and Brook's relationship and Briana and Ryan's courtship. It seems both of them are keeping their closest gent close to the vest.

Next week Alexis struggles with her acting career while Gretchen and the gang heads to Vegas for the big performance. Until then, what was your favorite part of glamping? The bug that now lives in Alexis' bra? The skunk who feared Vicki? The face-wrinkling pillows? Leave it in the comments.

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