Episode 2: “Mad As a Hatter”
Like every great reality television program, the episode begins with a review of what happened last episode. (Our take on Episode 1 and the cast viewing party is here for those who missed it.) Housewife LeeAnne Locken is angry at other Housewife Brandi Redmond for mocking her. There are actual wars happening around the world where people are dying, but nothing is more dramatic and tense than this moment right now. This is The Real Housewives of Dallas. Take it seriously, dammit.
This episode starts with some quick glances into all of the housewives' lives — Locken feeds her dog, nurse Cary Deuber does something to someone’s breasts, Hendra “looks cute” for her Keith Urban-lookalike hubby, and so on. We follow Locken and Hendra to Binzario Couture, a bridal couture and formal gown boutique.
Locken is meeting with designer Andre Yabin because he designed her hat for the annual Mad Hatter's Tea that benefits the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum. Yabin tells us that the only time producers cut in was to signal Yabin to leave so Locken and housewife Tiffany Hendra could be alone to have a conversation.
We don’t see any one-on-one conversations with Locken and Hendra at the store, but Locken does offer this insight to the camera: “Thousands of dollars go into these hats. I do not go anywhere near that budget. My designer knows that they’re going to get so much publicity… They give me my hat for free.”
Yabin tells us that’s actually not true at all, because Locken paid him for his services.
Then we head to Hollman’s home so Real Housewife Stephanie Hollman and Brandi Redmond can make their hats for the Mad Hatter's Tea. While Locken is having a fancy designer make hers, these moms want to prove how down-to-earth they are — by making their own! So Redmond puts toy dogs and toy poop on her hat. (The RHOD warned the Observer that the season is littered with poop references, and they are not wrong.)
Eventually, we get to the scene of the crime. What the entire episode has been leading up to. What the episode is titled after. It’s finally the day of the Mad Hatter's Tea at the Dallas Arboretum, where Locken will wear a custom-made hat and Redmond will show up with shit on her hat. It’s what will divide countries.
Redmond shows up in her poop hat, takes pictures, mingles with others, and Locken looks on disgusted. Then one of the toy poops falls off Redmond’s hat and fellow poop aficionado Deuber places it in Locken’s chair.
Background info: Mad Hatter’s Tea benefits the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum. When we reached out to last year’s chair of the event, we were told they weren’t available to comment. Remember: When this TV show was shot, it was about Dallas women in the charity world. Now it’s a show about Dallas housewives, part of a larger franchise where the most famous scene is arguably a woman flipping a table.
Likewise, several emails and phone calls to the Dallas Arboretum went unreturned.
Steve Kemble, host of the "What’s Hot” segment on KVIL, friend to all of the Housewives and recipient of Locken’s poop-fueled anger, was at the Mad Hatter’s event that day when everything went down. We see Locken go to Kemble to tell him about the poop spotting, but we aren't sure why she chose him. Is he the police officer of charity events? We're just offered, "He is uber connected into the charity society world."
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"This fell off someone's hat..." Locken begins to explain to Kemble.
“I think that LeeAnne was probably just shocked that Brandi had that because that was in her hat,” Kemble tells the Dallas Observer. “I don’t remember exactly when it happened or how it happened, but I remember LeeAnne coming over and was just, like, shocked. I don’t think in the history of Mad Hatter’s anything like that has ever happened and there’s been some crazy stuff happen.”
Oh, the drama!
Poop references episode 2: The entire episode counts as one.