You know that feeling at the end of college, where you know you’re about to graduate, where the tests are over, the pressure is off, this overwhelming weight of adolescence feels ready and willing to shake itself off of your shoulders? Where the sense of existential doom is overshadowed by this Dionysian urge to live life to the fullest? That’s how I feel about this episode of Real Housewives of Dallas. Like a sudden compulsion to dance with them and savor then, to let them have their way with me in the neon-lit bar of a frat house until I no longer feel their purpose. This season has been fun and wondrous and full of lessons, but I’m so ready to be rid of it, I’m so ready to let these women fly off my back and go far away, back to the trees where they’ve built their dirty nests.
But also, I know that I’ll miss them. I know that on Thursday nights, I’ll be left with nothing but a box of wine and my dog and my cat and my bills, and I’ll stare adulthood square in its chalky face, and I’ll sigh. I’m going to pine for this escapism, and I’m going to think of sweet Stephanie, whispering all her fears to me until a baby kangaroo boings in and helps her forget everything.
You guys, I’m going to miss us, and I know there’s a reunion, but this is the only shit left worth mocking for fun, so let’s just dive into it and savor it. Here, for a final time, are our horrendous Real Housewives of Dallas.
This episode was a super quick conclusion to 16 episodes of drunk shaming, culminating in one very ill-conceived frat party, so not a lot happened. The producers tried to tie up loose ends by cramming as much manufactured filler into the first act, so we were treated to a lot of low-stakes content where the ladies did a bunch of boring shit. As we blazed through a season recap before the opening title rolled, I was kind of surprised that I’ve spent four whole months never finding out like, why Cary and her Dad had such a weird relationship (we never saw them in one scene together), where all of the Rich-cheating rumors came from, or how Brandi and Stephanie managed to form warring cliques yet still managed to stay THE VERY BEST! of friends this entire season.
And that’s where we land for this first scene, with Brandi and Stephanie “prepping” for Travis’ going-away party, which is frat themed since he’s going to Harvard Business School. OK first off I find it insane that we’ve spent 40 fucking years in the desert with these idiots, Stephanie moaning all the while about how she’s going to forget how to read and breathe and wipe herself while Travis is away, and Travis still hasn’t taken this damn trip.
Second, I also am a little (a lot) skeeved out that a bunch of 40-year-olds are giddily psyching this guy up for going back to “college” by throwing him a drunken bacchanal, aka frat party. Travis is an old puffy married man who’s flying out to Boston to take a few classes in emerging capital and microeconomics before he shuffles off to his corporate apartment in the snow to eat Chinese food and stare at sexy movies on Starz (if he’s lucky). Funneling bears and hanging himself all over Sigma Nu girls he will not be. So let’s not put any ideas in his head.
But nevertheless, Steph loves a good party, and damn if she won’t blast it with a theme, so here we are, with her and Brandi working hard at the task of drinking wine on the porch and watching Trey do everything.
Also, I am extremely h*cking angry that we didn’t get to hear one peep (good one brain!) out of these cast mates all season!
Throughout the episode, all of the ladies will tell sordid tales of what they were like in college, way back in the olden days when Times Square was a little old apple orchard out in the country and women could be prosecuted for learning how to read.
Stephanie explains that she was an angelic virgin all through high school so when she finally liberated herself* and went off to college, she threw off all her clothes and jumped in a public fountain and said, “hark, ye sinners! I am the goddess Ariadne! Bring me wine and the head of young Hercules! Praise me in song and fetcb me strapping strong warriors for to lay their seed in my fertile fields!”
She bathes in the immortal panacea of Sun-In and Bud Light
*she wasn’t that independent. Remember that story she told about making her dad drive two hours to come fix her clogged toilet?
Like Stephanie, I was also a total square in high school who turned into a parent’s worst nightmare when I got to college. The transition from all-girls Catholic school to NYU is … how should I put this… nuclear? I didn’t become a slutty bag of liquor over night, but I did become a slutty bag of liquor over night. When I think back on those years the only memory I have is the smell of beer rot and a closet full of Ugg boots. Perhaps my worst memory of all, though, was giving an interview to The New Yorker after the election and telling them a) I didn’t vote and b) I thought everyone who voted was stupid. Literally, of all the awful, mean-spirited, dangerous shit I pulled, that is the mistake that sticks with me the most.
Feel free to tell us who you were in college in the comments. I’d love to hear your stories! Please make me feel better about myself and the decisions I’ve made.
Brandi tells us that because she was a cheerleader who was terrified of gaining weight, she never drank in college. Also she was with Brian the whole time, so she was skinny, sober, AND boring. What a waste. No wonder she’s such a trainwreck on this show.
There’s a super boring scene where LeeAnne drags Pirate Rich to an LGBTQ-friendly place of worship called “Church of Hope,” as in I Hope the audience at home is still convinced this schmuck is gunna marry me. The place looks like the bunker in American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Promising!
And whatever, nothing happens. LeeAnne just jumps up and down and claps a lot and interviews about how PERSECUTED she is but this place is so WELCOMING of her and her homicidal tendencies and god dammit, she DESERVES this. Rich does his usual thing of darting his eyes around in a terrified fashion and making jokes out the corner of his mouth about vodka and execution chambers.
The only other thing worth pointing out in this red herring of a scene is that LeeAnne makes an obvious note to scroll through the calendar on her phone to set a date: April 27th. That’s two days before my birthday. If I turn 19 (nine.TEEN.) and this bitch isn’t married I will personally send her a— ? um, very strongly worded tweet.
Then there’s another bizarre scene where D’Andra and Dee have a contract signing party? Look, I get that it’s a big deal for the Designing Women set piece and large limestone cliff that is Dee to finally (and officially) cede control of her face poison empire over to D’Andra, but damn is there a lot of pageantry to this.
Dee’s set up a little ceremonial table at the restaurant, short of nothing but a huppah and a rabbi, and invited about, mm, five thousand of her closest friends. We watch as Dee and D’Andra’s brightly colored talons float erratically over some dotted lines with an expensive pen and boom, the deal is done. I can’t believe this conflict lasted all h*ckin season!
D’Andra swipes the contract in ceremonial pomegranate juice, then dusts it with the sacred dirt of Pride Rock. She then holds the tiny infant contract up over her head, into the blazing sun, and a sonic boom of excitement erupts over all the animals. They bay and cant and buck and whinny, beating the ground with their hooves and their claws and their antlers. The monkeys scream in terrifying approval, leaping in the air and flashing their yellow teeth as they clap. The elephants hurl their tusks to the sky, weaving their trunks through a flock of soaring herons, and blare out a brassy roar. A happy chortle rolls through the pack of zebras, prancing in place. The kingdom is at peace, for it has found a new king. Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba! All hail King D’Andra.
And yes, I realize that that is the THIRD Lion King analogy I’ve made all season and guess what buttheads, I’M NOT SORRY.
Anyway, I will miss our glorious Dee. Bye, queen.
*whispers:* I love you.
LeeAnne and This Bitch meet at a boutique to go shopping for Travis (WHY, he’s going to night school, not dying) and This Bitch is wearing a skirt that normally I’d love but now I hate it because it’s on her.
PINEAPPLE MUCH, DUMMY???!!!
high five, me
They decide to get Travis a “chambong” and it’s one of those very rare occasions where I actually agree with This Bitch in her interviews:
So, full disclosure (and what is obvious): I skipped recapping last week because I was Brandi Redmonded. I was drunk off my ASS, henny, and even though I did try to get my family to watch this show with me (I made an attempt!) they talked over it the whole time and then my stupid cousin announced she was h*ckin pregnant and I was like eeeewh buoouy there goes my uterus may as well drink some more and then I cried because actually I’m so happy for her and I can’t wait to have a baby and maybe I’m having an existential crisis and tomato/tomahto, I guess LeeAnne thinks Brandi stole her phone.
This Bitch, for once, isn’t a total slave to LeeAnne’s hysteria and while they’re sitting on the store couch talking, she suggests that it’s not totally out of the realm of reason for Brandi to confiscate a phone she is 99% sure has a picture of her naked on it. For context, LeeAnne was filming Brandi and everyone else who skinny dipped in the Baltic Sea with Cary’s family in Copenhagen. LeeAnne said she was “filming it for posterity,” which seems like a limp reason when you remember there was a whole camera crew behind her filming everything for national television. Brandi thought it was double suspicious since she thinks LeeAnne’s trying to sabotage her attempt to legally adopt Bruin. LeeAnne doesn’t see it that way, of course, and reverts back to her old wonderful narrative of being everyone’s bloody, battered scapegoat, which of course leads to her snarling that she’s going to kill everyone, including Stephanie, who’s a bad friend because something something fashion show.
And I’m sort of like This Bitch over here, who can do nothing but lean back into the sofa and talk into her own neck, going “riiiiiight, reeeeeeeeeeght,” the whole time.
Not a third of the way into the episode, we’re into its final scene: the day of Travis’ Frat Party. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
Hold up. Did you SEE how much vodka is on that table???!
OK, I just threw up in my mouth a lot. And then choked on my own vomit and the RA had to rush me to the ER to get my stomach pumped.
Anyway, here’s what two forty-year-olds are wearing to the party!
I can’t believe I never talked about this, but Brandi and Stephanie really infantilize the shit out of themselves. Stephanie reminds me of Holly from The Girls Next Door, bopping around the Playboy mansion and giggling pornily at a horny old man in a velour smoking jacket, and Brandi, well. Stay away from ice cream trucks, girl.
Stephanie shows off her jello shots as she talks about h*ckin in a frat house and I gotta say, I’m impressed.
… not for the having sex in a frat house part. But the jello shots. That shit is LABOR INTENSIVE. I once stayed up all flippin night making jello shots for a Virginia Tech game my ex took me to with his family, and look at what a hella good girlfriend I was:
That’s THREE FUCKING JELLO SHOTS IN ONE MOTHERFUCKER. I had to spend 16 sleepless hours to make that chef-d’œu·vre. I researched how to put that together for a whole DAY. People had to consume this glorious rainbow elixir with a GOLDEN SPOON. I was worried the orange part would meld into the maroon part and you wouldn’t be able to see the Hokie colors so you know what I did? I FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE A GOD DAMN MATTE WHITE JELLO SHOT. It requires 10 newborn fingernail clippings and a blood oath to Beelzebub, plus a week’s worth of penance and patient waiting. And you know what my ex did? Nothing. He sat on his soggy ass like a thankless churl. Whatever, Name Redacted (that’s his legal name now, it’s on his Social Security card: Name Redacted), I was always too good for you!
Anyway, I’m proud of Stephanie and her 600 jello shots. Also, Brandi is Done (not Sam & Ronnie Done, but Done Done) with LeeAnne. One of the things I missed last week also was I guess This Bitch sent Brandi a voicemail about LeeAnne not cloning Brandi’s phone and Brandi’s also mad about that? Who cares. Go back and look at my Nobel Prize-winning jello shot.
Stephanie contends that LeeAnne and This Bitch are friends because LeeAnne is This Bitch’s “safety net” because once upon a time Brandi chased This Bitch around a beach in Mexico with a big black dildo until LeeAnne flew in on a steed with a flaming sword and slashed Brandi’s head clean off her scaly body. It fell with a lump on the sand, a terrible scream peeling from its throat, and then This Bitch threw her hanky at LeeAnne and they made love atop Brandi’s steaming body.
I’m such a bad recapper. My imagination is fun though!
OK, so can we talk about this disaster that happened when LeeAnne showed up to get dressed with This Bitch?
So, everyone obviously thought of the party’s theme “frat party” and immediately went to Revenge of the Nerds, which meant all the guys dressed up as preppy 80s movie villains and all the women dressed up as nameless 80s camp movie sluts. So LeeAnne’s original plan – pictured above – wasn’t totally off the mark. But then she sees This Bitch’s outfit, which is a surprisingly on-the-nose and perfect Cher Horowitz from Clueless, and said I WANT TO DO THAT. Which is lazy and selfish and tasteless and obviously This Bitch has to pretend she’s OK with LeeAnne running to the same costume store to purchase the same outfit while This Bitch sits alone at home, with no one to talk to, to wash her hair and fume that someone else is going to be wearing the same costume to the party. To know that she now has to show up to this shit looking like she and LeeAnne are so inseparable they can’t wear individual clothes. Great!
For once, I actually feel bad for her.
And, not for nothing, because lo and behold This Bitch was tailor-made for a Cher Horowitz costume, Cher Horowitz doesn’t fit in with the the theme of the party. a) Cher is Peak Nineties, and b) Clueless was a movie about high school, not college.
But, oh my god, YES.
But oh my god, NO. I’m fairly certain at this point that LeeAnne has no idea what Clueless is. I’m actually fairly certain that LeeAnne has never seen A movie.
And while This Bitch’s getup is SO THERE, her highlighter is a little too much there. If you know what I mean.
You need a shmudge, as my family would say to This Bitch. That means rub your fist across your cheekbones until your ears fall off because… oof, Jesus, take the wheel, and all the makeup.
Brief interlude to talk about the rest of the crew in college: Cary was a slut like me who confused over-sized men shirt’s for dresses:
For this party, though, she’s chosen to go as a Millennial college student, wearing just enough clothing to cover up her nipples and half her ass cheeks, and yes that’s how I feel about college-aged girls today and yes that makes me old. But who cares: I care about you girls and I want you to put some damn clothes on!!!!!
I was almost considering turning this recap into an appreciation post of solely this picture of D’Andra in college in the 80s:
It’s so perfect. The “metal” hand sign. The obvious Diet Coke in a wine glass. The FEATHERED HAIR IN A JACUZZI. Damn, that’s brave. What’s not brave, however, is D’Andra’s outfit at this party:
D’Andra was talking in the car on the way over to Dee about being all anxious to see LeeAnne and as a side note – completely unrelated and now that this is the finale – I gotta say I love Jeremy. He’s a drunken lech, and that’s annoying, but also sort of sweet. I kind of love the way he slurs at D’Andra to forget about the whole LeeAnne thing and then slobbers all over her knuckles and asks her if they can just have fun tonight.
Maybe it’s only me, but it’s so obvious that he’s lit out of his mind even at this early stage (and no judgment, I’d have to load up on bourbon before one of these parties too), and he can’t wait for the part where they’re done with these stupid screaming harpies and he can maul D’Andra in the back of the car, all the dark way home, and then pass out on top of her in their bed made out of money. I love Jeremy. He’s a relatable horndog, and sometimes that’s all ya need.
Look how cutely possessive he is! No seriously, it’s cute?
So the party starts and I’m comforted to know that with all this open liquor around the kids are included:
So are innocent exotic baby animals, such as Callie Roo, the famous baby kangaroo from Stephanie’s spa party:
… and her inimitable handler, Happy Adam Lanza:
(sorry, I ALWAYS SEE IT)
I also love that Bryan’s so drunk when he shows up that he literally stumbles in:
Perfect adoptive father candidate
As D’Andra shares the news that the company was signed over, these two buffoons walk in MISQUOTING Clueless. For this crime, they must be executed.
THE LINE IS “I TOTALLY PAUSED,” IDIOT
The rest of the cast obviously shit all over these weird “twinsie” outfits, especially Cary, who points out the “19-year-old” who did the slutty version:
… and it’s OK for a 19-year-old to show up to an ironic frat party dressed up as Clueless! Because she probably never saw the movie and she probably thinks people from the 90s are a hundred and oh god what is this child doing at a 40-year-old man’s backyard party that’s been sponsored by Wild Turkey can someone please call her parents?
Stephanie asks LeeAnne point blank if LeeAnne stole Brandi’s cell phone and you guys, quite honestly, I don’t know what’s going on with this cell phone business and I feel like even if I paid attention last week during Thanksgiving it wouldn’t give me that much more clarity.
… but suffice to say that LeeAnne explains in her supremely injured way that she wanted Brandi to feel the same “stress” that Brandi inflicted on LeeAnne when Brandi stole LeeAnne’s phone so yeah, she stole Brandi’s phone. And that’s because LeeAnne believes in tit for tat, and when LeeAnne gets tat, her “tit’s always going to be bigger.”
The Housewives are always so proud of themselves when they can improv/yes-and themselves like that.
Meanwhile, the other side of the conversation is being set up five feet away with Brandi and This Bitch, so we’ll ping-pong back and forth between these two dumpster fires and you know how recappers love that.
Brandi and This Bitch start out in that “They’re Definitely About To Fight” way that the Housewives have: which is one of them denigrating herself to the point of damnation until the other one has to dig her out of hell by praising her hair and her clothes and her taste in cheap HomeGoods kitchen decor.
So once This Bitch has been fully adored, she explains to Brandi, rightfully! (I can’t believe I’m saying that about This Bitch) that she totally gets why Brandi would steal a phone she assumed had racy content of her stored. Which makes sense! This Bitch is so prude I actually doubt she has private parts. I assume she’s just a Barbie doll under all that terrible mid-aughts pink faux fur clothing, with smooth peaks on her chest and a flat hinge between her knee-less legs. Wee-ooh, wee-err! she goes when she walks. Beep boop beep bop, I’m a doctor, Ken! Let’s bump faces and kiss! Mwah mwah! Look, we made a baby! Let’s lay its rigid plastic body in my little pink mansion, for I have no placenta of which to speak…
During the commercial, the cast and crew takes a break for like three hours because suddenly we come back – everyone’s back in Places! – but it’s dark now, and Brandi is screaming at the top of her tiny lungs.
“Why would you believe!” “What did I do!” “Think about it, Kameron!” “Use your brain!” Brandi shrieks, willing tears to come to her eyes, feeling a thousand tiny demons wake from their slumber in the pit of her stomach and crawl with a vengeance, their razor-sharp claws tearing fury into her vocal chords, up through her throat and off of her tongue. This Bitch can do nothing but silently nod across from Brandi and blink her eyes slowly, reluctantly agreeing that while Brandi is acting like a lunatic LeeAnne actually IS a lunatic who steals phones and films people in intimate settings and then threatens to kill them.
Meanwhile, Cary is hilariously standing to the side of all this, gnawing drunkenly on her straw and looking around the lawn and slurring out her default sound: “nnnnnnngrI think yuh juss need to go’n talk ta herrrrrrrrrrrrrrr[rrrrrrrrrzoom shut down noise].”
D’Andra joins the conversation and tells This Bitch that she, too, is done with LeeAnne:
… in her interviews, D’Andra explains how she thinks LeeAnne’s used her to “social climb,” and now that she’s met This Bitch she no longer needs D’Andra, which makes D’Andra feel “disposable.” Which, hey! isn’t wrong, but I think D’Andra is confusing “This Bitch” for “reality television.”
Meanwhile, LeeAnne and Stephanie are still on their marks, conveniently five feet away from this whole conversation, talking about the same thing. Stephanie tells LeeAnne that she “fills like” LeeAnne should just talk to Brandi. LeeAnne honors the Housewife tradition of insisting that she doesn’t want to raise weapons in the host’s home (“not at your party!” “not in your home!” “not tonight!”) but Stephanie gives her a look like, bitch, you know this is the finale scene, just fucking cave. So LeeAnne h*cking caves and agrees to talk to Brandi and Stephanie puts an arm out and like a rabbit on a cane in a Looney Toons clip, Brandi appears in frame.
LeeAnne tries to be all measured with her initiation, recalling some some sort of therapy “I” statements so she doesn’t come off as aggressive: I feel like you felt like I felt like you stole my phone if you feel like I feel like I feel those feelings, which I feel if you feel like that happened if that happened which I feel like it did. [meditation bowl gong of victory]
And then Brandi tells her that if she stole LeeAnne’s phone she wouldn’t have personally returned it to LeeAnne’s room and what the fuck ever, then it devolves into both of them calling themselves out on each other on lies and name-calling that I can’t really recap but it does lead to beautiful interactions like this:
Context (and geography) is key
Brandi and D’Andra both pile on to LeeAnne to eventually yell about how she called them both alcoholics. LeeAnne says that she only inferred it, so Cary (finally!) steps up to the plate to remind LeeAnne (with Bravo editor receipts) that not only are inferring and claiming the same thing, but she DID call Brandi an alcoholic at one of this season’s four billion pop-up party scenes.
Guys, can I just *infer* at this point that I’m drunk and I have no idea how I’m going to make it through the last 10 minutes of this recap? I’m going to die. Leave me here. Go on. Remember my name.
As I lay dying in a snowbank, Brandi gets all up in LeeAnne’s face, wagging her finger and feeling her tiny little demons scramble all over her skin, scattering into her scalp, weaving their way through her wild raven hair as she screams herself hoarse about LeeAnne feeling better than everyone in present company.
LeeAnne spits back at Brandi to get out of her face and has the balls to poke her knobby witch’s finger into Brandi’s chest. Brandi jumps back with a jolt, rasping out victoriously, “hey! Who touched who?! WHO TOUCHED WHO.”
Who touched who indeed, we’ll ask this schlubby gawker who had the gall to capture it all on his phone, and the decorous houseguest who thoroughly condemned the whole thing:
Then both of them turn into something else, something horrifying. Something not of this world. Brandi starts snapping her arms to the house and yelling at LeeAnne to “get the fuck out,” as if this is her house because she’s been friends (wink) with Travis Hollman “for twenty fucking years!”
LeeAnne stares back at her and sways, unnerved, the fires of the Phlegethon rimming her irises and challenging Brandi with an evil thrill.
They’re like dogs met with a challenge, two beasts delighted at the prospect of doing something primal and unchained, to sink some lethal part of their body into foreign flesh and tear it apart, to feel hot metallic blood coat the back of their mouths. Meanwhile, the rest of the ladies are helpless, Clueless even?, to stop them, to hold them fruitlessly at bay and just hiss through clenched teeth to “SHTOP ITT. SHTOPP EHHHHTTTT.” But that’s not how you chain a Titan. When the Titans are unleashed, all you can do is wait for Hades to burst through the earth on his chariot and drag the whole world back into hell.
Or! You could wait for Cary to come through with a spray bottle and tss!tss!tss! until LeeAnne is sitting at a set of patio furniture by herself talking to only herself like a black woman she assumes was in that movie Friday.
Meanwhile, Brandi will go cry and talk about how she wants to kill herself, because these Titans, they have real problems that matter, ya know?
Here’s a screen grab that perfectly encapsulates A(LeeAnne) my feelings about my life in general and why I turn to reality television, and B(Cary) the self-persecution I feel when I question why I do these recaps.
It’s funny because I stopped believing in God at a frat party.
And in the end, it turns out this whole episode was a litmus test. It’s a New Yorker cartoon on this series in general. Surprise! LeeAnne’s got split personalities! Surprise! We still have these two factions, which Stephanie will “fill” the endless need to talk to, to coddle, to understand.
Surprise! Brandi’s drunk! Surprise! D’Andra likes hanging out with that more than babysitting a lunatic, so she does a keg stand and her underwear shows and caution be damned, D’Andra proves everyone wrong.
And surprise, it’s time for what we’ve been waiting for all season: the precious Housewives epilogues.
“It’s not just a phase, MOM,” says D’Andra.
I’m not even going to dignify This Asshole (stay tuned for Season 4) with a comment.
How you know you did nothing all season, courtesy Cary Deuber
LeeAnne is still grabbing ass, praying for a wedding spin-off.
Stephanie got the best send-off, I fill like:
Because as my Facebook groups and the sages agree:
And finally, there’s Brandi, who has a baby that farts.
Sometimes this show feels so much like a frat party. Something I want to indulge in, something that will make me feel beautiful and popular and fun. Cute and funny and adorable. And sometimes this show makes me feel the opposite: debased and ashamed and stupid, questioning what I said, wondering what everyone thinks about me. In a way, this whole season, this whole show, is our biggest frat party: our time to shine, burned and smoldering into a whole drunken humiliation. God, what a farce. What a stupid enterprise. Why even do we do this?
Maybe because it feels so good. Maybe because it’s good to laugh. Maybe because when I wake up in the morning, after spending hours recapping these awful, wretched, terrible people, tangling myself in their sheets, wandering my hands over their curves and getting to know their most personal parts, I ask myself if I’d do it again.
And without fail, I always smile to myself, my pride outweighing my guilt, and say: h*ck yes I would.
We’re all just animals looking for fun, and the greatest joy in life is trampling the Serengeti in search of it. (ONE MORE LION KING REFERENCE FOR THE WIN!)
Next week: It’s the reunion! Oh god, kill me. D’Andra has a secret about LeeAnne! This Bitch and her terrible hair hate the word “society!” It has to stop! Stephanie still struggles with depression! Cary finally has an opinion! The guy who said Mark gets his dick sucked at the Round-Up was a disgruntled florist who WE NEVER MET ALL SEASON. Mama Dee makes an appearance! Brandi explains what would’ve happen if she “stoled” LeeAnne’s phone! And D’Andra tells us about how Rich really cheated!
Join me, won’t you?
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