Sometimes I think that Real Housewives seasons exist solely so that we’ll have something to talk about at the reunions. Watching last night’s finale of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion, I definitely got that feeling; the entire season seemed like a run-up to what may have been the juiciest reunion episode ever, and despite the fact that it took 20 episodes to get there, it seemed worth it.
Donn was cheating for decades, Vicki was cheating with Brooks. Everyone knew about all of it. Brooks is so afraid of Brianna’s reasoning skills and general sense of logic that he refused to appear on the reunion during the same segment as her, and I can only fantasize about what it would have been like to see Brooks questioned by someone who has both intimate knowledge of his situation with Vicki and two brain cells to rub together. (Sorry, Andy Cohen. You don’t count. You weren’t asking the tough questions.) As always, let’s enumerate the the things we learned after the jump.
1. In hindsight, watching everyone fight in their 80s bunco costumes is hilarious. When the context of the theme isn’t mentioned before a clip from the bunco party plays, it just looks like a bunch of batshit insane people with terrible makeup and cheap clothes yelling at each other. Actually, I guess that’s not all that different from the regular Real Housewives fights. So, never mind.
2. Gretchen shall go down in history as the first person to produce physical emails in a reunion fight. (Or at least the first I can remember right now.) Every reunion, someone complains about texts or tweets or emails that no one ever gets to see and they all argue about what was in them without the audience having any idea what was actually said. Not only did Gretchen bring emails, but they were dated and they said exactly what she claimed: the Fox 5 producers had asked her to come in for a series of segments back in July. Alexis’ dueling emails were from October and the producer they were from only claimed that they hadn’t previously offered the gig to anyone “to his knowledge” and that they wouldn’t use anyone else going forward. Not exactly a trump card, Lex. It never seemed to quite sink in with her that perhaps her producer was telling a white lie to keep his on-air talent from freaking out and causing problems.
It was still kind of bitchy of Gretchen to bring up her previous offer from the station during the season, of course, and Alexis isn’t working for them anymore, so it doesn’t really matter anyway. Alexis’ assertion that the producers had preferred her because she had “drive” and they just KNEW that she could handle things sounds like someone can’t tell the difference between objective reality and having smoke blown up her ass…
3. Heather’s house is 14,300 square feet. Just in case you were wondering.
4. Brooks has four kids with TWO women, not three. I’m sure Brianna offers her apologies.
5. Brooks says he isn’t fake, he’s southern. I’m southern too, and he’s one fake-ass, opportunistic, grifting redneck. Bless his heart.
6. “You’re a man, not a woman. Act like one.” Ok, Tamra, calm the hell down. Just because the women on the show lose their minds over an eye roll that they didn’t even see doesn’t mean that all women do, and it doesn’t mean that men are any better at keeping their heads on straight over small things. We’ve all seen a bar fight start because a guy looked at someone’s girlfriend the wrong way, haven’t we? (Or maybe I just hang out in crappy bars?)
7. Donn’s back to living in the house with Vicki. As are Brianna and her husband, who are expecting a baby. Vicki also had a crying fit at a restaurant when she found out that Brianna was pregnant, sort of like when she found out that Brianna was married. I feel like Brianna announces those things in public to try and contain Vicki’s bad behavior. Surprisingly, Vicki actually managed to throw Brianna a wedding without inviting every single person on the planet she knows, including none of the housewives.
8. Give Brianna her own show. She’s ten times as articulate as anyone on the show, she’s mature enough to still speak to her mother despite the fact that her boyfriend outed both her pregnancy and wedding, and she scares Brooks so shitless that he refused to be part of the reunion segment that included her. Vicki, for her part, still denies that Brooks is a sticking point in her relationship with her daughter, despite the fact that Brianna insists, to her face, that he is.
9. Apparently errbody cheatin’ on errbody. First, Vicki claimed that Donn had a 20-year affair, and everyone seemed to agree that was the truth and no one acted the least bit surprised to hear it, including Brianna. Brianna also mentioned that she had seen texts on her mother’s phone that pointed to what was almost surely an emotional affair between her and Brooks before she had separated from Donn, and Brianna obviously has no reason to snitch on her mother unless she thinks that Vicki’s being grossly unfair and untruthful about the situation. Vicki denied that texts from Brooks saying that he loved her were at all notable, and then Tamra interjected that Vicki had claimed to have woken up naked next to a man on their trip to Cabo. Vicki denied that too, but Brianna didn’t seem surprised to hear the accusation.
Of course, Tamra only said that after Vicki accused her of cheating on Simon, and when you’re throwing accusations like that on television, you probably shouldn’t do it at someone who has both a short temper and a big mouth and who knows extremely private things about you. When forced to be specific, though, Vicki admitted that Tamra hadn’t taken up with Eddie until after she and Simon were living separately, which is a lot different than exchanging affectionate texts with a man while you’re hanging out with your family and husband on a big family holiday, let alone boning a rando in Cabo.
Vicki seems obsessed with shifting the focus off of herself whenever any kind of imperfect behavior is discussed, and you’d think that by now, she’d be mature enough to realize that just because someone else has done bad things doesn’t mean it excuses or minimizes her own bad behavior. Tamra should have taken the high road and kept the Cabo dude to herself, in a perfect world, but I don’t blame her for deciding that all bets are off when she’s being accused of cheating by someone who she knows has cheated plenty (and who knows she didn’t cheat). I also don’t blame Gretchen for being indignant about Vicki’s previous accusations surrounding her late fiance. Pot meet kettle, eh?
10. Bravo should dispense with the fake plots and simply follow these women’s actual lives. Apparently Vicki’s actual life over the past few years has been a zillion times juicier than the plot points that were constructed for her on the show, and between that and Alexis’ upcoming trampoline park and whatever feat of physics made Tamra’s hair so giant, it seems like there’s a larger opportunity here than the producers have managed to seize. Get on that next season, Bravo.
Speaking of next season, this recap marks the beginning of a little break I’m taking from Real Housewives, mostly to prevent the rest of my brain from leaking out of my ears. I appreciate all the readers and commenters these recaps have amassed over the years, and I hope you’ll rejoin me back here for more recaps when Real Housewives of Beverly Hills rolls back around!