Real Housewives of Orange County S08 E17 Recap

How bizarre was last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County? Deeply bizarre, I think. Gretchen flew Slade around Orange County in a helicopter, and instead of having someone spontaneously push him out over the ocean like we all silently hoped she would, he landed and she was in what looked suspiciously like a cheap Vegas wedding dress, waiting to ask him to marry her. And that’s to say nothing of Vicki’s AgroCrag-covered Winter Wonderland Pool Party. I understand all those words, but I’m still not sure if they make sense in that order.

1. The previews for this episode consisted almost entirely of a montage of Slade being awful. I’ve said this before, but sometimes, if you pay attention and watch this show often enough, you can tell when the producers are letting you know what they think of someone. Slade seems not to be a favorite of theirs. This is my surprised face.

2. “I feel like sometimes I do like him, and then he talks.” Lydia said this about Slade, but really, it applies to so many people. So many people are great until they say words.

3. “Shut the hole that makes the words.” Heather’s kid knows what we’re sayin’ here.

4. All the talk of people shutting up and not making any more noises was a fitting preamble to Gretchen’s song. At least it was short! If there’s anything I’d ever want to thank Gretchen for, it’s recording a short song. I’d also like to thank Slade’s radio co-host for having hair interesting enough that I could use it as a distraction while waiting for the autotune to stop.

5. The whole engagement event made me vicariously embarrassed for Gretchen. Is vicarious embarrassment a positive emotion, in a way? I suppose it means that, at the very least, I can instinctually recognize some sort of humanity in Gretchen, who otherwise comes across as mostly craven and vapid. So yeah, let’s go with positive.

6. Alexis came to visit Tamra’s fitness studio and even brought a gift. Alexis, despite not being a particularly interesting element of the show for most of the season, has really come a long way toward not being terrible or even objectionable. That’s an admirable transformation, but also sort of risky – Alexis’ ability to enrage both her cast mates and the audience is what has kept her around thus far, and Bravo tends to get rid of people who suddenly stop provoking that kind of reaction in favor of being bland but well-liked. Exhibit A: Camille Grammer.

7. Slade has a grown kid? Slade has a grown kid. The more you know.

8. SLADE’S BROTHER KENT. Ok, so he has a mullet and his grill is kinda busted, but I bet he’s not nearly such a smarmy bastard as his brother. That may not count for anything on reality TV, but it counts in my heart, ok?

9. I am not OK with Vicki’s white dress. You guys know I rarely, if ever, comment negatively on how anyone’s body looks in any particular thing. That’s just not my style, and I tend not to believe that certain looks just have to be reserved for certain body types or ages. That being said, on top of all of Vicki’s ill-advised plastic surgery, a dress that’s short, tight, shiny, low-backed and low-cut only makes her look even more desperate to convince others that she feels young and sexy. Girl, you doin’ too much.

10. What kind of woman is ok with marrying a guy who can’t stop talking about how ugly other women are? This is really more a reaction to next week’s preview than this week’s episode, but really, what kind of woman do you have to be to think that a man who has based most of his public persona on bashing other womens’ appearances – and not just Vicki’s – is a halfway decent dude, let alone a good man to hitch your wagon to for life? Does Gretchen have low self-esteem or is she just as toxic? I guess that’s the primary question of their entire relationship, though, and so far, the probable answer’s not looking too good.

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  • Sherine

    I don’t care for Slade one way or the other, but I agree with you Amanda that the folks at Bravo seem to hate him. As corny as the whole proposal was, it made me feel for the couple. They have been through a lot together and I think there is a lot of love there. I really don’t like how Gretchen turned on Alexis with the rest of the girls but it looks like the same thing is happening to her now.
    I think the most despicable person on the show and probably the whole franchise is Tamra Barney, who seems to be an Andy favorite. The way she treated Alexis was terrible. Alexis is a better person than me for being able to forgive her.

  • Yerani_km

    Re: #10–A desperate cheesy two faced blovious constantly cheaply dressed wanna be Barbie insecure asshole who feels better about her vapid self by hearing her even more vapid fiancé smack talk and gossip like a 12 year old girl (credit to Lydia for the 12yr old part)

    • jane

      What about the people he works with/for. You would think his radio partner would tell him to shut the f up and worry about his own appearance. If I were her, I’d start snarking on Gretchen.

  • Jeloi

    lol at the introduction of pushing Slade from the helicopter. I do agree the dress Vicki had on was terrible, she didn’t look right in it. Slade brother, I wouldn’t have never connected the two of them as brothers. Gretchen was so deseperate to be apart of the in crowd (Vickie and Tamara) that she was willing to turn on Alexis the only one who supported her when she was being dragged through the mud by Vickie and Tamara and she will reap what she sowed. Tamara is nobodies friend except Vickie when it is convenient.

  • jane

    I like Alexis. She is no more grating than the rest of the women. At least she works to improve herself — when she had that horrible gig on the news, she had an instructor and seemed to be listening, etc. She doesn’t quite carry on so much as the other women about past deeds, actually willing to go to Tamra’s wedding shopping and fitness opening? On the other hand, I can’t stand Heather. CAN”T STAND HER! SHe just completely rubs me the wrong way. There are some moments I like her and think her negative points are for the show but then . . . I get the feeling maybe she’s better on screen than off. I don’t know . . . something about her.

    • Canuck65

      I never liked Alexis but this year she is growing on me – Amanda is right – she does seemed to have transformed and I’m curious to see if this transformation will continue and where it will take her

  • Camille

    Re: Number 5: God yes, it was so embarrassing and creepy and pathetic I had to change channels!! I couldn’t watch it for longer than 2 seconds and then I just kept flipping back and forth until it was mercifully over!! The song, OMG, make it stop! It gave me the auditory creeps! The whole ridiculous set up kept triggering my gag reflex! Gretchen pleading with her Mom over and over if she thought he was the man for her forever and ever??? And her poor mother’s pained look, clearly wanting to say no, but understanding her pitiful daughter is a goner and is going thru with this awful awful thing no matter what. If you have to beg for validation from others, it isn’t the right thing to do Gretchen. I firmly believe that while Slade is derogatory and slimy up front, the reason Gretchen loves him is that she is just as bad, only she doesn’t say it in front of the cameras like he does. I’m sure the two of them snark it up big time and think they are so clever and witty while they rip into others who aren’t as fabulous (gag!) as they are. They probably deserve each other, but I personally don’t want to witness any more of their coupling. They make me want to hurl.
    Vicki, a different form of pathetic in love with creepy. Good Lord, when will she give up on Brooks and get some self respect. “Where are we? Are we dating? What are we now?” gag gag hurl Why can’t she and Brooks date?? They can go out, go to his place, take trips, have picnics, see movies, etc. They just can’t go to Vicki’s house out of respect to her daughter, big effing deal!! So date already and just go to Brooks’ place to get intimate. Why is this such a quandary and why is it keeping them apart?? The only thing keeping them apart is Brooks is a creep who wants to screw around while he screws Vicki over.

    • Alena

      totally! Plus, this is obvious that he doesn’t love Vicky and doesn’t give a …. about her. He’s an opportunist and user. Disgusting

  • NCGal

    The self-serving, self-promoting proposal from hell. NOBODY at that engagement party could unabashedly support what Gretchen was doing. NOBODY! Slade’s grown son who…(like you Amanda, wtf who knew!?!?)…was the only one who could get the words out of his mouth. and who knows his story?!?
    Gretchen’s mother looks like a mean version of Betty White. Lydia was right when she said for Slade to constantly rip on people, he has to be broken– really the opposite of what Vicki thinks, which is that Slade must think highly of himself…bla-bla-bla. My guess is that Slade is coveting a big secret that he is woefully ashamed of that has, as a result, shaped him into a perfect asshole. I think I can guess what that is, but time will tell…

    Vicki really tipped her hand with that dress she was wearing. She HAD to have known that the dress was totally gross. Don’t mistake here, I think she is an ass (which is why she and Slade are constantly going at it), but she’s way too smart to walk out of her bedroom in that dress so therefore methinks she is purposefully stirring up controversy for herself. Maybe she thinks herself on the way out the the franchise? Her son-in-law and daughter and grandson need to move on out of her home. Vicki has emotionally hobbled her daughter so much so that she thinks she needs to be involved in this BRAVO charade. Brianna needs to grow up, take responsibility for herself and her family and move on with her life like her brother clearly has. Vicki and Brianna are both perfectly caught up in that victim, persecutor, rescue cycle that will not end well if one, or hopefully both, can do the necessary work to break out of that. Ryan clearly doesn’t respect Vicki and I saw real contempt for her in the few scenes they had together. He comes off to me not as a hero who honors women, but as an arrogant ass with an explosive temper.
    Like Jane, I can’t stand Heather either. I find her snotty, fake, controlling, and condescending and 100% ALL about Heather, hiding behind her role as a Mom to mask her real agenda: self promotion. Real Moms that I know don’t brag about all they do at every turn. The ones that do have the most help it seems.

  • Karen

    Slade’s oldest son was on the show in the earlier seasons when Slade was with Jo. His son used to play the guitar and Jo would sing. Also, his son was along when Slade picked out the pink electric guitar for Jo when she asked for an acoustic guitar.

  • jennasside.com

    Gretchen probably feeds into all Slade’s BS. Her ego is unchecked and outta control, they are too perfect for each other and absolutely no one else. God help us If they successfully procreate……

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