Real Housewives of Orange County Season 8 Episode 18 Recap

And just like that, we had a season finale. Real Housewives of Orange County simply up and quit on us, like a supermarket checkout girl who had argued with a customer over her last coupon. The show stormed off its season in a similarly spectacular fashion, but not “spectacular” in a good way. “Spectacular” in a “full of spectacle” way, meaning that there was lots of yelling and screaming and some evil person made Lydia’s adorable stoner mother cry. It was not a high point for pop culture, but it was decent television at times.

1. I have blocked out last week’s episode in its entirety. Don’t remind me of any of that helicopter-enabled unpleasantness, please.

2. Except for Kent Smiley. SWAMP SLADE!

3. I really want to like Heather, but I just don’t. I want to believe that she’s in the right with her Malibu Country fight with Gretchen, but when they sat down to talk about it last night, Gretchen actually sounded far more calm, rational and fair than Heather when they were discussing who was pursuing what. Sure, I believe that Gretchen would be an actress in a second given the opportunity, but if Heather was really secure in her status as a competent actress who occasionally gets a role, she wouldn’t have to rub anything about it in Gretchen’s face. Mostly, though, I wish they’d both just shut up about it because it’s not a compelling story line in any way. Who cares if Gretchen’s “owning” the fact that she was fiddling with her phone during Heather’s taping? Raise your hands. I’m waiting.

4. Earth Jesus has to “allow” Alexis to learn things. He’s got a lot of years and knowledge on her, you know, and sometimes she’s just not as smart as Earth Jesus, but Earth Jesus knows that and he is benevolent, so he lets her stick her finger in a light socket every now and then so that she remembers that it’s bad.

5. Tamra might have become too nice. She even apologized to Jim for saying mean things about him, and if ever any Real Househusband has earned it, it’s Jim, he of the chin implants and trampoline parks and gross paternalism toward his sweet, dim wife.

6. Ryan’s freak-out over Lydia’s mom was…uh… Frankly, it was kind of frightening. There is perhaps no gentler, less threatening person who has ever entered the Real Housewives universe than Lydia’s adorable, fairy dust-spreading mother. We know Ryan’s a little intense, and being an active duty Marine will certainly make someone a stickler for the rules, but even considering that, his reaction was totally over-the-top and inappropriate. If you get dozens of people drunk at your house, someone might lay down on the couch without taking their shoes off. Them’s the breaks of party-hosting.

From the audio that we heard, Lydia’s mom cracked a joke about fairy dust, asked who he was and then apologized for upsetting him. She didn’t raise her voice first and she wasn’t rude, plus she asked him to stop cursing at her and he wouldn’t. What kind of man treats a woman that way, particularly a woman who’s a guest in the house and also obviously a generation older than he is? He also doesn’t own the place, although he slipped and almost said he did, and even if he did…she put her shoes on the couch. There’s a way to handle that which doesn’t even involve yelling or kicking people out. Multiple ways, even.

While Lydia and her mom were outside and upset, Ryan was out back, acting erratic and yelling profanity. Thankfully, Vicky stepped up and was a good hostess and calmed down Lydia and her mom, but that left the issue of Ryan himself. He had only become more resolute in his opinion of Lydia’s mom and her actions, which didn’t exactly line up with what the audio tape told us about the situation. Part of the moral superiority that this young man obviously feels should include being too much of a man to call a woman a bitch.

7. I’m kind of concerned for Brianna. What happens if she, like, leaves a wet towel on the floor?

8. Gretchen mocking Vicki’s willingness to shill her products on the show was rich irony. I wish Gretchen knew what irony is.

9. Lydia for Mayor of Orange County! Although she and her mother were wronged by Ryan, they both got over it in a timely manner and didn’t try to suck the whole party into their attention vortex. Then, when Slade complained that he has been wronged by all of the women whose looks he has ever insulted, she stepped in to remind him that he said nasty things about her without any prompting at all. Which is true – all Lydia did was have the temerity to show up and not immediately give Slade a boner, which is an offense that can’t go by without him commenting on it, always.

10. The updates! Vicki and Brooks are off again, for now. Ryan’s in Afghanistan and Brianna is going to move out of Vicki’s house with the bambino. Malibu Country got cancelled. Tamra’s fitness studio is open and she and Eddie are getting a mini-spinoff for the wedding. And that’s it, because my DVR cut off. I’m guessing that Slade and Gretchen’s end-of-season update was deliciously snarky – someone fill me in, please.

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  • winterpenny

    What was up with the Ryan freakout? That was scary! An older woman has her feet up on the couch and you take it upon yourself to yell and kick her out when you are barely a tenant in that home? I know Vicki was being diplomatic, but I would have real concerns if my daughter was married to that guy! The funny thing is that Brianna and Ryan have been questioning Vicki in her choice to be with Brooks and they don’t want to be around him. I know Brooks is kind of creepy, but at least I wouldn’t fear for my life hanging out with him.
    I gasped out lout when Gretchen was mocking Vicki’s Vodka. I can mock her Vodka, because I am not schlepping some stupid product. Has anyone seen her Gretchen Christine products anywhere…except on RHOC?
    Can’t wait for the reunion!

    • jennasside.com

      yeah i saw some gretchen christine products….on my escape from witch mountain

  • winterpenny

    oohhh…I only remember that Slade’s radio station was sold and he got fired and the radio station is no longer playing Gretchen’s song…Can’t remember a thing about Gretchen.

  • Yerani_km

    Best part of the episode was Lydia saying I’m not going to tune into Slade on the radio anytime soon or carry a Gretchen Christine tote either! True that Lydia! Preach you Christian fairy princess!

  • NCGal

    Ryan is an entitled little shi* and an embarrassment to the armed forces. Most of these men and women behave deferentially and respectfully, but once and a while you get someone who is self-loathing, probably a problem drinker, rage-a-holic, misogynist who hides behind their “patriotism” so they think they are beyond reproach and dare anyone to call them on their stuff. Brianna is the perfect wife to such a man as she is the classic co-dependent and enabler who is used to someone in the house who drinks and rages and gets away with it.
    I have to say, I was with Heather on her nailing Gretchen. I for one do not believe for one second that Gretchen was “called to play a role” on this or any other show. Further, she wouldn’t take responsibility for lying and when pressed did that half-assed apology that was clearly not sincere. She was calm because she is hollow and has no soul.
    Vicki is so sad and I wish she would stop drinking and get some help for herself. Good God.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      You make a good point about Brianna and her role with both Ryan and Vicki. Watching his freakout, I was having trouble imagining why such a smart, seemingly sweet girl would put up with him. When you consider that she’s grown up with a sometimes rage-y problem drinker, it makes more sense.

  • Webaj

    The Ryan situation was very scary. Usually Brianna is the voice of reason on that show but I really fear for her and the baby. There is no excuse…not even the stress of an upcoming deployment..for his behavior.

    Amanda…I cannot believe you did not mention that Earth Jesus had to (eh-hem) wipe away tears when Tamara was apologizing….at least until she needs more camera time and unapologizes next year!

  • Guest

    If RHOC uses its next season to address the very serious issues of domestic violence and PTSD, I’ll never say another bad word about it. Of course, since the revolting Andy Cohen is in charge of this hot mess, I’m pretty sure that’s one promise I’ll never have to keep.

    Brianna, you need to pull a Katie Holmes on Ryan and divorce him while he’s overseas. You’re in danger, girlfriend.

    • Sharon Macklin

      Unfortunately, I agree with you. I posted on tpf that if Ryan isn’t yet an abuser, he certainly shows that he has the potential to be one. I’ve been uncomfortable with the way he talks to Vicki in the past – don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan, but I wouldn’t put up with anyone talking to me that way! She’s probably afraid she’ll lose her daughter and grandson if she stands up to Ryan, but I don’t see good things in the future for that marriage.

  • Alena

    what an arrogant and cocky ass Ryan is! I kept saying that watching the scene. I hope he actually moved out of Vicki’s house. Who the hell does he think he is?! A war hero? More like a house tyrant!

  • Alena

    what an arrogant and cocky ass Ryan is! I kept saying that watching the scene. I hope he actually moved out of Vicki’s house. Who the hell does he think he is?! A war hero? More like a house tyrant!

  • janren

    Just when I didn’t think I could love this blog more, I saw this post.
    I feel sick for Briana, he’s got some major issues. Great tv, sad situation.
    Would it be silly of me to ask what you think of the Gretchen Christine bag line…?

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