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!

P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Relli

    I think tamra’s hair is so big because that’s where she stores her pent up anger and secrets!

  • Laurakasbaum

    I got home from the gym last night and sat down to watch that train wreck. The only thing that makes these shows bearable is reading your recaps the next day. I will definitely be back to read your thoughts on BH!

  • Laura

    Enjoy your break.  You really deserve one!

  • Llaneedle

    I loved when Vicki kept leaning over to Brianna and quietly saying shut up when Brianna was talking about the texts between her mother and Brooks!

  • Marie Martell

    These women are nuts! and they look terrible. Big hair, big lips, too much makeup is so last year.. This isn’t Jerseylicious! lol but Heather’s house is gorgeous! 

  • Reality Junkie

    Excuse me, Miss Amanda, but you neglected to mention that Heather’s hotel – I mean mansion…sorry but I’m jealous as hell – is 14,300 squares NOT including the garage and the logias.  LOL!
    Will miss you during your hiatus but I’ll definitely check in regularly to keep up on accessories that I adore but mostly can’t afford. XO

  • JolieLaide84

    I found it laughable how Vicki kept trying to convince that Brooks wasn’t coming between her and her kids but if you notice her body language with Briana before talking about Brooks (holding hands, sitting very close and all smiles) to after they started talking about Brooks it’s the complete opposite. Actions speak louder than words sometimes.

  • hoodston

    “boning a rando in Cabo”–I almost spewed coffee allover my keyboard! you are sooo hilarious!!

  • TexasDeeDee

    No, no! No break! I just discovered you two weeks ago, and there is no other witty RHofNewJersey, OC, and Kardashians recap quite like this one. I’m so ashamed of watching these horrible people that I can’t openly discuss them with anyone else!

    • The Kardashians recaps will keep going! Emily does those, not me! I’ll be back soon – I bet another season of RHBH is just around the corner…

      • Texas DeeDee

        Thanks, Amanda. I had just this morning sent your TV recap link to my Kardashian-krazy friend’s Facebook so she could read those rekaps. I will satisfy myself with reading earlier blog entries on the Housewives. I’m a latecomer to the Housewives anyway because I just got cable TV two year agos after my fourth child started college and I no longer had to exhibit edifying habits every night.

  • Kris

    Interesting when Brianna and other mentioned how they believe Brooks studied Vicki on the RHOC show to know what she drank, said, wanted to hear, etc…

    • Thanks for mentioning that, I totally forgot about it but thought it was really interesting. Brianna had a concrete example of it, too – the “Vickitinis” – and I just don’t think she’d lie about that stuff. She doesn’t have anything to gain from it. Vicki, on the other hand, we know to be totally delusional.

    • Sorral Vasquez

      This was the most interesting part of the Reunion IMO, well of course except the revelation that Donn was having a 20 year affair. Tamra and Gretchen’s reasoning for not being behind their relationship were dumb and pretty much based on all thing “hypocritical” which, I get but what people aren’t allowed to change their minds, ever? My other favorite instance was when Crooks told Tams that he would never take relationship advise from her because that would be like taking financial advice from someone who has declared bankruptcy. THE LOOK ON HER FACE WAS PRICELESS!

      I think i can reasonably conclude now that Crooks & Vicki did know each other prior to dating and were industry acquaintances while she was married. When Donn and Vicki decided to officially end their relationship (lets face it if you cheating you have already checked out of your current relationship) she was lonely and he swooped in and preyed on her insecurities. All he had to to was watch all the past episode to see what her issues were in her relationship with Donn and work hard to not do the same. If only we all had reality TV footage to eradicate the issues of lovers past relationships. But Tamra no one has said the bomb dot-com, since well they all went bust that just proves hes an old. Brianna is awesome, I LOVED the montage video of their relationship and i think it respectful that Vicki does not bring her boyfriend in the house. Is it weird they all live together? Sure, but i am guessing that by providing Donn with a home she got out of spousal support.

      * I usually post as Relli, this new system has me confused

  • Suz

    I’m going to miss your recaps, Amanda. What to do? What to watch for the rest of the summer?

  • CDW

    I’m going through withdrawal already….. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for always putting into words what I was thinking! Can’t wait until RHOBH, unless Taylor is still a cast member. UGH!!!!!

  • Sorral Vasquez

    Amanda, your post will be missed I might have to sneak over every once in awhile to read your other posts, just because I really enjoy your writing. I understand not doing NYC or NJ because well i can barely bring myself to watch them anymore myself and just check recaps, ugh which, has lead me to some really terrible sites and commenters/people, but whatever. I would give you show suggestions but i am into some pretty terrible shows right now like Dance Moms and My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and I don’t suspect you will be covering the new season of Project Runway. I will be back for BH and of course Mad men and if you do Girls i just might spring for a cable upgrade. For the rest of summer i can going to try and read more and try to scrub my brain from synthetic clothes and hair… have you ever thought about a book club?

  • babyk

    I was never a huge fan of crazy Vicki, and I always loved the level-headed and grounded Brianna. I understood Brianna’s concern and why her parents divorce was upsetting for her…but after this reunion, I don’t quite understand. If she knew Donn was cheating for 20 years and her mom was cheating too, wouldn’t she be glad they are finally divorcing bc they were clearly not in-love? And the fact that Vicki moved on so quickly shouldn’t be a surprise no? I know she doesn’t like Brooks bc he’s an opportunist and what not, but she also expressed concerns about it being too quick as well. I guess if it were me, I wouldn’t be surprised at all especially being in a loveless marriage for 20 years. And that whole thing last season about Donn being blindsided from the divorce and how he was embarrassed how he got handed divorce papers at work (or something along those lines)?? He was cheating for 20 yrs though. Was he expecting a happily ever after?

  • Justin Time

    I read your blogs every week and they are so much better than the show! One thing I have always wanted to tell you is that I agree with you completely about Alexis. I know she has a lot of defenders but I find her ignorance more annoying than Tamra’s meanness. And that brings me to one of the worst moments in Alexis history – does anyone remember how she cut the sleeves off the black dress from “Alexis Couture” – and the poor seamstress was almost in tears to see her hard work just cut off? That was the moment I started to notice that Alexis IS mean and I am inclined to believe that she is mean to the crew & other workers because of that example.

  • NCGal

    Have a great break, Amanda. I look forward to your BHills recaps!