Real Housewives of Orange County Recap – 10/31/16

And that’s pretty much it for this year and tonight will undoubtedly be loud and full of rage as everyone confronts everyone about everything. All of that animosity will then continue for the next three weeks as these women sit in tight dresses on couches during the Reunion – and it’ll continue next year if none of these people decide that yes, being on this show comes with visibility and opportunities, but it also requires that you spend days and nights with total assh*les who will announce your secrets to the world if they feel ignored by you. What will it finally take for some of these women to just walk away from Housewives World? If it’s not enough that now there are stories out there that one of their husbands is gay and another is a wife-beater, can it just be enough to know that someone like Vicki would never walk away from this show? Can being different from such a disgrace be enough?

They’re all still on this show for now, though, so let’s dive right in to the season finale. Tamra has emerged victorious from her fitness competition and now it’s time to eat some complex carbohydrates and celebrate! Shannon is throwing her a party, so I imagine her house is where the next phase of projectile misery will be unloaded. Is sage a carb? Because I hope someone brings Shannon a bushel of that sh*t as a hostess gift.

While I sit here clutching a crystal in the hopes that a cleaning crew is standing by to wipe the eventual blood spatter from Shannon’s kitchen walls, we jet off briefly to St. Louis to check in on Meghan and her adoring husband. Meghan’s blonde sister and her even blonder mother show up with a cake that will reveal the sex of the baby once they cut into it and check out the color of the icing. Any question that can be solved by digging into some cake is obviously a question worth answering, and the answer to this one is that these two people are having a girl. Meghan is disappointed she is not carrying a boy who can one day turn into a withholding man just like her husband, but she’s still excited to have a daughter and I’m excited that she has people to share her excitement because that gigantic douche of a husband barely cracks a smile the entire time.

Back in Orange County, Vicki stops by Briana’s house. The entire place is being renovated and Vicki takes a moment to make it known exactly where thinks her child should store her mops and brooms. Then the interior decorator disappears weirdly so Vicki and Briana can stand in a construction site and discuss what’s new in Vicki’s terrible relationship with Tamra. Yes, they’re fighting, Vicki explains. But they have fought for nine years – and that, my friends, is maybe one tiny hallmark of a relationship that just shouldn’t be one. Vicki invites Briana to join her at Shannon’s party so she won’t have to walk in alone and her rational daughter (who must’ve been raised by wolves) tells her to just apologize to the latest person who hates her. And that’s when Vicki adorably repeats, “I’m sorry,” in a robotic voice over and over again and that’s also when I broke a finger on my right hand from attacking my television screen just to make it all f*cking stop.

Over at her house, Shannon is in the kitchen when David walks in. First he asks if there’s any way he can help and then he kisses her hello. He follows that little sequence up by briefly bashing Vicki, so I think we all need to admit that David is really trying to be an excellent husband these days. If he offers to give Shannon an enema, he’ll win Husband of the Year! But now Shannon has to inform her beloved that Vicki and Tamra will be showing up at their place for Tamra’s party because Tamra put them on her guest list (I know…I totally blame Jesus for this, too), but Shannon will use that time to question Vicki about why she has spread such hurtful allegations about her family. Something tells me this little conversation will end with Vicki actually nailing herself to a cross or the front door or to some beam in Shannon’s living room and I’m already gravely concerned.

It’s finally the day of the party and Kelly is dolled up in an outfit that somehow looks half like she’s a pilgrim and half like she’s a dominatrix. What I mean by that is her outfit is all the way terrible. Her husband, meanwhile, is wearing a bright blue jacket and that means there’s just really no safe place to look. In any case, Kelly swears that she and Michael are “copacetic” now, and I can think of no more romantic a way to describe one’s partner. Speaking of that partner, he’s advised his wife to hold herself to a two-drink maximum at Shannon’s party, but my guess is there’s not a shot in hell Kelly will be able to commit to such a thing. Meghan – who is not a fair-weather friend but very well might be an imbecile – stops at Kelly’s house so they can all go to the party together. This gives Kelly a good opportunity to inform Meghan that the idea that Shannon wants an apology from her is ludicrous because Shannon owes her an apology first! Listen, there’s no doubt Shannon behaved in a very shady way with Kelly the night she tried to get drinks into her like she was a frat guy with a roofie, but Kelly has fought with everyone and she is going to this woman’s house and she’s still concerned about who should lead with the apology? For the love of God, woman, stay home!

As she sits before her bathroom mirror and sprays her hair into a petrified state, Tamra explains to her heterosexual husband her plan: to avoid Vicki at the very party she invited her to attend. Okay, I’ve studied Film Theory. It’s what my degree’s in. I understand all about the power of willingly suspending disbelief as a way to allow yourself to get lost in whatever action is playing out onscreen – but this show is making it almost impossible. I mean, there are two people everyone hates and they are both showing up at a party thrown by a woman after one said that woman has a hairy chin and the other announced that her husband once beat the sh*t out of her. In what world is this even the tiniest bit believable? In what world would any of this read as even the slightest bit normal?

I suppose my rant needs to end now since it’s time for the party. The donut tower Heather had delivered collapsed and it’s all really too sad for words. What’s way sadder, though, is the card Vicki writes Shannon as the lamest peace offering in all the land. She basically says that if Shannon was hurt by anything Vicki has done – you know, like lying about cancer or spreading stories that Shannon’s husband abuses her – then Vicki wants her to know that she’s sorry. She also wants to tell Shannon that her life is amazingly blissful now that she stopped putting a conman ahead of her own child and she’s recently found a man who somehow hasn’t yet realized just how vile she is deep down inside. And since Vicki is so happy, how about she and Shannon just press the reset button so everything can be great again, huh? Vicki is a simpering idiot. I cannot wait for Shannon to read that letter because I’m pretty sure eighteen of those donuts are going to be launched directly at Vicki’s head. God, I hope a few of them are filled with a really heavy custard…

All is carb-filled and cheery at that party until Vicki walks in. The second she sidles over, Tamra runs away so Vicki shoves a gift and her homemade card into Shannon’s hands. Being an excellent hostess who once read Emily Post cover to cover, Shannon refrains from tossing that gift over the nearby bluff like it’s a f*cking grenade, but she does wander away from Vicki almost immediately. Vicki finds herself standing alone since, as she so wisely puts it, “I walk in and the bitches scatter.” Way to embrace that accountability, Vicki! Luckily, Kelly is hated just as much as Vicki is –in some cases she’s hated even more – and her arrival takes the heat off Vicki for a bit. Kelly walks in, slaps Vicki on the ass, and Heather, Tamra, and Shannon take one look at her sharp teeth and her droopy cleavage and they flee to the other side of the patio so they can be as far away from the evil as is possible because they once heard that evil things ooze and cause stains. Meanwhile, Kelly cannot understand how someone could throw a party and not make everyone feel welcome. So what if she’s said terribly rude things to the homeowner? How dare there be cliquish behavior taking place while she’s dressed like a hooker who’s about to overdose on low-grade speed?

At some point, Meghan comes and sits beside Tamra, Shannon, and Heather and informs them that she spoke to Kelly and Kelly really feels like she was ganged up on while they were all in Ireland. As the rest of them look at her like she’s sprouting two heads instead of just a very unfortunate topknot, Meghan announces that she likes Kelly, to which the others basically tell her to sit tight and wait and see how much she likes Kelly once Kelly starts announcing that Meghan’s husband is gay or that the fetus living inside of her has a wiry hair sprouting out of its chin.

Also: During the break, a commercial for the Reunion aired and there is literally footage of Vicki saying, “Get off my show!”

Also: I loathe this woman more than I ever thought humanly possible.

As the party continues, Tamra nibbles on some bread and decides it’s finally the right time to present all the women with gifts she bought them. An added bonus is that she believes her gifts will somehow serve as a tasty “f*ck you” to Vicki and she’s excited about that since screaming those words into Vicki’s face was not nearly as satisfying as she’d hoped it would be. Anyway, the gifts are personalized tank tops with each woman’s face emblazoned upon it along with some kind of verbal signifier that embodies that person’s personality. Heather’s has “fancy pants” or something close to that. Shannon’s highlights her judgment-filled eyes. Kelly’s shirt says something about how she’s a constant drunken mess (she laughs because she’s an idiot) and Vicki’s states flatly that she’s a total liar. Vicki’s reaction is awesome. She screws up her face into a terrifying smile, hoots and snorts with pretend glee, and then reaches out and high-fives the woman who just had a shirt made for her that calls her a liar. If you’ve ever wondered what absolute crazy looks like, rewind that portion of the show and take a gander. But don’t stare too hard at Vicki’s face or she will pop up like Bloody Mary in your nightmares for the rest of time. I’d worry that’s a cruel thing for me to say, but Vicki is such a devout woman that I’m sure she’ll be just fine being compared to someone named Mary.

It almost seems like everything at the party might end up being just fine in a clinically passive-aggressive sort of way, so Kelly obviously decides right then is the time to confront Shannon about their differences. She blames a terrible strain of miscommunication for all the times she told Shannon she was ugly and that one day she announced to the cameras that Vicki claimed David was abusive. This is a line of defense patently too idiotic for Shannon to accept. She strikes back and points out that Vicki – who is trying desperately to take an immediate vow of silence – is just as much to blame, but Kelly cannot stop herself from making it worse. She calls foul! She claims she was backed into a corner! She turns to Heather in the middle of all of it and calls her “an interloper” because she read that word once on toilet paper printed with vocabulary words when she was throwing up in a bathroom after yet another bender.

And then it happens. And, you guys? It is f*cking awesome. Just as Kelly finishes getting her entire ass handed to her by Ms. Dubrow, Vicki realizes the brief silence that follows is probably allowing them to turn their attention to how much of an assh*le she is so she announces that she’s heading to the bathroom. And that’s when Heather growls, “Don’t move,” and, I swear, I’m only attracted sexually to men and if I ever got together with a woman I imagine she’d have herself some curves, but I would sleep with Heather right here on my living room floor because that one moment was so boldly bitchy. I really wish I’d dressed up as Heather for Halloween this year…

“I’ve already answered everything I’m going to answer,” declares Vicki after she informs Heather that she’s not the boss of her, but Tamra busts in to tell Vicki that’s it’s about time she stops spreading lies about people. “Likewise,” answers Vicki, but Tamra is running high on adrenaline and the sugars that come from eating one’s first carbohydrate in six months and she loses it and tells Vicki to shut the f*ck up while a crowd gapes at these women like anything that’s happening right now is even slightly surprising. Once again, this show has been on for ten years. And they all know exactly what’s expected of them if they want to make it eleven years – on Vicki’s show. God, I seriously hate her.

“I’m not apologizing anymore. If you don’t like people talking about you, then stop talking about people,” Vicki huffs to Tamra – and I think that convoluted thinking actually makes sense to her and that’s what’s really scary.

Before she can finally leave the party she never should have arrived at in the first place, Shannon stops Vicki to ream her out briefly for the things Vicki has said about David. I think Vicki must have crouched behind some palm tree out back and snorted some ground up Xanax because she is dull and calm as Shannon tells her that their friendship is over forever. Then again, at this point so many people have told Vicki that she sucks, it all barely registers on her radar anymore. So she will slink out of that party and ride home in a limo and tell anyone who will listen that she is the bigger person and that nobody is perfect. Then she will climb into bed and wait with bated breath for the next season of her show to arrive because being exposed in this manner has made her look so very impressive to the world and apparently anything is worth it as long as people know your name.

Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on in paperback and for your Kindle. Also be sure to check out her website at Her twitter is @nell_kalter.

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