Is there such a thing as a failure-to-launch party? In Real Housewives of Orange County Season 7, Episode 13, Vicki hijacked her and Tamra’s Wines by Wives party to announce her daughter’s engagement and introduce her children to new beau Brooks. One of those things went well. Though she was still reeling from Briana’s elopment surprise in the previous episode, Vicki put on a brave face and pretended like she wasn’t robbed of the most important day of her life — her daughter’s wedding day.
Bosom friends Tamra and Vicki head to A Perfect Fit for a bra fitting. “My girls are gone, and now I don’t know what size I am,” explains Tamra, referring to her implant-free breasts. When Vicki is pronounced an FF and Tamra a 32D, the ladies think the fitter is using the metric system. Lingerie shops scream “honeymoon,” and Tamra suggests Vicki get her daughter, Briana, a little wedding present.
The only thing Vicki wants to get Briana is a time machine so she can go back and have a proper wedding. “I met him two years ago,” Vicki says of Ryan, her new son-in-law, but he was gone for a long stretch in Afghanistan. Vicks then gives her friend a lesson in wedding etiquette. “Eloping is completely disrespectful… It’s rude” to marry someone your parents don’t know. Then Vicki says that Briana and Ryan’s wedding, or lack thereof one, wasn’t just about them. “You’ve taken every dream away from me,” Vicki says. These are all things Vicki won’t be telling Bri: “If I don’t support her, I’ll lose her.”
Get ready for a little Tour de France action: Slade is on a bike. Evidently he and Scott, Gretchen’s father, are bros who cycle. Slade takes their bromance to the next level by asking Scott’s permission to marry Gretchen. According to him, “she means more to me than just a girlfriend.” Scott seems pretty surprised, and Slade acknowledges he might get rejected. There are debts of the child support variety. In Scott’s opinion, marriage is something that should wait, and he tells Slade to get his past cleaned up before he’ll give the proposal his blessing.
Mojito lunch with Gretchen and Tam-Tam! The latter has been thinking about opening her own fitness studio, and Gretchen and Eddie are the only people who know. While this seems like something Tamra would usually discuss with Vicki, the hopeful entrepreneur thinks her friend would be too negative. (Someone heard about Vicki’s post-chopper lunch with Heather and her restaurateur friends.)
The talk turns to Gretch and Slade’s future. All his debts are weighing heavily on her, she confides to Tamra. G’s former enemy warns, “If you marry him, you’ll take on his debt.” It’s not exactly surprising Tamra is trying to talk Gretchen out of marrying Slade, but at least her reasons are financial and rational, as opposed to personal.
Briana and Ryan prepare for battle Vicki’s Wines by Wives party, which is being held at a penthouse and is “red carpet” themed. “This has been like one of the weirdest years of my life,” Briana tells the camera, citing her cancer scare, her marriage, and her mom having a boyfriend despite the fact that she’s not yet divorced.
Speaking of Brooks, Vicki calls her Southern gent, clearly worried about introducing him to her kids. Briana has said she doesn’t want to meet Brooks, but Vicki thinks it’s time. If ever there’s an occasion to introduce people who won’t get along, it’s at a fancy event full of expensive clothes. Real Housewives taught us that.
Despite her reservations, Vicki thinks her kids will come through for her. After all, Briana has never disappointed her and they never argue. Naturally, the producers insert a montage of Vicki and Briana fighting about drinking, concerts, and joining the military.
Enough misty, water-colored memories. Let’s party, wines style. Everyone gets a champagne toast when they walk in the door, so you know how this event is going to go. Tamra looks fab in a red dress. She’s accompanied by her son Ryan because Eddie’s in Cuba. Later, she pulls Dr. Terry over for a mid-bash consultation. She wants to get her ex’s name, which is tattooed on her finger, removed. Having a plastic surgeon around is proving handy!
Everyone complied with red carpet theme, and Tamra, Gretchen, and Vicki all get along as they giggle over their red, white, and blue dresses. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Wine just brings people together.
Michael arrives in jeans. Even though he had to tear himself away from watching football, he showed up, which makes Vicki happy. Brooks introduces himself and takes his girlfriend’s son on a tour of the penthouse. Vicki tells the camera that she doesn’t expect Michael to treat Brooks like a father figure, but she still wants her son to show him respect. On the balcony, Brooks tries to give Michael a man-to-man peptalk.
“We’ve got a lot in common,” Brooks tells Michael, thanking him for being a support mechanism for Vicki. Instead of asking about the football game Michael was watching, Brooks turns the topic to Briana’s elopment. Michael says, “I don’t really wanna be doing this right now,” and the two head inside. Way to try to go from zero to bestie in no time flat, Brooks! Michael tells the camera that he didn’t appreciate Brooks bringing up Briana within 30 seconds of their meeting and he has no desire to have relationship with his mom’s boyfriend.
Alexis shows up “fashionably on time,” and Tamra calls her a drag queen — but not to her face or anything.
As Ryan and Briana head to the penthouse in a limo, she tells him that her mom will announce their marriage. “Let her have all the glory,” Briana says. Then she lists off all the reasons she doesn’t want to meet Brooks: He has four kids in another state, yet he spends a lot of time in California. His job is mysterious. He drives her mom’s car. Maybe he’s an opportunist? Also, she misses Donn. Aw.
When Brooks delivers a signature sappy line about Vicki feeling like she’s at prom every day (so kind of drunk and with a really bad hairdo?), Terry gets uncomfortable. In response, he jokes about slapping his wife. We agree with Heather… Inappropriate!
Vicki rounds everyone up to make the announcement. “I don’t care if I have zero in my checking account, as long as my kids are happy and healthy,” she begins. Then she makes everyone think that Briana’s on the brink of death by bursting into tears and going on about the life-changing discussion they just had. Luckily, she finally gets to the point, saying, “My daughter went to Vegas last week, and she got married.”
While everyone is very excited and boisterous to Briana’s and Vicki’s faces, they save their real opinions for the camera. Gretchen says the marriage is a bad idea, adding, “Do you know who your mother is?” For Alexis, she thinks Jim would lose it if their girls eloped. Well, they’re pretty young, Lex. Heather is shocked and thinks the couple should have waited a little bit to get married. “Only time will tell if Bri’s made a mistake,” Tamra tells the camera. Of course, Terry said he’d be happy not to pay for a wedding. There you go, Doc. That is an appropriate joke.
“Don’t tell me you're engaged,” Briana says when Vicki says she has a surprise for her. Nope, it’s just Uncle Billy, who’s one of the most important men in Bri’s life. Though Briana is pleased with the surprise, we noticed Michael didn’t have the same reaction to his uncle’s presence.
Then Vicki toasts to Ryan, Briana, and her own “crazy ass life.” What was that Briana said a few episodes ago about her mom always making things about herself? Though Vicki’s been mourning Bri’s elopment all episode, Michael telling the camera he was disappointed he had to learn about his sister’s marriage through Facebook really illustrates the impact her quickie marriage has had on the family.
As everyone fawns over Briana’s ring, Vicki shouts at Ryan that he’s not allowed to her daughter yet. Vicki’s says she’s not ready to be called “grandma” yet. Um, considering the rumors that have been swirling recently, may we suggest “Nana” or “Gangy” instead?
It’s back to business. Vicki and Tamra invite their party guests to Wines by Wives. Everyone gets two bottles of wine a month, and the organization gives back to women, explains Tamra. How vague. Are Vicki and Tamra the women on the receiving end of that charity?
Heather thinks the ladies are out of their element at the fancy event because Gretchen spends half the hors d'oeuvres portion of the evening fishing cheese cubes out of her wine glass. Next, Tamra’s pants are not all charmed off by Brooks. The newcomer is laying it on pretty thick, telling Tam that her son Ryan is “the bomb dot com” and he already loves Michael like his own son.
Could this be the start of a beautiful friendship? Slade tells the ladies he’s glad Tamra and Gretchen are friends because his lady is happy. The girls hug, but Gretch tells the camera that Slade thinks Tamra owes him an apology. What is it with Housewives and apologies? They’re like friendship tolls: You can’t move forward without them.
The dreaded moment arrives. Vicki comes over to Briana and Ryan and says she wants them to meet a man who makes her very happy. She needs Bri to accept Brooks because she’s accepted Ryan. Before introductions are made, Ryan wants to get his new wife a shot. We like this guy. “I know that this is your night, but I just thought it was time” says Vicki when everyone’s sequestered in a room. Oh good. No witnesses. Brooks is a hugger, naturally, and pulls Briana in for one. “Are you uncomfortable?” Vicki asks Briana, picking up on some pretty blatant social cues. (Briana was literally hiding behind Ryan at one point.) During his rambling introductory speech, Brooks says he’s happy for Briana, then says “happy” roughly 5,000 times. When Ryan calls Mississippi the “armpit of America,” Vicki decides to take things down a different road, comparing their relationships. Briana says her marriage is “a lot different” from Vicki’s new romance.
In Briana’s opinion, Brooks and Vicki have the façade of perfect relationship, but nobody knows anything about him. Vicki tells the camera how hurtful it was that Briana acted rude to Brooks. Though they’re sitting inches away from each other on the room’s couches, Briana can’t look her mother in the eye.
Next week, Slade goes shopping for a faux ring, Alexis talks drugs and near-death experiences with a group of small children, and Tamra and Eddie have a serious talk.