Tonight’s Season 7 finale episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was the culmination of a lot of drama in one location. For starters, the drama between Sarah Winchester and Heather Dubrow was far from done, and then things turned to the husbands when Jim Bellino showed up to confront Terry Dubrow over his comments on Alexis Bellino. And finally, the mess hit the fan between Vicki Gunvalson, Brooks Ayers, and Tamra Barney.
The episode begins at Heather’s party, where Sarah is still jabbering on about her mistake eating the bow, while Heather is off doing the same. Heather’s got more listeners than Sarah does, which says a lot.
Meanwhile, Vicki and the rest of the gang are chatting it up. Vicki points out boyfriend Brooks’ brand new dental work to Terry, who responds, “Yeah it looks great; he looks great. He’s such a nice guy.” No, Terry, you’re the nice guy...
Tamra’s complaining about being called a brown-noser for her relationship with Gretchen, when Gretchen decides to pull her aside to give her a special gift.
Tamra previously gave Gretchen a bracelet of some significance, so she’s doing the same. Hers has the key to her heart, a fashionista homage, and a third symbol with the word “unbreakable” on it (conveniently, the same title of her new single, which dropped today). “I want you to always look at that and know that you are an unbreakable woman,” she says. “I love you,” Tamra responds, admitting that she never imagined those words would come out of her mouth to Gretchen. “You gave me a bracelet and I gave you a bracelet, so now we have friendship bracelets… Don’t tell Vicki,” Gretchen concludes.
Sarah’s still at it in her red sequined dress, walking around talking to Dani about her predicament. She knows she shouldn’t have eaten the bow off the cake, but there’s more to it. Heather gets cornered in the kitchen about it and decides she’s had enough. This party isn’t about Sarah or the bow; it’s about her and Terry and she’s done fussing with Sarah about the darn cake. But that’s not going to fly. She pulls in reinforcements — pretty much everybody on the show — and asks Alexis to escort her out.
Alexis wants more details about what went down, but Slade steps in to say that it doesn’t matter. If Heather wants Sarah out, it’s Heather’s decision essentially. “Sarah was not invited to this party. It is time for her to leave,” Heather snaps. “The bottom line is that it’s time for this Sarah chapter to close.” At this point, we really couldn’t agree more.
Gretchen to the rescue! She calms Sarah down and helps her out, then Slade takes over and gets Sarah and Dani off the premises. “The village needed their idiot back, so Sarah go back to your village, ‘cause you are an idiot,” Tamra notes. Even Alexis can admit something’s amiss with her behavior and says, “The Sarah that I had earlier over at my house is not the Sarah that’s leaving this party.”
Phew. Party on, ladies!
Oh, wait. Not so fast. Time for a little Vicki drama now. She approaches Ryan for a heart-to-heart after admitting that he’s now one of her kids. She wants his help getting her relationship with daughter Briana back in order. He doesn’t see eye to eye with her about Brooks and really doesn’t appreciate being pulled into the arguments, but he ultimately agrees to have her back at least a little bit on the matter.
The matter of Jim Bellino’s absence comes up, with Alexis saying that he knew he wouldn’t enjoy himself so he decided against coming. Heather decides to be cute about it and peer pressures her into a cocktail, and then Jim strolls in and has Terry looking concerned. He knows what this will be about. He did, after all, call Jim’s wife a phony (the version Jim heard was Tamra’s statement that he called her the phoniest person he’s ever known).
“Jim Bellino grew a pair and showed up,” Terry tells Jeana Keough.
Meanwhile, Vicki’s taking visual notes of Tamra’s relationship with Slade and Gretchen. Vicki thinks Tamra’s brown-nosing Gretchen for whatever reason, and she decides to approach her about it. “Oh my God, just don’t throw a drink or anything,” Briana smartly warns. Vicki starts toying with Tamra and is unable to get her to play along. Tamra knows what’s up. “She thinks that I’m brown-nosing Gretchen being friends, and that’s bullsh*t.”
Slade and Terry have a man-to-man while Jim’s away. He offers his services to escort Jim out. “You guys ask someone to leave, I take ‘em out,” they all have a laugh. “We can’t be everybody’s wingman,” Gretchen jokes. As Jim approaches the huddle, Terry welcomes him with literally open arms, but the tension can be cut with a cake knife (see what we did there?).
“So, are we okay?” Terry asks. “You and I will talk next week,” Jim responds, trying to stave off the argument. Alexis tries to make it better, but ultimately Jim pulls Terry aside and they have a chat alone. “So here’s the deal… I heard that you said some things about my wife. You said that my wife was the phoniest person I ever met,” Jim says. “I actually don’t recall saying that she’s the phoniest person I ever met,” Terry answers.
Heather steps in and takes a seat. Jim looks weary of the third wheel but continues on. Heather tells him that Terry didn’t use those words and that she and Alexis had a heart-to-heart in Costa Rica about everything. Jim’s clearly not buying it. Then Tamra comes in and sits with the group, which causes Jim to exit. “I’m not doing this,” he snaps. He’s outta there. Terry thinks he’s trying to control the truth.
Alexis comes up and wonders where her husband’s gone. They tell her to sit but she’s going to join Jim; she just wants to know what happened. She gets a roundabout version of the story and takes off running after him. Tamra shouldn’t have butted in, nor Heather for that matter, she says. “If he’s leaving I’m going with my man.” Jim pulls over the car to let her in and the two call it an early night. One down, four (plus their men) to go.
Heather, in an effort to give the party a shot in the arm, orders some drinks for the group and gets everyone together. “Pour the champs all around… by the way, this Sarah person, this Alexis person,” she intones, pointing at Gretchen. “Oh yeah these are all your friends. What is with your malfunction?” Terry jokes.
Slade plays into the joke, saying “we need friends,” but Gretchen swears she likes them all.
The detente ends quickly, though, because Vicki makes a toast to the absent Alexis. Brooks catches Tamra making what he swears is an “evil eye,” and snaps at Tamra. “Why did you give her the evil eye?” he says. “Why didn’t [Vicki] ask that?” Tamra smarts back. “She didn’t see you do it,” he says. Oh boy. Just when it looked like things would calm down. Eddie, Terry, Heather, Gretchen, and Slade all watch with hilarious expressions as Tamra and Brooks take the tension to town over the table.
Gretchen does step in to note that something’s been off between Vicki and Tamra for a while now, but Vicki doesn’t see it that way. Tension hits a fever pitch as Tamra and Brooks’ spat continues, and Vicki tells Eddie to get his woman under control. Tamra bites back that she doesn’t need him to control her (she’s now reaching over the table and pointing at this juncture, so things are definitely going nowhere good and fast). She instructs Vicki to “stop letting [Brooks] tell [her] what to think,” and Vicki snaps. “He doesn’t tell me what to think EVER,” she screams.
Vicki and Brooks make their dramatic exit and wait in the parking lot. She’s not the Tamra I knew six, eight months ago. Maybe she doesn’t need me anymore,” Vicki says. When Tamra chases after her, she scolds her by saying, “I would never speak that way to Eddie ever… I love this man and you spoke terrible to him.” Conversation over.
Tamra consults Vicki’s daughter Briana, who is definitely not on Team Brooks. “This guy is her whole life… The guy is ruining her relationship with her children, and she doesn’t care,” Briana says, totally jaded by the situation at this point. “He has no car, no job, no house, he has nothing. Who is this guy?”
Tamra starts crying and insisting she gave no evil eye and that she’s just concerned for Vicki for being so wrapped up with Brooks. She’s worried because of how successful Vicki is that she’s vulnerable to a hustler type.
Vicki and Brooks, still in the parking lot, start talking about Briana’s chat with Tamra. “Briana is in a very vulnerable state right now and the last thing I need is Tamra feeding her crap,” she says. Heather comes outside and asks Vicki, very nicely all things considered, to come back inside to hear her special toast for the night. That cake’s gotta come to some use eventually, right?
Ryan brings Briana outside to speak to Vicki, per Vicki’s request, and Briana listens to Vicki’s side of the story. Vicki explains that Tamra gave her the evil eye, which Briana doesn’t buy because it came from Brooks’ mouth. Then things go south from there. Briana takes Tamra’s side on the situation and tells her quarreling mom, “You’re really fun to deal with, you know that?… Okay. I’m going to stay here and you go away then.”
Brooks finally encourages Vicki to go back inside, and Briana, Tamra, and everyone else is still mad… Except Heather!
She brings out the cake and makes her toast, finally, in front of the whole group (she’s rallied their attention from the drama enough to get her words out… barely). “What’s important to me is it’s a big night, I have changed my name legally to Heather Dubrow... Fifteen years, four kids,” she starts. She goes on to thank everyone for being a part of the evening and her life, and Terry gives her a heartfelt kiss and an “I love you,” before things get nasty again.
Vicki speaks up and offers up her own — very inappropriate — toast, saying “I’ve never been happier, and everyone’s going to have to deal with it. So either you’re in or you’re out.”
Heather steers the conversation back to the hostess and passes out champagne. All of the glasses have diamonds in them, and one of those diamonds is actually real. A jeweler is on hand to help determine which. She does say she hopes it’s not Tamra who gets the rock, because she just got one in Bora Bora, but whaddya know. It is her.
Tamra rallies up some more shots for the group and teases Heather for being a “fancy pants.” Things are starting to calm down, finally. Diamonds really must be a girl’s best friend. “At the end of the day we all care about what’s going on with each other because we’re a f*cked up dysfunctional family,” Gretchen says to close it out.
A fitting end to a very dramatic season.
During the credits, it is noted that Tamra and Eddie are shooting for a fall wedding and that as of this moment, Vicki’s not invited. Ouch!
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