Continuing on from Part 1 of the Season 7 reunion, tonight’s Real Housewives of Orange County Part 2 episode made the ladies especially feisty.
Subject number one of this segment is the former friendship between Gretchen Rossi and Alexis Bellino. We get a flashback of their rise and fall as BFFs, and Gretchen admits she was surprised when Alexis accused her of not having “her back” at the bunco party earlier in the season. “Well that’s how I felt,” Alexis answers. Gretchen points out that when Vicki Gunvalson took Gretchen to task, Alexis didn’t bother to step in, so what’s the big diff? Not to mention, Gretchen says she did defend Alexis from everyone else, and Heather supports that claim. Heather goes on to state that Alexis overreacted and took it out on Heather’s husband Terry.
Alexis says Terry and everyone else made light of her “very serious surgery” even though she was afraid of it, and Tamra explains that what happened was that Alexis framed it as “sinus surgery,” but Tamra pointed out that it was a nose job. End of story. No reason to flip out, but Alexis doesn’t agree.
Next up is the Fox5 kerfuffle. Back when they were still friends, Alexis was deeply offended by Gretchen’s statement that the station had offered her the same position to her. Andy Cohen asks whether Gretchen or Alexis got it first, and Gretchen smarts, “I’d like to know what she thinks.”
Alexis tells the story as follows: She was asked to do a segment on her dress line, and while Gretchen was asked to do it first, she was the only one who got a weekly gig offer. Gretchen and Tamra mutter that her story’s constantly changing, and Alexis continues on to state that she thinks Gretchen was being rude to insinuate that she could’ve gotten the job first.
Gretchen says she’s got e-mail proof. While Alexis swears her producer told her she was the only OC Housewife who’d be offered the gig, Gretchen’s correspondence is dated way before Alexis’s. Ouch! Alexis turns the tables and says that she just couldn’t handle it. “Oh, this is getting better and better,” Gretchen replies. “The truth is, Alexis, they kept calling me and telling me you weren’t good. They wanted me to come down and take your d*mn job,” she snaps. To throw salt on the wound, Tamra slips in a question as to whether Alexis is still currently doing the segments, and she has to admit that she’s not.
Next, the gang turns focus to Heather and her experience as a newcomer to the show. We see a montage of all the reasons the group calls her Fancy Pants, and Tamra notes, “She’s everything Alexis wants to be and isn’t.” Alexis, of course, finds her “hoity toity.” She does use the phrase “oh my” a lot in the flashbacks.
Andy gets the scoop on Heather and Terry’s house. Turns out, the place is 14,300 square feet — not including the garage and the loges — and the couple has since built a pool where the finale episode was filmed. Heather then explains that she only came off as “buttoned-up” in one of the earlier episodes because she walked in on a conversation about sex toys, and who wouldn’t react that way. Tamra and Gretchen agree with her there.
Heather then agrees that she probably took the whole “Bow Gate” incident too far, but says that she was more mad that Sarah Winchester couldn’t admit her fault in the matter. “It was my cake, and she didn’t even say sorry… if she had just gone ‘Yeah it was dumb, sorry,’ it could’ve moved on.”
Speaking of moving on, after a short break Vicki’s boyfriend Brooks Ayers joins the group to defend himself in person. He clears up one misconception right off the bat and says that he has four children with two women, not three, and that they were his ex-wife and ex-girlfriend. Viewer questions start to come in which refer to Brooks as an “opportunist” who sounds like a “Hallmark greeting card.”
Brooks says, “Being from the South we aren’t fake. We’re deep-rooted people and we like to affirm those who are closest to us. So, I give my lady affirmation every day.” They may not be as close as they used to be, but Tamra’s still concerned Brooks will take advantage of Vicki. “Still?” Brooks asks. Yes, still, Brooks, and Gretchen’s joining the brigade too, saying that Vicki might be blinded by love at the moment.
Brooks says that the only opportunity he’s ever taken with regard to her is “when Vicki filed for divorce to ask her to begin dating her.” Tamra’s not buying it, though, and points out that he’s used a lot of phrases with Vicki that have been seen on the show — like “the bomb dot com.” Brooks claims he never knew Vicki was on the show when they first met, but Tamra thinks he studied the show before putting the moves on Vicki. Yikes!
Brooks brings up the “evil eye” incident and says that he was just “protecting [his] lady.” Tamra wonders why he’d have to protect his lady from an evil eye and says he needs to act more like a man. Heather steps up and says that Brooks was rude to her at the name-changing party when she walked outside to convince them to join her for the toast. That could’ve definitely exacerbated the issue, she notes, and Vicki agrees. She then says that when she heard Tamra was talking to Briana it made her angry.
Tamra asks how Vicki can be with a man who’d leave all of his children behind, and Alexis tries to defend her. Brooks then speaks for himself to state that “The bottom line is, getting relationship advice from you is like getting financial advice from someone who’s bankrupt, which I’ve never been.” No skin off of Tamra’s neck, clearly.
Next up on the chopping block is Gretchen and Slade’s relationship. They’ve had a hard time this season, what with Slade wanting to propose to Gretchen and Gretchen demanding that he resolve his debt issues beforehand. Gretchen gets a little emotional during the recap video and says that she does think she’s still right to have put the kibosh on the marriage idea. Tamra thinks she was right too, but only since she didn’t feel it yet. Heather also thinks they have a future together but that he’s going to have to buckle down and get his stuff together first. Gretchen admits the marriage subject “absolutely” hinges on his debt.
The subject of Gretchen and Slade’s working relationship comes up next. Slade does a lot of talent management activities — going to photo shoots, organizing meetings, and whatnot — for Gretchen, but she doesn’t pay him. “A manager would normally take a percentage of thing, and he’s never been paid by me or my companies or anything like that,” she says.
Vicki takes the opportunity to ask whether Slade’s an opportunist under her definition then. That’s when Tamra clarifies that the big difference between Slade and Brooks is their “motive.” Tamra thinks Brook’s a “slick guy” who has “questionable motives.” Vicki suggests “Eddie’s a sly guy,” too, but the intonation is lost on that one. Vicki flat-out asks the girls whether they’d like her to be with a not-so-nice person instead, but they vehemently say no.
“What if he just likes me because he likes me?” Vicki ponders aloud. “I hope he does,” Tamra answers. “I will find out,” Vicki promises, to which Tamra snaps back, “Good. Do it by yourself.” Vicki points out that she’s never asked for anyone’s help, and Gretchen’s still seething about the earlier accusation.
“You are the biggest hypocrite I’ve ever met in my life,” Gretchen says. “Do you have any other vocabulary words?” Vicki answers. Gretchen assures her that she does, just not where Vicki’s concerned. It’s getting ugly in here tonight!
That’s when Briana comes in to join the group. She gives a few updates on her life these days, saying that baby boy is due on October 10. Briana also explains that she and Ryan are living with Vicki and Donn at the moment, and that Michael moved out. Vicki says that Donn still lives with her because “we have a huge house, and we have a huge mortgage on it, and Donn needed his paycheck.” Out of respect, she and Brooks never spend time together at her house.
Briana reminisces about the time when she told Vicki about her pregnancy, saying that she took Vicki out to dinner and handed her a onesie that read “I love Grandma,” which Vicki then threw in her face before she started bawling out of control. By the end of dinner, though, they were all smiles and talking about baby names. The bouncing baby boy will be named Troy, she announces.
We then get a flashback of all seven seasons that Briana has appeared on the program. She likes the documentation of herself growing up because she can someday show her children all of it, and Vicki loves watching the kids grow up before her very eyes. “My kids are everything to me. My world stops for Michael and Briana,” she gushes. It’s a welcome sweet moment between all of the bickering of the reunion. It doesn’t last long though.
Briana tells the group about how her wedding ceremony went down. When she and Ryan decided to elope, they were watching football, and she’d just found out that she didn’t have cancer and had a newfound appreciation for “being in the moment.” They got in the car and headed to Vegas and were back by 3 a.m., she explained. Vicki, of course, followed up with a more formal affair and, much to Briana’s dismay, Brooks was an invited guest of Vicki.
“That was probably the one person I was like hesitant about,” Briana says. When asked if their relationship has changed since, Briana said, “I wouldn’t call it a relationship at all. I don’t see him, I don’t go to dinner with him. We don’t really interact.” Briana admits that she fears he’s in love with the Vicki Gunvalson he knows from television instead of the real her. Tamra agrees completely and says that she thinks the reason he overreacted so much over the “evil eye” situation was not because he was sticking up for his lady but rather because he was “peeing on his territory” on national TV.
Briana brings up the point that if he loved the “real” Vicki, he’d make more of an effort to get to know her children instead of treating them like they don’t matter. Briana says he won’t even make eye contact with her. Vicki sticks up for him (again) and says that at the Kentucky Derby he and Michael got along well and that Brooks made an effort to bring Briana and Ryan out to Puerto Vallarta with them. Briana says that PV is her joint and that she didn’t appreciate him treating her like she was the guest at her own hot spot.
Tamra and Briana both seem to agree that Brooks is in love with the TV show and in love with the celebrity of Vicki’s life. Briana notes that he outed that she’s pregnant and announced her wedding date publicly. Ultimately, Tamra thinks he’s afraid of Briana’s honest opinion, which is why he avoids her.
That’s when it gets pointed out that Brooks took his leave of the stage because he didn’t want there to be any tension between himself and Briana. This is clearly only fuel for Briana’s argument, in her mind, and when Vicki says that “he’s a father of four,” presumably to make a point that he wouldn’t interject between them, Briana interrupts to snap, “Then he needs to go be with his children.”
Andy points out that Vicki thinks Tamra’s the one who’s influencing Briana’s opinion, but Briana disagrees. For her, she explains, it was nice to hear someone else say what she’d been thinking about the whole time. Vicki says that it’s not going to come between them, but Briana counters that it already has. After all, he’s been around a lot longer than anyone thinks.
Long before she’d filed for divorce from Donn, Briana shares, “She’d go to the bathroom, and it’d pop up, ‘Brooks Ayers, I love you, Happy Thanksgiving.’” This sets Gretchen into a tailspin of fury. After all, it was Vicki who had accused her of being unfaithful to her former flame Jeff. Under her breath, Vicki asks Briana to shut up. Then Vicki pipes in to add that Donn was having an affair for 20 years. Both she and Briana knew about it. She’s instantly sorry that she outed him out because “this is not the forum to be discussing it… but he’s not an angel.”
This revelation does nothing to quell Gretchen’s anger, though, and Tamra has to explain for her that she’s irritated about the hypocrisy. Vicki bashed Gretchen time and again for cheating on Jeff when she didn’t even do it, and yet she’s having an emotional affair with another man herself. Vicki turns the tables and points to Tamra’s relationship with Eddie. She says that Tamra took up with Eddie while she was still legally married, but Tamra fires back that she was separated and Simon had been moved out for a month before she had any romantic relationship with Eddie.
“Do you want me to tell everybody what you did in Cabo after I left?” Tamra snaps back. Vicki’s visibly flustered but calls her bluff. Tamra then proceeds to tell a story about a phone call she’d gotten from Vicki about waking up beside a naked man she didn’t even know. Vicki denies it repeatedly, so Tamra tells her to swear on her kids’ lives, or better yet her unborn grandson’s life. Vicki still denies it, and Tamra shouts, “Oh my God, you’re going to hell.” What a mess!
Vicki and Gretchen exchange some more heated remarks, which get them nowhere until Briana tries to play mediator. She explains to Vicki why it is that Gretchen’s so perturbed with her. Vicki says she’s already apologized about that, but it’s clearly not enough for Gretchen.
As time’s running out, Andy beckons some final thoughts from the ladies.
Heather says that she thought it was overall pretty fun and that she liked getting to know everyone. Alexis, meanwhile, is just glad that the season’s over. She promises she’s taken notes and intends to try to better herself every day.
Gretchen, too, admits to having had a hard season. While she’s lost one friend (Alexis), she’s gained another (Tamra). Tamra, too, has experienced a lot of change. She points out that she’s gained Gretchen’s friendship but probably lost Vicki’s, especially after the “fighting words” of the evening.
Finally, for Vicki, she admits that her “personal life is under construction.” She’s confused and scared about her relationship with Brooks. “I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she says, but “at the end of the day I’m a businesswoman. I’m locked up tight, and I’m going to be okay.”
And so ends another year for The Real Housewives of Orange County!
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