The final portion of the reunion is sadly unfulfilling as there’s no sincere mea culpa from the lips of a drugged Vicki Gunvalson, no real come-to-Jesus moment (though the Lord’s name is frequently bandied about), and no real resolution to whether or not Brooks has cancer. While our dubious Housewives circle their prey like sharks waiting to chomp, we’re left with bloodless waters, though there were more than a few highlights.
The funnier fluff:
• Brooks dated a porn star and lied about it. Vicki corrects this mystery woman’s title to “poker-playing waitress.” An interesting mix of professions, to say the least.
• Meghan tells Vicki, “You look like an idiot.” Atta girl, Meggers.
• Vicki’s “not lying, and I’m not going to hell. I’m going to Heaven. Because I am saved.”
• Briana says the last two weeks have been the best in a while, since Brooks is gone and “I can call her up without having her call me a f—ing bitch anymore.” Oh…
• Tamra goes to church as “often as [she] can…online. Pasture Mike is on there.” To Tamra, the proper title of pastor “sounds like the Mexican pork taco you eat.” Which raises the question: What is Tamra eating?
• Brooks’ warm message to the ever-sleuthing Meghan is: “F— off.”
The heart of the matter — Brooks’ alleged cancer:
• The million-dollar question comes early, from Shannon Beador. Did Vicki think Brooks has cancer? “I do. I don’t have any proof he doesn’t, and he won’t give me enough proof that he does. I’ve been busy with my business and this big house, and I’m like there has to be truth in this stuff.” Tamra speaks for all of us when she exclaims, “Oh, f— me” in response.
• Per Tamra, we learn Vicki left Donn for Brooks because Brooks said he had pancreatic cancer and was dying, though he lied and it was just pancreatitis.
• Brooks tells Andy during their NYC solo interview, “I do have cancer.” He adds his treatment, chemotherapy plus holistic approaches, has got his “numbers normalizing. My lesions are gone.” This elicits a nice exasperated grunt from Tamra.
• As to why Brooks never accepted a medical referral from Shannon’s network of world-class doctors, “Shannon’s not the only one with world-renowned doctors,” Brooks says. Just because you have Lenka, the Russian Earthing Expert who makes you commune with the planet, does not mean you have a world-renowned anything, buddy.
• Brooks’ sole medical document, that janky PET/CT scan sheet, wasn’t old. “I went to a different facility and the results were dictated through the first facility,” he claims.
• The two ex-girlfriends who accused Brooks of faking cancer before are lying, according to Brooks. He told the first he had a nose-cancer scare, though he never corrected himself because they had already split. The second one, “my baby momma, if you will, was also involved in that story.” Wait, what? Andy’s also confused. “That’s fine,” Brooks sighs, fidgeting in his chair. Andy tries to go at him a little harder but never ends up anywhere near the jugular for the kill, which is truly disappointing. You’ve got the guy in studio and on camera. Dissect his shady and ambiguous responses, and freaking nail him, Mr. Cohen. Shouldn’t have let this slippery snake off so easily.
• The whole pancreatic cancer which ended up being pancreatitis? That’s a lie too, Brooks says, gulping his water. Man, a lot of people around Brooks must really like lying about Brooks.
• Heather says Vicki is “a smart woman, so why only noncologists? Where are the real doctors?” Vicki mentions one that didn’t want to film. Unfortunately for ol’ Fun Bus, that doctor lives down the street from the Dubrows (in an equally large hotel-house?), and Heather knows this doctor never saw Brooks. “Interesting,” says Vicki. You just got caught in a lie and the best you can muster is “interesting”? C’mon, Gunvalson. Put a little effort in, here.
NEXT: Shannon displays her own medical documents…[pagebreak]
• Shannon has proof Brooks is at least faking the PET/CT scan paperwork. She whips out her own report from that very facility before outlining the innumerable ways that Brooks’ document was different and therefore fraudulent. Moreover, the second facility has their own transcribers, she says, backed up by Briana, who worked there for years. This means Brooks’ statement to Andy about the paperwork was a lie. Boom. Mic drop by ShanShan. Vicki sits stone-faced, lips pursed.
• Vicki would like to “clarify” the Terry Dubrow IV story, meaning she’s about to walk back a lie. “Brooks was throwing up sick, sick, sick, and I called Briana, and she said he needs an IV. Take him to the ER. I said I’m going to call Terry, but when I hung up, Brooks said not to get him involved, so I didn’t. That’s what happened.” Or is it? “You told me someone came over and gave him the IV,” Shannon snaps. Andy wants to know why Vicki lied, while Briana sighs about her mother’s ghastly behavior. “I fabricated because I was looking for compassion,” Vicki says, clearly incapable of using two simple words: “I lied.” Andy has to step in to fend off the hungry lions encircling the dying zebra that is Vicki.
• Vicki says she saw him get chemo. Upon further pressing, Vicki was actually in the waiting room when Brooks got chemo. Heather tries to pin her down. “So you saw the chemo needle go in?” “I don’t know. I had my laptop and was there for four hours.” “We don’t believe you,” Heather says.
• After noting that Vicki’s scared of Brooks, Andy inquires as to if he was ever physically abusive toward her. Vicki says no, though Tamra and Briana say otherwise. “I saw it. Twice,” says Briana. Vicki defends Brooks by asking what her daughter means by that. “What, when he shook my shoulders in the hall?” Uh, yeah, wouldn’t that count, Vicki??
• Vicki kept thinking “fixing this relationship [with Brooks] was easier than going to find my next husband. It wasn’t all bad. The problems grew as the season did, and I was questioning him about producing the book I made of his medical records.” Here Shannon jumps all over her: “You said to me having to do that was disgusting and we were vile for asking.” Vicki has no solid response to having this hypocrisy thrust under her nose.
• Shannon flips over Vicki telling Rhonda about David’s affair and Rhonda calling it out “in the middle of a baptism, for God’s sake.” (Um, all baptisms are for God’s sake, Shan.) Shannon finds it additionally alarming that Rhonda, whom “I’ve only met two days in my life,” was talking about her marital problems. Easy, ShanShan. I suppose you can be mad that Vicki betrayed your trust, but you also did put it all on national television. We’ve never met, and I discuss your unorthodox marriage every week. You mad at me, too?
• Vicki spends a solid five minutes contradicting herself about the very-supportive Shannon not being supportive to which Shannon finally shouts, “I’m done with you.” Vicki immediately plays the dead-mother card, though Meghan interjects that “losing your mother doesn’t make you lie about other things.”
• Vicki says, “My gut says [Brooks] doesn’t have it.” Which is the closest we’ll probably ever come to hearing her admit she was lying for him the whole time. The turning point was three months ago after Vicki really questioned him, asking for the medical reports, which has me perplexed as to what this binder of records Vicki put together contained. Also, why crap all over the other women who felt similarly skeptical, Vicki? Again, no answer.
• Andy calls out Vicki for taking “half a Xanax before this taping,” saying she’s disconnected. “I’m disinterested in all of this,” Vicki flatly says. “I think she’s freaking out about all the damage this man has done to her life and she’s in a huge state of shock,” Briana offers. “I’ve got pieces to pick up a little. I got duped,” Vicki says. Meghan fires back that Vicki lied a lot, only to have her verb choice corrected. “I covered a lot,” Vicki sniffs.
• Vicki claims she’s finished with Brooks, but her daughter and the rest of the Housewives don’t think she’s strong enough to withstand his manipulation and see a reconciliation in the future.
• Vicki went far in admitting culpability, according to Andy, but not far enough to satisfy the women. Nor this recapper. “I don’t believe you,” Tamra says bluntly. The reunion and season concludes with a round of Fireball shots because of course it does.
Did you think this was a satisfying end to the season? Think Vicki will be back next year? Think she’s free of Brooks forever? If you were one of the Housewives, would Vicki’s half-hearted apologies have been enough for you?