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Real Housewives of Orange County recap: Season 11, Episode 13

Kelly reveals the truth about her marriage — and it’s worse than we thought

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The Real Housewives of Orange County

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Current Status:
In Season

I feel like tonight was a time to really sit back and take stock of where some of the ladies are in their lives, how their relationships play into that, and what it means for them emotionally. For starters, it’s lovely to see Tamra and Eddie together. He forces Tamra to drink sake — even though she’s five weeks out from her fitness competition and avoiding carbs — because he knows she needs it. He can tell her to “calm her ass down” and she actually abides. They’re just healthy and loving, and I’m truly happy they’re still going strong; Simon was (and is) the worst of all ex-husbands in the entire Real Housewives franchise.

Shannon’s feng shui is way off now that they’ve packed up their house and moved into a rental with no basketball court, no hospital-grade air, and no hardwired internet. There was no Wi-Fi in Shannon’s old house because of the bad juju it sent into the airwaves, so this new house is just a lightning rod for bad omens. Case in point? Shannon’s new neighbor is none other than Kelly Dodd. Shannon may have halfheartedly let her into the fold, but it doesn’t mean Shannon’s heading over to borrow a cup of sugar or otherwise acting neighborly just yet.

Though, Kelly could probably use some lemons and whatever else Shannon likely has on hand to get her out the terrible rut she’s in. It’s painfully obvious the reason behind Kelly’s emotionally charged outbursts this season is her emotionally torturous marriage. Kelly feels trapped with Michael and guilty for wanting out, but it’s clear the time they’ve spent together since their separation have been excruciating for them both. It sounds like they’ve been forced and filled with resentment, filling Kelly with the misplaced rage we’ve become accustomed to (such as throwing out a “see you next Tuesday” on national television).

Kelly finds Michael painting a room in the house (out of nowhere), not doing it to her liking and making a mess. This should have played out like a scene from a sitcom: A wife is upset her husband never helps out, and the one time he takes the initiative it turns into a disaster; everyone laughs and they end up having a paint fight. But instead of being endearing and relatable, this scene was tense and tough to watch. Kelly confesses to the camera how Michael is around too much now that he’s retired, and one of the main reasons they separated was because he was controlling and did awful things like go through her phone.

So when we witness a horrible conversation where they talk about their divorce lawyers (the way normal couples discuss mutual friends) and Kelly points out her lawyer got her the money she wanted — except Michael wouldn’t pay — I felt like I should have left the room. It’s hard to watch them interact because the dislike they have for each other is palpable. There’s no love there and very little, if any, respect. Kelly is mad when Michael gets defensive and angry when she tries to talk to him about it — and well, isn’t that how Kelly reacts to the ladies? The enigma that is Kelly is starting to become clear. She’s not crazy; she’s being driven crazy by her marriage. A marriage that, I think, she views more as a punishment than a partnership.

NEXT: Jimmy does have a heart!