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Real Housewives of Orange County recap: Season 11, Episode 16

What do you do with a problem like Kelly?

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The Real Housewives of Orange County

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

It’s tough to know where to begin with this episode because the only thing that matters, the thing that’s guaranteed to change the relationships and alliances (and lack thereof) among these women forever, happens in the end. Yet, it’s only fair to explain what gets us there first. Buckle up because we’re nose-diving.

The ladies are still perpetually hungover in Ireland, and we’re still dealing with the repercussions of Kelly’s grave mistake (using Tamra’s custody issues against her during a fight). Yelling, “no wonder your daughter doesn’t want to talk to you” is not something Tamra is willing to forgive and as a result, Kelly is very much the outcast. Vicki ghosted Kelly last week in her time of need and is still pretty much invisible to her. In fact, Vicki and Shannon are so tight that they almost made out during their drunken Irish night out. Kelly is experiencing an “emotional hangover” from the drama and is happy to spend the day helping Meghan search for her Irish ancestors rather than milk cows with the rest of the ladies at Bailey’s Farm — yes, as in the Irish Cream because everything these ladies do leads back to alcohol.

Meghan and Kelly meet up with everyone at the farm for lunch where they walk into Vicki showing her lopsided nipples to Terry Dubrow over FaceTime for her own mini Botched consultation. In the past, you’d expect Kelly to rip off her shirt and join right in. But, she’s so uncomfortable walking into this lion’s den lunch that you have to feel for her — especially if you ever went to middle school and had to navigate the lunchroom after a fall out with your inner circle. There’s nothing worse than being the odd one out — and with Tamra leading the charge, it makes a comeback for Kelly basically impossible. But you gotta give Kelly credit for trying. She finds an “in” as Tamra tells the ladies about her close relationship with her daughter-in-law Sarah and how Sarah thinks of Tamra as a mother.

Kelly awkwardly interrupts to give a heartfelt decree that Tamra is a wonderful mother and she’s so sorry because she basically said the exact opposite out of anger. Notice a pattern here? Heather does too—Kelly’s M.O. is to behave badly, apologize and claim, “I’m not really like that.” It’s exhausting to watch, so I can’t even imagine what it feels like to live through it. Tamra isn’t moved at all, Kelly’s tears do nothing to melt Tamra’s anger and Vicki just sits there in silence. You gotta give Kelly credit for having perseverance: She tries again and even hugs Tamra. Nothing. Tamra might as well be made out of stone. This is too sensitive, too painful, and too new for Tamra to forgive. Even if Jesus thinks otherwise.

So later on at dinner things start to morph into something out of a mean girls horror show. Kelly and Vicki are the first to arrive and Kelly doesn’t hold back, telling Vicki that she feels abandoned by her. And you know what? This is the only time that Kelly isn’t wrong. She knew that Vicki was on the outs with all the ladies and even as a new member of the group, Kelly still chose to bond with Vicki. Now maybe some of Kelly’s crazy has started to wear thin on Vicki, but still, it’s so not cool that Vicki is dropping her so she can stay on Shannon and Tamra’s good side. Again, anyone who’s ever been in middle school will know that this will not end well for Vicki.

The rest of the women arrive — minus Meghan, who isn’t feeling well. That’s a bummer for Kelly since she’s the only shred of an ally she has left. Kelly makes the wise decision not to drink. They’re heading to the airport in the middle of the night and after all the drama, Kelly finally realizes that perhaps she needs to lay off the sauce if she’s ever going to find even a tiny way back into the group. But Shannon won’t allow sober Kelly to stay for very long and orders Kelly a drink despite her protests. And then Shannon slips away to tell the waiter to bring the drinks faster and make ‘em stronger! What the hell is going on here? Shannon orders even MORE drinks and then you have to wonder — is this a not so subtle way to smoke out “drunk Kelly” to see what other crazy things she’ll say? And if so, why? What else could they possibly want to hear? Kelly may be a loose cannon, but she’s not dumb and is onto this thinly veiled plan.

NEXT: Welcome to Hell