Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Real Housewives of Orange County recap: Season 11, Episode 17

Kelly goes on an apology tour after dropping one of the biggest bombshells ever

Posted on


The Real Housewives of Orange County

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

Here we are, folks — just one episode away from the finale and we’ve basically come full circle. Heather is still looking down on Kelly and not having any of her BS; Tamra is still stuck in the middle of all the drama (even though she’s stirring the pot); Shannon is still mad at Vicki; Meghan is pregnant, so she’s gotten a free pass from most of this season’s turmoil; and then, there’s Vicki…still trying to punish everyone for Cancer-gate.

Last week ended with the ladies in Ireland on a van ride from hell. Kelly told Shannon to shave her chin hair; Tamra and Heather agreed Kelly is insane; Heather called Kelly trash; and Vicki just sat there, declaring she wouldn’t get involved while praying some outside force would zap her away. Kelly, despite her drunken outbursts, isn’t wrong about Vicki being a terrible friend who definitely abandoned her in Ireland. But tonight, Kelly snaps and betrays not only Vicki, but basically every woman (except Meghan) sitting in the van — and things go from insane to catastrophic in a heartbeat.

Kelly decides that if she’s destined to be friendless, she’s taking Vicki down with her. Vicki tries to explain she just doesn’t like Kelly’s behavior when she’s drunk, but it’s too late. Kelly has reached the point of no return, and in a moment destined to become Real Housewives legend, she does the unthinkable. (In fact, she actually makes calling Shannon a “see you next Tuesday” seem endearing.) Without taking a beat, Kelly reveals that Vicki told her Shannon’s husband “beat the sh-t” out of her.

My mouth needs to be surgically shut after that admission — I can’t get over Kelly’s inherent need to destroy everyone around her in the most inconceivable ways. This isn’t like Vicki gossiping with Kelly over something silly, like which members of the group secretly get Botox. This is serious, life-changing, and reputation-damaging information, if it’s true. It’s obvious Shannon divulged this to Vicki when they were friends and hoped Vicki was enough of a grown-up to never repeat it, even if they became enemies. Shannon has three daughters, and even if they don’t watch the show, they surely have friends (or parents of friends) who do. This is a statement that hangs in the air like a fly you can’t swat away. Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t matter: This is not something you ever want shared about your marriage.

As Shannon starts hysterically crying, Kelly tries to do damage control by playing dumb. “What? I didn’t do anything!” she screams, as Heather demands Kelly sit down like she’s a defiant school girl. But, here’s the thing — technically, Kelly didn’t do anything. No, Vicki did this, and she does a terrible job of trying to fix it. Her explanation? She was scared when David was going to hit her when he got in her face (at the ‘70s party, I presume), the same way Shannon claimed he hit her.

I cannot tell you how badly I feel for Shannon in this moment. Kelly’s announcement came out of nowhere and definitely wasn’t warranted. Yes, Shannon and Vicki can’t decide what they are to each other and whether their friendship is worth fighting for, but this was just dirty. Why would Vicki share this information with Kelly? Did she really trust her that much? Shannon, of course, is hysterically crying as she reminds Vicki that once upon a time, her kids called her “Aunt Vicki.” It’s truly heartbreaking to watch.

NEXT: Everyone deals with the aftermath