Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: Season 11, Episode 15
I have to be honest, it’s taken me a bit to process what happened on tonight’s episode because an unspoken law in Housewives land was shattered. And, of course, it had to happen while the women were whooping it up on vacation in Ireland — so I’m not sure if rule breaker Kelly thought that meant things don’t count on international soil?
The law? Children are off limits. Doesn’t matter what they’ve done — even if it’s made national news headlines — every city of the Real Housewives has signed a silent treaty that as pissed off as they get at one another, as desperate as they are to take each other down — you never do it by using the kids. You just don’t. And if you do, it’s near impossible to recover as I think Kelly just learned the hard way.
This was an episode where nothing happened yet everything changed. On paper, the purpose of this fabulous Irish vacation is so Meghan can trace her Irish ancestry before her baby is born. In reality it’s so Kelly can escape Michael, Vicki can whoop it up with the girls like she did pre-Cancer-gate, Shannon can bust out her finest leprechaun-inspired couture, Tamra can use the luck of the Irish to stir the pot, and Heather can find new ways to take situations that have zero to do with her and you guessed it, make it all about her.
Things are fine when the girls arrive in Ireland. Vicki has flowers waiting from her new beau/cop Steve with a note that says “I LOVE YOU!” On one hand, I’m so happy that Vicki has moved on from Brooks. On the other it almost feels like she’s so desperate to be loved (and find redemption) that she’s moving things along at lightning speed to prove Brooks is history. Everyone is surprised, but no one is really shocked — this is Vicki. She needs love the same way that Kelly needs her blood alcohol levels. Ireland really isn’t the best place for a woman who has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde like transformation with a sip of alcohol as we are about to find out.
The ladies (minus Meghan, who’s meeting with a genealogist) go on a pub crawl, and everyone is getting along. Vicki is force feeding Tamra shots even though she’s been told by her fitness/Jesus guru not to drink with her competition so close. Vicki and Shannon are whooping it up together like they never had any weirdness about whether or not they are actually friends. And Kelly just gets more immature with every sip of alcohol she takes. The ladies do not like being hit on the nose by drunk Kelly — especially Vicki — so accidentally drunk Tamra angrily tells her to stop because that’s what you do for your besties, which apparently is Vicki and Tamra’s current status. Well, Kelly does not like being scolded by Tamra and all I can say is evil, drunk Kelly explodes into a rage of anger that doesn’t even make sense. And after Kelly screams at Tamra to walk away, she gets her senses back for a moment and tries to deflect the situation onto everyone else: Why are they so mad? Why can’t they take a joke? Why is everyone so sensitive?
Kelly is now sure that everyone is ganging up on her, so she tries to get everyone to gang up on Tamra instead. Kelly screams that anything she tells Tamra in confidence becomes common knowledge among the group. Kelly should know better than to poke the bear. Tamra announces that she does keep Kelly’s secrets — like how she never told Heather that Kelly had a real estate agent find out how much the Dubrows owe on their lot. Except, oops, she just did. I’m not even sure I understand what having this information was going to do for Kelly. I can only assume she wanted to see if the Dubrows were as rich as they look (they are Kelly, just leave it alone, they’re building a porte cochere). But, as Tamra puts this “secret” out there, Vicki walks away so she isn’t blamed for anything and ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE.
NEXT: Kelly should be tried and convicted for her blatant breaking of Housewives law
Kelly flips out and calls Tamra a liar: Kelly apparently didn’t go digging for this info on the Dubrows, but a friend just gave it to her without asking. So Tamra is clearly a terrible person for exposing that Kelly had said information? Kelly sure thinks so and as they leave the pub, Shannon desperately tries to calm her down to no vail. With the cameras rolling she breaks that sacred housewives law and says, “No wonder [Tamra’s] daughter doesn’t talk to her.”
… I’ll let you all take that in and really let the repercussions of that comment sink in …
In a blur, Shannon breaks away to tell Tamra what Kelly said about her. Maybe that exact moment wasn’t the right time to tell her, but Shannon’s a loyal friend — there was no way she was going to let Kelly, an acquaintance who has already said (“see you next Tuesday”) and done (those “you set me up” accusations at the ‘70s party) things get away with this blatant violation.
Tamra sees red, turns into the Hulk and HITS (possibly pushes) Kelly, making such a scene that the ladies are kicked out of the department store they’re now in. Sadly, we will never ever know how this really unfolded because the friggin cameras were NOT ALLOWED INSIDE! How is that for a cruel joke (but probably way better for Tamra and her custody battle)? What we do see is a hyper-ventilating, almost catatonic Tamra, breathing hard and fast and obviously traumatized by Kelly’s words and her violent reaction to them.
The thing is Tamra has been defending Kelly’s erratic, drunken behavior for WEEK; she’s tried seeing it from the perspective that Kelly’s marriage is destroying her. Something Tamra went through herself on camera with her ex-husband Simon. She was willing to give Kelly a bit of a free pass because she understood the need to escape (and rage) with alcohol. But that free pass has expired, and there’s no way that Tamra is ever going to forgive Kelly for going there and bringing up her situation with her daughter. And, there’s no way that Kelly is going to explain her way out of this one. Kelly explodes on Shannon for telling Tamra because she wasn’t trying to hurt her (no, Kelly says during her confessional that if she wanted to hurt Tamra, she would have just said it to her face — sure, that makes it all better).
And then there’s Vicki, trying to comfort Tamra while feeling bad for Kelly, too — sorry Vick, you can’t have it both ways and you can’t make excuses for Kelly on this one. Pick a side and own it though it’s pretty hypocritical to leave Kelly high and dry at this point. Kelly may be a loose cannon, but she did have your back. And, let me just say, I don’t condone violence in any way, but it’s easy to understand why Tamra’s instinct was to clock Kelly. Heather, however, is just mortified that she was kicked out of a store for the first time in her life. Oh Heather, yes, that is way worse than having your dirty laundry aired out on national TV in a drunken rage.
So where do we go from here? Back at the hotel, Kelly desperately tries to get Meghan to see things her way, but all Meghan hears is that Kelly dragged Tamra’s kids into this and she’s out. It’s Housewives law and no one wants to touch it! Kelly refuses to go to dinner and calls her husband to cry about everyone ganging up on her, and he could not be more supportive. It’s interesting that Kelly was using the trip to escape Michael, and now he’s her only ally. Maybe they are meant to be?
At dinner, the ladies are not missing Kelly at all, not even Vicki, who is whooping it up with her non-friend Shannon. And I have to say, this could very well be it for Kelly. She’s been given more chances after more drunken rages than most housewives have over the course of years (not months) and is completely oblivious to the destruction she causes. Which is understandable because of the drunken rage part of things, but by no means excuses it. If I were Kelly, I would hop on the next flight back to the OC, but I doubt she will because sadly she does not get the depths of damage she has done to her relationships with the ladies.
Bravo turns its cameras on California's ladies who lunch (and shop, and tan, and get plastic surgery, and bicker…)