Real Housewives of Orange County recap: Season 11, Episode 16
What do you do with a problem like Kelly?
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.
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
And then my friends, Hades may as well have come out from under the ground to wreak havoc on their last hours in Ireland. I have no doubt that Hades was involved because in a cruel twist of fate, some of the insanity goes down WITHOUT THE CAMERAS ROLLING! A tiny portion is caught on Heather’s phone (because come hell or high water, Heather always finds a way to stay relevant) but the main event is recounted documentary style by the women. Apparently, after dinner, Vicki DID hang out with Kelly and shocker — they got drunk. Drunk and brave enough to knock on Tamra’s door to ask her to come drink with them. Tamra wouldn’t even open the door since Kelly was there. For the record, this was Vicki’s bright idea because she hoped Tamra would be more forgiving in a one-on-one situation. Shannon overhears voices in the hall and comes out to ask what’s going on. Which Kelly interprets as Shannon yelling at her. Finally, Kelly goes to bed while Heather, Tamra, and Shannon go for drinks in the pub. They decide Vicki should be there, so Tamra texts her to come down with the stipulation that Kelly isn’t invited. Vicki can’t believe her luck — the cool girls like her, they really like her — so she complies… and proceeds to get wasted and throw her “friend” Kelly under the bus by telling Tamra even more crappy things that Kelly has said.
Serious question? What on earth did Vicki think was going to happen? Maybe she didn’t expect Tamra to take a selfie with her and text the picture to Kelly with a note letting her know that Vicki just betrayed her. But, did she really think that Tamra was going shrug it off and not retaliate at all?
Serious question number two? Did anyone think Kelly wouldn’t clap back?
Once everyone is back upstairs, Kelly flips out in the hall, hysterically crying while denying she ever said anything, accusing Tamra of getting pleasure from this torture that’s basically straight out of the Regina George playbook. Honestly, they just should make a Burn Book and call it a day. This is when Heather, who I liken more to a Blair Waldorf than a Regina George, films the entire ordeal.
Thankfully, the camera crew is back in action when the women board the van for the airport. Kelly appears to be drunk and is still reeling over the drama in the hallway. She loudly whispers to Meghan that the problem is that all the ladies can dish it out but cannot take it. Shannon overhears this assessment and begs to differ, causing the gates of hell to open up once again. Kelly screams at Shannon for getting her drunk at dinner, starts yelling at EVERYONE for attacking her and then when Shannon gets too close (and because Kelly cannot meltdown without taking potshots), she tells Shannon to shave off her chin hair. As Kelly freaks out over everyone attacking her, Heather and Tamra concur that she’s “insane.” Heather even goes as far as to lightly tread on the rule to leave the kids out of it by whispering to Tamra that she feels bad for Kelly’s daughter.
Kelly’s supersonic ears pick up on the word “insane” and she deflects that label back to Heather—calling her insane for videotaping her earlier. So of course Heather decides that Kelly is having a psychotic break. As Vicki and the producers remind us, this isn’t the first time that Heather has decided that someone’s meltdown equates a psychotic break — this happened during Shannon’s first season when Heather deemed her in need of an ambulance after Shannon screamed about everyone seeing the truth about the Dubrows.
And where is Vicki in all this? Silent and claiming to be scared. But of what, exactly? Losing her friends? Knowing that Heather may actually be right? Kelly unleashing secrets and venom onto her in front of everyone? I get it, it’s been a rough road to get back in with these ladies and Vicki has a long history with them so clearly she cares about them more than Kelly. But wow it just speaks volumes about Vicki’s character and fickle loyalty. And more than anything — it sets her up to lose everyone all over again.
We end with Blair Waldrof Heather declaring Kelly can’t get to her because she’s “trash” — not the classiest thing for Heather to say but it could have been worse. If this ride to the airport is starting to feel long, can you imagine that plane ride from Ireland to Califnornia with everyone cooped up together in a small space for 10 hours? Kelly might be more comfortable riding with the luggage!
The Real Housewives of Orange County