Real Housewives of Orange County finale recap: Season 11, Episode 18
Before we dive into tonight’s season finale recap, it’s only appropriate we take stock of all the changes that’ve gone down over the past 17 episodes. Tamra, as big a sh-t stirrer as she is, has actually become RHOC’s forgiving voice of reason (thank you, Jesus!) Plus, her body has never been more banging. Post vow-renewal, Shannon’s marriage is in an amazing place and there’s nothing anyone — especially Vicki — can do to knock her down.
Speaking of Vicki, she’s officially Brooks-free, though the shadow of Cancer-gate still lingers on. She was so close to being back in the cool club with Shannon and Vicki, but blew it after getting too tight with new girl Kelly (who cannot keep her mouth shut when she’s drunk). After last week’s explosion in Ireland — where it was revealed Vicki let it slip to Kelly that David may or may not have beaten Shannon and that Eddie (Tamra’s husband) may or may not be gay — it’s safe to say Vicki has officially run out of chances. Since Heather’s not a fan of Kelly, who’s convinced Heather is the reason for her drama with the group, Kelly’s definitely running out of steam with these ladies, too. There’s only so many times she can erupt and apologize and repeat.
And then there’s Meghan, who’s actually managed to avoid most of the drama and stay friends with everyone. She’s also been a little busy growing a human inside her. So it’s nice to kick off tonight with Meghan and Jimmy’s “gender reveal” party in their St. Louis home. Jimmy hasn’t always come across as the most sensitive or enthusiastic dad-to-be, and it’s great to see him be equal parts nervous and excited as they find out they’re having a girl!
However, Vicki’s delusion is still setting the stage for an explosive episode. She somehow thinks the trip to Ireland was a blast. Yes, technically the sh-t hit the fan on the way to the airport, but it was volatile enough to cancel out any of the bonding or fun times that may have occurred prior. I would also venture to say that Vicki acting like this is just a typical fight between her and Tamra proves she’s oblivious to the damage she’s caused. So it’s a good thing Vicki is bringing her daughter, Briana, with her to Tamra’s “I just won a fitness competition, so let’s eat carbs” party — which will be held at none other than Shannon’s house. And the only reason Shannon agrees to let Vicki into her home is to confront her (and probably Kelly, too). I understand Tamra’s on a forgiveness kick and didn’t want to exclude Vicki or Kelly, but come on, she knows their presence is a surefire way to stir the pot!
As everyone gets ready for the party, Kelly — ever the enigma — is actually getting along great with her husband as they flirt and act like, you know, two people who liked each other enough to take vows promising to be together forever. The best thing that came from Kelly’s possible “psychotic break” (Heather’s words) in Ireland is the resurrection of Kelly and Michael’s previously doomed marriage. The worst thing? When Kelly screamed at Shannon to get rid of her chin hairs, it prompted Tamra and Meghan to shave their faces as soon as they got home!
Tamra, the guest of honor who went ahead and invited Vicki, reveals she’s actually planning on avoiding her. What was the point of encouraging her to attend? Oh, right… Because while she may be a good Christian, Tamra’s also a born-again sh-t stirrer! But Eddie does reward her for all her hard work (prepping for the competition and, I assume, putting up with Vicki) with a hot pair of Louboutin’s.
NEXT: Ice ice Vicki
In case anyone was wondering, Heather has nothing to say to Vicki or Kelly either. But we’ll see how long Heather and Tamra can realistically hold their tongues, especially since Vicki is positive everything will just blow over. Sure, because telling the town drunk everyone’s deepest, darkest secrets is always easy to forgive and forget — especially when said drunk spills all on national TV. But it’s all going to be okay, because Vicki has written Shannon a card that basically says she’s ready to move on, now that her personal life is great thanks to her new boyfriend. Vicki doesn’t really apologize or take any real responsibility for the drama she’s caused; she just wants to sweep everything away and can’t understand why she’s the only one.
After Tamra has a donut-induced orgasm at her party, she runs away from Vicki as soon as she arrives. Meanwhile, Shannon isn’t impressed by Vicki’s gesture with the card. I agree with Shannon: Woman up and say it to her face, Vicki. Tamra is clearly making it known she wants nothing to do with Vicki—doesn’t want to talk to her, look at her, or breathe the same air as her — so again, I really don’t understand why Tamra herself didn’t woman up and tell Vicki not to come. This is just painfully immature behavior. The party is in Tamra’s honor, so why did she want to make herself SO uncomfortable at her own soiree?
Perhaps Tamra invited Vicki did to stir the pot yet again, as evidenced by her giving everyone T-shirts depicting their “mugshots” and “crimes.” Kelly’s was “public drunkenness,” which she thought was a little too hilarious; Shannon’s was “judgy eyes”; Heather’s was “being too fancy.” And Vicki’s? Well, “lying,” of course. Vicki saw right through Tamra’s intentions and pretended she thought it was funny so Tamra wouldn’t get what she wanted. (There’s a reason these ladies have been best frenemies for this long — they certainly know how to play each other).
Emotions are running high, so Kelly, of course, takes this moment to address the “elephant in the room” and try to make things right with Shannon. The problem is Kelly lives in an alternate universe in which she takes no responsibility, since Vicki was actually the one who told her about David possibly beating Shannon. Kelly seems to think she isn’t liable because she heard it secondhand, even though she did repeat it. She’s basically throwing Vicki, her only friend, under the bus.
NEXT: Are we saying goodbye to the OG of the OC?
There’s nothing Kelly can do now except profusely apologize to Shannon, and even that isn’t going to go over well. Kelly’s constant game of “Who, me?” needs to stop. At least it gets put on pause when Heather chimes in, turning Kelly’s focus on Heather and her “puppet master” tendencies. It’s funny watching Kelly try to placate a placater (a.k.a. Heather), because Heather is not having it. She repeats her assessment from the van in Ireland — perhaps Kelly is having a psychotic break. Maybe Heather’s not an “interloper” like Kelly says, but she’s definitely an “interceptor,” as she refuses to let Vicki slip away from this scene. Vicki doesn’t want to be in the middle of the drama, but Tamra sees an opportunity and can’t help but seize it. She tells Vicki to stop talking about people, spreading vicious rumors, and being so insecure about her past, crappy relationships. But, mainly, stop talking about people and shut the eff up.
I give Vicki a tiny bit of credit for not engaging and deciding to leave; however, I do feel she had nothing with which to fight back anyway. This was a long time coming and deep down, Vicki knows Tamra is right. Instead, Vicki chalks up it to “mean-girl stuff” as a way to save some face in front of the camera…until Shannon stops her at the door so she can finally say her peace to Vicki, face to face. In a nutshell? Shannon is done, their friendship is over, and what Vicki said about David is unforgiveable. The end.
Vicki, looking more defeated than ever, barely responds and tells Shannon to have a nice life. Watching Vicki walk away as she leaves the party really does make me wonder: Is this the OG of the OC’s final season? If no one is willing to make up with her, how can they possibly have her around? Vicki is a fighter and always manages to find her way back, but this time feels different. As Heather says, sometimes you just have to part ways with someone.
As we say goodbye to the ladies for the last time this season (well, except for the upcoming reunions!), we learn Heather has finally moved into her mega-mansion; Kelly and Michael are planning to renew their vows (spin-off, anyone?); Shannon has yet to properly feng shui her rental house; and Meghan is thinking about moving back to St. Louis. (Hmm, maybe the spin-off is there? Or is it time to launch The Real Housewives of St. Louis?!)
And just when we think Vicki and Tamra are done forever, Briana, the only true voice of reason and the only one who can call out Vicki on her inability to accept responsibility for hurting people, begs Tamra to talk to her mom before she really does leave. Tamra agrees, and it’s back on the merry-go-round as Vicki apologizes for repeating the rumor about Eddie…but hangs onto the fact it was a rumor she repeated and she wasn’t the original source. Of course, Tamra has zero tolerance for that, especially when Vicki won’t accept responsibility for what she said about Shannon either. Her response to Tamra is “It’s really bad” and she “worries about Shannon.” Which, basically, means Vicki is still letting that awful, damaging rumor linger, and Tamra won’t stand for it. She calls Vicki a b-tch and storms off — while Vicki is still muttering that she worries about Shannon.
We end with the reveal that Vicki and Tamra have not spoken in six months. We also learn that after all of Briana’s health issues this season, she’s finally (and sadly) been diagnosed with lupus. Vicki surely has more pressing life issues to deal with now, so I can’t help but think this might really be her last non-reunion episode. Only time will tell, but with the way Vicki is clinging to her “worries about Shannon,” it doesn’t bode well for her return to the show — or to any of the ladies’ lives.
Bravo turns its cameras on California's ladies who lunch (and shop, and tan, and get plastic surgery, and bicker…)