Vicki is all by herself

Real Housewives Of Orange County Finale Recap: The Gaslighting

Must every season of Real Housewives Of Orange County end with ‘The Persecution Of Vicki Gunvalson?’ Do we have to muster up the energy to care about that again? Didn’t we see this finale last year?

Vicki does reprehensible things and doesn’t understand that they’re reprehensible. She also can’t apologize for hurting people’s feelings. Briana is right about that. Yet, for all Briana’s parenting of her mother, Vicki refuses to see the reality that people don’t forget things you’ve said or done because you give them a good whoop it up or two. Vicki’s version of friendships are as deep as one night stands. Although I honestly don’t know that I would be offering sincere apologies to any of these biatches either. Do any of them really deserve one? Truly?

I imagine that Tamra Judge, Heather Dubrow, and Shannon Beador see themselves as victorious after last night’s episode – they have triumphed in the face of evil, stood in solidarity, and exorcised the devil. Yeah, except, not cause the devil is inside.


Yes, Vicki made some snide comments about Tamra – wrong, obviously, but does Tamra truly believe herself some sweet innocent persecuted martyr? I swear, her fitness coach is some sort of pyramid scheme peddler of Christianity and has sold Tamra this idea that if Tamra uses the words “Christian” and “Jesus” and “Saved” and “Forgiveness” enough it will come true. Shannon does the same thing – tells herself over and over, “I forgive” and “he loves me” and “vow renewal.”

Tamra has talked trash and spread rumors about every person on RHOC – relentlessly. She has done nothing but talk about Vicki and Kelly Dodd all season; shit-stirring enough to bake her own donut cake. So for Tamra to suddenly shriek about the injustice of being gossiped about … ummmm… PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH!

However, the positives – I am a total Meghan Edmonds convert! I don’t generally shift my loyalties when it comes to a Housewife. I’m not fickle. Last season Meghan annoyed me like a hangover – she was the squawking parrot filled with someone else’s opinions and refusing to shut up even when we threw blanket after blanket over her cage. This season I find Meghan to be the sage voice of reason and the only woman on this show who actually has principals and ethics.

So go Meghan Edmonds! I may not believe Jimmy Jazzhands is besotted with you, I may not be able to comprehend 99% of your bizarre head choices and fashion choices, but at least you do you even when Heather is whispering crazy nothings in your ear and scoffing at you for going against the grain. Maybe Meghan learned from her own mistakes – which is something none of these other girls have figured out!


So, onto that Heather. Close your mouth Heather, that’s how one catches flies! “Interloper” may be the wrong word for her, I prefer the phrase “judgmental asshole” but I mean I’m not Kelly. I, like Meghan, have noticed a side to Heather, I supremely question. Heather wants to point out “patterns” of bad behavior in others – well, here’s hers: every other season she behaves like a highfalutin judgmental bitchikins with a ‘take down’ agenda, presented as calling out injustice or redirecting someone’s errant behavior. When she gets flack from the viewers, the next season she acts all happy-go-lucky, fancy pants, squealing over how déclassé these ladies are with a good-natured eye-roll. However by the next season, the ‘real heather’ rears her head. She did it with Alexis Bellino, then Shannon, and now Kelly.

I used to believe Heather needed to stay on this show because she provided a necessary class element, but her classiness is like a Monet. From far away it’s all glamorous, well-mannered, and perfectly charming, but up close it’s a big ol sloppy mess of labelwhoring, insecure projecting, and vapid comments. Last night she was practically yanking her Burn Book out of her Chanel tote to make marks next to Vicki’s name before demanding that Tamra take off the red scrunchie. Be warned: Heather will kick you out of the gluten-free lunch table and make you sit with the tater tots!

Meghan is having a girl!

So with all of reminiscing and Heather-style judging out of the way, let’s start this recap. Meghan is having a girl. A cake told us so. Jimmy DadJeans’ excitement level, on a scale of Candles to Meghan’s opinions, was hovering somewhere around “IVF doctors appointments” – which means one step above ‘not excited.’

The main course was Tamra’s junk food binge-a-thon to show off Shannon’s forgiving nature and her new house. The prominent features being a collapsed donut cake, an evening wear Mrs. Roper costume, and a giant calendar boasting how many days Shannon has patiently waited for apologies from Vicki and Kelly. But she’s over it, you know. God, do I love good imagery.

Tamra's party

I really don’t understand the issues last night. Perhaps we were supposed to have another episode or two in between Tamra wins fitness competition and ‘forgives’ Vicki and Kelly; and Tamra scarfs donuts and tries to roast Vicki and Kelly like s’mores. Was anyone else confused? Where was Mia to patiently instruct Tamra on how to lift barbells to heaven?

At least Ireland drama brought Kelly and Michael closer together. That’s a relief. I was worried that poor Jolie was gonna have to grow up with two parents who can’t stand each other, one of whom is gonna end up on a milk carton at Costco under a ‘Have you seen this person?’ photo. That would be Michael – last spotted hiding behind a mountain of Bounty behind the fruit snacks samples.

Shannon believing herself besieged by liars and is sitting in her new home, all full of good vibes, and undrained crystals, and brand-new homeopathy furniture, with essential oils lighting her way, just waiting and waiting for her apology, all while wearing her angel wings and robe. Seriously – did that dress she wore to the finale not look like choir robes? Not to be all Kelly or anything, but how did Shannon become so matronly? I guess constantly convincing herself that her marriage is perfect while getting the poop and toxins Dr. Moon’d out is draining the life out of her or something? Shouldn’t sucking the life out of Vicki counterbalance that somehow?

The night of Tamra’s party marks 15 days Shannon has heard neither hide nor hair from Kelly. And didn’t you know, Shannon is owed an apology. She has decided at this party she will confront Vicki on being a liar.

Then Heather’s cake of donuts topples like her carefully constructed facade and she gets all pissy, and that’s bad omens for how everything is gonna go that evening! Tamra doesn’t care if the donuts are on the floor – she’ll still eat them. She’s so ravenous, she’s even eating Vicki alive!

Also, Tamra’s NOT GAY husband Eddie gifts her with Louis Vuitton heels. I like Eddie and I love how he is so flippantly disinterested in RHOC drama. I also like how Tamra contrived to force him into a romantical gesture to dispel any lingering suspicions that he may be *gasp* secretly harboring a different kind of tingles down there.

Since Jimmy has tossed his pregnant wife to the wolves to go play golf, Meghan decides she might as well cozy up to the most feral member of the pack and rides to the party with Kelly. What the hell was Meghan wearing? It even managed to distract me from Kelly’s Guinness Book Of World Records cleavage.

Whatever – at least I like the things coming out of Meghan’s mouth, which are yes, Kelly made some really shoddy, mean comments to Shannon, but damn was she provoked! She’s also realized how conniving Heather is and doesn’t like it.

Vicki coerced Briana to be her date to the party, because Briana endeavors to get Vicki and Tamra back together. What did Vicki bribe Briana with this time?


Heather, Shannon, and Tamra arrive first, snickering and laughing about how much they hate Vicki and wish she weren’t coming. Tamra admits Vicki texted her but then lies to Vicki about receiving said text. Tamra also recanted on forgiving Kelly, after Kelly refused to follow her directions to apologize to Shannon. As Vicki said, just don’t invite them!

Vicki is late because she’s writing heartfelt cards to Shannon and Tamra. The girl certainly loves her greeting cards! Affirmations for life! When she finally arrives, Tamra, Shannon, and Heather pointedly ice her out, then scatter. They do the same to Kelly.

They hide out in a corner, until Meghan locates them to figure out what the devil is going on. The devil going on is Vicki Gunvalson. Always and forever. They almost expel Meghan from the group when she admits she likes Kelly, despite her faults, and they are friends. She also points out that Shannon, Tamra and Heather were pretty terrible to Kelly. This is not appropriate to Heather, who scoffs, disgustedly.

Vicki gifts

Finally Tamra decides to shake the party up by passing out gifts of custom made t-shirts with phony mugshots. Tamra, queen of forgiveness, smirks that the real reason behind these gifts is to spite Vicki whose offense is “Lying.” She delivers Vicki’s last – where an audience watches as Vicki unwraps it. Vicki recovers quickly, laughing off the slight, and admitting that she’s not letting Tamra’s shade get the best of her.

Vicki has decided she’s DONE apologizing. She feels like a broken robot who’s stuck on “sorries” she doesn’t feel, repeating them over and over and over again until her circuits explode. Now that she’s in a better place personally, everyone can just suck it and reuse one of the old insincere apologizes she’s already given. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

After presents, Kelly decides it’s time to awkwardly apologize to Shannon – again. Of course, really, everyone wants VICKI to confess to lying about Shannon’s marriage and eat crow again. Except I don’t believe I saw crow on the catering table?

Kelly has had it with Heather

While Kelly is badly stumbling through an apology, Heather can’t help instructing Kelly on all the ways she’s doing that and life wrong. Kelly finally shrieks that Heather needs stop interloping, and take her insecurity with her. I kinda agree with Kelly there – I never noticed it before that Heather’s actions do seem insecure.

Then suddenly Vicki has to tinkle. And we know Vicki cannot hold it for anything, and Shannon does not need her new hypoallergenic, hospital grade carpets marked by Vicki! Unfortunately Heather decides she has to assert that she’s not insecure by acting out her inner Maleficent, so when Vicki starts to maneuver away from the group, she growls “Don’t Move.”


I don’t know if it was wonky editing, and Vicki actually skuttled backwards after meekly protesting, or this was presented out of sequence to make it look like Vicki complied – I can’t tell, but Vicki remains to allow Tamra “Jesus Lights My Way” Judge to scream in Vicki’s face about how wrong it is to talk shit about people. HA HA HA HA HA. “I will not be called a liar,” huffs Vicki as she gathers the gift she doesn’t want and her stole that didn’t match, and begins to stalk out. Did she wear a red dress intentionally?

Shannon is very upset that Vicki is leaving. Shannon who didn’t even want Vicki at the party. Shannon will have her confrontation dammit, so she corners Vicki on the stairs to announce that they’re no longer friends! I imagine that in her mind Shannon had worked this into a big explosion in which Vicki would argue and plead, but Vicki is just exhausted of defending herself from The Real Vampires of Orange County and she just wants to go home, take off her Spanx, and guzzle a bottle of pinot noir while throwing poisoned syringes at a photo of Brooks‘ face.

Shannon confronts The Devil

So when Shannon comes geared for battle, Vicki is all – whatever, Shanny-shittypants. Sure, yeah, OK- sorry, read my card. Vicki does say in a parting shot that she “worries” about Shannon before stumbling out the door singing “I Will Survive” to herself softly.

Obviously, Vicki is no kinda good person. She’s not the devil either. (But she is a good Housewife!) Vicki should NEVER have been gossiping to Kelly about David allegedly beating Shannon – EVER. If Shannon confided this to Vicki, that is NOT NOT NOT something you should be trotting out as a trump revenge card when you’re mad at someone (it’s as low-base as accusing someone of having a “psychotic break” because you don’t approve of their behavior.). Furthermore domestic abuse is a serious matter. If Vicki is truly worried about Shannon, why would she use this against her?

Vicki and Tamra's final argument

While Vicki is waiting for her car, Briana begs Tamra to give Vicki another chance to apologize. Instead of apologizing, Vicki makes more excuses, then repeats that she worries about Shannon. Tamra won’t take the bait – shockingly – and storms out calling Vicki a “bitch.” Tamra seems to think making Vicki look worse makes her look better, but she fails to realize she’s awful all on her own and we all see it clearly!

In the limo home, Vicki bemoans that she’s exhausted. Oh, we all are! We so are. Meghan especially since her parting update implies she’s leaving the show. (Good job Megs!). Shannon whines about being hurt and how mean Vicki is while snuggling up to David and silently begging him to reaffirm that he loves her and that this vow renewal meant something real. Can Shannon and Vicki get a 2-for-1 deal on self-esteem classes? Maybe Heather can treat them – after all she plays a doctor by injection on TV.


[Photo Credits: Bravo]