THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY -- Pictured: (l-r) Taylor Armstrong, Jennifer Pedranti -- (Photo by: Randy Shropshire/Bravo)

Real Housewives of Orange County Season 17, Episode 3 Recap: We Cut It Close(ed)

The biggest reveal in the last episode of Real Housewives of Orange County was not Shannon Beador’s sighting of John Janssen’s son on a boat, but rather the return of Taylor Armstrong!  Taylor fit right in with the group and made her presence known when she called out Shannon for interrupting Jennifer Pedranti’s story about her adopted son. 

The battle between Tamra Judge and Shannon also carried on. Neither Tamra nor Shannon would drop their side of the who ghosted who story when they met for drinks. Later at the fla-mingle party, Tamra also doubled down on calling Shannon a drunk. The irony being lost on Tamra that she was the one who was drunk, not Shannon. Let round three begin!

The plot thickens

It was another sunny day in the OC as the ladies started their day. Emily Simpson shared a morning coffee with her husband Shane and their frisky dog Frisker. Gina Kirschenheiter coached her daughter on soccer techniques, and most importantly, we had our first Archie sighting of the season! Archie was on standby for moral support as Shannon’s daughter Stella informed her she wanted to study abroad. Heather Dubrow had a similar conversation with her family over dinner when they talked about the twins going to college. Heather seemed a bit sad they would be gone, but stars were in her eyes as she envisioned her acting career starting once again. 

At CUT Fitness, Jenn was busy dabbing the tears from Tamra’s eyes with an old sweaty gym towel. As they randomly took sledgehammers to a wall, it was revealed that Tamra and Jenn’s friendship was not all as it seemed. The two had a falling out when Jenn’s boyfriend Ryan Boyajian informed Tamra of his affair with Jenn. Tamra was not happy Ryan told her instead of Jenn. She also didn’t want Jenn’s husband, William Pedranti, to think they had insider knowledge before he did. Jenn recapped the fla-mingle party for Tamra and informed her that Shannon did apologize but Tamra was too drunk to remember. Tamra decided she needed to make amends and invite Shannon to her upcoming party at her gym.

Judge Gina

Gina and her boyfriend, Travis Mullen, were both studying for their real estate licenses. Gina’s sure she can ace the role because she knows wearing the right bougie outfit will sell a home. Just ask the cast of Selling Sunset. All you need to do is wear a bustier and mini skirt, know how to open a sliding glass door, and boom! $25 million home sold. Gina also brought up her issues with Jenn’s past discretions with Ryan. Gina repeated she didn’t want to judge Jenn for the affair, while she was judging her for the affair. 

Shannon must have had a vision that Tamra was about to reach out, because she made a stop at a crystal store for protection. John was there with her and they wondered if their water and fire symbols mixed. Shannon unknowingly foreshadowed her future break-up with John when she shared that John called her home the “house of screaming women” and liked to be alone on his boat. And speaking of screaming women, Tamra called Shannon to apologize. Tamra wanted to move on and invited Shannon to her party. Shannon accepted, but once again felt that her feelings were not being addressed, only Tamra’s. 

There’s no business like show business

There were no Taco Bell or McDonald’s runs for Emily and her kids this time. They went straight to Shane’s parents home to eat every Pringles flavor known to man and to swim in a ginormous pool. Emily talked with Pary and Lary about her relationship with her mother and how she was trying to rekindle it by sending pictures of the kids. She wisely stated that maybe her mother is doing the best she can for now and she needed to accept that. 

Heather arrived at Taylor’s house to help coach her for her acting role. Taylor thought Heather should join her on set as there was a role available due to an actress pulling out. Heather was put off that Taylor offered it to her, it had to come from an official casting director after all. My guess is this an indie film where the director is the casting director, DP, and gaffer, and Taylor is probably doubling as craft services. The acting coach arrived and the read through began.

Taylor did really well and knew most of her lines. The acting coach noted Taylor needed to use a reporter’s voice. In order to do that, she recommended Taylor breathe through her hoo-ha. And if that didn’t work, a good BJ would do the trick. Cringe! Taylor didn’t even flinch and studiously wrote that down in her notebook. 

The apology must go on

At CUT Fitness the dust was cleared and the party was underway. Heather showed up with champs and a random bag of grocery store white bread since Tamra could eat carbs again. At least get it fresh from the bakery! Heather told a teary-eyed Tamra she was proud of what she accomplished and it was onto the next chapter. Tamra mentioned she wanted to buy property in Montana so a girly trip to a dude ranch might be in order. And Tamra’s problematic son Ryan had the cowboy hats ready for everyone.

Then Shannon and John arrived. Everyone acted like it was a big deal, but Tamra immediately ran up and hugged her to diffuse any tension. Tamra’s strategy was to keep hugging her until Shannon would forgive her. Shannon accepted and a happy Tamra scampered off. However, Shannon noted she also wanted an apology for the past several years. To be continued!

The small talk continued as Jenn’s boyfriend Ryan vowed to get Shane into the gym. Gina pulled Heather aside and showed her Jenn’s TikTok post celebrating her yoga studio still being open. Both Heather and Gina thought it was poor timing for Jenn to post it the day before Tamra’s closing party. Heather advised Gina to keep it under wraps for now. But we all know Gina has a bone to pick and she was not about to let the mouse go.

Defcon four to defcon one

Everyone gathered round the Hibachi grill as the chefs tossed bits of egg at them. They all seemed to be having fun, but Gina couldn’t wait to stir the pot. She confronted Jenn about her yoga studio post and asked if she was fighting with Tamra. Jenn seemed shocked, she was just doing her social media and SEO duties. Tamra heard the conversation and wondered if Jenn did that on purpose. Jenn said she would never do that and apologized for the timing. Emily was the voice of reason and mused Jenn was only thinking about herself. Heather went to hide under the Hibachi grill as she did not want to be around when Tamra went from defcon four to defcon one. 

The drama continued later when Emily asked Jenn about her timeline with Ryan. Gina left the group and went to fan herself in the corner to clear away the infidelity vapors. Emily wondered if Jenn got Will the job with her family so he could live in another state in order for her to carry on with Ryan. Jenn denied it and also denied sleeping with Ryan. Tamra then rolled her eyes and told Jenn to be honest. Jenn said there was nothing going on. In Tamra’s confessional, she shared that Will caught Jenn and Ryan in the car together and Jenn told different versions of the story to everyone. Welcome to the RHOC, Jenn!

Eddie and Tamra wrapped up the party by cutting up some cake and having an impromptu cake fight. Emily jumped right in the middle and got a good chunk of the kettle bell. Tamra then terrorized the rest of the cast as she threw cake and forced them to be the last few to run laps inside the gym.

Real Housewives of Orange County continues Wednesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.