Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3 Recap: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3 recap
Photo by: Clifton Prescod/Bravo via Getty Images

Folks, we’ve reached the finish line. After fist fights, prayer shrines, divorces, and questionable athleisure brands, Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Potomac finally came to a close with Part 3 of the reunion. Let’s all take a moment to let out a huge sigh of relief. We did it.

During last week’s reunion episode, the ladies continued trying to find their paths forward with one another. Andy Cohen challenged them to do it, but with every minute of the reunion, that goal seemed more and more unattainable.

This week, Andy tried his darndest to tie up all of the loose ends of the season, from Deborah’s fight with Keiarna to Nneka’s icy introduction to the group. Here’s what went down during the final part of the RHOP Season 8 reunion.

Gordon’s brave announcement

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3
Photo by: Jocelyn Prescod/Bravo

Part 2 of the reunion ended with Gordon getting ready to make some big announcement. At this point, the trailers have teased it for weeks. We’ve all been trying to figure out what it is. Would it be a paternity test for Jeremiah or perhaps a shocking accusation against Mia? It turned out to be neither.

Ultimately, the information Gordon decided to share was that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder nearly two-and-a-half years ago. It was an incredibly touching moment in an otherwise unproductive reunion. Sharing this on RHOP took some serious bravery, but it served as an informative moment for anyone watching who isn’t familiar with the complications of bipolar disorder. It’s a term that people throw around casually, but it’s more than just mood swings. Gordon explained just how much the manic episodes of bipolar I upended his life.

After receiving the diagnosis, Gordon was able to reflect on his life with more clarity. Getting ousted from the family business and losing his relationship with Mia were all casualties in his fight with the disorder. Fortunately, Gordon shared that he’s in a much better place now, and we’re all rooting for him to continue on the path to wellness.

New girls on the block

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3 recap
Photo by: Clifton Prescod/Bravo

Let’s talk about the newbies. Season 8 introduced us to a brand-new Housewife and a new friend who both played important roles in the storylines of Season 8. Part 3 included segments about both of them.

Throughout each part of the reunion, you could see Nneka trying to insert herself into the conversations. She had an active presence, despite admitting to Robyn last week that she felt nervous. This week, she had the opportunity to address her controversial feud with Dr. Wendy once and for all.

When Andy introduced the segment about Dr. Wendy, Nneka, the prayer shrine, and all of that mess, he acknowledged that it was culturally sensitive. They wanted to tread lightly, but it almost seemed like they tried to skirt around the topic altogether. There wasn’t a ton of time spent on it during the reunion compared to how much they talked about it during the season. Even Wendy and Nneka seemed hesitant to engage on the subject.

One thing that we did learn thanks to Andy is that the producers actually did ask Wendy to “introduce” Nneka into the friend group. Wendy declined because she “didn’t know” Nneka. That’s why Ashley ended up being Nneka’s connection into the circle. You know the old saying that the truth always lies somewhere in the middle? This felt like that.

The other newbie in the spotlight was Keiarna, who had the opportunity to confirm once and for all that her name is Keiarna with an R. Overall, she felt like she had a positive experience dipping her toes into the Real Housewives world. She made friends with all of the ladies, including the Green-Eyed Bandits. The only downside for her was getting into a bloody brawl with Deborah.

For a part-time friend who only appeared in a handful of episodes, the producers rolled out the red carpet for Keiarna. Rather than sitting her on the end of the couch, they plopped her in between Wendy and Candiace, pushing Ashley to the farthest corner of the couch. Out of sight, out of mind.

Ashley’s minute in the hot seat

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3
Photo by: Jocelyn Prescod/Bravo

In addition to getting scooted to the farthest edge of the couch, Ashley probably said fewer than 10 words throughout this entire reunion. During Part 3, Andy finally put her in the hot seat. The biggest thing she had to answer for was the weird divorce saga she’s been dragging out for years at this point. Why hasn’t she divorced Michael?

Some people think the divorce is just a farce for the show, but Ashley admitted that she and her ex have been in a toxic cycle that she’s having a hard time breaking. They’ll have really high moments where they can co-parent successfully, but then he turns into a grump and stops being cooperative.

Ashley revealed that when filming Season 8, they were in a rough spot. This time might have been the last straw. Although we’ve heard this a million times, Ashley claimed that she has made some progress towards officially divorcing.

“I have filed a complaint to initiate my divorce,” Ashley shared, before adding that she now feels “more prepared” to be independent.

No one is holding their breath on this. We’ll believe it when we see it. In the meantime, she’s still using a shared credit card with Michael.

In addition to being in the hot seat about her divorce, Ashley also found herself having to defend her role in the brawl at the GnA fashion show. Everyone was looking for someone to blame. Some of the ladies felt that Ashley was at fault for inviting Deborah to the party.

Ashley doubled down on the notion that she didn’t invite Deborah to be messy. She aruged that she wasn’t trying to get under anyone’s skin and apologized to Keiarna for what happened. Ultimately, it didn’t matter because every single person on the stage and their own varying opinions about who needed to take accountability for the fight.

Who is to blame for the brawl?

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3 recap
Photo by: Clifton Prescod/Bravo

Although the fight between Deborah and Keiarna happened off-camera, it drove the narrative for the final moments of Season 8. On the surface, this fight was clearly Deborah and Keiarna’s fault. They were the ones swinging. Beneath the surface, the women wanted to blame Ashley for inviting Deborah. Some of them wanted to blame Candiace for instigating the fight. Gizelle thought everyone was responsible.

Mia added an interesting element to the entire story, as she often does. She revealed that earlier in the night before the brawl, Deborah confronted her the same way she did Candiace. The only difference was that Mia brushed it off and laughed things off with Deborah. Candiace responded to the situation by calling her “vermin” and “the help.”

Obviously, there’s a difference in how Mia and Candiace responded to Deborah. It served as a perfect example of how words can influence someone else’s behavior, which is something Candiace has struggled to wrap her head around throughout her entire time on the show. Candiace refused to entertain the idea that her words could have consequences. She replied, “No they don’t.”

The reunion didn’t show anyone taking any real accountability for the fight. However, the topic created a reason for the women to connect as a sisterhood. In a touching moment, Keiarna thanked Karen for being supportive in the immediate aftermath of the fight. Keiarna said she felt scared and Karen gave her the motherly energy she needed.

Obviously, Karen loved that compliment. She is the mother hen of this group and never misses an opportunity to reinforce that idea. So, she got on her soap box and replied to Keiarna’s glowing compliment with a sweet, unifying message.

She told the ladies, “The one thing that I will never not do is take care of any one of you — including Robyn.”

Thawing out the pies, and looking ahead to Season 9

Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8 Reunion, Part 3
Photo by: Clifton Prescod/Bravo

Earlier in Season 8, Karen compared her friendship with Robyn to a frozen pie. She needed to take it out of the freezer, piece by piece. Reflecting back on the metaphor, Andy tried to encourage the ladies to have a final shot at thawing out a slice of pie to help them move forward to Season 9 with as much pie as possible. Some of them just couldn’t budge.

After a bit of awkward silence, Robyn caved and claimed that she didn’t feel any “animosity” towards Candiace. In response, Candiace said she felt “neutral” about Robyn. That felt like a lot of progress compared to Candiace and Gizelle. They both refused to move forward in any capacity. It was like watching two brick walls trying to communicate. They maintained their hatred for each other to the bitter end of this reunion. There’s no way that’s healthy.

Andy asked Nneka and Wendy if they could move on, and he got a bit of a mixed response. Nneka claimed she was willing and ready to move forward and try to coexist with her Igbo sister. In response, Wendy simply asked, “What have I done to you?”

So, while there were small glimmers of hope, the reunion ended with most of the cast on the same page as where they started. Andy tried his best to get them to find their paths forward, but the reunion had to end at some point. They could have been there all night trying to make progress.

Instead of a champagne toast, they brought out slices of pie. It was hilarious, but Karen and Gizelle got the last laugh at the reunion. They ended the reunion by surprising Andy with a coronation ceremony — he’s officially the Duke of Potomac! He got a plastic crown and everything. It felt like a cute callback to the lighthearted fun that made us fall in love with this franchise in the first place. Let’s hope for more of that when it returns.

The Real Housewives of Potomac is streaming on Peacock.