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Real Housewives

RHOC Season 10 Finale - Baptism by Fire

Glenn Rowley


Amazing grace! How sweet the sound? The long and winding road known as Season 10 in Orange County finally came to its conclusion with the baptism of Tammy Sue. Never before has there been such a religious finale in the history of the Housewives franchise. It was a regular Jesus party with no wine throwing or breaking a piece off the cake in sight. However, just because it was a Jesus party doesn't mean it wasn't full of walk offs, storm outs, betrayals and broken friendships.

This baptism is the first step in Tamra's journey to wash away her sins and start anew. In typical OC fashion, celebration isn't complete without a poolside gospel choir and Housewives past and present (Tammy Knickerbocker! Looney Lynne Curtin!) dressed head to toe in white. Going into the baptism, the other 'Wives take stock of their lives. Shannon declares her marriage better than it's ever been while Meghan's feeling the lonely strain of having Jimmy splitting time between Orange County and St. Louis. Vicki is determined to steer clear of all her friends for the evening. She's there to support Tamra but flanked by her brother Billy and his girlfriend Ronda, is on high alert for any drama brewing in the air. 


After making her grand entrance, Tamra gives a heartfelt speech about why she's committing her life to Jesus, saying that she knows God has a plan for her and she can't freaking wait to see what it is. She credits her difficult time last year (a.k.a. Season 9) going through a nasty custody battle with Simon as the catalyst that led to her finding the Lord. While she knows she'll never be perfect, she's happy to say that what was once her mess is now her message. With tears all around, Tamra enters the swimming pool with Pastor Mike, confesses her faith and goes under the water. As her sins get washed away, we're treated to a quick montage of many of the low points that have been documented over Tamra's eight seasons on the show, but now all those bad times are behind her. She comes out of the water triumphant, the choir launches into a poolside "Amazing Grace" and it's a special moment...though I can't help but laugh at Vicki singing along with her hand in the air. Praise Jesus, hallelujah and woo-hoo!

With the baptism complete, it's time to party and Tamra has pushed the theme just far enough to be fitting for a season finale - complete with angel and devil cakes and an edible golden halo. Like Shannon says, if Tamra Judge is having a baptism, the word devil has to be in there somewhere, right? While Tamra's in her hotel suite getting her "Jesus sparkle eyes" done, Vicki and the other ladies nervously circle each other at the party, with the OG continuing to consciously avoid any hint of confrontation. Out of all the 'Wives, Vicki says she's most hurt by Shannon. After all, she's been there for her and kept her secret about the affair and been nothing but an amazing friend to her. How dare Shannon do this to her! That's not exactly how I see the situation, but OK Vicki, you do you.


Meanwhile, the other women have gathered at the opposite end of the party to discuss the latest story going around about Brooks. Apparently, the story goes that Brooks called Terry in the middle of the night, so sick from his chemo treatments that Terry sent a colleague over to Vicki's house to administer an IV drip. Terry denies that any such thing ever happened, with Heather saying it's a bold-faced lie. However, the story is coming from multiple sources - Shannon heard it back in October after Brooks supposedly had his first chemo treatment and Briana heard it too. So where is the story coming from? Heather wonders why Vicki would be covering for him but Meghan points out that if you have the inability to work because of illness, you don't have to pay child support. Hmm...interesting. What better way for Brooks to get sympathy and turn his negative reputation around in the eyes of Housewives and fans alike. The whole thing feels weird and uncomfortable, but the ladies don't know how to get answers from Vicki. As Heather points out, historically an ambush hasn't worked out well for them. 

Before the girls can confront Vicki, Tamra enters the party looking sin-free. She wants to take a picture with all the 'Wives, but the OG bolts for the bathroom. Don't worry, Vick, they'll wait. In the interim, Vicki's brother Billy comes up to the women and starts defending his sister, saying that she talks about the 'Wives "all the time" but is wondering whether any of the ladies are really her friends because of how much they question her about Brooks. Heather insists that they all truly love Vicki, they just think the situation is weird. Billy also pushes the cancer issue, saying he's seen the medical records and standing up for Brooks. Now it feels like Billy is being used as a pawn to push Vicki and Brooks' agenda. At this point, Vicki attempts a full retreat from the party - giving Tamra her present and saying she's leaving. Tamra insists she can't leave yet, it's Tamra's party and she just got there! It's just plain rude. In her interview, Heather wants to know where Vicki's always going. Why is she always running away?


Heather runs to catch Vicki and convince her not to leave, but Vicki says she can't be around all the negative and toxic a baptism celebration. Heather calls Vicki on her BS and also takes the time to ask her about the Brooks/Terry/IV drip story that's been floating around. Vicki claims she she's never heard the story and has no idea where it came from, but Shannon already told Heather she heard it directly from Vicki last October. Vicki has to be lying. Plus, how else would Shannon and Briana - who have never met before - both have heard the exact same story, particularly when Briana lives across the country in Oklahoma?

Meanwhile, across the party Billy's girlfriend Ronda inexplicably decides to confront Shannon, attacking her for not being supportive of Vicki and Brooks. What? This is a woman Shannon has met once in her entire life. Backed by Tamra, Meghan and Lizzie, Shannon defends herself, explaining that she was Vicki's biggest supporter and closest friend before their ill-fated lunch when Vicki turned on her and accused her of not being a good friend. Shannon has been there since the day Brooks got diagnosed, so who are you Ronda? However, Ronda's not done, and rudely throws out that Vicki didn't ask to see any records when Shannon said David was having an affair. Keep in mind that at this point, Vicki thought she was the only person who knew about the affair - she didn't know Shannon had told Tamra and Heather a couple days prior and no one else knew beyond that. Vicki telling Ronda about David's affair was the ultimate betrayal of trust. 


Shannon is rightfully enraged by this revelation and marches over to thank Vicki for being such a true friend. Vicki doesn't even know what hit her as Shannon storms away, and tries to minimize her betrayal by saying it wasn't some big secret. According to the OG, Brooks has cancer, David had an affair - why are they fighting about it? Now I've loved Vicki for 10 seasons and there's not much she can do to lose my devotion but I am absolutely on Team Shannon on this one. This is royally screwed up of Vicki and she knows it. 


Vicki finally bolts for the limo, but Tamra's now the one chasing after her with Pastor Mike in tow. The OG tries to deflect her betrayal by saying Shannon got was she deserved for pushing at Ronda (WHAT?) and pulling a "shame on her" for Shannon not returning her phone calls or emails for the last two weeks. This is unbelievable. Vicki then tries playing the victim, blaming everyone else for not asking how she's doing since she lost her mom and her boyfriend started battling cancer. All this other stuff is just sad, disgusting minutiae to Vicki. Why do these women keep pushing and pushing her instead of hugging her? The OG then pulls out her trump card - just like Jesus, she's being nailed to a cross for doing NOTHING WRONG. Yes, Vicki just compared herself to Jesus. In front of a pastor. Classic Vicki.


The other women catch up to Tamra and a ranting Vicki. Meghan tries to point out that Vicki just ran away from a very hurt Shannon but Vicki turns it around to say she's extremely hurt too. "Really, Vicki??" Shannon exclaims, pointing out that she told Vicki private information about her marriage, which she just discovered Vicki had told to other people. How dare Vicki throw her friendship and trust away in the trash can, when Shannon's been nothing but a friend to her. Feeling cornered again, Vicki goes for the jugular, screaming that she was the only one who stood by Shannon during charity party debacle and been her friend when everyone else has had problems with her. As Heather points out, how is Shannon supposed to respond to that? Thank you for ditching a charity party for me and then revealing my biggest secret that I asked you not to tell anyone? Seriously.


Vicki gets into the limo and Tamra jumps in after her while the other 'Wives stand awkwardly on the curb. Finally alone, Tamra brings up the conflicting story about Brooks' PET/CT scan and how Newport Imaging said they don't even do that type of scan at their facility. Vicki says the other women can do all the detective work they want, but she's standing by her man (which apparently means calling her own daughter a "sh**-stirrer" who's out to destroy Brooks reputation. Seriously, Vick?) The OG announces that she feels as though she's the one who's been baptized tonight and that the other women will never be satisfied. As Tamra finally gives up and gets out, Vicki the Godfather drives away with a shrug and an "I don't care anymore." That's where Vicki's at. 


The finale ends with each of the 'Wives getting her "where are they now?" snapshot. After four years together, Vicki and Brooks broke up and he moved to Florida. Meghan the Crusader of Truth and Jimmy bought a home in the OC, but he's still only spending 50% of his time there. Shannon and David continue getting counseling for their marriage, but it only took her a year to get over the affair. In the process, she lost 15 pounds. Construction on Chateau Dubrow is behind schedule and over budget - the family will be moving in sometime early next year. Tamra remains a practicing Christian and has asked Jesus to forgive Simon, who's recently restarted their custody war. However, Heather gets the last word on the season, eloquently saying that she doesn't know if we'll ever get real answers about Brooks' cancer. But either way, the women all still love Vicki and hope to mend their broken and strained relationships with her. We'll find out how true that is at the reunion next week!