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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: vicki vs. shannon

RHOC S12/Ep 2 Recap - It's Either My Way or the Feng Shui

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Lydia and Shannon face off in a completely unexpected feud with Tamra caught in the crosshairs. Plus, we meet Bravo's 100th Housewife Peggy Sulahian! Read on for a full recap of the drama, screaming and unicorns!

Shannon Beador is getting back to what's important to her, and that means it's feng shui time. With the help of her longtime feng shui consultant, Elaine Wright, Shannon's ready to get the good energy flowing in the Beadors' new rental home - she doesn't even have nine lemons in a bowl anymore! However, the feng shui-ing of the house may be easier said than done. According to Elaine, the 'relationship corner' of the house is occupied by a toilet, which may be contributing to some of the negative relationships in Shannon's life. With David being distant and her grudge match with Vicki Gunvalson at an all-time high (or low?), this reasoning of the Asian mystical arts seems to make sense - though Shannon is quickly to point out that maybe certain relationships (ahem, Vicki) are better off going down the drain.

Cut to Vicki, who's packing up Coto Insurance to move to a new office space. Vicki reminisces about the time Shannon's feng shui expert came to consult on her office, but snidely dismisses the entire experience now as a complete crock despite the boom in business that happened once she followed Elaine's recommendations. However, the point here is WHERE IN THE WORLD has Vicki been hiding Linda the office manager for the past 11 seasons. The woman is hilarious and seems to be the only person able to go toe-to-toe with a stressed out OG of the OC. More Linda in every episode, please! 

Motherhood continues to be a trip for Meghan King Edmonds. As she and Jimmy pack up to head back to Orange Country from their vacation home in La Quinta, Calif., she laments that she's constantly sleep deprived now that life is all about "baby, baby, baby, baby." Meghan claims she's excited to see the rest of the 'Wives, but feels constantly torn between her loyalties to the feuding teams of women. Now that she has a baby, Meghan's priorities have changed and drama isn't one of them.

Meanwhile, Lydia McLaughlin and her husband Doug have launched a new magazine called Nobleman Magazine, a mens publication for the modern gentleman. At a photoshoot profiling successful male entrepreneurs, Lydia meets new 'Wife Peggy Sulahian, whose husband Diko is being featured in the magazine. While the husbands work, Peggy opens up to Lydia about her recent breast cancer scare and her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy. It's a deep subject for a first meeting, but Lydia responds with nothing but compassion and empathy and the two become fast friends. 

Peggy is a first-generation Armenian who emigrated to the U.S. from Kuwait with her parents when she was just a year old. She and her husband Diko, an immigrant from Beirut, appear to be the quintessential picture of the American Dream. After fleeing the Lebanese Civil War, Diko came to America with virtually nothing and managed to amass his fortune by starting Giovanna Wheels, luxury car accessory company. The Sulahians love their sports cars, and Peggy brags that they own - not rent - an entire fleet of Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Ferraris and Mercedes-Benzes. The couple lives a flashy lifestyle full of cars, diamonds and jewelry and I'm not sure what to think about all of Peggy's showiness and "it sure doesn't suck to be me" mentality...

Kelly Dodd is still committed to working on her tumultuous relationship with husband Michael. Lately, they've been working out together three days a week (that as much couple time as Kelly can handle), and Kelly claims she can relate to the work Shannon and David have put into their marriage. At the same time, Shannon's having a major "cool mom" moment as she sends her oldest daughter Sophie off to Winter Formal, which is much more endearing than watching Kelly and Michael fight over his terrible driving...

Tamra Judge is throwing a unicorn-themed birthday party for her two-year-old granddaughter Ava and while Vicki clearly isn't invited, her daughter Briana and grandsons are going without her. Vicki blames her former bestie for putting a wedge between her and her daughter during the years she was dating Brooks Ayers, but Tamra has since cut ties with Briana and all three women are nervous about the party. However, Briana successfully avoids her mom's one-time best friend, making an appearance and dropping off a gift before quietly ducking out. 

During the party, Tamra also introduces Shannon to Lydia and her pot-smoking, fairy dust-throwing character of a mom, Judy. Shannon hits it off right away with Lydia's mom, but the returning 'Wife puts her on edge when she innocently mentions Vicki's name in conversation. Shannon isn't all that happy to hear that her nemesis was talking about her at dinner with Lydia, and accuses the OG of the OC of being a little "obsessed" with her and Tamra. 

When Lydia tells Tamra she met with Vicki, tension starts swirling. Shannon warns Lydia about the "unconscionable" rumors Vicki has spread about both David and Eddie. Trying to find some common ground, Lydia explains that the other 'Wives are acting the same way Vicki did when they met and this starts sending Shannon into a full-blown emotional tailspin. She's offended at being compared to her mortal enemy and goes as far as to blame Vicki for the 40 pounds she's gained. Shannon's getting visibly fired up (scary angry, perhaps?) and charging deeper into an anti-Vicki tirade when Lydia's husband Doug literally saves the day by interrupting. 

However, the argument isn't over. As Lydia is leaving, Tamra tries to mediate the situation and kicks off round two between the friendship whisperer and Shannon. Lydia claims Shannon started screaming and yelling at her for no reason which, if you watched Season 9, you know is one of Shannon's triggers. She launches into yet another diatribe about how she's nothing like Vicki Gunvalson, but Lydia isn't backing down and once again tries to explain what she meant by the comment. By this point, Shannon is incensed and Lydia declares that, not only are she and the holistic Housewife clearly not going to be friends, but that she has no interest in hanging out with someone who is going to attack her and not let her get a word in edgewise. Shannon angrily huffs that maybe Lydia should talk to her mom, who said she had a "bright light" upon meeting her, before storming away in a rage. However, Lydia gets the last word by pointing out that her mom also said her new frenemy was a "lost soul." And with that, it looks like a new feud is born!

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Are you Team Shannon or Team Lydia? Should Tamra and Briana still be friends? Does feng shui even work? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHOC Season 11 Wrap-Up

Glenn Rowley

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Season 11 of The Real Housewives of Orange County has finally, thankfully come to a close. After 18 episodes and one three-part reunion filled to the brim with shrieking outbursts, abuse rumors, ambush accusations and one freak accident in a dune buggy, I'm breaking down what made the season memorable and what could change for next year. Plus, find out where it stacks up against season past in my annual season rankings! 

WHY IT WORKED

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  • The redemption (and re-crucifixion) of Vicki Gunvalson: The biggest reason to tune into the beginning of Season 11 was to see how the OG of the OC would recover from the last year's fake cancer debacle. Finding herself on the outs with all the other 'Wives, Vicki began the season on her very own personal apology tour, seeking a clean slate with her friends. The OG's efforts were fascinating to watch - while some of the women chose to forgive her and move on, others (like former bestie Shannon Beador) were hesitant to jump back into a friendship with Vicki. But slowly, Vicki successfully managed to reintegrate herself into the group, and by the time the ladies took off to Ireland, all was relatively right between the OC 'Wives. However, Vicki's friendship with newbie Kelly Dodd came back to bite her when the rookie revealed damning gossip the OG had shared off-camera about both David Beador and Eddie Judge. And by season's end, Vicki was once again an outcast, with most of the other women vowing to never let her back in.
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  • Kelly Dodd, drama magnet: If there's one thing newbie Kelly Dodd was good for this year, it was stirring up trouble. Though she was brought into the group by Meghan King Edmonds, the rookie consciously bonded with Vicki and alienated the other women with her juvenile jokes, quick temper and crass behavior. Round after round, she feuded with virtually all the other 'Wives - from accusing Shannon of setting her up at the 70's party and turning the sushi night into a shouting match that pushed Heather Dubrow over the edge to instigating the infamously dark and nasty bus ride in Ireland and attacking Tamra Judge as a mother. By reunion time, Kelly even took things a step farther by essentially rescinding any apologies she had made throughout the season and standing by almost every bit of her bad behavior towards her costars. 
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  • Fancy Pants in the mud: While she's always been my personal favorite Housewife in the OC, it's safe to say that Heather Dubrow had a fairly easygoing season last year. Sure she was affected peripherally by the fake cancer controversy, but all in all Fancy Pants built her mansion, launched her sparkling wine and hawked her and Terry's new skincare line. This year it was much more entertaining to see Heather right in the middle of the drama - whether she was standing up to Kelly's "low, base bullsh*t" at the sushi dinner or facing off with Meghan in the dramatic aftermath of the Glamis accident and #HospitalGate.
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  • A hooley kickin' Irish adventure: Top o' the mornin'! Personally, I loved the ladies' vacation this year to the Emerald Isle. It was a unique change of pace and Meghan King Edmonds' desire to explore her Irish heritage was the perfect excuse to go somewhere other than the typical tropical island graced by OC Housewives getaways. From the moment they arrived, the trip was full of drama - from the pub crawl turned brawl between Tamra and Kelly and the Naked Wasted 2.0 scandal to the bus ride from hell that tore the group dynamic to shreds on the way to the airport. However, the trip was also full of laughs and great moments, including the women milking cows at the landmark Bailey's farm and Vicki getting her flirt on with every Irish man in sight. 

WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

  • Mean girls and bullies: As the drama in Ireland raged, I was shocked to see fans all over social media turning on Tamra, Heather and Shannon - labeling them a clique of mean girls with Kelly cast as the poor, bullied outcast. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how this narrative was formed, but it's safe to say that no one came out of the season with their hands entirely clean. Over the last two seasons, life in the OC has gotten so toxic that I come away from every episode with a serious case of Orange County fatigue. Let's stop with the labeling, the bullying and the classic strategy known as the "OC gang-up," shall we?
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  • Kelly Dodd, horrific Housewife: While newcomer Kelly fueled the drama this season like a gallon of gasoline dropped onto a forest fire, I seriously question the impact the rookie had on Housewives as a brand. Honestly, there aren't many 'Wives who come across as legitimately, genuinely terrible people, but Kelly took the franchise to a new low with her vulgar outbursts and vicious attacks throughout the season. (Not to mention the inexcusable bashing, fat shaming and bullying she did to fans on social media while and after the show was airing.) As a self-proclaimed expert on all things Housewives, I have to say that Kelly's inclusion in the cast dragged the entire show down and brought out the worst in the women around her.
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  • A lagging second act: The season both started and ended strong, but a number of episodes in the middle sure were rough. The fallout of the Glamis accident was fascinating but once Heather and Meghan made up at their summit dinner, we were subjected to Shannon's terrible mother-in-law, Kelly crying over her toxic marriage at Glen Ivy Spa, Vicki's ill-advised partnership with a cancer charity and Meghan throwing a party to open a candle store in a mall. Snooze. No thank you. I'll take brawling in Ireland over a completely disengaged Jim Edmonds any day.
Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

  • Cast shake-ups: As I mentioned above, the dynamic between the first ladies of Bravo has gotten so toxic and angry, that I've reached the conclusion that it's time for a major casting shake-up, a la RHONY Season 5. Could it be time to axe half the cast and move forward with a cleaner slate to reset the show? I say yes, but the question then to be asked is who should stay and who should go? By reunion time it was crystal clear that Meghan had mentally and emotionally checked out, making it a foregone conclusion that she's making her exit and taking baby Aspen with her. Personally, I'm completely over the back-and-forth between erstwhile besties Vicki and Tamra. We get it, you hate each other, it's never going to be like it was. However, as Vicki screamed at the reunion, RHOC is "her" show and the only way she's leaving is if she wants to. So, if we can reasonably assume that Vicki's sticking around for Season 12, that puts a major target on Tamra's back as the 'Wife most likely to be unceremoniously ousted. Kelly is also up in the air. A week ago I would've said she was a shoo-in but after her husband attacked Andy Cohen on Twitter, now I'm not so sure. So, partly as wish fulfillment I'm going to say next season's cast will be Vicki, Heather, Shannon and two new girls. Kelly may sneak in there too, unfortunately, but maybe my wish will come true that she's a one-and-done.

SEASON RANKINGS

  • Season 8: To me, the eighth season serves as the high water mark for the OC in terms of pure entertainment value. The cast was perfect and the season's storylines carried over from the previous year to give viewers a real sense of closure on the Gretchen/Alexis chapter. The addition of Lydia McLaughlin as a rare sixth Housewife was a perfect fit, and the return of Lauri Peterson ushered in the new era of OG Housewives returning to the franchise. Also, there's no denying that the visual of Vicki Gunvalson screaming "I HAVE NEVER BEEN WITH MULTIPLE PARTNERS IN MY LIFE!" at the top of her lungs while dressed as a snow bunny on the slopes of Whistler was pure Housewives gold worthy of being inducted into Bravo's Hall of Fame. The season also gave us what I consider to be the best, most dramatic reunion in RHOC's history - rainbow of dresses included. Plus, you know a season is particularly special when Bravo decides it deserves its own behind-the-scenes Uncensored special.
  • Season 7: This season ushered in the Golden Age of Orange County. Heather Dubrow joining the show added the class and real wealth - as well as a brunette voice of reason - the show so desperately needed. It's a season I love re-watching and it gave us plenty of classic Housewives moments including the "pretentious intervention" of Alexis Bellino in Costa Rica, the bunco party explosion between Vicki and Gretchen decked out in full 80s garb, the introduction of Brooks as the OG's shady boyfriend and what has been arguably the best season finale in OC history (#BowGate and evil eyes anyone? "YOU WERE MY FRIEND, MY SOULMATE, MY SISTER!"). The current success of RHOC can be traced back to this memorable season.
  • Season 9: Losing Gretchen, Alexis and Lydia was a bit of a reset for the franchise and moved the show in a new direction. However, Shannon Beador and Lizzie Rovsek were definitely the right replacements for the departing veterans and the Canadian newbie. After a slow start, the season really picked up at Shannon's Christmas party with drama between Heather and Tamra and Heather and Shannon, which eventually led to the epic "take the Beadors down" clash between Heather and Terry and Shannon and David at poor Lizzie's ill-fated beach house dinner party. The scandal surrounding David's email (and off-camera affair) added real weight to the season and the trip to Bali was a gorgeous, exotic experience that left me aching to visit. 
  • Season 5: Three words will explain my love for this season: Loony Lynne Curtin. Plus, this year was the end of Jeana Keough's time as a Housewife, introduced Alexis to the series and featured the 'Wives running around in masks at Vicki's sleepover TP'ing Jeana's house. We watched Lynne and her family get evicted from their home, Tamra's marriage to Simon implode and the girls take a weekend getaway to San Francisco. Easily the best season of early, pre-Heather Orange County.
  • Season 11: Yes, this season was an improvement on last year, but still failed to catapult itself into the upper echelons of the OC's season rankings. Blame Kelly Dodd.
  • Season 10: Last year, I said in my wrap-up that I was burnt out from this season. Unfortunately, my feelings haven't gotten any more positive with time. Brooks Ayers' fake cancer debacle took over the show like an actual cancer, to the point that we're still dealing with its effects two years later. 
  • Season 6: The sixth season was a major weak spot for the franchise. Peggy Tanous was boring and it was nausea-inducing to watch her and Alexis fight over Jimmy the Chin Bellino and one-up each other season long. Equally gross was being subjected to Tamra's naked bathtub make-out session with Eddie. That and her lesbian fling with Fernanda Rocha are both things I don't ever want to relive. Tamra throwing a glass of wine at Jeana in the finale is often cited as an epic moment in Housewives history, but I found it to be forced and inauthentic. Just my opinion.
  • Seasons 1-4: At this point, the early seasons of the show all kind of run together as the series getting its feet under it. Memorable moments include Tamra and Vicki plotting to get Gretchen "naked wasted" in Season 4, Vicki's family van tirade, the Bass Lake controversy surrounding Gretchen's relationship with Jeff, the OC Angels smackdown and Lauri's fairytale wedding to George Peterson. Oh and obviously the classic moment where Vicki showed up at Michael's frat house to surprise/humiliate him in front of his college friends. Classic Vicki moment right there.

With that, my coverage of Season 11 in Orange County is over. What were the best and worst parts of the season for you? Who do you think should come back next year? Let me know in the comments!

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 11 - The Moral Minority

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, the ladies' accident in Glamis draws battle lines over who's right, who's wrong and who should have visited Vicki in the hospital. In a surprise about-face, Shannon and Meghan find themselves on the outs after making an unpopular decision. Read on for a full breakdown of this week's injuries, hurt feelings and shifting alliances...

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The episode begins 3.5 hours after last week's freak accident on the sand dunes of Glamis, and Tamra Judge is being released from the local hospital. Thankfully, she didn't sustain any major injuries and got the OK from the doctors to return to the camp with strict orders to rest and recuperate. Meanwhile, Shannon Beador and Meghan King Edmonds are hitting the golf course with their husbands at the Edmonds' vacation home in La Quinta. Inexplicably, Meghan waits until the couples are a few rounds into golf before informing Shannon about the accident the other ladies were in. Naturally, Shannon is shocked to hear that her friends just suffered from a near-death experience and in a case of near-perfect timing, Heather Dubrow calls to fill her in on the drama.

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Fancy Pants tries to relay just how bad the accident was, but when she explains that Vicki Gunvalson is all alone after being airlifted to Palms Springs Regional Hospital, she's met with an awkward silence. Neither Shannon nor Meghan has any interest in rushing to their frenemy's side. Meghan even goes as far as to suggest that Heather and Kelly Dodd go visit Vicki, after all they are the ones who've decided to be the OG's friends again. Heather balks at this suggestion, pointing out that Glamis is almost three hours from Palm Springs, while the blondes in La Quinta are only 45 minutes away. Sensing an argument on the horizon, Heather abruptly hangs up, utterly baffled at her friends' reaction to the fact that Vicki is alone in the hospital.

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Later that evening, a shaken Tamra returns to the campsite at Glamis while the Beadors and the Edmonds sit down for a quiet dinner in La Quinta. Naturally, the dinner conversation circles quickly around to Vicki's injury. Both women question how serious the OG's condition could possibly be and when Meghan whips out some pictures of Vicki being loaded onto a stretcher in a neck brace, Shannon is just about speechless. But not quite. She can't believe she's seeing the pictures on Meghan's phone and claims that if she had just been in a major accident, the last thing she'd be thinking about is getting a good selfie for sympathy.

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Meanwhile, the other ladies are bonding as they FaceTime Vicki back at the sand dunes. High on morphine with no one but a camera crew to watch her, Vicki is slightly loopy but will be released that night once her tests are finished. Thank goodness the OG of the OC will be a-OK. In a shocking turn of events, the accident has also softened Kelly's hard feelings toward Heather. Thanking Fancy Pants for staying so calm and collected in the aftermath of the dune buggy roll, Kelly admits she misjudged Heather and - are you ready for this? - actually apologizes to her! The two brunettes hug it out and agree that they've both given each other a fresh start.

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The next day, the trip to Glamis finally draws to a close. Now that she's up to speed on all the drama following the accident, Tamra decides to give Shannon and Meghan a piece of her mind over the phone. After painting a picture for the two about just how bad the accident was, Tammy Sue is stunned that her fellow 'Wives could be so heartless and refuse to drive 45 minutes to be there for Vicki. Meghan immediately gets defensive with Tamra, shooting back that she doesn't appreciate the accusation she didn't care about Vicki's wellbeing and argues that it didn't make sense for her to visit the OG when they're not actually friends. Tamra rightfully fires back that the younger 'Wife certainly didn't seem to mind going to Vicki's birthday party at the Merv Griffin estate just a few episodes back. With that, Tamra dismisses the entire argument, curtly telling Meghan to "go to hell." Oh snap!

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Back in the OC, a shaken Tamra decides to postpone her fitness competition on account of the bulging discs in her back while Meghan heads to Vicki's house with her proverbial tail between her legs. Bringing the OG an apology gift in the form of a candle from her and Jim's new candle line, Meghan tearfully apologizes for not coming to the hospital and being a good kinda-friend. Vicki and her neck brace graciously accept her frenemy's apology, but can't resist questioning why it would take a near-death experience to finally get some of the compassion she's been craving for the past season-and-a-half. 

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Meanwhile, Shannon meets Tamra and Heather for dinner. Word has reached both ladies that Meghan's been going around town saying Tamra was reckless and at fault for the accident, and neither is too pleased that Shannon seems to be on Team Justice Train. Tamra even comes right out and asks Shannon point blank if she's upset that Vicki has suddenly become the victim again thanks to the accident. Shannon decides the best course of action is to backpedal, explaining that she and Meghan didn't understand just how bad the accident really was, and claims that - had she known - she would've been right at Vicki's side in an instant.

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Finally, the episode concludes with Heather meeting Meghan for a classic summit lunch at Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach (also known as the setting for the infamous black and white party in the very first episode of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County). Heather confronts Meghan right out of the gate, saying she hears the younger 'Wife is bugged at her for the entire game of telephone following the accident. In defending herself, Meghan certainly doesn't do herself any favors by calling Heather "theatrical" and "patronizing" within just a few sentences. But Fancy Pants isn't letting Meghan off the hook either, and claims the moral high ground compared in the debate over Meghan's comments over not being Vicki's friend and doubting Heather's version of events. Because friend or not, the right thing to do would've been to get in the car, drive 45 minutes and be there with Vicki in the hospital. End of discussion. Thankfully, Meghan eventually apologizes for letting Heather down and the two manage to make up, but boy was it a rough road getting there...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Who's in the right? Should Meghan and Shannon have visited Vicki in the hospital? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 7 - Something's Fishy

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of Orange County descends into madness this week as a celebratory party for Meghan becomes a screaming match between Kelly, Heather and Tamra. Lines are crossed, vulgarities are spewed and one 'Wife takes a stand against the new girl on the block. Read on for my complete recap of all the insanely unpredictable drama... 

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We start the episode with Tamra Judge, who's invited Kelly Dodd over to help put together origami party favors for the upcoming sushi party. Tamra's put the whole event together to celebrate Meghan King Edmonds' impending pregnancy, since she won't be able to drink alcohol or eat sushi until after the baby's been born. Kelly, however, is much more interested in rehashing her issues with Shannon Beador, which have escalated immensely since their blowout fight at the 70s party two episodes ago. The newbie has bluntly concluded that Shannon "isn't [her] kind of girl," but Tamra cautions her not to judge so quickly. Yes, Shannon's had issues over the years with virtually every other woman in the group, but Tamra promises that if she'll just give it time, Kelly will see what a good person the holistic Housewife is. The rookie isn't interested though, and wants to stay as far away from Shannon as possible the next time all the ladies are together.

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Once Kelly leaves, Tamra calls Meghan to go over the party's guest list. However, the IVF treatments must be making the younger 'Wife more hormonal than usual because she throws a tantrum the second Tamra mentions that all the girls will be there - including Vicki Gunvalson. Despite sharing what she called a "moment" with Vicki at the 70's party, Meghan flat-out does not want the OG "shoved down [her] throat" the day before she gets pregnant. This declaration leaves Tamra baffled, since the mom-to-be had told her to invite Vicki to the party literally the day before. So which is it?? When Tamra suggests that she'll just disinvite Vicki, Meghan takes her fit even further by pouting that they might as well just cancel the whole thing. She'd rather stay home and sleep anyway. With the patience of a good Christian, Tamra chalks this outburst up to Meghan's wonky hormones and promises to take care of the entire thing, but the party's still happening whether Meghan wants it or not.

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Meanwhile, Heather Dubrow is busy continuing to build her empire. Taking a break from overseeing the construction of the Dubrow Chateau, Heather's doing an appearance on daytime talk show The Doctors fresh off her trip to Washington D.CIn her confessional, Fancy Pants explains that she's finally figured out the work/life balance that allows her to have it all: she's writing a book with Terry, hosting TV gigs like Botched Post Op, building the new house and doing her PodcastOne podcast, Heather Dubrow's World, all while being the wife and mother that holds the Dubrow family together. Now if only she can get Terry to achieve the same balance and appreciate his responsibilities as a dad more...

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Back from D.C. as well, Meghan pays a visit to Shannon's sports medicine doctor at Pacifica Wellness for help with alleviating her discomfort associated with IVF. However, when Tamra and Shannon crash the appointment, conversation naturally turns to the guest list for the fast-approaching sushi party. Since their phone call, Meghan's softened to the idea of Vicki coming to the party - which comes as a relief to Tamra as the hostess but is downright baffling to Shannon. The holistic Housewife pointedly calls out her friends for gradually loosening up on the hardline stance they'd adopted as a group towards the OG. Rumors circled in the media following Season 10 that the other 'Wives had banded together and were refusing to film with Vicki, and while that's obviously not true it's clear the women had multiple conversations about not letting Vicki back into their lives. But from Shannon's perspective, it seems the OG is slowly but surely slithering her way back into all of their lives. Shannon may have been the last one standing in Vicki's corner last season, but it looks like she might be the last one refusing to give in this year.

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That evening, Vicki goes to Kelly's expansive beach house for dinner. While Vicki promptly gets stuck in the house's elevator, Kelly's ready to vent about her issues with Shannon from the 70's party. The more she's stewed over the "set-up," the angrier she's gotten and now Kelly's translated Nina's comment to mean that she's a prostitute. (Seems like quite a specific, though slightly understandable, interpretation of "I don't have to suck d--k to pay my bills.") In fact, the newbie informs Vicki that she even shot an angry text off to Shannon, warning her that she's planning to sue Nina for slander and defamation of character. After reading the text message, Shannon promptly calls Tamra to inform her of this new litigious development and accuses the veteran 'Wife of sitting on the fence by not going to bat harder for Team Shannon. A storm of drama certainly seems to be brewing, even if everyone's supposedly "made up" in the wake of the vicious 70's party fiasco.

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Just in time for Meghan's big sushi party! The mom-to-be has begrudgingly allowed Tamra to invite Vicki to the party, and the OG comes bearing an olive branch in the form of a baby gift. Vicki explains via confessional that all she wants with Meghan is polite peace - she's not looking to be "friends, friends, friends" any time soon. Once the rest of the ladies arrive, Shannon's seated as far away from Kelly as possible, but the tension is immediately palpable between the two. Inadvertently, Meghan manages to kickstart the drama by asking Kelly how her lunch with Shannon went in last week's episode. At first, Kelly says she's fine with the veteran 'Wife (she just hates her friends), but quickly unravels when Shannon overhears the conversation. 

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Before anyone can count to ten, Kelly's face is red as a blotchy tomato and she's spewing profanities and calling Shannon the "c-word." From the newbie's perspective, she's simply defending herself from the slanderous accusations of Jaci and Nina, but she's gone completely off the rails and attacking Shannon isn't doing anything except make her look mentally unhinged. Tamra attempts to mediate, pointing out to Kelly that if what Jaci and Nina were saying is false, she should just let it go. After all, is it really affecting her life? At this, Kelly blows up even further, screaming that Tamra is a "dumb f--k," and now the rookie's managed to either offend or shock basically everyone at the table. (To the credit of her newfound Christianity, Tamra manages to keep herself from jumping across the table and ripping Kelly's throat out. Maybe she really has found Jesus?)

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Heather, however, is completely repulsed by this outburst of Kelly's and has had enough. Rising from the table, Fancy Pants puts her foot down, proclaiming that Kelly's behavior is nothing more than "LOW. BASE. BULLS--T!" and orders the rookie to leave the party if she's going to continue acting so psychotically. Kelly is taken aback by this demand and curtly refuses, pointing out that Heather's not the hostess and doesn't have the right to dictate the guest list. Well, if the person screaming vulgarities and calling her friends names won't leave, then Heather is out. Taking a stand, she storms out of the party while Kelly attempts a half-hearted apology to Shannon and Tamra for her vicious name-calling. (Accroding to Kelly, that's all it should take to make up for the chaos she created ten minutes prior.) Tamra urges for everyone to have compassion for the clearly disturbed newbie, but Shannon is setting a clear boundary. After being attacked by her new co-star three times in less than a week, she's seeing evil in Kelly's eyes and vows to steer clear from now on.

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In the limo on the way home, an overwhelmed Heather breaks down in a flood of tears. Calling Terry, she fills him in on the whole blow-out fight and claims through sobs that she's never been around someone so vicious and vulgar before in her life. She doesn't want to be associated with this new 'Wife who's elbowed her way into the group in any way. Meanwhile, back at the cleared-out sushi party, Kelly's back to "normal," sipping champagne and making fun of Heather to Tamra and Vicki. Apparently in addition to being a loose cannon, she's also a comedian! Can you blame Heather and Shannon for not wanting anything to do with this volatile newcomer?

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Were you shocked by the sushi party screaming match? Are you Team Heather or Team Kelly? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below...

RHOC Ssn 11/Ep 4 - Frozen Assets

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Kelly's beach party continues with an icy face-off between Shannon and Vicki over the future of their once-close friendship. Plus, Meghan takes the next step in her IVF journey and Vicki's daughter Briana deals with a major health scare. Read on for my full recap of all the drama...

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After last week left off with Vicki Gunvalson and Tamra Judge's heart-to-heart on the beach, it's time for Kelly Dodd's party to move inside. (Inside meaning her gorgeous four-story beach house.) Vicki's apology tour is going full speed ahead now so, emboldened by Tamra's super-Christian forgiveness, she immediately pulls Shannon Beador aside to repeat the process. However, if the OG is expecting the same result from Shannon, she's rather sorely mistaken. Shannon explains that she's forgiven her former friend for last season's cancer scandal, but refuses to believe that Vicki had no idea Brooks Ayers was lying for a year and a half. Furthermore, Shannon vehemently defends herself against Vicki's assertion that she made the scam about her - the holistic Housewife did nothing of the sort. In fact, she was the last one standing in Vicki's corner while the evidence against Brooks continued to pile up. The OG even starts getting emotional in her apology, but the tears won't work on Shannon. She doesn't want the friendship back and she's not budging. 

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The women retire to Kelly's gigantic closet to help Meghan King Edmonds give herself her second IVF shot and while they're sure to move the Gucci scarves away from the blood, they can't escape the lingering drama with Vicki. The OG mopes her way into the closet close to tears and, backed up by Kelly's inane cheerleading, whimpers that all she wants is to be friends with the other 'Wives again. Of course, this plea is met with terse silence until Meghan pipes up that she and Vicki were never actually friends to begin with. So...awkward? Vicki maintains that she just doesn't have the energy to be at conflict with the entire group anymore, and leaves the party in tears. Will we ever be able to move on from Season 10?

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The next day, Meghan and her husband Jimmy go to the doctor's to pick up a cryogenic tank filled with the sperm samples he froze seven years ago before his vasectomy. It's both exciting and strange for Meghan - particularly considering that she and Jimmy didn't even know each other when he froze his swimmers. After driving the tank to the fertility clinic, the couple arrives back at home to the mountain of paperwork required for the IVF treatments. Since Jimmy will be away in Florida for work, Meghan's mom is coming into town for her bloodwork appointments and egg retrieval procedure. Ever the absent husband, Jimmy doesn't seem to care much that he's missing so many steps of the process, and his lack of involvement is starting to wear on Meghan's maternal patience.

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Meanwhile, Vicki's daughter Briana is in the midst of a full-blown medical crisis. After battling health issues for years - including a recent post-op infection in her leg, Briana suddenly started having trouble breathing. As Vicki rushes her to the hospital, the situation gets so dire that they end up calling an ambulance on the way. Briana is being loaded onto a stretcher and taken away in the ambulance, and lo and behold, none other than Tamra's son's ex-fiancé happens to be in the parking lot to see the whole crisis unfold. What are the chances of that? Tamra the Christian swears on the Book of Proverbs that Jesus put Sarah in Vicki's path to help during the emergency. Either way, it's a miracle she happened to be at that particular gas station because she's able to watch little Troy and Owen at Vicki's house while the OG rushes to the hospital. (Side note: how crazy is it to think of how many crucial moments Bravo's cameras have been there for in Vicki's life?)

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Later, Kelly heads to Meghan's house for a night of drama-free girl talk and champagne. Naturally, the topic at hand is the tension between Vicki and the other 'Wives from Kelly's beach party, and the newbie is quick to defend the OG. She was specifically bothered by Shannon talking to her about the entire convoluted situation at the beach, which seems inexplicable considering that she's already involved herself in last year's drama. As her friend, Meghan tries to advise Kelly to stay out of the mess and keep her mouth shut, but the rookie asserts that she has the right to voice her opinion if everyone else is going to continue talking about it. Once again, Kelly starts rattling off all the wonderful things she's seen in Vicki and deliberately chooses to ignore Meghan's advice, dismissing it as typical millenial self-absorption. Huh? Does 31-year-old Meghan even qualify as a millenial?

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While Heather Dubrow oversees the construction of the home movie theater in the Dubrow Chateau, Shannon meets Tamra for lunch at Tortilla Republic. Over butter- and sauce-free pieces of grilled chicken (yuck), Tamra fills Shannon in on Briana's health crisis. Shannon immediately questions why Briana came back to Orange County without her husband, and posits that it may be because Vicki bought her a house. (Keep in mind, Briana needed access to better medical care from her team of doctors in the OC...) Both openly wonder if there were strings attached to Vicki buying Briana a house. Hmm...

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It turns out the lymph nodes in Briana's chest were so enlarged that they were compressing her lungs, making it difficult for her to breathe. However, Shannon and Tamra are already moving to the next subject: Shannon's upcoming 70's-themed party. Not wanting anyone to feel left out like she was last year (a la Meghan's charity event last season), Shannon's decided to extend a tentative olive branch to Vicki in the form of a backhanded invite via email. She reads the draft she's come up with aloud, and Tamra is quick to point out that starting the message with "Although I've made it clear I'm not interested in pursuing the friendship we once had..." is a tad bit passive-aggressive. Tamra helps Shannon reword pretty much the entire email and once it's reached an appropriate level of civility, the message is off to Vicki's inbox. Next week's 70's party is going to be nothing short of explosive...

What did you think of this week's RHOC? Has Shannon truly forgiven Vicki? Is Kelly overstepping her bounds by getting involved? Let me know in the comments section below!

RHOC Ssn 10/Ep 22 - Reunion Part 3

Glenn Rowley

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Here we are. We've managed to avoid the giant "c-word" in the room for the first two-thirds of the reunion, but in this final installment, it's all the ladies are going to talk about. We knew this was coming. We have to get through it. Let's see if we can get any kind of definitive answer once and for all about Brooks Ayers and his possibly fake cancer.

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A History of Deceit

The cancer issue kicks off with an examination of Brooks' long pattern of lies and untruths. Heather points out that at its heart this cancer situation is a credibility issue since Brooks has a history of not telling the truth. Case in point - he was caught in a lie during Season 8 about dating a porn star while on a break with Vicki, who quickly jumps in to say the girl was a poker party waitress, not a porn star. Uh huh. Ok. In fact, not only does Brooks have a reputation for not telling the truth, he's left a trail of playing the cancer card in the past. Tamra reveals that on the Season 9 trip to Hawaii, Vicki told her off-camera that Brooks had been diagnosed with cancer and was getting tests done at City of Hope. As soon as she and Tamra landed at LAX, Vicki was frantically calling to find out the test results, but Brooks wouldn't answer her calls. When he did, he told her to call back when she was in the car. The verdict? He was fine. Tamra follows that bombshell up by revealing that way back in Season 3 (her first year on the show), she and Vicki immediately bonded. At the time, the OG opened up to the new Housewife and told her that someone she had a connection with had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She regretted carrying on the attachment and now felt like she needed to leave Donn to go be with him. That person was Brooks. And again, the cancer turned out to be pancreatitis. Red flags, anyone?

Cancer Victim or Con Artist?

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Next, we get more of Andy's interview with Brooks from the WWHL Clubhouse. Brooks claims he's been in treatment for the past 11 months - meaning a combination of chemotherapy and holistic remedies. His "numbers" are normalizing and the lesions in his lymphatic system are gone. As Andy fires off questions from the 'Wives, smooth-talking Brooks has an answer for everything: Shannon's not the only one with world-renowned doctors, he actually went to Hoag Memorial for his PET scan but it was transcribed through Newport Imaging, his ex-girlfriends were out to get him, etc. Andy says it appears to be a pattern of using cancer to manipulate people and gain sympathy, but Brooks shoots back that people can believe what they want - the truth is the truth. I find it really interesting that all these things not adding up are the fault of everyone else but Brooks. In this one segment alone, he blames Vicki, Briana, the other Housewives and two of his ex-girlfriends, but never takes responsibility for a single thing. 

Back on the couches, Heather asks Vicki if Brooks ever saw a real cancer specialist, because all they showed during the season were meetings with "non-cologists." Vicki claims that the oncologist Brooks met with at City of Hope didn't want to film, but Heather knows that a lie because the doctor lives down the street from her. Brooks never met with him. Plus, City of Hope allows filming - Heather even shot scenes there! A flustered Vicki throws her hands up and declares that she doesn't have any proof he was faking cancer. But Shannon does.

Examining the Evidence

It turns out that Shannon did some Meghan-style investigating and like so many of us, took a screenshot of Brooks' shady PET/CT scan results. As evidence he was lying, Shannon presents a copy of what an actual CT report looks like from Newport Imaging. The verdict? It looks nothing like the one Brooks showed Tamra. Plus, Shannon insists that there's no way a radiologist would have ever signed off on a document with a "1" handwritten into the date and the words all jumbled together. Briana backs that claim up, explaining that she worked at Hoag for four years and their radiology department is several times bigger than the one at Newport Imaging - there's no way they would've needed the report to be dictated through another medical center. 

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Consistent Inconsistencies

In his interview, Andy next asks Brooks why there were so many inconsistencies throughout the season between things he and Vicki said. Again, Brooks blames Vicki for all the mix-ups, claiming that she had the tendency to tell people what they wanted to hear, or to try to gain sympathy for them as a couple. According to Brooks, Vicki "misspoke quite a bit" during the season and naturally, nothing is ever his fault. As for the rumor that went around in the finale about Terry sending someone to the house with an IV for Brooks? He claims Briana repeated the story and it never happened. Andy asks why Brooks wouldn't show Terry the medical records to prove his cancer was real, and Brooks claims that in hindsight he wishes he would have. Andy points out that there was still time to prior to the reunion being filmed and Brooks says he'll reach out. However, Heather categorically denies she or Terry ever hearing from Brooks at all. 

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Heather wants the truth about the IV story though, and Vicki offers to clarify. She explains that she wanted to call Terry but Brooks shut it down and she never did. However, that's clearly not what she told Shannon or Tamra at the time. Finally, the OG admits she fabricated the story in an attempt to get sympathy for Brooks because everyone was being so hard on him and she just wanted some compassion. As the other 'Wives start angrily piling on, Andy actually steps in to defend Vicki. All Tamra wants to know is why she made up the story and Vicki explains that as the season wore on, Brooks was getting quieter and quieter about his cancer situation. So even though she had seen him sick, she chose to let him deal with it and focus on other things, effectively turning a blind eye to the potential deception. 

Meghan in particular seemed to have it out for Brooks and Vicki all season. The newbie thinks Brooks wasn't expecting Miss 30-Year-Old to come onto the scene with a cancer situation in her own life, ask real questions and care about the issue. She tearfully explains that she came onto the show thinking she had an ally in cancer but instead got attacked time and again by an angry Vicki. 

"We Don't Believe You"

Vicki insists that she only knows what she saw and experienced. Apparently that doesn't include Brooks' chemotherapy sessions. The one time she went, she sat in the waiting room and didn't see the needle go into Brooks' arm. With all the conflicting and confusing details, Heather points out that none of them believe the OG and need more answers. Heather thinks that Brooks must have something on Vicki. Whether it's a business deal or something other big secret, she's simply too smart to be fooled. Tamra jumps on that comment, saying Vicki's done nothing but lie for Brooks and throw everyone else under the bus. As Shannon angrily demands she "fess up," Vicki explodes, yelling at the other women to stop. She's not going to say anything that's not true! The OG never knew anything different and still believed Brooks has cancer. 

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Tamra starts getting emotional as she tearfully explains that all she ever wanted was to protect Vicki from this man. Vicki claims she understands that now in hindsight, but Shannon says she doesn't see any remorse in her former friend. Andy asks if Vicki is scared of Brooks, to which she responds with a small nod. So yes, Vicki is scared of this man she just spent four years of her life with. Andy follows that up by asking if Brooks had ever gotten physical with Vicki, and both Briana and Tamra jump in to say that they'd both seen him abuse Vicki at different times. The OG claims that he was more verbally abusive than physically. However, Briana claims that no one else knows the things she's seen Brooks do to her mom, even up to the previous night when he was texting her rude things in the hotel room. Andy tries to get to the root of this issue with Vicki. Is she just lonely? Is it low self-esteem? But the OG says she hasn't quite put her finger on what kept her in a relationship with Brooks for so long. Fixing her relationship and putting up with all the bad things was easier for Vicki than the idea of being alone. 

Casseroles & Compassion

Vicki reveals that as the season wore on, she started growing more suspicious of Brooks' claims, but that every time she brought it up to him it turned into an argument. Andy asks if the women think it's possible that Vicki didn't want to know the truth. Shannon says no way but Meghan thinks that Vicki looks like an idiot with all the evidence lined up against her. For her part, Fancy Pants says she kept giving Vicki opportunities to tell the truth, but the OG never took them. Another possibility is that Brooks was sick, just never as sick as he claimed and embellished his illness in an attempt to fix his damaged reputation. That option has Tamra's vote. Vicki explains that she was expecting compassion and casseroles from her cast mates, but didn't get any. This comment sets Shannon off, who angrily reminds Vicki that she gave her everything she could in support. Keep digging your grave, Vick. 

Vicki's Rock-Bottom Relationships

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This leads into a package and yelling match about how the fake cancer issue affected Vicki's relationships with her friends. After a quick debate over whether the OG of the OC is going to heaven or hell (seriously), the topic turns to Shannon's anger at finding out Vicki had told her brother and his girlfriend about David's affair. As I said in the finale recap, this is the ultimate betrayal of trust, but this time Vicki takes accountability and apologizes rather than getting defensive. Vicki is visibly deflating by this point, sick of the fighting and being put in the hot seat. Shannon's not finished though, as she points out that both Tamra and Heather said more about their doubts and yet she's the bad guy?! Dig that grave a little deeper, Vicki. At this point, Briana intervenes to point out that Shannon was essentially the only person in her mom's corner, but that Vicki would flip out at any sign of doubt. Tamra asks Vicki what her gut tells her and finally, Vicki caves and admits that her gut is telling her Brooks doesn't have cancer. STOP THE PRESSES. VICKI GUNVALSON JUST SAID WHAT WE'VE ALL BEEN DYING TO HEAR FOR 23 WEEKS! 

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The OG explains that about three months ago she started really questioning Brooks because his story was making less and less sense. Every time she pressed him, he told her she had no right to his medical records because she would try to take them to the other women. That's not suspicious at all...Heather thinks that if Vicki had red flags herself about the situation, she should've opened up to at least one of the 'Wives rather than getting defensive, deflecting and turning it around on them. Andy points out that Vicki seems rather disconnected as she's talking, and it's true - she hasn't been herself for the entire reunion. Briana jumps in to say that she thinks her mom is just now starting to see the damage her relationship with Brooks has caused to her life, her family and her friendships and it's freaking her out. Vicki gets teary as she explains that no one ever wants to feel duped or taken advantage of. Why would he spend all this time and money if he didn't have cancer? She's sad as she realizes what's happened to her life, but relieved that this man is no longer a part of her life. She was manipulated into always going to bat for him, and now that it's over Vicki has a lot of pieces to pick up and put back together. 

We Are Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together

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Briana says that the last two weeks have been the best in her relationship with Vicki since her divorce with Donn. Vicki's devastated that she was taken advantage of and insists to everyone that she and Brooks will never get back together. Briana, however, thinks that Brooks will never be completely out of their lives and predicts that he'll try to weasel his way back in once the dust settles. Unfortunately, she doesn't think Vicki is strong enough not to be manipulated by him. However, Vicki is mostly hurt that she hurt her friends - she wants the other 'Wives to love and respect her, and promises that she'll work hard at getting that respect back. 

During a break, Shannon walks off set while Tamra and Vicki have a candid heart-to-heart. Tammy Sue begs her BFF to stop defending Brooks, telling her that it's time to take a stand and just say that he lied to her. In all the wreckage, Tamra says her heart is broken for her friend because she knew what kind of person Brooks was from the day Vicki started dating him. However, Vicki explains that she just wanted Tamra to like him so badly that she couldn't see things for what they were, and reiterates that she's never going back to Brooks. He doesn't deserve her. It's going to take a while to get the old Vicki back, but next time Tamra can conduct the interviews for any of Vicki's potential boyfriends.

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Final Thoughts

Wrapping things up, Andy asks the women for some final thoughts on the season. Meghan thinks the whole thing was overall a positive experience and hopes she can do it again next year. Andy points out that Vicki went further in admitting culpability than many in the room thought she would, but it's still not enough for Heather. Fancy Pants straight up tells Vicki that's she's not satisfied, but is happy with the friendship she's developed with Shannon and continues to have with Tamra. Looking back on the past year, Shannon explains that it's nothing she could've predicted. She's grateful for where she's at with her marriage and family as well as her unexpected friendships with Heather, Tamra and Meghan, but is still sorely disappointed in the implosion of her relationship with Vicki. Tamra had a big year as well, and says she can only hope her relationship with Vicki will get better, even if she doesn't believe the story her friend has been selling. Vicki admits that she's not in the best place, and wishes she would've been more aware to the reality of her situation this year rather than trying to blindly defend her boyfriend. However, this is an opportunity for a clean slate and a fresh start, so bring on the fireball shots!