The conclusion of The Real Housewives of Orange County
reunion focuses on the men in the ladies' lives. Briana defends her husband's behavior at the finale party and makes shocking allegations against Brooks. Heather discusses her onscreen marital woes. And Brooks tries to defend himself against Briana's accusations.RHOC Reunion Part 2 Recap: Gretchen is Accused of Being a Fraud >>>
Disaccord at the Dubrows
Part three of the reunion re-examines the marital woes experienced between Heather Dubrow and her husband this season. Heather addresses that watching their problems play out on television was neither easy nor comfortable. She says they've been married for 16 years and have their share of ebbs and flows. Heather thinks if people saw them week after week living in bliss, viewers would know that it wasn't authentic.
Not everyone is a fan of "fancy pants" Dubrow. One viewer's comment accuses Heather of emasculating Terry and also questioning why she's so hard on a man who gives her so much. Heather says they have a great partnership. It turns out she is no kept woman. She points out that she paid for the lot their old house was built on. She says that by taking care of their home and children, she's providing him with just as good a life as he is for her. Everything's Coming Up Roses
Another marriage comes under scrutiny: Alexis and Jim's. Andy Cohen tells Alexis it seems that her and Jim went out of their way to present themselves as a happily married couple this season. Alexis feels Jim has gotten a bad rap pretty much the entire time she's been doing the show, and that a lot of playful moments between the two have wound up on the cutting room floor. She states that this season viewers finally got to see the quirky, fun side of Jim's personality. These are two words that don't spring to mind when you think of Jim Bellino. Party Pooper
Briana, now a de facto real housewife, joins the other ladies. She has been on the show since her senior year of high school, and this year the show focused on her becoming a new mother and dealing with the harsh reality of her husband being deployed overseas. Briana says Ryan is doing well and will hopefully be coming home in October.
Andy brings up Ryan's behavior at Vicki's party and asks Briana why he reacted the way he did to Lydia's mom. Briana shifts the blame to Vicki, citing her mom's obsession with cleanliness and perfection as the cause of his outburst. Lydia tries to have a dialogue with Briana about the incident, but Briana refuses to speak about Ryan any further. Andy asks if Ryan had any regrets after the fact. Briana says that when the party ended, she had to scrub mud and red wine off the couch. We'll take that as a no.
Lydia tells Briana she can't refuse to talk about it and then blame her elderly mother for damaging the couch. Briana comes off as incredibly defensive. She says she never directly says anything about Lydia's mom, but it's definitely implied. If Briana's going to sit on the couch with the big girls, she's got to learn to take her knocks with the rest of them.Brooks vs. Briana
Briana clarifies a point that she felt was misconstrued the entire season. She didn't dictate that Brooks couldn't come to the house. She just didn't want the man around her, Ryan or her son. Briana claims Brooks has done some things that are shocking and disrespectful. Vicki proclaims "that's that" and they will not get into any further details. She even threatens to take off her microphone and leave. Vicki says this isn't a Brooks-bashing moment. Andy asks who was on the receiving end of Brooks' disrespectful behavior. Briana answers her mother, herself and her husband.
As was the case the entire season, Vicki is inconsistent and unclear when it comes to admitting whether she and Brooks are involved or not. She says no, but then tells Andy they went to dinner that week. Vicki says she cares for him more than she's probably cared for anybody.
Tamra asks Vicki if Brooks has been disrespectful to her, and she admits that he has. Heather questions why she would stay with someone who is so disrespectful, but Vicki interrupts her and says it's not an everyday thing or she wouldn't be around it. Briana says that when it happens just once in a relationship, the cord should be severed. Heather says that it sounds like there's been physical abuse, which Vicki denies. Briana just sits on the couch with a smirk on her face.
As Vicki defends Brooks against veiled allegations of physical abuse, Briana finally breaks her silence and says something to the effect that Brooks discussed his private parts with her. At this point, Vicki leaps off the couch. There's a lot of talking over one another, but basically Vicki doesn't want to talk about Brooks. Tamra suggests that Brooks come out and speak for himself.
Brooks joins the group and tells Briana he wants to apologize to her. He starts to discuss an e-mail he sent to Vicki in 2007, while she was still married to Don, saying he loved her. Apparently, Briana saw this correspondence. She says the e-mail also asked Vicki to leave Don for him, which Brooks denies. He says for any child to see something like that is wrong and he and Vicki crossed the line. Briana says that's not even one of the incidents she's referring to. She accuses him of telling Ryan to start hitting her. Of course, he denies it. She says it's on a recording and she heard his voice. The other wives watch the ugly scene unfold in utter shock.
Brooks trips up and winds up admitting that he did say that. He blames it on being drunk and angry and apologizes. Then he says he doesn't think he told Ryan to start hitting her. Briana shoots back that the recording is on Ryan's phone which, unfortunately for Bravo, is in Afghanistan. This becomes too much for Lydia, who leaves the stage. Brooks says his comments were taken out of context. Next, Vicki gets up and says she's done with the show. Vicki says he's never touched her and she's never heard this recording. Briana says that's because she refuses to listen. Mr. All Wrong
As a video montage plays demonstrating Vicki's divided loyalty between Brooks and her family, Briana and Brooks spew venomous accusations at one another. Lydia returns to the stage and says how she feels badly for everybody involved in the situation. She had to excuse herself because things got too intense.
Alexis and Heather both think Vicki should listen to the recording, and Heather asks Vicki if she refuses to do so because it might mean she would have to cut Brooks out of her life for good. Tamra says that since Vicki has been with Brooks, she has become weak. She feels Vicki is making excuses for Brooks and won't let Briana get the truth out.
Briana says how much she loves her mother and considers her to be her best friend. She questions how she's supposed to stand for someone treating her best friend in the whole world badly. She's at a loss for what to do. She has come to the conclusion that she's got to let Vicki figure it out on her own. She's going to go live her own life.All's Well That Ends Well -- Sort Of
Andy Cohen wraps things up with some final thoughts from the women. Alexis feels friendships have changed yet again, and it's always interesting to see what's going to happen next year. Heather says some of her sophomore year was very difficult and some was very fun and exciting, and that's life. Tamra thinks it has overall been her best year. She feels she learned a lot about herself, and they made a new friend (Lydia). Gretchen says she will always defend her honor, who she is and her character. Vicki says she's a hopeless romantic, a loving mother and a loving grandmother. What better way to say goodbye to another sun-soaked, drama-filled season than with some champs and a toast to friendship?
It doesn't seem like this is the last we'll see of the first ladies of Bravo.Want to add The Real Housewives of Orange County to your very own watch-list? Download BuddyTV Guide for free for your phone.
(Image courtesy of Bravo)