On the second part of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion, once again, it’s all about Gretchen. Vicki addresses her plastic surgery. Heather tries to lay the Malibu Country confusion to rest once and for all. Tamra defends her decision to include Alexis on a special shopping trip. And Tamra and Gretchen’s friendship is at a crossroads.
RHOC Reunion Part 1 Recap: Vicki and Tamra Tag Team Gretchen >>>
The Softer Side of Tamra
The conversation turns to the revelations Tamra made about her past this season, in particular her battles with depression. Andy asks what made her open up. She claims that that wasn’t her original intent when she spoke at the Women’s Expo. She had planned to talk about rebuilding your life after divorce, and it snowballed from there. Not even Vicki or Eddie knew the full extent of her troubled past. Tamra confesses she sees signs of the same sort of similar mental instability in her son, Ryan.
100 Episodes of Dysfunction
Several viewers have questions about events that were revisited in the 100th episode special. One fan asks if any of the women look back and regret any of their plastic surgery. This allows Andy to smoothly segue into asking Vicki about her extensive plastic surgery that was revealed in the season premiere. He questions why she would have it done so close to the beginning of filming. Vicki chalks it up to bad timing.
Another viewer asks if the episode opened up any old wounds. Tamra says it did between herself and Gretchen because it brought up so much of their rocky past.
Gretchen addresses Slade’s ex and original housewife Jo’s allegations that she broke the girl code by getting involved with Slade. Gretchen was surprised by Jo’s resentment because she didn’t meet Slade through Jo and, in fact, knew him before he and Jo were a couple. Gretchen also says she didn’t consider her and Jo to be friends. Andy points out that on Watch What Happens Live, Jo had a very different recollection of events, and she said she and Gretchen hung out a lot, both with and without Slade. Gretchen does a little backpedaling when she’s forced to admit that she did know Jo through Slade.
The Housewives vs. Gretchen
As if Gretchen didn’t take enough of a beating in the first part of the reunion, Andy points out how Gretchen spent the majority of the season in the middle of controversy wherever she turned, and how everybody seemed “to have a beef” with Gretchen.
Gretchen is forced to defend herself on many fronts. The first of which is why she got so upset about Tamra including Alexis in the wedding dress shopping trip. Gretchen says that Tamra was very vocal about the fact that she didn’t like Alexis. Then out of nowhere, she included her, on what Gretchen considered to be a very special day reserved for close friends and family. Tamra says the gesture was an attempt to make amends and move forward. She said she was making an effort to forgive despite her inability to forget.
Gretchen says up until the day itself, she was receiving texts from Tamra stating she didn’t want Alexis to come. Tamra says she did this because it was easier than telling Gretchen the truth since Gretchen can be difficult to deal with. Gretchen starts reading emails that have Tamra slamming both Alexis and Vicki and making her look like a fraud. Gretchen claims she’s the only one who has been honest with Tamra and accuses Alexis of talking crap about Tamra behind her back.
Tamra fires back that Gretchen is a difficult person to be friends with, and Gretchen inundated her with texts questioning why Alexis was going dress shopping. Gretchen tries, rather unsuccessfully, to point out that she was confused because Tamra’s actions contradicted her words. Alexis says that Tamra told her about the bogus texts, but Gretchen says that was only after Gretchen showed Alexis at their lunch, something viewers didn’t see when it aired. Tamra says she owned up to her mistake, and that’s the difference between them.
Role or Not a Role?
As if viewers didn’t have to hear about the Malibu Country debacle enough throughout the latter part of the season, the controversy is reignited at the reunion. Heather explains that the show wanted a housewife to do a walk-on role. She says no one was offered anything; some of the women were called to check their availability. Heather differentiates this from her offer, which came directly from the show’s executive producers who were looking to for someone to fill a recurring role. Once Heather agreed, the show could no longer have a housewife do a walk-on role because it would be ridiculous since Heather is a RHOC cast member.
Heather says she was incredibly upset that Gretchen was using this situation to hurt Tamra. Heather tells Gretchen she can twist this any way she likes, but she texted both her and Tamra saying she gave up a role for Tamra. Gretchen says earnestly that she thought she did. Tamra asks Gretchen how much she was going to get paid, and Gretchen states negotiations never made it that far because she told them she wasn’t available for the day in question. Gretchen plays a voicemail that sort of supports her story, but the other ladies are caught up in the semantics and remain unconvinced. This was the most tiresome, overblown cause for friction the entire season, and to have to listen to it all again during the reunion is absolute torture.
Andy asks Gretchen if she considers any of the ladies a friend. She says she considers both Lydia and Heather friends. Given Lydia’s disdain for Gretchen and Slade during the season, this is surprising news. Gretchen says she wants to be friends with Gretchen and Tamra, but too much stuff has happened for them to bounce back from. Alexis says Gretchen treated her like she was disposable, and says now Gretchen’s friends with Lydia because she needs her (not sure for what). Alexis says initially Gretchen was incredibly rude to Lydia, which Gretchen attributes to the stress she was under regarding Slade’s son being so ill.
Alexis says the only reason Gretchen was ever friends with Tamra was because she feared her. Nobody seems to buy that because Tamra says she believes her relationship with Gretchen was sincere. In spite of a lack of trust, Tamra hasn’t given up on the possibility of the two of them reconciling. Tamra calmly tells Gretchen that she feels like she’s the one always apologizing even if something isn’t her fault. She says Gretchen side-steps genuine apologies by saying things like, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Heather says Gretchen said that to her at the finale party about her and Slade’s behavior at the Hot in Cleveland taping. Gretchen says now that she’s hearing this about herself from multiple sources, it’s something she’ll work on in the future.
It’s All About the Timing
Vicki, who has remained silent through most of the show, accuses Gretchen’s engagement of being orchestrated strictly for the camera. She also claims not to be the only housewife to think so. All the ladies start to chime in, and Lydia says there was talk that Gretchen didn’t play a pivotal role this season, so she got nervous and decided to propose. Heather says, “It was a life moment, I watched it and I felt hollow.” Gretchen feels the women are tainting something that is very special to her. Gretchen is so hurt by the allegations that question her timing, she has a complete meltdown. The women retract their claws and admit that they have no doubt the couple is genuinely in love with each other.
Part three of the Real Housewives of Orange County reunion airs next Monday at 8pm on Bravo.
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Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.