In this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Tamra and Vicki try to repair their fractured friendship. The Beadors and the Dubrows clash once again. Vicki throws a disastrous dinner party. And two of the ladies face big changes.

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

The ladies are back from Bali, and Tamra made somewhat good on her threat that the others would never see her face again by taking an earlier flight back. She’s been licking her wounds, feeling unjustly accused and wondering if she should attend an ill-timed dinner party being thrown by Vicki. Should she go and defend herself or just say c’est la vie?

Things are copacetic between Tamra and Heather, who, although hurt by the other ladies’ allegations that her friendship with Tamra isn’t real, went to the source and is content with the explanation she received.

Heather informs Tamra that on the plane ride home, Shannon continued to chip away at Vicki, telling her she shouldn’t contact Tamra. All this did was further reinforce Heather’s suspicions that Shannon has been coming between herself, Vicki and Tamra all season. She can’t help but question why Shannon is so hell-bent on the three of them not being friends.

Shannon confides in David that she feels the trip brought her and Heather closer together, and although she would not consider them friends, she thinks there’s the possibility for such a relationship. Although there’s no telling what the future will bring, Shannon is basking in the temporary cease fire. Oh, and FYI, she and David are sleeping in the same bed together every night (wink, wink).

The Beadors are planning to attend Vicki’s dinner party, and David is prepared to apologize to Terry/Heather for his crass comment at their hoedown. So he told fancy pants to spread her legs; it was appropriate for the activity at hand.

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Mea Culpa

Given all the drama that went down in Bali, it seems odd that Vicki would make the location the inspiration for her dinner party. It appears Vicki prefers the OC version of Indonesia as opposed to the real thing.

The first to arrive is Brooks, and this little get-together is the first time that Brooks has been to a party at Vicki’s house. He’s in for an interesting evening given his girlfriend has seated him by Tamra.

It turns out the two women finally spoke, and Tamra told Vicki that anything she said about Brooks was when their relationship status was undefined, and he didn’t want to be around the girls. This gave Tamra the opportunity to rehash the ever-evolving trainwreck known, only to me, as “Bricki.”

Vicki doesn’t understand why Tamra was talking about Brooks at all, much less when he wasn’t around to defend himself. Maybe because he’s been your on-again/off-again boy toy for several seasons, and there’s no Facebook status that could even remotely encapsulate your relationship on any given day. Both Heather and Tamra were in the dark about where the twosome stood in the season premiere.

Vicki admits that she should have probably written Tamra off long ago but feels the two have a “magnetic force.” But Vicki fancies herself a forgiving person, and Tamra came, hat in hand, and admitted she done her buddy wrong. Tamra claims that all she wants is for Vicki to be happy.

One caveat: Vicki does expect Tamra to make nice with Brooks.

Is It Cold in Here or Do You Just Hate Me?

The rest of the group begins to trickle in. David goes to kiss Heather’s cheek and gets air. This is the perfect segue for him to apologize. He says he was caught up in the moment and meant no offense. Interestingly enough, a clip is shown where Eddie is yelling for Heather to show everybody how she rides Terry. A far greater offense than David’s off-the-cuff remark.

Heather and Terry nod their heads, but they don’t actually accept David’s apology. Shannon and David feel the burn and head off to a corner to discuss the diss. The war between the Beadors and the Dubrows rages on.

Tamra and Eddie arrive, and the group sits down to a feast. Vicki makes a toast stating what a great time the girls had in Bali, and Tamra mutters loud enough for the group to hear, with unmistakable sarcasm, “Oh, it was lovely.” This briefly derails the toast and leads to a pretty awkward moment.

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Tamra excuses herself and tracks down Brooks. Tamra says that while the other ladies may be pretending that nothing happened in Bali, a lot of stuff went down. One of those things is Vicki finding out that Tamra had spoken ill of her beau. Brooks tries to charm Tamra in that smarmy way that he has about him. After all, he can really come out of this looking fantastic if he plays his cards right.

Tamra never actually does her due diligence and apologizes, but she does tell him to keep Vicki happy and gives him a hug. They agree to move forward. Tamra says that she told Vicki she’d be happy for her friend as long as she’s happy, but that doesn’t mean she has to love Brooks. As long as Brooks is in Vicki’s life, Tamra has no choice but to support her.

Tamra may have agreed to make peace with Brooks, but all bets are off when it comes to Lizzie. Tamra goes right for the jugular and asks Lizzie if she’s ever going to admit what she said about Eddie wanting to have sex with her.

Christian tries to diffuse the situation by pointing out that it was, after all, just a game. Then another bombshell. According to Tamra, not only did Lizzie say she wanted to shag Eddie, but she said she wanted to do so in order to produce Mexican/Italian babies. As we all know, babies have been a sore spot between the couple all season. I just don’t understand why the audience was deprived of all this good dirt and is getting it all after the fact.

This is the jump-off point for everyone to start airing their grievances. Shannon tells Tamra she’s hurt and feels betrayed by her. Heather calls Shannon out for her meddling in Tamra and Vicki’s friendship. Shannon once again finds herself under the gun when Tamra tells the entire table that it was the same tactic she used to try and drive a wedge between herself and Heather.

Heather resuscitates all of her and Shannon’s issues and even accuses Shannon of manipulating her. Shannon repudiates this accusation and makes it clear she has her own issues with Tamra. Damn straight she does. Has everybody forgotten how Tamra gave everyone the 411 on Shannon and David’s marital problems?

It all devolves into a rehash of every conflict and angry word uttered throughout the course of the season. 

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Starting Over

Relief comes from an unexpected source: Shannon. She states that three months ago, she’d be pitching a fit, but she found some kind of inner peace or understanding in Bali. It must have happened sometime between feeding the monkeys and the fish pedicure. She says she realizes that the group has some deep-seated issues, but that basically time will heal all wounds or some such crap.

This little speech tames all the savage beasts, and the ladies realize just how petty a lot of their issues are. So they abandon them, at least for the time being. We all know what happens come reunion time.

At the conclusion of every Housewives finale, the audience gets an update on what the ladies have been up to since filming wrapped:

Shannon and David are downsizing and have put their house on the market.

Lizzie and Christian plan to add to their brood. After he throws her a kick-ass 35th b-day party.

Heather is starring on a new series called Sequestered, and the Dubrows’ new home should be completed in a year.

Tamra continues to battle her ex over custody of their children. But on the plus side, she’s going to be a grandma. Ryan and Sarah are expecting their first child.

Vicki finally says goodbye to Briana, and in true Vicki fashion, she’s completely over the top about it, saying, “My life will never be the same” and “I’m losing my best friend.”

As much as she hates Oklahoma, Vicki has traveled there seven times to visit Briana since she moved. She’s also put her house on the market and is flirting with the idea of relocating to the beach. 

A gold star to Mrs. Heather Dubrow and her use of the word ‘pugilistic’.

The first of the three-part reunion airs next Monday at 9pm on Bravo.

(Image courtesy of Bravo)

Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

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.