The theme of last week’s part of the reunion was hypocrisy and it didn’t change this week – well, maybe it did – it was worse, much worse. It was bad enough to watch the mud-slinging that went on between the Housewives during part one, but in part two we watched a woman, her boyfriend and her daughter become involved in a string of accusations, denials and defenses. Vicki was clearly the focus and target of most of the volleys, and, I have to say, I felt uncomfortable for her. I don’t have sympathy for her, but some of the things that were said, and who they were said by, was absolutely cringe worthy.
Brooks was seated, very briefly, next to “his woman” to try to explain the stories about his failure to pay child support, about his job – or lack thereof – about how and when he met Vicki and how he does or doesn’t get along with Vicki’s children, Michael and Brianna. It was about as unsettling as watching the Gorga/Giudice family airing their dirty laundry from New Jersey and onto our televisions. The dirt that was spoke of during this part of the reunion somehow felt worse. Brooks was no more convincing in his part in this whole mess than at any other time he has appeared, and spread even more of his “golly gee, aw shucks” version of the Southern gentleman gone a courtin’. In fact, his dog and pony show only seemed to add fuel to the fire which was being tended by Tamra and Gretchen. It left Vicki shell-shocked and even more defensive.
When Brooks left the couch, Brianna was seated next to her Mom. We were told that Brooks did not want to be present while Brianna was telling her side of things. His side of that was that he didn’t want to escalate the drama, while Brianna said that he wasn’t comfortable answering her questions and being exposed to her honesty. I tend to believe Brianna. She hasn’t shown us anything other than a level-headedness and sense of honesty throughout all seven season – at least, that is, until tonight.
I don’t know what her motivation was for some of the things she said about Brooks, her mother and her step-dad. I think she has every right to be upset with her mother’s new love interest and has expressed those concerns over and over. Brianna believes that Brooks is only interested in “Vicki Gunvalson – Real Housewife of Orange County” and all of the bells and whistles that go with his brush with celebrity. She also let us know that Brooks has been busily giving away family secrets by calling radio stations and announcing both her pregnancy and her plans for her wedding, including the date and time. That’s really more than he has any right to do, especially given the fact that the two obviously don’t care for each other at all. It does, however, give credence to Brianna’s theory as to why Brooks likes to be around people on television – well, with the exception of people from ABC’s “20/20”.
Vicki reacted to all of the criticism about Brooks, not only from her daughter, but from Tamra and Gretchen, by striking back, like a caged animal. Tamra was ranting about Vicki’s naked encounter with a man in Cabo, because Tamra likes to do that sort of thing. Naked in a bathtub with Eddie before your divorce is just different in her mind. Vicki had had enough and decided that the best way to take the heat off of Brooks was to out Donn and his alleged twenty years of infidelity. It wasn’t pleasant to watch, and after saying it, even Vicki realized that she might have gone too far and acknowledged that it probably hadn’t been appropriate to talk about it during a Bravo Housewives’ reunion. It was the one piece of ammunition she had left in her arsenal and she used it.
Tamra was quick to pick up on it and confirm it. That made sense, especially from Tamra. It was Brianna’s affirmation of her step-dad’s affair(s) that seemed so wrong. We don’t know if it’s true or whether Vicki has made it her children’s truth. It could very well be that Vicki and Donn had an arrangement during their marriage that permitted openness and the opportunities for them to explore other relationships. If that was the case, then it should have been kept between them, not used as it was during a television show. It did nothing but show that Vicki has no respect left for her ex-husband or for herself. Perhaps Brianna was also at her wit’s end, not only about Brooks, but about whatever lies and disloyalty she has seen during her life with her Mom and Donn. It may have made for good television from Bravo’s perspective, but it certainly did nothing for whatever this family will have moving forward.
Vicki and Brianna also told us that, as of the time the reunion was being taped, Donn was still living in the family’s home. Brianna and her husband, Ryan, also live there, as Michael has moved out. The only one who doesn’t live there is Brooks. At least Vicki has that one over Jeana. It was explained that Donn, having both a financial and legal interest in the house, is living there for the purposes of taking care of the very large mortgage. That seems reasonable, but it must be an uncomfortable situation for all of them when you put the whole sordid thing together.
There was some very unremarkable conversation about Heather’s cake bow, something which really didn’t need to be covered again. She changed her name, she had a cake, the bow was nibbled on and the perpetrator was removed. I think we all got it the first time. Gretchen and Alexis wanted to prove who was picked first as the hot blonde girl for the local TV station’s style/fashion/hot blonde girl segment. Both came armed with emails, complete with dates and times of their respective offers for the job. Gretchen said she couldn’t fully commit to the job. Alexis said that they never wanted Gretchen, and now neither of them even works there. Somewhere in Orange County is a woman named Leslie from Fox5 who rues the day she ever heard of the Housewives, and is curled up in a fetal position in her closet, wishing the noise would just stop. It has, until next season.