This isn’t going to be an actual recap. I haven’t written a Houswewives’ recap in months and I’m a little rusty. The only reason I’m writing this is because Vicki Gunvalson’s son-in-law, Ryan Culberson, just scared the crap out of me. This epsiode was the season finale and like all finales in the OC, it took place during a party. Vicki had her house decked out in a Winter Wonderland theme, with fake snow and Christmas-like decorations all over her house. She was promoting her Vodka by Vicki line and things were going as well as any Housewives’ party can go. Then there arose such a clatter that I thought I’d sat on the volume button of my remote control.
Ryan was hollering and cursing at Lydia’s Mom Judy for putting her feet up on a couch. We heard the conversation – it’s there for all of us to rewind and rewatch – and it didn’t go exactly as Ryan said it did. Calling what he said to Judy a conversation is probably understating the viciousness of his attack and the words he used to make his point. He dropped the “F-bomb” repeatedly, while ordering to get her feet off the sofa. Judy, a little surprised at first, tried to respond, telling him that her feet hurt and she just wanted to rest them for a few minutes. She asked him who he was and he told her that he “owned”, then caught himself and said that he lived there. Ryan continued to berate her and said that she should leave if she couldn’t treat him and the house with respect. He didn’t want to hear what she had to say, and he let her know it in no uncertain terms. Then, when she went out to find her daughter and Vicki to explain what had happened, he followed her outside and lied – in a big way. I don’t care who Ryan thinks he is or what his role is in the family, but he was being disrespectful to a 64 year old woman whose worst flaws are smoking pot and sprinkling everyone with pixie dust, and made up an awful story, putting awful words in her mouth, to make her look and sound like someone she isn’t.
How everyone reacted to this encounter was very telling. Vicki began to apologize to Judy and Ryan started in on her, telling her that Judy had disrespected Vicki’s house and him. Briana seemed to be a bit bemused at first, then tried to calm her husband down but he wasn’t backing down. Vicki’s brother Billy, got involved and also tried to intervene but Ryan told him to stay out of it. The couple went upstairs and Vicki followed them, trying to make sense out of what had just occurred. Ryan started on Vicki, with Briana looking as if she was between the rock and the hard place. Ryan told his mother-in-law that he was getting really pissed, as if what we’d just seen wasn’t bad enough, and stormed off.
Then Briana brought up Brooks, her favorite argument against her mother when she really has nothing else to work with. It was the same threat she’d made before – if Vicki brings Brooks to the house, she and Ryan will move out. What she didn’t say, but what I heard and think was implied is that Vicki would have limited access to her beloved grandson, Troy. As a grandparent, there’s no worse threat, and I’ve always thought that Briana and Ryan have hung this over Vicki’s head in their effort to keep her Brooks-free. I hope I’m wrong, but if that’s what they’re doing, then they’re even more controlling than Vicki herself.
Vicki’s brother Billy let us in on something we’ve only gotten hints about – that this type of behavior by Ryan is nothing new. From his comments, it sounds as if Ryan has a pattern of trying to control everything that happens in Vicki’s house, with her relationship with Brooks being the easiest button to push. Ryan thinks he’s the man of the house and has no idea what that even means. He looked like a bully and his wife didn’t look much better.
Vicki has her issues, for sure, but she’s always put herself out there as an independent woman who takes no prisoners and never wanted to be subservient to any man. And yet, here she was, taking a ton of abuse from her son-in-law. I don’t really care for Brooks and I don’t think he’s the most forthcoming guy to come down the pike, but Vicki has the right to make a fool of herself if she chooses. Hearing that their relationship is on again, then off again, hints that she can see at least some of the writing on the wall.
Vicki went after Slade, just as she said she would, and let him know how hurtful he’d been. He countered with how awful she’d been. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but both of them were right and both of them have been very, very wrong. What I don’t understand is how Vicki could scream at Slade but lost her spine when she confronted her daughter and son-in-law. It seemed sad and desperate – not the way Vicki wants to be perceived by her friends or the viewers.
It’s too bad that we didn’t get to see more of these scenes from the Gunvalson/Culberson house – let’s blame Bravo. It might have made Vicki’s situation a little easier to understand, but only a little. Vicki and Briana can make all the excuses they want about Ryan’s deployments, but that isn’t going to cut it. Lots of people have stress inducing jobs, even dangerous ones, but they check those stressors at the door and deal with family issues like rational human beings. I don’t know how these three are getting along now, but I’m happy to see that Brianna and Ryan are moving into their own place, that Vicki can have her house back, and I really hope she has all the time she wants with her grandson.
Oh, and Ryan, get a grip and get some help. No Marine lies or treats women with disrespect.
Ryan acted very volatile and IMO, crazy. Brianna must walk on eggshells as to not anger him. He is not normal and perhaps more dangerous and less desirable than Brooks.
Walking on eggshells – what an awful way to be married.
It’s interesting that Ryan didn’t feel the need to defend hearth and home when Slade and Vicky went after each other.
Amen to every thing uyou said! Ryan is a loose cannon! If he was just getting pissed, I’d hate to see him when he was “really angry”. Also, the way he bit his lip shaking his head at Lydia’s mom after they walked outside was frightening. It gave me the impression he wanted to hit her but was holding back like he was holding back. He needs some serious help with his anger /mental issues in check STAT! I used to really like Brianna but I gotta admit I no longer get the warm fuzzies when I see her. The way her & Ryan talk against Vicki & tell private info about her relationship with Brooks to of all people Gretch & Slimy is sooooooo wrong. Its like they wanna give her enemies ammo to use against her. Im not a fan of Brooks but Vicki is a grown woman & who are they to place rules on her in her home. I know they’re paying rent but that gives them no right. I about fell out of my seat laughing when Ryan said, “I own… then quickly correcting himself saying her lived there. Good luck to the two of them trying to find a place in Coto as nice as Vicki’s for $1000/per month rent. Its not gonna happen. I think they hold seeing Troy over Vicki’s head too which is really sad. I think the two of them are far more controlling then Vicki has ever been. It made me so bad seeing Brianna defending Ryan’s actions but maybe she’s seen him really unleash his anger & was just trying to control the beast! Either way, I hope he’s ashamed for the lies he spewed, the way he talked to such a sweet lady & gets some much needed help!!!
Imo, Ryan’s anger issues trump Brooks being a sleazeball any day of the week! I almost fell out of my chair laughing again when Ryan said “stick with family Vicki”. Um, just like you were sticking with your mother in law earlier when you were talking against her to her enemies??
He and Brianna have done that before, as if they need allies against Vicki and/or Brooks to prove they’re right. I don’t understand it either.
Ryan was just vicious to Judy and then everyone else. Isn’t one of his problems with Brooks is that he is a liar? The viewers just saw you tear into an innocent guest then lie your ass off. The only time Judy swore was to calmly say please stop saying fuck! Ryan needs some serious therapy before he snaps! He did look like he was wanted to strike Judy then when Uncle Billy was schooling him he turned and raised his fist as tho to strike him. Run Briana, run to the safety of your mothers home and bring that baby with you!
Brianna isnt safe with Ryan he has some major anger issue!
I didn’t see the whole thing, only the preview and what I did see was disturbing. I feel sorry for Vicki as I do think they threaten her with access to Troy if she doesn’t do as they say. I used to think Briana was smart and had a good head on her shoulders. I think she just wanted someone in her life and wanted to get married, rushed into it, and now she has a baby to consider when/if she decides to leave him (and I hope it’s when). I’d be very interested to hear what his first wife has to say about him. Very sad situation.
BB, If you get a chance just watch the scenes with Ryan and you’ll see for yourself how Ryan thinks he’s the master of Vicki’s domain. She put her arm around Judy, Ryan barked “Don’t hug her, Vicki” and Vicki pulled her arm away like Judy’s back was on fire.
That’s some bed Brianna’s made for herself. ITA, it’s sad all the way around.
I’m not sure Vicky pulled her arm away because Ryan barked at her, I thought there was some Bravo editing going on there.
Well, I think that the issues from last nights episode are multi faceted at best. I believe that Vicki is not a true ALPHA …a woman who is comfortable being the alpha in her work place but looking for an ALPHA at home, which allowed for Ryan to step in. I do think that Ryan embarrassed himself last night but I think in part that was the result of quite a lot of pent up hostilities and emotion just from living in that house. No parent should use there children as a pawn against the grandparents, so I, too hope that is not the case. I can assure that there are more behind the scene issues that brought that ugly boil to a head last night and unfortunately, Lydia’s mother ended up on the receiving end of ugly family dynamics brewing for a long time.
Brooks was certainly no Alpha and Vicki was happiest with him when she could control him – buying his clothes, letting him use her car, even getting his teeth fixed. Then he flexed a little, dating other women and such, and that left Vicki completely confused. I think she’s been so busy building her business that she’s lost the ability to connect with any man in a real relationship. She’s always said that she’s happiest and finds the most fulfillment from selling insurance.
well, that’s where I disagree a little, just because she was “controlling” him by funding him , that was just her way of bringing him up to OC code……I still think she is the classic good business woman…awful personal relationship person… She is confused about what she wants and who she really is in a personal relationship. Power in business does into translate to Alpha in relationships……she is learning that she really has no control…like most of us.
I hope you guys are doing well….Hugs..to you
While I don’t follow the OC franchise, I happened to have the tv on while doing something else last night. Ryan’s eruption at Judy caught my attention. From various HW centric blogs, one would believe that Ryan is Prince Charming in a Marines’ Uniform and that Brianna was so lucky to hook up with him. But here is my problem…Vicki is a scream in your face control freak. Brianna is her daughter and while everyone loves her, I have to think she learned control freaking at her mama’s knee. Now for Ryan and his behavior last night. Once could pretend he was defending Vicki’s castle (and couch) and the women and baby that live in it. One could pretend he is all that and a bag of chips – he married fan fav Brianna and is actively serving our country in a dangerous scenario kind of way.
My bottom line here is that we don’t know Ryan, how he was raised, why he joined the Marines, his reason for leaving his marriage to take up with Brianna – nothing! What do you get when you put three control freaks together? A lot of colliding rules, a lot of threats designed to back your opponent (MIL) off, a lot of yelling and hurt feelings and at the end of the day uneasy truces. Sadly, all the positive, hopeful, fairytale attributes given to Ryan by viewers were wiped away by his behavior as shown last night! I can’t pretend to know what the future holds for the happy couple, the darling grandson or the self centered MIL – I can only hope that they find ways to make their relationships both healthy and happy for all.
On Twitter, Vicki is blaming editing and over at SH, they’re reporting that Ryan is doing the same thing. He’s also claiming that he recorded the whole night and the “real” confrontation on his cell phone. I’d take that with a grain of salt and, given that he’s still on the defense, I don’t think Judy should be holding her breath waiting for an apology.
This Ryan guy is a TOTAL IDIOT. Bravo editing had nothing to do with the foul, hostile, vulgarities that spewed out of his mouth at a woman old enough to be his mother over nothing at all.
I agree whole heartedly. There is NO excuse for the actions of Ryan on last nights episode, like you eloquently put, the foundation was built on quick sand long ago and the episode last night was the “fruit” of that dysfunctional labor. Can’t wait for the reunion show…there has been plenty of time to spin the whole thing….Amen!
As a general rule, no one should comment on someone’s appearance except maybe to say something nice. It’s up there with “don’t talk about religion and politics.” You wouldn’t comment on a deformity so why would you comment on a feature that might be unattractive? Though it is OK to comment on things that one does to one’s self, such as hair, makeup, and wardrobe. In my opinion, an exception can be made if the person made an issue of their own appearance. In legal terms, dear Empress, “they opened the door to that line of inquiry…” So Vicki made this whole party about showing off her new house design and new face. I am not going to comment on her face, but I am going to comment about her overall appearance, because these are certainly things she herself can control quite easily. VICKI – BRUSH YOUR HAIR AND WEAR MORE FLATTERING CLOTHES. I MEAN REALLY, SHE LOOKED LIKE A SLOPPY DRUNK FREAK WITH THE MESSY HAIR AND THE BIZARRE, TOO-TIGHT-ON-THE-TUSH, BOOB-BARING GARMENT. I QUESTION HER TASTE LEVEL (CHANNELING HEIDI KLUM ON PROJECT RUNWAY). ACTUALLY, I DON’T QUESTION IT. SHE HAS NONE.
LOL! Yep, it looks like Vicki is going through the worst mid-life crisis ever.
I didn’t really have a problem with some of Slade’s comments, especially after some of the things Vicki’s said. She had/has no business in his and Gretchen’s business. She dated or is dating – I’m a little confused about where they stand – Brooks and, from everything we’ve seen and heard, he’s no prize either. Every housewife from every franchise is very good at casting stones and it seems like none of them can get their own lives under control.
We’re so lucky that we have people like Don Caroline to give us life lessons and Melissa to help us achieve the perfect marriage. We need to take a page from their books. 😉
I agree !!!!! At the very least….Vicki, try some spanx…even thin Hollywood types use it, so…….curvy OC girls can benefit as well.
wetpaint has an interesting story about Ryan’s and Brianna’s romance and marriage – 7 months of emails and skype , one week of real face time and then they said “I do.”
LOL! Yep, uh oh. 😉
Coming from a person whose father served in the military for 23 years, I do not want to hear any “job/deployment stress” as an excuse for Ryan’s behavior. My dad was so respectful especially towards women of any age. I’m sure our brave and wonderful soldiers serving around the world are embarrassed by Ryan’s behavior as should his wife. Vicki I’m a mother too, but enoughs enough. Don’t be bullied by them anymore.
Thank you for adding that perspective; that was no way to treat a lady or a guest. Seems like Vickie’s possessions are very dear to Ryan; I wonder about his motives.
I have waited awhile to sound off here about this but, here it is. This guy has apparently responded to all the backlash blaming editing. While I am well aware of the Bravo production trickery, and can believe that someone could be edited into an asshole, they cannot put words in anyone’s mouth while showing them on screen. If he is going to tell us that wasn’t his voice hollering f**k at this woman, fine. He cannot state that he didn’t tell the owner of the house not to consul a guest and the target of his rage at that moment. So what if he pays rent? That’s doesn’t equate to ownership. I said it elsewhere, I’ll say it here. Vicki made a huge mistake agreeing to terms for her daughter and SIL to live in Her house.
ITA. Bravo may have a different calendar than the rest of us but there’s no way they edited that outburst.
Now I’m wondering what he’s like as a Marine. Does he have the same flashpoints of rage when he’s giving orders to his platoon or does he just save his bad-ass self for confrontations with women?
You’re right. Vicki should never have let them live with her if there were strings attached. Vicki called him a loose cannon, Uncle Billy said that Ryan has to cut this stuff out and now we got to see what they’ve been dealing with – not a good situation for any of them.
Ryan has a serious anger issue and time bomb waiting to go off. I think he has a serious case of PTSD!!
Ladies are entertaining, fashions are beautiful, homes are breathtaking and personal conflicts distracting enough. Ryan’s behavior towards Judy is more alarming on so many levels. It would not surprise anyone other than his wife to acknowledge Ryan is not stable & perhaps needs psychiatric assistance – I don’t think Afghanistan families comply with American culture or vice versa.
I know that I am late to the party but I just saw a rerun of this episode. If you put the pieces together, Ryan is showing the classic signs of a controller and an abuser. The hasty Vegas wedding and a quick pregnancy is typical of the ways that abusers cement their control over women. Vicki and Brianna’s very hesitant and placating response to Ryan’s tirade at the finale party. Vicki’s brother’s response reveals that Ryan’s behavior is not unusual. You can’t blame this on military service. Traumatic Brain Disorder as a result of injuries in the war, yes. PTSD, yes. Military service in general, no.
Hey Laela, Thank you for your comments. Do you think anyone will address any of this at the reunion or will Briana just use it as just another opportunity to bash Brooks and point out her mother’s poor decisions – you know, pot meet kettle?
Good Question – let’s see if Lydia asks …
How dare vicki daughter try to run her love life.. Vicki accepted her daughter husband on her daughter behalf. We all know with an attitude like that over a chair he didn’t buy, he gone end up knocking brianna up side the head. Stop justifying ryan actions. If you have sense you know this is not the last time we will hear about ryan
How dare all of them, Ryan, the abuser, Vicki trying for years to control people with her money and Brianna a manipulator. Shame on all of them, I think they are reaping what was sown.
Is vicky gulvanson’s brother Billy married?