The previews for Part 2 of “The Real Housewives of Orange County” Season 8 reunion led us to believe this would be a kinder, gentler episode than was Part 1. Wrong. The claws were out as the catfights escalated, mostly revolving, not surprisingly, around Gretchen Rossi.
Here are 10 things we learned as the women, moderated by host Andy Cohen, hashed out their drama:
1. Vicki Gunvalson has never been around people who smoke marijuana.
“People have said I could probably benefit from [smoking weed],” Vicki says. “But I’ve never smoked weed. I’ve never, ever been around it. I don’t understand it … I’ve never been around anybody that smoked marijuana.”
2. Tamra Barney‘s husband Eddie Judge did not know about her promiscuous past or suicide attempt.
And neither did her son, Ryan. That is, until she revealed it on the show while speaking at a women’s expo. “I was actually going to talk about divorce and moving forward with your life,” Tamra says of her tearful speech. “And it just kind of snowballed into all of this stuff that is extremely uncomfortable.”
Tamra tearfully describes Ryan facing similar difficulties now, and says opening up about her past “has helped me tremendously.”
3. Vicki’s biggest regret from Season 8 is her horrible hair, not her new face.
“I didn’t have my chemical straightener,” she says. “And unless I get it professionally blown out, it’s a frizz ball … I was a mess all year long.” Vicki says her plastic surgery recovery took longer than she expected, and the show’s production schedule started early. Hence the questionable timing of the facial makeover.
4. Gretchen is keeping tabs.
“I have the frickin’ texts right here,” Gretchen says, as she unloads a file folder full of text messages and emails sent by the other housewives about Alexis Bellino. Of course Tamra claims Gretchen got her fiance, Slade Smiley, to “doctor them up” and promises her reconciliation with Alexis was sincere. In addition to her stack of documentation, Gretchen brought a voice mail to prove she was offered a role on the now canceled “Malibu Country.” What does she think this is, “Real Housewives” or “The People’s Court?”
5. Gretchen and Tamra are officially no longer friends.
“Honestly, I want to be friends with Tamra,” Gretchen says, after screaming in her face for five minutes. “But I think there was so much crap that happened that just was weird.” She also admits she doesn’t hate Alexis — who, frankly, doesn’t seem to care.
6. Pics or didn’t happen.
Gretchen and Alexis both seem to operate their lives under the theory that if it wasn’t caught on camera, it’s not reality. “In four years of footage, there’s not one piece of footage showing me being a horrible person [to you],” Alexis tells Gretchen. And when Tamra accuses Gretchen of walking out of Tamra’s wedding dress shopping day and yelling to Slade, “Get me the f*** out of here,” Gretchen’s response is simple: “Obviously that wasn’t on camera, Tamra,” Gretchen says. “So you can’t prove that I was out there saying that.” OK, then.
7. The other ladies believe Gretchen faked her engagement to Slade for the show.
“I think if you weren’t filming, none of that would have happened,” Vicki tells Gretchen. “I think it was all done for the show. That’s what many of us think.” Alexis is clearly one of the “many of us,” because she chimes in, “Last year she didn’t even want to marry him.”
Tamra also cops to agreeing with the theory, and so does Lydia McLaughlin, who believes the over-the-top engagement stemmed from Gretchen’s storyline being otherwise weak this season. Fellow housewife Heather Dubrow adds, “The reason why I even have a question to it is because it was a life moment. I watched it and I felt hollow.” Adding to the air of mystery, when put on the spot by Tamra, Gretchen admits she still has no wedding plans. Oops.
8. Slade didn’t pay for Gretchen’s engagement ring.
“We went in together and did the ring,” she says of the four-carat yellow diamond sparkler that includes both of the couple’s initials.
9. Gretchen is terrible at fake crying.
As the recap clip of her engagement to Slade plays, Gretchen whines and sobs and sniffs — but magically, sheds no tears — as she wipes her face with a tissue, saying how “sad” she is that people would accuse her of faking it. She’s right. It’s pretty sad.
10. Gretchen’s biggest regret about her extravagant televised engagement is that Alexis wasn’t there.
Wait. What? “I know that you said from Day 1 how much you thought that Slade and I were it for each other,” Gretchen tells Alexis. “And that’s what is just so messed up about all of this.” Alexis then sheds actual tears, mostly out of confusion. “I just don’t understand,” she says. “It’s like my mind is doing spins right now.” Yeah, girl. Ours too.
Part 3 of the three-part “Real Housewives of Orange County” Season 8 reunion airs Sept. 26 on Bravo. What do you still want to know?