The Real Housewives of Orange County recap: Elizabeth confronts Braunwyn and her secret past
The new episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County starts right where the last episode left off. Elizabeth Lyn Vargas set off the alarm on her Ferrari and woke Kelly Dodd and Gina Kirschenheiter from a late night partying at their Lake Arrowhead Lodge. When they gather to talk about Braunwyn Windham-Burke delving into Elizabeth's past.
At a nearby hotel, the freshly sober Braunwyn has a slightly intimate FaceTime conversation with her best friend Shari to avoid the alcohol her travel companions have in store. Emily Simpson also has a FaceTime conversation from her house, but under much worse circumstances: her husband implied the night before that he would not survive COVID.
As the Lake Arrowhead women prepare to go to Sky Park, Elizabeth reveals that she grew up in Pentecostalism (coincidentally the same denomination as Mary M. Cosby of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City). While making it easy to speak in tongues, Kelly jokes again about the pandemic with a mask that she can open and stick her tongue out of - and the one she wore the day before was completely permeable. It looks so bad, especially when Shannon Beador is crying from exposure to COVID because she fears it will kill her due to her lung damage. Elizabeth and Kelly seem to care no less when Shannon calls to check on the women.
While the minutes pass and the women on the journey do not go anywhere near the Sky Park as they promised, Gina goes alone into a room to chat with her lawyer. It turns out that Matt was charged with two crimes and faces jail around four years ago, but Gina's testimony could really affect his conviction. Gina calls her boyfriend Travis right after and he really seems like a great partner for her. While incredibly difficult to share her impact assessment, Gina appears to have the immediate support system she needs.
Now at the lodge, Braunwyn and Elizabeth face each other, Braunwyn delving too deep into Elizabeth's story and Elizabeth going over to telling half-truths and having trouble with girlfriends.
Kelly hears what Gina's call was about and treacherously tries to warn her not to ruin Matt's life, as if Gina needed to hear this after she was already unsure about making a statement about her ex-husband who was about domestic issues Violence against them was charged. While Kelly doesn't process the horror of what she says, Braunwyn fully admits that investigating Elizabeth was bad for her - she was just so bored in quarantine.
In the same breath, Braunwyn tells all the women they'll be on their redemption list, then throws Shannon back under the bus. He says it was the friend she's just reconciled with who got her to do a background check on Elizabeth. They all discuss how Shannon tries to clap without getting his hands dirty, and the show reminds us of a time when Kelly was much more tolerable and fun and Shannon “Mrs. Roper ”as Shannon tried to call her a home wrecker.
Back to the present, Shannon is getting the results of her fourth COVID test early and it's finally positive again. It's really hard, yet understandable, to see Shannon being full of resentment and worrying about the danger her kids (who exposed themselves and went to parties during the lockdown) probably put him in the same danger by living with him in the moment.
Elsewhere in Lake Arrowhead, the women finally go to Sky Park and separate: Gina and Kelly go mountain biking; Braunwyn and Elizabeth try their hand at archery and ax throwing. Kelly is just annoyingly suggestive and Gina is incredibly clumsy on the bikes, but the real substance is the conversation between Elizabeth and Braunwyn, who etch each other's emotional walls as they throw hatchets.
A quick look back at Shannon shows that John's house looks even smaller than Gina's "sad" house and that her daughters seem evasive rather than emotional when they seemingly give their mother the coronavirus. Meanwhile, Emily worries about giving COVID to her daughter and sons. If it were indeed a problem, common sense would say Emily would wear a mask while hanging out with them, but alas.
Gina and Kelly finish with one set of bikes and climb onto another that resembles golf carts. The only memorable moment is when Kelly mistakenly compares Gina to the "hideous snowman" as she is driving down the hill.
However, the episode ends with Elizabeth and Braunwyn having an even deeper conversation about Elizabeth's divorce. She admits that she divides rather than confronts all of her problems, and that both she and her mother are likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder for escaping from their religious, abusive grandmother. As nice as it is to finally hear Elizabeth transparently, the conversation leads to a panic attack when the show ends.
Watch Shannon collapse over her COVID diagnosis in an exclusive RHOC clip
The week in “Wives: A RHOP reunion, an RHOA introduction and short vacations with RHOC and RHOSLC
The real housewives of Orange County sum up: pot kettle, kettle black
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