On this episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County, Taylor Armstrong is back! She may have switched cities, but the drama remains the same. Friendships have fallen out. Everyone tries to help the friendships rekindle. Except in this franchise, the friends are Tamra and Shannon — two stubborn amigas who simply cannot admit fault.
Jennifer and Emily meet up for some drinks and discuss the yoga event that Jenn recently hosted. The two seem to have formed a fast friendship — must have something to do with them both being from the Midwest. Gina joins the ladies late (as usual) and orders a mocktail. We learn that she has stopped drinking, which has some pluses — she has lost a lot of weight and is mentally better. However, Gina is “California sober,” if ya know what I mean….
Jenn explains that she met her now-boyfriend, Ryan, when her marriage was dissolving, and she states that she was always looking for someone to reciprocate her love. Jenn’s husband has since apologized and taken ownership of their marriage falling apart, and so Jenn feels better about the split. She goes on to say that Ryan was “feeding” what was chipping away at her marriage. Gina and Emily ask her outright if she had an affair with Ryan, but Jenn denies it. Gina claims to be “genuinely curious,” but we all know she’s just nosy AF (and I’m here for it).
Gina mentions her end-of-summer party on a boat, the “last fla-mingle” if you will, and everyone seems up for wearing pink and getting together.
Heather is micromanaging her twins’ dorm room packing, which does not come as a surprise. Heather has accumulated more than these kids will ever need for their freshman year in college, and the neverending list of supplies is laughable. Once her kids escape her, Heather begins fielding calls from both Shannon and Tamra. The ladies explain how they are going to meet up and discuss a potential truce, but honestly, Heather cannot fathom how these two will ever find a middle ground. According to Heather, Shannon and Tamra both truly feel like they are 100% correct, and therefore, any hope of reconciliation seems unlikely.
The meeting begins right away between the once besties. Tamra questions if Shannon “gets” her hurt. Tamra believes that she has been a very good friend to Shannon and that it was “exhausting” always being there for her. Shannon reminds Tamra that they have had conversations (regarding Tamra’s ex-husband Simon’s cancer), and she does not appreciate Tamra calling her a fake friend. Tamra attacked Shannon’s character publicly, but Tamra feels as though Shannon doesn’t understand that she needed her emotionally.
The fact that Tamra did not hear from Shannon during her hardest time makes her extremely hurt. Shannon is annoyed that Tamra labeled her with terrible personality traits and feels as though Tamra crossed the line when it came to the things she was saying. Shannon suggests that they move forward and figure out a way to “repair.” Seems like a positive way to end the quick hashing out of the friendship that once was.
Jenn has a total of five kids with her ex-husband, and she calls her life “beautiful chaos.” Jenn understands that the kids may realize that Ryan is the guy who broke up the family, but she is surprisingly happy with how easily he has blended into this family. Jenn goes on to explain how she has fostered kids in the past, and Dominic, her since-adopted son, has filled her heart and her home.
It’s a sad day for Eddie and Tamra. They are busy taking apart Cut Fitness since they are closing after 10 years. Tamra becomes emotional thinking about all the memories made in this gym. She is pleased to see how Emily has turned a corner and reached out to give her a pep talk. This makes Tamra wonder why Shannon has not contacted her.
They go on to (continue to) bash Shannon. Eddie says she drinks too much, and Tamra shares that the time she has spent with Shannon and John always ends in a drunken fight. What happened to speaking nicely about each other?
Shane is back and getting dragged along as Emily’s chauffeur. Turns out that Gina can no longer host her end-of-summer party because she has COVID. Emily volunteers to host the party anyway because the boat is only available that day. Gina talks to Emily through the window to share the party supplies, and Gina also reports that the meet-up with Shannon and Tamra did not go well. Gina shares that she is happy Tamra is back around, but she must adjust to the group again, too. With that being said, Gina and Emily hope that everyone behaves themselves for the event.
Tamra explains to Jenn as they carpool to the fla-mingle that she plans on getting “really drunk,” which is rich coming from the lady who called Shannon out for drinking too much. Heather is the first to arrive, prompt as always, and Tamra talks candidly with Emily about how much she appreciated the heartfelt text she received about the gym.
And then we are greeted with a familiar face: Taylor Armstrong is back, ya’ll! She moved from L.A. to Orange County years back, and Tamra explains that since going on the girls’ trip, she has become besties with her. Taylor is introduced (officially) to all the women, who won’t stop hitting on the boat boy, making things awkward for everyone.
Jenn begins to share her deep familial story about adoption, only to be interrupted by Shannon hollering about how she thinks she sees John’s son on the boat next to them. Completely insensitive and totally on-brand for Shan.
Jenn tries to redirect the story about her adopted son, but Shannon can help but hijack the direction of the conversation. Everyone realizes that this is “typical Shannon,” and Jenn gets to witness firsthand how Shannon takes, but doesn’t give, just like Tamra has always said.
Taylor talks about how she got cast in a movie and asks Heather for some advice about acting coaches, because in case you forgot, Heather was a “series regular” on television shows, but don’t worry. She will remind you every chance she can.
Emily wonders if Tamra is holding on to animosity and hurt toward Shannon and therefore cannot let any of the anger go. She suggests that Tamra have a conversation (again) with Shannon, but Heather, the interrupter, strikes again and inserts herself right in. Tamra explains that she wants a deep friendship with Shannon, but she questions if she will ever get that back from Shannon. Tamra also refuses to take accountability for anything she has said about Shannon, and she proceeds to raise her voice in a tizzy. Emily feels as though Tamra enabled Shannon’s behaviors that she NOW is annoyed by, but Tamra is insistent that Shannon has to start caring about others before she can move on.
Over dinner, Emily suggests that Shannon apologize to Jenn for changing the subject when Jenn was sharing about adopting her son. Tamra butts in and believes that Shannon doesn’t “acknowledge,” and that’s the problem. Shannon remains calm as Tamra spirals. She loses her cool with Emily and yells, “Stop before I f*cking hurt you. Why are you sticking up for her?” Emily denies sticking up for Shannon, and a very calm Shannon tries to get through to Tamra.
Tamra screams, “You’re a liar,” to Shannon. Over. And over. And over again. She then threatens to jump overboard, and she calls Shannon an alcoholic. She yells that Shannon is a liar and a drunk, and to that, Shannon wonders what happened to the Tamra who cried to her at the yoga retreat. The night is cut off when the boat docks, even though they have what seems like a full meal to eat. What’s up with that?! And Shannon is unclear how they can even pretend to move on after this…
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