It’s finally time to go back to the O.C.
We’ve obsessed over the ultra-dramatic trailer. We’ve dissected the new taglines. And we’ve ever heard about the literal food fight coming our way. The anticipation over season 12 of The Real Housewives of Orange County was real, y’all.
But that’s all behind us now that the inaugural installment in Bravo’s beloved franchise has returned to our TV screens. With the ladies fractured and in opposing camps, they may not be in each other’s faces yet, but a storm is brewing. One one side we’ve got Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador. On the other, Vicki Gunvalson and Kelly Dodd. Hoping to make peace? Returning vet Lydia McLaughlin. Out in her own little world? New mommy Meghan King Edmonds. And missing in action? Newbie (and 100th Housewife ever!) Peggy Sulahian.
Where does season 12 find them? Let’s check in…
Shannon Beador: Now that the Beadors are settled in their new home, the girls have cashed in on David’s promise to get a dog. But with no fence on that massive backyard, it’s proving tough to keep Archie in the property. Elsewhere in Shannon’s troubles, a weight gain that she blames on stress from Vicki’s allegation of abuse is once again putting strain on her marriage. Needling David to praise her boring quinoa bowls probably isn’t helping. Later, she took oldest daughter Sophie to look for a formal dress, meeting Tamra and her niece Kasey, where she admitted she was continuing to buy clothes for her old body, refusing to buy “fat clothes.”
Vicki Gunvalson: During a visit from Kelly at the Coto offices, which she’s getting ready to expand yet again, Vicki made clear that she’s still feuding with Tamra, putting down her “gym that has an empty parking lot” and last year’s fitness competition. (“Who cares? Go to work.”) She hasn’t seen Tamra or Shannon since last season’s reunion. “They’re not the popular girls. We’re the popular girls,” she told Kelly. “They want to be like us.” We also met Vicki’s new beau, Steve, who showed up for dinner with roses in hand and was repaid by having cocktail sauce thrown on him. Later, we checked in with Briana and her boys, who are still living apart from Ryan. Briana said she’s on board with Steve because “he has a job [and] he doesn’t hit on me.” During a lunch with “Disneyland all the time” Lydia, Vicki shared her side of the story on Tamra’s claims. “I’ve never conned anybody in my life. That’s not nice,” she said. “What do you do? Do you fight back or do you fold?” Oh, we know what you do, Vicki.
Tamra Judge: Never missing an opportunity to remind us of her return to religion, Tamra visited an old friend, returning Housewife Lydia McLaughlin, to join her bible study, where she admitted that she still hadn’t seen inside dearly departed Heather Dubrow‘s house. She also came clean about her troubles with Vicki, filling Lydia in on the gay rumors, and broke down about her estrangement from daughter Sidney, where there’s been some positive movement now that Sidney’s begun responding to texts from her mother. Later, we check in with Eddie at (an admittedly empty) Cut Fitness, where Tamra pitched Lydia’s idea about a lunch with Vicki. “I recommend you don’t go to lunch with her,” he told his wife. “We don’t need to be around that.”
Meghan King Edmonds: Meghan and Jim are at home with two-month old Aspen (and a new puppy, too!), doing their parenting thing, where Jimmy is proving to be very hands-on. As Meghan explains, he changes all the diapers and he certainly frets over her outfits. It’s kind of adorable and certainly unexpected. And that’s about all we get out of Meghan this week.
Kelly Dodd: After visiting Vicki and calling Tamra’s fitness competition “a race amongst pigs,” we watched as Kelly and her mom Bobby had a chat about vaginal rejuvenation. Turns out Kelly thinks if her mom doesn’t find a companion, she might shrivel up and die. Bobby wasn’t having any of it.
Lydia McLaughlin: After welcoming Tamra into her bible study group, we got an update on Lydia’s life in the four years she’s been away from the show. She and husband Doug welcomed third son Roman into the family two years ago. They’ve moved to Newport Beach. Oh, and her mom’s still smoking pot. In case you were wondering. During lunch with Vicki, she admitted she plans to play “friendship whisperer” and bring Tamra and Vicki back together. Until she heard Vicki’s side of things. “Wow, there’s a lot more going on than I thought,” she said. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, I don’t like your dress.’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to ruin your life.'” You can say that again.
Next week: Peggy Sulahian joins the cast, Kelly and Michael are nearly killed in a car, and Shannon’s feng shui expert warns her that her new home’s relationship corner is no good. Why? It’s got a toilet in it. Don’t you just hate when that happens?
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)