In a word, tonight's third and final part of The Real Housewives of Orange County Reunion was painful. The confrontation between Brooks Ayers, Vicki Gunvaslon, and her daughter, Briana Wolfsmith-Culberson, went beyond the usual cat fights and accusations to a raw, emotional level that almost felt wrong to watch.
Briana so clearly comes from a place of love for her mother that there's absolutely no reason to doubt her allegations against Brooks. And what disgusting allegations they were. She said he not only told her husband that he needed to beat her to keep her in line, but also, disgustingly, talked to her about his penis size, calling himself "Girth Brooks."
And that's only part of it. She says there are plenty more examples of him disrespecting her, her mother, and their family. So many, in fact, that she keeps a list in her wallet. While Vicki denied that he had ever gotten physical with her, Briana seemed to strongly imply otherwise.
Slimy as ever, Brooks tried to win everyone over with what he (mistakenly) believes to be his charm. He apologized and tried to act all humble, but it was just condescending and transparent, and he still couldn't seem to stick to the truth. You gotta hand it to Briana though -- she's one tough cookie. She didn't give him an ounce of sympathy and fought him on every point without backing down. Good for her.
When she tore into him for telling Ryan that he should hit her, she shot at him, "Did you know I was abused as a child?" It didn't seem to faze him much, but it was so intense, it sent Lydia McLaughlin running from the stage.
At one point, Vicki got up to leave. "Guess what, Vicki's done with the show!" she said. Her reason wasn't because it was all too painful to hear, it was because she didn't want Brooks to be bashed. She repeatedly defended him throughout the night, and it seems that no matter what anyone says, she just won't believe that he's the snake everyone else sees. She was worried about him being embarrassed. "He can't fix the past," she said.
When Briana brought up text messages she'd seen from Brooks calling Vicki fat and ugly, her response was just sad. Rather than believe her daughter and get pissed at Brooks, Vicki instead turned to him and asked, "You don't think I'm fat do you?" And then to everyone else, "He thinks I'm beautiful!"
It was so hard to watch an otherwise strong and successful woman be so blinded by love or the fear of being alone or whatever it is that she would act like this. For Briana, it's heartbreaking.
It all ended with Brooks making what I'm sure he thought was a gallant exit, saying he loved her enough to let her go. We would say good riddance, but it didn't feel like a final farewell at all, and I highly doubt it's going to be the last we see of Brooks and Vicki together. She's simply not over him and not willing to let go. Recent reports indicate they're still together too. So knowing that combined with everything we saw tonight made it one of the most depressing reunions ever.
I don't know what it's going to finally take to make Vicki quit Brooks. We can only hope that at some point she'll wake up and see what everyone else has seen all along.
What did you think of part three of the reunion? What do you think it will take for Vicki to finally quit Brooks?
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