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Friendship Whisperers and Regular Whispers

Ep 12:'s Digital Producer discusses the many surprises and secrets at Lydia's salsa party.

By Kim Moreau

To quote The Office: "Secrets (secrets) are no fun. Secrets (secrets) hurt someone."

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo Thursday, July 11 at 9/8c and next day on Peacock. Catch up on the Bravo App.

And there was a whole lot of whispering going on this episode. From Lydia trying to secretly prod folks into friendship, to secret nicknames, to secret guests, to secrets about said secret guest, this episode was a Russian nesting doll full of surprises and twists. Let's examine as best we can.

Lydia in the Middle
We open with Lydia trying to see if her healing tendencies can work again. She's already done the unthinkable and healed the cosmic rift between Tamra and Alexis, can lightening strike twice with Alexis and Heather? She hopes, because she's throwing a Lydia-style shindig with silliness and costumes (and hopefully some armpit farts), and she simply won't allow Heather to bow out because Alexis will be there. Instead, why don't they just get together and discuss their issues? The friendship whisperer's trap is set -- but will it catch two BFFs4EVA?

Speaking of friends, Tamra and Vicki are back on bestie status and seeing their Wines by Wives labels in action. The ladies are prepping mentally for the next big theme party in Orange County. . .Vicki is hoping that the party will be sans the dirt under her fingernails that is Gretchen. Tamra is hoping Vicki can avoid putting her lip up if Gretchen's name is mentioned. Well, since Vicki' is, in her own assessment, perfect, it seems like this party should go off without incident. And Brooks won't even be there to cause drama. . .or will he?

Coffee Talk
And so Heather and Alexis meet for some calming chamomile or coffee (hopefully the effects of the former kicked in). Unfortunately, all the tea in China didn't seem to be enough to get these two gals on the same page. 

There were a lot of hand motions and eventually the gals called an tenuous truth. Fingers (and toes) crossed that this lasts.

Over drinks elsewhere, Gretchen and her mother are chatting about Vicki's issues and why she's decided not to go off on lady Gunvalson. She's just got bigger issues to deal with -- like deciding if she's ready to marry Slade. Survey says: she's ready to turn that lease into a full-time mortgage. And her mom is prepared to cosign. Perhaps Tamra and Gretchen can have a double wedding a la Bride Wars?

Meanwhile over meat and potatoes, Ryan is having his last meal with Briana and Troy before going to the base and then to Afghanistan. Vicki's popping in, rug in tow to say hi, but mostly she's letting Ryan and Briana have their special time and trying to distract them from the danger he's facing. If there are any positives to the reality Ryan's facing, the tough odds have helped Vicki understand why these crazy kids decided to get married in a hurry. Hopefully this stint in Afghanistan will work out as perfectly as their relationship has gone so far.Cheeseburger in Paradise
And then the big event arrives. Besides having the secret to friendship whispering, Lydia's got the secret to great parties all locked up too -- hire a professional. And so the pineapple mojitos, the drums, and mustaches are ready and waiting for the girls. As the limos head out, we see Terry beseech his buddy Brooks to hop in a phonebooth and get ready for a party. Terry begs Brooks toss on his salsa clothes for the occasion (which hopefully he stores in a dry cleaning bag labelled "In Case of Emergency Salsa Clothes"), even if Vicki didn't mention it.

And everyone pulled out their emergency salsa clothes. Even Lauri and George arrive ready to bust a move -- and commend Lydia on her petite frame. But while their compliments are met with a gracious thanks, Slade's attempt to christen her with the moniker "Cheeseburger" is not. That crosses her line from jovial jest into actual teasing. She's ready to put some money in Slade's douche jar (shout out to The New Girl) about it, and no amount of him backing up his joke by saying he's a "tub-a-wuba" will appease her. According to Lydia, you can't go around calling people Muppets or meat patties and not see some repercussions.

Chips Brooks Ahoy
You know what makes a good salsa? (Don't say chunks.) A kick! And so perhaps that's why Brooks surprised everyone (well everyone but Terry) by showing up -- diamond flowers in tow. It gave this party a bit of an extra zing. In Brooks-fashion, he does his best to clear up Vicki's confusion about their relationship. He just wants her embrace her happiness. Take that happiness and just hug it. But does that mean embrace Brooks or embrace the diamond flowers? Or embrace the chatter Lauri's saying about him. . .

But there's no time to address that drama, there is only time to dance. And so Tamra is forced to cut a rug with Brooks and wonder who else he might be grooving with.

Also in the surprise Tamra groove: Alexis. Their newly formed bond is so strong she'll be joining the gals to help Tamra find a wedding dress. However, as incredulous as Tamra is of Brooks, Gretchen is of Alexis. Gretchen's response to this shocker, she'll just skip the whole affair. I have to hand it to the RHOC ladies for trying a new tactic to avoid drama, but we all know they can't stay away from each other for that long. 

Speaking of long, we'll have to wait until July to see how this dress shopping festivus goes (Tears! Lies!). But have no fear -- next week is the 100th episode of The Real Housewives of Orange County! Prepare by delving into some of our retrospective videos and galleries (Vicki through the years!) and meet me back here in two weeks!

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