Humility is not a characteristic often associated with Real Housewives, so there’s no logical reason to expect it from the grand dame, the OG from the OC Vicki Gunvalson, who still won’t really admit that her boyfriend was probably definitely lying about his cancer treatments.
Much of the first few episodes of Season 11 of the Real Housewives of Orange County have focused on Vicki trying to get back on everyone’s good side after her car wreck of a season last year.
Just to recap: Vicki was dating a snake oil salesman named Brooks Ayers. Brooks charged into Season 10 with claims that he was battling Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. That’s was all good and well (well, not good, but you know) until his story started to sound fishy.
For starters, an ex-girlfriend came out and suggested that Brooks was lying about the whole damn thing because he supposedly had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma years before. She also claims he had a “nose cancer” scare that turned out not to be “nose cancer.”
The most damning turn, and the thing that really sparked the curiosity of the rest of the cast, was when Brooks revealed that he was stopping chemotherapy in favor of some new holistic treatment. This was after Vicki had already begged Shannon to get Brooks in with a special oncologist which Shannon bent over backwards to do. There was also the fact that Vicki flat-out lied about Terry Dubrow giving Brooks an IV one evening after he fell ill.
Following the end of the season, Brooks gave an insane interview where he claimed that his cancer had gone from “stage three to stage two,” which is apparently not a thing oncologists say. It was eventually revealed that Brooks lied about receiving treatment from City of Hope, a cancer treatment center and that he faked documents from the center.
GOT ALL THAT? Sorry, there’s more.
During last season’s reunion, Vicki admitted that she did lie about a few things surrounding Brooks’s illness to garner sympathy from the other women. She also admitted, when put on the spot, that she didn’t believe Brooks really had cancer.
Now, we’re back a few months later and Vicki still can’t get her damn story straight.
One of her most common defenses around this mess was the argument that she only knew what she saw. She saw Brooks looking ill, she saw the medicines, and all those things suggested that he did have cancer.
That might be fine, but blindly believing someone even when many, many facts point to the contrary is not a solid example of the critical thinking skills Vicki claims to have.
During her conversation with Tamra last night, Vicki says that she didn’t know Brooks was lying, which of course sounds like admission that yes, he did lie. Then, a Jekyll and Hyde minute later, she turns blurts out: “I believe Brooks had cancer!”
I have to admit, I was one of the many who ate up the cancer drama of last season because it was certifiably insane. However, I’m not sure how I feel about it being dragged into this season unless it involves some clear, consistent truths from Vicki.
There’s no way Vicki is completely blameless in all this—I refuse to believe she’s that oblivious. I think most of the women would be happy to accept the story that Vicki was, to some degree, duped by Brooks, that she now believes he didn’t have cancer, and that she feels remorse for how she responded to their attempts to help.
More likely than not, they’re not going to get any of that, meaning this back and forth is going to drag on at least for a few more episodes. Still, I do have to count my blessings, because at the very least, it seems that Brooks has found it prudent to keep is mouth shut this time around.
Screenshot via Bravo.