The magic of The Real Housewives of Orange County casts all kinds of spells, its strongest this season being: Is a man the majority of America knows almost nothing about really lying about having cancer?
For several episodes now, because a psychic said, the women of the O.C. have in increasing numbers begun to wonder whether or not Vicki Gunvalson‘s boyfriend Brooks Ayers is faking or obscuring some part of his stage three cancer diagnosis.
She also called up his doctor’s office pretending to be a patient and then texted one of his ex-girlfriends in order to investigate previous claims made about Ayers via blog comment.
And in the strung-along manner of RHOC‘s brunches and lunches and parties, all of this began to seem like evidence to everyone else. So much so that at Shannon Beador’s Ares-themed party, Gunvalson and Ayers felt compelled to clear the air with Edmonds and her husband, Jimmy.
It was, frankly, a much-needed reality check – after Edmonds, Beador, Heather Dubrow and Tamra Judge had spent so much time speculating over what they didn’t know.
Ayers was blunt as he and Gunvalson sat down privately with the Edmonds: “It’s kind of nuts.”
He said he was just trying to figure out the motivation of a person who had met him only a few times, and who appeared to have no genuine interest in his well-being.
Gunvalson asked the camera, “What do I have to do, get a restraining order against this girl?”
But Meghan wasn’t easily swayed. She pushed and probed at the apparent discrepancies in Ayers’ story, including how Beador said he missed out on a medical appointment she had arranged for him.
As she said them out loud in that conversation, it became clear that all of these discrepancies were bits of information obscured enough to be confusing, but they were not necessarily incriminating.
Do we even know enough about Ayers’ medical treatment to say that part of the larger whole stands out as funny?
Ayers didn’t budge, either.
“I don’t owe you that explanation,” he said at one point.
And he was right: Compelling as the drama may be, Meghan doesn’t have a single good reason for her dogged nosiness, which Ayers said violated his personal boundaries.
By the end of the conversation, Meghan had retreated to broader statements about the well-being of cancer survivors everywhere – how it “hugely concerns” her and how a survivor might be watching Ayers on TV, and be confused by some of the claims about his health.
She actually said this: “I will continue to ask questions about cancer until there’s a cure.”
And then, over the objections of her husband, she told Judge that Ayers appeared to have called Judge’s credibility into question.
That sparked a mini-feud between Judge and Gunvalson, one which Meghan seemed happy to watch from the sidelines.
And that’s where the episode ended: Judge confronting Ayers for his comment (“Consider your source”), Gunvalson confronting Judge, and the echo of Jimmy’s two-sentence admonishment to his wife:
“You have to stop. You have to stop.”
The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.