Well, here we are. Watching yet another “Real Housewives of Dallas” finale, wondering how we got here. This finale in particular, though, was sort of a bizarre experience. On one hand, the drama between LeeAnne and Kary may have caused more viewers to tune in than might normally have, and yet, it’s impossible to watch the drama at Bruin’s forever family party without thinking of the absolute outrage LeeAnne has inspired since the final Thailand episode aired. It’s all so terrible. I hope RHOD gets renewed for another season just so we can redeem ourselves from it. And I’ll say it: I hope LeeAnne doesn’t return.
It’s one thing for Bravo to air the remarks, knowing they’ll have the reunion to hold LeeAnne accountable. It’s another thing to continue to give her a platform, and (despite those low ratings) a pretty big one at that. Plus, it’s become so everyone-against-LeeAnne. That’s not fun. Housewives arguments are interesting when they’re dynamic and layered. That’s why “The Real Housewives of New York” is fun. The villain alternates almost every episode. No one is all good, but no one is all bad either. You root for your favorites even when they’re wrong, but LeeAnne has made it so hard to root for her this season, and I really did want to be able to. I just don’t see how you come back from this.
That being said, where do we go without LeeAnne? Not everyone may agree, but I don’t think we’d even have “Real Housewives of Dallas” without LeeAnne. She’s been the face of the show (she was one of only two cast members to get invited to BravoCon), and garnered a fervent fan base out of the gate. For better or for worse, “They’re just hands” is one of the best moments RHOD has ever had.
And while I think LeeAnne carried the show to where it is now, new castmates have really started to shine. Kameron, in particular, may have had the best season of all. Stephanie has somehow managed to be one of those unicorn Housewives that everyone loves despite the fact that she’ll rarely engage in drama. Every decision Brandi made this year was something I wanted to rally behind. And D’Andra and Kary, though not always as captivating, had a lot of nice little moments that made me want them around — I want to know what’s next for them.
But it’s Kameron and Stephanie that have the prime seats flanking Andy Cohen at the reunion. Build the show around those two! Dallas is full of personalities. Our city has been great for “The Bachelor” franchise, mainly because people tend to fall in love with Dallas contestants — that’s why they’ve so often been the leads. Maybe we don’t try to cast a villain at all, but just allow the cast to be a group of interesting, entertaining women playing off of each other. Wild!
Oh man, I guess we should talk about the episode a little. We find out that, in addition to everything else LeeAnne said, she also called Kary the “c word.” (Yikes. What else didn’t we see?) There’s a dinner between Kary and Eduardo at Jose, and another dinner with D’Andra and Dee at Rafa’s. It was a lot of haphazard bow tying, but I did enjoy watching Dee eat nachos like a queen. I think there was a cheerleading tryout but there’s something about young kids tumbling that stresses me out too much to watch.
It was all just building to Bruin’s party though. Bruin is extremely cute and I’m very happy his life has taken the lovely turn that it has. But we’re not just here for cute, unfortunately. We’re here to see people finally confront LeeAnne. We’re here to see Kam say “I want to turn myself in” and then Court follow up with, “That’s not the whole story, babe,” in the back of an Escalade.
I mean, we’re here for this.
Once the whole gang is on a Deep Ellum rooftop, Kam and LeeAnne pair off on a couch, while Kary fills Stephanie, Brandi, and D’Andra in on the Escalade conversation. (Stephanie was already pretty aware though.) Kam immediately says to LeeAnne, “I really need you to explain to me why on Earth you said, ‘She’s a chirpy Mexican?’”
LeeAnne attempts to go the denial route (“’Chirpy’ isn’t a word I normally use”), but the Bravo editors are not having it, and we get the first of several damning flashbacks.
“You know I’m not afraid of you. If anyone should be afraid, you should be afraid of me!” – Kam!
Kary joins the couch conversation, and LeeAnne attempts to confront her about calling her manipulative. Kary quickly shuts that down by saying, “I would say that to your face.” She would and she has! But LeeAnne has never said anything about Kary being Mexican to her face, to which, I regret to inform you, LeeAnne says, “I grew up with a Mexican family.” What?
“We’re not talking about you right now. We’re talking about what you’re saying about me,” Kary says. “Why don’t you own your shit?”
“Okay I own it. Yeah, I called you that,” LeeAnne says. *Flashback to “10 Minutes Before” when she says she doesn’t remember it.* (Editors on fire!)
I deeply regret to inform you that in LeeAnne’s talking head, she says, “I don’t care that you’re a Mexican, I’ve slept with plenty of Mexicans, by the way. Hot lovers, okay? I’m not calling you a Mexican as a negative. I don’t think being Mexican is negative. Been there. Sat in Julio Iglesias’ lap.”
Sorry, what? First of all, Julio Iglesias is Spanish. Second of all, what!?
Everyone has joined the couch convo now. Brandi, a good hostess, asks everyone if they want a shot. “Don’t you feel bad? You preach equal rights for all,” D’Andra says. She then says something about “today’s climate” which I didn’t love. No one should speak that way ever – not just because of the current state of the world.
She makes a swift comeback when she responds, “That’s bullshit,” to LeeAnne’s claim that, though she surrounded “Mexican” with derogatory words in a sentence, she didn’t intend the word “Mexican” to be derogatory.
Kary has left the couch because, she’s right, this truly is not worth it.
We then get a series of chilling talking heads where each woman is asked by a producer if they believe LeeAnne is racist. It’s a mixed bag, with only Kameron and Stephanie coming to her defense. I have a feeling we’ll get a repeat of this at the reunion.
Back at the party, a hero emerges, and his name is Court Westcott. “Rachel from Rent My Wardrobe is here and I want you to talk to her,” he smoothly delivers to Kam. “Just come talk for two seconds and then you can come back.” (Fun fact: a party for Rent the Wardrobe was filmed for this season [at the ill-fated Circo!], but never aired. Also, the Westcotts contributed to the seed funding for the app, so not only did Court succeed in masterful small talk maneuvering, he also plugged one of his entrepreneurial endeavors on cable television.)
“You gotta stay away from her because of the racist shit she said,” Court says.
“Oh, so where is Rachel?” Kam asks. Reader, there is no Rachel at this party.
LeeAnne leaves without issuing any apologies. (“I apologize if that hurt you” doesn’t count.) “I do bad things, but I’m not a bad person, and there is a difference,” she tells the camera. And scene!
It seems silly to see these finale freeze frames after everything that just went down (though I’m very glad D’Andra has a deal with HSN). That being said, I don’t think I’ve ever been more interested in watching a RHOD reunion, which will start airing on January 1.
Thank you all for going on this journey with me.