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As so many Bravo viewers suspected (and hoped), Tamra Judge is back for RHOC Season 17.

The hope is that Tamra’s return to a new cast “ecosystem” will revitalize the show. It needs it.

By all accounts — including her own — Vicki Gunvalson would not be joining her. Probably for the best, right?

So … why did people spot Vicki seemingly filming for the show?

It's truly the end of an era
Vicki Gunvalson was on The Real Housewives of Orange County for fourteen years, since its inception. Tamra Judge was on the show for 12 years. Then, suddenly, they were both gone from the series.

Just days ago, eyewitnesses spied Vicki Gunvalson at a restaurant.

She was not eating alone. Vicki had the company of Tamra Judge and Shannon Beador.

These are not just any two former castmates. Together, they once formed the Tres Amigas.

Vicki Gunvalson, Shannon Beador, and Tamra Judge at Andy Cohen's Baby Shower
Andy Cohen had a baby shower in anticipation of his first child, and Vicki Gunvalson, Shannon Beador, and Tamra Judge were among the guests on January 26, 2019.

Now, at the time, there was no sign of a camera crew or production team on site.

However, if rumor is to believed, the get-together was related to filming the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of Orange County.

That is very interesting, considering that everyone — including Vicki — has claimed that Vicki did not even receive an offer to return.

Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson Filming After RHOC Exit
The Real Housewives of Orange County alums Tamra Judge and Vicki Gunvalson were spotted filming … something.

Interestingly, a new report claims that Vicki will appear on Season 17.

This alleged news comes by way of RadarOnline.

If we believe this tidbit, production included Vicki to shake up a potential slump in the season.

Vicki Gunvalson is Incredulous
The Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson makes an incredulous expression at the suggestion that her archenemy is prettier than she is.

Simply put, these seasons film over large stretches of time.

While some drama is inevitable (between the cast and their group vacations, it’s a sure thing), reality TV means the occasional lull.

That’s no good for production, so the folks behind the cameras opted to bring in Vicki to shake things up.

The OG of the OC is not, however, going to appear in every episode of Season 17.

This new season only recently began filming.

And reports only “confirm” that Vicki filmed one scene — the one at the restaurant.

Shannon Beador Catches Fire
The Real Housewives of Orange County’s Tres Amigas, Shannon Beador, Vicki Gunvalson, and Tamra Judge enjoy the festivities until Shannon’s hair catches on fire.

Vicki filming at all is enough to raise some eyebrows, though inevitably some viewers might be happy to see her.

However, what is truly remarkable about all of this is her dining companions.

She, Tamra, and Shannon were the Tres Amigas … but had a massive falling out when only Shannon remained on the cast.

There have been rumors of a Real Housewives of Orange County spinoff starring Vicki, Tamra, and the thrid member of their inseparable chick clique, Shannon Beador.

All three of these women had major ups and downs over the years, alternating between friends and rivals.

But after Tamra and Vicki were no longer part of the show, something changed.

According to both of the alums, Shannon iced them out once they were no longer castmates. Were they friend … or work friends?

But of course, it was Tamra who was caught on a recording repeating it in a clip that was laked in April. That’s now the rumor made it into public discourse, not Vicki.

What does all of this mean?

Maybe they sat down to hash things out and mend fences.

Perhaps they matter to Shannon again, now that they’re all sharing a screen.

Security demanded that the Tres Amigas exit the pool immediately. These wealthy women, two of whom are grandmothers, acted like college students who had been busted by campus police and ran the other way — you know, like security wouldn’t know who they were.

But sharing a meal together doesn’t mean that they’re all allies again.

It’s possible that they had a serious conversation on camera, and other chats off camera.

Only time will tell whether things are good between them — or whether Vicki is threatening to stage a comeback.