Lu wasn't swimming. She was there about to go to the AA meeting.
I don't think Barbara belongs in this cast. She is too normal. However, I don't have a problem with her popping up from time to time as a guest. This show has far too few guests and friends. Someone on Reddit found scenes in previous seasons where Barbara was in the background. Excluding the hot mic, she's been in the background of 2 or 3 other events. Dorinda being cast, Luann marrying Tom, and Moaner making out with Harry confirms how incestuous this group is. So I have no issues with Barbara being downgraded to a friend or guest.
Technically she's a friend now. I sense that she was signed as a full wife, but downgraded in the edit. There's just so much footage of her and it sort of explains some of her breakdown. She's been present at a ton of events and held quite a few of her own too, but she's made no real connections to any of them because she's had Luann's back. However, I want Barbara far away from Ramona if Barbara stays in the cast to any capacity. Ramona's nasty homophobia has been worse than Luann's entitlement, sanctimony, and narcissism.
I suspect if they keep Luann, they are going to make her go to therapy like they did with Porsha Williams (RHoA). Her inability to keep her shit together is making filming a challenge. So I suspect that they might force her into some measure of treatment.
Speaking of friends, I wish they'd bring Kristen back as a friend for Tinsley. Kristen is younger and mostly held her own with the women, except for Bethenny who was a grade A asshole and bitch with a capital C in season 7. Kristen is still with her jizz sock of a husband, but Tinsley needs to see someone who is close to her age, married with kids, whose life isn't perfect and still finds things to do with her time. Tinsley biggest problem is that she's fucking bored and isn't passionate about anything. I think Kristen would be great at making Tinsley understand that getting the husband and kid wouldn't necessarily make one happy.