Damn if the wheels didn't completely come off the wagon, roll down the street, hit a few pedestrians and cause a multi-car traffic pile-up of crazy during the third part of "The Real Housewives of Orange County" reunion. While all of the ladies were in attendance with the usual nattering, the show really picked up speed when the focus turned to Vicki's relationship with her Southern "gentleman" Brooks. When both Vicki's daughter Briana and Brooks joined the Housewives on the couch, the fighting was heated enough to send poor Lydia running to the bathroom to adjust her false eyelashes. When someone who just joined the show is driven to tears by second-hand conflict, it's baaaaaaad.

While Vicki threatened to rip off her mic pack and stomp off the show in a huff (which would have been, honestly, something Miss Piggy really would do on "The Muppet Show") if details were dished, Briana paused for a hot minute before revealing why she absolutely refused to live in her mom's house if Brooks was coming around. In short, Brooks allegedly told Briana's husband Ryan to hit her, he told Briana he is, ahem, well-endowed (Girth Brooks, eye roll, eye roll) and he texted Vicki that she was fat and ugly. 

On cue, the other Housewives gasp in horror (if they had pearls, they would clutch them) while Vicki squawked about how Brooks never hit her, so, you know, no biggie. Briana, meanwhile, calmly stared down Brooks and challenged him to stand up for himself. While I lost a lot of respect for Briana and Ryan this season after the "get your feet off my f---king sofa!" incident this year (a blow-up Briana still dismissed at the reunion as Ryan's way of venting pre-deployment stress, to which I would suggest, try Zumba next time), I couldn't help but enjoy her refusal to back down when Brooks tried to offer a half-assed apology. As for Brooks, he was caught flat-footed by Briana's accusations. Note to Brooks: You either don't remember saying something, or you can claim you said it when you were drunk and angry -- not both. 

The ending was strange and not entirely clear, at least not at first. Vicki tried to claim that she put her family first, and it hurt her deeply that Briana was unhappy. Briana suggested she only put her foot down about Brooks because she loves Vicki. Aw, time for hugs! But no, not exactly. Brooks then suggested that he loved Vicki enough to accept he'd never be accepted by her family and frenemies and exit stage right (Note to Brooks: you exit stage left, unless maybe you're on a reality TV show, in which case you just run screaming in any direction you can). Andy asked Vicki if she could let Brooks go, and suddenly all of this hypothetical conversation became an in-the-moment break-up, right there with cameras rolling.

While it took Vicki a moment to realize it, when she did her eyes became, well, less squinty than usual as the shock of what had happened registered on the parts of her face that haven't been entirely immobilized by injectibles. She then started blathering about how Gretchen put up with the whole world hating Slade, but she stuck by her man and everything worked out. This, of course, offended Gretchen, because everything is always about her, even desperate, inarticulate grasping at straws by a middle-aged woman who doesn't want to get dumped on TV. 

Brooks happily skipped from the stage, giving Vicki a quick peck and a pretty unconvincing "I love you" before making his way to freedom. Vicki then collapsed into a sobbing fit as the Housewives clustered around her like an inept production of "Swan Lake," fluttering and patting and occasionally trying to subtly check their hair and make-up. No one, of course, had any time for Briana, since she could just go home to her husband (oh, he's in Afghanistan, never mind) or her mom (nix that) for comfort. But then, as Tamra said, this show is a sister act. I think that meant that as much as these lunatic women fight and bitch, they still love one another in their own twisted, weird ways. That, or she meant "Sister Act," in which case I'm really curious which one of them sees herself as Whoopi Goldberg. 

While Vicki put on an impressive show about Brooks, I'm not sure I believe he's gone, or that she cares that much if he is. This is a woman who wakes up her nine-month-old grandson at one in the morning so she can play with him, so I don't get the sense Vicki cares particularly much about the feelings of anyone who's in her orbit. Brooks served his purpose, which seemed to be sending her goofy Hallmark cards on a daily basis and giving her a fur coat I have a sneaking suspicion she paid for herself, so really, isn't it time to move on? 

I'm not sure if Briana saw the irony in her mother's defense of a jerk mirrored in her own defense of Ryan's inexcusable behavior, but as she pointed out, she is her mother's daughter. Let's just hope that doesn't mean we're getting subjected to a spin-off. One Vicki is more than enough.

What did you think of the battle between Briana, Brooks and Vicki? Were you surprised that Lydia got upset? Do you think these women really are a "sister act"?