I love the parties they have on "The Real Housewives" franchise. For the season finale of the Orange County installment, Vicki's house gets all decked out like a winter wonderland them (penguins in the pool!) so that, if there is blood splatter, it will really pop against all the white. It's little details like that that really set this series apart. 

Unfortunately, there isn't actual blood letting, but there's plenty of verbal eye gouging and virtual low blows so that no one leaves the house feeling overlooked. Insults are like the memorable party favor no one ever forgets. 

What I am not likely to forget about this episode is that Ryan and Briana, whom I'd previously seen as the sane people living in the epicenter of Vicki's crazy, aren't so sane after all. When Ryan finds that Lydia's mom is putting up her feet on the sofa (SACRILEGE!), he rips into her as if she was stealing the good silverware. How DARE she DISRESPECT him in this house he does not own where I'm fairly sure he pays a rent that would otherwise get him half of a coat closet in a crappy part of the O.C.! 

Vicki apologizes for Ryan, since he's clearly either drunk or insane, but Briana comes to his defense. Oh, he's only looking out for Vicki! His behavior is entirely rational. Vicki blinks a lot during this segment, I'm sure because she's not entirely comfortable being the most rational person in the room. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, she really doesn't like it.

This ridiculous passage is, I guess, supposed to give Vicki the push she needs to live her own life without Ryan's rules -- by dragging Brooks into this mess. At the end of the show, we learn Vicki has gotten back together with Brooks, then broken up with him, then gotten back together with him, then broken up with him. The lesson? Vicki needs to look into online dating or pursue an exciting new life as a spinster-hipster grandma. Really, the revolving door of Brooksanity needs to stop. The good news, though, is that Briana and Ryan moved out. Hopefully some Taliban rebels are rubbing their shoes on Ryan's cot in Afghanistan, because he will then feel entirely justified in shooting the crap out of them. 

Vicki also got a chance to take a shot at Slade for calling her Miss Piggy, which inspired Lydia to complain about the time he said she should eat a cheeseburger, and for everyone except Slade and Gretchen to agree that women's looks should be off limits in the fight-fest that is "The Real Housewives of Orange County." This is a shock, simply because I didn't think anything was off limits as long as it didn't result in a felony. Slade refuses to apologize or change, since Vicki had no problem insulting his character by calling him a dead beat dad. Vicki tries to give Slade a bottle of her Miss Piggy bacon vodka, which I think he should just accept. It's probably terrible, but he could use it for cooking or lighting a fire under Vicki's car.

Hmmm, let's see... what other fights are worth remembering? Oh yes! Gretchen and Heather! In short, Heather makes Gretchen apologize for showing up late and texting when she shot a small part on "Hot in Cleveland," but Heather refuses to apologize to Gretchen for sending her a nasty text message. The upshot of this is that Heather is just better at fighting than Gretchen is, and their argument is sort of like watching a hawk torture a small, one-eyed snail for kicks before deciding that eating it would lead to a stomachache and isn't worth the trouble.

Because Gretchen can't find enough ways to associate her engagement to Slade with being punched in the gut, she also talks with Tamra about their rapidly crumbling relationship. Tamra tries to get Gretchen to admit to lying about claiming she canceled an acting gig to come to Tamra's wedding dress hunt, and Gretchen refuses to admit to anything. There is hugging, though not forgiving, and I suspect Tamra and Gretchen will be at one another's throats next year. Good thing Vicki gave Tamra that enormous BFF bracelet, which was probably more expensive than branding Tamra but likely quite a bit easier.

So, not much is resolved, everyone vents their feelings, and little appetizers are possibly consumed. I can't wait for next season!

Do you think Gretchen and Tamra are going to be on the outs? Do you think Slade owed Vicki and apology? Do you think Ryan was out of line?