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Real Housewives

RHOP Season 1 Finale - Rules of Enragement

Glenn Rowley

rhop-katie-rost

After just 10 weeks, we've reached the end of our first season with the 'Wives of Potomac. Make that the end of the narrative portion of the season - we still have multiple parts of the reunion to look forward to. In this final hour, the season's multiple storylines come to a head as the ladies sit down for a final summit meeting to air their grievances with each other and one 'Wife's dreams finally come true with a giant engagement ring...

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While Charrisse Jackson Jordan is sleeping off the effects of her grand 50th birthday party, the episode kicks off with Gizelle Bryant and Robyn Dixon taking their kids to the stables for some horseback riding lessons. Seeing the BFFs' kids together for the first time makes a lightbulb go off in my head: at least one of Robyn's boys needs to grow up to marry one of Gizelle's girls! It would be a match made in Bravo heaven. As the kids trot around the stables, the two women rehash the racial drama that dominated Charrisse's birthday from the sidelines. Reflecting on the struggle to raise black kids in today's society with a strong sense of identity, Robyn took issue with Katie Rost and Ashley Darby's assertion that she's biracial because it simply wasn't true. Gizelle is feeling uncomfortable with how things left off between the ladies, and decides to put together a "come to Jesus" lunch in an effort to work out the group's various issues. Hmm...any bets on how well this plan will go over with the 'Wives? 

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Meanwhile, Karen Huger is helping her daughter pack up her room to leave for college. The grande dame of Potomac can't quite seem to accept the fact that her precious Rayvin is leaving the nest and she launches into protective mom mode by offering the teenager some last-minute advice. Between regaling Rayvin with tales of the devil working within teen boys and wondering how the girl will possibly celebrate her 18th birthday without her, Karen makes plans to come visit after one month at the most. Rayvin's not so sure she agrees with that plan, but something tells me the grande dame won't be swayed from pulling a Vicki Gunvalson and surprising her in her dorm room during Parents' Weekend.

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Katie and her boyfriend Andrew are escaping the city for a romantic weekend at her farmhouse. Out in the Virginia countryside, the farm is where Katie goes when she needs some good old-fashioned peace and quiet. The couple also reminisces about the fun they had at Charrisse's party, with Andrew pointing out that "Bug-Eye Weirdo" Gizelle and "Stick in the Mud" Robyn were the only ones not out on the dance floor. Just as Katie is saying she doesn't understand why the pair made such a big deal out of the butt grab heard 'round the world, her phone rings. Speak of the devil, it's Gizelle herself, calling to invite Katie to the come to Jesus lunch. At first, Katie is hesitant to accept the invitation. After all, why would a good Jewish girl like Katie want to go to a lunch to come to Jesus?

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Back in Potomac, Ashley's ready to have a serious heart-to-heart with her hubby Michael. In the throes of opening Oz, their Australian-American fusion restaurant, Little Miss Ashley's maternal clock has started ticking. Saying it's become a "biological imperative," the youngest 'Wife tells Michael she wants to start trying for a baby roughly a month after the restaurant opens. Unlike some other Househusbands in Potomac, Michael's perfectly keen on that idea, and promises that once Oz breaks even, the Darbys' failproof pull-out method will be no longer employed as a form of birth control. Ashley isn't too sure what to think of Gizelle's lunch invitation considering that Karen will be there as well. Regardless, the 27-year-old won't be backing down from the other women any time soon just because she's the youngest 'Wife of the bunch.

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Katie and Andrew arrive at her farmhouse, which turns out to be a charmingly idyllic little piece of perfection. By no means am I a country person, but this farm looks gorgeous. Where has Katie been hiding it all season long? (Oh right...in Virginia.) Wandering the grounds, Andrew suggests they go visit the vortex - the farm's mystical energy center - and Katie is surprised to find it decorated with a ring of flower-adorned hay bales. Next thing she knows, Andrew is down on his knees, pulling an engagement ring out of his pocket, and the proposal she's wanted so desperately is happening! Katie obviously says yes when Andrew asks for her hand in marriage, and she seems genuinely stunned and overjoyed at the surprise.

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After watching her father, Curtis Graves, be recognized in Congress for his civil rights activism with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Gizelle gathers all the 'Wives at Old Angler's Inn for her long-awaited come to Jesus luncheon. As all the ladies (minus Katie) arrive, Gizelle tries to set some ground rules for the meal, explaining that the only 'Wife allowed to speak is the one currently holding the table's "Reserved" placard. Until you have the sign in your hands, you wait your turn. Mhmm, we'll see how this goes. First up on the agenda is Karen, who isn't done picking a bone with Ashley over her residual anger from the O Gala. Within seconds, an argument has broken out as the grande dame not-so-politely makes it crystal clear that her daughter's name is to be kept out of the younger 'Wife's mouth from now on.

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To be more specific, she told Little Miss Ashley to let Michael "ejaculate, procreate and get a baby of your own" rather than focus on Rayvin. This rather vulgar moment from the self-proclaimed queen bee is horrifically amusing and the look on Robyn and Gizelle's faces say it all. Did she really just go there?? Stifling her laughter, Gizelle quickly takes back the "Reserved" sign and puts a stop to Karen's tirade. Not only are parts of the grande dame's argument utterly offensive (i.e. Ashley can't be a "real woman" until she has a child), her vitriol toward the younger 'Wife is entirely misplaced. Ashley didn't really do anything, at the O Gala or otherwise, to warrant such an aggressively rude reaction. Plain and simple, Karen's venom was an uncalled-for low blow. Not a good look, grande dame. Ashley hits back that the issue at hand isn't Rayvin at all - it's about Karen's general treatment of Ashley and her relationship with Michael ever since he crashed the trip to Bethany Beach. 

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Thankfully, Katie's fashionably late arrival to the lunch puts a pin in that unnecessarily nasty conversation as she reveals her engagement ring to the other women. For a brief moment, the 'Wives become a true sister circle as Katie relates her proposal story and everyone seems genuinely elated at the news. However, the good vibes last for all of five seconds as Robyn decides to move the conversation along by confronting the bride-to-be about their argument over race at Charrisse's party. Robyn claims they need to have a "black history lesson" but Katie still doesn't see how a butt grab on a dance floor turned into a confrontation about race. Further, if Robyn really wants to know if said butt grabbing is a "white guy thing," Katie says she should find a white man and ask him herself. 

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At this point, Gizelle chimes in, insisting that she brought the issue up in the first place because she thought Michael grabbing Andrew's butt was disrespectful to Ashley. According to her perspective, Katie was the one who turned it into a racial conversation by calling Robyn biracial. Katie shoots back that she was merely trying to point out Gizelle and Robyn's hypocrisy - they get offended by anything slightly inflammatory, yet are the ones constantly bringing race up to her. Katie finds it offensive, and rightfully so, that Gizelle and Robyn don't seem to think she's "black enough." Let's get it straight: Katie Rost is part African-American, but she's also part Caucasian. That's the definition of biracial. For some reason, this comment sets Gizelle off, and she gets up from the table and starts pointing her finger, claiming that Katie's acting like it's a problem to be black. Yikes. This "come to Jesus" lunch is definitely headed in the wrong direction. 

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Katie reacts, calling Gizelle a "stupid woman who says stupid things" and accusing her of being "self-obsessed" and "taking all the air out of the room" just because she likes to hear herself talk. Before things can get any worse, Charrisse attempts to mediate between the two parties, delicately explaining to Gizelle and Robyn that they do tend to bring up race quite a bit in ways that can sometimes be offensive. However, the heart of all these issues is a failure of the women to respect each other's boundaries. All of a sudden, calmness prevails and tempers seem to dissipate as the 'Wives all agree that they need to do a better job of accepting each other's differences. Apologies are offered and accepted all around and the ladies agree to let their issues go and move forward...at least until the reunion.

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The finale ends with the women toasting to their budding friendship as their "Where are They Now?" cards flash across the screen. Charrisse's husband is still living in New Jersey, but she's learned to doggie paddle on her own. Since their engagement, Katie and Andrew have broken up and gotten back together at least once, with no firm wedding date in sight. Karen managed to wait one whole month before visiting Rayvin at college and is still adjusting to her new empty nest. Gizelle finished developing her makeup line, which is called EveryHue Beauty, and she remains single despite her daughters' hope for a new boyfriend. (Poor Herman is still waiting for date number 4-ever...) Ashley and Michael successfully opened OZ in October 2015, but despite their best efforts the stars have yet to align for a Darby baby. Lastly, Robyn and Juan continued to face financial setbacks, including their home going into foreclosure, but remain divorced sometimes-lovers/co-parents. With that, the first season in Potomac ends on a surprisingly, and somewhat suddenly, positive note. Now who's ready for the reunion?

Were you satisfied with the season finale? Whose side were you on in the many "come to Jesus" confrontations? Leave your comments below and don't miss part 1 of the reunion next week!