And they were, especially when it came to fighting with Tamra Judge, who was harshly judged by Gunvalson – and the rest of the wives – for her season-long betrayals and pot-stirring.
"I could give a rat's ass if you like [Brooks]," Gunvalson said to her former friend, who she learned was talking behind her back in Bali. "Just shut your mouth."
"What do you want me to do? Lie?" replied Judge.
"Well, you do it all the time anyway, so why wouldn't you?" asked Gunvalson.
"F--- you," yelled Judge. "I'll go there, Vick."
"Gloves are off," Gunvalson replied.
When Judge accused Gunvalson of being mean behind her back, the original O.C. wife accused her of being "jealous."
"You are not happy because you cannot [share] happiness among anyone else," said Gunvalson. "If you're so happy, why are you so miserable?"
"I'm not miserable," Judge protested.
"Ladies," Gunvalson asked the wives, "does she look a little bit miserable?"
Continued an angry Gunvalson: "You're supposed to get better and better and better, but you get bitter and bitter and bitter. You cause your demise by being mean."
And Gunvalson wasn't done sparring with her former BFF. "If you are so happily married, why are you so angry and ugly to the people that care about you?" she said. "I hope you don't ruin that."
"I'm so scared of you," Judge said, before host Andy Cohen ended the squabble.
Judge was also angry at new housewife and former beauty queen Lizzie Rovsek for telling Gunvalson and Shannon Beador what she had said behind their backs.
"I'm sorry you're a bitter old lady. You're hateful," said Rovsek, whom Judge brought to tears with remarks about her marriage and failed birthday party.
"You were the ringleader," seethed Judge. "You want to cry when things don't go your way."
Still, there was a happy ending for the season-ending episode: Shannon Beador, whose rocky marriage was the season's enduring and often painful storyline, seems to have found happiness with husband David.
"I don't want to say the show saved my marriage, but …" she began, saying she and her husband, who had been close to divorce, had been on four trips together recently and were also going to bed and waking up at the same time together.
"[He told me recently,] 'I am closer to you today than the day we got married,' " Beador said.
Until next season, the sun has set in the O.C.