Taylor Armstrong (left) and Kim Richards
01/24/2012 at 09:00 AM EST
Weeks before the first episode aired in September, the second season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
was swathed in domestic drama after the suicide of Russell Armstrong
This year, the Bravo cameras caught many of the ups and downs in the ladies' lives – tracking the marital problems of Taylor Armstrong
and her late husband, the struggles of sisters Kyle and Kim Richards and the stresses as Lisa Vanderpump began planning her daughter's wedding, an event which was captured in Monday night's anticipated finale.
Joyous (and extravagant) as the event was, as the centerpiece of the finale, Pandora's nuptials managed to sideline the more pressing plot lines of the season. Largely missing from the episode were two of the show's biggest drama magnets
: Kim and Taylor.
Much of the central tension of this season revolved around Armstrong, whose relationship with her castmates shifted significantly after an afternoon at Lisa's house, where Camille Grammer confronted her
about allegations she made that her husband had abused her. The fallout was swift: Russell threatened to sue Camille at the time, and Taylor was barred from parties and a Hawaiian getaway.
Kim, meanwhile, found a new boyfriend, Ken, but never seemed to be happy in the relationship. Numerous scenes showed her crying to her sister about her beau's controlling ways and her erratic behavior
only appeared to intensify. (Kim subsequently checked into rehab
for alcohol abuse, though it was never really addressed on the show.)
Only at the end of Monday's episode did the ladies convene (sans Kim) at Kyle Richards
's house to sit down with Armstrong and catch up after her husband's death. Yet the women only skirted the issue, making small talk about Pandora's wedding and other issues.
An anti-climatic ending to an intense season? Perhaps. One thing's certain, though: with a dramatic reunion on the horizon, none of the ladies will be off the hook that easily. Especially dramatic could be Andy Cohen's post-rehab interview with Kim Richards, which will be its own separate third part of the reunion special, Ryan Seacrest
reported on his KIIS-FM radio show.