Something dark is brewing on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Paranoia seems to have set in; everyone is simultaneously anticipating attacks and launching their own within the same breath. And not like on other Housewives franchises where they fight for the sheer love of the game. No, the women of Beverly Hills seems nervous.
And I can't help but feel that it's a prison of their own making. I truly have no opinions as to whether Lisa Vanderpump's exit from the show last season was morally right or wrong, but it seems like everyone is suddenly realizing that once the pitchforks were brought out for her, it could only be a matter of time until they get picked back up for someone else — and it could be any one of them. That paranoia is creating a delicious contrast between the haves and the have-nots of the RHOBH cast; of course, I don’t mean financial haves and have-nots because the finances of Housewives are about as real as Dorit's nine-foot bedazzled braid…
No, it becomes very clear this episode that some of the current cast have the ability to argue at the drop of a diamond ice cube, and some of them can't keep their thoughts together long enough to explain why diamond ice cubes clearly mean their friend is a liar.
Kyle is talking a big ol' game, screaming that all of her friends are ass-kissing fakers, but when asked to back it up, she offers…that Denise wears more makeup this year than she did last year?? First of all — and I truly do not mean this as shade — Kyle comes back with a brand new face every season. Altering her appearance is well within Kyle's right, and doesn't say anything about how "real" she is, but she's got some nerve basing Denise's character on whether her cheekbones have been professionally contoured or not. Second of all, if the Denise of this episode is anything to go off of, then Kyle might prefer her as "fake ass" Denise because real ass Denise can throw down.
My original point is that some of these women are just better at defending themselves: knowing how to keep the plot and bring the receipts mid-fight, even when they're wrong, while others simply dissolve into a puddle of their own self-pity. But as Denise Richards — or, according to her, "f---ing Denise Richards" — reads Kyle like she's a lazy debutant who's never done a hard day's work in her life, it occurs to me that Denise may also be able to…actually fight. I dare you to try to imagine a single other one of these women throwing a punch in one of their many, many blazer-dress-with-a-bra-underneath ensembles. No, coming to fisticuffs is really more of a job for bootcut jeans — and Denise has a closet full of 'em.
This episode picks right back up at Denise's dinner party where Kyle is weeping. People aren't agreeing with her that she blindly defends all of her friends, and now she's feeling attacked because Rinna has brought up the times Kyle didn't defend her against Kim. And it's just an incredibly stupid argument because there are much easier ways to prove that Kyle doesn't always defend her friends. Here, I'll do it: you can't blindly defend all of your friends when all of your friends are always fighting each other. You either have to pick a side or stay out of it — logically, you could not defend every single one of them in every single instance.
If you can believe it, logic is not the guiding theme at play here! No, when everyone refuses to agree that she defends people other than Teddi, Kyle starts screaming, "Everyone is so busy kissing everyone's ass, and I can't take it!" (Something she loves to scream at her friends, as we're helpfully reminded by the editors via a 2017 flashback). So, accused of being a dishonest ass-kisser, Garcelle finally chimes in and tells Kyle that she'd love to know what Kyle thinks she's been dishonest about. And Kyle gets reeeeal quiet at that. Rinna says again that even if it is her sister, she can't agree with Kyle that she's always defended her through the years. And that's when Kyle really digs deep on her scratchy-throat sobbing, telling everyone to shut up, and storming out of the party with Mauricio.
Now, I don't actually clock if or when Kyle specifically says "fake ass bitches," but that seems to be the general consensus on her thesis statement for the evening.
A few days later, Denise and Erika get coffee, and Denise asks why Kyle got so upset at her house. Erika says that Kyle has a lot on her shoulders right now between filming a movie and her kids, to which Denise says in her confessional: "I'm filming in Los Angeles, I've got an ex-husband I'm dealing with, I've got a kid with special needs, I gotta pay the bills…bitch, we all have a lot going on, it's not an excuse to be an a--hole!" Ever so rarely is a piece of wisdom dropped in a Housewives franchise that is applicable to the real world, but people competing for who deserves to be most overwhelmed is an epidemic — may we all think of Denise Richards the next time we try to do it to someone else.
Of course, I don't want to paint Denise as dropping non-stop reality bombs, because she's also doing this weird thing all episode where she's passive-aggressively telling everyone how her daughters overheard their very adult conversation at the dinner party. When it is on her — and her alone — that she thought it would be a good idea to have a bunch of kids out on that lawn with her Looney Tune friends and 100 bottles of Casamigos as their table's centerpiece.
There's really quite a bit of child-talk going on all episode. Garcelle isn't clicking into the group at large just yet, but I do enjoy these occasional glimpses into her home life with her co-parenting ex-husband, as they always make me wonder how long it took them to resolve that little thing where Garcelle emailed all of their family, friends, and co-workers to inform them that her husband was a lying cheat.
I certainly find that more interesting than Lisa Rinna's daughters starting a line of fancy sweatpants for hot people. Rinna is trying so hard to convey that she understands her daughters' are in a privileged position that she nearly cracks a molar. But acknowledging privilege doesn't exactly make it anymore charming. "Would Delilah and Amelia have this clothing line at 18 and 21 if Harry and I were not their parents?" Rinna asks the camera. "No, we can open that door — but these girls have to walk through it and continue."
Oh, to simply be able to just…continue.
The thrust of the episode takes place on the eve of Delilah and Amelia's launch party, but the women first gather at Erika's downtown clubhouse, where Kyle is seeing everyone for the first time since calling them fake ass-kissers. Rinna has brought her adorable mother Lois so, perhaps wanting to get out ahead of any incidents, she immediately pulls Kyle aside and tells her she used "the wrong example" when saying that Kyle defended her sister over her…
Which is extremely slick considering that Rinna's not saying that she didn't mean it, just that she used a bad example — which is what I've been saying all along! And right on cue, Kyle pulls out a much better example of her lack of loyalty, only she thinks she's doing the opposite. She tells Rinna that she was getting so frustrated with everyone saying she doesn't defend her friends when just last year, she destroyed her friendship with Lisa Vanderpump "defending what was right." But surely she understands…surely she can see…that story features prominently her very much not defending her closest friend: Lisa Vanderpump.
Kyle may defend what's right (eh…), but she doesn’t blindly defend her friends, and no one is proving that better than Kyle in this episode.
(As a side note, y'all… I truly cannot get into Dorit investing in a Buca di Beppo franchise right now. Listening to her boldly say that she and PK have "never come across someone fearing to get into business with [them]" is simply too much for this little recapping mind to take on when I know what's still ahead. So let's just save it for next week, and until then, dream of the Chanel-checkered tablecloths Dorit will inevitably blind us with before bankrupting the Buca di Beppo chain even though she promised the owner that she wouldn't.)
Before they head to the clothing launch, Kyle tells everyone that she's finished filming her movie, so she wants to celebrate with a weekend getaway in Santa Barabara. Everyone cheers except Denise who sneers in her testimonial: "What does Kyle want, a f---ing medal? I shoot about 10 episodes of Bold and Beautiful a week — do you know how I celebrate? I cook dinner with my kids, and memorize my lines for next week." Denise hates Kyle, and I am loving it. Please give her the medal Kyle has requested.
But first, we've got to talk about Sutton being weird for a minute. I don't know how the paranoia leaked into her brain this season, considering she wasn't even around for the LVP debacle, but her sister is a nervous wreck on the way to the party. Right before they left Erika's, Rinna casually said that her daughters collaborated with someone they all know, and it would be a "really cute" surprise. That's not exactly how I would classify Josh Ostrovsky, a.k.a. "The Fat Jewish," as Rinna calls him when she ultimately reveals the surprise, but a "cute surprise" also isn't how I would hint that I was about to put my friend in an extremely awkward situation…
For some reason, that's what Sutton thinks is happening here. In the car on the way to the party, as well as on the walk up to the party, she keeps hissing that she has a bad feeling and she's "going to flip out." Dorit keeps asking Sutton what she's talking about, but she won't tell her. When the Fat Jewish wine collaboration is finally announced by Rinna, Sutton audibly breathes a sigh of relief: apparently, Sutton invested in the Glam App with Lisa's makeup artists, Joey Maalouf, and the relationship went sideways, so that's who she thought Rinna was referring to a "surprise collaboration" with.
To me, the real question is why Sutton thought that Rinna would set her up like that? I can understand her being nervous to see someone she has an awkward history with, but I can't really understand her jumping to that conclusion so quickly…
However, there's no time to think about that, because Dorit starts twisting the narrative so wildly, you'll get whiplash if you try to straighten all out.
At dinner, Dorit announces that she's "uncomfortable when someone says, 'I'm gonna freak the f--- out,' and I don’t know what it actually means when they freak the f--- out." From what we heard, Sutton was panicking she was about to be in an uncomfortable situation, not suggesting that she was going to "flip out" and cause a scene at Rinna's event. Don't get me wrong — it was a completely weird reaction, especially when it would have been so easy to ask Rinna if the makeup artist was going to be there. But the way Dorit keeps quoting Sutton as saying she was going to "freak the f--- out" in a much more aggressive tone than Sutton was using is messy-messy.
So naturally, Rinna goes from zero to 100, saying, "Well I'm glad you didn’t do that in front of me because I would have kicked you the f--- out!" Sutton tries to say that was never her intention, but Rinna just keeps repeating that she would have kicked her out if she'd known how she was acting…
Now Sutton is really upset that she's being yelled at for something she didn't do, so she just straight up tells Dorit to shut up, which is kind of hilarious. "Shut up, I want you to zip it!" Sutton hisses through tears when Dorit tries to say that she was worried Sutton meant she might throw a drink or something. "I don’t care if she's my friend, you don't f--- with my kids," Rinna says sassily to the camera…
And she's in luck — because no one f---ed with her kids! At all!
Kyle, however, is not in luck, because she has pissed Denise Richards off, and that seems like a super bad place to be. Trying to help Sutton out, Kyle suggests they switch gears. Dorit is happy to oblige: "In the last discussion we had, you were very frustrated because you felt like people in this group weren’t being honest." Dorit can be a monster, but she is a calm and communicative arguer, and that always serves her well — this is like a Housewives SAT prompt, and somehow, even with enough time to do the work, Kyle still isn't prepared.
"I had multiple meanings when I said that," Kyle stutters. Dorit wants to know what calling them "a bunch of fake ass bitches meant," and Kyle tries to say that she doesn’t want to go down that road, but no one is willing to let this one go. And they shouldn't be! Kyle talks such a big game about being real and honest, but she never wants to get in the dirt. Or in this case — she just doesn’t have any. The woman was just upset and babbling when she called them fake, and now she either has to apologize or drum up some reasons, so…
Ding, ding, ding — you guessed right! Kyle drums up some reasons, and boy are they bad. She says that it's really weird to her that Denise was defending Dorit for getting glammed up for Teddi's retreat when Denise is supposed to be this down-to-earth type who never even wore makeup last year. Confused, Denise says that she wore a t-shirt and jeans to her party. "Yeah, and full glam, with a diamond ice sculpture at your house, so I'm like, everyone's full of s---," Kyle says, absolutely floundering for a solid argument and ending up with: You wear more makeup than you did last year!
And now for Denise's growing portfolio of iconic testimonial moments: "I'm f---ing Denise Richards, Kyle. I don’t think these bitches know I've been on, like, every f---ing magazine you can imagine — that they wanna be on."
I would give my faster-typing-hand to know when these Denise testimonials were filmed chronologically. Kyle starts trying to talk about Dorit's damn workout glam again, so Denise asks if she realizes that she's always talking over people. "You talk at us sometimes, not to us, and you don't listen." Kyle says she'll listen, but not before saying that everyone was asking her a million questions, so she was trying to give clarity. "Stop! You need to be quiet!" Denise snaps. Kyle says she wants Denise to talk, but not if she's going to be an a--hole…
And that’s when Rinna chimes in that it's time to get Lois home. That's right, Lois, who when she was last around these women, had to listen to Camille defend Brett Kavanaugh, has been with these women arguing about Glam the App, and glam the concept all night. Justice for Lois — see you next week!