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'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Recap: I'm An Arabian Horse

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There are few episodes of reality television that will ever rival last week’s epic tea party showdown in terms of drama and tension, so this week was all about the calm after the storm.

When last we left the ladies, the tea party was still in full, painstaking swing. Camille had made her point about Taylor’s abusive marriage and hightailed it out, and the rest of the gals were left to deal with the fallout. This week opens with Lisa, Kyle and Taylor still sitting together in uncomfortable awkwardness, but things soon begin to smooth over as Lisa issues a genuine apology for treating Taylor (and I paraphrase) like the redheaded stepchild of the group. It's an apology that Taylor trips over herself to accept. Unable, indeed, to maintain her dignity at all, Taylor soon bounds to Lisa’s side, chattering away about how they really are friends now, it’s all so honest and magical, and, hitting tragically new lows, she then asks Lisa to pinky swear to the legitimacy of their refreshed relationship.

Kyle, of course, is skeptical of any reconciliation that hasn’t been preceded by several decades of fighting, a few bouts with alcoholism and at least one person accusing the other of stealing their house. Her skepticism carries over into the next scene, where she’s paid a visit by her old friend Faye Resnick.

Ladies, if Faye Resnick is ever the voice of reason in your life, it is time for you to step back and take stock. Resnick shows up to Kyle’s house, terrifying Kyle’s three-year-old daughter with her orange, plastic face, and then tries to get down to the pressing business of injecting some color into Kyle’s decor scheme. Kyle can’t concentrate because she's trying to understand how Lisa and Taylor have made up, but more than that, she cannot grasp how any woman could stay with an abusive husband. Why don’t they all just leave?

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Resnick, apparently unsurprised by Kyle’s near-sociopathic unwillingness to demonstrate any kind of compassion, explains to her the basic cycle of domestic violence. The abuser abuses, then makes lavish apologies, the abused person is in denial or doesn’t want to face the problem, and so the abuser is allowed back into the life of the abused.

Kyle lets Resnick finish, and then, as if nothing had been said at all, repeats her Neanderthal assertion that she would never allow herself to be treated that way. “You no hit me,” she seems to say, over and over and over and over and over, letting everyone else's life experiences bounce off her armor of willing ignorance.

Meanwhile, Taylor and her nipples are getting ready for Kennedy’s fifth birthday party at a ranch in Malibu, and the preparations come complete with all manner of pseudo-reality TV-mishaps: the company providing tables doesn't bring any for the children (but then they turn up!), the mechanical bull is going to take too long to set up (but then it’s done in time!) and Dana shows up (….well, Dana sticks around).

The party goes off without a hitch, and all the housewives show up except Camille and Lisa.

Camille, it turns out, has been texting Taylor to apologize for that whole thing where she announced to the world that Taylor’s husband beats the shit out of her. Taylor, newly empowered, is having no part of such contrition. She instead tells Kyle that Camille would be shoveling shit had she shown her face at the ranch, and one gets the sense that Taylor has arrived at an emotional space where that would be true, children’s party or no children’s party.

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Lisa, meanwhile, was busy planning Pandora’s wedding, and you know what, I’ll be the one to say it: Pandora’s wedding planner is a monstrosity of an individual. In addition to insisting on referring to everyone as “darling” in some appalling rendition of my late Jewish grandmother, he also tells Lisa that Pandora’s wedding is “her day.” As in, Lisa’s day.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Russell is busy pissing off Dana (although really, who’s team are you on in that scenario?) by insisting on presenting Kennedy with her brand-new birthday horse at a different time than Dana planned. Taylor is busy flirting with Ace Young of "American Idol," who is busy getting drunk while singing to a bunch of five-year-olds. Other occurrences of note: Kyle makes nice with Brandi, and Adrienne breaks a new plotline in which she’s pissed that Pandora’s engagement party will be held at Planet Hollywood in Vegas instead of The Palms, her family’s hotel.

Lines have once again been crossed, and it looks like we can hope for another showdown next week.