'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' Recap: Rage, Redemtion and The Richards
This was a week of alliance and redemption for the housewives, a week of true colors being shown and layers being peeled back to reveal THE TRUTH.
Kim and Ken finally showed up to Mauricio’s birthday party in Hawaii, 36 hours, not that anyone was counting, late. The duo checked into their room only to have their privacy immediately violated by Kyle, who was staying in the suite next door and listened to them through the walls, ruining what would otherwise have been a perfectly delightful scene of Mauricio shirtless.
But the two sisters didn’t see each other in person until that evening, when all the housewives were escorted to an outdoor dinner. Kim and Ken showed up a bit tardy, and no sooner did asses hit seats than they were immediately bombarded with antagonizing questions from Kyle. “Why were you so late?” “Where were you?” "WHY WERE YOU MORE FAMOUS THAN ME AS A CHILD?!"
Kim and Ken deflected the questions as much as possible, but they made the unfortunate choice to lie about why they were late. They told the table that Ken had to work -- except for that, you know, Ken is retired.
The lie fanned the flame of Kyle's rage, but it was another, newer character that stole the scene at dinner: Mean Girl Mauricio. Yep -- apparently Mauricio, like Kyle, has a popular but hateful high school girl lurking inside, a girl who makes an appearance when she wants to smack down someone she perceives as weaker. In this case, Mean Girl Mauricio’s target was Ken, and she pounded the newcomer with questions about why he had to work, whether he had to work, and how come he wasn’t able to get out of work, all in an effort to get him to admit to lying.
It was an ugly display, to be sure, but the fact that Ken turned into a simpering pile of mushy gelatin under the white hot heat of Mauricio’s interrogation lamp didn’t help. “His leg was shaking,” noted the ever-observant and always bemused Camille, who was sitting next to Ken.
But in response to the attack on Ken, a curious thing happened: Kim became rational. It was as if all tables were turned, all previously understood and known characters flipped on their heads and turned inside out. Rather than cry, or make dramatic hand gestures, or engage and regress to childhood, Kim simply leaned forward, dignified, and told a crying Kyle that dinner was not the time or place for this conversation.
Unfortunately, any moral high ground that Kim gained that evening was immediately lost the next day, when she and Ken failed to get up in time to meet the rest of the group on a bus to go snorkeling. After waiting on for an alleged 20 minutes, Kyle and Lisa stormed up to Kim’s room and pounded on the door. Not getting an answer, they then trespassed onto Kim’s balcony from Kyle’s, and pounded on the glass doors. Finally, Kim and Ken groggily answered, giving about seven different reasons that they didn’t wake up in time (the alarm didn’t work; they never got their wake-up call; their phone wasn’t plugged in).
Who really knows why Kim and Ken weren’t able to get out of bed by 11:00 a.m.? Not me. But what I do know is that it was around this time that I paused the show to Google “kim richards rehab,” and was reminded of the fact that Kim entered rehab in December, and learned that she got out yesterday. (Mazel tov.) My point is, what Kyle and Lisa and I all knew by the time Kim and Ken came to the door was that Kim didn’t make any sense because Kim was either drunk or high or both. It was both incredibly frustrating and incredibly sad to watch her get her story all mixed up, but even more so to watch Ken as he let her to mix her story up, and while it’s heartening to see Kim not be alone anymore, it’s disheartening to have to wonder whether her partner was making things for her better or worse.
Anyway, Kim and Ken did eventually get dressed and get in a car and get to the boat, but by that time the boat had left without them (the boat waits for no one, apparently). However, judging by how totally unbothered they were about being left behind, one can’t help but wonder if they weren’t that late - you know, subconsciously - on purpose. Because, really: once they got back to the hotel, they luxuriated over a pleasant lunch on their balcony without anybody yelling at them or picking fights, they enjoyed each other’s presence and could bond over what a crazy bitch Kyle is, and they seemed to have a nice, relaxing afternoon, which obviously would not have happened if they had been within shouting distance of Kyle. So perhaps, well played, Kim and Ken’s subconscious.
Meanwhile, back on the boat, something very interesting was happening. Namely, an alliance was forming, an alliance that no one would have seen coming but that could be the absolute highlight of the season: an alliance between Brandi and Lisa. We first caught wind of Lisa developing a soft spot for the leggy former model earlier in the episode, when Lisa practically pissed herself over the hilarity that was Brandi pretending to hit on Lisa’s husband, Ken (because that would never happen). “She just makes me laugh!” Lisa gushed.
Then, on the boat, we learned that Lisa’s love for Brandi extends even further: they share a “naughty” sense of humor, Lisa says, and also, Lisa appreciates Brandi’s tight ass.
But my favorite part of this newfound lovefest was when Lisa forced Kyle, whose hatred for Brandi began with abject, petty jealousy, to look at Brandi’s hot body and admit that it was pretty perfect (a little skinny for this blogger, but I can appreciate it anyway). "Kyle...when you've got an ass like that, you need to show it off." Sweet, sweet revenge.
Later that night, as Kyle no doubt fumed over having been forced to recognize the splendor of Brandi's ass, the housewives gathered once again for dinner, and that’s when we found out, much to our chagrin, that Ken is not at all the soulful and calm presence he seems to be.
It all began with Adrienne, Paul and Kim walking to dinner. For once, they were exchanging the kind of unremarkable pleasantries that normal people do: Paul said that Ken seems like a nice guy, and Kim said that she’s happy and the trip was good for them. But just when they seemed poised to welcome Ken into their wide open, treacherous arms, he popped into the scene and was downright delusional, paranoid and defensive. Red flag!
"Your ears must be burning," said Kim.
"We're talking about how beautiful you are," added Paul. What a jokester.
"I'm not a fan of it," said Ken. "Of whatever's going on that I don't know."
When all three protested that they were just talking about him, he said, "I know, I know you are, I just don't know why. I was getting the vibe that wasn't the case." Turning to Adrienne, he added, "You had a face of kind of like, 'wow, I don't want to be around when he hears this.'"
The interaction was so weird, so off the mark and so unexpected that it even managed to cut through Kim’s ever-present fog. Her eyes got clear and full of disbelief, as if she were seeing for the first time how weird and socially inept Ken is. Adrienne was so thrown that she almost broke the fourth wall, coming close to looking right into the camera when she said, "wow." And Paul, oh Paul, just looked like it was all to be expected, that to have five minutes in which nobody behaved like a crazy person would have been too much to ask anyway.
And no, things did not get better once the ladies all sat down for dinner. After a few attempts at a nice toasts and polite conversation, Kyle, predictably, couldn’t hold back her seething rage over Kim’s existence, and launched yet another attack. Rather than go through the particulars, I’ll just paraphrase:
Kyle: You’re always late!
Kyle: You’re a drunk!
Ken: WE DON’T CARE.
That last part was taken word for word. In a shocking upset, Ken jumped into the fray in the most childish way possible, telling Kyle that the happy couple doesn’t care what she thinks about them being late, or keeping anybody waiting, or anything at all. Kyle responded relatively calmly, but Kim immediately swooped in and decided that it was time for them to leave the table before Ken had another chance to embarrass her.
They left without another word.
'Tis a sad day, Ken my friend, when Kim Richards thinks your behavior is socially unacceptable. A sad day.
Anyway, after Kim left, the rest of the women finally had something intelligent to say about the Richards sisters' woefully codependent relationship. Team Lisa and Brandi tried to hammer home the point that there is nothing Kyle can do to change Kim’s behavior, and that she just has to wait until Kim is ready to change herself. (One day, they'll just have a whole episode be an AA meeting and get it over with.) Kyle didn’t calm down, but when does Kyle ever calm down?
One final note before we wrap this up, but a very important note it is - guess who redeemed herself this week? DANA. Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are. But how about how she totally came through for Taylor? In an emotional scene back in Beverly Hills, (although every scene with Taylor is emotional, let’s be real) Dana provided legitimate comfort to Taylor over the break-up of her marriage without being judgmental. She gave her a shoulder to cry on, and summarized the way that the rest of the women reacted to Taylor’s relationship with Russell into a surprisingly wise light: "When there's someone like a Russell, it alienates everybody," she said. "They need a reason to get rid of you because they can't stand it anymore. So that's what they did."
That gets a well played, Dana. And those are words I never thought I’d write.