Brandi's Grasping For Airtime
A relatively enjoyable episode brings together the Housewives for a barbecue that gets chilly between Lisa V. and Brandi.
Rinna Family Time
Lisa R. gathers her two similar-looking daughters and their similar-looking friend on the backyard trampoline, which they use all the time and definitely wasn't loaned from Andy Cohen's sex room for the express purpose of filming this scene. Lisa tells the three sets of braces in front of her that her parents are selling her childhood home, and that she'd like whichever two are her daughters to join her in Oregon to say goodbye. It's a slight scene but worth the watch to see one of Lisa's daughters seamlessly transition from acting like a semi-bratty TV daughter into genuine outrage when she realizes this means she'll have to miss her driving permit test.
Vanderpump Family Time
Lisa V. and Ken return home from Palm Springs, and after the peek we got last week, we get a proper introduction to the swans that defend their home. Their names are Hanky and Panky, and Lisa would like to have sex with them, like she would with all non-human animals. She grabs them by their necks and kisses them on the head, which is certainly more than I would do with those glamourous feathered dinosaurs. After Lisa is done molesting the birds, the Vanderpumps move inside to discuss whether they want to go to Kyle's barbecue. Ken is practically catatonic, exhausted by years of watching his wife fight and make up with the same cabal of women. The producers probably wouldn’t have used footage of Ken acting so uninterested if one of the swans hadn't wandered inside during the conversation, only to be chased out by no fewer than three Pomeranians, one dyed pink.
Yolanda, Eileen, And Lisa R. At Lunch
This is potentially the first gathering of more than two Housewives in a single scene since the premiere. Nothing extraordinary happens, but I'm deeming it watchable for that reason alone (also because none of the three women is Kyle). Eileen, as I've said before, seems genuinely charming and charismatic, while Lisa R.'s voice is a car alarm that's been going off outside your house for long enough that you're considering whether to call the police. The three women discuss parenting their respective hormonal meatbags. Yolanda reveals that she allows her teenage daughters to sleep in the same bed as their boyfriends because that is "the Dutch way."
Kyle Plans Her Barbecue
Kyle's "ladysitter" (I still don’t know what that means) teaches her that she can abbreviate "luxurious" to "luxe." Kyle is totally gonna try to make luxe happen.
The Rinnas In Medford
Skip this unless you want to see Lisa's children gawk at a suburban main street for the first time in their lives. One of them points out that she's seen two McDonalds in the span of one minute, and that makes her "very uncomfortable." Thankfully, we're spared her dorm-room philosophizing about the state of middle America. Instead of explaining to her daughters that they've lived a blessed life, Lisa agrees with them and tells us she wants to get back to her "natural habitat" of Malibu, ASAP.
Eileen And Vincent At Home
We see the couple tending to their garden because they've "become homebodies" living all the way out in Malibu. Eileen refers to driving to Beverly Hills as "going in to town," which makes me imagine Vince driving his Lamborghini in his pajamas for an hour just to grab milk from a 24-hour convenience store.
Call Your Grandpa (It's Time You Had the Talk)
Depending on your tolerance for sad elderly people, watch this segment at your own discretion. Lisa and her daughters arrive at her parents' retirement home for the sole purpose of bumming us all out. At first, it's fairly adorable watching Lisa's parents marvel at their granddaughters' height, and vice-versa, but soon it takes a turn. Lisa's mother tells her daughter that she should sign her name to the back of all her father's paintings so that the retirement home will know whom to give them to in case they both die in the night. Yeah, it's that kind of visit. Lisa's father is ninety-two and feels it. Whenever she asks him, in a louder voice than usual, how he's feeling, he responds with some variation on "never been worse." When she tries to joke that he's got another ten or fifteen years in him, he replies, "God, I hope not. I feel like I have nowhere to settle anymore." Somewhere, tears are dripping into the wine glasses at a gay watch-party.
Later, Lisa meets with her half-sister to talk about how sad her father is. The only thing to note in this scene is that Lisa's primary memory of her half-sister is of her "sitting on the toilet, smoking."
Yolanda and Eileen bond in the car, Lisa V. basically tells us that Ken likes prostitutes, and Kyle does this:
This is the first time that most of the girls are meeting Eileen and Vince, and they react in perfect accordance with their characters. Kyle greets Vince like an old friend, even though they haven't seen each other in thirty years when they worked on some TV show together. She tells us that, back then, "when there were only thirteen channels and only eight of them worked, everybody knew everybody." Sure, Kyle. Brandi tells us that she's unfazed by celebrities, and that she's even slept with a few, which is a weird reaction to meeting someone for the first time. Kim -- who apparently worked more extensively with Vince on something called Nanny And The Professor -- doesn't remember him at all, and rightfully so, considering that she was the world's youngest working alcoholic.
Lisa V. arrives (Rinna is still in Oregon) and gives Brandi an air kiss, which Brandi deems acceptable. Like a piranha pouncing on plot, Yolanda congratulates Lisa on her Palm Springs star for the sole purpose of asking why she didn't invite her, or anyone else besides Lisa R., to the star's unveiling. Mark it! Six episodes into the season and we have our first conflict concerning something that actually took place this season.
Brandi brings up her upcoming housewarming party, and asks Lisa whether she's going to attend. Lisa is on the verge of giving her usual non-answer, laying on the English drawl stronger than usual to drag out her words, but actually ends up telling Brandi, "Probably not." Brandi gives up her upper hand by continuing to ask Lisa to attend her party, ultimately earning a "we'll see."
Full disclosure: when I realized this scene was going to involve Lisa and her mother saying goodbye to their home, I decided to skip it. I'm flying to Florida in two days and am going to have to drive by my childhood home at some point to visit a friend's house, and I would like no reminder that other people are living in the house I grew up in. So, yeah, nothing could make me watch this scene. NOT EVEN FOR JOURNALISM!
Kyle's BBQ, Part 2
Brandi has probably had a few too many glasses of pinot, because she's gambling with Eileen about Days Of Our Lives plot points. Eileen tells us that Brandi reminds her of a "overly enthusiastic superfan," but, to be fair, Eileen can’t even remember if Lisa R. played one character or that character's secret twin/clone.
Kim shows off why she's secretly the most interesting Housewife on this show, telling a story about Tom Selleck teaching her how to play tennis for a role at Charlton Heston's house. This leads to Eileen telling a similar story about pretending to know how to ride a motorcycle for a role, and Kyle telling us about the one time she pretended to need glasses. Cool story, Kyle.
The evening continues without incident until it's time for Lisa and Ken to make their exit. After the drunkest, most awkward hug with Ken imaginable, Brandi follows Lisa to the front door and again tells her she'd "really appreciate it" if Lisa came to her housewarming. Lisa weirdly tells Brandi that, unlike in Puerto Rico, she's not crying now. No one asked, Lisa, but all right. Brandi pushes the issue one last time, forcing Ken to turn around and say, quite icily, "We'll see. How's that?" Afterward, Brandi heads back to Kyle's bar and complains about having to kiss Lisa's ass all the time. News flash, Brandi: no one is making you kiss Lisa's ass. And it's making you look even sadder than usual.
I might be grading this on a curve, considering how boring the season's been so far, but I mostly enjoyed this, and you should too. Look out for next week, too, when Brandi tells Lisa she'll "lick [her] pussy" if it makes her feel better.