Screen: Bravo

Brandi's Phone Dies, Along With Our Interest In Her

The once-controversial Housewife is reduced to having speaker-phone arguments with Lisa Vanderpump from a picnic table.

Birthday Prep

It's Lisa Rinna's first birthday as a reality-show star, and she's celebrating her new diminished status by having dinner at Pump. Her daughter Amelia and Amelia's silent friend Bella help pick out a dress for the occasion. Lisa ends up choosing something "with a bit more color," because she's a cool mom! She lets her daughter's friends watch HBO when they sleep over and tells them about sex stuff she did with Peter Reckell! Lisa overenthusiastically thanks her daughters for helping out like you'd thank a barista for adding an extra pump of hazelnut even though you didn’t pay for it.

Gigi's Homecoming

Gigi's home from college or Terry Richardson's house or wherever it is she's been. There's a gleam in her eye that wasn't there before -- a gleam one acquires after moving away from home and doing coke off of Leonardo DiCaprio's dick. Gigi is glad to be back home where nobody cares what she does for a living. Bullshit, Gigi. Your home is Beverly Hills. If everyone you come into contact with doesn't begin their greeting with, "Your Vogue cover was gorgeous!" I'll buy and eat a hat. Yolanda's other daughter gets name-dropped but for now she's still third-Osbourne-child status.

Lisa Rinna's 50th

Kyle joins the Lisas at Pump for Lisa R.'s birthday dinner, and it's probably the least dramatic dinner in RHOBH history. No one throws drinks or shade or brings up that time that one bitch said that thing about that other bitch. Because Kyle's Kyle, she still has to bring up the potential for drama between her and Lisa V. but nothing comes of it.

Everyone has a lovely time trading stories about their long marriages. It's actually quite shocking that of the three present Housewives the shortest marriage is 17 years strong. Lisa R. tells us that being a famous married couple isn't all it's cracked up to be; sometimes, one of you shows up late for stuff! To punctuate her point, Harry shows up halfway through dinner with jewelry for his wife that makes her bleat with joy. Kyle reveals that she was engaged to a CBS newscaster 24 years her senior when she met Mauricio. Because it says on my resume that I'm a skilled researcher, I've determined that the man Kyle is referring to is none other than 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft. The lamest secret in Hollywood is (maybe) out! The scene bizarrely ends with Lisa R. pleading for more couples to watch porn together.

Brandi Talks To Her Lawyer

Brandi invites her friend Adrienne (not that one) over to watch her talk to her lawyer on the phone. Eddie Cibrian is suing Brandi for $100,000 in back child support that he believes he overpaid her. There's no reason to watch this scene unless you also want to watch Brandi attempt to hammer a screw into her wall.

Portia The Terrible Part II

Kyle's daughter is still a precocious 6-year-old, as evidenced by her putting her hands on her hips and demanding her mommy buy her things. The show paints this as diva behavior but I'm pretty sure I acted the same way with my mom whenever we passed a Dairy Queen. Kyle and Mauricio take her shopping and end up spending the equivalent of my rent on a few shirts and a bathing suit. One of the shirts reads, "I left my Louis on the jet," and Kyle reacts to it exactly as she's expected to: by first calling it obnoxious and then buying it anyway under the guise of irony. Portia isn't a diva yet, but unless she's taken into child protective services, she will absolutely become one.

And Bella Makes Five

Yolanda's other daughter, Bella, makes her first onscreen appearance and it's as forced and uncomfortable as you'd expect. Bella's leaving for Parsons School of Design soon, so Yolanda wants to get her on camera at least once before Tim Gunn breaks her spirit and brain by using phrases like "perplexingly anachronistic." Yolanda tells us Bella was the "rebel" daughter, always painting her nails black and not becoming a Victoria's Secret model. Bella mumbles and agrees and counts the minutes until she can stop pretending to reminisce with her mom.

The Richards Sisters' Reunion

Kathy Hilton makes her annual trek down to reality-show town to rub shoulders with her less wealthy sister and tell her niece which dress to where on her wedding day. Kyle tells us that she feels like a third wheel with Kathy and Kim since they're so close, and I fully expected a jokey [NO AVAILABLE FOOTAGE] screen to pop up. In her sporadic RHOBH appearances, I've never witnessed Kathy express as much as an iota of sisterly affection toward either of them. Kathy always seems like a harried department-store manager who should be carrying a clipboard and wearing a Bluetooth headset at all times. We also learn that Kim's ex-husband and "best friend" is living with her while he goes through chemo. It's a scene with a whole bunch of emotions and Kim at her most teary-eyed and raspy.

Yolanda Does Some Stuff

This short scene of Yolanda getting her hair done for no apparent reason and talking to her maid about her travel plans is uncomfortably shoehorned into the middle of the Richards sisters powwow. I like looking at the Fosters' home more than anyone, but even I can't justify this footage making it to screen.

Meet Eileen!

Eileen Davidson makes her first appearance as a Housewife at lunch with Lisa R. They ask each other how they've been and then we see a scene of their characters from Days of Our Lives asking each other how they've been. It's all very meta. Eileen joins Lisa in soap opera star-splaining what it's like to be a famous. It's cool to get Emmys but sometimes you just wanna eat popcorn at home, YOU KNOW?!?!

Eileen tells Lisa that she's getting an "iced tea high," and Lisa replies that she "gets high off of anything and everything." I'm not sure which of those statements is more ridiculous.

What We Talked About At The Reunion, Except On The Phone This Time

We end this episode like we did the first two of the season, with Brandi trying to prove to us that she's moved beyond the drama by bringing up past drama. Her long-lasting feud with Adrienne now quashed, Brandi moves on to the main course: Lisa V. During a hike with Kyle, the two settle down on a bench to "surprise-call" Lisa and catch her off-guard. Lisa, sitting in her garden with her husband and puppies at her feet, couldn't have acted less surprised to be getting this call.

Brandi wants to know why Lisa hasn't RSVP'd to her housewarming party, to which Lisa replies, "Oh yeah, I saw an email…" Perhaps Brandi didn’t expect Lisa to be at her condescending best, because Brandi then nervously giggles into the phone, "I was wondering if we can get back on track with our friendship?" Lisa ain't having none of it, and tells Brandi off for acting so flippantly. I would recap exactly what they're fighting about, but honestly it doesn't matter. We're in a new season, so all you need to know is that Brandi thinks Lisa is manipulative and Lisa thinks Brandi is defamatory. Both are right, but I'm on Lisa's side anyway. Brandi has been trying to play the victim of late, and it's not a cute look on her. Lisa has never denied being cleverer or shadier than the rest of the cast. Brandi used to benefit from Lisa's status as HBIC, but now that they're no longer allies, Brandi wants to burn Lisa's kingdom to the ground.

In the middle of getting her ass handed to her, Brandi's phone dies, so she's forced to borrow Kyle's phone. Lisa isn't thrilled about having to pick up the phone twice in one day, and she's extra perturbed when she realizes Kyle was listening in on their call the whole time. Actually, Lisa's probably pretty excited that she caught Kyle breaking their pledge not to be mean girls to each other from the premiere. It's just more ammunition for Lisa for future fights.

Brandi hangs up and determines that Lisa needs more time before she's ready to make amends. Clearly, Brandi wasn't in the same conversation that we heard, because Lisa seemed pretty much over Brandi and her shtick. Lisa's got two soap opera stars on her side now; what more does she need from the author of Drinking and Tweeting?

Verdict

This season is getting off to a SLOOOOOOWWWW start. Until the ladies start arguing about stuff that actually happened this season, feel free to let Atlanta feed your Real Housewives fix.

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