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Erika Apologizes To Eileen On RHOBH

After the dinner interrupted by her outburst and cocaine is treated with retail therapy, of course. Goodbye, Hong Kong. We hardly knew you.

Quick note: Erika's officially off probation.

Cocaine Always Interrupts Dinner

I'm not a huge fan of new episodes that begin by repeating the previous week's final moments, but I'm willing to make exceptions. RinnUGH asking Cool Ranch whether or not she and her guests did cocaine at her dinner party is one of them. This isn't the best drug-related accusation (it isn't even the best drug-related accusation the network's aired the past year) but its delivery is so direct and out of the blue that it's nearly as effective as it was the first time. Once the smoke billowing out of RinnUGH's Raquel Welch wig dissipates, and everyone stops coughing, the women get into it.

"I certainly wasn't," Cool Ranch says, exasperated. (You have to admire her commitment to acting as if she was dropped into this time period and decided to carve a niche rather than fix the POS time machine that brought her here.) While she searches for a hand fan, Kyle steps in. Not that it fazes RinnUGH, who definitely didn't drop a Xanax into her glass earlier and down its contents once the pill dissolved, and yet is as calm as someone who did just that. She asks Cool Ranch why she's "all worked up" and tells her all she has to do is say no.

Cool Ranch denies it. You can't blame her, but she's playing right into the storyboard mapped out in RinnUGH's home office. As such, RinnUGH follows suit, saying she probably wouldn't have insinuated Cool Ranch is raising her children in a house like Alfred Molina's character's in Boogie Nights if she hadn't gone after her first. (Sure.) LVP chimes in; she and RinnUGH have a brief back and forth while the camera settles on Erika, who's grinning like a crazy person and looks like she's about to use the sword the Glam Squad duct-taped under the table. The fights peter out and they head back to the hotel.

Car Trouble

One of my least favorite Housewives tropes is the anticlimactic post-fight drive home. This one's especially one-note. Kyle's literally on her phone! Probably texting Mauricio about how she "can't wait to climb into bed," or scrolling through RinnUGH's IMDb credits to see whether or not she had an arc on Revenge. Which, given the conversation going on in front of her, is more than fair.

RinnUGH, Just Leave Already!

Packed and ready for early departure, RinnUGH calls Delilah Belle. Why she calls her instead of Harry, I don't know. DB insists she needs a nose job and the call abruptly ends. RinnUGH pretends it's a bad connection, but the truth is that she probably did mean to call Harry and, rather than suffer through another round of a conversation she's had with DB a dozen times, opted for something less taxing. By which I mean calling LVP's room to say thank you for the trip as if the previous night never occurred.

"I wasn't happy about it either," RinnUGH says, when it finally comes up. As if she's talking about waiting for a table, not her role as dramaturge. LVP cuts her losses and invites her to a party ("a tasting, really…") for Pandora and Jason's rosé. She accepts the invitation and leaves, played out by the sound of her own voice as she says she'll "go there with people if they're not listening or…saying untruths." And with that she's whisked away in a Rolls Royce, headed, not to speak to youths about FAKE NEWS, but to sell dusters on QVC. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Retail Therapy

An awkward moment between Eileen and Erika in the lobby later, the remainders head to a boutique Eileen buys a third of because she needs the release and Vinny isn't there to gamble with her. Erika takes a break from being thoroughly unimpressed behind sunglasses I'm not convinced she can see out of and sits opposite Eden, who tells her she's buying her a rose quartz (friendship) ring because of the stone's healing powers. Erika doesn't fight her, probably because Eden's already said she'd kill anyone who tried.

Abandoning the woman who just gave her a gift and only asks for friendship and screen-time in return, Erika goes downstairs to talk about the odd exchange. Here's why she either can't see out of those glasses or is officially the coolest (or potentially drugged out of her mind): She starts tells Eileen (the one who wants her son dead; kidding!) first and the others casually join to listen in. The group flags an employee down and asks how much the ring costs in what adds up to an amusing misunderstanding. It's not much, but a little levity goes a long way.

Must Love Dogs

Yes, I am recommending this scene -- in which the women, complacent after shopping, visit the SPCA to see the 85 dogs rescued by LVP's foundation -- purely out of guilt.

Highs: confirmation the foundation's real; Eileen and Erika's reactions to the dogs. Lows: Kyle's THs; hearing "Yulin" 800x.

Fig & Olive & Disorientation

There's a lot going on and almost no time to adjust to it (I guess Hong Kong didn't deserve a formal goodbye?) because once the notary -- Kyle -- shows up, Erika grips Eileen's hand and powers through the apology for her "meltdown" like she's running across a football field of broken glass and hot coals barefoot. I'm not thrilled about Erika condoning what RinnUGH did in Hong Kong, but props to her for copping to it, I guess.

Now if only she could admit to herself that the Kemsleys probably won't "make it right" at LVP's party -- or at all -- we'd be straight. But hey, at least she apologized to Eileen for her theoretically sound but superficially gonzo reaction. Much like Kyle's macabre pantsuit, the scene is strange enough to work!

The Kemsleys

Want to convince people you're not a shit-stirrer? Don't suggest someone's schizophrenic with a straight face onscreen. Want to convince people you weren't doing lines in the bathroom with your dinner guests? Don't drink a vodka-Redbull onscreen.

(And for those of you wondering, yes, I did shout "IS THAT A JEWISH STAR?" at the TV when I saw P.K.'s forearm.)

The Young & The Restless American Woman

Sorry, as good as Erika's performance as high-powered real estate agent Farah Dubose on Y&R is, it's undermined by being shown opposite Kyle on the set of American Woman. Save yourselves the trouble and watch Erika's clip somewhere online; nobody should have to suffer like Jenny and Mauricio.

Help

"How was Hong Kong?" Kevin Lee asks. "Rinna was a bitch," Vanderpump responds.

This scene leans into many of LVP's worst qualities -- there are sexually charged puns and potential lawsuits whizzing every which way -- but what can I say? I'm a sucker for her and Kevin Lee's chemistry. Seriously, I'd like these two to have a spinoff. Something where they're forced to throw a stranger's eight-year-old a birthday party for $200 and spend a fourth of the episode sexually harassing the cashiers at Party City and Ralph's. Anyway, they break from setting up for her party to sexually harass her farrier/pony caretaker (spoiler: still no idea if he's straight or gay!) until Colleen arrives to do the ponies glam and gets them back on schedule. Yes, the ponies will be in tutus and full hair/makeup.

Pink, Diamonds, Wedges

Kyle's freaking out about LVP's elaborate dress code (pink, diamonds, wedges, sparkly, lace, etc.) and obsessively cutting the pants of a jumpsuit she ripped off a mannequin at her store because they're too long and she can't get them even. Meanwhile, Erika's feigning shock over the pink wig she probably commissioned three months beforehand, and Cool Ranch is withholding apple juice until Jagger tells mommy why he doesn't care for the gold leaf in her hair. And then there's RinnUGH, who's doing a terrible job convincing people she doesn't have a substance abuse problem, and not because her makeup artist looks just like Kid Rock.

Rosé-Colored Glasses

Erika looks like My Little Pony (thanks, Kyle!); Kyle's legs look fine, but she still recreates Bernadette Peters's monologue from the episode of Will & Grace in which she plays Karen's sister, Gin; Cool Ranch looks like Joan Crawford when she accepted Anne Bancroft's Oscar, which I'm choosing to believe is the case, not that she watched The Huntsman: Winter's War on flight back from Hong Kong, which is totally the case; Eileen and her niece are dressed like they're going to a completely different party; LVP has successfully blown Taylor's daughter Kennedy's birthday from S1 out of the water with her event, which, given that it looks like SUR and Pump's outdoor areas and everything she touches ends up looking like an immaculate, overpriced boutique and the Broadway set of a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, that's pretty much to be expected.

A few pointless limo conversations later, everyone's arrived at Villa Rosa and everything in place for next week's season finale.

Verdict

It doesn't reach last week's manic heights (how could it?), but there's enough drama and quirk throughout that you'll barely even notice. Can someone explain to me how this is finally getting good and next week is the season finale?

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