Lisa Rinna Won't Let RHOBH Dessert Her
Sorry, Carnie Wilson. This week's focus is confessions, not confections.
Poltergeists, Hoarders, And Carnie Wilson's Dessert Tasting
Few things are better than when Housewives overcomes its own tropes and stilted exposition by way of Mad Libs. This week's cold open is great.
Kyle's hired someone to help sort her "stuff." Not get rid of -- organize. Is the woman a therapist specializing in hoarding and OCD, like Dr. Zasio? I can't speak to that. All I know is that Kyle has other people's photos, every Disney movie ever released on VHS, and that nobody, nobody, better touch her goddamn martini glasses. I know you're probably wondering, and yes, it's safe to assume there are at least 2-3 boxes filled with hair clippings in that unit.
She's in the middle of swooning over mismatched flatware when LVP returns her call. Kyle invites her to a tasting she's hosting featuring desserts by Carnie Wilson, whom she met filming The Celebrity Apprentice. Major props to LVP for sneaking the words "hold on" into the conversation.
Produced By Pinkeye
Speaking of hoarders, The Eileen Davidson Home of Morbid Curiosities has been overhauled and rebranded as The Eileen Davidson Academy of Dramatic Arts. It's brighter, for sure, but the stale blend of weed and must is still detectable under the Windex and fresh coat of paint.
Anyway, cured of her self-inflicted pinkeye, Eileen preps Erika for her upcoming role on Y&R. She's a natural; she's great. The scene's just okay.
Big Little Lies
It's time for the requisite call to "Harry Hamlin," multi-hyphenate voice of reason. (My hope is that he never appears on-screen again and, as a sort of running gag, exists solely through these frequent, frantic calls.)
Things start ominously, with RinnUGH asking him to bring the girls to school because she has to face her accusers later. How these things correspond, I don't know. Maybe she needs time to fill her fanny pack. Maybe she's rehearsing for the apology tour. Maybe she thinks they'll kill her, or that she'll have a hangover from the stopping by the Polo Lounge after Kyle's; I don't know.
They talk about Kim and Eden, and her involvement. It's all very convoluted until she says she's thought about it, decided that she thinks or knows she said those things, and is ready to apologize. Okay, fine. Skip this and wait for one of RinnUGH's other (better) confessions.
Hotel For Dogs
Enter at your own risk.
LVP and Ken are looking for a place to launch a dog rescue as part of Vanderpump Pets, the organization they set up to help animals, and stop China's Yulin Dog Meat Festival. (Cats are on the menu, too.)
It isn't graphic, per se. But if you get squeamish or don't want to hear about dogs being tortured, skinned alive, and eaten to boost testosterone, feel free to fast-forward. If you can stomach it, watch to see a second painfully awkward conversation between LVP and a relator in as many weeks go from one extreme to the next. It highlights a good cause and Ken weeps, thus bringing back some of the humanity he's lost over the years.
Carnie, Cheesecake, And Confessions
Sober for 12 years, Carnie's put a lot of energy into perfecting the cheesecake bites and other desserts she's bringing to Kyle's for the tasting. The two pal around while they wait for everyone else to show up.
Across town, Erika picks up RinnUGH, who's opted to bring a gift for Kim's grandchild instead of her get-out-of-jail fanny pack. Smart.
Kim and her sponsor, Claire, the woman I assume was the inspiration for Robin Wright's character on Enlightened, show up at Kyle's. Kim brought her for strength, but also a doctor's note of sorts for anyone questioning her recovery and whether or not she's even part of a program. Carnie talks about her sobriety; the group talks about The Celebrity Apprentice.
In the limo, RinnUGH once again sort of not really confesses to talking about Kim via TH. Eventually, she tells Erika point blank: "I said those things." To which Erika responds by laughing and telling her she's going to get it tonight.
The Zero Fucks Count Down
Eileen loves caviar. Remind me to transcribe her monologue and send it to her. Framed, of course. Students of The Eileen Davidson Academy of Dramatic Arts can, assuming it's hung and not cast directly into Kyle's hoard, focus on it while acting out one of Courtney Thorne-Smith's better scenes from According To Jim that they selected from a binder while they waited in the foyer.
Once it's out of Eileen's system, talk turns from caviar to RinnUGH, whom Kyle loves, obviously, but who she's also setting herself up to hate without any pushback. Brava!
Cool Ranch arrives and makes everyone watch a video of Phoenix learning how to crawl. On the patio, Kim accepts a gift from LVP, then goes back to talking to Carnie and ignoring Eden, who makes her skin crawl. Poor Eden, nobody wants her or the tuna tartare she has to offer.
Nobody acknowledges RinnUGH or Erika's arrival. It's kind of like when cowboys from another town walk into a saloon and everything stops for four seconds while they're appraised. RinnUGH pulls Eileen aside to talk and tells her point-blank: "I said it." Eileen, her ride-or-die main bitch, is weary, but still behind her; they're ready for the saloon to erupt in gunfire. They're Thelma & Louise, racing toward the Grand Canyon.
Outside, Carnie gives a speech about her company and how food helped save her life when she needed an outlet at the beginning of her sobriety. Kyle notices two people are missing and goes inside to look for them. Somehow, Carnie isn't far behind. Which gives the impression that she saw Kyle leaving with the cameras and made the executive decision to cut her speech short in favor of a dramatic entrance and screentime.
The Joint Session
Everyone outside, RinnUGH announces that she has something to say. Speaking to Kim, she says that, following game night, she did say those things to Eden. In the background, Kyle's disgusted. She can't be that surprised. But, somehow, she's THAT surprised.
It's hard to capture the beauty of what happens next. You really have to see it for yourself because RHOBH hasn't been this good in years. From there, it's an elaborate series of fights within fights within fights. The scene stops short of implementing the Inception gong. Though, in this scenario, that might just be LVP's impression of RinnUGH.
Cool Ranch chimes in, and RinnUGH grossly insinuates she was blackout drunk at game night; LVP rakes RinnUGH over the coals every chance she gets; Kim and Kyle shout at Eden; Eden and Kim go back and forth; Kyle tells LVP to "pick a lane" when she springs to Eden's defense; Kim and RinnUGH go back and forth. Erika and Carnie listen, giving great face; Claire and Carnie help broker peace; Kim and RinnUGH speak their truths. It's a lot.
I'm disappointed RinnUGH wasn't chased out of the party by women throwing cheesecake bites. But if this means that we can finally stop dredging up Kim's past or at least move on from Amsterdam, I'll all for it. Really, though, how does this not come back to haunt us later on this season? Are Kyle, LVP, and Eden really just going to let this go? Is Rinna? We'll see!
It's not as tight as it could (or should) be, but it's the best the show's been since Amsterdam, which is saying a lot considering that's how we got here.