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The Escape Room's Easy, But Feminism's Hard For RHOBH

They can work together to escape a room, but this season's falling prey to the doldrums. What gives?

Opening Montage

Straight out of the gate, this week's episode throws a lot at us all at once. We've got Erika and her token gay going through her wardrobe; Eileen and her son, jamming on the guitar; Cool Ranch (Dorit) trying to wrestle Jagger into an outfit; Lisa Rinna checking into a hotel room and scrubbing it the way she thinks Joan Crawford might; and Erika Jayne, who's prepping for her Y&R cameo.

It's a lot of setup with little to no value. Save yourself the four minutes and fast-forward to -- and it pains me to say it -- Kyle.

Villa Blah-nca

This is probably going to be at least a third of the season, so quit while you're ahead. Kyle meets Lisa at Villa Blanca to fulfill the first of what I can only assume is one of at least seven contractually-obligated spots because her store is within walking distance of the restaurant. Here, Lisa's drinking rosé, and Kyle's vaguely-to-completely disgusted by the afternoon libation and opting for water. There's some tension, but one thing they can agree on is that nobody wants to see Erika "Jayne" Girardi's vagina and that she's this season's villain.

The Young & The Restless

Erika arrives on the set of The Young & The Restless to discuss her birthday cameo role. She can't decide between a tough as nails CEO, a vixen, or an ugh who cares.

Special Head Gear

I have no problem with the "child of a Housewife is struggling to 'succeed'" narrative. I've wept for Orange County's Briana and New Jersey's Nick before. If anything, I welcome it. And yet here we are, 10 minutes into knowing Cool Ranch and Pringle King (PK), and we're supposed to be on pins and needles as to whether or not their baby daughter Phoenix's head is shaped correctly or not. The only reason I'm crying right now is because I don’t exactly care that the nannies made sure she had her helmet on the last few months (thereby ensuring her perfectly round skull) and because I feel guilty about not being more involved.

Today's Special Value

Lisa Rinna's hosting for QVC again, and I'm kind of into it. If only because she's admitting her success selling (what I assume are overpriced acrylic or cotton poly-blend dusters) affords "Harry Hamlin" the chance to say no to projects he'd otherwise have to say yes to in order to support their family. It's a nice moment that lets us briefly forget she's a monster. Well, until she calls Harry Hamlin, who sells the duster twice as much as she does while simultaneously calling everyone who bought it a dipshit because of the record heat wave sweeping the nation. So close!

Too Close To Home

Kyle talks to her assistant (played by Oscar-winner Brie Larson) about getting a smaller phone and bigger iPad so she can watch auditions for her upcoming series. She tells Mauricio that the show will officially film in Los Angeles, and he cancels all his sessions with the dominatrix (Camille Grammer) he planned to come step on his balls. Okay, so only half of that happens, but you get the gist.

Lisa & Eileen

Eileen calls into QVC to order a shawl. It's two seconds and really cute.

Saving Spot; Saving Face

Lisa and Ken go to Spot to see all the dogs they've helped save by sponsoring the facility. Lisa pets them and begs to bring them home, while Ken (who needs a haircut himself) shaves a few and tells her she's insane. It's a nice, embarrassing moment that's more circumstantial evidence in the case again their capabilities. I'm not here to shame them because of their age. But I definitely think there's a correlation between her their flailing performances the past few seasons and all the therapy animals.

Sweet Yeezus

I'm recommending this if only to see Lisa Rinna and Eileen clad in black-and-white against similarly patterned throw pillows. (Rinna complements Cool Ranch's aesthetic and can't believe her shoes are Yeezus!) They order dry white wines and sit there, dead-eyed, while Cool Ranch talks about her daughter's corrective helmet, clutching each other and unloading in their talking heads about how much more's in store for her as a mother.

Later, Dorit tells them about how Erika didn't wear underwear to the white party. I'm going to be honest: I agree with Rinna, even if she's grossly trying to get back in with the cool girls. It would be one thing if Erika was walking around the party as if she was split down the middle, or lifting her dress up over her head for shock value. But that's not the case; and the way Dorit's pitching it to everyone else is gross. She makes it seem as if Pringle King didn't have anywhere to look but directly into Erika's crevasse. And from what we know having seen last week's episode, that's not the case.

Elieen and Rinna aren't buying it, and neither am I. He's the pervert, not her!

Dressing

Kyle and Dorit go shopping. Kyle compliments her style and semi-busts her accent. Kyle adds to the conversation that Erika obviously didn't know she was flashing the entire room (which, for us as viewers, was really just Pringle King). Dorit jokes that she's going to buy Erika a pair of underwear and give it to her the next time they see each other. Like Eileen and Rinna, Kyle tells her she better not do anything crazy without her there.

Ugh, has it really come to this point in terms of setup?

A Not-So Quick Escape

Everyone arrives at an escape room. Cool Ranch gives Erika a pair of underwear because (laugh) everyone's seen her puss and (laugh) her husband couldn't stop looking that night! Erika entertains it for a minute before making her move. Cool Ranch tries to shame her ("It wasn't that I thought you were trying to seduce my husband…") but Erika isn't having any of it and tells her that the more she talks about shit, the worse it gets.

Cool Ranch thinks that's a threat. LVP arrives (sans animals) and breaks the tension. Until Erika tells her what happened as an aside and LVP says, OOOOOOOH, DAHLING, YAS, I HERD. At which point it's clear that it's going to be Erika v. Cool Ranch Doritos, which seems appropriate given how many cat suits she owns.

The women go through the escape room and somehow manage to escape.

A Muddled Affair

What better place to ask Kyle about Kim than at post-escape room drinks? It's awkward, but Kyle answers Eileen honestly and tells everyone that Kim's excited that Brooke is pregnant. Everyone talks about being or not being a great aunt, and I want to reach through the screen and funnel everyone's drinks. Talk comes back to Cool Ranch buying Erika underwear and everything's suddenly strained.

Erika smartly turns it around by asking: well, why was your husband staring and why can't you or he stop talking about it? And why, if you don't want to talk about it here, in mixed company, would you present me with a gift, and bring it up to begin with? It's a lot.

Kyle sums it up best by saying that Erika's "cool, calm, and collected, but…on the inside wants to bring this bitch down." They end it by jinxing each other by saying they're both done and ready to move on. Though, thankfully and somewhat regrettably, I suspect that's far from the truth.

Verdict

It's strange that we already have such a viable "villain" in Cool Ranch without any of the stakes. In any event, this is the latest boring entry in what's shaping up to another dull season.

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