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The New 'Cool Ranch' Flavor Is Saving RHOBH

Dorit's rubbing everyone the wrong way and working wonders.

"Expensive" Production

Erika's been in pre-production on the music video for her new song "Expensive" for a few weeks now. With filming around the corner, she and multi-hyphenate-main-gay Mikey head to her closet to see if there's anything they can use in it. Conveniently, the box containing the underwear Cool Ranch gave her is lying on her closet island -- instead of on the side of the road or in a ditch somewhere; please, Erika, cut the crotch out of them and send them back -- so naturally the conversation turns into a retread of Pantygate.

Erika's casual about the whole thing and thinks accidentally flashing a few people is a non-issue because, well, it is. However, she's understandably pissed about how Cool Ranch tried to paint her as the kind of lecherous lady-in-waiting she's no doubt familiar with, what with having grown up under Connecticut's monarchy and all. Mostly, she's annoyed that the kind of woman who makes hanging out with women so difficult has entered the fray.

A Royal Affair

Cool Ranch and Pringle King are having a dinner party. In lieu of the usual 45 seconds devoted to the hosts examining table settings, lighting candles, and talking to the caterers, we're treated to some post-baby humblebrags while she models a form-fitting dress and he gets some cheap cracks in about how, while the dress is short, it isn't "Erika Jayne short." Ah, there's that distinct, nauseous feeling of taking in too many crisps at once.

There's no fussing over the particulars once she makes her way downstairs either. Instead we get something better! Have you seen those videos of Drew Droege as Chlöe Sevigny? That's Cool Ranch's talking-head in which she tells a non-linear story about the history of her family and its pride in hosting; she really gives "fresh flowers" and "a beautiful table" the light cocaine-dusting and manic energy they deserve from a housewife with a bullshit accent and weird speech pattern. Even better, she isn't the only one there with a strange affectation! There's also former journalist and media consultant Elliot Mintz, the West Coast's dry, sun-scorched answer to Truman Capote (by way of Leslie Jordan), who speaks in slow, fragmented poetry.

At dinner, Pringle King and Cool Ranch take the time to really get to know guest Lisa Rinna. By which I mean "ask loaded questions, cut her off before she finishes answering, and offer up their own elaborate psychoanalytic observations of 'the situation.'" (To be fair: same.) It's not until Lisa mentions how her father's death changed her worldview, and how Eileen -- who lost six people last year, including her mother days before the reunion -- is going through a similar experience that they're really satisfied and can, in their minds, understand why these otherwise nice women attacked their friend.

Rinna's rightfully turned off by the suggestion she call Lisa Vanderpump and say, "Hey, listen: my dad was sick and then died, so, maybe give me a pass for last season; ditto Eileen" when she's already apologized. Things get even more strained when her hosts think it's unfair and creepy of Eileen to have filmed the reunion days after her mother's death without telling anyone. It's awkward, it's petty, it's nonsensical -- it's everything I've wanted from this leg for the franchise for so long.

The Expressway

Kyle preps dinner and talks to Alexia, when Mauricio comes home and announces he just got a speeding ticket from their trip to Italy. Kyle talks about chopping his balls off for driving 113/MPH with their daughter in tow while Alexia sneaks out to watch MTV, allowing her to talk about what Kyle really wants to: their busy schedules and her discontent. She's so proud of their success! But also, she'd rather sit at home with him in sweatpants and map out the next ten year's worth of white parties.

To which I say: stop renovating spaces for your stores and start selling them for someone else's; get your real estate license, Kyle!

The Young & The Restless

Eileen and Vince throw a medicine ball around the kitchen because he wants to get back into shape for tennis. (He was ranked #25 in the country at one point.) They stop being adorable jerks and sit down long enough for Eileen to tell him Rinna texted her about what was said at dinner. Vince tells her that they're trying to justify LVP's behavior last year and make everyone look worse by comparison, which is true. Eileen decides she's just going to have to bring it up to Cool Ranch next time they hang out. And would you look at that? They actually have a walk on the beach scheduled for later that week.

Uber

Kyle picks LVP up and the result is a fun, semi-embarrassing scene in which LVP asks her to pick which husband she'd "bonk" if she had to. She suggests Kelsey Grammer (! x150) to Kyle, before finally telling her to just pick Ken because the game isn't as fun as she thought it'd be. Kyle relents and says Ken. Then Lisa calls her a slut and they burst into laughter.

Pilates & Other Non-invasive Cosmetic Procedures

Rinna and Erika arrive for a Pilates class where they meet Eden Sassoon, daughter of Vidal. Meanwhile, Kyle and LVP settle into a doctor's office for what feels like a standing appointment. "Will I have a face lift? Probably," Kyle says in a talking-head, winning me over with her honesty even if I think the collar of her TH look is obscuring the fact that she's maybe already had something done.

Whether it's at Pilates or at the doctor's office, the women can't stop joking about vaginal rejuvenation. And you know what? It's pretty funny.

Optical Connection

It just so happens that right next to the Pilates studio is Optical Connection, which is the new name of the glasses place where Lisa Rinna met Harry Hamlin, a story she only half-tells but has told more times than I can count, so whatever.

Blown Away

It's too windy for their planned walk on the beach, so Eileen and Cool Ranch retreat to a picnic area. Cool Ranch drones on about her commute to Malibu but how it's fine because she got to drive her cool new car; Eileen extends an invitation to her girlfriend Camille's (as in Grammer) for lunch one day.

Eileen brings up the escape room and says she's glad she and LVP could work together, but that she really felt bad for Erika. Cool Ranch starts up about decorum, manners, attire, a bit of fun, jokes, the universe, etc. when Eileen throws her off her game by segueing into what Rinna said happened at the dinner party. Which is something Cool Ranch would totally be open to discussing…if she could remember it happening because she doesn't remember it. And you know what, Eileen? She can't be expected to remember every detail of every conversation at every dinner party ever! Anyway, thank god for the cameras.

After an extended back and forth, Eileen tells her that, whether she remembers it or not, the fact is: their parents passed away months after the drama with LVP, and the two things are unrelated. Eventually, Cool Ranch nods and regurgitates the last few minutes with "You're saying your fight with LVP had nothing to do with your mom's death, correct?" Eileen acknowledges the stalemate and they laugh about it awkwardly until Cool Ranch stops to confirm that she's still invited to lunch. (She is.)

Eden

The show's starting to overflow with Housewives, and that's fine -- necessary, even. At lunch with Rinna and Eileen, we're formally introduced to Eden. She gives a little bit of an overview ("My father created the bob"; there are no pictures of Mia Farrow) and compliments Rinna's hair (big mistake) before diving headfirst into the shallow end by talking about her oldest sister Catya, who died of an overdose. That's not a problem in and of itself. It's that she brings it back to Kim, with whom Catya made her first movie, and mentions how she knew the Richardses way back when and says that everyone used to come her house -- you know, James Spader, Robert Downey Jr. -- to hang out and party. Oof.

It's hard to tell if there's any malice or if she's just talking about her life. But that this is her introduction and that it's with Rinna and Eileen of all people feels more than a little gross. That said, it's also pretty spectacular.

Out To Lunch

Kyle stops by The Agency with Alexia to have lunch with Mauricio and Farrah. You know what's more upsetting than the (not even really) distant relationship between a busy husband and wife? Watching it play out in a confined space while everyone eats salad out of Styrofoam containers and tries not to acknowledge how many times Mom keeps mentioning the divide.

Get your real estate license, Kyle!

Greener Pastures

Camille survived the following: soft-core porn; being referred to as the "most hated Housewife ever"; a nasty, public divorce from Kelsey Grammer; a different abusive relationship; cancer. What's lunch in her new home with Erika, Eileen and Cool Ranch?

Right off the bat, Eileen nearly breaks her nose trying to open wine when the corkscrew breaks. Outside, they ask Erika about her upcoming video and congratulate her on launching a career as a pop star in her forties.

Cool Ranch isn't impressed, but tries to save face by talking about the confidence and sense of being that arrives in your forties. Erika's jokingly tells her that, while nice and true, she only turned forty a week ago. Everyone laughs and Cool Ranch goes back to the drawing board, trying not to embarrass herself or claw Erika's eyes out in front of St. Camille.

Unfortunately, she caves when the hostess asks about their would-be hike, opening the door for a ton of subtle digs that Eileen and Erika immediately shut down with logic, engulfing the scene in a cloud of Dorito dust.

Verdict

This is the most fun I've had watching the series in quite some time.

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