The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills Don't Know What Erika Goes Through
Well, everyone's about to find out! Brace for impact.
Quick note: Erika will be known as "ErikUHH" until further notice.
And we're off!
This week dials it back, starting right before last week's junk showdown ended. From there, the reckoning (I can't in good conscious call this as a conversation) turns into "who's more obsessed with whom." "You pick and you pick and you pick and you're dying for my attention, and now you have it," ErikUHH tells Cool Ranch, who looks around wide-eyed like a dog in the bath. "Do you really think I'm going to like you after everything that happened with the underwear?"
And here we are again, smack dab in the middle of ErikUHH's panty-less crotch. Cool Ranch is dumbstruck; ErikUHH's still harboring resentment over that? Instead of apologizing for slut-shaming, limp-wristed pot-stirring, and her husband, though, she says, "What do you expect a man with a beating heart to do when a woman is sitting there with her legs open?" Hm. What indeed....
RinnUGH jumps out of her seat like a member of the Peter Pan Live! ensemble to shout at Cool Ranch and pawn her baggage off onto someone else. Cool Ranch calls her "low-class," to which RinnUGH responds -- months later in a talking head -- by saying how hilarious that is coming from a Yankee with an adopted European/African affect. (Both raise valid points.) Eileen and LVP enter the fray, and the four women scream at and over each other to varying degrees of success. This, paired with the boat bobbing up and down and the perfectly timed cuts to a sullen Eden and mystified Kyle, is RHOBH's official return to form.
Finally, Cool Ranch tells ErikUHH that she didn't mean to hurt her feelings, offend, or demean her character. "Well, you did all three anyway," ErikUHH tells her, before storming off for a good cry. LVP follows and wipes away ErikUHH's tears. Mostly though, she's there to set herself up for the comment "the ice queen is melting" in her TH. The boat docks, and everyone gathers around a statuesque ErikUHH to take turns fixing her face before disembarking.
You'd think there'd be something worthy waiting in the post-fight wings, but there isn't. Aside from a few small moments (Cool Ranch's pronunciation of the word "missile"; the ethereal musical cue at the sight of Chanel; Eden peeling her wig off; Eileen being a demented sweetheart), there's nothing you'll miss here. Except maybe Cool Ranch's conspiracy theory that ErikUHH's glam squad's warped her perception of reality. Which is something worth looking into, just not in this context.
"Is This An Instrument Of Communication, Or Torture?"
Cool Ranch calls P.K. to check in and boost morale in a conversation that puts the word "diluted," and us, through the wringer.
245 Step Program
Everyone meets downstairs for coffee and tea before heading out to climb the 245 steps to see the Tian Tian Buddha. (At least, they think it's 245 steps. Thanks to Google, I know there are actually 268 steps.) Anyway, there's just enough time for Cool Ranch pointedly not to say hello to ErikUHH and for RinnUGH to call her a "a real downer" in a (brilliant) TH before everyone's dropped off at the gondola lift they have to take to visit the site.
Each gondola has a glass floor, so this is a great opportunity for Kyle to have one of her "I'M IN A MOVING VEHICLE!" panic attacks, which she delivers in spades.
Luckily, so do the editors, cutting from her party to ErikUHH, RinnUGH, Eileen, and Eden's, as they quietly observe the view and taking pictures.
Unfortunately, Hong Kong's attractions and culture aren't the draw here. They're actually undermined by too many empty "Buddha will restore peace amongst us" comments, and jerks who won't take their sunglasses off even though it's overcast. No, the big draw is watching these six poncho-wearing, umbrella-wielding assholes lament their ensembles because they didn't acknowledge the chance of rain.
A whole episode could be built around them trying to make it to the stairs in one piece. Not up the stairs, to the stairs: LVP's sexually harassing a sacred cow; Eileen's relishing lighting incense because, hailing from Southern California, it's her favorite pastime. She's also writing everyone off and referring to them as "chicks" in her THes, so there's that; and Eden's in her own little world, per usual. They do make it up the stairs, but who wants to talk about that?
Dueling Glam Squads & Other Little Monsters
Glam Squad conspiracy theorist Cool Ranch has a Glam Squad all her own! It's one woman, but still! I have a dozen follow-up questions, but this is not the time nor the place. We also get a bit of ErikUHH's GS doing her up as "Samurai Barbie," as well as Kyle (who can't get her arm into her blazer) and Eden (who's recreated one of Jackie Kennedy's looks in all white). Promising, right?
It may be slight. But think of it as a pre-reunion behind-the-scenes moment. Trust me.
What She Goes Though At Night -- Specifically This One
"I feel like there's an elephant at the table," Eden says, stating the obvious and creating an opening for RinnUGH to ask Cool Ranch if she's apologized to ErikUHH yet, even though she knows she hasn't. She tries again, this time asking if ErikUHH trusts her husband. Let the record reflect that I haven't been this proud of Kyle Richards since S01's Dinner Party From Hell. She's beyond shocked and pissed RinnUGH has the gall to ask a question like that after how she reacted to Kim pulling a similar stunt in Amsterdam.
Let the record also reflect that this scene, which plays like a Dinner Party From Hell/Amsterdam hybrid, is absolutely fucking insane.
"If she trusted her husband, why would she be so concerned about him looking up another woman's skirt? Why would she be so threatened by ErikUHH?" At this point everyone's yelling. Except Eileen, who just wanted to have a nice dinner and an early night as prep for some light shopping the following day, and possibly more sightseeing, but who's now politely asking everyone to use their inside voice. Poor Eileen. (It gets worse.)
Across from Eileen is ErikUHH, who's rhetorically asking why P.K. gets all the deference and she gets none. Kyle jumps in, though she's subconsciously arguing on behalf of Kim, not Cool Ranch. Which is fine, but let's call it what it is. ErikUHH shuts her down, asking why it's okay to slut-shame her without repercussion, while she faces serious repercussions as a result. It's a valid question.
(I don't want to say she's afraid of Tom. I can only imagine what it feels like to be publicly shamed. But as invasive as that may feel, or as cutting as "the talk around town" might be, she has to know that the incident was caught on film and confirms that she didn't do anything wrong, right? What happened that she's suddenly so unhinged and imbalanced? Is she afraid of Tom?)
Cool Ranch listens and starts to apologize. ErikUHH cuts her off and says they're square...as long as she and P.K. apologize to her and Tom. This comment is the air-pistol that sets everyone sprinting toward the last word. Cool Ranch decides to apologize again but RinnUGH won't stop shouting "LISTEN!" in her face, even though she doesn't have anything to say. One "LISTEN!" montage later, Eileen beats Cool Ranch to the podium.
Witness to the insanity, Eileen speaks on Cool Ranch's behalf. Or at least she tries to. Attempting to put things in perspective, she says, "She didn't, like, kill your child, and she didn't--" ErikUHH's already a mess thus far, but this pushes her into the Kelly Killoren Bensimon realm of Scary Island. I understand that her son is a police officer and that his job is high-risk, but this is a side of ErikUHH we've never seen before and it's genuinely chilling.
Here's a sampling of what ErikUHH says to and at Eileen: "Don't ever bring up killing my child again because my child could get killed....Eileen, don't ever bring up my kid again. Eileen, your kid doesn't put on a uniform every night. Eileen, you don't know what I go through every night; Eileen, shut the fuck up. You don't know what I deal with every night....My son is under fire every night, especially in this climate, I'm not gonna tolerate that shit out of any of you." From there, ErikUHH goes from hyperventilating, to being fine, to furiously dismissing Eileen's apologies and slamming her fist on the table and stopping just short of shouting, "THIS AMERICAN CARNAGE STOPS RIGHT HERE AND STOPS RIGHT NOW! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Were it not for Eileen crying gently in the corner, you could hear a pin drop.
You'd think the shot of them sitting there in stunned, awkward silence would be the end. But no, RinnUGH asks Cool Ranch if everyone was doing coke in the bathroom at the dinner party she attended. Obviously taking a page from the RHONYC, and even more obviously breaking rank.
Take a Dramamine. Go, I'll wait. Great: now climb aboard this junk and throw on a life preserver. These waters are choppier than RinnUGH's Raquel Welch-branded hair. This episode is truly iconic a much-needed return to form. GO WATCH IT, YOU BEAST!