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When Are The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Not Celebrating A Birthday?

Though it's Dorit's turn for a milestone party, the queen of the night is Eileen.

Horse Power

Possibly foreshadowing the season's battle lines, we open on Kyle and Rinna chatting it up in Mauricio's new Lamborghini, while Vanderpump makes nice with yet another new pet/sex slave: His Royal Highness, Prince Tardon. The four parties (and Ken) discuss the so-called events of Erika's party. Highlights include Vanderpump's impression of Rinna, which sounds oddly like Edith Bunker, and this brief flashback to Vanderpump, Kyle, and Dorit sadly eating fast food after the hors-d'oeuvresless festivities.

Bravo

Bravo

Also, in an interview, Rinna sassily eats a Dorito after telling Kyle that her phone auto-corrected "Dorit" to the flavorful chip brand. She's not great, guys.

Rose Gold Still Looks Like Vomit

It's hard to tell whether Dorit irritates me in this scene -- in which she discusses details for her fortieth birthday party, and her husband gifts her a rose gold Bentley -- because she's particularly obnoxious, or because everyone on this show is the worst and I'm simply not used to her specific strain of awfulness yet. It could also be that she's still not used to the cameras, so she's being extra-performative with her family. Either way, this scene gives me no confidence that Dorit's addition to Beverly Hills will be the thing that reinvigorates this waning show.

Frank Underwood: Fitness Trendsetter

Some brilliant con man has convinced the women of Beverly Hills that rowing machines are "the new thing," so Kyle, Rinna, and Alexia (who we're told is now attending Emerson because Arizona State was "not the right fit," whatever that means) attend a class. This scene is ninety seconds long and does not bode well for the other should-be cutting-room fodder that somehow made this episode.

The Bored And The Restless

Speaking of, here's Eileen filming an interview as part of a retrospective for Y&R's 11,000th episode. We get to see a couple of scenes from the Ashley Abbot early years, before Eileen knew how to act, but otherwise it's skippable.

Let's Do Some Chorus Lines

That's more like it! I honestly don't think anyone would mind if Bravo cancelled this show today and replaced it with an Erika Jayne spinoff series. While auditioning dancers for her TENTH music video, Erika's natural charisma dominates the room -- even when placed next to her comparatively charmless creative director, Mikey. To be clear, I don't hate Mikey. In fact, I find his effortless, INCREDIBLY GAY rapport with Erika pretty enjoyable. It's his massively effortful display of authority in front of the dancers and choreographers that irks me. Why is he the one doing the "5,6,7,8"s?

Whatever. Watch. Enjoy. Bask in Erika's uninhibited laughter over women giving the middle finger before executing a death drop.

Hadids They Are Not

Rinna is set on making her daughters the new Bella and Gigi, but I can tell you right now: not gonna happen. And watching them in the kitchen with Mama Rinna making zucchini pasta isn't winning them any fans. (Fuck you, eat some carbs.) Though, this scene does contain my favorite out-of-context quote of the episode: "Now, what did Cindy Crawford tell you?"

Dorit's Forty (First)

The first half of Dorit's birthday is a reserved indoor cocktail party, either because PK wants a big reveal for the crazier shindig outside or, more likely, because the party planner is running behind schedule. The other women arrive one by one and are escorted up the long driveway by a golf cart decked out as a Hummer. If nothing else, this episode is an exemplary reminder that everyone in this town deserves to be skinned alive. Except for Erika, who wears a "t-shirt dress," unquestionably hoping to start a fight with Dorit over the dress code.

Bravo

Bravo

Once again, the big story here is the interaction between the Lisas and Eileen. Just like at Erika's party, Vanderpump not-so-subtly cuts Rinna down, while Rinna -- following producers' directions, I expect -- laughs off her jabs as "taking the piss." Hey, this season is four months long; there has to be some semblance of civility in the beginning, no matter how artificial, if they're really going to have it out later on. While Rinna is happy to play Vanderpump's plaything, Eileen still refuses to give Vanderpump an inch more than cold cordiality. After mocking Rinna for so long, it seems to throw Vanderpump off her game when faced with Eileen's icy, ever-so derisive smile. It makes me like Eileen more than I have since she joined the show, especially because Vanderpump's self-righteousness over everything that went down in Dubai grates more every time she brings it up.

After an awkward greeting, Vanderpump tells Eileen she's sorry...to hear of her father's passing. That pause is probably the editors' doing, but I would not put it past that woman to turn an offer of condolences into a tease for an apology she never plans to give. Eileen is clearly of the same mindset, because her initial reaction is a wonderfully uncomfortable laugh. Later, Eileen finds Vanderpump to explain why her response to "I'm sorry that your father died" was giggles, and, of course of course, Vanderpump takes the opportunity to saddle up on her high horse (His Royal Highness, Prince Tardon) and declare her intention to forever hold a grudge against Eileen. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Dorit's Forty (Second)

I'll let Erika describe Dorit's allegedly unique "Buddha lounge" backyard shindig: "It's red, and there's, like, smoke and an ice sculpture and shit." Nearly perfect, though I'd add that the ice sculpture is of a Buddha, which is placed next to a sushi bar. To top off the conflated cultural appropriations, Rinna calls the whole thing "on fleek." I say this as a very, very white person: kill all white people.

Rinna, a glutton for punishment if there ever was one, stalks Vanderpump onto the dance floor, which becomes the scene for YET ANOTHER attempt at peacemaking. Again, Vanderpump calls Rinna names, and, again, Rinna faux-exasperatedly laughs it off, but this meeting does end with an apology on Rinna's end. (Please don't ask me, or the show, what she's apologizing for. No one knows anymore.)

Dorit, fully aware of the game at play, manages to catch Vanderpump as she's slinking away in the opposite direction and trap her in a conversation with Eileen. Everything is pleasant enough until Eileen asks if either of them has seen Vince, and Vanderpump -- under the guise of biting British wit -- responds, "He was in the corner with his head up somebody's skirt."

Bravo

Bravo

Later, Eileen caps off an excellent episode (for her) by repeating Vanderpump's "joke" to Kyle, pointing at an imaginary friend in the distance, and dancing off into the night. No doubt I am filing that maneuver away for future use.

Verdict

Dorit's party is definitely a step up from Erika's, but there's too much flab on this episode to call it a success. Though, I do have my hopes up for next week, when it looks like Erika will release her unexplained Kraken of disdain for Dorit and her not-quite-British accent.

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