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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Which Is More Real-Looking, Mermaids or Plastic Surgery?

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

So! Which of the moments from last night’s special Halloween episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was the most terrifying?

A. The reveal of Kim Richards’s boyfriend’s face?
B. Seeing Mauricio’s mom bandaged up post-surgery, like she was starring in the new Almodóvar movie?
C. The visage of Russell Armstrong, back from the dead to smile all of his huge ghost teeth at us?

The answer, of course is … none of these moments! The most terrifying part of last night’s episode had to do with the woman Mohamed hired to play the part of “The Mermaid” at Pandora’s very understated, restraint- and class-fueled affair. Remember that person? The one who seemed like she wasn’t invited? She flopped in a silver tail around Mohamed’s pool with the charisma of a panhandler, bleating, “I’m a Mermaid! I’m a Mermaid! Mermaid!” — because that’s the sound mermaids make? It was messed up.

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But, yes, all of the first three moments were completely shocking, upsetting, and classically horrifying, too. Let’s start with Mauricio’s perfectly beautiful mom, who, last season, made the mistake of sitting next to Paul and Adrienne Maloof during a party at Kyle’s, thereby opening herself up to a suggestion from the surgeon that she might do well with a “mini-face-lift.” A year later, she got one, on-camera, and from Paul’s stubby, hairy hand, which drew Sharpie lines all over Estella’s lovely face as if he were scrawling a note that said “There’s no ‘mini’ in face-lift, dipshit. Ha-ha.”

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Then there was a horrifying surgery scene, which I can’t watch, so heads-up if I don’t talk in detail about the ins and outs of Estella’s “mini” face-lift. I do know Paul called Mark Wahlberg in the middle of the procedure, for some reason? Which can only be good luck for Estella’s recovery. Oh, unless you think hard about it and remember that Wahlberg produces Boardwalk Empire, which features a character with half a face. And Kyle, in her testimonial, made a big show of pretending she was different from other women in Beverly Hills who’ve had work done, imitating overly stiff plastic surgery victims like she was Frankenstein’s monster. It was classic Kyle in her protesting too much; it reminded me of that time when Dana said “Valentino!” in reference to what she was wearing, and Kyle joked that she should have pointed to herself and said, “Target!” — as if Kyle had worn or would ever wear clothing from Target. Ha-ha, Kyle! We see through your ruse. You’re not, as Us magazine would like us to believe about celebrities, “Just Like Us.” Or, you’re at least not like me. Because I would never — NEVER — make a weird fishy face at a party, in front of cameras, in a desperate gesture to demonstrate my gymnastic abilities in front of professional dancers. Nor, I'd like to believe, would I lie about why I was crying in Dr. Paul’s office, after seeing my mother-in-law's face all bandaged like a fucked-up monster. Kyle told Mauricio that she was crying because the sight of Estella “made her think, like, what if something were to happen?” and “what if [she] were to lose her?” when in reality, Kyle got upset simply because the scary monster was scary. I can barely keep from sobbing during the opening credits of this show! I am, of course, joking. I love all of these women like my bizarre and beautiful daughters, except for Dana.

Thankfully, Dana's only appearance on last night’s show was brief. She accompanied Taylor to a cake shop that did not seem at all like it was a cake shop. A woman who looked like an old timey carriage boy stood behind a desk in front of a selection of file boxes and served Dana and Taylor cake bits in hopes of selling them a birthday cake for Kennedy. But there was no bakery stuff in sight, besides some B-roll of cupcakes being made. And the cake slices the Carriage Boy served Dana and Taylor looked like they had been divvied up in some bleak break room of what truly seemed like a Charlie Kaufman–esque office that Bravo thought could pass as a bakery.

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Speaking of bleak and frightening, shortly after the horrifying surgery scene, we went to Taylor's house, following Mauricio and Kyle, who wore a shirt from the nonexistent Michael Jackson collection of Target. And then the three of them dined with a ghost. That’s right — last night’s episode brought with it the first appearance of dead Russell Armstrong, who sat, along with his dinner party companions, on the mandatory high-backed chairs that must, along with white asparagus grilled by a hired hand, be present at every Real Housewives of Beverly Hills dinner party. Russell, after spooking everybody out with his large-toothed visage, expressed to Kyle and Mauricio his frustration at Us magazine’s erroneous reporting that he and Taylor had separated. Clearly, the state of the Armstrongs’ union, at the time of the filming, was strong — as evidenced by the editing together of long, awkward shots of the two of them being chilly and uncomfortable around each other. Taylor and Russell wagered that it was Lisa Vanderpump who planted the information about their marriage falling apart, because Lisa is friends with the magazine editor; the whole thing did reek of ridiculous, planted conflict to me, although who knows how paranoid Russell was toward random cast members on his wife’s TV show.

Speaking of Lisa, Mrs. Vanderfabulous spent most of this week looking terrific and sandwiched by hotties Max (her son, sporting a Bad Brains T-shirt and a faux-hawk) and Jason (her daughter’s hot piece). Lisa also got the ol’ Bravo price tag treatment, which is a device the network uses to remind watchers that the women on the Housewives shows spend more money than you or I might on things like gifts or purses. “Cha-Ching!” goes the chyron, and “$21,700” appears alongside a shot of the watch Ken gave Jason, along with the name of the guy who made the watch. I’m not including it here, as I am not optimistic that I will be sent a free watch.

I would, however, like a free camel! So I will mention that Mohamed had one at the engagement party he hosted for Pandora. He also had a bunch of belly dancers there, and some airbrush tattoo artists, and a bongo band, and a whole bunch of other crazy crap I wouldn’t want any part of — including his girlfriend, a reasonably lifelike Real Doll named Julia.

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And Taylor made the levelheaded, not-very–Real Housewives–ish decision not to confront Lisa about the Us magazine debacle at her daughter’s engagement party. Russell, who was out of town for work, wasn’t invited, because he and Mohamed have “differences,” which weren’t detailed. I assume Russell stole Mohamed’s money, or said he’d invest it and didn’t? I’m going by the scuttlebutt on the world wide web about Russell having done that repeatedly to people, with Taylor’s help.

Another person who didn’t show up to Lisa’s/Mohamed’s/Pandora’s/The Mermaid’s party was Kim Richards! Kim called Lisa before the party this time, which was very unlike her. Kim’s usually a “show up halfway through the event and act bizarre” sort of gal, or at least “call to cancel a few hours past the starting time, with a quotably hilarious, inebriated phone call to the hostess” type. But this time, Kim gave Lisa a heads-up about missing out on the hootenanny. So whatever could Kim have been doing that week that was more important than being present for the 45-minute conversation her friends had with a woman who said she called her husband “daddy”?

Well, it seems as though Kim has been spending time with her Secret Boyfriend. That’s right! In a final step toward Kim’s complete transformation into Jerri Blank (Please see: the “Invisible Love” episode of Strangers With Candy for reference), Kim began an affair with a man she met on her block, and only felt comfortable showing him to you and me last night, in a reveal that made me shriek so loudly that my cat ran into the other room. Yes, Kim is dating a man named Ken, and far be it from me to be the judge of any kind of beauty contest, but I swear, when they revealed Ken’s face on the screen? The way I reacted, he could have been some kind of Dick Tracy villain. Maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was the buildup of only having seen his hairy arm and bracelet before they showed his face, and maybe it was just the idea that Kim had been seeing this man for a year in private. And he was real ... and yet for some reason Bravo still will not release photos of the front of his head!

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Kim warned him that she’d introduce him to her family soon, but that her family might be judgmental. I guess because he never starred in any of the Halloween movies or a Tuff Turf–sort of film, Ken would be persona non grata to the Richards Dynasty? “So, I’ll just speak little, and vibe a lot,” Ken decided, before getting up to kiss his secret lover around the table. I shrieked again at that point, you should know.

Not much else beyond that happened last night. Camille showed up at Pandora’s soiree stoned out of her seasonably appropriate gourd, and Kyle, as I mentioned before, proved she was indeed a Richards when, in an attention-starved display of WTF-ness, let a creepy, turban-adorned jerk dance with her on a table and bragged about how easy it was for her to do the splits before making that creepy fish face, which I hated so much I could barely watch. I hate it when actors, or former actors, act out in social situations. It causes me to pretend what’s happening isn’t happening and ignore them completely in the hopes that they will stop. They will never stop.

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What did you think of last night’s show? Did you scream at any point? What was the scariest moment? And was Kim’s Ken the Great Pumpkin? Don’t think about that metaphor too hard, you might hurt yourself.

Photo: Bravo