I’ll be the first to give credit where it’s due: This was a fantastic season finale. The only reason I didn’t give it SIX stars was because Faye Resnick didn’t end up drowning in the pool.
We spent the whole episode at Lisa and Ken’s housewarming/vow-renewal party. Our first course was the aftermath of Faye having put her “big fat dick on the table” last week, when Yolanda and Brandi confronted Marisa for talking about Brandi behind her back. Lisa came over to Yolanda and Brandi and asked what happened, and Brandi explained that Faye actually accused Brandi of breaking up Adrienne and Paul’s marriage. “How stupid can you be?” Yolanda wondered aloud, flawlessly. WILL YOLANDA WIN THE SEASON? I’ll make that call after both reunions.
Marisa came over to confer with Yo, Brandi, and Lisa and said, “I say what people think!” when it came to defending her decision to express horror to a pack of frothing wolves at a text Brandi sent her suggesting that she and her husband sleep with other people. “Shut up, you skeleton with anemic braids,” said the facial expressions of the three Goddesses of Mount Olympus, and Marisa backpedaled quicker than an exercise-bulimic following orders at Spin Class. “I guess I shouldn’t have broadcasted my disgust at the suggestion that I sexually explore men I don’t despise in front of every monster hungry for Brandi’s blood,” Marisa half-heartedly agreed. And Yolanda held court, her white dress contrasting Marisa’s black gown starkly, like the forces of Good versus wishy-washy Evil.
And meanwhile, Faye Resnick still lurked, toadishly at the gala, dribbling poison into the ears of whomever would dally within the boundaries of her gooey, lacy web. Lisa approached Faye, sadly not to kick her ass out — which, she explained, she did not do because Faye was a guest of Kyle’s — but to say, “REALLY, Faye,” like a glamorous, Jackie Collins–ish Seth Meyers, when it came to the MCFR’s accusation that Brandi split up Paul and Adrienne. Well, actually, they didn’t even get into THAT bullshit right away, because Faye’s big fat dick had a new cause to trumpet from its pee-hole to Lisa. Faye told Lisa that she was convinced she and Brandi were out to get Adrienne and that Brandi was acting as Lisa’s mouthpiece. “That’s an insult,” said Vanderpump, and Lizard Garbage was like, “I would never insult you in your own home,” and Lisa was like, “Well, you have,” and that’s when Faye proved what we all knew the whole season, which is the Forrest Gump–ish adage that Mouthpiece is as Mouthpiece does. “Dealing with you is like playing chess,” Toad Ghoul bleated at Vanderpump. And Lisa’s head sprouted a gorgeous, rose-colored lightbulb over her perfect hair and it went "Ding!" “You’ve been talking to Kyle,” Lisa realized aloud. And we got a quick glimpse of the same “chess” remark Kyle had made toward her during last year’s reunion. Faye has always served the purpose of doing Kyle’s dirty work so Kyle could play off what she considers charming neutrality. Faye is Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield to Kyle’s Marsellus Wallace. I’m not sure what’s in the suitcase yet, but watching the first reunion, it may very well be the profits from Mauricio’s sales of the cast members’ homes.
After the “chess” comment, Lisa had heard everything she needed to hear from the monster Bill Paxton turned into at the end of Weird Science and said, “Checkmate, bitch,” in her testimonial, which whelped a series of cheers from gay men and ladies watching the finale together across this great nation.
Yolanda and Brandi wandered into the battlezone of Lisa and Faye, as the Sisters Richards observed the whole interaction from a cowardly distance. “I don’t like taking sides!” Kyle said, in the understatement of the year. And again, I know some of you think I bully Kyle in my recaps, but I swear to you — of all of these women, when it comes to considering how they SHOULD know to act considering their mental abilities and how they actually CHOOSE to act, Kyle is by far the most despicable person on this show. Not including Faye, who I consider set dressing at a Halloween shop. And worse than Adrienne, who I just think is sad, scared, and damaged, and got in way over her head with the reality show and reacted by lying terribly and selling stories to whichever tabloid reporter would still take her calls. I find Adrienne sad. I find Kyle repugnant.
Kyle’s desperate quest to be loved by everyone — a residual character flaw from her formative years as a child actress — results in her manifesting no loyalty, no integrity, and no true, heartfelt concern for anyone beyond herself. She thinks not taking sides is a cute way to be friends with everyone. In fact, her social actions, or nonactions, are merely the machinations of a lousy performance by a washed-up actress for an audience that went home years ago. Kyle’s desire to grab the spotlight and be adored by friends who she confuses for fans is as fervent as her sister’s need to keep secrets safe. All the L.A. Shrinks in the world couldn’t put a dent in this family. They’re a nuclear disaster area, and Faye is the three-eyed fish that grew legs and learned to defend its natural habitat.
Oh — and in between all of this hot Lis-Bran-Yo versus MCFR action, there was also a quick talk between Taylor and Linda “Jam Is Middle Class” Thompson about whether or not it was cool for Taylor to be friends with Yolanda. And Linda was like, “Sure!” and with that, Taylor’s story line was officially resolved and we can cut her loose and say good-bye.
Back to the main course. After Lisa shot down Resnick’s accusation that Brandi broke up the Mallooves like a giant waving away a fly, Faye lobbed some residue garbage she had hiding in her updo about how gross it was that Brandi allegedly boned a fella at 1 a.m. in the bathroom of one of her godchildren. When the ladies were like, “You’re an idiot,” and Yo backed up that notion with her erudite and authoritative accent, Faye said, “Waah! You’re all bullying me! You even asked me to leave a couple minutes ago!” And Yolanda clarified that she had indeed asked Faye to butt out of the conversation she and Brandi had tried to initiate with Marisa, and Faye claimed that she’d only stuck her nose into that chat because she thought Marisa was being bullied. “Are you insane?” shouted the voice of reason in a Dutch accent. “You didn’t say anything in support of Marisa, you were just stirring shit!” “I’m bored,” belched the pillar of warts and sewage packed into a light-blue lace frock. That’s when Kyle came over.
“Look,” whined Kyle, with the potency of a lukewarm mug of water with a teabag dipped into it twice, “Faye and Brandi — you guys have never gotten along.” Good point, Kyle, you fucking moron. Don’t show up to the scene of the crime and act like your hitman isn’t working for you. Keep your distance like the coward you are. “Hey, Kyle,” Lisa said, “You know what Faye just said? YOU’LL find this interesting.” Kyle’s eyebrows tilted slightly to their “concerned” setting. Lisa continued. “Faye just said that Brandi is my mouthpiece! That Brandi says things about Adrienne, et al, that I don’t have the balls to say myself. What do you think of that, Kyle? How do you feel about that accusation? Do you have anything to add to it? Or are you ADVOCATING IT WITH SILENCE THE WAY MOST OF EUROPE AND THE WESTERN WORLD DID WHEN HITLER STARTED TOPPLING THE ‘SMALLER, GERMANY-ADJACENT’ COUNTRIES?” Now, as the exposition telegraphed in boldface, was Kyle’s chance to defend Lisa, as Lisa had asked her to do repeatedly throughout the season. And Kyle … didn’t. Wah-wah. Slow, long, sad queef. Frowny face. Emoji with tears and long, age-inappropriate hair.
“Your friend Faye is garbage,” Yolanda said to Kyle, who nodded with a small smile, like a baby expressing intestinal gas. “What do you have to say for yourself?” Brandi asked Kyle. “You guys have never gotten along!” Kyle said with passive neutrality. “Faye is just defending Adrienne.” That’s around the time Kim freaked out.
“WHY ARE YOU SO DEFENSIVE OF ADRIENNE AND NOT ME?” Kim lunged at Kyle once all the other girls wandered away, certain that Kyle was never going to express anything that a person with a backbone and a true regard for others would. “Brandi hurt me!” Kim said, remaining us all that she will never get past steps eight or nine in her recovery. Oops! Oh well. Why move on from things that hurt you? The only side effect of forgiveness is growing up.
Kim accused Kyle and Brandi of “ruining her life” in the same way Faye’s dummy mouth, as operated by ventriloquist Kyle, accused Brandi of “breaking up Paul and Adrienne’s marriage.” And nobody took any responsibility for anything, but at least we got to see that clip from season one of Kim screaming, “YOU STOLE MY HOUSE!” from the back of that limo to Kyle. I’ve said this before about Kim, but her currency is secrets. Her anger doesn’t come from the thing, but another person’s decision to reveal the thing. She’s a very sick and sad person, and I don’t think her sobriety has even begun to scratch the surface of what’s truly wrong with her. I feel pity for Kim. Kyle should know better — Kim is hindered. I’ll leave it to you in the comments to judge whether this show is good for her. I do feel like all Richardses, without a camera on them, would not exist. So there is that to take into sad consideration.
Around this time, Adrienne showed up to the party. She looked pale and puffy and even the camel toe she sported in her black jumpsuit seemed to frown a little bit. Fresh from having been served divorce papers from Paul, Adrienne hobbled into Lisa and Ken’s party like a frail senior citizen straight from bladder surgery. A cadre or coven of her cohorts surrounded her and moved around her tiny frame, like a cloud of filth around Pig-Pen, and moved Adrienne to the couch. Then Adrienne squeaked something about counseling, and her children and Caveman Maurice grunted something like, “You’ve had a tough year!” which was dumb. Is that a Brandi remark? Shut up, Maurice, you Ooga Booga dumb-dumb mouth-breather. Take your shirt off and keep your lips zipped. My two cents.
Kyle made another “Isn’t it weird that I find out my friends get divorced from TMZ and the Internet?” humblebrag remark, and Lisa and Ken were pissed that Adrienne didn’t find them to say hello, considering it was their party. Adrienne was, meanwhile, pissed that Lisa didn’t come up to her and welcome her to their party. And then Adrienne left, and Kyle said to Lisa, “Adrienne is gone, but she said to tell you that she can’t be around anyone right now.” WHAT? Adrienne! Stay in bed, tacky bitch! You can’t phone this shit in. You’re either in or you’re out, and girl — you’re out.
Meanwhile, Yolanda, who has made LEAPS AND BOUNDS in my esteem as far as impressing me exponentially throughout the course of the season, not only suggested that “the day you get served divorce papers is maybe a good day to stay home,” but also that, by removing herself from the group the entire season, Adrienne had really given everybody — Housewives and audience alike — a sense that she was better than everybody else. And Yo should know about that, since “being above it all” was one of the top accusations lobbed at her, next to “is unsettlingly submissive to her Geico Lizard–like producer husband.” As she would later say in the reunion, a lot of that has to do with her Dutch-ness. But she was spot-on as far as Adrienne was concerned, and even stood by her own values when she began to talk shit about Maloof, then wondered aloud, “How do I say this without sounding judgmental? I guess I just say nothing.” AND THEN SHE SAID NOTHING. I raise a glass of freshly squeezed lemon cleanse juice to you, Yolanda. I underestimated you and your extension-laden fierceness.
By now we were in the home stretch. The fights wound down, and Lisa got — or pretended to get — cold feet about renewing her vows. Brandi gave her pal a cute pep talk, and, in that scene between Brandi and Lisa, we truly cemented the real love story of the season — one between two friends who have never wavered in their loyalty to each other. Are Brandi and Lisa the new, pre-breakup Jill and Bethenny? Is it safe to have a friendship crush on these two? I think it is! And I think that is fucking beautiful. Hooray!
Ken and Lisa and Giggy finally stood in front of a heart-shaped trellis, and they said very sweet things to each other that made me tear up a little bit, and not just because I’m going through a breakup and I very much want one day what all of the single cast members expressed in their testimonials that they, too, one day want. And Lisa never looked more beautiful, smiling girlishly at Ken with her hair swept to the side. We got to see some retro pix of Muppet Baby Ken and Lisa at their wedding 1 million years ago, and then everybody celebrated and pretended to swallow cake, instead of grab it with their surgically enhanced mouths and spit it out before it could show up in the form of cellulite beneath a bandage dress. And as the ladies danced and rejoiced in celebration of an enduring couple while another dissolved across town, we were reminded that nothing — not even love — is permament. Things change; people grow up. Or they’re supposed to. And as we cycle through the seasons together, as imperfect beings created by whatever you choose to believe is God, it’s our job to protect ourselves, so that one day we can be there for others. It’s a job that should enable hard work, but also joy. And with growth, it is possible. Onward and upward, and let’s bring on the spring.
Note: I will be back with a recap of the reunion part one tomorrow. I can’t do two recaps in one day; not with two Passover Seders to attend! My family gives me the Mazel of the Week, but I may very well be your Jackhole. I’ll take it. Just bear with me, and I’ll be back tomorrow to give you the skinny on the first chapter of the reunion. I won’t stand you up like Adrienne, that’s for sure. Until then.