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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: What a Circus

Do you feel that chill in the air? Winter is coming, and even though the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills may be sipping rosé on the hotel rooftop, they still know to anticipate the cold winds. Alliances are forming for warmth and protection. Soon, the Richards Sisters will drape themselves in pashmina shawls and take their places in front of a fireplace to do commercials for a new Disney movie called Frozen. And even though the executives behind that movie have no idea that Kim and Kyle Richards are about as likeable, spokesperson-wise, as Ariel Castro and the Hamburger Helper Hand, if he had only talked about how 9/11 was an inside job, we, the audience of RHOBH, know better.

So far, this season seems committed to showing the descent of Kyle, and I hate to revel in the slow torture of someone so deserving, if only because it’s so predictable and, well, easy. But then, isn’t the pleasure of seeing something you anticipated an integral part of drama too? It’s not just suspense and witchcraft. In the grand scheme of storytelling, there is also justice.

But, speaking of witchcraft, we began this week’s episode with everyone’s favorite practitioner of the dark arts, Carlton. Brandi went lingerie shopping with Witchiepoo, and in that process we witnessed some pretty forced and awkward acknowledgements of those women’s bisexuality. The two tried to flirt, but their flattery came across as aggressive mutual admiration, and we also learned that Carlton believes in The Secret, in as much as The Secret demands you bury your vision board naked at midnight with a crystal. WHO ELSE DEMANDS A CARLTON/AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN CROSSOVER????

Then, we checked in with Kim, whose dog, Kingsley, has yet to take its life. Kim, along with the show producers, “had the idea” to take the ladies to a circus-trapeze class so they could escape the unpleasantness that is her and her sister’s personalities for an afternoon. And while plans for that romp-around brewed, Kyle and Joyce met for lunch and decided to form the Pantene Alliance. Joyce is not very bright and Kyle is extremely shallow, and both of their husbands are sort of sleazy betas, so it all worked out. And the couples commiserated over octopus and pizzettes (for the men only) about how hard it is to be famous, because people can say anything about you that they decide to, just because you happen to be Paris Hilton’s aunt or a beauty queen from Puerto Rico. Also, Kyle and Mauricio wore the two ugliest necklaces my eyes have ever had to send to my brain as information.

After a neutral Gigi-Yolanda interlude, in which Yo confided that she thought she was a “tough-ass” (?) but was in fact not, we got to see Ken surprise Lisa with a new puppy who will, unlike the rest of the Vanderpump Pack, actually grow up to one day look like a real dog. Lisa nearly squirted her boyfriend jeans upon Ken’s reveal, and we all got to watch a Golden Retriever pup romp around like a big ol’ goofy gus, before he met Giggy and was given the name Rumpy Pumpy, which also means butt sex. This scene was a sorbet course for the soul, and unless you are Kyle, you were probably smiling while you watched it. “How many Rumpy Pumpies do I need to collect to make a coat for my boutique?” she likely wondered, then realized that the dog’s coat wasn’t hideous enough to fit in with the rest of her wares.

Then, we landed at the fashionable “waiting area” of the trapez-circus sports place. It was adorned with a fashionable tapestry couch that was in no way inherited from the mom of the guy who owns the joint, and when Brandi arrived in her Glanville Workout Pinks, she plopped down on the thing in a mood. It turns out that paparazzi had chased her around Calabasas the day before asking her what she thought about Kyle Richards calling her a bully.

So, on the Circus Couch, Brandi told Kim, “I’m pissed at your sister,” because Brandi believed that Kyle, after the lunch at Carlton’s dungeon of doom, told the press that she felt “bullied” by Brandi, Lisa, and Yolanda after Brandi brought up the rumors that Mauricio was cheating on her. And Kim told Brandi “Let’s not talk about that today,” because, as a recovering alcoholic, Kim knows that secrets have always served her well.

Soon, all the other women arrived in various shades of Lululemon tanks and Vegas showgirl makeup, and it was time for Kim, who organized the day’s outing, to deliver an extensive “welcome sermon “to the group.

“This should be a nice day. We shouldn’t fight today. We should leave our stuff outside. Nobody mention anything to each other about things that bother them. Today is about the circus, and friendship.” That was the gist of what Kim had to say, but she also gestured a lot under the weight of her 7,000 bracelets, and repeated herself constantly. And that’s when Yolanda, who straight-up WON “hair” this week, with that fishtail side-braid, said to Kim, “All right, Kim. We’re adult women. You’ve said ‘no drama’ at least 30 times. Let’s get on the mats.” And, in response, Kim’s face went slack to its “sad and surprised” default, and she said “Yolanda, that’s rude.” And Brandi did a good job of pointing out the hypocrisy of Kim saying, “No drama,” then creating drama by reprimanding Yolo, but, also, Yolanda was totally NOT rude, she was just Dutch. And between her hailing from the Netherlands and Lisa coming from England, Kyle and Kim have a hard time separating bitchiness from plain old continental accents.

Soon, the women were swinging on trapezes with their legginged legs over their extension-laden heads, and lots of sex jokes were cracked, and we also learned that Carlton finds clowns creepy, yet she has no reservations whatsoever about dolls.

And while Brandi broke off into her coven of Lisa, Yolo, and Carlton to complain about Kyle’s tattling to the press, Kyle overheard and told Brandi that she never called her a bully to the tabloids. And Brandi said, “Yeah, well, then why do they know about it if you didn’t tell them?” and “It sucks to be called a bully in front of your kids.” And Kyle said “a lot of things suck,” because she had no choice but to bring everything back to her and her own infidelity scandal because that’s all she thinks about, and the only suffering Kyle can acknowledge as real is her own.

Then, the ladies jumped over each other as some of them (not Carlton) rolled on the mat, and Brandi said that she wanted an apology from Kyle despite Kyle’s denial of the bullying remark, and finally, while Yolanda bid the girls adieu, Kim made sure to remind Yolanda about how rude she was earlier by asking Kim to kindly wrap up her spiel so she could get home in time to have her dinner lemon and take photos of Gigi before prom.

Finally, the ladies all met for a poolside lunch on the rooftop of a Hollywood hotel. And here is where Brandi confronted Kyle once more about the “bully” remark, which Kyle again denied. Then, Lisa said to Kyle, “Well, Kyle, if you never called Brandi a bully, why don’t you tweet something to that effect and kill the story?” And that’s when Kyle pulled out a string of the most convoluted, narcissism-fueled anti-logic I’ve heard since I spent Rosh Hashanah with my extended family.

Kyle said to Lisa, “Why would I tweet something that clears my name of any wrongdoing as far as it affects Brandi when I’m dealing with the fact that my husband may have cheated on me?” Please feel free and reread that sentence as many times as you need to, but know that it doesn’t make sense at all, so don’t get mad if you don’t follow. Kyle said to Brandi on the spot and then, later, to camera in a thought-out testimonial, “Why should I expound any energy toward defending myself as far as it relates to shit I spoke about Brandi when I have to use my Twitter for denying rumors about my husband’s allegedly wayward penis. And also for plugging stuff I sell. And retweeting compliments. And making sure people know when I’m at a premiere.” Kyle also spoke to the enormity of the Mauricio’s Penis Scandal and how Brandi couldn’t possibly understand its magnitude (the scandal, not the dong; grow up, guys). And that’s Kyle-ese for “My family is more important than yours, because your pain is insignificant.”

And around this time is when Kyle showed her hand and revealed that she was indeed probably lying when she denied telling the press about Brandi having bullied her. It wasn’t just a question of her not having enough bandwidth to tweet all was well between her and BranVanYo, she admitted; she wasn’t going to apologize because it was pretty shitty how Brandi brought up the Mauricio rumors at lunch in the first place. And Brandi rationalized that she was just trying to protect Kyle with a heads-up and not talk about her behind her back, which she will never do again. But Kyle was still sore, because, like her sister, she, too, believes that secrets are as integral to a life well lived as oxygen, sparkly eye shadow, “funny” faces when you’re making a joke, being phony generally, and the theft of her sister’s house.

While Kyle and Brandi went at it, Joyce decided to make herself not completely boring and useless to the cast of the show for once, and took Lisa aside to say, “Hey, now that we’re talking about the lunch at Carlton’s, I, too, have a trivial matter from then that I want to bitterly address with you.” And this was a truly funny moment, because basically, Joyce told Lisa that it hurt her feelings when she tried to fix Lisa’s hair that day and Lisa was like “no thanks” or “leave me alone” or “I’m good” or “don't do that” or something like it. And dammit, Joyce, if primates could form words, you’d be an incredible addition to the cast of the Real House-Gibbons of Borneo, because matters of grooming and whether or not the alpha ape wants chiggers removed from its fur at a given moment are pretty much that tribe’s bread and butter. But when it comes to human women, you could not have picked a dumber thing to confront Lisa with. Holy god, was that funny and dumb.

And Lisa brought Joyce’s hair accusation back to the group, and before the women could all start laughing at Joyce the way chimps show their teeth before they either kill you or throw banana peels and feces toward your forehead, Joyce grabbed ladies to the left and the right of her pool chair and used them as human shields. “Brandi, you told me Lisa could only dish out criticism; not take it!” Joyce exclaimed. “Oh, fuck you, Joyce,” Brandi responded. “I’m kind of a bitch when I’m on my period, is all,” Joyce replied. “Are you on your period now?” Brandi zinged. And then the credits came up and we all ate some bread.

It was a good episode, I thought, despite being a little Carlton-light. Yolo continues to dazzle me, Kyle is only getting more evil week to week, and how sad was Kim when she spoke about how she loved learning things when she was a child in Disney movies, and that’s why she was excited to take a circus class?

What did you think of this week’s show? Is Mauricio-gate a longer-running thread than faint-gate because it gets under Kyle’s skin, or because there’s any truth to it? And will Joyce last? Please tell me in the comments below, and I’ll see you guys next week!

P.S. Sorry this recap went up so late. I’ve been doing a cabaret show at Joe’s Pub in NYC these past four nights, the last of which is tonight at 7:30 p.m. (Please come!) Anyway, I got a late start because of a late night, so please forgive me. xoxoo DJSB