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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Black Magic Woman

Hello, everyone, and Happy Almost Thanksgiving! Do we know to give thanks next week for Carlton? Because by now we should all be well aware that, without Witchiepoo, this show would be a Groundhog Day–style whirling dervish of repetitive Richards-on-Vanderpump misdeeds, with nary a magic ball in sight, and haven’t we all reached our limits when it comes to the static predictability of Kim and Kyle? Kim is a damaged husk of a former child star who owns a dog that will one day take her life, and Kyle is the worst human being who has ever lived. This won’t change. THEY won’t change. On with the black magick!

Sadly, other things happened in this week’s episode before we learned that Carlton USED TO practice the dark arts before she had children. That means: Basically, Carlton used to kill people with her mind, using spells from the book with the illustration of Stevie Nicks wearing a BLACK TOP HAT on its cover, and now she only uses the spell book featuring Stevie wearing her white shawls with a falcon on her shoulder. Oh, I could talk about Carlton until flying monkeys roost, but I have to cover the other chickens as well. Bawk-bawk! Let’s begin.

So, this week’s episode started with Brandi forcing a friend of hers to look at her nude. Her pal Lynn Lynne or whomever came over and held Brandi’s dog like it was an Emmy while she obediently listened to her naked pal tell her that she was thinking of breaking up with her real estate boyfriend, J.R. Pufenstuf. And Lynn Lynn was like, “Good idea, Brandi’s bare jugs, I mean Brandi,” and Brandi gave us a monologue that was at once soaring and puttering in between her bath action, wherein she described her inability to trust anyone and her tendency to get lonely.

Then, we got to know Joyce a bit more than we already do, while she shopped (or browsed, or just tried on/filmed at) at the jewelry shop featured in the Garry Marshall film Pretty Woman. Do you remember that movie? Jason Alexander was in it, and Julia Roberts played a common hooker. A lot of really medium-intelligent people in the 1980s went bananas for that movie. Anyway, Pretty Woman is pretty much sacred text for Joyce, who gifted the camera with a direct testimonial about how being a beauty queen is pretty much the most feminist thing any adult human woman can do with her time, hair, and toothpick arms. She talked about the issue of people thinking beauty pageant contestants are dumb, and she added that she wasn’t dumb; she has degrees in social work and special education. And here’s where I wanted to gently tell this woman, who’s spent more time volunteering in a hospital than I have this year, as means of clarification:

Regular women don’t think pageant queens are dumb. We are just wary of an archaic institution that gives out crowns and the stamp of approval of one Mr. Donald Trump to Vaseline-toothed bulimics who have to pose in high heels and swimming suits on a stadium stage for the opportunity to seem “inspiring” and “empowering” to fellow women who want to, one day, do good by society, but also happen to have been born with symmetrical faces. These young pageant girls, Joyce posited, might need a beauty queen mentor to help remind them not to ever eat cookies, or else nobody will listen to anything they have to say or appreciate a single hospital visit, a social work degree, a talent for the violin, or anything else you have to contribute to society. Beauty pageants are rooted in the very notion that, unless a woman is beautiful and thin, she cannot be a role model. They should be burned to the ground alongside voter restrictions, Rick Perry’s vacation spot, parental permission laws around abortions, and obstacles to marriage equality. But hey—that’s just one ever-so-slightly asymmetrical gal’s opinion! So feel free to tell me to fuck off, because where do I get the right to be heard: I made s’mores in my microwave last night.

Anyway, a young pageant girl went with Joyce to try on a tiara, and Joyce told us that her husband was (ugh) a great lover, and that she was extremely blessed and happy. And those are always the happiest people, right? The ones who have to tell you, over and over again — ideally on camera, on a show that reaches around 2 million people, how not at all hollow they feel in their lives? Yes, that makes sense and is believable. Congratulations, Joyce! Anyone who criticizes you going forward is just jealous.

Meanwhile, across town, Maleficient conferred with her blonde nanny about the bee-less lunch she would soon host for her fellow Housewives. And Carlton smiled a big, toothy grin when she chatted up her hired hand — LizBeth or Bethaliz or Eezy or some such thing — and her grin made about as much sense as a Tyler Perry movie. 

What I mean: When Carlton smiles, my brain — which (not bragging) is very well-versed in recognizing emotion that is registered on human faces — cannot add up anything that’s going on. I see teeth, I see her pentagram, I see a tan, and eyebrows and a neck and a lot of black areas — but I do not see joy. I do not see social ease or happiness or even aggression or seduction. I don’t know WHAT I see — it doesn’t make sense. It will probably never make sense to me BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER DABBLED IN THE DARK ARTS! Carlton also mentioned in this scene that it was important for her children, Mysteri, Entropy, and Bisexualiti, to grow up around beautiful women like EezyBeez, and it seemed like she was hinting to us that she liked to swim around in the lady cauldron from time to time in her enormous Gothic bed.

Then, we checked in with Yolanda, who got a home visit from a homeopathic doctor who was still, somehow, legally allowed in the state of California to stick an IV in a woman’s arm.

Yolo is recovering from some pretty serious, non-cosmetic surgery on this show, and she’s also dealing with her daughter leaving for college, and I have a feeling she hasn’t eaten any solid food in weeks. So, naturally, she was emotional, and everything she was feeling and saying was legit, which is always an interesting flavor note to add into the Housewife stew. Also, that salad her daughter, Gigi, was eating made me want to cry real tears, it just looked like such a bummer. Especially since, after that salad made its on-screen appearance, we got to see REAL CALAMARI, as ingested by one …

… J.D.! Remember him? Well, neither do I, really, but Brandi has been nailing him, and because she didn’t like that he went on a trip without giving her a heads-up, she dumped him in a restaurant over a glass of rosé and a plate of fried sea creatures. And because none of us really know J.D. or how he relates to Brandi at all or who he even is besides Mauricio’s partner, I think I speak for the majority of the RHOBH-watching audience when I say, “Good for you, Brandi” and *shrug*.

Then, Lisa got kicked off Dancing With the Stars. And that wasn’t really a surprise, because she was pretty bad in the footage we saw. But we also knew that was going to happen, and last week there was Faint-gate and the like. And I think we all thought that this week’s episode was going to be about whether Lisa did or did not faint on DWTS, and weren’t the Richards Sisters assholes in insinuating as much, but instead, it was — thank Beelzebub — about gorgeous Carlton.

Still: While Kyle, Kim, Joyce, and Brandi were en route to The Witch’s Castle, the girls gabbed in the car about Lisa’s faint. And Brandi joined in on Kim and Kyle’s snarking, which was sort of disappointing. I’m not saying Lisa did or didn’t faint for real or that I expected Brandi to be a more loyal friend, but maybe I am in fact saying both things. I don’t know anymore. Carlton’s smile really threw me for a loop, and I’ll probably never recover. I haven't been able to feel my toes since I saw those teeth!

By now, Yolanda had already arrived at Carlton’s place for lunch, and the two were having a gay old time together, being European and kind of haughty, and they also bonded about how they could both sort of be Disney villains. So when the Ugly Americans showed up and toured the “doll wing” of the Carlton Casa, it was an explosive exercise in on-camera ignorance, amplified by relativity.

“What are these, dolls?” “Our mom has Madame Alexander ones.” “Are these a little creepy or is it just me?” What our pals Jerk, Dummy, Filthmouth, and Phony Bones, failed to grasp AT ONCE was that yes, Carlton collects old creepy porcelain dolls and OF COURSE she does because CARLTON IS A WITCH and dolls contain spirits and they are also good for voodoo in a pinch. WHY DOESN’T ANYONE ON THIS SHOW KNOW THAT? I mean, please. If you went to, say, the home of one Jocelyn Wildenstein, and she did NOT have cat skulls on display, wouldn’t you be like, “Er, something’s missing.” Or if you visited the home of Gary Busey, and there WASN’T a shed full of decapitated CPR dummies that smelled like the leftover bones from a stoneware tureen full of pork chops, wouldn’t you be confused and alarmed?

So, right before lunch, Kyle observed all the crosses in Carlton’s home and asked her hostess whether she grew up Catholic. And it was pretty much like Kyle killed a queen bee in front of her, the way Carlton’s bonnet buzzed up. How dare Kyle connect crosses to Catholicism in front of a woman who owns more Pentagrams than Anton LaVey and whose stare can only be described as the visual manifestation of the feeling we all got when Angelina Jolie showed up at the Oscars with her brother that year.

Carlton was not having any of Kyle, and around this time, Carlton talked about how she “no longer” did Black magic, which was kind of a bummer considering how easily she could have made Kyle’s hair fall out with a couple of blinks. Oh, BTW—my understanding is that witchcraft is 75 percent intention, 25 percent blinking. So by the time Kyle took her place at the head of Carlton’s lunch table, I had already pictured her bald and stung to death by bees. Very “Divine at the end of Female Trouble,” which is still a good look for anyone who’s had the bad fortune to have had a spell cast on them.

And if I may, now I would like to take a moment to express my extreme disgust at Kyle’s “joking around” about how excited she was to be the center of attention at the head of the table. People like that and their “I’m just kidding about wanting to be looked at constantly” should be revoked of all joking privileges, and ESPECIALLY of any attention, positive or negative, directed toward them whatsoever. I swear to God, if Kyle needs attention that badly, she should just do porn.

But, no. Kyle insists on keeping her hideous clothes on, and we have to be the victims of her constant attempts at holding court. You know she thinks she just “says what everybody else is thinking,” or that she’s the alpha girl on RHOBH that the audience members all relate to. Kyle: You are not. You are garbage. And when you casually asked Carlton whether she was ever into witchcraft, I think our Dark Lord took offense not because it was too personal, but because it was so obvious. Like, why don’t you just ask Diane Keaton if she likes hats? Or Lil’ Kim if she’s ever given a blow job?

And naturally, Carlton took offense toward Kyle’s invasive ignorance because she summons her Britishness when she needs to justify the flames behind her eyes. And by then, the gals were all around the table, and Brandi expounded upon the fact that she likes Carlton because Carlton is a like a nice version of the C word. And there was some ribble rabble about Brandi using that word, but Carlton didn’t mind, and that was met with accusations of the witch’s hypocrisy, and finally, then, people teased Lisa about faking her faint.

But Lisa, because she does NOT give a FUCK, didn’t pay her friends much mind in the “did you or didn’t you fake your faint” department, but she still threw Kyle shade, as well she should. And finally, Brandi, who shared a limo over with Kyle and Co. and seemed to be traipsing along her life path being cool with everyone on her own bizarre terms, asked Kyle in the most casual possible way whether there was any truth to the rumors about Mauricio being unfaithful to her. And Yolanda, who, until now, was as elegantly quiet as a marble pillar, chirped in with an admonition to all present that no tabloid would be saying a ill word about Mauricio’s wayward penis if there wasn’t some truth to the whole affair. Which was AS COLD AS ICE! Yolo for the IcyHot burns-so-good win! So, the episode ended with Kyle in tears and Carlton plotting something vaguely nefarious behind her eyes. Oh—we also got to see Giggy this week. Hello, Giggy!

What will happen next week? Is the Mauricio subplot stickier than Faintgate? Should Brandi maybe give more of a shit? And is Yolanda everything? Please let me know in the comment section below, and I’ll see you next week!

Photos: Bravo; Bravo