Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Full-Scale Attack

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS -- "Reunion"

I’m not even sure if I need to write a recap after seeing the ladies of Beverly Hills in Lady Gaga’s latest video. Listen—I don’t know why Gaga is a pretending to be a burnt-up angel. I don’t know why those two nice men dressed in garbage bags dragged her through the Hearst Castle, put a floral octopus on her head at a Fellini-themed party, and threw her ass in the pool with some Edie Beale–themed nuns. I don’t know why Yolanda is only playing her cello at the neck. Why is Seth Rogen’s brother reanimating Michael Jackson’s corpse? I can’t tell you why Brandi and Joyce are absent from this thing altogether, but Joyce is probably at a shooting range with Brandi’s face plastered on all of the targets. The only thing about this video that makes sense after last night’s reunion is Lisa snapping necks, and the eternal question: What means goad?

Does this cast need a New York–style makeover? There are already rumors that Joyce and Carlton are getting the ax. I’d hate to see the only two brown people in Beverly Hills get the boot, but this cycle of hate used to feed into fun, and now it’s just hate regurgitated as a deeper, more foul hatred, like the Human Centipede of reality television.

This reunion is all about happier times, though, and all of the Botox and fillers the ladies jam into their faces. Did you think I could just roll with the punches on this segment? I have a master’s degree in gender studies that legally prevents me from participating in body-shaming (I think I signed something about it when I got my campus library card). Oh, by all means — we never get to hear about beauty-based inadequacy or women struggling to live up to an unrealistic beauty ideal! Let’s spend ten minutes reliving their aversion to cake and all of the bodily harm they’re willing to inflict upon themselves in the name of exercise. I’m not even going to dignify this part of the show by talking about it further, except to say that when Kim poked Brandi’s cheek to confirm its realness, Alice Paul did a triple lindy in her grave.

Carlton had to defend her witchcraft for the nine bajillionth time and remind us that she’s just harnessing nature’s energies, maaaaaaan. It’s all just nature’s vibrations, maaaaaan. If anyone is going to draw a metaphorical line between Mother Earth and vibrating, it’s Carlton. She was apparently a practitioner of the dark arts when her mom got married to a jerk, but when they divorced she stopped. There’s nothing special about this — I wished my stepfather would die almost every day, but he only developed sleep apnea and became more of a dick. You can’t kill stepparents with witchcraft, but you can get into a massive fight with a preening Beverly Hills mean girl about it.

After a few rounds of “Liar, Hypocrite, Bigot,” Carlton finally said that she just doesn’t like Kyle, which, you know, get in line. Kyle, who learned all about pentagrams from Richard “the Night Stalker” Ramirez, doesn’t understand how Carlton can have crosses in her house and be Wiccan, and Carlton doesn’t understand how Kyle is able to drive a car without adult supervision. When Andy asked if Kyle was goading Carlton, Yolanda piped up and asked, “What means goad?” and my heart burst into a thousand rays of love for her. Kyle took a liiiiiiittle too long answering “yes” when Lisa asked if she would take back her anti-Semite remark, and two Syrian delegates were dispatched to explain the actual stakes of religious warfare instead of this made-up fight that’s actually based in how much they just fundamentally dislike each other.

Moving on! It’s time to cry over the children. That sounds like a strange harvest ritual, but it’s just all of the women breaking down at the thought of their children moving away. Joyce and Kim cried for no reason except to steal a little bit of the spotlight back, but Kim really had a breakdown about Kimberley all over again. Were her sentences even coherent? Has someone hired a live-in nurse? There’s no way Kim is going to make it through the next four years this way. YoYo shed some tears, but then got down to the business of answering our burning question, which is that Gigi is paying her own rent on Gracie Mansion, the quaint apartment she lives in to avoid the college riffraff. Yolanda only paid for her furniture and made it possible for her to have the genetic makeup of a Grecian goddess that will allow her to be Sports Illustrated’s Rookie of the Year in perpetuity — she really didn’t help that much at all, guys!

I couldn’t pick Eddie Cibrian out of a lineup, but I would high-five him for keeping his kids off-camera. Brandi wants the world to see what an amazing mom she is to take the shine off of the hot, drunken mess she is when they’re not around, but I’m glad someone is refusing to let these kids be pawns. Besides, in a few years they’ll start dating and trading venereal diseases with one of the Jenner kids or someone from the Pitt-Jolie clan, and we’ll read all about it in Us Weekly while we’re buying calcium-enriched Ensure.

In order to bring Lisa into the mix, Kim starts yelling at her about Lisa missing her daughter’s graduation party again. It was a big deal to Kim because she was rebuilding her life, and she will literally never let it go. I realize that Kim is a fragile tendril of Spanish moss clinging to a branch, hoping the next strong breeze won’t rip her right out of her foundation, but is this a real problem? Is this an out-of-touch Beverly Hills thing, or a shaky recovering alcoholic thing? I want to be sensitive and sympathetic to her plight, but the way Kim’s brain wraps around information like a vise grip is indicative of the fact that she needs more — more people, more hobbies, more therapy. Lisa tried to reason with Kim, which was like watching someone try to toilet train an otter.

Lisa has been dealt a dirty hand, and it’s disgusting how these ladies are treating her. She hasn’t shown me any reason to dislike her or think she’s a liar, so you can’t even blame bad editing for this. Brandi was feeling insecure about Scheana and probably a little too mothered, but that’s no reason to embark on a takedown of this level. Lisa, armed only with logic and the truth, handled herself well. Her confessionals are always cutting and she certainly doesn’t hold back, but nothing she’s done on the show makes me think this full-scale attack is warranted. Show me the receipts! 

During Brandi’s review session, we learn that she’s been taking Lexapro for depression, and everyone is rightfully sympathetic to what she’s going through. Everyone except Joyce, who went for the jug, trying to get Brandi to admit to calling the paparazzis. Apparently Joyce has a publicist because she went to Siberia? Or acted in something called Siberia? And the publicist told her that they heard Brandi called the paparazzis. Brandi vehemently denied calling the paparazzis! How often do you have to get your face lasered for it to be a valid excuse for avoiding the paparazzis?

Joyce doesn’t care — she thinks Brandi always plays the victim, and it’s unfair to all of the hard-working, depressed single moms out there that Brandi is such a mess. Everyone thought it was terrible for Brandi to pretend to make up with Joyce and then refuse her hug, and they agreed that they were never going to be friends. Is that what we’ve been trying to figure out all this time? That’s been obvious to most of us for months. I could have saved Bravo so much money.

Next week the husbands come out to play, and I’ll reveal the winner of the season! See you then. 

Photo: Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo