Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Trippin’ in Amsterdam

Fight, fight, fight. Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
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Why, oh, why do these Real Housewives go on the trips? I know it’s contractually obligated, but haven’t they learned their lesson by now? It’s like you put your hand on a hot burner and it gets seared. Then the next year you are faced with a stove in a different location and think, Oh, the burner can’t be that hot, but it is. It is that hot, and you burn your hand all over again and think, God, why do all these burners have to be so hot? There must be something wrong with the burner. But these women never bother to stop and ask if there is something wrong with them. No, they do not do that. Well, maybe they should.

This year, the scalding-hot burner on the Amsterdam vacation is Kim Richards. Ugh, I would rather drink a smoothie of Ryan Seacrest’s hair and the water from the Bog of Eternal Stench than admit that I understand Kyle Richards’s pain but, well, I understand Kyle Richards’s pain. I have defended Kim Richards for far too long, but on last night’s episode, her behavior, as Kyle told us repeatedly, was indefensible. How can you speak up for Kim Richards when she was displaying the sort of petty meanness that she was last night?

The funny thing is, this is exactly the same Kim Richards we saw at Dana Pam’s Empty House Game Night, where she hid Brandi’s crutches and called her a bunch of names and was just sort of evil. Back then Kim was on God knows what (actually, God says it was probably a combination of booze and pills), but last night she could not blame intoxication. Yes, Kim has dried out, but she has not altered her behavior all that much, which, well, is a reason for concern about Kim’s sobriety.

Just what happened at dinner? It started with Yolanda Bananas Foster, who sits down and was like, “I want to start this dinner off by having us all share something personal, and I just want to tell you all how hard it was when my daughter got a DUI.” Alright, that was basically saying, “Hey, everyone. We’re going to talk about Kim’s sobriety again, and this is my way into it, so hopefully you’ll pick up the ball and run with it. Okay? Thanks!” In fact, this whole giant fight did seem a little bit staged. I hate to say that about the Housewives because, well, this whole thing is about as artificial as the Widow Taylor Armstrong’s upper lip, but to call it artificial is only stating the obvious. But I’m also inclined to think this whole thing wasn’t staged. Know why? We’ve seen all of these women act before, and none of them are this good.

Anyway, Lisar takes Yolanda’s bait and brings up her sister, who died of an overdose, and her brothers-in-law, who died of the same, and says that’s why this issue is very personal and painful for her, and if she got in Kim’s business about her sobriety, that’s why. It was almost like Lisar was trying to apologize once again to Kim for talking about her sobriety.

Kim did not read it that way — she told Lisar that she had gotten into her business, and if they want to start talking about each other’s business, maybe they should start talking about Harry Hamlin, star of L.A. Law and Clash of the Titans. Eileen interjects that Kim should lay off of Lisar’s husband and Kim calls her a “beast.” When Eileen says she doesn’t like Kim, Kim says, “I don’t like anything about you, from your hair to you face to your attitude.” Kim must have been watching the oral scenes in midget porn before this dinner, because those are some low blows.

Then she goes back after Harry again, alleging that she knows something about Lisar’s home life, but before she can get it out, Lisar lunges for her, threatens to choke her, and then throws a glass down on the table, sending wine shrapnel in every direction. When Bethenny Frankel was watching last night, right at that moment she got out her iPhone, opened the Notes app, and just wrote, “Ask Julia about Skinny Girl Wine Shrapnel.” When the glass was down, Kyle just got up from the table and ran outside toward some medieval-looking fires burning open on the sidewalk. What sort of Medieval Times designer put those there, and where on earth did Kyle think she was running off to?

The whole scene devolved from there. Eileen, who had been attacked, was consoling Kyle because of course this whole thing is really about how Kyle is a bad sister and not as good a sister as Kathy Hilton (which is sort of like not being as good a sister as Typhoid Mary or Flo from the Progressive commercials). So we have Kyle, Lisa, Lisar, and Cult Jam (in this instance, Cult Jam is Eileen) in one camp and Yolanda, Brandi, and Kim in another camp.

It’s interesting to note Kim’s juxtaposition with Brandi in this instance because, well, wasn’t Kim behaving just like Brandi? When she said, “If you’re going to spread lies about me, then I’m going to tell everyone the truth about you,” didn’t that sound exactly like something Brandi would say? Wasn’t it exactly what Brandi said about Kyle when they were fighting after eating some Space Cake in the café? Now, I don’t think that Brandi is influencing Kim in a very direct way, like giving her strategies about how to fight effectively on reality-television programs. I just think that they have a very similar psychological makeup, which causes them to inflict pain on people when they feel vulnerable.

Kim is clearly in the wrong here, and while Lisar did behave deplorably, if she hadn't been pushed by Kim, then no glasses ever would have been thrown. However, there is a huge flaw to Kim’s entire argument, which we see the next day when she shows up at Lisar’s door to talk things over.

Kim says that if Lisar saw Kim all messed up at Eileen’s game night and was concerned about her treatment, then she should have come to Kim to talk about it. As several of you pointed out in the comments last week (and as Bravo handily re-showed us last night), when Lisar tried to talk to Kim about it, all Kim said was “blah blah blah.” Literally, that is what she said. She didn’t say, “Thanks, but I took one pill and now I’m all good,” or “That’s sweet, but I’ve talked to my sponsor and we’re working it out,” or anything that would have gotten Lisar off her back. No, she decided not to talk about it. That is why Lisar went and asked everyone else about Kim, because that is not the attitude of someone who is healthy and working through a small relapse.

Second, Kim says that she and Lisar agreed on the plane not to talk about it anymore, and when Lisar brought it up again at dinner, it enraged her. There was no agreement on the plane. Kim told Lisar that she was not allowed to talk about her or her sobriety in public, and if she did it again, there would be consequences. It was not a request, it was a threat. Again, not the sort of behavior of someone succeeding in recovery.

Kim really has no defense here. Does Lisar need to know all the ins and outs of her treatment? No. Does she deserve an explanation for why Kim appeared to be on drugs in public in front of her when she is supposed to be sober? Yes. And she never got that explanation. It’s like if you go to your favorite restaurant knowing it has a rat problem and you see a rat. The next time you go back, you ask the manager, “Did you take care of the rats?” If he just shouts, “There are no rats here! That is none of your business!” And you’re like, “Dude, I saw that rat myself. I’m going to Taco Bell.” (I know this is a hypothetical, but if your favorite restaurant is full of rats, you should probably just go to Taco Bell in the first place.) However, if the manager said, “Oh, we had the exterminators come in, and they have these great new traps and now the rats are taken care of,” you’d be like, “Cool, I’d like a chicken-fried steak, please, with extra mashed potatoes and the cobbler of the day, please.” Kim needs to show them all that the rats are gone rather than just forcing them to ignore the big fat giant rat that is sitting with them at dinner. (Her name is Brandi.)

Man, that was exhausting. It really took up all of my energy to get through that fight, and I couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the episode. What happened? They went to see Yolanda’s mom at her condo and rode bikes through her village in Holland, which really made me want to rent a bike, go find that village, and then go to the windmill where the love of Yolanda’s life lives. (Do you think that windmills are like the trailers of the Netherlands? That would be funny.) So, congratulations, Amsterdam Tourism Commission, because I now am going to pay money to visit your country, so it was worth bringing over this American satchel of rage-beasts to your beautiful country.

Oh, they all also went to one of the infamous pot cafés of Amsterdam. (Please tell me that somewhere in that tiny little country where pot is legal there is a café called Doobie Bros.) Everyone was all about going, and then no one wanted to get stoned. Brandi accused Kyle of liking drugs too much, but then they all ate a little bit of cake and none of them got messed up. Please, that’s like going to the bathhouse and lying in the sling and then telling all the tops that you’re waiting to be in a relationship. If you’re going to do it, just freakin’ do it. But they were all concerned that their kids would see them getting a little stoned on cake. Please. I’d be more concerned with all the other crap that these women do to each other. A little toke is the least of their worries.

But Kim didn’t go for Space Cake. She thought it was wise to just stay at in the hotel and watch something on HBO and maybe go to bed early. She took a long hot bath and lit a candle and then swaddled her warm body in the plush robe provided in her room. It was only 10 p.m. There was still so much night left. So much night, and she was there all by herself while the friends she had screamed at just a day before were consuming drugs without her. She walked around the suite, watching the knap of the carpet pile through her toes, kicking the air as if that were something to occupy herself with. She couldn’t figure out where to sit, what to do.

Kim pulled the robe closed toward her neck and walked over to the window, peeling back the gauzy curtain behind the heavy velvet drapes. On the second floor she could see the street below her, marked with strange dots and lanes that she didn’t quite recognize and lined with streetlights that gave off a soft, eerie glow that was so different from the harsh fluorescence of California streetlights. She saw a girl on the sidewalk below astride her bike, with a man kissing her and running his hand down her face. Oh, how she wished that were her. How she wished she could just be there in his arms and then tell him that it was late and she had to go and get on her bike and pedal and pedal, leaving the city behind her, zooming through the darkness with a slightly stinging breeze on her face as she neared the windmills, grinding in their silent swoops; nearing the canals, with their startling depth and murky growth; nearing the ocean, where she could just drive her bike in and never come up again, not until she had finally reached that far shore she was always searching for.