The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: In the Lyme’s Light

Yolanda Foster. Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Episode Title
Lymes in the Sand
Editor’s Rating

Like tiny grains of sand settling into the vast Arabian Desert, absolutely nothing happened on this episode of the Real Camel Humps of Emirati Rebellions. That is quite a feat considering the episode took us from New York back to Beverly Hills and then onto the beautiful Arab city of Dubai. Nevertheless, the most impressive thing in the entire episode is that Eileen is going to sleep in a giant aquarium, which sounds more like something that would be in a fairy tale than real life, but I guess that's what Dubai is. Speaking of Dubai, this episode was totally like the World, the chain of human-made islands off the coast that is now sinking back into the ocean from whence it came.

We start in New York, where Yolanda Bananas Foster puts on makeup for "the first time in 11 months," because right now in her "journey" she needs to let everyone know how long it has been since the last time she has done something. I think maybe I should start doing that. "I haven't been skiing since the Clinton White House." "I don't think I've missed an episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend since that time your dad came over and we gave each other shirtless hugs." "Gosh, I haven't eaten soggy French fries since, like, breakfast."

The remarkable thing about Yolanda getting her award was not just the sexual fantasies that gazing on Joe Jonas's perfectly rich face gave me, but that the other speeches at the gala answered some of the questions and problems that everyone has had this season with Yolanda's disease. The woman who gets up to say that the worst part of her illness is convincing people that she is sick really seems to be a common experience with Lyme sufferers. One of my lovely Twitter followers told me last week that, like Yolanda, when she had Lyme she would pretend to be sick when she was actually feeling fine so that her friends didn't think she was faking when she was actually sick.

That just reminds me that Yolanda isn't really the best advocate for Lyme disease, considering those two people did more with ten seconds and 140 characters than Yolanda has done in the 17 episodes of television this season. This is what Erika wanted Lisar to see and hear, because that might change her beef with Yolanda over her sickness.

When Lisar brought it up again in Dubai, I was totally #TeamEileen (duh!). Why does Lisar care that much? So what if Yolanda exhausted herself with lunch with Kim and Brandi (say it two more times and she appears) and couldn't make Erika's dinner? Erika didn't care, why should Lisar be "enraged" about it for weeks? Just as I'm going to council Lisar to let it go, I think I'm going to let it go, too. I have exhausted myself with things to say about this disease and how the ladies perceive it and what it all means. We are now closing the "Does Yolanda Have Lyme Disease?" wing of the Real Housewives Institute and it will never open again (unless I really need it to).

Let's talk about Harry Hamlin for a moment, shall we? I am going to start a conspiracy theory right here that has no basis in fact whatsoever, but I believe that Harry Hamlin does not know how to play the guitar. I feel like Harry Hamlin did his obligatory scene with Lisar and he decided he was going to play the part of this cool dude who pretends like he would jet off to Dubai for a week with just a knapsack and a pair of jeans. Then he sits down in their bedroom, nestling a guitar under his arm with the same ease as Ken Todd holds three Pomeranians in one hand, and just pretends like he's Johnny Bravo with his fake guitar that he can't even play. There is authenticity there, but no action. He's the kind of guy who says he can play the guitar, but he can really just pluck out one Beatles melody that he learned at summer camp in the tenth grade. Usually guys who really know how to play can't help but sit there and noodle on it, impressing us with their musical prowess. We didn't even get one lick. I want to see the long-form birth certificate or else I don't believe it's real.

Since nothing happens in this episode, what else can we talk about? Oh, let's talk about clothes. Let's talk about Erika Jaynerardi and her gaggle of helper gays that she drags along with her to a country that would stone them if they knew the places where they liked to tickle each other in the dark. First of all, that is insane to bring your three best gays along with you on vacation just so they can tell you what to wear and do your hair and makeup (and it was obvious that they were traveling separately from Erika, because she wasn't wearing even a lip gloss at the muumuu party).

Do you think those boys are in the Dubai Days Inn by the airport sharing two queen-size (haha!) beds in one crappy room while Erika lies in the lap of luxury? Also, what Bravo executive did not immediately order a web series about these three tearing up the town between hair and dressing appointments with their sugar momma? Fire that person now. Also blame them for Apres Ski while you're at it and we can all pretend it never existed.

This is going to be a paragraph about Eileen Davidson's denim overalls and just how absolutely perfect they are. They are multiple layers of retro all at once. When she shows up to the airport wearing those and that big hat, she looks like Lauren Hutton on the cover of McCall's circa 1978. It was the most perfect thing I have ever seen in my entire life and I have been to every Madonna concert since the Girlie Show. However, it is also so Drew Barrymore on the cover of Sassy circa 1994, when she had a fake sunflower in her hair and was talking about being bisexual and she married that dude who wasn't Tom Green for like two months. (He probably still gets alimony checks.) It was so powerful, I put on the Empire Records soundtrack in my best friend Cathryn's old brown Buick and we smoked pot in the parking lot of my parents' house.  

Talking about Dubai really holds little appeal for me. I would like to travel to all sorts of crazy places on Earth and experience all of her great cities and eat things that I can't pronounce and probably shouldn't know what is in them if I want to keep the dish from reappearing. However, Dubai holds very little appeal for me. It seems like if you visited the Louis Vuitton at the airport, you'd get the whole extent of what the city has to offer and you wouldn't have to deal with the heat, oppression, or horrible ecological destruction contained in this mirage of a city that a bunch of rich oil barons have essentially willed into existence.

That hotel is a prime example. Yes, it is huge and opulent and you can sleep with the fishes and live to talk about it the next day, but there's something so sterile and planned about its luxury. There is a Chihuly in the lobby. They're like granite counter tops on House Hunters, something that signals luxury and taste but is so overused that it now displays the opposite. It's like eating a gold doughnut: It's perfect for the Instagram, but sort of bland and leaves you wanting something with a little bit of meat on its bones after 30 minutes.

But, yeah, I'd be a hypocrite if I said I wouldn't take a free trip to spend a week in a $40,000-a-night hotel suite with an entryway that looks bigger than most of the hotel lobbies in New York City. Seriously, that is one sick-ass hotel room. Just don't tell me that Kathryn, a pair of too-tight underwear, comes along with it. Could you believe that she was wearing that tiny leopard-print miniskirt from the Caitlyn Jenner for Marshall's collection (for the big and tall woman) when Dubai is clearly a caftan kind of town? If I see one of these women wearing a non-caftan during their entire trip, I'm going to call the Dubai police on them and have them arrested for crimes against fashion.

Yolanda sadly did not have the strength to make it to Dubai because she is ill and at home moving out of her $20 million Malibu mansion with her husband, David Foster (Wallace), the smell of McDonald's in your apartment the morning after a bender. It is a hard move for Yolanda, but her mother and some moving professionals are there, packing up her former life, all the memories and possessions that had filled that little bower by the sea.

Eventually all the boxes were moved out, all the carpets cleaned, all the dust bunnies scattered toward death like the end of Watership Down. When everything was emptied, only one lonely boy remained in the house. He was scared, shivering in the kitchen with uncertainty. What was going to become of him, he wondered. What if the new owners didn't like him or wanted to replace him with a wet bar and a red-light sauna? What if he would never hold big baskets of lemons again, cradling them in his cool bosom, fending off the natural onslaught of decomposition as they were set upon by air and microbes, their molecules slowly consumed and cast off into the ether to return to stardust?

What if no one loved him again the way that he had been loved, his Foster family plying him with cold-pressed juices and leftover slabs of grilled monkfish that Mr. David Foster would eat in the middle of the night before he had to Skype with Babyface who was somewhere in Asia? Life would never be the same for our little boy, who turned his head and looked out of the huge windows onto the porch and past their edge toward the ocean, with its twinkling vastness.

He thought about what was underneath it, how cold it must be to be submerged down there, how everything — maybe even love? — was preserved forever. When things rot under the ocean they are destroyed by addition — mollusks and minerals latching onto them — rather than subtraction. For only that moment he wished he could move, too, that he could go out there and dive deep down in the sea where he wouldn't be needed ever again and he could just open his wide mouth in a never-ending yawn and hold everything inside of himself. Yolanda's glass-fronted refrigerator wondered if they needed more appliances in Atlantis.