The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: Arabian Fights

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Dubai Daze
Season 6 Episode 18
Editor’s Rating *****
Lisa Rinna. Photo: Bravo

Apparently, your regular recapper is in L.A. and having some “TV drama.” It’s unclear whether that means soap-operatic personal problems or just that the bootleg cable at his Airbnb doesn’t get Bravo. What is clear is that I have the privilege of deconstructing this week’s shenanigans for you fine people, and, indeed, that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are having some TV drama of their own. It’s safe to say these fine gentlewomen of 90210, who are in the business of creating drama, are currently producing something out of nothing at a constant rate. Like reality-television gods, out of absolute nothingness, these ladies proclaim, “Let there be fight.”

Surely, I think I can speak for all of us when I say I’m tired of the whole “Does Yolanda really have Lyme disease or is it just Munchausen syndrome?” thing. The matter’s expiration date has long been exceeded by endless bickering over who is and isn’t a real friend to Yolanda, as foreshadowed since the season premiere with the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs. Foster’s tagline, “Fake friends believe rumors, real friends believe in you.” But now the bad old days of beating that dead horse make me feel downright nostalgic, given the new normal of belaboring this issue. It’s not in relation to Yolanda herself, but insofar as it has demonstrated the conflicting loyalties among the rest of the group. You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

At least Bravo has enough consideration to dress up this pig of a plot in luscious lipstick by setting all the noise in the magnificent location of Dubai, where Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha — oh, wait, I mean Kyle, Kathryn, Lisa, Lisa, Erika, and Eileen — have gone for the annual Real Housewives Shoot on Location trip. I assure you the Sex and the City allusion (which is, in fact, AN ILLUSION) is purely in the eyes of the beheld. Every one of these ladies finds a moment to remark on the similarities between their trip and the Sex and the City movie where they went to Dubai. All the camels and sand and high-end caftans prompted me to momentarily consider which Real Housewife of Beverly Hills is which Sex and the City character, but isn’t that just giving them what they want? Also, who on Sex and the City was as dumb as these housewives? Maybe the Kristen Johnston character who fell out the window? I mean, I guess Erika is Samantha and … I don’t know, maybe some other time. I’m too upset about the show this week.

In a nutshell, this completely bonkers story line revolves around Lisa Rinna being mad at Kyle and Lisa Vanderpump for letting her take the fall about the Munchausen thing with Yolanda. (Everybody feels so badly about it now, or at least has to pretend to feel that way after Yolanda’s daughters Zsa Zsa and Eva’s moving speech at the Lyme disease benefit last week.) What’s so insane is that the only reason there was a fall to take at all was because Lisa Rinna told Yolanda about it herself. She felt so awful that she just had to come clean, and now she resents the other girls for not throwing their names in the hat too. She might as well just have outed them when she talked to Yolanda in the first place, rather than waiting all this time to be a bitch about it.

But wait, there’s more. The big fish to be fried in this conflict is Lisa Rinna’s contention that Lisa Vanderpump asked her why she (Rinna) didn’t drag Kyle into the Yolanda fess-up, too, since she (Kyle) was also guilty of talking about her (Yolanda). Lisa Rinna thinks this is especially shady of Lisa Vanderpump because she (Vanderpump) had also been talking smack about Yoyo. Lisa Vanderpump denies this, maintaining that she said only that she’d expected Lisa Rinna to bring Kyle into it. You with me? No? Neither am I.

Okay, first of all, this is like drama four times removed. Did Jane ask Jenny why she didn’t tell Joanne that Janet had also been talking about her, or, in a completely different version of things, did Jane merely tell Jenny she had expected her to tell Joanne that Janet had also been talking about her?

I really want to defend Lisa Vanderpump because Lisa Rinna is being unreasonable. She’s so committed to the idea that Vanderpump is lying. But Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle agree about their conversation in which Lisa Vanderpump expressed that same expectation (that Rinna would throw Kyle under the bus)? Lisa Rinna is nitpicking here. Vanderpump could have literally asked, “Why didn’t you drag Kyle into this?” — as Rinna claims — and she could have meant it rhetorically, as in, “I thought you were going to drag Kyle into this.”

Does Lisa Rinna really think that Vanderpump was maliciously trying to plot — with her — to frame Kyle for the gossip story for which Rinna had already claimed responsibility?

It’s all in service of a larger point (a nonpoint, I should say, like the negative matter that occupies space in the universe where a point ought to be) that Lisa Vanderpump is manipulative. This topic has brewed between Lisa Rinna and Eileen for some time.

It all goes back to Vanderpump hurting Eileen’s feelings in the Hamptons and then being callous and cold when Eileen wanted an apology. Jesus, Lisa! You brought this on yourself. JUST SAY YOU’RE SORRY.

Of course, maybe because she’s British (as is suggested by some), or maybe because she’s getting the famous “Bitch Edit” this season, or maybe because she’s just a bitch, Lisa Vanderpump won’t even budge when a little warmth toward Eileen might help bridge the gap.

Eileen and Lisa Rinna try to make a case about how incredulous they are that Kyle can take this kind of crap from Lisa Vanderpump. Kyle cries because she doesn’t want to rock the Vanderboat; it’s basically the only strong sisterly relationship she’s got left. And you know you’re in trouble when Kyle Richards’s tears are the single most touching, real moment in an episode.

The one voice of reason is Kathryn, who realizes that both Lisas are telling their own “truth.” This kind of common sense is why she won’t last on the show.

But you know who will last, don’t you? She with two names. She of the sexy video. She who travels to Dubai with her own glam squad of gays (although please shoot me if I ever utter “creative director” Mike’s words, “Every diva needs her gays!”). More than an enigma wrapped in a riddle and cash, Erika Jayne Girardi is proving herself to be an MVP Housewife, one of the best and most original additions to the franchise in years. She knows when to be bitchy and funny and when to be enthusiastic and sweet. She knows when it’s about loyalty to friends and when it’s about zinging one-liners. She tells Lisa Rinna very squarely to forget about Brandy and Kim. She says, “I’m here now.” Yes, yes, she is.

RHOBH Recap: Arabian Fights