Before we can talk about anything that happens in Hong Kong, we need to discuss Eden Sassoon’s hair. I don’t even mean that busted black hairpiece that looks like something from the Raquel Welch for Wigs and Plus line that made her look like Scarlett Johansson playing a warrior from the future in a Saturday Night Live skit. I’m talking about the little hairballs she wears while walking around with Lisar — it’s like they were inspired by Chun-Li from Street Fighter. Seriously, would Eden ever consider walking down the sidewalk of Sunset Boulevard (the real street, not the movie or the shitty Andrew Lloyd Webber musical) wearing such hair? And, as such, is it culturally insensitive for a white woman to look like she’s engaged in some serious anime cosplay while on her only trip to Hong Kong? These are serious questions. I really do want to know.
Erika Jayne, as perfect as she is, toes this line too, especially when she shows up for dinner with her “victory curls” and a long, silk chinoiserie robe that is absolutely stunning, but, well, a little bit too much like pajamas. Erika looks like she’s going to perform “Anything Goes” from the opening of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. (I would pay $1 million to see her actually do this.) The looks all the women are wearing at that dinner are totally off. No one dressed for the same event. Lisa Rinna is dressed like she’s going to a PTA meeting in Santa Clarita. Dorit is dressed for a day of shopping and looking down her nose at everything at a high-end mall. Eden is dressed for a Siouxsie Sioux dance party at a senior citizens’ center. And Lisa looks like she’s going to Miss Havisham’s wedding or something.
But not everyone can be like Erika Jayne and bring three people to outfit her and do her hair and makeup. The montage of everyone packing is hysterical. It starts with Lisa, who has Ken there to talk to her about the trip. Then we see Dorit, who is ordering around her mute maid. Then it’s Lisar, who can’t get anyone to critique her outfit choices, so the producers force her to talk to her dog, and even Lola walks away bored to tears.
Then there is Erika Jayne. Someone made a look book for her trip, with pages and pages of pictures of her different outfits and descriptions of them. Someone printed out each page, like it’s a blog post your mom wanted to make sure you saw and whipped out of her purse at brunch and handed over to you, and the last three pages are just weird internet ads with no text at all. I have so many questions about this book. Who made it? Who is wearing all of those clothes? It can’t be Erika, right? Is it her assistant? Is one of the qualifications to be Erika’s assistant that she has to be the same size so she can pose in the look book? Or did they hire someone who is her size for a photo shoot so she could model those outfits for Erika’s book? This is just insane.
I feel a little bamboozled by this whole Hong Kong trip, though. I thought they were going because Lisa was going to present her documentary about the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. We know the evils of this festival by now because, like a plug for The Agency, we have to hear about it in every single episode. I figured there was going to be a panel discussion or her showing it for a group of animal activists or something. As we proceed, she warns people about how graphic the footage might be. Considering it turned Ken Todd, a pumice stone with a trust fund and a pet dog, into a blubbering mess, surely these women won’t be able take it.
Dorit decides to tag along with Lisa to this documentary thing because someone has to go. Then Eileen — never LVP’s closest friend — decides, “Know what? We’re here for this and it’s the right thing to do, so I’m going to go too.” She is even mature enough to call Lisa up and ask if that’s kosher, and Lisa enthusiastically accepts. The two even hope that it might be a keystone upon which to build a friendship. There’s a lot of grown-up behavior and real healing here. I hated every minute of it.
Anyway, they get all dressed up to go to this big documentary-panel-activism whoosie-whatsit, but that’s not what it is at all. It’s just Lisa recording her voice-over for the documentary in front of a green screen. These two went along to watch her read lines. Why did this have to be done a 16-hour flight away? Are there not sound studios and editing bays in Burbank capable of doing Lisa’s ADR? She should have warned everyone away — not because of the footage they might see, but because this would be the single most boring event that has happened on a Real Housewives trip ever. And this is only months after Meghan King Edmonds skulked around an Irish village, literally trying to touch a relative of hers on the shoulder.
All of the drama-adjacent events of the episode lead up to a confrontation between Lisar and Dorit on a junk boat, which looks like the most uncomfortable and horrific way to spend a sunset in Hong Kong. I would rather be tied up and flogged by a dominatrix dressed as PK, a Toblerone covered in pus, than sit on that junk. Anyway, Lisar is mad that Dorit intimated at dinner in Mexico that she might have some kind of drug problem because she pulled out her mom-bag of pills. Dorit is mad that someone told Lisar and wants to know who is guilty.
She’s right: Dorit didn’t say Lisar had a drug problem, but she has sort of kept pointing to it, like she’s Wile E. Coyote holding a wooden sign with a big red arrow to a picture of a tunnel painted on the side of the mountain and the rest of the cast is the Road Runner. “Do you think she might have been … under the influence?” she asks Eden when they talk about Lisar. In Mexico, she did say something along the lines of, “It was so funny. We were at Eden’s and Lisa pulled out this huge bag of pills and said she put Xanax in her smoothie, so …” You could slide a million different allegations into that ellipsis. It’s like when you’re discussing a mutual friend and how slutty he is and someone says, “Oh, we were watching the Olympics and he said he would let the entire men’s water-polo team bang him, so …” Obviously it’s a joke, but it’s being used as evidence that there might be some truth behind the joke.
Lisar and Dorit are confronting each other across the junk, and it’s boring and stupid and a familiar case of who-said-what-to-whom-and-with-what-intentions. At least Kim Richards’s name doesn’t come up even once. Then it morphs into something more interesting when Erika decides to pipe up and testify as an objective third party, saying that Dorit did mention the pill incident and it was a bit leading. Dorit doesn’t want Erika saying anything because, well, Dorit has to be right.
Finally, Erika asks Dorit what her problem is. Dorit’s response: “What is your problem with me?” I didn’t think that Erika had a problem with Dorit, but she certainly made one. Dorit decided that Erika didn’t immediately cozy up to her, so she would mention how much she thought Erika didn’t like her every time they saw each other. Naturally, that pushed Erika away, because who wants to be friends with someone who needs to be given the second half of a Best Friends Forever necklace every single time you’re both at recess?
The funny thing is, Dorit’s problem has nothing to do with Erika’s actions. At one point, Dorit even said she’s been given no indication that it is her specifically, rather than just the way Erika is. Dorit’s problem is that she thinks someone on the face of the earth doesn’t like her. That is the only reason Erika upset her, because she was the only member of the group who wasn’t falling for her bullshit. Or as Erika herself says, “It’s because I don’t like bullshit, Dorit. And that’s what I think you are.”
She is. She is. Dorit is total bullshit and she talks too much and no one likes her. Thank you, Erika Jayne. You are a pajama-clad warrior for truth, justice, and the American way. Sadly, we have to wait for next week’s episode to get the rest of the fight, but I feel like this will be the end. Finally, Erika let herself openly dislike someone, and it was just as harsh and wonderful as anyone who lusted after her tri-pronged earrings (i.e., everyone) would ever wish that it could be.
As those words echoed around the finned top of the junk, they ricocheted into the choppy waters of Victoria Harbor, its waves slowly sonaring their way through the oil-laced deep. Just a glimmer of their former selves, the words trickled down like a billion dead krill congealed into a single bolus. It was just enough — the dropping of that force on the seabed — to cause the sand to mushroom up into the water and land again. But that was enough to move every grain just a hair, and those grains moved rocks, and those rocks moved boulders, and those boulders caused a rift at the bottom of the ocean. The water flooded into that rift, cold and salty and peppered with the faint underscoring of Erika’s victory. That was enough to wake it as it let out a low, gurgling rumble that was just a preview for the city’s destruction. That was just enough to open that one yellow reptilian eye, like it was the first blossom of a radioactive spring.