Please, someone, run me down with a rented Ferrari when this episode is over and bury me under the Palm Springs Walker of Fame. That was just about the dullest episode of the Real Sundried Tomatoes of the Thousand Oaks Sbarro I have ever watched. I mean, damn, this show got dark. Not fun dark. Not telling-your-sister-she-stole-your-house-while-sitting-in-a-limo dark. Like way-too-real dark. Like sad dark.
Eileen’s only real story is that she and her husband Vance — who I’m not entirely unconvinced isn’t the creator of the Co-Ed Naked Sports franchise of T-shirts for absolutely no discernible reason — go to Palm Springs just so they can cry about the fact that Vince lost his dad. I mean, man!
That is sad and awful and I’m sure that I’m going to cry in all sorts of inopportune places when my father passes away, but why do it in front of Pete’s Hideaway sidewalk café in the middle of a weird desert town? Jeez, Louise. (Louise is Vince’s high-school girlfriend.)
Lisar is no better, when her “big fucking diamond” earrings somehow remind her that she doesn’t call her mom enough. She decides to really connect with her mom by calling her on speaker (which my boyfriend and I officially call “Housewives style”) in a room full of teenage girls and middle-aged cameramen. Yeah, that’s real connection. We get earfuls about the indignities of aging, including catheters, urine troubles, and pills that make your lips get all swollen. Lisar asks her mother for the name of that pill prescription before she hung up the phone. (Should we even call it “hanging up” anymore? What should we call it? Disconnects? Finger pushes? Texts?)
It’s all grim and awful and horrible and we’re all going to die with a giant closet full of medications lined up in tiny little vials with unreadable names. Yes, I am talking about Yolanda Bananas Foster. For the second week in a row, I’m not entirely sure what to say about her. I am sad, I am deeply saddened that this woman who used to live in a beautiful sun-dappled palace by the sea with its own lemon grove and a refrigerator that looked like an altar to Persephone now lives in a crappy condo with a medicine closet. There was not even one lemon in there.
I feel awful for Yolanda because she is clearly very ill and very desperate and just wants her life to go back to normal. She will grasp at anything to get there, and I think the anxiety about her condition must be as debilitating as whatever it is that is making her sick, whether it’s Lyme disease, leaky breast implants, or the crowns in her teeth. The weirdest thing about getting her crowns removed wasn’t that she’s doing it, which was pretty weird, but that her husband David Foster (Wallace) decides to stick his panty, huffing nose in her face while she gets dental work done. I don’t care how married we are, if you show up while I’ve got a suction tube down my gullet, I’ll kick you right in your Gladys Knight and the Pips. There are some things that just require privacy: looking at your ex’s new girlfriend’s pictures on Facebook, eating an entire pint of salted caramel gelato, and getting your crowns removed.
Speaking of weird people visiting Yolanda, what the hell is up with her “health advocate” Daisy? I kind of think Daisy is gaslighting Yolanda to make her believe she has some crazy disease. It was so weird when Lisar and Eileen visit and she’s like, “In one of these closets are all the medicines. Wanna see?” She seems to take some icky pride in how sick Yolanda is and how integral she is to her care. It’s like she’s Kathy Bates in Misery with a dye job, a personal trainer, and a tummy tuck. Daisy gives me serious creepies. All that sunniness and agreeability could be blinding us from the dark tentacled beast that lives within her soul.
I kind of agree with Lisa’s assessment of Yolanda’s illness though. She’s had so many different treatments and IVs and stem cells and colonics that dislodge two-foot-long parasites — YEEPS! — who knows what the heck any of that even does to her body? It’s sort of like if you made a pot brownie with magic mushrooms, washed it down with three beers laced with GHB and ground-up Vicodins, then gave yourself an LSD temporary tattoo. You would be really messed up, but you wouldn’t even know which drug was doing what. You’d just be a zooming ball of wooziness, trying to climb into a hamper to soil yourself.
Considering we saw Lisa talking shit about Yolanda and Ken talking shit about Kyle Richard’s muumuus, I am convinced that Lisa is getting the bitch edit this year. (To be clear, Kyle totally wears muumuus.) Lisa’s no saint, but I don’t think this will work as well as the producers think. It’s going to be hard to turn the tides against Lisa, and right now they’re not giving very good material. Lisa recognizes that Yolanda is very ill, but questions her treatment. That’s fair, given the number of experimental procedures she’s done. This is the way friends talk about their other friends, especially when they’re sick. I mean, I can’t get together with my squad without discussing our friend’s drinking problem at great length. That’s not gossip. It’s caring.
I think they also try to make Lisa look wrong in the fight she has with Kyle about Nicky Hilton’s wedding. I can see how Lisa would be legitimately confused by the situation. First, she’s bringing a dress for the wedding for Kyle. Then Kyle says she’s not going. Then Kyle is suddenly going again, but Mauricio is not and two of her four daughters aren’t invited. We all know that the Hilton/Richards clan is a hot steaming mess of elephant turds siphoned through three tons of meerkat vomit, but that is just insane. No wonder Lisa and Ken ask questions about it, because it doesn’t make much sense.
Kyle does the right thing and tries to shut it down, but Lisa keeps on going, telling Kyle that she needs to distance herself from all that manipulative behavior because it is not healthy. Finally, Alexia (who is a dead ringer for that Vanderpump Rules girl Schaeneaaandeioiaoiu) totally shuts down the conversation. Lisa should have backed off a little bit, but you can’t really say that the content of her message was wrong. It’s like when three guys at Santa Con puke on your front stoop at the same time. It’s not the booze in their barf that’s bad, it’s where they’re leaving it.
As for Kyle and Lisa’s trip to Italy and beyond (-yond –yond –yond –yond), I was sort of bored by the whole thing. Didn’t we see this trip last year? It’s all nice and picturesque and all I’ve ever wanted is a butler to randomly wander the estate offering people drinks and small cookies, but … snooze. Wake me up when they’re back in the States.
Kyle’s fight with her sisters is something else entirely, though. How much would you watch the Sisters Richards reality show where the three of them and their spouses and children just waffle and fight and try to entangle each other in their dreck, like electric eels sparring inside an industrial-sized vat of personal lubricant? That would be genius. I only have two brothers and I am not a woman, so I’ll never understand the wild twisty relationship that is sisterhood — but I do love to watch it stick and unravel like a bad weave. Not only is Kyle dealing with the fallout from her relationship with Kim, Maurice is somehow involved too. Hmmm. What could it be? I wish we had the internet to tell us.
All I know is that in the middle of the night, Kyle wakes up with that itching in her leg muscles that can’t be scratched and she knows she had to get up. She slings her silk robe around her, tying it loosely, and pads down to the kitchen, picking up one of the cigarettes that Lisa thought she had hidden so well in one of the lower drawers. She lights it quickly and hustles outside, moving slowly with cigarette in hand. She passes the dinner table where the row had taken place and walks out onto the grass, poking her bare feet against the bristles and coating them with dew.
She walks out across the yard to the border where a clump of trees shield them from the far-away neighbors. The hill falls off, down into a rippling valley. Kyle smokes, the fizziness of the nicotine filling her head, the rows of crops she sees from all angles coaxing her into submission. This is people making sense of the world, forcing it into the right shapes, putting the plants and trees and soil and sun to good use — to grow. She exhales a big plume of smoke and watches it mesh with the darkness as it diffuses and floats away, its particles carried by the wind all the way to Kathy in London; all the way to whatever rehab Kim was in; all the way around the globe, each sister infusing their lungs with the same bits of stardust. For a minute, out there all alone, Kyle feels connected to something bigger. The mosquitos swarm her neck and ankles, leeching her as much as they can to fill their bellies. Kyle feels that too. She lets them suck as the shadows melt into smoke among the hills.