Adiós, Mexico, and howdy, Texas! The women are back home, but the vacation drama lingers, like the souvenir My Wife Went to Mexico and All I Got Was This Lousy Dildo T-shirt no doubt stuffed in the back of Brandi’s suitcase as a gift for Bryan.
Brandi is upset that Cary called her a liar; Cary is upset that Brandi and Stephanie didn’t have her back. She hasn’t spoken to the two of them since the trip, and her relationship with LeeAnne doesn’t show any signs of recovering from those death (well, death-ish) threats. She tells Mark that LeeAnne had some not-so-nice things to say about him: “You go to bars and have guys hit on you.” Um, excuse me, but she said he “gets his dick sucked at the Round-Up,” the single most poetic sentence ever spoken in English. But all this discord hasn’t stopped Brandi from inviting everyone to her annual holiday bash. This year, she’s taking up Kyle Richards’s ivory mantle by hosting a white party — an event that, in 2017, sounds more racist-adjacent than ever.
But first, we have some (literal) business to attend to. I’ve really warmed up to D’Andra over the course of this season, but her struggles to assert herself at work with her skin-care titan mother, Dee, remain my least favorite story line. D’Andra’s pitch for a new product: snow algae, an all-natural, anti-aging goop (not Goop goop, just a regular, lowercase-g goop) from the Swiss Alps. With the numbers prepared to justify the serum’s high price tag and the expected costs of its manufacturing and marketing, she finally gets the green light. I hope that means we can stop talking about all of this forever, but I wouldn’t count on it.
The good news is that we can move onto my very favorite story line: Kameron’s quixotic quest to bring pink dog food to all of caninekind. Feeling like a “blonde alien visiting this planet” (“this planet” meaning all of Earth, outside a five-mile radius of Highland Park), she and her Yorkie Louis Vuitton drive out to visit the Texas Mills Dog Food Plant. It is extremely enjoyable to watch Kameron, pink hard hat in hand — she must have brought that herself, no? — interact with regular humans. There, a couple of nice, patient factory managers hear her out and agree to give SparkleDog a shot. They are truly on the right side of history.
LeeAnne, she of the drugstore makeup compact taped to her breast augmentation wound as per official medical instructions, is feeling unwell. She summons a nurse practitioner to her home for a “hangover cocktail” IV. Via FaceTime, while all kinds of rehydrating goodness are being actively delivered to her veins, she tells Brandi that — after our good friend Sexual Chocolate drove most of their group off the yacht in Mexico — Cary said she could no longer be friends with Brandi or Stephanie because of Brandi’s behavior. Housewives fights are always eight degrees of she said, she said, but this one is becoming more of a she said that she said that she said that she said that he gets his dick sucked at the Round-Up. LeeAnne, true to form, sees this mess as an opportunity for conflict between herself and Cary. “I’m coming to your party specifically to say some things to Cary,” she tells Brandi. “There needs to be a moment where we hold her feet to the fire.” LeeAnne needs to brainstorm some less violent metaphors.
The IV didn’t cut it, so she’s off to see “Dr.” “True.” “Hey, so, funny thing,” he tells her — I’m paraphrasing, but you’ve got to trust me on the tone here — “You’ve got just a smidge of necrosis, a friendly little infection eating holes in your tissue.” “I have a flesh-eating bacteria?” she asks, understandably horrified. “You kind of do,” he responds. But hey, it’ll be fine! They’ll get rid of it! It’ll take a few weeks, sure, but she won’t need to go to the hospital! LeeAnne, please, I think you should go to the hospital. I feel a little bad for making fun of Dr. True for seeming like a terrible doctor now that it turns out he is legitimately a terrible doctor.
Brandi Land proves to be a very white party indeed, in every sense of the word. “This is money,” Travis enthuses of Bryan’s white tux. How did I not already guess that the man who insists on keeping a pool in his living room would be very into Swingers? Stephanie is devastated to hear from Brandi what Cary said about them, but she doesn’t want to rush to judgment until she talks to Cary directly. But junior conductor Brandi is all aboard the LeeAnne Crazy Train. “We both know that she was the fucking nanny for Mark and his wife,” Brandi says. In a confessional, she elaborates, “It’s a little obvious that they did have an affair.” Whoa, Brandi. Bringing this up is a bold move: These are the rumors that made Cary walk out of the reunion crying last year, thanks to LeeAnne.
Meanwhile, Brandi dances with the remote-operated robot with a screen (sure) that D’Andra has procured in order to make an appearance at the party while on vacation in Croatia. Tiffany, the Ghost of RHOD Past, shows up and says approximately zero words, which is fine by me. Cary and Kameron arrive together, doing their best to ignore everyone else. Kameron is upset that Brandi provided only “frat party”–appropriate plastic cups and not glasses, a complaint that will later reveal itself to be whatever the stemware equivalent of Chekhov’s gun is. Kameron’s intended party gift for Brandi is batteries “for her friend from Mexico,” but the real gift ends up being everyone’s immediate collective realization that she has no idea what the difference between a dildo and a vibrator is.
But this battle needs having, and everyone knows it. LeeAnne even brought handwritten notecards, like confronting Cary is a final project she has to present in eighth-grade social-studies class. The women reconvene downstairs, in a space seemingly furnished by a designer who specifically envisioned it would one day host a Housewives fight. At first, they just rehash the disagreements we’ve heard about over and over again the last few weeks. What did Cary really say about Brandi’s surgeon? Was Brandi wrong to push Kameron’s clearly stated dildo-related boundaries? Why didn’t Cary stand up for Brandi and Stephanie? Why didn’t Stephanie and Brandi stand up for Cary?
Cary says she’ll be humiliated when her stepson sees the infamous dildo on TV. Brandi argues that that’s hypocritical of Cary, but takes her counterattack to an unnecessarily slut-shame-y place. Why is she always “naked”? Why is she always talking about having sex with Mark? “My body is a temple given to me by God,” Cary responds unironically, making herself in this moment tough to root for even though Brandi is in the wrong.
It seems like Cary and Stephanie, at least, are on the verge of reconciliation, until Cary stops LeeAnne from butting in by saying she would never even be friends with her if not for the show. May God have mercy on us all. LeeAnne gets in Cary’s face, telling her she’s “FAF.” For those of you who don’t live inside the Lynchian ball pit that is LeeAnne’s brain, that’s “fake as fuck.” Cary says her breath smells. LeeAnne offers the only natural response, which any sane person would inevitably come up with: “Oh, I hope it smells like dog shit and you gotta fucking lick it up.” If that line appeared in a commercial for any breath-freshening product — gum, mints, toothpaste, you name it — I would clean out my IRA to stock up.
When Cary rolls her eyes and turns away, LeeAnne picks up a glass — an actual glass glass! — and smashes it on the floor. “Be real fucking careful,” she shouts, presumably to the off-camera PA responsible for sweeping up the shards. A pink lightbulb appears above Kameron’s head: “This is why you have plastic,” she says to Brandi.
Cary continues to insist that she loves and cares about Brandi and Stephanie, but Brandi already has her white-manicured fingernails on the friendship nuclear football. “I know for a fact that you were the fucking nanny,” she says. Kaboom.
After insisting all she did was babysit Mark’s kids, “angels” that they are, a shaken-up Cary leaves and Kameron follows. Even Brandi’s closest ally (and arguable true love) is uncomfortable with this disproportionate use of force. “This is not the Brandi I know and love,” Stephanie says. “This sounds more like LeeAnne, not Brandi.” I wish LeeAnne a speedy recovery, but sometimes, she sure does remind me of a flesh-eating bacteria.