The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
We’re only four episodes in and already it’s #TeamLisa versus #TeamEveryoneElse. Denise Richards is still shackled by the Eileen Davidson Accord and already we’re choosing sides in a battle to the death. After all of the revelations of this episode, I’m not sure I can join either team. I might be #TeamNobody.
Actually, I’m #TeamEverybody. I’m Team Teddi for sticking up for her story against all odds. I’m Team Erika for telling her to stay strong in her truth, which is good advice for any occasion. I’m Team Lisa Rinna finally getting revenge on Lisa Vanderpump for making a fool of her during that Munchausen’s mishegoss. I’m Team Kyle Richards for trying to talk some sense into Lisa but not wanting to be held responsible for her actions. I’m Team Lisa for possibly being misunderstood and defending herself valiantly when everyone is against her. I’m Team Denise Richards for having no clue what is going on and showing up in a number of lackluster outfits so that she can have a burger and fries and a shot of tequila with no mixer. I am Team Camille for resolutely offering absolutely nothing to each season other than trash talking Dorit, which is the noblest cause of all.
I guess I can’t be #TeamEverybody, because I am not Team Dorit. Of all the people on the show you could possibly defend, she is the only one impossible to make a case for. Sure, Lisa might have fucked up, but Dorit is the one who gave a dog she took from a shelter away to someone without knowing what was going to happen to that dog. We found out this episode that Dorit had already adopted one dog and returned it. She knew the policy. She knew how to go about returning a dog. She didn’t do that. She also didn’t call Lisa — who she supposedly talks to all the time — when there was a problem with the dog so Lisa could give her advice and tell her what to do.
The only one who could have prevented any of this was Dorit, who doesn’t think the rules apply to her. She gave the dog to a woman who fell in love with the dog. That’s well and good, but if the woman loved the dog that much, she could have followed Dorit to Vanderpump Dogs and immediately taken Lucy off of their hands after Dorit filled out the requisite paperwork. There is a way to do this correctly, and Dorit did not do that.
It is now easy for Lisa’s adversaries to rush to Dorit’s side because they want to take down the giant hat-wearing monster on the show. Lisar does this on the snorkeling trip (what is it with Lisar and boats, she always loses her damn mind), stoking Dorit’s already inflated indignation by saying she was doing what she had to in order to protect her kids. Yes, that is true, but there was still a way to get rid of the dog within the bounds of reason. Dorit knows, she did it once before. There is no defending Dorit here. It is possible to think that what Dorit did was wrong and what Lisa did was wrong at the same time.
Honestly, at this point Dorit is out of the fight as anything other than collateral damage. It’s now a face-off between Teddi and Lisa. Let’s examine all of the new evidence that we have accrued this episode. (If only we had Tom Girardi here to litigate this thing for us, it might go more smoothly.)
Teddi says that she has a text from Vanderpump Dogs employee John Lizard where she asked him if Lisa had Lucy at Vanderpump Dogs so that Teddi and Kyle would have to talk about it on camera. John Lizard replied, “YES.” Teddi presents this, not as a full screenshot of several texts, but as a small, edited picture of only two messages, which seems suspicious. Yes, she might have done this to highlight the specific exchange, but why is she afraid to put it in context?
What would Lisa’s motivation be for doing this? I do believe what Lisa says and that her top priority was the safety of the dog. If we’ve learned anything about Lisa over the years it’s that the only thing she loves more than tacky caftans is animals. Lisa’s other motivation would be to use Teddi and her dislike of Dorit in order to punish Dorit for what she did to poor Lucy. This all seems to fit an established pattern of Lisa’s behavior and would be a way for her to take Dorit to task while maintaining her relationship with Dorit and her husband P.K., a taint cyst plaguing a cast member of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Lisa doesn’t want to talk about this whole situation, either with Kyle at the shop or the women at dinner, and removes herself entirely from the discussion, which doesn’t seem like the behavior of an innocent woman. But, in Lisa’s defense, if I had to sit at a table where everyone was treating me like a fart that wouldn’t evaporate, I probably would vamoose myself as well.
When Lisa leaves the table, she makes the saddest phone call we’ve ever seen. First she calls her husband Ken and the connection is bad and it drops the call. Then she calls the house phone and the housekeeper answers, but between the language barrier and three dogs barking, two swans squawking, and a mini pony neighing in the background, Lisa can hardly hear Rosa. “Sorry,” Rosa finally tells Lisa. “We took the batteries out of Mr. Ken so he can’t come to the phone right now.” Lisa has to sit there in her suite all alone, straining all of her forehead Botox as she cries herself to sleep.
After arriving back home, someone has put Ken’s batteries back in and he has proof that Teddi is lying. Ken says that he called up John Lizard and made him send over copies of his text messages with Teddi. Ken has these printed up on massive sheets of paper and presents them to Lisa like he’s Sean Spicer lying about the size of an inaugural crowd. Apparently in the textseses (which is the correct plural of text), Teddi tells John Lizard to have the dog ready so that Teddi can ask if that is the dog that Dorit abandoned and they can get it on camera. Teddi also says, “Either way it will come out.”
This would make it look like Teddi orchestrated the whole thing so that she could get back at her old enemy Dorit. This looks possible, but Teddi doesn’t seem like that much of a conniver. Maybe John Lizard proposed the plan first at Lisa’s urging? Or maybe everything we know about Teddi is wrong and she wanted to take down Dorit that badly? Maybe. Anything is possible.
We’ve seen Ken defend Lisa before. One of his finer attributes is that he always has his wife’s back, but we’ve also seen how cruel he can be to others in her defense. Now imagine that turned on one of their employees. Imagine the sputum congealing in the corners of his scarecrow scowl as he screamed into his iPhone for John Lizard to send these texts. Also, John Lizard is someone who, presumably, wants to keep his job so he, above everyone else, has a vested interest in keeping the Vanderpump-Todds happy.
If these textseses are true, why would Teddi go to such great lengths to defend herself and seem wronged when she knows that it was really her gambit all along? That doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. If she drags out the text implicating Lisa she knows that Lisa could just as easily drag out the text implicating her. If she knows she’s guilty wouldn’t she just let it drop? There is something going on with both of these chains of messages that we don’t know about, and that is because John Lizard has yet to do anything at all on camera. We don’t know anything about him or his possible motivations in this whole string of events, and because we don’t this whole thing will remain under a tacky caftan of secrecy.
But there is one bit of damning evidence that is swaying me to Team Teddi. When everyone is at dinner in the Bahamas, after Lisa leaves but before Kyle has her $10K Rolex delivered to the table like the world’s most expensive fortune cookie, Lisar asks Kyle if Lisa ever lied to her. Kyle’s response is very telling: “This is who she is. This is what she does … I know this about her and I love her and she’s my friend … We have good sides and we have bad sides, that’s a bad fucking side she has and she will never admit it.”
This seems like Kyle admitting that all of the allegations over the years about Lisa trying to produce the show from behind the scenes are true. Here is her best friend and ally, someone that has always had her back, finally acknowledging that the whole skirmish with Brandi and the tabloids, the whole kerfuffle about Lisar and Munchausen’s, were all Lisa’s fault. This is Kyle saying that, even if Lisa didn’t do this, it would seemingly fit into the pattern of Lisa’s behavior. To me that is the judge’s gavel coming down so hard that the whole bench shatters into a million pieces.
Lisar’s next question is, “Guys, how many years do we have to go through this? When do we finally say enough is e-fucking-nough? Stop!” It seems like this season everyone is getting together to tell Lisa to stop. They’re sick of looking like the assholes on television while Lisa can sip her rosé, cash in on her EPCOT for Housewives fans on Santa Monica Boulevard, and get profiled as the grande dame of the show in the New York Times and be called the “Queen of the Housewives” by this very magazine.
Lisar seems to be voicing something that everyone in the cast is currently feeling, which is that they’re sick of being the goats while Lisa gets all the glory. Whether or not Lisa did this one specific thing to Teddi and Dorit is almost moot. This is a full-on rebellion against tactics that the audience doesn’t really see but in the briefest of flashes, tactics that Kyle seems to say are absolutely happening. Whether you’re Team Lisa or Team Teddi or Team Denise Richard’s Denim Cutoffs, it seems that the jury of Lisa’s peers has reached a verdict and she is entirely guilty.