This week on our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women only did one thing and that was annoy the hell out of me. I want it all to be over. I want it all to be done. I want them to just grapple with one another in a desperate battle for fame, rending each other limb from limb in a vicious melee like the end of The Day of the Locust. But that won’t happen. Even if a nuclear bomb went off, somehow Kyle Executive Producer Richards would be sitting there, a bit of soot on her forehead, on top of a mountain of rubble and burnt Agency hats as she eats a Twinkie and makes friends with all of the cockroaches on Earth before turning them against each other.
I just hate them all at this point. Well, except for Garcelle and Sheree. Also, weirdly — and don’t ever tell anyone I said this — Dorit. My distaste started at the very top of the episode when Kyle and Dorit are going on a dog walk that, considering Kyle’s dogs are more poorly behaved than the stars of The Orphan and Problem Child after a bath-salts binge, is more of a dog wrestle. They both agree that Lisa Rinna is angry after the passing of her mother and lashing out at everyone. I get it, but Kyle says that the women should reserve judgment and give her some time. The only problem is that Sutton is the one bearing the brunt of that anger. She said the same about Erika, that she’s loosening up so they should let her just run rampant over everyone, but Sutton and Garcelle are the only ones who have to fight her ire.
Even at the end of the episode, when Diana the Princess of Liplikia eviscerates Sutton for sport, Kyle’s still like, “Some might say she’s being mean, but I respect her for being honest.” Basically, anyone can be as mean as they want to Sutton, and Kyle gives them a pass while still posing as a friend to Sutton. She is no friend of hers. A friend like that is like having COVID, MPX, dropsy, scurvy, alopecia areata, and a paper cut on your taint (don’t ask how it got there) all at the same time.
Meanwhile, Diana goes over to Garcelle’s house to hang with her without Sutton and tries to make nice. They have a lovely time with a few laughs, and then Diana says she’s staying in a hotel on their Aspen trip because she needs to be able to control the energy of whatever space she’s in. She says before she arrives she sends in the “ghostbusters” to cleanse the energy of a space. Of all the Rich Women Doing Things bullshit that we have witnessed, and I include Kyle and Mauricio embracing on their at-home putting green, this is the bullshittiest of them all. I agree with Diana; every space has an energy, but it’s not inherent in a building or a room or a sex dungeon. The energy comes from the people in that space. Maybe instead of sage-ing hotel rooms Diana should, I don’t know, get some therapy or download a meditation app or consider her gut health. If the problem is in every room you’re in, maybe the problem isn’t the room.
What also drives me crazy is that Diana either needs to be on this show or not. Contrary to what some fans might think, the producers would never force a woman to stay in the house with the rest of the cast. This way, her not staying there becomes a topic of conversation, a plot point, and an area that might be exploited for conflict. But Diana either needs to clock in or clock out. She’s either on this show, with everything it entails, including squishing an adult human body into one of Kyle’s bunk beds, or she’s not. There is no half-assing it, which is what she has been doing all season.
All the ladies arrive via Kyle’s private jet in Aspen, and Erika, Rinna, and Kyle go to Kyle’s house, which she has since listed for $9.75 million. It is lovely, but it does have a huge, faded American flag in a frame, which I think she must have bought at the Magnolia store. But the read the editors give her house while Garcelle, Dorit, Sheree, Sutton, and Crystal tour their luxury rental made me chortle into my porridge. It shows the rental’s wine cellar, the enormous bedrooms, the oak floors — and it shows Kyle and Erika struggling with a string of Christmas lights and Kyle explaining to Kathy how the bunk beds on the “lower level” are actually the most comfortable in the house. Um, in the words of the world’s oldest living Englishman, “Goodbye, Kyle.”
All of this, however, is just preamble, a bunch of throat clearing to the dinner at Kyle’s house, where her husband, Mauricio, made me hot in my britches grilling in the subzero (Celsius) weather and Kathy Hilton asked for her corn to be grilled instead of boiled, as if she has never watched a TikTok of this adorable boy. After dinner, Lisa Rinna pulls out a Ouija board that she “found” in her room the same way that Brandi Glanville (say her name three times and she gets another season of Ultimate Girls Trip, so … Brandi Glanville, Brandi Glanville, Brandi Glanville) once “found” some tabloids discussing Mauricio’s alleged affair that Lisa Vanderpump left out for her. Kyle’s first question is if everyone will get along and have fun on the trip. Rinna immediately slams the pointer to “No” because she is a professional.
Sheree, a force for good in a rotting world, asks if Garcelle is going to find her soul mate this year, and everyone just ignores this question that might lead them to rally around a member of this fractured sorority. Instead, Kyle asks, “Why did Garcelle unfollow Erika on Instagram?” Dorit says that Kyle might be stirring the pot. Ya think? Has she stopped being either toothless or homeless long enough to actually watch this here reality-television program? All Kyle Richards does is stir the pot. Like some people pick their noses, Kyle Richards creates drama with the cast around her. (Alexa [beep, beep], remind me to ask a qualified medical professional if creating drama could possibly clear Kyle’s sinuses.)
Garcelle says she unfollowed Erika because she called her a liar and she didn’t want to see her Instagram posts anymore. Fair. This is a completely fair answer. Meanwhile, everyone in the room says they’re not 14 and don’t want to fight about who’s in their MySpace Top 8, but they do anyway. (For the record, my top eight is my husband, Lil Nas X, Isca the Unbeaten, Tom Holland, Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Friendster Morgans, Seth the twink who gives me free treats at the doughnut truck down the street from my house, T’Challah Samuels (RIP), and the woman who is supposedly pegging Prince William.)
Erika and Garcelle rather calmly decide they don’t need to be friends, but then Kyle turns her unpitying gaze, as terrible and blanching as the sun, on Sutton. She says when she brought up the Great Unfollowing earlier on the PJ, when her producing did not take hold like she anticipated, Sutton said it was a joke. First of all, Kyle should just take an answer and accept it. But I also get her point. Unfollowing someone is not funny, and if Sutton actually has a problem with Erika — which she should — she shouldn’t hide behind this false hilarity. Just say she was mad that Erika has treated her and her friend like crap and unfollowed her. The thing Sutton doesn’t seem to understand is that her dissembling and trying to make everyone happy just makes everything worse, at least in this group of social-media private detectives.
This is where it gets messy for me, because I think everyone here is wrong. Sutton saying it is a joke is dumb, but I totally agree with her point about Erika calling her a cunt at the last reunion. No one’s Meredith Marks sleeve feathers were ruffled when that happened, but Sutton unfollows Erika on Instagram and it’s like she masterminded the Iran-Contra. Both of these things can be true. Everyone can be simultaneously wrong, and that is the case here. (Except for Garcelle, who is more right than Mitch McConnell at CPAC.)
Now that the conversation is about Sutton, Diana pipes in to call Sutton “slithery.” First of all, wasn’t she supposed to be giving Sutton a second chance? Secondly, Sutton is a lot of things — trembly, uncertain, overly emotional, incapable of lounging around in athleisure — but she is not slithery. Sutton is so raw that she is almost incapable of guile. She is always on the defense with the group, so she can’t manipulate any of them. And, I’m sorry, if Diana knows the word slithery, she can’t blame English being her second language and say that’s not the word that she meant.
When Kyle and Garcelle say that Sutton has feelings and not to talk to her like that, Diana says, “But does she?” That’s just stupid and cruel. She once again brings up how Sutton treated her at Garcelle’s party, something she has apologized for more times than I have been busted for shoplifting from Brandy Melville (going on six). Crystal is right; at some point you have to just stop apologizing for something. Also, Diana needs to let it go. They all do. Things need to pass. We’re still rehashing shit from the reunion. And I get it. It all hurts. They are doing a very difficult job for our entertainment and I love them for that, but the name of the game is conflict and resolution. If Diana can’t resolve anything, then maybe she should lick herself back to her hotel room forever and leave the rest of us alone.
Somewhere among all this, Sutton says that no one is mad that Erika called her a cunt, and Diana says, “But you are one.” That gets an outsize cackle from Erika, which is as distasteful as what Diana said. But then after she accuses Sutton of hiding miscarriages from people, she cries herself right out of the house. How does she go from calling someone a charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent to acting like the aggrieved party? It’s insane, and I might just be too exhausted for next week, when it gets even worse.
Meanwhile, Rinna was surprisingly silent the whole episode, though her travel outfit screamed MARC JACOBS so loud even the entire cast of Coda heard it. Maybe she was thinking of the box of trinkets from her mother she unpacked. She thought about the little ceramic basket of flowers that brought Lois joy when she did her makeup in the morning, the leopard-print sweater that still smelled of White Linen perfume, the glass Christmas tree that Lois kept year-round because she liked to think of her family being together. Rinna unpacked the book about the serial killer who tried to murder her mother, which she survived; she unpeeled the note about what she wanted her headstone to say: “So did I.” So did I. So did we. So did all of us. And as Lisa pulled out a locket with a picture of her two girls in it, she held it up to her chest and thought about every scintilla of time she shared with her mother and she cried and she raged and she bargained and she accepted and, for the length of time it took for a tear to leave her eye, roll down her face, and fall silently into the Moroccan rug she sat on, she didn’t think about social media at all.