This week on our favorite show, Rich Women Doing Things, the rich women did absolutely no things. They did not could not on a boat. They did not could not with a float. They did not could not with a bish. They did not could not with a jellyfish. They did not could not on a plane. They did not could not in the rain. They did do nothing, Sam I am. They do not like Green Eggs and Ham.
If I was in the habit of giving one-word recaps, you would have clicked on this link and just be met with the word “No,” in 12-point font. However, that is not what Mr. Moneybags Vulture III, the owner of this here website, pays me two bags of Sea Salt–flavored Pop Corners to do. So we will give this episode our full attention even though it doesn’t even deserve it.
I say that because nothing happened in this entire 42 minutes without commercials. Okay. One thing happened. Erika Jayne got really drunk. We’re talking falling into the bushes in Mexico drunk. We’re talking “She’s starting,” drunk. We’re talking falling out of a hot tub and breaking your leg drunk. This is nothing new for a Real Housewives franchise, so it shouldn’t be all that unacceptable. But then again, this is not RHONY, where the women are usually as plastered as the walls of a classic six on the UES. The Rich Women like to cut loose, but they don’t like to get messy like some of the other shows in the Bravo Cinematic Universe.
And then you have Erika in a ponytail as thick as a boa constrictor and a multi-colored kaftan smearing her body makeup all over a yacht couch while babbling about how she used to have a yacht called “Illegal,” and it was pretty cool. This is not for an audience, though. This is just her rambling in the twilight of a nap, curled up with only Xanax for a comforter, talking out her thoughts in real time. It was very Sonja Tremont Morgan of the John John Gstaad Updo Morgans vibes.
After passing out for most of the afternoon, Erika comes upstairs and offers to pee on Diana’s jellyfish sting (or did she just order Garcelle to do it?), volunteers to have a three-way with Crystal and her husband (or did she just order Garcelle to do it?), and dances to her own hit song “XX*)%&Q%*” (or did she just order Garcelle to do it?). Kyle tells the crew, “I love seeing Erika like this. She’s having fun.” Um, no bitch. She is not. She is blacked out. She is titties falling out of her going out top after bottomless mimosas at Bagatelle brunch wasted. That isn’t fun for anyone. It’s like being sick with a fever and just trying to get out of the other end.
No one wants to be that girl who is so passed out that her friends are throwing chunks of bread at her while she’s spread eagle next to the lunch buffet and she’s not even flinching. However, we have to give mad props to the editors who showed us Erika’s blinking eyes as she catches only snippets of the day: Crystal posing for a selfie, Kyle getting another drink, some wasted dude in a passing party boat getting out his dong. It ends with Sutton waking her up and it being time to leave. That is the most relatable thing I have ever seen on reality television. Wait. I take that back. The most relatable thing is actually Dorit calling her husband PK, a “Be Kind, Rewind” sticker made out of boogers, just to make sure that he hasn’t been watching any of the shows that they watch together. In my marriage, that is a capital offense, along with not replacing the toilet paper after you finish it, unplugging my phone to charge your own, and ordering the same entrée I just ordered at a restaurant. (We all like Chicken Parm, Christian! Try something else!)
That is all that happened on that boat. There were a few funny moments, sure. But did this final day of the trip warrant a whole episode? Did Glenn Close deserve to win the Oscar every time she was nominated? Wait. Did I do that right? What I mean to say is that it did not. Other than Erika being really drunk, there isn’t much to hang this episode on.
We do get Lisa Rinna saying that she reached out to Denise Richards, who she done did real dirty two seasons ago. She says they texted and it was a nice exchange. We then see Garcelle in her confessional texting Denise to see if Rinna texted her and Denise asks, “When?” Ooooooh. She’s gonna be so angry. This episode continued to show Garcelle as the new Executive Producer in Chief. (Can you be both the executive and the chief? This episode has me forgetting how language even works.) At the last dinner, we see her bringing up Diana’s book again because she didn’t want her to avoid talking about it. She tries to couch it as Diana being mean to Dorit by swatting the questions away, but Garcelle knew there was something dark under her comments and she was trying to paw at it.
Speaking of Diana, the only storyline that we’ve seen develop in this episode is her hating Sutton. It seems that Diana doesn’t really like Sutton because she is a vegetarian who eats bacon. She has brought this up in every single episode. She’s obsessed with it. If Sutton eating bacon was Bridget Fonda, then Diana is Jennifer Jason Leigh and she’s dressing up like a pound of Oscar Meyer Naturally Hardwood Smoked from the Stop and Shop butcher section. It’s insane.
I get what Diana means, though. She thinks that Sutton contradicts herself, and she is absolutely right. It never seems to me like Sutton is acting so much on reason than she is on vibes. She is like a mood ring in couture Dolce. She’s just changing color, changing tactics, changing friends. The chaotic mess is great for television, but it must be nearly impossible for a no-nonsense woman like Diana to try to be friends with her.
The pettiest slight comes on the jet ride home when Diana says that Sutton can’t sit with her and Fox Force Five. She tells her to take her “original seat.” It’s the sort of petty passive aggression that we don’t usually get on this show since the entire genre thrives on its opposite: active aggression. Here we are, focusing on that since Crystal has banned the use of the word “dark” ever again.
Just as Diana and Sutton are crumbling, it seems like Erika and Sutton are building up, or at least tolerating each other. Here they are sitting next to each other at dinner, going over the dudes that Sutton matches with on Tinder. Here they are on the boat bonding about being Southern. Oh, isn’t it nice? Isn’t it delicious? Or is it just Sutton’s vengeance for Erika being nice to her last season on a trip and then saying she was only doing it to make the vacation go smoothly? Who can really say?
The one really illuminating moment comes when Sutton asks Erika if she “feels any responsibility” for Tom’s victims. “Does a doctor’s wife feel any responsibility for his patients?” she replies. Sutton says it’s a fair point, and it is. Well played, Erika. However, I don’t think what people have been missing from her ever since the scandal broke is responsibility. The people want empathy. In Erika’s answer to Sutton, she is essentially saying that she did nothing wrong to those people, and she is right. Tom did all the bad deeds. But Erika did benefit from them, and I think that fans need an acknowledgment of that and that she feels bad for the people who didn’t get their money.
Meanwhile, Garcelle is convinced Erika is just getting wasted and acting like this is passed so she doesn’t have to talk about it. I don’t blame her! I would do the same. But she also accuses the other women of not talking about it either. (Garcelle talks a big game in her confessionals, but she isn’t afraid to bring up anything else, why not bring this up?) I think the thing is that there isn’t much to report. There’s a ton of lawsuits, there’s a lot moving on, but it’s moving at a glacial pace because that is how court cases go. This could get dragged out for a decade moving so incrementally that you can barely notice. What is there to talk about? What is there left to say other than rehashing the arguments we’ve made since last year. Eventually, the story has to move on until there’s a development, but we’re going to have to do a lot better than one lady drunk on vacation.