This week on our favorite show, Rich Ladies Doing Things, these rich ladies did things. They arrived at a hotel two hours after their stylist, makeup artist, and hairdresser who had already arranged all of their things in the room and made sure that they would never have to sit with their back to a door. They received a delivery of “amethyst butterfly cathedral wings” that were so ugly not even drunk girls after bottomless brunch would take pictures in front of them for their Instagrams. They watched as Bambi, one of their dogs, stole steak off of their plates and then marched across the outdoor coffee table only to go back inside and steal more steak off of the plates that were stacked next to the sink for the housekeeper to tend to the next day.
But, much like Bambi, mostly the rich ladies ate fast food. As Kyle is driving down to Palm Springs for the opening of her store, Kyle by Alene Too Point Oh!, she asks Siri where the closest Jack in the Box is. Erika, Garcelle, and Rinna are in a town car on the way to meet her, and they stop for what looks to be McDonald’s. I am not going to knock anyone eating fast food, but Jack in the Box? Kyle? What are you? A Pepperdine frat boy who had one too many Irish car bombs (and doesn’t even know that we probably shouldn’t be calling them that anymore)? And McDonald’s? Is this the one highway in America without a Wendy’s? Was there not a Popeyes and all of its mouth-watering biscuits within a ten-mile radius? I know Shake Shack exists on the West Coast, could we not have found one of them?
Crystal did not get any fast food. She was in a car with Diana and her enriched bread or whatever the fuck she was feeding her. It was probably the Elvin bread that never goes stale that Galadriel gives to the Hobbits in Lothlórien. (Nerd alert!) That might be why she absolutely snaps after the opening of Kyle’s store. She hates hairy feet in general and Lord of the Rings specifically.
But to get to Crystal’s breaking point, we need to start with Dorit’s break-in, of all places. After having a gun held to her head in her own home, she is jumpier than a whole field of Mexican jumping beans. (Wait, is that any worse than Irish car bombs?) She can’t sleep at night, even with a dose of the Xanax she heard so much about on SoundCloud rap. She’s having panic attacks and is so distressed that she can’t even slather her body in labels any more. Garcelle is mourning that she can’t have her crazy hairdos anymore while her poor overworked follicles are ordering piña coladas because they haven’t gone this long without a mile-long braid clomped onto them or a golden goose egg plopped on top of them.
Though I make fun, I feel awful for Dorit. Kyle talks about how she didn’t feel safe in her own home for six months after she was robbed, and Dorit had it a million times worse than she did. It’s going to be a long, dreadful road for Dorit, and I don’t know if this is necessarily the right venue for her. This is not the kind of drama that makes good TV. It’s the kind of drama that is so dark it’s like a sensory deprivation tank. It’s the kind of drama that makes us all uncomfortable.
Speaking of which, that is Sutton’s explanation for why she said, “Sorry, I didn’t have a gun held to my head,” when she met Kyle the day of Dorit’s break-in. Kyle brings this up during cocktails at Crystal’s, and Garcelle, the realest of the real (who is so real she’s on The Real), says that they shouldn’t be talking about Sutton when she’s not there. This is great because when Sutton finally sees Dorit, she can explain that she is uncomfortable when talking about home invasions and guns because of her own past experiences. And she can further explain that she says dumb shit when she’s uncomfortable. Yes, that was some seriously dumb shit she said, and contrary to how she tries to spin it later, she was not at all empathetic to Dorit.
Dorit accepts the apology, and it seems like everyone is moving on … until Garcelle — in a blue sequin caftan that my gay soul would spill a bottle of poppers for — brings it back up and makes everyone sit around and dissect something that was already settled. Does she think she’s Kyle, producing the whole show? Kyle?
With the conversation renewed, Diana, who has only known Sutton about a long as half an episode of Emily in Paris, says the most astute thing I have heard about Sutton, who we have been watching for three years now. “Sutton is clumsy with her words and her behavior. [Sutton] comes off really weird and wrong,” she says. Yes! Clumsy! That is her crying in the back of the van on the way to Teddi’s seminar. That is her with the face roller trying to talk to Crystal on the boat. That is her, well, all of the time. She’s clumsy and also weird and also wrong, but I also think that Sutton is a well-meaning person. I think she is a good person and I think she is a faithful friend, she’s just, well, clumsy.
Erika uses this conversation about Sutton to come for Sutton, again claiming that everything Sutton said about her last year has been proven false. No matter how you feel about Erika, her legal troubles are not yet over, so her statement technically doesn’t seem entirely true. And I don’t know what apology Erika expects to get from Sutton, especially considering Erika won’t apologize to Sutton for threatening her — so this seems like a whole season of stalemate. However, Erika does have a point that in the varying dramas involving Crystal, Dorit, and herself, the common denominator is Sutton saying weird shit. I don’t know that we can stop Sutton from saying weird shit, just like we can’t stop the Pope from being Catholic or Andy Cohen from writing “No Taps!” in his Grindr profile, but maybe we can stop reacting to it? Perhaps we can give Sutton the benefit of the doubt.
However, the problem with these women is there is never any benefit, even though they have plenty of doubts. What Sutton did was insensitive, but they’re coming after her like the Texas Marshals going after an Uber driver for bringing someone to an abortion clinic.
This is what brings us to bizarro-world Crystal, acting like we’ve never seen her before. What’s odd is that I’m not sure exactly the equivalence that Crystal is trying to make in the conversation. As they’re talking about Sutton and Dorit, Crystal then tries to bring it back to last season when she said she felt “violated” when Sutton came into her room when she was naked, but then all of the women tell her that is too strong a word. Ironically they want Crystal to give Sutton the benefit of the doubt even though they still refuse to give it to her. Apparently, benefits and doubts are reserved for causes the women, as a unit, believe in.
While I don’t necessarily see the line that Crystal is drawing from Dorit and Sutton’s experience to her experience, everything Crystal says about the group not letting someone in the cast feel the way they feel unless the group agrees about the feeling is true. She tells Garcelle, who has her back the entire time like a boss, “My feelings are irrelevant to them.” I wonder what she meant by “them” exactly. What I’m assuming she means is the “core four” or “Fox Force Five” or the “Get Along Gang” or whatever you call the alliance of Erika, Rinna, Kyle, and Dorit. Is this an old-timers versus newbies divide? (It seems like it is.)
But Crystal is right. They told her she was not allowed to feel violated even though she did. She kept it under wraps for a whole year, and then it exploded just like a Jack in the Box. Even as Crystal is saying the group won’t allow her to feel her feelings, they respond by telling her that her feelings, again at this moment, are also wrong. They need everyone to conform to their read of things, and if they don’t, they get named and shamed for the sake of good TV. Crystal is not here for it. Neither is Garcelle. But only Crystal gets to pack her shit up and go back to the hotel where she’s staying with Sutton and Diana. What do you mean there’s a newbies versus OGs divide?
That leaves the core four back at Kyle’s house in La Quinta, which is Spanish for “behind the Target.” They agree, as a unit, that the next day they will let Crystal feel her feelings and they won’t judge her. They will listen and nod, letting her violation wash over them like the waves of a sound bath. They will all reach out and clasp her hand and pat her shoulder and grab her knees. They will let her vent as she sobs into a crumpled Kleenex, and they will talk about how strong and brave she is and how they never should have let her feel this way around them. And then, when she goes back to her hotel, they’ll all sit around and bray into the night about just how wrong she totally is.