The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap: All Bark, No Bite

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Shameless Not Ruthless
Season 12 Episode 14
Editor’s Rating 4 stars

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Shameless Not Ruthless
Season 12 Episode 14
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Bravo

Dorit Kemsley is many things: a child of the world, a wedding dress designer, a Catherine O’Hara character. But first and foremost, she is a teeth philanthropist, teaming up this episode with the charity “Homeless Not Toothless.” We first hear about this 30 Rock cutaway gag of a cause while Dorit and PK are at the dentist getting his veneers cleaned and where the dentist agrees to donate a brand new smile to someone in need. But how is it that Dorit first heard about this charity? Well, naturally, her neighbor Sharon Stone knocked on her door to tell her about it. And since we don’t get Sharon on the show the way Kyle brought us Jamie Lee Curtis, I think at the very least they should release the Ring-cam footage of this encounter.

Bravo hasn’t seen a natural set of chompers in years, so it’s about time that the trend trickles down into their charity work. But where does it end? Botox for underfunded school teachers? Yoni steams for hurricane victims? Goat yoga for orphans? In all seriousness, providing disadvantaged people with dental care is a great thing — so long as they don’t send them to whoever did Lisa Vanderpump’s veneers (haven’t they suffered enough?) — but ideally, we wouldn’t have to choose. We could help people be neither homeless nor toothless. But I guess we’re just focusing on the teeth, and Dorit is throwing a gala for the occasion.

Over in Sutton’s self-titled store — which I hardly recognize when there isn’t a Parisian-themed party going on — she and her assistant do their best impression of a Designing Women episode until Crystal swings by for a classic Housewives catch-up. The pair debrief the never-ending story, a.k.a. Sutton and Lisa’s season-long table feud, which Sutton seems just as bored with as me. So instead, she fills Crystal in on the gross conversation that transpired last week about her eating disorder, saying that she wondered if the conversation was really from a place of concern or judgment.

Sutton editorializing that conversation (something generally seen as pot-stirring on these shows) is actually a welcomed lifeline in this case. It cues Crystal in on the questionable way this conversation is playing out without her, allowing her to regain control of the narrative now rather than be in the dark about it until the episode airs. It gives Crystal the chance to defend herself regarding her eating-disorder treatment (which the ladies feel very entitled to know everything about), and she firmly says, “Just because I haven’t done everything doesn’t mean I haven’t done anything.”

We take a brief break from the real world to see Diana’s child bride, Asher, wearing a leopard shirt and fedora, playing a white grand piano as she listens from the stairs. Diana mentions how he grew up on Broadway, at which point we see two photos of a young Asher dressed like a little peasant boy. Some quick research suggests these were from productions of Oliver! (in North Carolina) and The Prince and the Pauper (in Seattle), so let’s split the difference and call it Off Broadway. Nevertheless, Diana’s season-long campaign to make Asher famous continues.

Meanwhile, Kyle and Erika hire someone to stretch them out in Kyle’s backyard. As this professional stretcher pushes Erika’s leg back, Kyle shudders, “That looks like it hurts.” And this is coming from a woman who would gladly drop down into the splits just to clean her baseboards. But Kyle clarifies that her affinity for the splits isn’t just her being “bendy” but rather because she has hypermobility syndrome. I can’t believe this whole time we thought it was just hyper-wanting-attention-at-parties syndrome.

Despite Kyle’s Stretch Armstrong–like ailments, all focus is on Erika, who alludes to a new mystery man between the ages of 51 and 83 and says she’s sick and tired of Garcelle accusing her of having a drinking problem just because she has a drinking problem and delivers a dark confessional about hating every aspect of her life (which does not resonate when told to a television camera in a multimillion-dollar home).

They also talk about Dorit’s charity event, and Kyle, being the only sensible person in her Zip Code, is struck by the name Homeless Not Toothless. “The name is … wrong,” Erika adds, and if Erika “alleged victims” Girardi thinks something is tone-deaf, then you know you have a problem.

Over at the Kemsley residence, the scene is set for the black-and-gold-themed Homeless Not Toothless Charity Gala, with the tables arranged in a big horseshoe shape like they’re hosting a creative-writing workshop. We’re teased that there will be a surprise guest, someone who requires PK to learn how to dim the lights in his own home — a task he adamantly insists he can handle.

Our first arrival is not the special guest but indeed a special guest, as Kathy brought her friend Dwight, who we find out not only used to be a friend of She Who Must Not Be Named (Lisa Vanderpump) but who also famously almost murdered an elderly Ken Todd by pushing him into a shockingly shallow pool. But facilitating this cameo isn’t Kathy’s only contribution tonight; she gets right down to business, making up for lost time with a series of quotes that I simply have to let speak for themselves:

• “Oh, LeeAnne’s coming tonight. I love the font.” — Kathy Hilton, seeing Diana’s place card.

• “He’s so talented. I didn’t know what to expect, ’cause nine times out of ten, a disaster, and it’s like, somebody, help.” — Kathy Hilton, about Asher’s musical performance.

• “You look wet. Doesn’t she? It’s so beautiful.” — Kathy Hilton, seeing Lisa Rinna’s dress.

• “Appearance, unfortunately, is very important. You need teeth. You need teeth. And it’s hard to talk without teeth.” — Kathy Hilton, on teeth.

• “What is it called?!” — a shocked Kathy Hilton interrupting Dorit’s speech upon hearing the name of the charity for the first time.

As you can tell, Kathy shines at this function, which makes all the sense in the world because, lest we forget, Kathy Hilton, DDS, used to perform unsolicited dental work on the neighborhood kids growing up.

Over in the corner, throughout the night, we also get the Mauricio and PK show because a producer was wise enough to keep a camera on the two of them the whole time. First, PK gifts Mauricio a gold belt to wear to fit the party theme, then they play fashion police by conferring on which of the wives is best dressed, and finally, Mo fully feels up PK’s famously “muscular” frame.

Chaos erupts during dinner (an unsettling-looking chicken parm) when the show’s producer, Kyle Richards, casually mentions that there’s a discrepancy about whether Rinna told Sutton to “get the fuck out” of her house or politely suggested she leave last week. Sutton doesn’t want to talk about it, though, so that’s the end of that. Just kidding, Kyle instead asks Dorit what happened. And then asks Rinna. All of which happens across multiple tables.

Suddenly everyone is yelling, and Rinna is now mad that Sutton didn’t apologize to Harry Hamlin at the wine tasting. You know things are serious when a Housewife puts on her readers to read a receipt in a confessional, and Sutton does just that to recite the apology text she sent to Harry. But Rinna keeps raising the bar regarding what she wants from Sutton, trapping us all in a never-ending Groundhog Day–like cycle of a story line that should have been put to bed ten episodes ago.

But much like a breaking-news alert interrupting your favorite show, Dorit gets word in her ear that the special guest is ready and has to go on now, forcing her to go against every instinct she’s been conditioned to have for six years and put an abrupt stop to the drama. You can see the pain in her eyes as she shuts down this display of great television in the making, but it seems like our special guest has a hard out.

Even among all that screaming and vitriol, nothing comes close to being as bone-chilling as the daggers Dorit shoots at PK when she says, “I told you you didn’t know how to do it,” after he accidentally fails to dim the lights properly. And given just how unflattering that light is, it is warranted — those women were ready to leap under the table rather than be filmed in overhead fluorescents.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has a rich history of surprise musical appearances. From David Foster bringing out Andrea Bocelli to Kyle announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, Wilson Phillips!” like she was in the final scene of Bridesmaids. It’s a fun way to see who owes who a favor in the music industry. And tonight is no exception, as the lights dim and Melissa Etheridge saunters down the stairs to cheers, screams, and Kathy asking, “Who the hell is that? Was she hiding under there the whole time?”

Nothing can bring these women together like the power of celebrity, and suddenly they drop the arguments and are joined in peaceful unity as Melissa sings “Come to My Window” in Dorit’s modern farmhouse. I just wish Brandi and Denise could be here to see this.

Post-song, the energy in the room shifts, and Lisa’s anger is erased by the healing power of meeting a famous person. She and Sutton agree that the bickering back and forth is stupid, and Lisa attributes her anger to her mom’s passing, having just received all of Lois’s belongings that day. The women gather around her as she cries her fake eyelashes off, which Garcelle calls a breakthrough that will allow Lisa to move forward — most likely to fresh, new feuds that come from a place of regular anger instead of grief.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Recap