How do you solve a problem like Dorinda? How do you extract the bourbon from a bung? How do you solve a problem like Dorinnnnn-Daaaaaa? How do you hold a temper in your hand?
Mx. Medley showed up repeatedly this episode exactly why she was fired — sorry, put on pause — and it wasn’t pretty. The screaming, the blow-ups, the meanness. It’s a shame because when Dorinda is having fun, she’s a delight, but she has more turns than someone playing Uno with a string of Draw Two cards. And it’s her house, so if any of the women run afoul of her, she makes them feel even worse, like they’re somehow disrespecting the most disrespectful person there.
The morning was hard enough when Brandi had to text Eva and say, “I’m sorry I called your husband a mangina,” a text I know she has sent before and will probably send again before the second Trump administration. On top of that, everyone had to put on their best ’80s workout gear for Dorobics, Dorinda’s patented workout regime that won’t get you a flat tummy but will give you diarrhea. When all of the ladies were putting on their neon leotards and leg warmers, I thought, “This is a Bunco Party waiting to happen.” This is why Housewives should never wear costumes because they end up yelling at each other looking like a Lisa Frank folder with an attitude problem.
I was right when Dorinda lays into Tamra in the kitchen for eating food upstairs even though everyone has been doing it and even Marco, the sexy butler, has been bringing them breakfast in their bedrooms. (Brandi is hoping to eat something else in her bedroom, but it doesn’t arrive until after dinner.) Tamra says she gets it, but Dorinda forces her to read the plaque with the rules. Tamra still says she gets it and Dorinda tells her, “I don’t know what happens in your houses, but in my house we don’t eat upstairs,” like Tamra lives in a Dumpster behind Home Goods in Long Beach.
It almost seems like Tamra got off easy (no one gets off easier than Brandi — hey yo!), but when she starts crying, Dorinda comes in and tells her it’s no big deal, that she should get over it. Well, why is she screaming about it and can’t let it go if it’s no big deal? After 20 minutes of rambling about the rules, Tamra finally goes full Bunco Party and shouts at her to shut up and trounces off to cool off in her room. This is why we don’t wear costumes! The drama was so intense it drove Eva to eat the Breakfast of Champions: Tito’s vodka and half a bag of Ruffles.
After Phaedra does the long-dead Donkey Booty workout and the ladies do their Dorobics — minus Tamra and Vicki, who were sent to their rooms without dinner, do not pass go, do not collect $200, and do not eat the cupcakes that Dorinda herself left on their beds — they all congregate in Vicki and Tamra’s room to assess the damage wrought by the tempter tantrum tsunami that just covered Bluestone Manor in curse words. Eva is giving me MVP realness as she tip-toes by the room and says she’s avoiding drama and following the CDC guidelines.
When assessing the situation, Brandi says that Tamra, Vicki, and Dorinda — the most recently “paused” Housewives — are having some kind of Housewife off. I don’t know if that is necessarily true. I think the three of them haven’t yet had a chance to shake the Housewives Brain Worms from their heads, so they’re all a little amped up. But I also think this is just who Dorinda is. Yes, it’s made worse by booze, but her freak-out on Tamra happened before anyone even had their morning poop. You can’t blame that on the booze or the bossa nova.
When Taylor drags all the women to a tea party, Tamra brings up the altercation, and Dorinda says it’s best not to make a mountain out of a molehill. Um, she is the queen of Mount Molehill. She will take the title of Supreme Maloof, the leader of the race of mole people that live in the mountain, from Adrienne.
That night there is a Prohibition Dinner, which is just a Roaring ‘20s party in disguise. I’m sorry, but the Oversight Committee of the Real Housewives Institute banned all flapper-themed costumes in 2019, so Dorinda will have to back this theme right into the nearest lake or flooded basement (which is sure to be Brandi’s). At least she claims her house used to be a speakeasy, so that makes a little more sense. She treats the women to a bourbon tasting which is actually an infomercial for Bluestone Manor Bourbon, so Dorinda has managed to out QVC Jill Zarin and Lisa Rinna.
It’s at this dinner we learn that a bunghole is a hole in a barrel. D’s business partner puts something long and hard into that bunghole. He puts it in over and over again. He shoves it in deep. He shoves it in hard, and eventually, liquid comes out. Oh, it’s not what you’re thinking. It’s brown. If brown liquid ever comes out of your penis, call the sexual-health clinic and all of your past Grindr tricks immediately. The brown liquor immediately puts the devil in these women, especially after Brandi’s basement floods over the burlesque dancer that Dorinda hires. What? She couldn’t get a man? Was Bolo busy? Did Ridickulous have a previous booking?
The party then divides between those who want to get naked and those who don’t. Brandi and Tamra are stripping down to their skivvies and Brandi gives Marco a case to make an OSHA violation when she rips his shirt off. I am not surprised that what lies underneath is white and rippled, like a bunch of meringues molded into the shape of a man. But isn’t this a hostile work environment? Isn’t this what Me Too was all about?
Brandi and Tamra want to carry on partying while the rest of the ladies settle into their pajamas and head to bed. They’re in the kitchen whooping it up with the burlesque dancer who doesn’t know whether to finish her hot plate and go home or have the three-way of her life. In the living room, Dorinda is getting ready for her final blow-up of the night. This one is at Jill Zarin. Eva is doing her radio show from the house, and Jill wants to be on it so she can QVC the shit out of her rugs on a national platform. Eva tries to let her down gently, but Jill does not like to take no for an answer. She likes to be let down hard. She likes to be a baby dropped on its soft spot from the second floor. That’s our Jill.
When Dorinda tells her to stop asking, she’s actually right. Jill should leave Eva alone, but Jill is right because it is Eva’s job to say no to her. Dorinda doesn’t need to be in charge of every moment of every day like she’s some reality television drill sergeant. But it’s after Jill gets teary about Dorinda upstairs in the confessional room that Dorinda gets mean. “This is where you’re weak,” she says to Jill as she walks away. This is the real drunk nastiness. This is the cause of the pause. This is what is turning me away from Bluestone Manor. When I want to side with Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr. in a fight, you know that someone has taken all the sprinkle off of the Cool Ranch Doritos.
After their fight, Jill slunk off to bed in her Ralph Lauren cashmere pajamas that she mentioned about three times. Did you know they’re cashmere? From Ralph Lauren? She got them on special at TJ Maxx. Just $195. Can you believe it? Yes. Jill closed the door to her room and threw her makeup bag on her messy bed. She dug through for the bottle of emergency pills she keeps in there. It rattled in her shaking hands as she futzed with the childproof cap. She shook out one light blue diamond, the Xanax that would send her off into sleep. She reached for the half-full Diet Coke she kept on the nightstand — against the rules — and as she lifted it to her lips, she felt something soft and light around her neck. In the next instant, it was pulled tight, a silk scarf that she planned to wear the next night.
She couldn’t see the woman standing behind her, with her knee in Jill’s back as she pulled harder and hard. Jill writhed about. She dropped the Diet Coke and tried to get her fingers under the scarf, but it was already too tight. When Jill finally stopped moving with a jerk, the woman let her lifeless body fall to the ground. It didn’t even make a thud. Then the woman took two steps back and blended into the shadows against the wall, almost disappearing entirely, as if she was melting into the very darkness.