Nicole has crossed over. Last night, Chrishell murdered her, she died, and we last see her weeping as Mary futilely tries to get her to see that she has to be nice to people in order for them to be nice back. By the time we see her again, she has been reborn as some kind of banshee, one of the Furies, a vengeful creature from the beyond. In a stroke of pure — most likely accidental — genius, she’s made herself so angry that she’s entered a space of true performance art. She is so sure she is a victim in all this, and yet she is so far from convincing anyone to be on her side that she has now achieved camp. I mean this as high praise. Her leveling up is so compelling I’m forced to again hand five stars to this pair of episodes. “Had it been a business call, it would have, yes,” is a line drag queens should lip-sync for years to come.
When Chelsea expresses incredulity that Nicole would spend two hours getting a drug test on a vacation, Nicole responds with a dramatic “Sadly, I did.” (Was Nicole also a soap-opera actress in a former life? Because these are perfect line reads.) But don’t worry — that’s not all. “Once I get the results,” she begins, then stops herself. “Let me consult with my attorney first.” Her attorney! Nicole is not fine with simply doing a mic-drop by peeing into a cup and making someone look at it; she also needs to destroy Chrishell legally in a court of law. Someone call Disney because we’ve found its next villain. Nicole’s power grows so much in this moment that Mary flees. She runs — literally — away as Chelsea begs Nicole to use her evil magic to rewind time itself so she can pretend she didn’t hear any of her wicked plans.
Meanwhile, Heather has grabbed the spoon, braced herself against the pot, and started stirring for her life. She goes ahead and tells Bre everything Chelsea had to say behind her back — a thing that’s not a secret since Chelsea said it on a tv show — and yet it feels like this feud is being ushered along by Heather. Regardless, it’s fair for Bre to be insulted that Chelsea is basically accusing her of robbing her child of a father. It’s not a good look for Chelsea to be judging single moms, as much as she might try to put an asterisk on that to clarify that she only has a problem with moms who are single by choice. (As if that’s … better?) Bre says it pretty plainly: Chelsea thought people would agree with her, but they don’t, so now she has to apologize. This is the argument that dominates the group’s penultimate dinner and offers us the cinema that is Bre taking a single bite of what is either a mushroom or a steak in anger. (I stan women eating on television — it’s the representation we need!) The person I feel sorry for in all this is Amanza, who spends their dinner argument throwing out all kinds of depressing thoughts: “I don’t have a family” and “Her kid is better off than mine!” Someone please check in with this woman. She is in pain, and I am so concerned.
Amanza also takes umbrage with Chrishell’s accusation that Nicole does drugs — because while this might just be delicious tea for the childless, she doesn’t want CPS called on her again once this airs. She confronts her about this the next morning, and this is when we get the explanation that Chrishell has allegedly heard Nicole talk about doing mushrooms. When Amanza relays this to the rest of the group, Mary once again physically flees the room once Nicole mentions her lawyer, but Chelsea fears nothing and no one. She takes this opportunity to dissect Nicole’s game plan: Is she telling them about her lawyer because she wants them to tell Chrishell what’s happening? Nicole plays dumb, asserting that they’d asked about it, which Chelsea coolly points out they did not. Nicole is on her own with this one, and now she knows it. Later, when the entire group is reunited by the pool, they all marvel at what a fine day they’ve all managed to have together as Nicole is literally lying in wait, seething.
“This is our last night in Palm Springs, and it can’t be any worse than the other nights,” Mary offers hopefully — and heartbreakingly — just before the group heads to the last dinner of the trip. Boy, does she try. She even brings the suggestion box back out, which Amanza uses as a tool to do the thing where you go around the table and say something nice about everyone. A lovely, warm ending to an otherwise difficult trip, except that this isn’t a heartwarming family drama; it’s a horror movie about an enraged ghoul who has sprung forth from the depths of hell to purify the MLS database. Suddenly, Nicole strikes, revealing to Chrishell that “in the spirit of being completely transparent,” she took a drug test and is talking to an attorney about taking legal action over Chrishell’s accusations. At this point, Chrishell, in her interview, immediately starts questioning the integrity of the drug test. “Are the results being sent to an unbiased third party, like in escrow?” God, I love it when they fight in business terms. It’s like Succession, but with hot people. And look, I know I have an obvious Chrishell bias (you can’t choose who you love!), but in case you didn’t think to Google this — no, mushrooms do not typically show up on regular drug tests. Do with that information what you will, but at this point, I’m forced to believe Chrishell is either telling the truth as she knows it or she’s a once-in-a-generation kind of genius.
Honestly, Chrishell is just doing exactly what Mary ought to: refusing to be walked all over. It’s terrible what Mary is dealing with, but this is also what makes this show so great. Yes, we’re watching Saweetie tour a Brentwood mansion that has a pizza oven, but we’re also watching women in formalwear argue viciously over how you can define a family and wonder whether their pee is in escrow. Where else are you going to get two (two) fake business calls, which is apparently Nicole’s go-to tactic for avoiding conversations she’d hate. (I might start doing this, actually. Can we make this a thing?) Mary and Chrishell are almost perfect foils at this point with Chrishell confidently announcing she’s done trying to appease people who don’t have her best interests at heart and Mary sobbing alone in a party bus. Poor Mary.
Location, Location, Location
• Emma’s Bi-curious Moment: Riding Chrishell across the pool is neither safe nor subtle.
• Davina Watch: I like to think Davina is actually in all of us and not so much a physical presence in this world.
• Real Estate: Why did Elvis have such a small weird door? That wasn’t in the Baz Luhrmann movie at all.