This episode picks up right where last week’s left off, with Scott and Kendall fighting over him not being invited to her birthday party. She storms out with her haphazardly-chopped cucumbers in tow, spilling pretzels all across Kris Jenner’s new patio, and jets off to Kourtney’s house to debrief.
After years of being used to the much more produced world of Keeping Up, in which it appeared that every scene was mapped out on a call sheet weeks in advance — I initially had my doubts about the apparent spontaneity of this scene at Kourtney’s. But everything checks out; I didn’t notice any continuity errors (i.e. Kendall’s jewelry and nail polish match up) and Khloé’s indoor sunglasses to hide her lack of full glam signal that it really was an unexpected shoot. That’s all I need to be convinced, so kudos to production for always being ready to pick up and go wherever the story takes them.
This time (much like Travis Barker), they’re summoned to Kourtney’s bedroom, where Kendall tells her sisters about her fight with Scott. Her sage wisdom gives us the clearest view of the situation: Scott is victimizing himself, villainizing everyone else, and the whole family is stuck in the middle because Kourtney won’t lay down ground rules. Kourtney, however, is simply not taking this on and appears to be barely tuned into the conversation. Despite this, they try to once again bring her down from whatever planet her Blink-182 spaceship landed on and have her sort this out with Scott so they stop getting caught in the crossfire.
Kim, meanwhile, is busy with a far more important Scott: Scott Budnick, the founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, who she’s teaming up with on criminal justice reform work. She tells him that when she passes the bar, her goal is to start a firm focusing on justice reform that hires formerly incarcerated people. She thinks her dad would get a kick out of this journey since he always told her that she was too vain for the wrinkles that come with the stress of the job. “Thank god for Botox,” she says.
We’ve seen a lot of this work on Keeping Up and The Justice Project, most notably her role in securing the release of Alice Johnson. But these cases don’t always have happy endings, as we see with Brandon Bernard, who was executed in December despite Kim’s attempts. We see Brandon’s heartbreaking last call with Kim, who says that moments like these demonstrate just how broken our system is and the inhumanity of the death penalty, inspiring her to work even harder.
Now, Kim and Scott’s focus is on the case of Julius Jones, who is widely believed to have been wrongfully convicted and is set to be executed in three days’ time. The war room that Kim and Scott are working out of features a massive whiteboard with the names of influential and powerful people and organizations that they can reach out to, ranging from the NAACP to Addison Rae (Addison Rae’s name appears just above Van Jones’). Many of these names deliver, and we see a montage of calls to action from John Legend, Mandy Patinkin, and, of course, James Corden — which Kim describes as the “most amazing video ever” — a snippet that James Corden’s production company naturally opted to include in the episode.
Since Khloé’s house next door to Kris’s is still under construction, she and Tristan are using Kim’s gym for an early morning workout — because I guess Calabasas doesn’t have a Planet Fitness. Tristan recounts getting a fan thrown out of a game for heckling him about Khloé — and at this point, heckles about the Kardashian family should just be officially prohibited in the NBA Fan Code of Conduct.
Since they’re at Kim’s, the doomed couple get to see the kids off before school, and Kim (wearing a robe made out of a full duvet) seizes the opportunity to prank Tristan with one of those fake spider boxes — our resident comic has graduated to prop comedy already!
Despite the problems that she’s having with Kanye, he’s still in the picture and shows up to pick the kids up for school — reveling in the newfound discovery that he’s allowed to break the fourth wall with this camera crew. He shares his plans to pick up the kids in a fire truck, inviting the camera crew to come along.
The children certainly seem interested when a fire truck picks them up for school, but it’s very clear that this stunt came about because Kanye was the one who wanted to ride in a fire truck. There’s an admirable attempt to use the kids as an excuse, but none of their reactions come close to the glee in Kanye’s eyes at getting to wear a real firefighter helmet.
We’re also brought along to another doctor’s visit with Kourtney and Travis, who luckily don’t fornicate in the exam room this time (although who’s to say what happened in the waiting room). Kourtney perches what appears to be knee-high platform combat boots in the stirrups for another follicle hunt, with much better results this time. After the doctor tells them it’s the best follicle yet, Kravis makes out by the elevators to celebrate.
They’re lucky they did it then because at home, Penelope is not putting up with any of it. “Mom, no kissing!” she orders the second she spots any funny business. The blended Barker/Kardashian crew have a family dinner, where they ignore Penelope’s pleas, prompting Reign, the voice of a generation, to chime in with, “Ew, guys, can you guys not kiss in French again? Can you guys please not French kiss?”
Shoe-horned into the episode is a reconciliation scene between Kendall and Scott, who is once again speaking at 0.75x speed. It’s a lackluster encounter that simply closes the loop on that little clash. And if it didn’t seem frivolous enough on its own, the juxtaposition between this saga and Kim’s efforts in this episode really hammers that point home.
It’s the day of Julius Jones’s scheduled execution, and finally, at the last possible minute, Kim finds out that the governor of Oklahoma commuted his sentence — changing it to a life sentence without the possibility of parole. While a major triumph in one way, Kim notes that an innocent man is still locked away — so they now have a different fight ahead of them. But she notes how different this will make Julius’s experience — particularly because his status as a death row inmate made it impossible for him even to hug his mother or children for 20 years.
The episode ends with Kim getting her bar results at Red Lobster. Well, more specifically, the parking lot of Red Lobster. She didn’t want to cry in Red Lobster in case she failed, so she went out to the car to read the results. So in her car with North and Tracy Romulus, Kim logs into the portal (stars: they’re just like us!) to see her results. Even knowing what happens, watching the phone load was as anxiety-inducing as a psychological thriller.
But the real question you might be asking is not whether Kim passed or failed, but rather why Kim is at Red Lobster. Great question; the answer to that is because they’re celebrating North winning her first basketball game ever. Now, if I were North, I would have some qualms — especially after seeing them celebrate Kris with a Nobu catered affair.
Anyway, the portal loads, and, of course, Kim passes, and happy tears are shed as the whole car freaks out. It was particularly meaningful to have North there for this moment, Kim says, because she had to take time away from her kids to study, so now North is able to see firsthand the result of that sacrifice. Back into Red Lobster, they go to celebrate with Cheddar Bay Biscuits.