Last week’s episode ended on a dramatic cliffhanger when right before Kim took off on her private jet, the flight attendant announced an unseen surprise from Pete Davidson. What could this surprise be? Surely something extravagant and worthy of such a mysterious cliffhanger? Yep, the camera pans down to reveal a silver platter with a single white flower and a small red tub of Dibs ice cream bites. It’s a treat that she recalls fondly craving when the two went to the movies in Staten Island, a place that I still can’t picture Kim Kardashian inhabiting on purpose.
The complete opposite of Dibs is what Kourtney is having for “lunch” — a sliced-up avocado which she squirts a lemon wedge onto, and little quail eggs that she eats like Jordan almonds. She’s having this so-called “lunch” with her pal Steph Shepherd, with whom she has one of the more interesting conversations that the show has covered. She’s upset about the edit she’s getting on the very show that we’re watching, particularly her engagement episode. She says that editors (“or whoever”) have chosen to entangle her story with Scott because they’ve decided that she’s going to be the show’s source of drama. Kudos to Kourtney for being so comfortable openly complaining about production while production stands around her filming it.
In reality television, as shows evolve over time, the show itself becomes a character. Though it’s typically a character that production tries to avoid, like an elephant in the room that everybody dances around. But as that elephant grows, the implications of filming a TV show become more and more ingrained in the actual reality of the cast — and purposefully excluding it is a disservice to authenticity. The Kardashians have long understood this better than anybody else on reality television, and this new show clearly leans into that concept more than ever.
That being said, I think they could go even further. What I’d really like to see, rather than Kourtney debriefing this frustration with Tracy, is a scene of her actually having this conversation with the producers. I want to see her plead her case as an executive producer on what she wants changed. And speaking of which, did she get her way? Yes, she’s an EP, so she clearly has some control over her story, but the episode we saw sounds a lot like the cut she’s complaining about, so I wonder what, if anything, she was able to have changed.
In far less interesting news, Kim is in the Dominican Republic shooting her Sports Illustrated cover, and after this season I don’t need any more scenes of photoshoots. Just show me the photo; I don’t need to see all the different poses and outfits and locations. The only interesting part about this shoot compared to all of the other ones this season is that Kim is very sick with something that is not Covid. This is something she makes very clear since every symptom she describes is a Covid symptom, but she promises that’s not what it is. As the Editor in Chief of SI Swimsuit says, “she feels like total dog food.”
A shoot that actually is very entertaining is the one that Kourtney is doing for Poosh with comedian Benito Skinner, a.k.a. Benny Drama. Anybody who’s seen He’s All That (the entire nation presumably) knows that Kourtney Kardashian is nothing if not an actress, and she gets to put those chops on display yet again with this Poosh sketch for the “Poosh Your Wellness Virtual Festival,” a thing that I simply refuse to know anything more about. Dressed as Kourtney, our premier Kardashian satirist traipses throughout her home doing his impression of her, drawn-on widow’s peak and all.
Meanwhile, Khloé is taking on a role of her own, because, if you didn’t realize it, she is a professional scene partner for hire. She’s the one on call to shoot with anybody who can’t support a scene solo: your Krises, your Kendalls, your Scotts, etc. When they need support for a two-hander? Enter Khloé stage left. And this week, we see her hard at work, accusing Kris of getting secretly married at lunch (while signaling her own marital hopes) and going baby shopping with Kendall as Kylie prepares to give birth.
In that little expedition, we see Kendall claim she’s the “world’s greatest parallel parker” because she’s never met an inane talent that she hasn’t claimed to possess — and she’s apparently moved on from being the arm wrestling champion she was earlier this season. But also, I just assumed that if a car is as expensive as the one Kendall is driving, it parallel parks itself.
While shopping, they call Kris, who instructs them to buy every Madame Alexander Doll that the store has because they’re “hard to find.” Yes, we’ve seen the room in her new house for displaying fine china, but we’ve yet to see what I can only imagine is a truly haunting doll room.
In addition to being the go-to scene partner for her family, Khloé is also hard at work with Good American, putting together their new size-inclusive ad campaign and selecting models from an open casting call. She surprises the models over Zoom to tell them they booked the campaign a la Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande finding out they got the Wicked movie. The shoot goes well and the scene ends on a joyous moment of triumph, as she says, “At this moment in my life, everything’s just in a really good place right now.”
Cut to DRAMATIC TITLE CARD.
It’s 6:30 a.m., and trouble is afoot. The crew is at Kim’s house, presumably to film her working out, which doesn’t seem worthy of a 6:30 call time, but thank god they were there. “Guys, let’s get to the gym right now; I don’t know what’s going on,” we hear a crewmember say. We see them hustle to the gym, where we find Kim in the middle of an intense phone call talking about the legal declaration signed by Tristan admitting to sleeping with a woman who is now pregnant with his baby.
The scene we’re watching is eerily familiar, not just because we’ve seen two Tristan cheating scandals play out on Keeping Up before, but because, in all instances, they play out in such similar ways. Kim miraculously is always shooting when they first find out (in previous cases, it was during confessionals), and she masterfully merges various combinations of her sisters on group calls (on speaker phone, of course).
In fact, she’s so much of a pro at these scenes that when she spots the camera crew saunter in, she seamlessly has the music in the gym turned down, presumably so production won’t have to buy the rights. Kim puts her baby bar results to use as she reads and explains the declaration to Kourtney and Kylie, both of whom are just as disgusted as Kim and hope that this is the final straw for Tristan. Nobody has been able to get a hold of Khloé, who is seemingly still asleep and knows nothing about this.
Forever a multi-tasker, Kim doesn’t let her sister’s scandal stop her workout, and she starts doing bicep curls as she rages on the phone. With seconds to go in the episode, Khloé finally calls Kim, and we hear her open up the article for the first time just before the credits roll: “What the fuck is this?”
Update: An earlier version of this recap misidentified Steph Shepherd. Apologies to Shepherd, the premier Kardashian Konfidante.