The seventh season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians kicked off with a raucous family gathering at the Jenner palace. Khloe was visiting from Texas. Kourtney was visiting from Mars. Kim was visiting from the land where people still care about her divorce from Basketball Frankenstein. When dinner was over, Kim hugged Khloe goodbye. Then Kris hugged them both. “I don’t want you to leave!” she said. Kris wouldn’t let go. She looked so happy, and her daughters looked so scared. If you could have seen thought bubbles coming out of Kris Jenner’s head at that moment, one bubble would have said “I’m a good mom, good mom, good mom!” and the other bubble would have said “Hug centipede, wheee!”
Listen, I don’t like to judge anyone’s parenting methods. I don’t have children, and when I do, I plan to hire a penguin butler to take care of them until they get old enough to work the salt mines. But even if Kris Jenner is not the worst mother in the history of humanity, we can all agree that her puppet-master relationship with her children is becoming more Shakespearean every year. The main plot of the premiere focused on the popular tabloid rumor that Khloe Kardashian is the product of an affair. These rumors had been haunting Kris ever since she wrote a memoir that specifically stoked those rumors. Kris called Khloe and asked, “Hello, daughter? I feel like all these internet rumors could really be fodder for a great subplot on our TV show. Would you mind taking a DNA test? We’d need you to take it today, so the video can be ready for the upfronts package.” Khloe demurred: “I don’t need an answer. Get over yourself. Bye!”
Kris refused to get over herself. She made a phone call to a doctor. “I heard that you were a specialist for DNA processing,” she said all casual. I like to imagine that Kris genuinely just heard about this doctor in casual conversation, like over cocktails at the country club with her galpals. “Pass the gruyère, please.” “Should we order another round of apple-tinis?” “Sure, Dubai is lovely this time of year… if the year is 2006, tee-hee-hee, oh I’m so rude!” “Say, have you ladies heard about this doctor fellow who’s a specialist for DNA processing?”
Kris conducted an elaborate scheme to discover Khloe’s real father by arranging a kind of inverted Mamma Mia! She called a family meeting with all of her non-Khloe children. Kim and Kourtney and Kendall and Korie and Kanakaredes and Kokorama and Killface. “I need permission for the doctor to come into the house and swab your mouth,” she said mother-ishly. Literally right as she said this the doctor walked in the door. He swabbed Kim’s mouth and put it in a beaker and declared, “Bingo! Dino DNA!”
Khloe flew back into town on a business trip, and Kris decided to host another exciting family function. Before Khloe arrived, she said, “Now remember, everyone, I’m about to ask Khloe to go through a psychologically traumatizing event that will force her to rethink everything she understands about herself, and I could really use some support.” Kourtney formed supportive mouthwords: “Well, I’m on Team Khloe.” Kris was affronted: “How come nobody’s ever on Team Mom?”
Khloe came into dinner, and Kris surprise-attacked her. “We’ve all agreed to do a DNA test. Doctor McSwabberson is outside the door. This will really kickstart season 7 in a big way. Hey, maybe we should name our next baby Kickstart!” Khloe begged her not to make her do a DNA test. Kris tried to explain, and she actually said: “This is all because I wrote a mem-wah.” Nobody pronounces “memoir” that way accept for French people and Augusten Burroughs, and I’ve met French people, and Kris Jenner isn’t French. (She is a better writer than Augusten Burroughs, though, so props.)
Give Khloe credit. She held fast against her manic mama’s narcissistic self-regard. She knew who she was. She had a great father and a great stepfather. By way of closing the conversation, she told her mother something that, in context of this whole series, must have felt like a dagger through Kris’ heart. “I’m not a Kardashian anymore,” said Khloe. “I’m an Odom.” Kris nodded her head, already plotting some new devilry. (Not long after this episode was filmed, rumors of a Khloe/Lamar split started.) Kris hugged her daughter and then hit her in the head with a pool cue. “Sorry,” she smiled. “Not that you didn’t deserve that.” This woman will eat her children.
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