The reunion rundown: Does Maloof talk? Did Camille really say “the beloved actor who played Frasier”?

By Mallika Rao
January 28, 2011 at 01:10 PM EST
Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo
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Hello to all! Karen Valby is out of town today, but don’t worry — she’ll be back before you can say Machiavellic. In the meantime, let’s meditate on the six players in our reunion, part one:

Does Maloof talk? I can’t recall her saying much of anything when she’s not among other Maloofs. Tonight it was like she wasn’t there at all. I even debated renaming her Aloof, but that’s not quite it. She seems scared, or wary, which I guess is normal behavior when you socialize with sharks. The rest of the ladies were super excited to recount the times she’s shown any emotion whatsoever. “I loved when you did that thing in the pool!” Kyle said, pumping her fist in the air in mock anger. No mention of Maloof’s tear-up at the Camille/Kelsey breakup montage. No, Kyle loved the angry Maloof. Sharks, seriously. Her only choice quotes of the night, and I paraphrase: “I wouldn’t have my husband fix me with a knife, because he might do a bad job. He might do a bad job on purpose.”

Also on the Couch of Those Who Have No One was Camille. Camille ran her usual course of facial tics, especially the “Who, me?” and the “Gotcha!” When she came up with the idea that Kyle needed her as a “target,” the most devilish expression took over her face. Her lips twitched up, her eyes sort of brightened. It was one of the few times she’s ever looked happy, in a hunted-animal-who’s-just-seen-its-predator-get-mauled way. I don’t know what she’s trying to prove. In fact I don’t understand anything about the Camille/Kyle fight. Why are they acting like there’s some important point they both have to agree on? Isn’t the resolution that they’re nuts? This is the point of the show right? Crazy women being crazy? Sort of like Snapped? Don’t they know this?! Then again, Camille has a tenuous grasp on how “the little people” see her life. I’d never actually heard someone say the phrase “the beloved actor who played Frasier” until tonight. It is a wrong phrase, like nonsense words. Camille said many other inanities, for instance, her defense of the idea that she was thirty percent more emotionally taxed than the people around her.

Kim looked like the Platonic ideal of sadness. Her mouth is etched into a permanent frown. Like, an emoticon frown. And her eyes sort of droop down at the sides.You know that thing you do to kids, where you pull their lips up and force them to smile. Would it work on Kim? Or is she like that other kid who kept her face in one position for so long it stuck? What are Kim’s nightmares like? I can’t imagine anything making her more miserable than daily life seems to. When she did change her mouth position slightly, it was to air her sadness in words. “I don’t understand why someone with a charity against violence would threaten me,” she kept saying. This was a silly thing to keep saying. However large Taylor’s lips are, she’s not about to fight anyone. Wasn’t the phrase in question something about “going all Oklahoma on you?” I have been to Oklahoma, and that phrase literally means “I’m going to go all peopleless on you.” Kim, it’s cool. You want your sister to care. I want it for you too.

Next: Taylor winks aggressively, and Kyle is a paradox

Over on the couch of women who seem not to be entirely alone in life, VanderPump put on a good show as the “funny one.” She was like a baseball player hitting all strikes until she slammed one out the park. You are poor Andy Cohen! And I don’t know any poor people. Unless you count Cedric! And he isn’t poor, in case you couldn’t tell, because I care for him with all my bags of money! Okay, so I made up that last Cedric part. But really, are we going to talk about him next round? I have this feeling it might shed some light on the VanderPumps’ meager sexual habits. VP also took some swipes at Kelsey that, like all swipes at Kelsey, are inherently also swipes at Camille. “Did he mean the girlfriend wouldn’t fit into the apartment with you?” she asked, after Camille blamed Kelsey for saying they’d be cramped in their NYC rich person’s housing. To this, Camille gave her best Botox-and-fillers smile. (Move. Mouth. Corners. Toward. Sky. Yay.).

But the facial expression that will live on in my mind long after the Housewives franchise decomposes at sea is Taylor‘s aggressive wink at Kim. There’s something deeply unsettling to me about a person who’d pit siblings against each other, and that wink said so much: You are an alcoholic. Your sister likes me more. This is only my second eye, my third will kill you. When Taylor tried to unveil Kim’s “condition” with Kyle’s help, Kyle looked the way I used to look in 7th-grade algebra whenever Brent Porter, who was really cute and bad, hissed at me to give him answers during a test. Like she wanted to join in so bad. So bad she actually had to push her lips together! But whatever threads of moral fiber still exist in her body kept her from doing it. For her to hit this point was to me disturbing. When will Taylor be satisfied? How entwined do hers and Kyle’s arms need to be before she decides she’s broken Kim’s spirit enough, and the “condition” can take it from there? Answer me Taylor! On the positive side, good to hear you’re keeping her lip implants. Gotta stay true to yourself.

As for Kyle, I just can’t decide about her. Is she evil or normal? Truth-telling or Camille-baiting? I tend to dislike her solely because Kim looks so damn sad all the time, but I guess that’s not really all Kyle’s responsibility (still — try pushing Kim’s lips up, won’t you?). Her main purpose last night was to explain to us once and for all that Camille is both alone and crazy. To this end, she got Andy Cohen on board, who voiced one of the least fair rules I’ve ever heard: “People say that insecure people react the strongest against the word ‘insecure.’” This rings suspiciously of whoever-smelt-it-dealt-it logic. The saying is fake, right? I mean, how can you judge who reacts the strongest to anything? It’s a totally relative term. Some new Camille might stroll in one day and react stronger and then suddenly you’re not the insecure one: She is! Do you get me? Where is the allowance for new Camilles?

Real Housewives fans, what did you think of the first part of the Reunion?

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