The women have fun in Puerto Rico without Lisa, and Yolanda and Kim bid teary adieus to their college-bound daughters.
We all know that Lisa and Ken absconded during the night, fleeing their one-bathroom hotel room lest Lisa be subjected to another morning of Ken’s ablutions. Plus she was feeling bullied. The women, especially Yolanda, were disturbed by her inability to endure their accusations. Guess this means Yolanda will have to take out her leather-bound journal and tick off “Hollywood friend” next to Lisa’s name. The good news was that for the time being nobody hated each other! So the women donned various shades of tropical fruit and went gallivanting around Old San Juan. There was merriment, there was fountain-dipping, laws were broken, which was reckless, Kim reminded us, because the cops here “speak another language.” She used air quotes, which confused me. Does she think they are “pretending” to “speak” Spanish?
Back in Beverly Hills a very well-intentioned, forever awkward Brandi invited her parents to Yolanda’s house for a quick gawk at massive opulence. Brandi reminded us again that her Daddy gets very intimidated around wealth (though increasingly I wonder if it’s Brandi who has toxic shame feelings around money). Brandi went to check on her surprise, leaving her parents to talk propane tanks and genetic skeletal problems with a friendly if empty-eyed David Foster. Brandi summoned everybody to the driveway where a sweet 16 red ribbon was wrapped around a shiny new car. “What a daughter!”cried David. Hey, if wealth makes you feel uncomfortable, how about accepting a gift of a car from your daughter at some rich strangers’ house?
In the episode’s ickiest bit, Lisa summoned Carlton to her side. She detailed how the women were horrid to her in Puerto Rico and Carlton, happy to be of use, waited breathlessly for a chance to pin the blame on Kyle. God, Carlton can’t stand insecure women and she’ll have us know she never saw a magazine. (This season’s great drama: Trashy magazine or no trashy magazine?) Lisa’s little face fell and she started whimpering. “It’s really hard, I don’t want to cry. I just know I’ve been such a good friend to Brandi…” It was strange to see a woman who kept a stoic face during that seasons-past tea party when Taylor unleashed her full crazy against her turn to mush. I’m not sure those tears were legit.
NEXT: College girls.
Then episode took a turn towards unfamiliar sincerity.Kimberly’s hoooooooot father joined Kim to help pack up their daughter and her five mattress covers for college. The scenes of a family’s affectionate, loving goodbye were spliced with Yolanda’s own tearful separation from her darling Gigi. (Oh my God, Gigi’s New York apartment. The fresh-cut flowers. The light. The immaculately arranged coffee table with expensive art books. The flat screen TVs. How it takes me back to my college years.) Both Mamas had tearful goodbyes with their daughters (who admittedly seem like really well-adjusted, admirable young women), though Gigi perhaps was more ready for her mother to leave so she could dance around her glorious apartment in peace. Kim started talking in that husky cry whisper and her daughter reminded her to “Stay strong when I’m not there to watch after you.” And you stay strong too Kimberly in that little bunk bed!
Here was a charming non sequitur. Kyle (and Taylor and Kennedy!) went with Sophia and Porsha to get their little ears pierced. Porsha took the first shot like a champ but then realized a stranger shooting a gun into your ear was the opposite of fun. So big sister Sophia offered to lead by example. But then Sophia had some kind of nervous breakdown and Kyle looked like she was going to have to carry both of her daughters out on her shoulders. It was odd, it was hilarious, it was the type of home movie I could see my own family participating in. Kyle deserved a big old tumbler of wine at the end of such a day.
And here’s a charmless non sequitur of a scene. It started out innocently enough. Carlton was helping her surprisingly normal daughter with her homework on the kitchen island. But then Elizy entered the room with that wretched giggle and Carlton couldn’t resist suggesting that Destini write “My Mommy’s really hot” in her school report. Ugh, this woman.
In the end, we returned to Villa Rosa where Lisa and Ken were preparing for next week’s finale gathering. Ken is pissed, though I can’t help but wonder if some of his self-righteousness might have dissipated a little after viewing the season. Regardless, his fierce loyalty to Lisa is impressive. She draped herself in the armor of white leather in preparation for seeing her former friends. “When I left Puerto Rico I didn’t care if I saw any of these women again,” she said, “apart from Carlton and Joyce I suppose.” Yikes, some dream team.
Next week: The end is nigh, hallelujah!