Ken gets his hip replaced, while Brandi hip checks Paul and Adrienne with a "defamatory" mystery statement

By Grady Smith
Updated December 11, 2012 at 03:03 PM EST
Credit: Bravo

Hello, fellow Housewives viewers! Your intrepid recapper Karen Valby is out this week — she’s off finding her spiritual center with Kim in Ojai (or something like that) — so I’m stepping in. I can’t promise that I’ll be as funny or smart as Karen, but, like poor Ken Vanderpump trying to ignore a cameraman filming his exposed upper thigh on a surgery table, I will do my very best!

Kyle and Mauricio kicked off the episode feeling proud of their daughter, Alexia. She had, after all, passed her permit test on the third try and even parallel parked just four feet away from the curb one time. Truly impressive stuff. So the next logical thing to do was clearly to buy her a Benz. While Alexia’s reaction was admittedly appreciative — “I’m gonna cry right now. I’m gonna cry,” she repeated, not crying, with her manicured hand covering her mouth — it’s moments like this one that remind me that, as down-to-earth and funny as Kyle can be, she’s hardly a relatable 53 percenter. The woman likes flaunting her wealth — sometimes in the form of shiny new sports cars, and sometimes in the form of over-sized hairbrushes.

While the Richards family called a street cleaning company to scrape the dried eggs off their driveway (I never figured out if that was an actual prank or not), Brandi grabbed lunch with her gay book agent, who seems to be angling to become the Miss Lawrence/Dwight/Rosie of the Beverly Hills franchise. Brandi lamented that none of the other ladies seemed very congratulatory when she announced her book deal over dinner at Ojai. “Be happy for me all you rich people,” she said, rather endearingly, in her confessional. “You already have money. Let me get a little!” Brandi probably said other endearing things, too, but I didn’t notice because I was so distracted by her lips, which looked bigger, faker, and glossier than ever before — a truly impressive feat on the Real Housewives. In fact, I’m fairly certain that all the ladies made a pact with each other to get their collagen injections at the same time (“If we all suddenly have bigger lips, then no one will notice!”) because everyone’s mouth seemed to be stuck somewhere between duckface and blow-up doll last night. Am I right?

Next it was time to meet Jax, the well-coiffed server at Lisa’s restaurant, Sur. There he was laying out plates. And there he was polishing champagne flutes. And there he was addressing Lisa seriously, with a single greased curl dangling from his pomped-up quiff. At first I wondered why the show kept focusing on this Jax guy, but then I realized what I was actually watching: an extended preview of Bravo’s new spinoff Vanderpump Rules, which, as far as I can tell, is about a promiscuous, sexy waiting staff drowning in a sea of pink camellia petals, rosé, and ambition. Think The Hills as directed by Shonda Rhines, plus British accents! The whole segment was pretty unnecessary, but watching Lisa scold a beautiful server named Stassi, who had apparently angered a very important Hollywood customer, made it all worthwhile. “You don’t have a side of the story,” Lisa told her without batting a lash. “Let me tell you why. He’s been one of our most important customers for seven years.” I’ve gotta say, I quite like this version of Ms. Vanderpump. She is as icy and professional as Sonja Morgan is aimless and flopsy.

NEXT PAGE: Roll in the truth cannon!

The ladies arrived at the restaurant soon afterward to try out some new appetizers (any excuse to get around a table, right?), where they spent about six minutes air kissing before sitting down. It was finally time for the meat of the episode — and I’m not talking about the salmon skewers that yet another Sur staff member, Francis, brought to the table. The drama (of perhaps the whole season) came to the surface when Lisa asked Brandi why she had such a poisonous relationship with Adrienne. Brandi explained that she thinks Adrienne is a dishonest person. She lied about her book deal (Brandi sniped in her interview, “What’s your book about? How to have a rich family?”), and she also tried to force Brandi to tweet nice things about her. But really, the worst, most deplorable lie that Malooficent ever told is… . For whatever reason, the producers weren’t going to let us hear what so infuriated Brandi. Part of me thinks that’s because there actually is a lawsuit surrounding the comments, and another part of me wonders whether Adrienne begged the Bravo producers, Ramona Singer-style, to keep the accusations under wraps.

We do know from the rest of the cast’s horrified responses that Brandi’s words had to do with the Maloof family, and from the sounds of her argument later in the episode with Paul and Adrienne, their children, specifically. It was only Kim, a former victim of “Truth Cannon” Glanville, who seemed genuinely put off by Brandi’s statements, not just gaping out of faux-shock (or because that’s just the way their crazy mouths look). Kim, as healthy and lucid as she’d ever appeared, told Taylor that she just didn’t think it was right to mess up someone’s family that way.

The show then cut to the Maloof residence, where Adrienne was reprimanding Paul, who was cutting lettuce with a knife rather than tearing it by hand — something my non-cooking mother has always told me to do, and something I’ve never once believed makes any real difference to anyone. Apparently, Adrienne’s picked up some culinary sense since cleaning her chicken breast with hand soap a year ago, though, and she rolled her eyes at the foolishness of it all. Also, Paul is gross and has a hairy back, so say his wife and kids. Ugh. Men. What buffoons.

The women gathered the following day at an event celebrating the successful launch of Mauricio’s real estate agency. I’m not sure why Bravo felt obligated to spend so much time pimping out Mauricio’s business venture (or is this getting its own reality show, too?), but we had to endure a few minutes of him showing a $2.5 million condo to a clearly disinterested Camille. The scene played a lot like an actual real estate function. We’ll patiently endure a few minutes of timeshare pitches, but we really only showed up for the free donuts and orange juice, so stop talking please and bring on the shouting match!

NEXT PAGE: “That’s a lawsuit!”

Camille’s until-now mystery boyfriend, Dmitri, showed up to the event, which gave the women an opportunity to ogle his bod. Kyle wished he’d worn a shirt that flaunted his abs, while Camille snarked in her confessional that he has her ex, Kelsey, beat by eight inches, which came across as demeaning to both her ex-husband and new boyfriend. Great work, lady! It was a weird hour for men.

Perhaps that’s why it was so refreshing to see lovely Lisa at the hospital, all nervous and holding hands with her dear husband, Ken, just before his hip replacement surgery. The Vanderpumps may constantly joke about their lack of a sex life and tease one another, but when push comes to shove, there’s an obviously real love there. Pandora and her camera-shy brother, Max, stopped by to wish their dad the best, and he got rolled off into surgery. A few hours later, all had gone well, and Lisa greeted her man in the recovery room, where she tested the feeling in the lower half of his body with a quick round of the “Nervous?” game, which was thwarted by the powerful after-effects of his anesthesia. Lisa was thrilled with the success of the surgery, but now, she just had to worry about Ken’s supermodel nurse being in the same room as her hubby. “He’s going to wake up and think he’s died!” she joked.

Things weren’t so lovey-dovey at Mauricio’s event. Kim, bless her, decided she needed to tell Adrienne and Paul about The Lie That Must Not Be Named, which sent the couple into a fury. “I want to slam this person,” said Paul, with barely-contained aggression. “That’s defamatory,” chirped Adrienne, wagging a finger. “That’s a a lawsuit.” The Maloofs immediately approached Brandi, and the whole episode devolved into a shouting match from there. Adrienne and Paul called her a “bitch” repeatedly with a level of vitriol so high, it makes me think that whatever Brandi said must have been true. Brandi, meanwhile, kept playing dumb about what she’d said and tried to change the subject to how offensive the word “bitch” was, which makes me think she actually felt bad about blurting out a Maloof family secret. Kyle, meanwhile, pretended to be frustrated that this was all happening at Mauricio’s event, though I’m betting that later that night, she went out to dinner with him at some fancy restaurant, where she winked across the table and said, “I told you I could get your agency on TV.”

Next week: The aftermath of Brandi-gate, and the return of “the morally corrupt Faye Resnick!”

So, talk to me readers: What the heck did Brandi say? Did Adrienne and Paul doth protest too much? Are Lisa and Ken totally the stars of this show? And were the lips actually bigger than ever this week, or am I going crazy? Answer all this and more in the comments, and please go easy on me. I’m more fragile than Taylor and Kim put together. Also, I can’t say I tweet about Real Housewives very often, but if you want to follow me on Twitter, go right ahead!

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe

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