The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: Mad Hatters
What is there to say about such a tense, insane hour of TV? Taylor is sad and disturbed and I kind of love Camille.
Oh my, could you all come over and bring wine? What a deeply weird, troubling hour of TV. This wasn’t Kelly losing her jellybeans on Scary Island crazy. This was a breathtakingly unhinged woman grasping frantically for a jugular. I would’ve given just about anything for a cutaway to Kim and Elizabeth packing up the dog toys or even a scene of Dana’s son doing algebra with his Thai friends. Instead, the last half of the episode was a relentless look at Taylor barreling off the rails.
But first, let’s quickly dispense with the pre-schiz minutae. Kim—oh Kim, and people always thought you were the messy one!—wanted Kyle to meet her new boyfriend. (Doesn’t this sisterly angst all feel so innocent now?) Turns out Bravo pulled a bit of a bait-and-switch on us. Ken’s not married, you cynics! Kim gave her guy a promise band. They just really like each other! Sure, Kyle should have stopped crying and blaming it on the dog hair, but she’s worried her sister’s boyfriend is controlling. She couldn’t resist getting in a parting dig after a goodbye hug. “You feel so small and tiny and little and childlike,” she told Kim. Which was code for “You are a sweet dum dum who can’t be trusted with big girl decisions.” But she’ll do as Big Kathy did before her. Pretend the man who does not meet her vision for Kim is simply not in the room.
Paul and Adrienne went out to dinner for his birthday. He really wanted her to get the crab. She would give anything for him to never speak aloud again.”Marriage, it’s work,” said Adrienne. True, but in an ideal world you at least kind of like your job. Paul blowing out his birthday candle through very pinched lip made me snicker.
Taylor was nominated for a a Women Making a Difference award for her work on an online beauty site or something. There was Russell, which is always unsettling, and he managed to be rather nice to his high-strung wife. “It’s about time someone acknowledges all your hard work,” he said, which may be the nicest, most articulate thing we ever heard him say to her on camera. Kyle was running late to the luncheon so when Lisa called her on her cellphone she wondered if Lisa was already at the hotel. Oops! “Somebody’s playing games, huh Gigster?” Lisa said disapprovingly at home. “We can play games too, right? Hmmm?” (That sounded kind of evil but I imagine that she, Ken, and Giggy promptly retired to the library where they all played with their diamond-encrusted Kongs.) “You know what Taylor, I think you did the right thing by not inviting her,” said Dana.Whatever, Dana. Oh man, Taylor said it was just an honor to be nominated but you could tell from her expression that she really, really wanted that award.
Okay, last bit of levity for the night: Ken wore his purple shirt two days in a row. Giggy has a pram. Lisa served little pink piggie truffles at her tea party.
NEXT: Taylor will not be satisfied until the women each grind a tea sandwich in Lisa’s eye.So the women gathered, and all of them sat knee to knee on Lisa’s plush sofa. Taylor showed up, looking tense but fired up, as if she’d come straight from a rousing self-esteem building session with her life coach. Tea for six? “Of course I invited everybody, Kim, Taylor, I wouldn’t leave anybody out,” said Lisa. (Except Dana!) Hmmm, speaking of…. “Oh, I heard you had an event yesterday. And they all went, yeah.” Taylor’s eyes glittered menacingly. Yeah.” Lisa fluffed her Breck waves. “Well that was nice that you were nominated?” said Adrienne, trying to change the subject. “I was quite upset that you didn’t invite me,” said Lisa. Kyle started rubbing her temples. Camille sat there ramrod straight. A fuse popped in Taylor and she shook up a bottle of straight Oklahoma and started spraying it wildly around Lisa’s parlor.
“The last couple of times you and I have had a conversation you have led into it by saying, and I quote, “I am not your friend.” Lisa shook her head at such an accounting. “Lisa, you better backtrack girl, cuz I’m telling you right now yes you have!” (Bravo cut mercifully to a clip of Lisa telling Taylor “I’m not your best friend.”) Taylor didn’t want to hear one word out of Lisa’s mouth. She’s sick of being cut off by that old British bitch. Just like a similarly fed-up Camille. Poor Camille’s brow furrowed marvelously, as she did not appreciate one bit being roped into the conversation.
Taylor’s list of complaints was long and unwieldy. At the top was Lisa’s claim that she didn’t have friends. Why, why, why would Lisa say something like that behind her back? (Who talks behind people’s backs anyways? Everyone in the room according to Taylor, as she glared at the other women to join her in her trashing of Lisa like she swore they all did behind the woman’s back.) She was furious that Lisa let her kiss her ass for a year and never acknowledged her efforts. She hated that she wasn’t good enough for her. (Girl, you got issues from back on the Oklahoma plains that have nothing to do with Lisa.) She really f%#king hates her obnoxious screen saver with Giggy.
“I cannot live like this anymore,” Taylor screamed. “I can’t. I’m struggling so much and I’m working on myself and I’m so flawed and so imperfect and you give me the worst anxiety every time I’m in your presence.” Lisa just started talking really soft and conciliatory, like Bethenny finally did to Kelly on the Island. She was sorry. She doesn’t want to hurt Taylor. She doesn’t want Taylor to think she has to be like her or any of the other women. “Well I didn’t mean to ruin your tea,” said Taylor meanly. And then she really went in for the kill, threatening to tell Lisa what all the other women supposedly say about her. “So you know who your friends are,” she hissed. Yikes, woman. Fed up with the other women refusing to bash Lisa—although Kyle sort of whispered that Lisa did have a healthy-sized ego—she stormed out of the tea party. Why is Paul drinking coffee outside the front gate? How crazy was it that Taylor took a breath from her “The Giggy is up!” rant to have him check on the state of her fillers through the bars of the front gate?
NEXT: Camille lays it all out on the table.While Taylor was out jabbering away at Paul, the women quickly changed the topic of conversation. Should they all believe Taylor’s stories of just how bad her home life was? (For the record, Paul doesn’t.) Not a one of them could say for sure. Taylor suddenly reappeared, her arms crossed, and a scary smile on her face. “Paul wants you to call home,” she told Adrienne, as the music from Psycho played in my head.
“This is an intervention that’s unexpected but possibly needed,” said Camille in a private interview.Taylor wanted the conversation to get away from her marriage and back to the fact that Lisa said she had no friends. It was time to for everyone to let it out, she declared. It was time for them to smash Lisa’s iPad through a window. It was time to be honest about everything. “Everything, Taylor?” said Camille, her voice breaking, and stripped of all her Season 1 bitchy pretentiousness. “I don’t think you want to put everything out there. Be careful what you say because we’re all protecting you. Because we don’t say that he hits you. Because we don’t say that he broke your jaw. Or that he beat you up and he hits you. We don’t say that. But now we said it.”
A request: Taylor both scares me and makes me sad. I thought she was really wicked and weird last night. But I also thinks she’s unwell and in a s@^t storm of a situation. Let’s at least try to keep the comments to her behavior at the tea party and not hit crazy ugly below the belt?
Next week: A rodeo?
Did Lisa comport herself well during the attack? Do you actually believe the other women have a huge beef with her? Does anyone think Taylor was on the side of right against Lisa? Can someone explain to me the nature of Russell’s email? So did he himself send the photo of Taylor’s ribs and news of her diet supplements or was he accusing Lisa of fabricating the story in the press? Was Paul picketing?
RATE THIS EPISODE:
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe