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Get these women to Berlin stat, because Tuesday night’s hour of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a snooze — and that’s with a psychic who says she has direct group-chat-access to God (Jesus and the Holy Spirit just lurk and send GIFs every once in a while).
This episode was literally about elders and death. Now, don’t get me wrong: Lois is my newfound khaleesi, and the level of badassery to which I now aspire…but we had to import an 89-year-old woman from her Oregon retirement home to breathe some life into this hour. And while she was wearing leather pants and cheetah print, our resident Housewives were wearing blue eyeshadow, Joseph and the Technicolor Caftans, and cooing over cotton-knit dusters you can only purchase via a 1-800-number (though it was quite sweet how excited they all acted for Rinna’s gift).
What is happening in Beverly Hills?! Was there a glitch in the space time continuum and we somehow slipped into that “Beverly Beach” fever dream PK keeps trying to pitch us with the flame-less candles, or whatever? The most dramatic thing that’s happened all season was Erika briefly unhinging her jaw to Voldemort-hiss at Teddi that she’s-not-a-f—ing-liar-Camille last week, and the editors couldn’t even stretch that into a full episode without using a series of flashbacks so intricate, This Is Us is actually considering taking legal action. I will say of this episode that I thoroughly appreciated the frequent flashbacks to 2010 and 2011, where so many glorious Ghosts of Noses Past live. And, of course, the lingering scent of electronic smoke and Allison DuBois. #neverforget
It was particularly startling after last week’s eruption, and with so much time spent establishing that timeline, to suddenly pick up a week later with Dorit trying to look casual while pulling a ringing phone out of the Gucci fannypack she’s wearing in her own home. I want to mock Dorit because, next to cross-stitching and trying every new wellness fad, it’s my very favorite hobby — but damn, that thing did look convenient. Once the phone is easily located and removed from her $1,500 removable pocket, Dorit sees that it’s Teddi calling and rolls her eyes so hard the editors consider inserting a sepia-toned flashback to the back of her eyelids. But they resist, and Dorit answers to find Teddi apologizing for telling Lisa Rinna about Dorit’s comments from months ago: “In the moment, I thought about myself, and I didn’t think about the repercussions.”
I do appreciate that Teddi is willing to own up to her mistakes and apologize without prompting, but she also doesn’t get to act holier-than-thou when she doesn’t just “get an ‘okay I accept your apology,’ and be done with it.” Of course, I do understand the inclination to presume she’s holier-than-Dorit, but apologies aren’t White-Out, Teddi Bear; they don’t just erase everything.
As for the woman Teddi isn’t holding her breath to receive an apology from, Erika is prepping to speak at something called the Girl Cult festival, which her creative director Mikey describes as “a female empowerment, girl power event.” He then tells her that Tyra Banks and Kimora Lee Simmons will be speaking before her — “you know, all the cool young, edgy girls.” Mikey! I mean, all hail queens/moguls Tyra and Kimora, but these are our matriarchs, not our ingénues.
And no, I will not give Mikey the benefit of the doubt that he was talking about the festival’s attendees being young and edgy, because I do not understand what Mikey’s job is, and he has never seemed more ineffectual than he did here. Especially when Erika went on to describe the festival herself as “Ted Talks meets Coachella meets girl power.” Now those are descriptors! I cringe to think what she might pay him (while simultaneously fearing that she just lets him sleep in a closet inside her closet with a daily allotment of Belvita breakfast biscuits). (Recap continues on page 2)
Anyway, Girl Cult is the reason Erika is unable to make it to the lunch Rinna planned so everyone could meet her awesome mom, much to Teddi’s relief. Lisa Vanderpump is also absent, because her dog named Pink Dog died unexpectedly and she and Ken are having a very difficult time with it. While their, um, extreme affection for animals has always made me a touch uncomfortable, their pups are incredibly sweet, and it’s heartbreaking to see Ken blame himself for something he could not have prevented. I’m very worried for him out there in the yard bumbling around on that uneven ground though — the man is an elder! Speaking of…
While Erika talks about how “we as women owe it to ourselves to lift each other up,” and I begin perhaps my first every eye roll at Erika Jayne (eye-bug, yes; side-eye, yes; but annoyed eye roll, no!) — because, girl, do you remember nearly eviscerating a small blond woman last week? — Rinna introduces the other women to her mother. Lois is 89 years young, she had a stroke three years ago, and she came back happier and healthier than ever. She arrived at her daughter’s home in a town car, sporting a snazzy orange jacket and her own signature short ‘do (presumably, over the next few decades, Delilah and Amelia’s hair will just…recede up into their skulls). Lois orders an Arnold Palmer and French toast with the works for lunch and she does not give a f—. I love Lois, and I would happily spend the remaining half of the episode with her, but alas, cool grandmas are not the Housewives franchise’s lifeblood — psychics are.
We were treated to Mbele on RHOA this season, who instantly became a hall-of-famer in the illustrious world of Bravo psychic-mediums by being maybe the meanest person I’ve ever seen on television and storming out of her own reading. I don’t know where Kyle’s favorite source of psychic comfort, Rebecca, will ultimately fall on my list of favorite psychics — while she did speak fluent looney tune, she was not a rage monster or hellbent on telling someone that their life will soon be ruined, so that certainly takes her out of the first seed running with Mbele, Allison DuBois, and Professor Trelawney.
Rebecca is but a humble medium who is “bridging the gap between technology and spirituality because heaven knows [her] phone number.” Rebecca says that god — who she calls “Papa God” — hotline blings her on the regular: “Heaven is real, heaven has technology, and I’m proof of it.” Listen, Rebecca, Janet is everyone’s favorite character on The Good Place, but have you watched all the way to the end of season 1? Things get tricky!
For her actual séance at Kyle’s house, Rebecca keeps it pretty old school: Y’know, Marilyn Monroe is at the end of this table, and your dead dad loves to visit the big windows at your house, and surprise — John Lennon is also here in Kyle’s house in Encino, and your childhood friend who died, she’s here and she likes your earrings. Then all the women trade stories about their past lives that other psychic-mediums have told them about: Erika was a Spanish prince who was kidnapped and then saved by a knight and Dorit was in love with PK before because those two lollipops-for-brains really are made for each other. And Rinna, continuing to take the crown for Most Valuably Used Screentime this season, says she was, “Probably a farmer…or, like, in prison. Or a whore.” What lives they’ve lived!
Rebecca gets a non-Papa-God call, so all the women retire outside for Erika to invite them to go to Berlin with her, even Teddi, whom she gives a half apology to for losing her temper. Teddi says, “I think Erika and I are moving forward in an effort of convenience to our other friends,” which is so honest, it hardly belongs on this series. “I will call your husbands, and possibly give them all bl– jobs,” Erika hollers behind her as she leaves to incentivize the Berlin trip. Ah, yes, that’s more like it.