I am…truly frightened of what is happening with Erika Girardi on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion right now. Sure, most of Tuesday night’s discussion revolved around Dorit because Dorit goes from zero to nonsense in a Beverly Hills second (that’s when the skinny hand on the clock goes from one tick to the next, but the hand is diamond-studded and in the shape of a small dog wearing a pilgrim collar). But, upon close inspection, this reunion series is really all about whatever silent horror film is playing out behind Erika’s eyelids.
Is there a reason Erika is always sitting with her hands braced against the couch like a Kenyan Olympian on the start block, about to smoke the hell out of everyone in the 10,000 meter? Is she preparing to make a break for it? Or is she about to attack? Is she bracing for attack? I just don’t know! And after last week when Erika told Andy that we’ve never actually seen her snap, I’m more nervous than ever before.
I think it’s something about the Claire-Foy-like way she’s able to keep every single part of herself so still, even when it’s clear that molten hot rage is coursing through her veins. Well, everything is still, except for those metal grates that crash down over eyes like a mall Claire’s at 8 p.m. every time Andy asks her a perfectly reasonable question. In some ways, this reunion is incredibly boring because, two episodes in, we’re still talking about the same perceived insults over tardiness and glassware and magazines you’ve never heard of but are definitely, absolutely real.
I wonder if we might witness the first ever record spontaneous combustion of a reality television host’s head by sheer force of will. Only time will tell. For now, I’ll just worry about the fact that we’re literally watching these women eat grilled chicken with plastic cutlery on their lunch break. Wherefore art though, Beverly Hills?
We’re treated to a montage of our favorite fancy ladies spending their money throughout the season, and that’s all super fun until we’re reminded that every single handbag or piece of jewelry we saw Kyle wear throughout the season was recently stolen from her home, which is awful. But if you really want to feel violated, just pretend you’re Andy when he asks Erika if it’s true that she spends $40,000 on glam a month. “Not just on glam,” she says as he laser pupils dart over to him, daring him to suggest that it’s not XXPEN$IVE to be her. Erika says that figure could include clothes, too, and that “lots of other people” she knows spend 90 to 100 grand a month. See, Andy: It’s fairly rea$onably priced to be meeee-aaaay-eh-eh-eh-eh-ay.
When asked why she still wears real fur even though PETA notably came to one of her book signings recently, Erika responds, “I always have — why not?” Which, coincidentally, is exactly what I would tell Andy Cohen should he ever ask me why I continue to justify getting delivery when I have food I could cook at home by saying that it will actually be like getting three meals in one because I’ll have leftovers, even though I know I’m just going to eat all the pad thai in one sitting.
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Andy points out how insane it is that Erika, Rinna, and Dorit were able to be so friendly this season considering their troubles last year. Then something even more insane happens: Dorit apologizes — like, uses the word “apologize” and everything — to Lisa Rinna for all the things that she and PK said about her last year. Rinna says “Hm!” like someone discovering that the “L” in the Staples logo is actually a staple, then gives an ambiguous, “Thank you.”
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Friend of the Housewives, Camille Grammar, finally takes the stage to add a few thousand more sequins and a little brevity in the face of Dorit’s usual antics. I don’t think I’m quite as taken with Camille’s return as some commenters have been — something about the way her voice always kind of seems like she’s come out of a particularly grueling hot yoga class and might pass out — but I can fully appreciate that she’s gone from being titled “The Most Hated Housewife in America” on some random tabloid in season 1 to being beloved for regularly calling Dorit on all her bulls—. I mean, the woman wore the ball gag she gave Dorit in return for calling her a see-you-next-Tuesday as a bracelet to this reunion. And even better, Andy asked for the ball gag to put in the Club House — the highest Real Housewives honor.
Yes, in her time on the couch, Camille calls Dorit out for dishing it but not taking it, and yes, she is the only one to ask Erika why she’s serving so much ‘tude with her lewk, but much more important than any of that: Camille gives us an update on Allison DuBois, the Housewives psychic/medium to end all Housewives psychic/mediums (for which there is a cast call sheet longer than that of Avengers: Infinity War). Camille says “unfortunately” she has no contact with Allison because she felt like Camille set her up at that infamous season 1 dinner. Lisa Vanderpump, no matter what she did the rest of the season, earns her entire keep when she quips, “If she was a psychic, she should have seen it coming!”
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And speaking of LVP: She’s positioned as the queen of diamonds in Tuesday night’s episode, beheading Dorit of her pet title, and knighting Teddi as her new, shiny Skipper doll. That leads to more discussion of the time Dorit was late for drinks by an hour and a half, but told Kyle that Teddi was freaking out over six minutes…which leads to talk about how Dorit was rude about the glasses at Teddi’s party…which somehow leads Rinna to say Teddi and Dorit are actually very similar people which is LOL-laughable on the surface. Perhaps what she means is that Teddi and Dorit pretty much always think that they’re right, but as Teddi helpfully points out, she is almost always right, so in her case, it’s true. And when she’s not right, she admits it. Dorit admits to absolutely no wrongdoing, but does apologize for making Teddi feel uncomfortable in her own home. So, y’know, Baby Steps by Beverly Beach.
As for LVP, she has to defend her decision to not publish the photos of Dorit’s face that Dorit openly hated. “Were you looking to punish me?” Dorit asks (somewhere across the way, Kyle smiles like the Grinch) about Lisa’s decisions to only use photos of Dorit’s hands and décolletage. “Punish you?” LVP scoffs back. “You didn’t like them!”
Erika sees it all with a little more nuance: “You didn’t do what [Lisa Vanderpump] wanted, you made a scene, she feels like you were an ass — watch me, I’mma be a bigger ass, and chop your f—g head off.” That is both correct, and perhaps also Erika’s latent psychic abilities finally kicking in to give a personal premonition for next week’s final reunion installment. It might not be the worst idea for Andy and Teddi to scout out their nearest escape routes during the next bathroom break.