The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: The return of Brandi Glanville
Tragedy has struck The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Kyle By Alene Too—the boutique that Kyle bought from a woman named Alene, then tacked her name on to and put Too at the end for the pun enthusiasts, and still kept Alene’s name in the middle for the Alene-heads out there—is shuttering its doors.
No, that’s not the real tragedy, I’m just deflecting because I’m genuinely saddened by what’s going on in L.A. within the RHOBH timeline, and making fun of Kyle By Alene Too Fast Too Furious (which actually does close this episode) is basically a security blanket for me. Tuesday’s episode starts with a flash-forward wherein Kyle, Teddi, and Lisa Rinna are on their way to the airport for their group trip to France at the same time that three simultaneous wildfires were ravaging sections of Los Angeles in November of last year. They call both Camille and Denise, who both live in affected areas, and hear the terrible news that they’ve been evacuated from their neighborhoods and fear their homes may be burning.
When we revisit this moment later, Teddi says that the group had been planning to talk to Camille in France about her recent trash talking, “but tragedy has a way of putting things in perspective”…
But you better believe that won’t stop the editors from flashing right on back to five days earlier when no one knew the tragic perspective they had coming, and were perfectly content to sit around tables eating chunky guacamole, drinking doubles of rosé (a thing!) and talking behind each other’s backs about how other people need to stop talking behind each other’s backs.
Now, I do not want this to be mistaken for a defense of Camille—it is not, it never is—but it is truly delicious from a social psychology standpoint to watch the group ire shift from Lisa Vanderpump to Camille so seamlessly simply because they no longer have any access to Lisa Vanderpump. Camille, on the other hand, has been omnipresent in her bridal excitement to be celebrated. But the scales have now tipped: she publicly gave her appreciation for Lisa Vanderpump’s support, and now she must be thrashed in every mid-level restaurant with an arugula salad on the menu from Beverly Hills to Pasadena.
First, Rinna sits down to lunch in a leopard print wrap dress to personally fill Erika in on how she got angry and let it slip that Camille has been talking about Dorit behind her back. Erika says she understands why the others would be frustrated with Camille: “They’ve gone to her shower and her wedding and her birthday, and now they feel betrayed.” Erika, for her part, has mostly been patting the puss nationwide this season.
Then Rinna sits down to brunch in a leopard print collared dress with the whole gang to discuss Camille’s misdeeds in the context of if she’ll be invited to the wine-tasting trip Kyle planned for them to Provence, France. Even though she was literally covered in dogs and eating lentil soup while doing so, Kyle managed to secure a palatial estate, and all of the other women managed to secure the agreement of their husbands that they could go. Somehow, Dorit will be able to go on the trip even though she cannot stop talking about how busy she is creating a window display for Beverly Beach to be featured at Kitson. I’m sure this is a big deal, but I’m also sure that everything I saw from Dorit’s athleisure line was just normal black spandex with scribbles on it, so how much could there be to do?
Kyle tells the others that Camille is invited on the trip, but she hasn’t heard back from her yet. I’m kind of skipping around a scene where Lisa Rinna’s family has a barbecue because it makes me a little uncomfortable to hear Lisa talk about her daughter Amelia’s disordered eating during a time when Amelia is actively struggling with it and not really a part of the conversation like she was in the scene from two months prior. At the time, I was nervous that discussion about her active recovery was coming a little too soon, and tonight’s scene does not ease the fears that this is all perhaps happening too publicly and too soon for a 17-year-old.
I respect that Amelia and her family want to bring light to a very common and debilitating illness, but I also hope that she won’t come to regret being so transparent about her own experience to the public as its happening. I did, however, do a little journalistic digging into her Instagram stories and saw that Amelia very sweetly implored viewers to understand that the way she was treating her dad Harry Hamlin at the barbecue had everything to do with her eating disorder and fear of food at the time, and is not how she would normally behave. But I sure hope Amelia understands that being a teenage girl who becomes inexplicably annoyed with her dad because he silently does something at the dinner table that only she can perceive as infuriating is just about the most relatable thing she could possibly do.
So, yeah, this episode is kind of a doozy that is also, for some reason, spent at least half in flashbacks. So thank goodness a living, breathing flashback came along in the form of Brandi Glanville, flouncing into dinner with Denise in a patent leather skirt, fishnet top, and utterly visible hair extensions. Would we have her any other way?
Every time I’m away from Brandi, I forget how she is, but as soon as she comes roaring onto the screen (and by roaring, I do mean saying “hooker” every other word), it all comes flooding back. I’m not sure how I feel about the suggestion that Brandi might be returning, but I do like that Denise can have some fun with someone who’s a little more her speed rather than having to look confused all the time while the other women talk about stuffed bunnies. Kim Richards did apparently tell Brandi how she did not take kindly to Denise butting her head into the drama with Lisa Rinna last week, but if you can believe this, that information does not ruffle Denise one bit: “It’s a f—ing bunny,” she reiterates one more time after her second Casamigos and somewhere between Brandi’s fourth and seventeenth glass of wine.
But all that joy cannot last. Suddenly, we’re back in the scene from the top of the episode, with Camille telling the women on their way to the airport that she’s in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to evacuate her neighborhood, as they watch the flames and smoke moving down the hill faster than their cars. Her phone cuts out as the other women ask her to keep them updated on her safety, and then they hear from Denise that they just barely made it out of their neighborhood safely because the fire was on the PCH, but now she’s afraid her house is burning down in Malibu.
And next week’s preview does not suggest things are about to get better—except for the women who are about to arrive at a giant chateau in Provence and grieve their friends’ tragedies over Grenache blanc. They better drink a whole bottle of Casamigos in Denise’s honor; I know I will.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe