The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: Vanderpump 101 is in session
I think I would need a PhD in psychiatry, The Art of War tattooed on my forearm for easy referencing, the birth charts for every member of the cast (and maybe their current Bahamian butlers too????), and Marie Kondo in my pocket whispering to me how to sort through all this M-E-S-S in order to stand a chance of figuring out who is at the head of this snake weaving its way through The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, taking down friendships, all the men named John who work at Vanderpump Dogs, and ever so many otherwise lovely meals in the process.
That’s right, in season 9 of RHOBH, the fourth wall is being destroyed faster than you can Google Image search “you’re such a f—ing liar Camille gif,” and copy and paste it into the group text because it’s impossible to find in the iPhone image library, and someone has just texted that they’re running 45 minutes late because her Uber driver is soooo slow (yeah, okay Camille)…
All of that to say: the truth of what has everyone so tense is revealing itself fairly quickly considering we’re only three episodes into the season, but it’s going to take a little work and maybe a few Googles to understand what they’re really fighting about. The way I see it thus far, this turn on LVP isn’t really about Teddi and Kyle feeling played…or Dorit being gossiped about (insofar as gossip can be gossip when it’s true) — it’s about Lisa Rinna being tired of Lisa Vanderpump’s bullsh—. Rinna basically sat out season 8; now, she has returned for blood. And I can see where she’s coming from — Vanderpump has certainly planted drama seeds before and then turned full-Peter-Rabbit-tail to scurry away from the (Munchausen) garden before those seeds started to sprout on camera. But the thing about it is…
Lisa Vanderpump can’t pull strings where there are no strings to pull. She might have done exactly what Rinna is suggesting she always does, but if Teddi and Kyle just…never say anything about Lucy Lucy Apple Juice then it never becomes an issue. And if LVP wants it to become an issue, then that’s the worst kind of revenge they could dole out: the queen would actually have to roll around in the mud herself. But most of all — I refuse, I refuse, I REFUSE to tolerate Dorit squeezing out victim tears over a bowl of flash-fired Brussels sprouts BECAUSE SHE ALMOST GOT A DOG KILLED!!!
Alright, now that I’ve made myself clear, let’s get down to enough passive aggression to make your ears sweat:
The women are embarking upon a truly enviable vacation in the Bahamas that we are really still pretending like Dorit is paying for even as she enters every room saying: I love it here at Baha Mar Resorts, where kids eat free on Tuesdays! All of the suites that Dorit in no way sponsored are indeed gorgeous, but Erika’s suite is a little different, given that when she enters it there are two men with arms the size of toddlers and one Mikey, all of whom of course comprise her Travelocity Roaming Gnome Glam Squad.
Dorit also has a (smaller, quieter) glam squad but they must be hidden somewhere in the 45 rooms that make up the Chairman’s Suite. Perhaps they’ve taken cover to avoid one of LVP’s many, many flying jabs at Dorit. Listen, I get having complete and utter disdain for a woman who hiccups all of her vowels in hopes that it will make her sound rich or like her husband isn’t actually a potato she kept at the bottom of the cupboard for too long so she threw a v-neck on it once it sprouted arms and legs, and married it, but…
Lisa has told Dorit that she’s fine with the dog situation, and yet she seems like she’d rather be sitting in one of the Vanderpump Rules kids’ window-unit apartments than standing on this personal terrace the size of the East Village. So I don’t much blame Dorit when she finally says, “Just tell me, are you happy to be very good friends with me?” At this point, their precious butler for the week — Elvis, who thought they’d all been having a good time — kind of moonwalks out of frame. And I’m glad for him because the wave of hostility when Lisa responds, “Right now, I’m reaping the benefits, yes, but I don’t know how long this will go on,” could have swept that small man into the ocean.
It should not be forgotten though that Lisa Vanderpump has just gone through an awful tragedy with the suicide of her brother, and as many of the women note, grief impacts everyone differently. Of course, they say that, but they also seem to be put off with the snippy way LVP is acting toward them. Perhaps some drinks will put everyone at ease, then… (Recap continues on page 2)
Dorit has everyone over to her suite, and they all show up in full resort wear and lashes … except for Denise Richards who walks in wearing what I can only describe as statement shorts, a tank top, and a visible bra strap. And her response to the stark difference might just be reason enough to keep her on the show forever: “I packed the wrong shit, I learned that quickly,” she says before ordering “just tequila” from the bar. Erika arrives in a 70-inch ponytail and says, “if only we could find a man 70 inches,” which is…horrifying.
Kyle and Lisa Vanderpump have a private conversation for a while where they talk about family and what’s really important. But what’s really important is that Lisa Rinna comes sauntering over to the pair, and Kyle somehow manages to make a joke about Dorit being allergic to dogs within the first 15 seconds of her arrival. Then when Rinna notes that it’s gotten really quiet, and LVP says she’s not talking about this, Kyle asks LVP, “Are you still mad at her?” LVP tells her to stop bringing it up, and Kyle whispers to Rinna: “Dorit.”
Listen, maybe LVP did purposefully plant the dog information with Kyle and Teddi as they later figure out, but she certainly didn’t make Kyle joke about it in front of Rinna, or continue to push to talk about it in front of someone who wasn’t privy to the secret.
I don’t blame Lisa Rinna for marching her leisure sneakers right over to Kyle and Teddi’s suite the next day to ask them what’s going either, because I believe there’s nothing in the world I should not be allowed to know. I do blame Teddi and Kyle for then spilling the very explicit beans about Lucy Lucy Apple Juice. Rinna really latches onto the fact that it was the two Johns at Vanderpump Dogs who made sure Kyle and Teddi knew about Dorit’s dog ending up in a kill shelter: “You have to see, like what part you’re playing in this. Because [Kyle’s] had some stuff with Dorit, and so [has Teddi], and they gave you that piece of information because [Lisa Vanderpump] doesn’t want to take responsibility for it.”
Teddi and Kyle look at her like she just told them that not only does the FedEx logo have a secret arrow in it, but the “L” in the Staples logo is a staple…
And I’ve got to admit, when Rinna lays the “Vanderpump 101” pieces out, it makes sense. LVP is saying she doesn’t want to talk about it, but she got her lackeys to plant the information with people who might have reason to bad mouth Dorit exactly so it could be talked about, exactly because LVP wants Dorit badmouthed. It’s just that Rinna is so damn thrilled to have caught LVP in the act. There are no winners here! Except, of course, Lucy Lucy Apple Juice who, if she has any sense at all, already has a FabFitFun sponsorship.
But it’s time to tuck all that away in your giant straw hat, throw on your beach heels, and don your mesh cover-up, because “Dorit” has arranged for a trip to a private island. And, ugh…it looks just incredible. I truly do not know how the other Housewives put up with these trips that the Beverly Hills ladies get to go on without throwing a fit. While Denise and LVP get private massages and talk very sweetly about their adopted children, the other women roll around in their private beach racking up FaceTune content for later.
“If you have a 70-inch ponytail, it’s got to be able to live, y’know — swim, wind, rain, snow, tornado, hurricane,” says Erika. And no, I didn’t know that a 70-inch ponytail had to take the U.S. Postal Service oath, but I do know that no one ruins beautiful meals faster than the Housewives. Everyone sits down in a gorgeous cabana, gets served a delicate salad, lift up their golden forks…
And then Lisa Rinna says, “Dorit brought us here so that whatever needs to be said, we can work through that … I think we should go around the table and find out if there’s anything that needs to be said.” (Insert RHOA whosaidthat gif here.)
“Teddi and Kyle, they’re all bottled up inside,” Rinna says to the camera: “Well guess who came to the table to play?” I have to assume that Lisa Rinna has been listening to nothing but “The Room Where It Happens” since last season’s reunion, and this year, she has just decided to live out loud no matter if it means she shoots someone with a musket at the end of all this and destroys her legacy or not… (Recap continues on page 3)
Camille says she and Dorit had a tough time last year, but she’s so thankful they’re past it and she’s having a great time on the trip. Dorit says she and Teddi had their differences last year, but she’s so thankful their 3-year-old children set an example of how to play nicely together. It’s Lisa Vanderpump, of all people, who takes the bait, saying she was hurt that Erika only sent her a condolence card with a few lines after her brother passed. Erika is having…well, what’s less than none-of-it?
“No, that’s a very personal note from me, I’m very sorry you feel that way, but that comes from my heart. If that didn’t work for you, I’m, y’know, I don’t know what to tell you,” Erika says in that very specific way where she begins talking like a sociopathic auctioneer when attacked. It is all…very awkward!!! LVP immediately backs down and asks to move on. “Well don’t bring it up again and we can move on, but I will defend myself to the f—ing bone, don’t make me out to be the bad guy,” Erika says in under one second.
They kind of make up, and Denise does a Bond-girl run out of the ocean to ease the tension, but later, Erika shows a photo of the condolence note to Rinna because, “It’s always important to have an insurance policy when you’re dealing with someone that’s slippery. And you know what, I’m glad that the concept of receipts has finally made it to these women, 85 percent of whom I’m confident still use a Hotmail account. (I would guess that Camille, who wears her very cute readers to dinner, goes to Bing.com and types in: “please go to Hotmail”…)
Because I just know that text print-outs are about to make our lives so much richer given what comes next:
All the ladies go to dinner and the second some of the group goes to the bathroom, Kyle hisses across the table to LVP that she’s “feeling a little weird about all the side conversations about the dog with Dorit not being privy to it.” LVP is shushing her saying they resolved it as Dorit comes back, but as she sits down, Teddi says, “Well, I just felt anxious about it because I didn’t feel truthful about it to Dorit.” Teddi, it seems, has her own Hamilton compact disk, and has also come to play ball this season.
Teddi tells Dorit that when she went to Vanderpump Dogs, “John pranced your dog out and told me and Kyle.” Dorit is shocked as Teddi and LVP both exclaim that it’s not their fault the information about Dorit landing Lucy Lucy Apple Juice in a kill shelter is out there. Then Rinna screams from down the table, “Lisa, you should have protected Dorit, end of story!” But…
Should she have? I think the very clear answer here is that Dorit did the wrong thing and Lisa reacted to it the wrong way (whether she reacted that way on purpose to SECRETLY roll out her real reaction is up for debate). Clearly, Dorit should have brought the dog back to Vanderpump Dogs, and LVP should have swapped all this “I know she didn’t have ill intent” sh— with the truth, which is: “You know what they say about the best of intentions — they get Lucy Lucy Apple Juice killed.”
Instead, Dorit is trying her hardest to squeeze out a real live tear because she’s just so upset that…people are gossiping about the very real thing that she did, I guess??
“I’m your friend, Lisa!” Dorit gasps out, and man — I really needed that laugh in the middle of all of this. Denise perfectly leans over to Camille at this point with a mouthful of food and mumbles, “I’m lost.”
“It’s about a dog issue,” Camille assures her.
Rinna is screaming, “He’s your employee, Lisa. This wouldn’t get out there if you didn’t want it out there!” And then she finally says the words: “This is a f—ing set-up!” Y’all, it is absurd, I know — but this sh— is better than The Departed.
“Why is Dorit so upset?” Lisa Vanderpump asks. “You know why,” Rinna spits back. “She’s my friend, she’s my friend,” Dorit cries rocking back and forth, wearing a gilded pincushion in her hair. Given that we’ll likely have to relive this whole thing at the beginning of next week’s episode, I’ll leave us here for now. But I’d just love to know where you fall in this Great War of Lucys and Lisas — because if I tried to take a side right now, I would inevitably wind up moonwalking out of this recap, Bahama-Elvis style…
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe