I had, what can only be described as some sort of evolutionary response to the last five minutes of Tuesday’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills episode as one Ken Todd, surrounded by handheld dogs and dying roses, pulled out a collated packet of printed off text messages between Teddi Jo Mellencamp and a man named John Blizzard. My hearing sharpened acutely; my truly terrible eyesight briefly corrected itself; I could taste the ink from whatever printer these pages came from, in whatever home office Ken spends his days toddling around, reorganizing pens in cups and shuffling papers…
But today, for the first time since he slipped on that pool’s Baja shelf, Ken had something worth paying attention to; he had receipts. To borrow a line from my good friend Calvin Harris featuring my close confidante Rihanna: baby—this is what we came for.
Even if I still don’t understand what any of those “textseses” quite mean, in the land of accusations and rumors, I always revel is some cold, hard Real Housewives receipts. Especially when they’re printed like a large font Bible at that strip mall Christian book store you can’t believe is still in business. And these weren’t even the first receipts of the episode! While Erika and Teddi pretend they are two people who like each other, Teddi said ominously of her assuredness that LVP has been setting her up: “I don’t want to have to pull out the proof.” And Erika, knowing that Housewives is the one place where the pullout method is the most effective form of protection responds: “You may have to pull out the proof.”
Unfortunately, Teddi is still new around here. Whereas Lisa and Ken whip out a girthy packet of texts, Teddi is only packing a micro-screenshot, cropped within an inch of its life to reveal a single, allegedly damning “YES.”
After Teddi fled last week’s dinner because she thought Lisa Vanderpump had set her up to gossip about Dorit with factual truths (that’s according to Lisa Rinna’s screams from down the table), Dorit opens this episode saying, “I tried to rescue a dog from Vanderpump Dog Center and it blew up in my face.” Which is so rich I think we can all quit our day jobs just from hearing it. “And to top it all off,” she says, “I find out people have been gossiping about me.” Dorit—to top what all off?! There is only one thing that’s happened to you: you nearly got a dog with four names and one heroic deed (insert photo of PK’s lightly scraped schnozz here) under her collar killed by giving her away to an unverified stranger!
When Dorit, Lisa Rinna, Denise, and Camille go out snorkeling, Denise very innocently is like, I’m just a down home, jorts-wearing gal, so you might have to spell it out for me, but…DID YOU OR DID YOU NOT TELL LISA VANDERPUMP THAT LUCY LUCY APPLE JUICE WAS BEING AGGRESSIVE BEFORE YOU GAVE HER AWAY?
Denise doesn’t have much of a storyline going on for herself, but I do enjoy her as the (surprisingly Midwestern) voice of reason. Dorit weaves a convoluted narrative about how they had first adopted another dog, Maddie (full name: Maddie Maddie Chicken Patty, presumably) who bit Phoenix, so they took Maddie back to Vanderpump Dogs immediately, then they adopted Lucy, and she bit PK: “So with Lucy, I spoke to Lisa the day after Lucy had gone to her new home.” Oh, you mean the day that Lisa was told the dog was in a kill shelter? Cool.
Camille (the fancy voice of reason) tells Dorit that LVP was probably just annoyed that she didn’t know the dog was being sent somewhere else and Dorit looks like she’s been studying at Joey Tribbiani’s school of “Smell the Fart” acting for years. She’s trying so hard to look confused at how notorious dog lover Lisa Vanderpump could possibly have been annoyed with her for second-hand gifting one her dogs like some Yankee Candle air freshener she got in a white elephant exchange…
Dorit is talking in circles about why she would have waited to tell LVP, and Camille is just about to push a little deeper when Lisa Rinna starts a rosé-influenced rant about how Dorit was protecting her children as though Lucy Lucy Apple Juice is not the size of a Tic Tac and could have been, I don’t know, briefly put in a laundry room while someone legit came to get her, as opposed to rushed off to some “woman who fell in love with her” and then immediately took her to a kill shelter.
Meanwhile, the woman of the hour, Lisa Vanderpump is getting some baby flamingo therapy in a cabana at the resort, but Kyle is ready to get down to business. She wants LVP to understand how the other side sees things: they think LVP knew Dorit and Teddi had beef and she was annoyed with Dorit for giving the dog away, so she fed the (true) information to Teddi through her Vanderpump Dog employees in hopes that Teddi would say something to Dorit about it…
No one seems to be fully clear on what LVP’s Machiavellian goal was for getting her employees to tell Teddi about Dorit’s dog. Because this all simply dies out if Teddi never says anything. And Teddi wouldn’t have said anything if she hadn’t felt like Lisa set her up…so Lisa’s alleged original plan never would have worked, right? Now I’m doing Smell the Fart acting.
Anyway, Teddi is off in a golf cart telling Erika that she never lies, and I don’t trust people who say they always tell the truth—they are very clearly liars. Erika assures her she didn’t do anything wrong: “You were fed bad information on purpose—you got used!” I appreciate the passion, but technically she was fed good information on purpose and was never successfully used. Things just aren’t adding up, and Teddi’s promised receipts don’t do much for clarity. LVP asks Teddi to come over for a chat before dinner and when she walks in the door, she slumps her shoulders and whines, “Am I here for an apology?” as though LVP is going to say, “Ah yes, after nine seasons of scheming behind the scenes, it’s you that’s finally brought me to justice Teddi Mellencamp!“
This is the thing about Teddi—even when she’s right, she feels wrong because she won’t just play the game. It’s like she came into a chess game trying to play the most boring game of Life ever. But this time, she’s sure she has the winning move. She accuses Lisa of giving her employees direct instructions to tell her about Dorit’s dog, and then texting Dorit, “Teddi knows.” LVP says she did tell Dorit that Teddi knew, but insists she didn’t instruct her employees to tell her about it. Teddi’s face, like, shutters close and she goes diving for her envelope clutch.
She defiantly pulls out her phone, and procures a screenshot from a text with John Blizzard that is cropped to reveal two lines: “Didn’t Lisa want you to tell me?!” “YES”
This is the reason Teddi is so sure that Lisa set her up. But my question is—when did she ask John Blizzard that? If it was before the infamous trip to Vanderpump Dogs with Kyle, then why was she willing to play along with Lisa purposefully telling her then? Follow-up question: What kind of name is John Blizzard?
When Lisa won’t admit to anything, Teddi storms out of the suite, saying she won’t be Lisa’s pawn to get at Dorit as she passes Dorit, which Dorit of course just loves. At their group dinner, everyone talks about what they did all day, but LVP can’t help but notice that no one seems to be talking to her: “Nobody even acknowledges me! I feel as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.”
Which isn’t exactly true because Teddi is very much staring daggers at her from the opposite end of the table in a way you would not want to make eye contact with a turd. Dorit toasts to everyone coming on this trip, and Lisa Rinna is falling all over herself to say what a good time it’s been. Because no one has loved this turn on LVP more than Lisa Rinna, as we’ll soon see. I don’t think Teddi is exactly an innocent in this, but I also wonder if she realizes that in her quest not to be manipulated by one Lisa, she’s certainly been led by more than a guiding hand by another Lisa.
Once Dorit tells Teddi that she understands she’s feeling awkward and she believes “everything [Teddi’s] said,” LVP decides it’s time for her to leave the table, saying in her testimonial: “Does Dorit stand for nothing?” LVP could be the manipulator everyone says she is, and I would stand by her for eternity for that line alone. Kyle has also stayed by her side for a long time, and she follows after LVP to see if she’s okay. Lisa says she just doesn’t understand Teddi’s position, but she’s going to try to get to the bottom of it.
Teddi’s position, it seems, is saying “I did nothing wrong” over and over in a very “I am not a crook” tone. Teddi shows everyone at the table her itty bitty text message and Kyle reads it out loud: “yes…in capitals.” It’s not exactly “how could you do this to me…question mark,” but it’s still pretty good. Rinna starts grilling Kyle about how she can stand by LVP when she’s lied to her so many times and we’re treated to many, many flashbacks to many, many faces ago. Kyle doesn’t exactly do herself or LVP any favors by saying “this is just who she is, this is what she does.”
Everyone kind of explodes at that and Kyle says she just doesn’t know what to do about it. Rinna screams back, “Well that’s what we need to talk about! Now, what do you f—— do, and what do we f—— do?!” Never has it been more apparent that Lisa Rinna and Lisa Vanderpump are co-workers. It basically seems like LVP has been stealing lunches out of the communal refrigerator for years, and everyone was mostly fine with getting a sandwich or two swiped if it meant not having to burn the place to the ground to figure out who was doing it and then continue sitting next to them for the next five years…
But Rinna has had one too many lunches stolen, and now she’s willing to make herself look completely absurd in order to show how absurd someone else’s behavior is. It’s…a risky move, and I admire her swinging for the fences on it. I’m also terrified of the Purge mask smile she keeps getting on her face every time a new person turns on LVP…
But she better enjoy this Cheshire Cat chaos while she can because LVP is arming up. While everyone else is hungover in the Bahamas from a night of partying, LVP is already back home, receiving a dossier from Ken on the patio of Villa Rosa. It contains texts he’s managed to procure from John Blizzard, and it’s much more than a yes-all-capitals. Or as Ken says, it’s “all of his textseses and all of [Teddi’s] textseses.”
And I do believe I could listen to Ken read lines like “Whenever you’re free girl, you’re gonna die” all day, but the most important text is this, from Teddi: “Have the dog there, and I can say it looks like Dorit’s dog … either way it will come out.”
So—what is the truth? Is Teddi actually manipulating LVP? Are the manipulating each other at the same time? Is John Blizzard a monster? And is Lisa Rinna an agent of chaos or an agent of truth in all this?