By Jodi Walker
March 20, 2019 at 01:56 PM EDT
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If there are two things I know, deep down in my bones, to be true about The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, they are this: 1) Legally speaking, it’s not a real season until Kyle Richards does the drunken splits in a cocktails dress, and 2) Each and every moment of RHOBH is planned, plotted, and produced within an inch of its life by these women. And if Teddi Jo Mellencamp thinks she’s going to come into our house and force us to watch boring morality battles instead of carefully constructed psychological warfare, she’s got another thing coming. Or, at least, I hope she does…

It was bad enough when Teddi was preaching accountability on the Housewives, but now she wants people to stop lying? AND DORIT!!! Is “the truth will set you free” really a card you want to play here, pal??? Listen, this isn’t a gossip site, this is an entertainment site, so I won’t gossip to you about some of the omissions the producers have inexplicably helped Dorit out with this season — but I will say that you might find a quick Twitter search, ahem, entertaining.

And this should not read as some sort of defense of Lisa Vanderpump. No, this is me being very O-ffended at how easy it could have been for the other women to point out that LVP manipulates story lines — or better yet, get retaliation by somehow manipulating her — and how horribly they’ve bungled it instead. I mean, of all hills to die on, they’re going with “I can’t believe Lisa would tell people that Dorit almost got a dog killed — she was my friend!” And of all champions for their cause — Teddi?

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS -- Episode 906 -- Pictured: (l-r) Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Camille Grammer -- (Photo by: Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo)
Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

I think it’s fine if the other women want to come for Lisa Vanderpump, but if they’re going to come, they must come correct. And a story that changes every episode, and that rests almost entirely on a young man who uses “oh whale” in texts and has already gone on the record to match his story to LVP’s over Teddi’s, is simply not a winning argument. Teddi is running around in circles trying to make it okay for her to lie, but not for Lisa to lie; to make the texts she reveals be the final word, rather than the texts Lisa reveals; to make her saying she never lies, and then say okay she lied about never lying, somehow be morally superior to LVP just making her lies her truth.

Because here’s the thing: no matter how much they talk about penises, or do the splits at parties, or spend more money than what’s in their bank account — these are all adult women. If they don’t want to talk about something or someone, they don’t have to. This is not The Real Housewives of New York where everyone is living out loud with their drinking problem, and explaining why their children just sued them, and regularly having to own up of losing control of their bowels….

This is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills where, in exchange for getting to keep their actual dirtiest secrets off camera, they serve up carefully crafted psychological machinations to keep their adoring public entertained. Secrets, lies, and manipulation are simply part of that deal with the Bravo devil. If Teddi wants to bust down the fourth wall on the truth because she was playing chess and Lisa Vanderpump was playing checkers… that’s all well and good. But are all of the other women egging her on to do so? They better start getting ready to give us the goods on their real lives, because this forced morality play is getting old fast.

Not to mention, unless we’re all given the password to John Blizzard’s iCloud, we’re just never going to get the truth on Lucy Lucy Apple Juice. And mostly the semantics don’t matter anyway, because it all boils down to Dorit not being able to stomach that two of her friends plotted to…tell the truth about her landing a puppy in a kill shelter? You simply cannot believe how much it has turned her life upside down that all of her co-workers know a real thing that she did and have repeatedly…defended her for it?

When Erika asks Dorit how things are going at a photo shoot for that bikini line that keeps her slaving away at the office day in and day out, she sighs, “Oh, E,” before telling her about the #textseses reveal that Teddi was in on planting the dog gossip.

Honestly, I wish these two were still fighting about panties if it meant I didn’t have to hear Dorit dramatically call Erika “E.” For some reason that really made my skin crawl. Much like Dorit apparently makes Camille’s skin crawl. (One of us! One of us!) While checking out a venue for her upcoming 50th birthday, Camille reminds that she experienced Lisa Vanderpump’s clean-and-guiding hand when she asked her to bring up abuse to Taylor Armstrong way back in the early seasons.

And yet, she wants to defend Lisa…pretty much just because she doesn’t like Dorit. “There’s a phoniness,” Camille tells Lisa Rinna. “Like, I don’t know if she has all the money she has, or is it a show. And the accent, all of it.” Count me in for 1,000 more minutes of Camille listing the things she doesn’t like about Dorit, and 0 more minutes of listening to Teddi read texts that end in “lol” but are supposed to make our jaws drop off with realization.

But Camille needn’t worry for Lisa Vanderpump, who’s still managing to have a laugh, first when Denise Richards brings her very cute daughters over to Villa Rosa, and then again when Denise brings her very handsome fiancé to dinner with LVP and Kyle. Denise apparently started happy hour a little early, and when they arrive and the other women ask how they met, she just…cannot stop talking about Aaron’s penis: how big it is, how well it works, how much it’s probably annoying him that she can’t stop talking about it. It’s very entertaining, and Lisa and Kyle leave dinner arm-in-arm, laughing about how “unconventional” the new girl is. Andy Cohen, thank you for Denise…

Because I just cannot with Teddi right now. She meets her therapist for a hike, and we get to hear another version of this story that started with her being completely set up by LVP to gossip about Dorit…and morphed into her planning to gossip about Dorit until she realized LVP was trying to keep her hands clean…then the last iteration we heard involved the oft-repeated phrase, “but I couldn’t go through with it,” even though we now know she texted John Blizzard five minutes before going into Vanderpump Dogs that infamous morn to make sure Lucy Lucy Apple Juice would be on her mark when she arrived…

Now Teddi tells her therapist (who seems a little too thirsty for the hot goss, if you ask me), that she refrained from telling Dorit how “catty” she was (a.k.a. the truth) in the beginning because “truthfully, I wanted to protect her.” I know the editors are probably being sparing on purpose, and they are the Peabody-worthy artists here, not me, but I wish that every time Teddi told a completely obvious lie, they flashed that clip of her declaring, “I have never lied one second of my life, ever” — like Pinocchio wearing too much highlighter.

Prudent virtuosos that they are, however, they instead saved that clip for the very end of the episode, when things finally come to a head at Camille’s birthday party. Dorit tells Teddi that LVP showed her the texts where Teddi said to make sure Lucy Lucy Apple Juice was at Vanderpump Dogs so she could ID her. Teddi apologizes, but definitely not more times than she says the line, “none of this would have happened without Lisa Vanderpump’s orders.” And I just don’t get it…Teddi keeps saying that she’s taking ownership for her part in planning the set-up, but she’s not. She’s just admitting that she did it and blaming the reason on anyone but herself. “They sought me out because your and I’s prior relationship, and because of the information she fed me, I was in on the scheme,” Teddi tells Dorit.

But Dorit was never going to hold this against Teddi; those #textseses Lisa showed her last episode were just a minor setback. And the little song-and-dance she and Erika do to absolve Teddi of guilt make that veeeery clear, saying that there were two people who played a part in this, and Teddi is owning up to it, and that’s what’s most important.

I know it sounds like I’m excusing Lisa of lying and manipulating behind closed doors, but I’m not — I just know where we are. We’re on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and that’s how things are done around here. But for some reason, Teddi seems to think we’re on some episode of CSI where the shifty lady keeps changing her alibi for the night of the murder until she seems so guilty you’re almost convinced it’s an intentional misdirect. But no — that misdirect was a misdirect, and she definitely did it.

Eventually all of the women end up outside, and the blame game begins. LVP tells Teddi that she’s seen the Blizzard texts now and can’t believe that Teddi sat there in the Bahamas and said nothing when everyone was asking who planned to bring Dorit’s dog out at Vanderpump Dogs. That’s when the editors cue up the “I told my story, the 100-percent truth, I have never lied one second in my life, ever” clip, and it is perfect. But Teddi’s ready to catch LVP in a lie too; she asks how Lisa knew to text Dorit that Teddi knew about the dog if she’s claiming she had nothing to do with Teddi knowing about the dog…

And she doesn’t have a great answer for that. But also, I don’t know what a great answer for that would be!!! The minutia of this argument is becoming impossible to follow, and Rinna is starting to jump in from the sidelines, so I think it’s time to call it quits for now. Teddi tells LVP that if she can live with lying, fine: “It’s been working for you for a long time.” Kyle gasps; Kyle drinks 100 tequilas; Kyle does the splits, and they all call it a night. And so shall we, reader — so shall we.

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Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe
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