By Jodi Walker
April 10, 2019 at 02:32 AM EDT
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So, this is our new normal. No, not the ill-fated Nene Leakes series of years gone by. I am, of course, referring to the RHOBH iteration that debuted on Thursday wherein Lisa Vanderpump wanders around her kitchen refusing to acknowledge the other women, while the other women wander from upscale bar to upscale bar unable to stop talking about Lisa Vanderpump. This arrangement is not tenable. But if the Beverly Hills franchise is going down, at least they look terrible doing it.

Truly, what is happening with the looks this episode? Yes, Kyle wears another dumb hat when the sun is well and fully set, but more importantly: at any given time, Dorit looks like she has covered her body in glue and stormed a rue21. It’s like she thinks her head will fall off if she doesn’t adorn it with the gaudiest accessories she can find, like the modern, new-money version of that urban legend about the girl who wears a ribbon around her neck. One day I truly believe she will just pin a full set of flatware up there and dare us to call her on it.

If I’m harping on Dorit a bit too hard, it’s because A) she debuts two new testimonial outfits tonight that a Bratz doll would look at and be like, Y’know what, I think it’s a little much, and B) what else is there to say? The crux of the drama right now is last week’s blow out between Kyle and Lisa, which we know stands very little chance of being resolved because they’re both referring to each other by their full names all episode. “After Denise’s wedding, we all thought that Lisa Vanderpump’s issues with everyone were over.” “I think I’ve taken quite a lot of crap from Kyle Richards.”

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

But the thing about this argument is that it’s become impossibly more transparent with each passing episode. No matter the trappings — animal cruelty, Dorit tip-toeing to a dog shelter in a wig, and blogs, as it were — this upset, at its core, is about one fundamental dispute. Kyle and the rest of the crew were ready to blow up Lisa’s spot; Lisa cannot tolerate having her spot blown up.

It just so happens that these two things are integral to the ecosystem that this show has built up around itself! Lisa controlling the narrative and Kyle sitting back and being okay with it are as important to the RHOBH infrastructure as anonymous personal drivers and ordering fish entrees with carb-less sides at restaurants. These two women, who have been here from the very beginning — three noses, one Costco size tub of Juvederm, and apparently, at least two sets of teeth ago — built this world, and to dismantle it would be to dismantle themselves. But perhaps there is a Little Dutch Boy who can plug this dike before the whole city sinks…

WE MUST PROTECT DENISE RICHARDS! But we’ll get to that in a minute.

First, we have to watch Dorit try to make a smoothie from the contents of what appears to be Patrick Bateman’s refrigerator, and tell us about PK’s Type 2 diabetes, which he refuses to try to improve with a diet that doesn’t consist of sashimi-wrapped vodka red bulls. This gives Dorit the opportunity to play the concerned wife, but more importantly, to use her huge platform to spread misinformation about an extremely serious and prolific disease. I do not mean to make light of PK having diabetes; I do mean to tell you that, no matter what Dorit says, PK’s Type 2 diabetes is not “on the cusp” of turning into Type 1 diabetes, which is…not how diabetes works.

Now that diabetes has stopped sounding like a word (kind of like how CHANEL stops looking like an elite brand when it’s split into two rhinestone earring monstrosities), let’s talk about how all of the other women spend the rest of the episode aghast that Lisa Vanderpump isn’t talking to them. At a weird gathering at some busy club that’s never explained, Kyle tells the other women they’re “not going to believe” the very believable situation where she went to Lisa Vanderpump’s house and accused her of planting stories about Dorit even though LVP swears she didn’t plant any sort of story, and as a result, Lisa Vanderpump became very angry.

And folks: they cannot believe it. Hearing that Lisa and Ken kicked Kyle out of their house and that she hasn’t spoken to her since, Erika says, “That’s not friendship, that’s bulls–t.”

Since Lisa Vanderpump isn’t speaking to any of the other women, she only has Ken as a sounding board, who agrees with her that Kyle could not be a true friend if she would accuse her of being a dishonorable liar, but he’s a little too busy putting a dog on the kitchen counter and feeding said dog directly from his teacup to get too involved in the RadarOnline and TMZ minutia of it all.

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No one really seems to be very mad at Lisa about possibly planting a story about Dorit anymore; they don’t even seem that mad about her allegedly bald-faced lying about planting a story. No, now they’re mad at Lisa because she is mad at them. Namely — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — because she didn’t invite them to her birthday party. Dorit simply cannot understand this because she’s “done nothing wrong” and before I can even get worked up about that statement in the righteous name of Lucy Lucy Apple Juice, I spot her square-shaped rhinestone hoops and her Pepto Bismol pink satin frock, and my fingers fly straight from the keyboard to my eyeballs of their own volition.

Kyle is under the impression that Lisa is angry with her for not standing up to the other women in her honor, when I think Lisa is angry with Kyle for coming to her house, not petting her dog, and repeatedly calling her a liar. Those are things they don’t quite have right…

What they’re 100 percent right about is that when Lisa is upset with her friends, she doesn’t talk it out or even fight it out: she slowly and surreptitiously punishes them. It’s just what she does, and being her friend means knowing that. But generally, Lisa is doing that to one person at a time in the form of getting Dorit or Kyle in front of a group and then passive-aggressively teasing them. It’s fairly harmless, but it’s an especially tricky thing to manage when she’s not speaking to any of them or going to any or their cucumber-cocktail-based outings.

The latest outing is one Rinna has planned to celebrate Denise’s recent marriage to her hot, and apparently attentive and empathetic now-husband Aaron. So we can blame Aaron, that sweet, caring dummy for encouraging Denise to try to build a bridge between Lisa and the other women if Lisa reached out to her, which she does when she extends Denise a singular invitation to her birthday party. And it’s not that I don’t want Lisa to have a friend in Denise — it’s that I enjoy Denise and her gorgeous face, and I’d like to see her keep it fully intact, which seems impossible should she get in the middle of this unwinnable argument.

For now, though, everything is fine because Denise is such A Real One. Even though Lisa asked her to get to her birthday party early so they could have a drink beforehand, and then apparently forgot about that drink, causing Denise to wait around at Tom Tom by herself for an hour and a half and be late to her own celebration…

Nicole Weingart/Bravo

Denise doesn’t mention it to the other women. I couldn’t believe it. Even if Denise had innocently told them that Lisa forgot about the drinks or kept her waiting, they would have pounced on it like a vulnerable insomniac on a QVC Rinna-brand polyester duster. So for Denise not to mention LVP’s tardiness and glaze over how brief their interaction at the party ultimately was, even though she was being pounded with questions about it, could have only been an intentionally kind act.

Intention did not, however, have a lot to do with Camille’s spiral into full Cuckoo Camille at the very end of this episode. Giddy over her pending nuptials, high on cucumber infused liquors, and soaring off the fact that she’s not married to Kelsey Grammar anymore, Camille gives a little dirt on their apparently not-so-hot-and-heavy former sex life. This, unfortunately, leads the way for Dorit make a reference to “male grooming” and “PK” in the same sentence, and so I, unfortunately, passed on to another dimension where none of those words exist, and that meant I couldn’t even hear Camille begin to talk smack about LVP’s old set of teeth. Join me, won’t you? It’s beautiful — all the dogs only have one name, the men wear the shirts buttoned to the brim, and here, we’ve never even heard of RadarOnline.

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