By Jodi Walker
September 10, 2020 at 12:23 AM EDT
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This has been a pro-Denise space for months at this point; not exactly an “I believe Denise” space, but definitely a “Denise shouldn’t have to tell these women her sexual history just because they want her to” space. If Denise’s cock-a-doodle husband is happy with whatever she’s telling him behind closed doors, which he has publicly said he is, then I’m perfectly fine with Denise continuing to not tell her co-workers whether or not she slept with their former co-worker just because they for some reason feel entitled to that information…

I simply wish Denise were the slightest bit better at defending herself. She just doesn’t know how to play ball! I don’t enjoy Teddi as a Housewife, but you better believe she’s out there putting in the work, studying game tape before these reunions, getting all of her quotes down so no one can get one over on her. Not only is she the most well-versed in the season that just aired, but she knows she’s the most well-versed, and can probably trip you up if you haven’t put in the work. Teddi is like a college football walk-on — all effort, little natural talent.

Whereas Denise is an NFL-level quarterback who flunks off the team for not going to class because she thinks sitting on crystals at her husband’s laboratory (or whatever) is the same as learning math.

Multiple times in this episode, Denise is completely misquoted in a way that had she just corrected the quote, it would have completely proved her own point. But she didn’t! Because Denise truly has no idea what she has and has not said throughout this entire season. The most egregious reach comes from Mr. Andy Cohen himself while Denise is insisting that she and Brandi have never been anything more than acquaintances. This is the part of Denise’s story I’ve always believed wholeheartedly because I’ve never seen any proof to the contrary (for the record, you can absolutely have sex with someone one time and still consider them an acquaintance at best).

So, Andy brings up that Denise “called Brandi a friend” at BravoCon last year. The clip of BravoCon rolls wherein a panel host asks Denise if she and Brandi are still friendly, and Denise responds: “I am friendly with her, yeah. I love that she’s a straight shooter.” Denise says she really meant that at the time, to which everyone freaks out, including Andy, who cries, “You called her a good friend, and now you’re saying she’s not a friend, she’s just an acquaintance?”

Hey, maestro? Roll that gif of the Atlanta Housewives saying “Who said that?” on an infinite loop, would you please.

“You called her a good friend,” Andy?! When we’re quibbling about very specific levels of friendship between two people, words matter — direct quotes matter. Denise quite literally said she was “friendly” with Brandi when given the opportunity to detail their friendship, and we all just watched the clip. And now Andy is saying Denise called them “good friends,” and she isn’t even going to have the self-preservation instinct to correct him? No one would ever say they were “friendly” with a truly good friend, just like no one would call a good friend “pretty mama” every time they text them, or constantly evade their dinner invitations. Those are the kind of surface-level words reserved for — all together now — an acquaintance. Now, the boob picture I spotted in the scroll of Brandi and Denise’s texts, on the other hand…

I’d love to get a few more details about that. But for some reason, that’s not being brought to the Red Table. So let’s get to what is:

DISLIKING KYLE IS NOT, CANNOT, WILL NOT BE GENUINE!

Kyle is a tough hang sometimes, but her perma-little-sister status does make me laugh. Even if Kyle is definitely doing some plotting offscreen, when she’s onscreen, she’s like an open wound. She can’t hide anything — that inner child is going to get out one way or another.

In Part 2 of the Reunion, we discuss the very beginning of the season — which feels like three years ago — when everyone was mad at Kyle instead of Denise. That was because, as you might recall, Kyle called all of them “fake ass bitches” for being annoyed with her. There is a recurring theme in this reunion that I’ve never noticed before wherein if someone expresses distaste for Kyle’s behavior, she assumes they’re “not being genuine.” I guess because it’s simply unimaginable to her that they could not like her for who she really is — a whiny kid sister to the world. (I say this as a kid sister!)

When Kyle gets called out for calling Denise a ragamuffin, she says she was just surprised that Denise was defending Dorit, and surprised that Rinna was saying Kyle doesn’t defend her freinds, and surprised that Dorit was also saying Kyle doesn’t defend her friends, so she lashed out: “I was like, what is happening here? I felt like everyone was putting on an act to be rude to me.”

Kyle, babe — they genuinely wanted to be rude to you!

At one point, Kyle and Dorit get into it about whether Dorit insulted Kyle’s fashion show, and Dorit points out that Kyle also insulted her fashion show, and Kyle basically whines: “But you started it!” Kyle is upset that Dorit was coming for her all season in her testimonials, taking credit for her fashion show, claiming it was her idea to bring Wilson Philips to Kyle’s charity event, and saying that Kyle didn’t know what she was doing with her fashion line.

Kyle asks Dorit if she thinks Kyle would ever say anything disparaging about any of her businesses. “Do you know how easily I could do that, and I never did,” Kyle cries. Which is to say: I think you’re bad at business too, but I wasn’t going to say anything about it, but now that you’ve started it, I can finally talk all the s--- I’ve been waiting to talk!

No one exposes Kyle better than Kyle, and I kind of can’t help but love her for it. Dorit apologizes for making it seem like she was dogging Kyle’s business, and Kyle does not apologize to anyone for calling them fake when they called her out for being annoying.

MOMMIES DEAREST

It really seems like all of the women on RHOBH care about being good mothers to their children…it also seems like they care about seeming like good mothers, so I really don’t like dwelling on the RHOBH offspring all that much. However, I did get absolutely weepy hearing that Teddi’s new baby had to have neurosurgery two weeks after this Reunion and that her older daughter cut off the tip of her finger in a door. Being a parent is no joke. But it sounds like everything is A-okay on both fronts, and I’m super glad to hear everyone is in good health.

Or course, we were still going to have to discuss Garcelle asking Rinna if she thought her Instagram dancing had any influence on her daughter’s body issues one way or another. So, the editors roll the clip of Rinna telling Amelia what Garcelle said, and Amelia saying that she would tell Garcelle, “With all due respect, f--- off.” Andy asks what Garcelle’s reaction to Amelia’s response is…

Okay,” Garcelle says.

Like I said at the top of the recap, words are important — Garcelle speaks about six this episode, and each one is richer than the next. For example, Teddi jumps into the Amelia conversation to say that her own issues with eating weren’t a result of her own mom or dad, they were coping mechanisms and she’ll be dealing with them forever, so the topic didn’t have any place in a light-hearted conversation. Garcelle informs her that it wasn’t a light conversation or a flippant comment, and Teddi responds that having the conversation in front of all of them instead of privately with Rinna was a low blow.

Andy asks if Garcelle has any response to Teddi’s comment.

“Not at all,” Garcelle says.

But unlike Garcelle, I am not a woman of few words, so I just have one thing to add: Teddi, girl ARE YOU KIDDING about not bringing up sensitive information in front of a group?!

BAFs: BEST ACQUAINTANCES FOREVER

At this point, the conversation turns to Denise Richards’ relationship with Brandi Glanville, and I know there will be no turning back, so buckle up and keep your arms and legs inside the recap, lest you get served a cease and desist.

Erika and Rinna are especially determined to get answers on how good of friends Denise and Brandi were, as well as why there’s no tiny Brandi Zoom box on their laptop screens (or whatever is in the far left corner of Erika’s living room that she keeps looking at). After Andy says that Denise called Brandi a “good friend” at BravoCon, which she could have easily disputed, Denise instead gets her little pointer finger going in the general direction of Andy’s Zoom box and says, “I feel like you’re trying to discredit this, and that’s not cool.” Andy says he’s just trying to show “all sides,” to which Erika husks, “Not Brandi’s side.”

That’s Rinna’s cue to jump in, saying to Denise like she’s only just thought of it: “Hold on, this is bulls---, why isn’t Brandi here to do this with you?” To which Denise reasonably responds, “Lisa, she’s not part of our show, she’s not part of this group of women.” That does not appease Rinna, who I think is trying to get Denise to admit that Brandi isn’t there because of the cease and desist letter, but Teddi says it’s because Denise would never be upfront with Brandi, just like she won’t be upfront with Teddi about not liking her.

“She already said she didn’t like you,” Garcelle says, somehow peering into Teddi’s soul through Zoom.

“Yeah, behind my back, not to my face,” Teddi scoffs.

“Well, that’s what most people do.” Please, please, please let Garcelle stay through next season.

Andy quiets everyone down and says that “the conversation at Bravo” was that once Brandi said at Teddi’s baby shower that she went down on Denise, “there really was nowhere else to go — we’ve kind of heard enough, and what more can we add to the conversation?” And I find this a little fishy…does new information ever get added to the conversation in reunions? Is the implication that Brandi and Denise are telling two different stories, and no reunion was ever going to change that? Because I think they’d usually still give it a shot…if they could give it a shot…legally speaking.

Denise says all the women demanding Brandi’s presence don’t know about all the inappropriate stuff Brandi has been harassing her with. Dorit backs Denise up, saying if she was in Denise’s shoes, she wouldn’t want to be in a Zoom with someone who had been attacking her all season.

“Then you probably shouldn’t have done it,” Rinna hisses.

Oh, and that finally gets Denise mad. “Done what, Lisa?” she hisses back.

“Whatever you did with Brandi,” Rinna coos, and then Denise comes this-close to saying something about what that train of logic would mean for all of the things that Rinna “shouldn’t have done,” but she stops short because, well, the woman can’t argue for s---. But also because Dorit has cut in to try and help Denise along a little, saying that she of course believes her, but the problem is that she’s said a few “little bits” that seem suspicious: “Like when you say Brandi said she slept with someone in this group, but then you refuse to mention the name.”

Everyone starts yelling for Denise to say who Brandi said she slept with. “Raise your hand if you’ve slept with Brandi Glanville!” Kyle cries with glee as Denise tries not to actually cry. She refuses to say a name, just reiterating that Brandi said it about one person in their group and a few people outside of the group that they all know. But she won’t give specifics because she says she knows it’s not true, and she doesn’t care if people think she’s lying: “Whatever, I don’t give a s---.”

Oh Denise — of that, we are sure. And today it was revealed that Denise’s level of not giving a s--- about RHOBH has reached its limit, and she’ll be leaving the show. It’s sad but it’s not a surprise. Short of a total turnover of the cast, I don’t see how she could stay after this season that has been a full attack on her personal life. I will say that when there was still a little hope of keeping Denise on, I had visions of some Housewives coach coming in and showing her how to really play this game and win. Basically, it would be Miss Congeniality, with Bethenny Frankel in the Michal Caine part…

Alas, Part 3 of the reunion will be our last chance to get a little closure on the saga of Denise F---ing Richards on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Let’s cross every single finger and toe for something — anything! — to put an end to this. See you next week!

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Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe
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