The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: Three's a crowd
The jury is still out on whether Sutton could potentially grow into the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills love-to-hate-her kind of presence that RHONY has in, oh say, Ramona Singer, or RHOA has in, oh say, Kenya Moore. Last week, I was leaning toward absolutely not. Still, I can't help but notice: Sutton was reeeeal quiet this episode, and perhaps as a direct result, this episode was a reeeeal snooze.
They can't all be winners, of course, but between the Denise flash-forward from the premiere, and Aaron trying to explain atoms while his hype (highpe?) man Mauricio mutters, "Yeah, space," last week, I think I was lulled into a false sense of security that season 10 could just be nonstop bangers. There were certainly things happening this week, but they were the most tedious happenings; the ones that seem to happen on every single season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: arguing about being on time, and arguing about who's a more supportive friend. (The most tedious argument, of course, is over whether puppy abandonment or leaking stories about puppy abandonment makes you a worse friend, but to date, we've only had to endure that once.)
Mostly, it just seemed like everyone was in a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mood during this episode. Teddi was mocking all of her (alleged) friends in her testimonials; Kyle was mocking all of her (alleged) friends straight-out to their faces; Sutton, who I thought was made of some combination of Dolce & Gabbana stone and sweet tea, was crying over making a bad first impression; and at one point, Erika — somehow the cheeriest among them — just mutters, "Why don’t we just admit that no one wants to be here?"
Erika is referring to Teddi's accountability retreat, which everyone has been dreading for weeks and its inclusion in this episode should have been my first hint that these Housewives were going to be in a foul mood. But to be fair to Teddi: once they arrive, the retreat seems totally lovely, and I can't quite figure out why everyone is so pissed about getting free massages and eating nice lunches among a group of women who are, I'm sure, obsessed with them. To be equally fair, but less complimentary to Teddi… she is talking mad s--- about these women she invited to her event from the moment they walk through the door.
"I want it to be perfect, so every detail is timed out," Teddi says of the packed day ahead. "But the one thing I'm not tolerating today: my friend's petty bulls---." Well then, Teddi Jo, if you despise your friends and their general personalities so much, maybe don't invite them to your event and then hope they won't come, but also give off the impression via your entire personality that you will passively hold it against them forever if they don’t!
Obviously I hate that Teddi is ultimately correct in assuming that there will be petty bulls---, because petty bulls--- — there very much is. But I strongly believe if Teddi had never snapped at Sutton's store-opening that no one needed to come because she didn't need their support, they would have been in much better spirits arriving at her retreat. Reaching even further back, Teddi would have never snapped like that if Lisa Rinna hadn't gotten in her head on the way to the store-opening, telling her that no one wanted to come to her retreat, which Teddi finally tells the other women about in this episode (probably her least self-sabotaging move all season). So if you're keeping score at home, this entire tedious drama was started — almost certainly on purpose — by Lisa Rinna…
That's Lisa Rinna who was never going to attend this retreat that she blew up in the first place, and who is barely even in this episode, except for the scene talking with her daughter Amelia about her anxiety. Which always makes me a little nervous. Because while shedding light on anxiety is important, and while I agree that an 18-year-old dealing with mental health struggles is "not something you f--- around with"… I also feel like airing the details of said mental health struggles on national television is… teetering on the edge of f---ing around with it! I feel much more at ease with the scene of Garcelle's tween twins successfully persuading her into letting them have soda at dinner, but unsuccessfully persuading her into buying them "some Gucci." As always, I genuinely hope all of the Housewives kids are doing alright.
Back to the retreat: in the rehashing of Teddi's outburst at the store opening, she doubles down on the idea that support-for-support's-sake isn't really support. She gives the example that if she went to Erika's concert and just kept saying that she was only there to support her, as opposed to actually enjoying the experience, that would be a rude thing to do, which I agree with. But Dorit thinks that's a rude thing for Teddi to say because Dorit was the one who was so explicit about wanting to come solely to support to Teddi, which Dorit tells the others she was "so genuine and sweet" when she originally said it. But now she's annoyed that she's not being supported by Teddi for how supportive she's being!
Teddi needn't worry about Dorit's ire being turned back on her, however, because in Kyle's rush to defend Teddi and convince Dorit that she can't leave early, Kyle offends Dorit.
While Erika, Sutton, and Kyle arrived around 9 a.m. to spend the whole day at Teddi's retreat, Dorit didn't arrive until noon. And Kyle couldn’t help but notice that she'd clearly taken the time to get full glam before arriving, so she's suspicious about exactly why Dorit said she needed to come late.
And like… sure, I guess that would be annoying if you’d woken up early and someone else hadn't. But also, Dorit told Teddi all along that she would be arriving around lunch. Also-also, who cares? It's not surprising that Dorit arrived late or with a full face of makeup and a leather headband the width of a car bumper — you can't get mad at your friends about being the exact person they always are.
But you can passively take jabs at them about being late until they scream, "Kyle, I have a f---ing LIFE!" in their weird vampire accent while Erika silently eats French fries in the background.
Meanwhile, Teddi's retreat has moved onto an hour of peaceful meditation that the other women all scoffed at attending, but the editors keep flashing over to the calming British woman saying soothing phrases as though they're maybe trying to imply that mediation could have maybe been a healthier alternative than downing three margaritas and taking offense at every single thing your friend says. Because now Kyle is offended that Dorit implied she has a busier life than her and therefore deserves to be late. "Clearly you had time to sit in the glam chair," Kyle snarks back, and Erika begs them to stop fighting and just admit that no one wants to be there.
When Denise arrives at the retreat just in time for dinner (so, super late but also super not-glammed, so in the safe zone with Kyle), she innocently asks if everyone enjoyed the day. And when everyone stares blankly at her, Sutton finally says, "These are tough subjects, I would definitely not broach that," which is just an amazing response to a simple "how's everyone doing."
Dorit and Kyle rehash the argument from earlier, but they don’t speak about it again until they hit yet another dinner table. Denise and Aaron have decided to invite everyone over to their new Malibu house for what Denise describes as "not a typical Beverly Hills dinner party." They're having wood-fired pizzas and a sundae bar, but it's still fully catered and beautiful, and also rather hilariously features a diamond-shaped ice sculpture at the bar. And Kyle just cannot get over this ice sculpture. It's weird how… weirded out Kyle is about Denise having this ice sculpture, even though the rest of the party is Denise's general laidback, backyard vibe.
Well, except for one thing…
Denise, of all people, is trying to censor the rowdy conversation! Once everyone sits down to dinner, the talk quickly turns to who has experimented with women. Kyle and Rinna both insist that they have not, while Garcelle says she made out with some girls in her modeling days, and then casually drops that she had a threesome, leaving the rest to the other partygoers' imagination. But to us, she says: "My lips are sealed. It's only between me and her… and her." Yes, Garcelle! Erika also casually drops that she was once with a couple (or maybe fully involved in a throuple, it's a little hard to tell). Sutton doesn’t understand the difference between that and just being with a woman, so Erika elaborates that there's "a penis and two vaginas."
This is when Denise starts getting really worried that her daughters and some of their friends are also eating at a table nearby, so she goes over to tell them that the conversation might be getting a little adult, and while they assure her they aren't really listening, I'm sure they will be now.
Luckily for Denise, it's time for boring topics again: Dorit insinuating for about the third time that there's something going on between Kyle and Teddi because they've… slept in a bed together before? "Apparently I'm a lesbian!" Kyle finally snaps. Dorit says that's ridiculous: "I just feel like it's a reigning pattern that whenever I say anything about you and Teddi, you immediately get this blind defensiveness." Cue the montage of Dorit confronting Kyle or Teddi and the other blindly coming to their defense…
It's completely reasonable for friends to come to other friends' defenses, though. That's… kind of what friendship is. But when it's among a group of friends — especially one as fragile and power-hungry as this one — it also makes pretty clear exactly where everyone ranks. Teddi and Kyle are each other's No. 1, and Dorit doesn’t like that. But Dorit also has a good point: "You're mad at me for turning up to Teddi's later when she's not even mad!" And now Kyle gets herself in a real pickle because Teddi's silence reiterates that she really doesn’t care, but Kyle is still yelling: "If you're going to come support a friend, just f---ing come and support her, but don’t come in your fake workout clothes, with your posing on Instagram, saying, 'Workout Barbie glam,' but you're not even coming for the f---ing workout! It's f---ing weird!"
Yikes. It suddenly becomes clear to everyone that… Kyle is the one being weird. Denise comes to Dorit's defense, telling Kyle that she's being judgmental, and Kyle doesn’t like that at all, later whispering to Sutton (during a moment of agreed-upon silence while the children go through the sundae line) that Denise, "whose never worn anything other than a mop-top ponytail her whole life" is suddenly throwing a dinner party with an ice sculpture, adding on top for good measure that Denise is a "ragamuffin." And after that bout of s----talking, Kyle is good and revved up, saying that she defends all of her friends, and asking Rinna to back her up…
Leaned back in her chair, looking like a brunette Cersei watching this all go down, Rinna coos: "Well… not always."
We'll have to wait until next week to see if Teddi ever speaks up for Kyle in the way that Dorit insists they always do. Considering the mood Kyle is in, I sure hope Teddi does, or Kyle might just burn that ice sculpture to the ground. Either way, I'm expecting a return to form next week, where it looks like things are about to get extremely dramatic in a way that has nothing to do with timeliness. Because you know what they say on Bravo — messiness is next to godliness!