The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: Death by a thousand jabs
I don't know if Dorit had some sort of surgery where she had to have her jaw wired shut for the last two months, or if she just suddenly emerged from a bunker, like Brendan Fraser in Blast From the Past, or if maybe PK got her into some situation where a witch stole her voice and put it in a tiny shell… but, as of tonight, Dorit seems to have suddenly realized that she is an actual cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and therefore needs to have an actual storyline.
Unfortunately, she has decided to make that storyline accusing Garcelle of being mean to her. My assumption is that Dorit finally noticed that, with each new time she's shown her whole ass during this season's squabbles, Miss Garcelle Beauvais has been there to politely hold up a mirror and a megaphone to said ass, ensuring that when Dorit, say, claims that her family is exposed to lots of different cultures because they employ lots of different people of color… it gets the attention it deserves. And now, Dorit wants to get ahead of that narrative that she says embarrassing things by making it seem like Garcelle has been calling her out occasionally because she's mean. Because accountability is mean — it's bullying, even! Just let Dorit make her little statements, and design her little lemon rooms, and don't tell her that she's annoying!!!
Obnoxiousness aside, Dorit picking this little fight actually works out to our great advantage because listening to every single woman seated at the lunch table reiterate to Dorit over and over that she does talk too much and it is annoying, only to have Dorit completely ignore them in favor of rattling off multiple lengthy diatribes about how everyone just needs to be more direct… was a comedy of Housewives errors at its finest.
The episode kicks off with Rinna continuing to bumble around in the IKEA cupboards in her garage. Is Bravo not allowed to film inside the house unless Harry is slinging pasta in there? Why are we always in this woman's garage? She even seems to have fashioned a makeshift dressing room out there where her model daughters go to try on her old dresses while Rinna thinks of new ways to pretend like she's just utterly flabbergasted by the idea of one of her daughters dating Scott Disick. (For the record, the other daughter is dating a very lovely young British man from a lesser-tier reality show whom she met on Instagram, and everything about that just seems right.)
Meanwhile, we're back in Erika's small Mediterranean mansion — which she continues to describe as a hovel — to check in on her single-girl life. It is mostly forlorn vacuuming, but she is in better spirits than when she entered the holiday party in last week's episode. We seem to be about two weeks post-Christmas, and everyone is riding high from their small, intimate family celebrations. Rinna and Kyle head over to Erika's to celebrate Kyle's birthday, but after Erika admits to taking the champagne flutes they're using from her old house when she left, the conversation quickly turns to Tom. Rinna says that she just had drinks with Sutton and Dorit, and the other girls are still nervous after their disastrous dinner at Kyle's last week. Erika doesn't understand what they could possibly be nervous about, and Kyle finally says that what Sutton wasn't saying last week is that she doesn't want problems legally, but she also doesn't want problems socially.
Erika deems that fear "small town," rolling her eyes at the idea that any of her legal problems could have any implications for Sutton. Then she tells Kyle and Rinna about how she discovered Tom was having an affair after leaving a very specific conversation with Yolanda a few seasons ago, something they could certainly have to testify about in court if a lawyer wanted them to. Y'know, just like how, this week, one of the lawyers involved in investigating Tom's misdeeds vowed to depose Lisa Rinna for her repeated televised claims that Erika is innocent. Nothing to worry about, folks!
But you wouldn't know that Dorit is worried about Erika because she's too busy floating her "Garcelle has been taking jabs at me all season" hypothesis at Crystal's house. She's gone over to visit the day before Crystal hosts a party for all the girls to help launch Lisa Rinna's new makeup line. Crystal says that in non-pandemic times, she hosts parties for other people two to three times a week. In general, I think I'm a good friend, but I'm not a "deal with a chair rental company two to three times a week" friend. For her part, Dorit is the kind of friend who will tell you she wants you to be direct, and then when you are direct, she'll argue with you about your feelings until you eventually just have to pretend you never said anything at all.
Dorit says that Garcelle's jabs started with telling her she was long-winded, then moved on to Garcelle saying that Dorit would "never take Sutton's side" in the Crystal situation, and then at Kyle's party, Garcelle told Dorit "that's not what you said the other night," after she claimed that she didn't want to pry into Erika's legal problems… which was, in fact, not what Dorit had said the other night. So, it seems like Garcelle was pretty straightforward in all of those instances! But Dorit seems to think she's being "chicken s---," and just needs to "have some guts" and say what her problem is with her…
Y'know, just like Dorit did with Erika the other night. Dorit will go on to accuse Garcelle of "taking jabs" at her moments after she's mixed up Crystal and Garcelle's names at the Rinna Beauty party. I can't say that I enjoy Dorit's complete lack of self-awareness… but I do sometimes marvel at it.
Garcelle asks Dorit to elaborate on the jabs she's taken at her, so Dorit rattles off the same list she gave Crystal earlier. Garcelle says she remembers telling Dorit she'd never take Sutton's side, which Dorit claims Garcelle said in an "obnoxious, rude tone." As for interrupting Dorit with "that's not what you said the other night," when she was sugarcoating her thoughts to Erika, Garcelle insists she was right about that because Dorit was just as adamant about not blindly supporting Erika as Sutton was.
Garcelle says she doesn't have a huge problem with Dorit, she just thinks that Dorit talks so much it's hard for anyone else to get a word in, which was the impetus for the various "jabs" that Dorit has been clocking. Suddenly everyone at the table starts chiming in that they've all said at some point or another that Dorit talks too much, and it's not exactly like she loved them directly telling her that either. So Dorit is forced to reach in for the big guns: "It's just surprising to me; it takes me off guard, and it's like a bully." Garcelle doesn't think "bully" is the appropriate word, but she doesn't get too up in arms about the accusation…
No, that doesn't happen until Dorit starts rattling off that Garcelle does this to everybody: she had a problem with Kyle, she's had a problem with her, and of course, there was the thing in Palm Springs with Erika—
"F--- YOU WITH THAT," Garcelle immediately shouts: "You know exactly what happened in Palm Springs!" Dorit claims that she doesn't, even though Crystal has now explained upwards of five times that Garcelle wasn't present when Erika asked for the comments about Tom calling her not to be repeated. Garcelle may have overstepped in bringing it up in front of the other women later, but she wasn't bullying Erika. And as she points out, Erika has forgiven her — publicly! In front of Dorit!
Garcelle briefly flees the table, but everyone asks her to sit back down so that Crystal can explain to Dorit again that Garcelle wasn't there when Erika "said those words." At the end of the table, Sutton mutters, "Don't mention it to the group," attempting to fill in "those words" she thinks Erika told Crystal. But apparently, Erika didn't say anything about "the group," and she does not like Sutton assuming she did. "That's not what I said, you be quiet alright, miss-small-town-I'm-so-worried-about-my-motherf---ing-reputation, you shut up," Erika snaps out at Sutton in under two milliseconds. Because nothing clues us in that Erika is angry quite like when she turns on her auctioneer-level speed-talking.
And even though she is briefly stunned silent, Sutton ultimately has the best possible reaction one could have to such a verbal onslaught: she laughs. "You can laugh all you want girl. I'll go all day with you. Get another motherf---ing legal opinion," Erika responds… and Sutton laughs some more. The conversation somehow returns to Garcelle, who tells Dorit that she will not be pinning the Palm Springs mishap on her when she wasn't even there and doesn't know what was said. "Let's work with you and I, and me giving jabs at you, and just leave it at that." Dorit says they can end the conversation there because she doesn't want to be accused of belaboring the point… and then she talks about the point for about five more minutes until Kyle eventually spills a drink, and they're able to move on.
If you can believe it, there is a lip psychic at this party that we never even get to see, but we hear about it when Kyle goes over to Kathy's house later. And while I'm interested in hearing about the years that Kathy and Kyle weren't talking, and why… I'm just ever so much more interested in everything happening inside Kathy's palatial estate that is both absurdly elegant and also clearly the home of elderly people. For every Pomeranian sleeping on a Hermes gift box, there is a cup of loose pens and scissors sitting on a formal end table. For every $950 Baccarat candlestick, there is a TV dinner tray full of chicken salad being set in front of two very rich women…
Because for every Kathy… there is a Kyle. (And also a Kim; never forget Kim and everything that she has done for us.) The Richards gals talk about their mom and the time they spent fighting with one another after her passing, and it's clear there's plenty they'll never agree on — but they've gotten to a good place now, and that's what's most important. And dammit, if you had told me that when these two women sat down in front of three tiny scoops of chicken salad that I would be crying by the end of the scene, I would have told you that was as absurd a proposition as a tiny dog sleeping on top of a box containing an $18,000 bag. But when a producer asks Kathy in her testimonial the thing she regrets most about the years she and Kyle weren't talking and she replies, "Being together," before breaking down into silent sobs…
Well, that's the power of infusing Housewives with nuanced sibling dynamics, to which I say: more please, Andy Cohen. See you back here next week for one iconic tear streaking down one non-professionally-bronzed face!