The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recap: Empty threats, emptier promises
Let's get one thing straight: Sutton said Erika lied about something… that Erika lied about. Three years ago, Erika told her friends that Tom had gotten into a minor car accident, broken his ankle, and she'd been dealing with a total baby while he healed. Then, one month ago, she told the same women, plus a few more, that in that car accident, Tom actually drove off a cliff, sustained major brain damage, and was unconscious for 12 hours.
Now, let's say the story that Erika told about Tom's car accident one month ago was the true version of events… there are still plenty of good reasons she may have lied about the car accident when it originally happened. One of them being that Tom surely wouldn't have been allowed to continue practicing law if it was documented that he'd sustained such a brain injury…
Actually, I just realized — that's a bad reason to lie about the car accident! But there are plenty of reasons to lie about plenty of things in general. Because complete, immediate, unsolicited honesty at all costs is not the currency of friendship. If your friend wears a pair of jeans that accentuate her FUPA, you don't have to tell her that in order to be honest. Because if she thinks she looks good in them… she looks good in them. We do not all have the same opinions about FUPAs (this is a pro-FUPA recap space, obviously), and your friend doesn't need your "honest" opinion just because it flitted through your mind. Perhaps if Erika's "friends," Rinna and Kyle hadn't pushed Sutton so hard to be honest at all costs, then Erika's white shirt collar could have been saved, Kathy's coffee course could have been served, and Patrick the Butler could have kept that sparkle in his eye that I'm afraid may never return.
If Sutton claimed she would say something directly to Erika, but when she asked Erika if she could speak directly to her, an asp slithered out of her mouth to hiss "noooo" like the end of days… Sutton isn't being dishonest by not proceeding with that death wish. That Kyle insists it is dishonest is, in a word, infuriating.
So, let's get another thing straight (please know that I'm saying this in a fun, chatty way, not with my talon finger pointed at your throat while steam comes out of my ears, subsequently melting off all of my ear bronzer): this season of is still very delicious food. I am still fascinated by what's happening, how it's happening, and that it somehow involves price stamps on a different Cartier ring with each new episode. But just as Garcelle was triggered by Kyle saying you have to tell the truth in the moment or it doesn't count as the truth…
I am triggered by the last two episode's devolvement into screaming about "owning it" and "just being honest," because it's bringing to mind other, much worse seasons of RHOBH. Telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth at all times without prompting because it's the only way to have true friendship is this weird little culture that exists, quite literally, only within the confines of this RHOBH friend group. Denise didn't have to be honest with her friends about who she'd slept with. And their insistence that she did means they weren't good friends. Kyle's insistence that Sutton be honest even when it gets her into bad situations is, in fact, not Kyle being a good "friend" to her. (And not for nothing — it's not her being a good friend to Erika either.)
Do I also wish Sutton could have held onto that amazing bit where she was just laughing at every threat Erika lobbed her way? Of course, I do! Because those threats were emptier than PK's Outlook Calendar. But we have the Sutton that we have, and she did her best.
This episode opens right back up on the smithereens of Kathy's nice dinner. The Baccarat candlesticks are still lit, but now Erika is also ablaze, like that fiery little man from Inside Out. Sutton is the recipient of all her ire, even though Kyle is the one who forced Sutton to call her a liar (about something that she lied about) at the dinner table. We once again hear Erika telling Sutton to shut the f--- up, but then things escalate: "Would you like to get sued?"
When everyone tells Erika that's a pretty wild threat to be making, Erika says she doesn't mean she'd sue Sutton: "If you want to talk about someone else's health issues and think that person isn't going to come after you — think again." So yes, not only is Erika implying that the man who was exposed in the L.A. Times for having no remaining money — and who she has been insisting has severe dementia — is going to sue Sutton; she's saying he's going to do it because of information about his mental health that Erika told her. You know — exactly the thing Sutton was worried about!
Dorit, and even Kyle, rightly point out to Erika that telling Sutton she's going to be sued because of information she learned from her proximity to Erika just lends credence to Sutton's original concerns. Erika greets that with more growling and snapping, saying that she's about to lose her s--- (I guess she's under the impression that she's been very chill until this point). Everyone tells her to take a breath, and then she gathers every dramatic bone in her body to icily turn to Sutton and hiss: "You ever call me a liar again, I'm coming for you." To which I say: Girl, with WHAT?!
And I so, so wish that Sutton could have said the same. But Sutton will cry if she feels left out of a joke, so you better believe this made her cry. Sutton doesn't actually excuse herself from the table until Erika repeats, "It's not a threat, it's a promise," approximately 100 times, and starts stroking a small dog, like Dr. Evil. And she waits to cry until she gets outside, where Kathy begs her to come inside to the library (oh, to have a library where one consoles rich friends being threatened with lawsuits!).
Kyle comes outside and demands that Sutton come back in because Erika's threats are nothing to be worried about, and that's when Garcelle finally gets mad, telling Kyle that she's the one who got Erika all riled up by insisting that Sutton keep talking even when it was clearly no longer productive. "My God!" Garcelle exclaims in her testimonial: "The person in the room who doesn't want to talk is Erika — Sutton said everything she needed to say!" And that's that on that.
But not for Kyle, who wants to make sure that Sutton knows she only put her in a bad situation because it's important to exactly no one except Kyle that Sutton be 100 percent honest all the time. They meet at Bonhams where Sutton is receiving private first access to auction items, as well as exclusive access to six-digit jewelry because she really is that rich, and really does have a reputation to protect. Unfortunately, she may have over-screamed her welcome at Bonhams, because she and Kyle do eventually get into an argument over what happened at Kathy's dinner the night before.
Kyle once again says that she was trying to help Sutton by pushing her to tell Erika every single thing she'd said about her "otherwise it's going to come across as two-faced." To whomst, Kyle?! You're the only one who knows Sutton ever said Erika was lying. Further, Kyle tells Sutton that she wishes she hadn't shown weakness the night before, because "the stronger you are, the less Erika would have reacted like that." So, yes, Kyle really is an air-quotes-"friend," as Sutton calls her and later apologizes for, which she absolutely should not have.
As if all of this weren't painful enough, the worst possible thing happens in this episode: I was forced to agree with PK.
During a date night where Dorit wears a head-to-toe bodycon and PK wears a velour quarter-zip, PK asks his wife how Erika is doing. When she responds that Erika has told them that she'll eventually be able to tell them more about "certain things at a certain time," PK says that the very least she could do is say that what's happened to the victims is devastating. Dorit says that Erika has said that (she hasn't), but she also continually says Tom's crimes are "alleged." That's when PK really spits a few bars, all while sounding like he's doing an imitation of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins: "It's not alleged what Tom did! What's alleged is that he don't know what day it is, and can't remember 10 minutes ago — that's alleged, and highly unlikely. I mean the guy's been active and borrowing money for years!"
Moreover, PK thinks the way Erika has been purporting herself on social media, posting photos of herself in lingerie with captions like, "I thought about disabling comments, but y'all are so gullible I just can't," isn't doing her legal defense any favors. And if there's one thing I would take advice from PK on — truly, the only thing — it's how to survive like a cockroach. Because without real money, real talent, or a real job, this man somehow stays afloat. And his advice to Erika is a full rebrand during this time that she needs to keep the creditors at bay: "When circumstances change, you have to change."
Ugh, now let's forget those glowing words about PK ever happened, and move onto a much more joyous occasion: a traditional Haitian dinner at Garcelle's house! The place looks amazing, the food looks even better, and these women really do not deserve it! Well, mostly just Rinna who keeps exclaiming that she "actually ate fish," like she deserves a reward when she had the nerve to scold Garcelle earlier for not texting her a second thank you for the time that Harry served her pasta in a Fiestaware bowl. Dorit actually handles some ribbing from Kyle and Garcelle with a sense of humor (although I'm sure we'll hear more about it at a later date), and Sutton and Erika completely ignore one another.
I feel fine about this; Erika and Sutton seem to feel fine about this…
Kyle does not feel fine about this. She simply cannot imagine how they'll move forward with contractually obligated group dinners if Sutton and Erika don't at least put a BandAid on the situation. As always, Kyle's idea of how everyone should behave begins with the phrase, "for me, personally." And that really is Kyle's fatal, infuriating flaw as a friend — she can never truly put herself in anyone else's shoes and circumstances. She merely thinks about the way she would want to deal with things, which is typically disastrous.
At this point, Crystal jumps in to say that there's obviously "no path to resolution" for Erika and Sutton, and pretending otherwise is absurd — they can simply sit at opposite ends of the table from here on out. And though I'm skeptical of the way that Crystal seems to be inching closer and closer to Erika's defense, I tend to agree: while I wouldn't normally tolerate my Housewives coming to a complete impasse, one person being accused of complicity in embezzling millions from widows and orphans, and another person pretty much saying that's true… well, those are some pretty extenuating circumstances, even by Housewives standards.
And with that, I'm off to google "best Haitian food near me," and gear up for what seems to be another story about Tom flipping another car next week. See you there!
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe