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After a month of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion episodes, we all knew the editors would save the most incendiary moment for the last installment, and yet I'm sure we all walked away feeling less than fired up. But what was I expecting? For Erika to suddenly don a zoot suit, start puffing a cigar, and sneer out in the Good Fellas accent she's been working toward for the last two seasons: "Yeah, I did it, and I'd do it again! And I would'a gotten away with it if it weren't for the meddling L.A. Times reporters, and you pesky Twitter users too!" Did I think she'd go in the other direction, breaking down in sobs over the suffering of innocent parties at the hands of a man she married and happily accepted millions of (allegedly) stolen dollars from to keep Mikey living in a small cubby in a giant closet in her mammoth Pasadena home…

Honestly, that option seems even less likely than Erika admitting fault, or even indifference. I do know that I expected Erika to get caught in at least one lie during this final reunion installment because that's what the reunion trailer implied when we first witnessed her stop dead in her tracks after referencing a conversation with Tom. But we find out in this episode that Erika has now spoken to Tom a number of times, which she makes sure to clarify only happened after Tom was deemed incompetent by the court.

Erica came to this reunion prepared, but in this episode especially, it kind of felt like she had prepared for a series of questions with a series of answers written out on index cards… and then on her way into the Reunion, she tripped over one of Rinna's wigs, and her index cards got all mixed up. Because Erika definitely "honored her commitment" to show up as she so proudly tells us, and she definitely offered up a few answers… but they were never really answers to the questions that were being asked of her. The questions that people needed answered in order to truly believe, not necessarily in Erika's guilt or innocence, but just in the idea that she cares about anyone but herself.

Of course, caring about anyone but yourself is not a prerequisite to being a Housewife — in fact, it's often the opposite! But it may be a prerequisite for ever being interested in this particular story again. Personally, I think I'm going to have to quote Crystal when she's asked by Andy if she has any more questions for Erika: "I'm good, I'm done."

But just in case you want to hear yet another slightly differing account of Tom's car wreck (I'm not kidding!), or parse through Erika's cagey answers to see if you can get a few of your own, here's what went down in the final episode of one of the wildest RHOBH seasons on record:

The Crystal Question & the Erika Answer

I don't like when reunion episodes start off by replaying the last five minutes of the episode that already aired before it. But in this instance, it was necessary, because after Crystal asked where Erika's anger toward Tom was, Erika proceeded to bite her head off, tell her she had no idea how Erika might be feeling, not go on to explain how she was feeling, and then hiss out at her from across the couch: "Is that angry enough for you?" And Erika would continue to passive-aggressively bring up Crystal's simple question for the duration of the episode.

Crystal's questions — one of the only direct questions from the women representative of anything audiences at home have been asking — and Erika's response represents an infuriating cycle that persists throughout the hour. Erika whines about being hurt by every single doubt the women presented during the season because they all know her, and they could have asked her their questions directly… and then when anyone asks Erika any direct questions (during the season and during the reunion) about where her anger is, or where the money is, or why it was snowing in Pasadena… she eviscerates them for doubting her when they know her.

At one point, Erika says that she's either perceived as too emotionless or too emotional, so she really can't win — but the same can be said of anyone who attempts to have any kind of relationship with Erika right now that isn't complete deference. You can guess who that person might be…

The Ghost of Lisa Rinna's Past

Listen, no one wants to keep Lisa Rinna relevant less than me, but I must give it up to Robbie from Redondo Beach for asking a perfect question. Via Andy, he asks Rinna how she could claim that Erika's friends shouldn't question her in the midst of such a serious situation when in the past, she has built pyres and taken up pitchforks for Yolanda's health issues, Kim's addiction recovery, and Denise's marriage — all pretty serious issues!

And would you believe this woman has the nerve to say that she regrets every single one of those seasons' long pursuits to undermine someone, but her punishment is that she has to live with herself, and she's haunted by her actions every day?

Rinna says she would take each one of them back if she could, and yet she cannot list one tangible thing that she's actually learned from any of those situations that would lead her to change anything about herself in the future. But do you know how Rinna ultimately finds a way to sleep at night? Because "I think what I know about me is I am a good friend." Whoo, the delusion is real in part 4!

Money Talks

We probably won't know for a few years if we can call the financial discussion in this episode factual, but they did involve actual numbers and stats, so that's something. Erika claims that the $20 million that the L.A. Times showed being transferred from Tom's firm into her LLC didn't actually happen…

There's no proof, we just have to believe her! But I'm having a little trouble because the one moment that will stick with me most from this reunion comes during this segment after Erika insists that the $14 million she spent on her AmEx was over a number of years and that everyone in the cast is probably spending around $2 million a year for their lifestyle, so that's not that crazy. So then Andy, being a benevolent host, prompts her to reconsider that stab at relatability by saying: "Well, the allegation is that the money that we've seen you spend over the years was money that Tom stole from others. And your reaction to that is…"

A simple "that would feel awful" would do. Erika doesn't have to say she'll pay it back; she doesn't have to say Tom did it; she doesn't have to say anything more than the hypothetical concept that she spent the money of orphans and widows and burn victims on a music video directed by Mikey Minden would feel bad. But that's not what Erika says! When Andy asks her reaction to the allegation that she's spent victims' money, she goes off on a defensive tirade about how they have no idea what money was misappropriated and how, so should all of the lawyers and secretaries salaries from the firm be "clawed back" too?

And she simply can't understand why people aren't clocking her sympathy for the victims…

All Is Fair in the Game of Slang and War

Which was, of course, one of Sutton's lines of inquiries all along. When Erika says she was hurt that, after being such a good friend to her originally, Sutton couldn't be more understanding about what a difficult position she was in, and only worrying about herself, Sutton responds: "Actually, I wasn't only worried about myself." And, of course, Sutton couldn't go "straight to the source" to ask Erika about her feelings regarding the victims because Erika had been refusing to talk to Sutton until she went absolutely HAM on her at Kathy's Christmas dinner.

Kathy's dinner brings up the fact that Erika threatened to "come for" Sutton, which Erika claims is just "slang" and insists that she only meant, if Sutton ever finds herself in a sticky spot in the future, Erika will not extend her any grace. Even though the full quote from that dinner is, "If you ever call me a liar again, I'm coming for you," and then Erika proceeded to mutter, "It's not a threat, it's a promise," over and over until Kathy's butler Patrick passed out from fear…

So weird that Sutton couldn't gather all that nuance in the moment! And call me crazy, but Erika attempting to rewrite the past like this almost feels like... lying. Much like Sutton says that originally telling Kyle that Tom only had a minor car wreck was technically lying, as well as claiming that her marriage was blissful, only to then reveal that it was a nightmare. But Sutton immediately follows that assertion up by saying — I think, pretty graciously — that lying is a perfectly fine thing to do when you're trying to protect yourself or someone else. But Erika won't take the lifeline. She is so dead set on claiming that she does not lie, that it makes it much harder to trust her because she has lied on television multiple times.

So finally, Sutton points out that in Del Mar, Erika pretended to be her friend, and purposefully tricked her into thinking it was a sincere effort. "And do you know what that is?" Sutton asks, and then answers herself: "Lying."

"No, that's actually just playing your ass," Erika snipes back. And between watching Erika in this RHOBH reunion, and watching Kendall Roy on Succession, this has been a tough few weeks for watching people who really aren't doing what they think they're doing…

The Wreck 5.0

If you can believe it, this episode ends with one final iteration of Tom's car wreck. When Andy asked Erika earlier in the episode about her implication that a car wreck that happened three years ago may have been a gateway for Tom misappropriating funds beginning 10 years ago, Erika answers — and I am not exaggerating here — that she "wouldn't know, I'm not doctor." I can't make it make sense, but I encourage you to try.

Unfortunately, I have used the very last remaining bit of my willpower to listen to Erika give the details of this car wreck one more time. First, she says she's recalculated the math, and Tom was actually unconscious for nine hours, not 12 as originally stated (and stated again, and then again, and once more with feeling). Erika says that she talked to Tom on the phone the night before at 9 p.m. when he was supposed to be on his way back from an event, and then she didn't hear from him again until 6 a.m. the next morning when he called to say that he wasn't sure where he was, but he thought he was close to their backyard. "Did he say he'd been in a car wreck?" Dorit asks, attempting to offer the story a little narrative flow, and Erika bellows back, "NO! CAN I FINISH MY STORY?!"

Erika says she went looking, and found Tom outside of the car, in the ravine below their house, and I guess he… told her he'd been unconscious for the last nine hours. You know what, the data could still use a little clarity when the 6th iteration of these details comes around, but I can't say I'll be there.

I have been here, however, and you've been here reading along with me for 24 episodes — and for that, I thank you, as always. Let's all agree to go to bed early tonight, okay?

Episode Recaps

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Bravo’s guilty-pleasure franchise meets California luxe

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