And then, it was over. Last night, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills finished both its fourth season and seemingly interminable three-part reunion special, and hopefully it’s the last time we’ll have to deal with Carlton and Joyce in such a capacity. Rumor has it that they won’t be asked back for next season, and based on how little we heard from both of them other three hours of reunion whining, Bravo seemed to be encouraging us to forget about them entirely. You got it, Bravo. (more…)

Last night, we trudged through yet another hour of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion, during which we tackled (but by no means answered) such important question as whether or not Brandi drinks too much (probably) and whether or not Carlton’s an anti-Semite (probably not). Real Housewives isn’t a show of answers, though, and maybe that’s why we have to have another hour of reunion time next week.

1. The Housewives went to an inordinate member of group exercise classes this season. In years when there’s a ton of internal drama to carry the plot, all the Housewives do is go to parties and lunches and “coffee confrontations” because putting them in the same place to talk is all that’s necessary for good television. This season, the Beverly Hills wives needed lots of structured activities, and most of them were such that talking wasn’t particularly easy.

2. There is no progress to be made between Carlton and Kyle. No matter how much it’s pointed out that Kyle couldn’t see Carlton’s entire tattoo and that asking if it was a Star of David is not actually offensive, Carlton is convinced that it was somehow meant as an insult, even though she admits that it’s not an insulting thing to say. Kyle, for her part, didn’t really walk back her claim that Carlton might be anti-Semitic, even though she probably isn’t. She’s just anti-Kyle.

3. Gigi pays her own rent in NYC. I don’t entirely know if I believe that. Gigi certainly has a significant income from her recent modeling success, but Yolanda is such an involved mother that I’d be surprised if she weren’t still trying to mother Gigi with cash. Also, modeling pays reasonably well at the very high end (and nowhere else), but Gigi’s apartment is fantastically expensive.

4. Brandi’s ex-husband won’t allow their kids on the show. That’s why we never get to see Brandi be anything but drunk at a party, which I had never really thought about until it was brought up. If we could see Brandi in more types of situations, I’m sure she’d seem less like a ridiculous lush than she does now, but Eddie wants all the kiddie camera time for himself, apparently.

5. I still don’t understand why Kim cares so much about whether Lisa shows up to things. There are people in my social group who never bother to show up to stuff. Some of them do it for Kim reasons, others do it because they’re just annoying people in general who don’t value the friendship of others. No matter the reason, though, it becomes difficult to take their invitations seriously after enough passage of time, especially if I’ve never formed any particularly personal bonds with them. People wear out their welcomes, and it’s not cruel to set boundaries with an addict, even if (and maybe even especially if) they’re tighter than the boundaries that the addict would prefer.

6. Brandi’s on 10mg of Lexapro. Brandi has her moments at both logical extremes of the personality spectrum, but her candidness about her emotional struggles and the very practical ways she’s trying to deal with them is great.

7. Has anyone ever been as self-righteous as Joyce? Brandi has plenty of privilege, but I cannot listen to anyone who’s never been clinically depressed or a single mom lecture a clinically depressed single mom about how she doesn’t really have it that bad and she should buck up. At best, she’s speaking out of turn, and at worst, she sounds like she’s looking for someone to criticize in order to accent her own virtue, an virtue doesn’t buy you a lot of fans on reality TV.

8. Somehow, we have another week of this left. The first two hour-long installments of this reunion have been stupendously dull, and for some reason, I assumed they were going to put us out of our misery tonight. My hopes were dashed, for next week we have to talk to the husbands.

I still haven’t caught up with last week’s season finale of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills after my trip to Texas, it didn’t really matter one way or the other when it came time to figure out last night’s reunion. That’s because the Housewives only talked about the same things they’ve been discussing all season, and they said more or less the same stuff they’ve been saying the entire time. The reunions are usually juicy because the cast members are asking point-blank questions about all the conflicts by someone other than their cast mates, but it didn’t amount to a whole lot last night.

1. Yolanda’s bob! Yolanda looks great with a bob. She looks nice always, because she is a retired model who is married to a wealthy dude with a mansion, which makes it easy to look nice, but I love seeing Real Housewives without eight pounds of hair for which they have a purchase receipt. They almost all look younger and more sophisticated than they do with their pet weaves, even if it makes their curling irons sad to get retired. Brandi could take a lesson from Yolanda’s bob.

2. Lisa may or may not have lived in Calabasas. Brandi paid $9.99 to the Internet and the Internet told her Lisa used to live in Calabasas, which is apparently an unacceptable level of Kardashian proximity for a Bravolebrity. Lisa, for her part, admits owning property there but denies that she ever deigned to grace the dwelling with her presence.

3. I wouldn’t watch a show about just Kim and Kinglsey. I probably could be convinced to watch several YouTube videos of them while eating a $12 chopped salad during my lunch break at work, though, which is more than I can say of Kyle and literally anyone else on television. Kyle may want to invest in a goofy rescue pit bull for next season.

4. Yolanda’s the first Housewife ever to cop to being in a bad mood. I had never thought about it until the words came out of Yolanda’s mouth, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone in a Housewives reunion admit she was grouchy and tired when confronted with a bad reaction that she had to something relatively minor. Instead of trying to defensively explain why she was the real victim, Yolanda simply sounded like a normal human being with a full range of emotions. Imagine!

5. It took me 26 minutes to realize Joyce was on the couch. In fact, I have no idea whether or not she was sitting there at all before Andy introduced her. That probably doesn’t bode well for Joyce’s longevity as a cast member, considering that rumors of her exit have been swirling for over a month.

6. Brandi claims that Lisa is different on the show than she is in real life. This is my surprised face. Can you see it? Can you feel it?

7. Lisa might be a little thin-skinned. It’s not exactly a rare thing to encounter a funny, quick person who uses her humor to deflect attention from whatever insecurities she may have. It’s also not rare that one such person might, say, audition for a reality show. I’m not saying Lisa is a funny, smart, somewhat insecure person who’d rather not be made fun of, because I don’t know Lisa, but it is in the realm of conceivable things.

8. The lack of intrigue in this reunion gives credence to the recasting rumors. I could barely come up with seven points that were even worth mentioning about that hour of television. I considered giving Yolanda’s tasteful, modern orange dress its own point, but it seemed like dedicating the beginning of the recap to her hair cut was effusive enough.

9. On the upside, maybe we only have one more hour of Carlton in our lives. One can only hope.

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills usually isn’t a nostalgic show, but last night, they insisted on devoting more or less an entire episode to sending two Housewives spawn off to college, and that brought about some memories for me. It was convenient that it did, actually, because the episode was relatively boring other than that. Lisa mustered up some tears again, but by that point in the episode, we had spent so much time shipping people off to college that her tears seemed out of context at best. Also, I was distracted by Carlton’s spangly tube top.

1. Lisa and Ken skipped town. After last week’s dinner explosion, Lisa and Ken took their ball and went home. Like, got on a plane and flounced out of Puerto Rico, either like people who have been wronged or people who have been caught, depending on your estimation of the situation. I’m still feeling fairly ambivalent about Lisa’s role (or lack thereof, maybe) in Tabloidgate, but you have to admit that it’d be nice to be rich enough to storm off on a plane at a moment’s notice.

2. Yolanda does a respectable job pulling of a big-girl onesie. The vast majority of people look like morons in jumpsuits, but Yolanda isn’t the vast majority of people! She’s a retired Dutch model with her own lemon grove in her backyard overlooking the ocean in Malibu, and that means when she puts on a yellow tube top onesie, she makes you believe that maybe, just maaaaaybe, you could wear one too, if you found the right one. The entire fashion industry is based on this phenomenon, more or less.

3. Fridge tour! If I ever stepped foot in Yolanda’s house, I’d definitely want to inspect her refrigerator and maybe stand inside of it, so I very much respect that Brand’s parents’ tour of Yolanda’s place started with them staring in wonder at her glass-doored refrigeration system.

4. I hope to one day receive a car with a giant red bow. Where does one acquire a giant red bow? Can I order one on Amazon and stick it on the 6 train I ride to midtown every morning? Asking for a friend.

5. Kim’s baby daddy (fine, ex-fiance) is HOT. I feel like we’ve mentioned this before, but Kimberly’s daddy…damn girl. I have a whole new respect for Kim for locking that down for as long as she did. He blows Mauricio out of the water, even if we had never found out that Mauricio is kind of a whiny baby.

6. I am so mad at Gigi’s apartment. Not only was my college apartment not that nice (in Athens, Georgia, where nice is dirt cheap), but my 28-year-old grown woman New York apartment isn’t that nice. Not even close. If she’s downtown (and you know she’s downtown), her rent is probably $5,000 a month. If not more. $5k won’t even get you stainless steel appliances in Tribeca.

7. My college drop-off was not nearly so dramatic. This episode was kind of boring, so let’s have story time. I drove up to college in my car and my parents followed me in my mom’s, we hauled a trunk and a mini fridge up the Creswell Hall service elevator and that was that. They left, I walked to the only restaurant anyone on my hall knew about to have dinner with my new neighbors and then I spent the next week wandering around campus, trying to figure out where I had left my car. Parking lots all look the same.

8. “We have to support Beverly Hills!” I understand what Lisa was getting at, but Beverly Hills isn’t, like, about to miss rent or anything. Beverly Hills will still survive, as a concept, if Lisa and Ken sit this next party out.

9. I respect Yolanda’s willingness to get in someone’s face. Not to get in people’s faces for no reason, because that is a widespread Real Housewives personality trait, but to zero in on something genuinely rude that someone’s doing to her and directly address it while it’s happening. So many people get too flustered to pick out the little passive-aggressive things and say something about them in the moment, but Yolanda has an uncommon talent for it, and it makes her Lisa’s most capable foil by far.

One Chanel Classic Flap Bag, one Roger Vivier Pilgrim Clutch, some bags I probably missed while in a college nostalgia k-hole.

Well. Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills certainly was dramatic, even if the allegations that the group wanted to level against Lisa were often unclear at best and petty complaining at worst. I’m not sure if that’s because the rest of the Housewives aren’t as smart as she is or because Bravo edited the episode to make Lisa look like she was being hounded by a gang of confused harpies, but either way, not much truth was established and some people cried and the husbands had fits over various things.

1. Puerto Rico is not the same as Costa Rica or Puerto Vallarta. Lisa, not so good with her Latin American geography. Better than Kim is with her Spanish, though. No one let her order her own food in Puerto Rico, please. Just Cokes. She’s got that part down.

2. We left the magical Real Housewives world at the airport for just a moment. The weird thing about reality shows like Real Housewives and Jersey Shore is that, although the show claims to depict the cast members’ everyday lives, they strenuously attempt to maintain an illusion of a world in which the cast is still not famous. It adds an extra layer of disingenuousness to shows that already require a significant suspension of disbelief on behalf of their audiences, and getting to watch the paparazzi take their photos for a moment was a rare reminder that the world we’re shown on TV is not, objectively, the real one. The Housewives are actors, in a weird, post-modern sense of the word.

3. Blue is Yolanda’s color. She’s so blonde and tan and wonderful and it’s as though Yves Klein blue was just made to be on her body at all times. Models! They really aren’t like the rest of us at all.

4. Real Housewives are afraid of smart people more than they are afraid of anything. That Lisa is strategic, conniving, a little two-faced and not genuine in all her friendships is not, in and of itself, a problem for any of her frienemies. In fact, if she weren’t all of those things, preferably all at once, she wouldn’t make a very good Real Housewives cast member and probably would have been sent to whatever island Sheree from Atlanta and Alex from New York now live on. The problem is that Lisa’s all those things and smart, which is where she largely differs from her reality TV compatriots. The rest of the cast pretty much proved that was what they were afraid of last night by nominating Yolanda, the smartest of the not-Lisas, to go over and pick the day’s fight, even though the disagreement was really Brandi’s and Kyle’s.

5. When was the last time Brandi called Lisa? You know, that’s an interesting point. (And Lisa brought it up, because she’s smart. Please refer to the previous point.) Brandi’s now complaining that Lisa isn’t mothering her as heavily as she used to (although she previously complained this season that Lisa mothers her too much), but what Brandi hasn’t detailed is how she has tried to maintain their previously strong relationship. So…has she? Or did just sit there waiting for Lisa to friendship all over her?

6. Lisa shoved a bunch of tabloids in Brandi’s suitcase before Palm Springs. The tabloids held fantastical rumors about Mauricio’s infidelity, and Brandi claims that Lisa shoved them in her bag not once, but twice before the group’s trip to Palm Springs. Lisa, of course, denies it, and I think she might be lying. Mostly because it’s a brilliant way to stir the pot, and Lisa is good at strategizing.

7. These people very clearly live in a warm climate. The entire time I was watching them argue on the beach, all I could think was, does anyone understand how many people I would kill to get an afternoon, just one single, solitary afternoon, on the beach at this point in winter? They didn’t even sunbathe, they just started arguing and storming off and questioning each other. If you think back to the Crazy Island episodes of Real Housewives of New York, you’ll recall that they at least waited until dinner time to fight.

8. Brandi wants Lisa to take a lie detector test. About how much she likes Scheana, I think? Or at least that’s what it sounded like at first, until Brandi got around to mentioning that she had heard Lisa knew Scheana was her ex-husband’s mistress long before she maybe set them up to run into each other at a party and combust. (In reality, it was probably the producers, or at the very least, the producers and Lisa together, who had that idea. It was clearly a setup.)

9. Lisa’s basically been caught, but they’re having trouble reeling her in. I don’t know if all the allegations that have been leveled against Lisa are true, but because they mostly seem like the regular Real Housewives plot manipulation in which every cast member attempts to engage with varying levels of success, I’m sure at least some of them are. The cast, as a whole, has been trying to pin Lisa down for a couple of episodes now, and last night, they made their most direct attempts. Which were…fair to middling? Lisa cried, and her tears seem genuine even if they’re not because she’s such a stiff-upper-lip Brit in most situations that it’s striking to see her upset. By not constantly crying wolf in other arguments, Lisa’s bought herself a small benefit of the doubt in this one, which should be a lesson to all future Bravolebrities.

10. Husbands, don’t yell at your wives’ friends. Mauricio looked like a bully when he did it to Brandi last season, and Ken looked like one last night, calling people stupid and all that. It’s not dignified, it’s not helpful and it’s not going to help Lisa win the argument. I can understand wanting to defend your spouse, but in these carefully constructed webs of alliances and audience loyalties, they should probably just take their own advice and shut up.

Bag count: One blue Rag & Bone Pilot Bag, two Louis Vuitton Neverfulls, one Juicy Couture beach tote, one Stella McCartney Falabella that has to be utterly exhausted by now.

Considering how much drama the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have squeezed out of high school kids’ parties this season, I’ve become super curious about what all my friends’ parents were doing while we were sneaking beers at the high school graduation parties they threw for us in the back yards of their metro Atlanta McMansions. Whatever drama went on, it was in a more modest venue than the Moroccan room at Yolanda’s ex-husband’s house, that’s for sure. (more…)

When you consider the explosive party that capped last week’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, last night’s episode was downright tame. Carlton threw a party without a single naked person at it, Kyle and Brandi went on a hike together because now they’re united by a common enemy and Cedric may be on the run from Lisa’s goons in a remote part of France. That last part is purely conjecture, though, but doesn’t it sound like the truth? Wouldn’t the world be better if it were the truth?

1. Yolanda’s kids are embarrassed by their dad’s house. Because it’s too big. Their dad is so rich it’s embarrassing. It’s literally an embarrassment of riches. Yolanda’s ex-husband is where that saying comes from.

2. Is Lisa trying to freeze out Yolanda? I don’t know, but maybe. Lisa is good at the game of being a Real Housewife, more than anything, and Yolanda is a competitor for fan favorite at this point. Did she have a birthday party for Ken on a day she knew Yolanda couldn’t come on purpose? I don’t know, but maybe. (I don’t know lots of things, but I have suspicions about almost all of them.)

3. And now for something completely different, let’s watch Kyle and her husband play basketball. Finding new ways to provide exposition about off-camera antics in this show is hard; we can only watch people sit down to have tea or juice together to tell us (by telling each other) what has happened between this episode and the last one so many times before the show is just one long coffee break. So for this episode, they added Yolanda’s ex-husband’s youthful fiance to the mix to make Yolanda’s exposition more interesting, and then they…shoved Kyle and Mauricio outside, threw a basketball at their heads and told them to start talking. And playing basketball. Just, you know, casually. As one does.

4. Joyce has arbitrarily crowned someone Queen of the Universe. Just your periodic reminder that Joyce has claimed that power for herself and now uses it at will.

5. Carlton’s upset she was called anti-Semitic because it could hurt her husband’s business relationship with Jewish clients. I don’t think Carlton is actually virulently anti-Jewish, and I don’t think Kyle was calling her that for any reason other than to improve her own position in their argument, but mentioning that you’re upset because it could alienate her husband’s Jewish clients is probably not the best defense. Carlton welled up a little when recounting how she was harassed as a child in South Africa for having black friends, but she welled up a LOT when she thought about the cash tap running dry.

6. Brandi’s tongue is swollen. That’s what happens to people like Brandi in, like, Greek mythology. It’s too good. Brandi can’t stop running her mouth, so the universe is trying to help her.

7. No one entirely likes Lisa. They have some fair points: Lisa doesn’t spend much time with the rest of the cast, she doesn’t seem to care for their silly little life milestones, she inserts herself into drama in a way that allows her to stir the pot but still look like she’s above it all. On the other hand, Lisa is by far the most famous of the group and generally the most well-liked, and she’s had more outside opportunities as a result of her Housewifery than the rest of them have had. Lisa’s really good at being a Housewife, and I’m sure that bothers the rest of the cast.

8. Lisa was being shot for a magazine while Kyle and Brandi were sitting on a rock complaining about her. As I’ve said before, you can often tell how Bravo feels about the people involved in any particular conflict by how things end up edited together. The juxtaposition of Lisa getting her hair and nails done by a glam squad while Kyle and Brandi were literally huddled together on a rock, sharing Lisa conspiracy theories. All that was missing was a pair of very jaunty tinfoil hats.

9. Lisa forced Cedric into exile in France, apparently. Wait, wait, wait. Can we get some more details on this? Do Lisa’s discarded sidekicks get deported? Where are they going to send Brandi?

Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills both began and ended with two classic Real Housewives fight archetypes. First, Joyce and Carlton did the not-so-friendly one-on-one lunch sitdown, and it was perhaps the most inane one in Housewives history because it was about spells. At the end of the episode, Kyle (again with Carlton) went for the big-blow-up-at-a-supposedly-fancy-party variety of fight, bookending this episode nicely. It should surprise absolutely no one that Carlton was the common denominator in both major conflicts, because she is absolutely incapable of playing well with others.

1. The description of this episode in my cable guide was, “Joyce confronts Carlton about a spell.” Can we just burn down television and try again? We’ve clearly failed this time around.

2. When shooting a book cover, perhaps consider what the book’s about. At first, when we dropped in on Brandi’s cover session, I was like, why is she letting the woman in the plaid pirate shirt overrule her stylists? As it turns out, though, plaid pirate shirt was the only person on set who actually remembered what the book was supposed to be about, and she was totally right. Touche, plaid pirate shirt. Touche.

3. Now that Joyce believes the threats Carlton told her to believe, Carlton is offended. Other things that offend Carlton: Assertions that the sky is blue. When someone brings her phone to lunch, even if she leaves it in her purse and never touches it. (Carlton can sense that it’s there and that the owner is thinking about it.) When someone has a cat that is not black. When someone names his or her child a regular name instead of some kind of random noun that relates back to the mother’s own personality.

4. Carlton believes that it is taboo and rude to discuss religion. It’s too bad that irony, along with aesthetic taste and basic interpersonal skills, is lost on Carlton.

5. Getting a tattoo on the inside of your wrist doesn’t hurt that badly. Ooh! Ooh! I can provide personal expertise on this matter, because I have a large (for the area) tattoo that’s almost entirely filled in on the inside of my left wrist. It did not hurt. It burned a tad, and the line closest to my hand stung a little bit, but it is just not that bad. A friend came with me to hold my (other) hand, and I think she squeezed me tighter than I squeezed her. Kim’s tattoo is much smaller than mine and not filled; it probably took about four minutes of chair time, which isn’t even enough to really get revved up about the consistent burning sensation.

6. Lisa’s has located the cutest puppy on the face of the planet. I have a strong personal bias toward bully breeds being the cutest puppies ever, but Lisa has more money than I can reasonably comprehend, and when you have that much money, it affords you things like puppies who are so supernaturally adorable that they melt the cold, uncaring brains of reality TV viewers. (I include myself in that grouping.)

7. Brandi is doing a cleanse. So she got a vodka soda.

8. If you slept with someone’s husband, don’t wave your engagement ring at her. This seems like common courtesy to me, not to mention common sense if you’re trying not to get punched in the throat, but being on reality TV is like living in Opposite World – whatever you shouldn’t do in objective reality is something that will make you the star of the show.

9. Who did Brandi punch to break her hand? They mentioned that she hit a dude, but did they ever say who she punched? Did I glaze over at some point? That seems like the kind of information I would have snapped out of it for.

10. Carlton is mad that Kyle didn’t want to go into a bathroom at her house in which someone had just taken a huge, smelly dump. All dumps taken in Carlton’s house smells like roses. IT’S A SPELL, OK.

11. Carlton is the victim here. That’s what Carlton would like your takeaway from this episode to be, even if it’s not anyone else’s.

Handbag count: Kyle’s Valentino Rockstud, after which I lost track.

Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was fairly boring in the way that Real Housewives tends to get boring every few weeks: the season’s initial round of conflicts has been more or less resolved, cast members who are good at stirring the pot were mostly absent and Carlton’s attempt at an Eyes Wide Shut-style pool party turned out mostly to be a regular pool party with a couple of naked ladies in liquor-logo body paint. But, but, there were Hustler gift bags! It was spicy, you guys. Spicy and offensive and wild, because that is how Carlton is, or at least how she so desperately wants to be perceived, and she would like to remind you of it constantly.

1. Can we just move Carlton into the Playboy Mansion? All she wants to do is gawk at conventionally attractive women (presumably to emphasize to all of us that she thinks she is also conventionally attractive and therefore deserves to be in their midst) and throw what she is very much trying to imply is a swinger pool party, so why not just ship her off to a different sort of reality show entirely? She can be the Bunny Wrangler in a “Girls Next Door” reboot or something. She will be happier and so will I because she will be off of my television.

2. Kim has fans. Middle-aged men come to conventions to tell Kim that they loved her when she was on television, and…actually, nah, that’s a pretty decent way to make a couple bucks off of being a former child star. She has certainly aged better than the former Teen Idol who came over to hit on her and get some of that sweet, sweet reality TV camera time and rehash the time that he grabbed her butt literally decades ago.

3. Do metal stripper poles not get hot to the touch in direct sunlight? Honest question.

4. Carlton and Kyle are very offended at each other. This season of Real Housewives only has two emotions: drunk and offended. When Kyle saw Carlton’s (hideous) pentagram on the back of her neck, it was partly obscured by the tie to her bikini top, and Kyle asked if it was a Star of David. Carlton whirled around all GOD NO, and Kyle, who is Jewish, got offended that Carlton was offended that she miscounted the points of the dumb star. Everyone is a victim here.

5. WOMBAT BABY. Holy hell what was that thing? Doesn’t Bravo know that I watch this show by myself, at night?

6. It was eight degrees outside this morning. I’m going to fantasize about Yolanda’s hillside ocean view until at least April. This is torture. California, and any reminder that it exists, is torture.

7. Lisa is kind of sick of showing up at dumb Housewives things. She punked out on Kim’s kid’s high school graduation, and now she canceled last-minute for some poorly explained get-together to paint pictures for Yolanda’s daughter, who is going off to school. Lisa has her own show and is sick of being a Housewife – I think that’s beyond argument. We shall henceforth call this Nene Syndrome, but because Lisa was rich before she started this Bravo circus, there won’t necessarily be a moment when Lisa comes crawling back after her show gets canceled.

8. Carlton gets mad about things people do in her dreams. Ever have a sex dream about someone you know in a non-sexual way and then feel awkward around them for the next week? That happened to Carlton and Kyle, except instead of sex it was Kyle saying nasty things about Wicca. In Carlton’s head. While she was asleep. But Kyle is in trouble for it, despite the fact that it actually happened, because people aren’t sufficiently interested in Wicca to allow her to create drama about things that, you know, occurred in objective reality. No matter; Carlton is perfectly capable of starting a fight about something which she acknowledges is totally imagined.

9. Carlton put a hex on Joyce and gave her husband food poisoning. Or maybe, you know, he just ate some bad sushi. You decide which one is more likely! Either way, Joyce went from smugly dismissing Carlton’s threats to seeming as though she is terrified by them, and next week, it appears as though Carlton will deny that those threats happened at all and then become offended by the implication that she would ever threaten Joyce or her family. Which is all hilarious when you consider that Carlton cannot, in fact, cast spells.

Handbag count: Another of Brandi’s Stella McCartney Falabellas plus Joyce’s black version, one blue Chanel Classic Flap Bag, one Valentino Rockstud Tote, and whatever fringey thing Joyce brought to the pool party.

After the imploding disaster that was last week’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, this week’s edition was comparatively tame. When you consider the contents of the episode – two tales of home invasions, shooting lessons, self-defense class, stripper auditions, a confrontation with a drug dealer (Brandi’s dad), a nearly-dead fitness instructor and Governator cooties – it’s surprising that it didn’t feel more tense, but everyone mostly laughed along with each other and behaved.

1. Carlton’s obsession with ensuring everyone around her is traditionally attractive is weird. It is ok to be around people who are average looking; averageness is not some sort of disease that one might catch by standing near someone wearing flat shoes or hair that she farmed on her very own head. Mostly, Carlton’s obsession just makes her seem like a person with a terminal case of The Averageness that she’s trying desperately to escape. It’s okay, boo boo. Buy a pint of ice cream and watch some Say Yes to the Dress like the rest of us. You can’t run from it forever.

2. “He’s upset that in the book I said he was a drug dealer.” Well yes, Brandi, my dad would be upset about that too. Although my dad wasn’t a “marijuana grower and distributor,” so perhaps he would have more grounds to be upset than Daddy Glanville.

3. “Where Arnold goes, the black light needs to follow.” Whatever their flaws, Brandi and Yolanda bailing off the bed when the porter told them Arnold Schwarzenegger had stayed in their suite in Sacramento was totally great and believable and the exact reaction that any woman who has read the TMZ stories about him would have.

4. Brand and Joyce both carried Stella McCartney bags in this episode. Women who agree on handbags can surely use that common ground to build a civil relationship. I know this for a fact. Bravo should send them to Neiman Marcus together for their eventual reconciliation scene. Come to think of it, why, exactly, have we never seen a few minutes of Real Housewives handbag shopping? Get on it, Bravo.

5. Kyle converted to Judaism for Mauricio. If Adam Sandler ever writes a sequel to The Hanukkah song, she can be the butt of a lyrical joke!

6. For her next trick, Brandi will swear in front of small children. This is Brandi’s most consistent trick.

7. Real Housewives Bat Mitzvah! I’m not Jewish, but I LOVE A BAT MITZVAH. I had my first slow dance at a bat mitzvah (to “All My Life” by K-Ci and JoJo), and when I left that night, a boy I had danced with ran out into the parking lot to give me his phone number. (In front of my dad. Who was driving. Because I was 12.) It has all been downhill since then, romantically speaking. My mom even bought me a long, black burnout velvet dress at Express for the occasion and everything. It was the most glamourous night of my young life, and maybe of my old life too.

8. The Housewives are running out of fitness classes. So far this season, the Beverly Hills wives have been to circus workout class, stripper workout class and boxing workout class. I’m sure that LA has a near-infinite number of gym classes for the cast to attend, but eventually, it’s just going to be everyone sitting on the sidewalk outside of a fitness studio, sipping kale juice and looking lost because there is nowhere left to go.

9. Yolanda nearly killed a self-defense instructor. Now that would be a new Housewives plot point.

10. The theme of this episode seemed to be, “The Housewives are under attack.” Joyce went to shooting lessons because two men showed up in her driveway with shotguns and ski masks, someone walked into Yolanda’s bedroom with a gun while she was naked and breastfeeding. Hold on, lemme make sure all my windows are locked and I have my safety whistle on my person.

11. Some of your friends are just gonna be friend-moms. Get over it. I have a friend-mom who is a solid four years younger than I am. The woman is designed to mother. She doesn’t have kids yet, so like a border collie trying to herd the television, she mothers me and others. Lisa is a border collie trying to herd the mid-afternoon Sunday cable showing of Wild Things that is Brandi. It’s instinctual, and Brandi needs to get over it.

Bag count: One omnipresent Stella McCartney Falabella Bag (and another one on Joyce), one Hermes Birkin, one corner of a Lanvin shoulder bag (name undetermined because I am only one woman), one Chanel Cerf Tote.

Follow Closely