We all know what happens when Housewives go out of town, and depending on your perspective, it’s either great or terrible. From a viewing standpoint, it’s great – moving the entire cast even a couple hours from home seems to throw everyone into emotional flux and somehow sever their ties with the tenuous maturity to which they cling back home, in more familiar environs. Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was a perfect example of the phenomena – things were perfectly civilized for most of the episode until everyone sat down for dinner in Ojai.
As is customary when drama is cut off at the knees at the end of an episode, we started right back up at a claustrophobic little two-seater table with Adrienne and Lisa. They were both working up to an eventual apology by trying to accept the mutual delusion that the giant Trojan Horse of flowers at the Sur party wasn’t actually intended to be a pleasantly fragrant middle finger, and mostly, it seemed like it worked. Adrienne apologized for being such a transparent, drama-stirring brat at last season’s reunion, and Lisa explained why she had been hurt and then accepted the apology without going on the offensive or raising her voice. Adrienne didn’t push for an apology from Lisa, even though she clearly feels like she’s owed one (Maloof Hoof and Crackpot and all that – very offensive). So, you know, credit to her for that.
Over at Yolanda’s house, she had an unlikely visitor – Kim. Bravo’s decision to sell Yolanda (a fantabulously wealthy former model who has what seems to be a perfect life) as fast friends with Kim (an alcoholic with very tentative sobriety and a somewhat shaky financial situation) seems like an odd choice to me. Let’s see what they have in common: their hair matches and they’re both going on this upcoming trip to Ojai that Kim is apparently organizing. (“Organizing.”) And really, that was the whole upshot of the scene – they’re all going to Ojai sometime in the indeterminate future and Yolanda can operate an espresso machine.
We then checked in with Brandi, who was meeting with Michael Broussard (who you might recognize if you ever late-night shame-watch Chelsea Handler’s show) about a book she’s trying to get published. Brandi seemed a little awkward in the whole interaction (probably because she’s never had to do much beyond look pretty and be a wiseass for her work, which is a good gig if you can get it), but if anyone can sell her book, Broussard probably can. Whether or not Brandi can write is not at all material to this discussion, of course. Also, in Michael’s exceedingly gay opinion, Brandi’s boobs are perfect. I’m guessing that a lot of straight opinions would agree with him.
Afterward, we followed Kyle and her daughter to the DMV, where her daughter had already failed the written portion of the driving test twice. I remember the driving test. I flipped through the booklet while I waited in line and I passed with flying colors. It’s common sense, and I will not hear anyone who tells me otherwise. But, of course, third time’s the charm – Kyle’s kid finally passed the test and Kyle let her drive the Maserati home, standing on the imaginary passenger-side brake the entire time. My mom still stands on hers whenever I’m driving, and I’m nearly 27 years old and have a spotless driving record. Some things are universal.
Suddenly, everyone was readying themselves to go on the Ojai trip that we only just learned about earlier in the episode. Lisa invited Brandi and apparently Kim told her that was fine, so between that and the fact that she’s been assigned to “host” this trip (and that she actually showed up to do the honors), perhaps Kim is making some progress. And if she is, good for her! She even made overtures to mending fences with Brandi, which is a lot more than I can say for Taylor. When Kim is outshining you with her open-mindedness and emotional progress, it’s time to reevaluate some life decisions.
While Lisa and Brandi were wrapping up a photo shoot for a local magazine and discussing thumb wrinkles (Brandi is decidedly not in favor of them), the rest of the Housewives (except Yolanda, who was flying in later) were arriving at their mansion-for-the-weekend in Ojai. Everyone was super excited about the house – the views, the grounds, the Mediterranean feel – until, that is, they realized that there were only five bedrooms for about a bajillion cast members, plus Camille, who’s now a demi-Housewife. None of them were with their husbands, so I don’t understand exactly what the big deal was about sharing rooms or sleeping in double or twin beds for a few nights – some of these people are actually friends with each other, right? Enough to sleep in the same generalized space? Adrienne, for her part, was only concerned with ensuring that she had a better room than Lisa. The entire thing reminded me of watching a new Real World cast fight over rooms, way back when that was a watchable show and I was 12 years old.
Lisa, Brandi and Yolanda all finally arrived and everyone had their awkward hellos, but on the whole, everything was fine. Even when Lisa and Brandi were shown their tiny little room with their tiny little beds, they didn’t throw a fit. Even if they weren’t happy with it, which was what everyone else assumed, they acted like adults and didn’t sulk or protest. Housewives acting like adults in the face of non-perfect circumstances! What will happen next? Actually, Kim’s already hosting this whole trip and making sure people get places on time, so maybe hell has already frozen over.
Everything was going fine until Brandi and Kim ended up sitting across from each other at dinner. If two people don’t get along, you should never have them facing each other. Even side by side is preferable! But if two people can’t stand each others’ stupid faces, making them stare at each other for a full meal is not the greatest idea. I’m getting ahead of myself, though, because things went just fine at first. Kim said something lovely to everyone, Brandi had some fun trashing her ex-husband, Leann Rhimes and their dumb tabloid photo ops. Brandi even went out of her way to compliment Kim on how smart and wonderful her daughters are, which seemed totally genuine (or at least as genuine as anything can be on reality TV), and they talked at length about being in dark places and being divorced and Brandi apologized again for what she said to Kim last season.
Kim mentioned again how hurtful that had been and started to tear up, and then to my complete surprise (based on what we had seen in the previews, anyway), it was actually Adrienne who jumped in to start a fight. Brandi and Kim seemed to be making real progress toward not hating each other, and out of nowhere, Adrienne announced, “UH OH, SOMEONE’S CRYING,” which is objectively a jackass thing to do. Brandi told her to shut the f— up, which, in my mind, was a perfectly reasonable response to such a rude, callous, drama-instigating move. It perhaps wasn’t the best response, or the most diplomatic, but the action itself was so crass that I can’t imagine I would have reacted differently, in a similar situation.
Because it was Brandi who dropped the f-bomb, though, the whole group piled on to her to register their disapproval. Naturally, we can’t watch a full fight, beginning to end, in a single episode, though, so we’ll have to wait until next week to see things really devolve, figure out whose side everyone takes and see if things devolve from bad to worse. (My bet? Yes.)