Last night was half an episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, half extended preview for Lisa’s new show, Vanderpump Rules, which managed to turn the entire evening into a nearly seamless two hour event of Vanderpumpian proportions. We’re not recapping Lisa’s show, but we are taking last night’s recap all the way up to the very precipice of Housewifery. Let’s all hope we don’t teeter over into the abyss of restaurant reality TV.
Unbelievably, we started right back at that dinner party. Remember the dinner party? With Morally Corrupt Faye Resnick? From like a month ago? Well, we were right back there with Brandi removing herself from the situation and Faye looking smug and victorious with her fake-tan-fake-hair matching system. If you thought that Faye might redeem herself afterward, as if she had just gotten caught up in the argument and knew she had gone too far in the aftermath, your hopes were quickly dashed. She went on to talk down to Lisa and the rest of the table about anything that might come up, and I’m genuinely sad that Lisa is too much of an adult to have given Faye the verbal reaming that she so desperately deserved. In particular, it was rich irony for Faye to complain that Lisa is a puppet master when Kyle had so clearly brought Faye in to do the dirty work of insulting Brandi to keep her own hands clean. For her part, Kyle didn’t even think to try and stop one of her guests from being run out of the room until Lisa suggested it. Some hostess.
The next day, at Taylor’s house, some sort of healer-psychic-crazy person (aren’t they generally called “energists” on this show?) who knows someone who is somehow associated with Oprah (which excited Taylor) came over to sit in the parlor and give out beads and perch on a settee and talk to the voices in her head. To Taylor’s minimal credit, she seemed pretty dubious of the entire thing from the start, but once the psychic started telling her what she obviously wanted to hear, she had Taylor’s rapt attention. The psychic wrapped up the appointment by revealing what really happened to Princess Diana, which we couldn’t hear because obviously the general public can’t handle it when people drop those kinds of truth bombs.
At Kyle’s house, that reasonable Marisa person from the dinner party came over for a private yoga session with Kyle’s instructor to work out the stress of the failed dinner party. Instead of actually paying any attention to the dude they were probably paying top dollar to put them into poses poolside, Kyle and Marisa gossiped about the party the entire time, and Kyle defended Faye by claiming that she just doesn’t buy Brandi’s apology. What was not addressed was why the veracity of Brandi’s apology was any of her damn business in the first place. (Spoiler alert: It never was and still isn’t.)
Then, of course, it was time for us to visit Brandi and Lisa. They were shopping (in a boutique that looked as though it was chosen for Brandi’s budget rather than Lisa’s), and instead of having any discussion about the dinner party, they did a little bit of promo work to get us interested in Vanderpump Rules. Lisa asked Brandi if she’d like to meet with Scheana, the cocktail waitress who schtupped her husband while she was pregnant. Brandi blames her for breaking up her marriage, which is kind of silly – the only people who can break up a marriage are the people who are in it. I understand not having warm and fuzzy feelings for Scheana (who “didn’t know” that her actor boyfriend was married and apparently never bothered to, you know, Google the reasonably famous dude she was dating), but to get over being cheated on, I think it’s important to place the blame on the person who cheated on you, first and foremost. Brandi’s not doing that, and she doesn’t seem like she’s been able to put any of it behind her. Still, she agreed to meet with Scheana. Lisa is her primary protector, after all, and it’s important to shill for her show.
Back at Taylor’s house, the psychic had vacated the premises and Taylor’s lawyers had conveniently called to discuss a possible settlement to the lawsuit. By now, we all know what the terms were: Taylor’s wedding rings and two of her Hermes bags, which were later found to be fakes. Taylor got appropriately upset at the idea of giving away her wedding rings from her dead husband, but she had little choice since she has no other assets.
Over at Yolanda’s house, she was cooking for her kids and lecturing her model daughter (and the rest of us) about how girls shouldn’t play sports because that’s masculine, and playing volleyball made her fear that Gigi was a lesbian. So let me get this straight: Women should work out like maniacs to maintain their bodies to please their men, but working out for pleasure or for the pursuit of sport and competition is a bad thing that should be restricted to women who don’t want to date dudes. Also, modeling is a feminine activity, and it’s therefore a positive and appropriate activity for a teenager, but not team sports. Ok then.
At Camille’s house, Brandi came over for a Divorce Summit to discuss the states of their respective former marriages. Camille’s kids aren’t allowed to say her name or call her mom in Frasier’s house, which is ridiculous and demonstrates the immaturity and insecurity of the people involved on the other side. In Brandi’s case, she was weighing whether or not to meet with Scheana, and Camille advised her to go ahead and do it. We all know that Brandi does do it, so it was kind of an anticlimactic conversation overall.
Next up, improbably, was Adrienne. She had been totally absent since the episode before last, at which point she and Paul had reportedly stopped filming entirely after their blowup with Brandi. Her return didn’t address any of the drama; instead, Adrienne took the opportunity to plug a skincare line she’s starting with her husband, which is probably on hold now that she and Paul are getting divorced. The scene lasted approximately 45 seconds, and then Adrienne was gone again.
We jumped directly to some sort of group dinner for god knows what reason, at which point Taylor announced she had agreed to give up her rings and her bags in exchange for making the lawsuit go away. Kim’s strange appearances at a local cigar bar were also mentioned by a random dude at the table, but nothing came from the line of conversation; in fact, the scene itself seemed like a throw-away.
And then we were treated to the main event: Brandi and Scheana’s meeting of the minds at Sur. It looked as though Scheana had taken care to wear extra black eyeliner and mascara on her bottom lid to get the maximum visual impact for her tears, a tactic that will do her well if she plans to make a career out of reality television. The back-and-forth between them was mostly what you’d expect (“He took me on trips!” “I was his wife, I was his everything!” “He met my mother!”), but Brandi did ask one thing that I thought was smart: which of her friends knew and didn’t tell her? Now that is one way to find out who you can really trust.
The encounter went about as well as you could expect, under the circumstances, and Brandi mostly came across as mature and reasonable. Scheana generally did as well, but if you watched the premiere of Vanderpump Rules that this episode bled directly into, you know why: she’s set up to be the underdog, partly because of her reputation as someone who goes after other people’s partners. From the first episode, though, it’s hard not to prefer her to Stassi. But let’s not get into that.