Dead guy on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I repeat: DEAD GUY ON REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS. I’m still a tad surprised that Bravo didn’t edit Russell out of this season completely, but there he was last night. Walking, talking, coldly undermining his wife. He was the Russell that we all remember.

Thankfully, Lisa and that old rich dude threw a party grand enough to distract from the awkwardness of Russell’s appearance, complete with camels and a flopping poolside mermaid and gifts of jewelry valued in the mid-five-figures. If you ever wanted an hour of television to leave you feeling poor and confused, last night was your night.

First up was Lisa, who was tooling around Beverly Hills in a white Bentley and making phone calls, which is exactly what you should do while you’re in the car and a bit of “questionable” driver. She was inviting people to her daughter’s engagement party, an invitation that Kyle immediately accepted. When she called Taylor, though, things were a little bit more spotty. Lisa said that Mohamed, who was throwing the party, had gone through a “falling out” with Russell and that he probably wouldn’t be welcome. She didn’t elaborate on exactly what that meant, but, you know, use your imagination. Whatever you guess probably won’t be all that far off. Taylor agreed to attend by herself.

Speaking of Taylor, we then joined her and Dana-Pam to go cake-tasting. Cake-tasting for a five-year-old’s birthday, so that she and 200 of her closest friends can have another vulgar, enormous party for a kid who couldn’t care less and prove to all of her friends that she’s rich. We know that she’s not actually rich, but let’s waste a bunch of money to keep up the charade anyway! This is why they hate us! For some reason, Taylor thought that this ridiculous party would cut down on the backlash for last year’s ridiculous party, but she didn’t really explain why.

In a slightly (but only slightly) more serious setting, Kyle hauled her mother-in-law in to see Adrienne’s husband for a face-lift. Kyle was understandably nervous about her MIL, who is beautiful in her own right, going under the knife for vanity’s sake, and I completely agree with her. Ladies, listen and listen good. I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which is sort of like living in the Uncanny Valley. I see cautionary facelifts every single day, and these are rich women. Rich! And still, their faces end up looking all busted. Just age gracefully. Get a little Botox if you want. Don’t starve yourself down to nothing so that you have some meat on your bones to hold your skin up. It goes a long way. Above all, though, DON’T GET A FACELIFT. Just eat a cheeseburger! Once you’re old enough to need a lift, no one cares if you’re skinny anyway.

And then, suddenly, Mauricio’s mom was under the knife. While Paul cut up her face and stitched it back together, he made some phone calls and offered to set up one of the other guys in the operating room with Kim, which the dude seemed to misunderstand as a positive thing. When Mauricio’s mom got to the recovery room, Kyle had a little panic attack seeing her swollen, bruised face. Although it was a tad dramatic, I can understand her reaction and I’d probably react the same way if a loved one was all bandaged and swollen like that.

Once Kyle got herself together, it was time for another traumatic event: Dinner at Taylor’s house! She and Mauricio schlepped over there for a chef-prepared meal, and we all had to take a good, long look at a man who killed himself a few months ago. There’s no easy way to say this, considering what’s happened since the show filmed, so I’m just going to put it out there: I always have, and still do, think that Russell was a shitty person. I know it’s gauche to speak ill of the dead, but it’s also gauche to trot them out on a reality show and force us to discuss him, so let’s just call a spade a spade, ok?

I certainly don’t wish death on anyone, and Taylor isn’t a particularly sympathetic figure as far as battered spouses go, but watching him undermine her while she went to the kitchen to get more food was gross. He took the opportunity to tell Kyle and Mauricio – who are not his friends, but rather friends of his wife – that they had officially separated as of that day, for seemingly no reason other than to set Taylor up for future embarrassment when Kyle eventually tells Taylor that she knows. It struck me as one of the more telling moments that we’ve seen so far this season.

When Taylor returned to the table, talk shifted to an item about their marriage in Us Weekly which they both seemed sure that Lisa had planted, a suspicion for which they apparently had no evidence besides their own magical powers. Kyle, seeming much more reasonably and mature in this episode than in the last two, wasn’t buying Taylor’s accusations and neither was I. Sure, Lisa knows the editor of Us Weekly. Lisa seems to know a lot of well-connected people in Los Angeles, and by necessity, the editors of tabloids are often such people. That’s not anything close to proof.

In fact, if you know the magazine’s editor in chief, you’re probably too far up the social food chain to be bothered with feeding the magazine gossip about marginally famous reality show also-rans anyway. Besides, people have been talking about Russell and Taylor’s marriage since the first season of this show aired, and as Kyle indicated, everyone who knew them was aware that things were terrible. She’s spilled the details in front of the entire cast and production crew. Choosing one person to villainize is a shrewd way for Russell and Taylor to shift the attention off of themselves and onto someone else, though. I bet they were very accomplished grifters in their day.

Russell made a show of saying that one of “his litigators” would simply serve Us Weekly with a lawsuit, the avoidance of which would compel Us Weekly’s intrepid journalists to reveal their sources. Not only is it now absurdly clear that Russell didn’t have any litigators on staff, but if that’s how things actually happened with tabloids, we’d hear about stars suing them all the time. Instead, those lawsuits are fairly rare and usually well-publicized, mostly because it’s more or less impossible for people like reality TV stars to prove that they’ve been libeled in any actionable way. They’re public figures that have opened their private lives to speculation for financial gain, and people like that are hard to defame. Us Weekly’s lawyers would have chuckled and used the legal papers as a coaster for their afternoon Diet Cokes.

Then, finally, it was time for the party. While Kim made her now-customary call to beg off from the event (during which Lisa accidentally told her just to come and have a drink. Woops.), Lisa and Pandora were getting ready at home, arranging all their diamonds and cleavage just so. After all of that was in its proper order, it was time for the exchanging of gifts! Both Pandora and her fiance received gifts worth well into the five figures, and the only thing it made me realize is that I need to marry rich. Really rich. Not just regular rich, I need to marry Lisa rich. If you know any single, attractive, charming, overwhelmingly wealthy dudes, send them my way. (What? You don’t know any? And even if you did, you wouldn’t introduce them to me? BOO. I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS.)

Once at the party, there were all manner of…decorations? Entertainers? There was a camel? I don’t know, there was all kinds of stuff. Zillions of dollars worth, including belly dancers and a snake that terrified Taylor. And then there was that random mermaid next to the pool, jerking around on the ground like a beached whale and talking to herself. WHAT WAS THAT? Was that Dana-Pam? Did she have to dress up in costume to sneak into the party through the staff entrance? Why didn’t she choose a costume that allowed her to walk?

The party then proceeded to the ballroom, inside of which had been constructed a Moroccan-themed tent. Because, naturally, of course, Mohammed has a ballroom. A ballroom with ceilings so high that another structure can be built within it, and it’s still plenty high for everyone to stand up and have a party. Just, you know, think about that. Definitely think about that instead of thinking about the random partygoer who calls her husband “daddy,” which is a conversational custom that some women have that absolutely turns my stomach. Prostitutes call their pimps “daddy,” never mind all of the squicky weirdness around sexualizing the father-daughter dynamic. JUST STOP DOING IT, LADIES. HE’S NOT YOUR DADDY. And if you’re going to do it, for the love of god, don’t do it in front of your friends or a group of random party acquaintances.

While the rest of our housewives were getting drunk on that old dude’s dime, Kim was having a rather bizarre meeting with her random secret boyfriend. If you had told me a couple of weeks ago that Kim had a man, I would have assumed it was an, “I totally have a boyfriend, but he lives in Canada so you can’t meet him,” type of situation. “What, his name is George Glass? You don’t say!” Then we’d see Kim cradling a picture of him, but it would just be the stock photo that came in the picture frame when she bought it. Sad Kim is sad.

But no, there he was, looking totally sketchy but unexpectedly existent. Apparently Kim’s been dating him for a year but has kept it a total secret from her sister and the tabloid press out of fear that her family would hate him. So, you know, let’s unveil him now, on camera, for the ridicule of millions of people! Because that’s totally easier and less stressful than privately telling your sister that you have a boyfriend. Kim primed him to meet her sister by telling him that no one in her family would like him because they never like anyone, which is always a reassuring thing to hear before meeting your girlfriend’s family on reality TV. She’s been through a couple of baby daddies at this point, but apparently it’s never occurred to Kim that her family doesn’t like anyone that she dates because she picks not-great guys, not just because they’re mean.

Ken the Secret Boyfriend might have been directly from Central Casting, I don’t know. The only background we have on him is his first name, the he’s from the “backroads” and that Kim met him at her mailbox, where he was apparently standing while she was out for a walk. So he’s…her mailman? Did she hit on her mailman? That’s the only person I can think of who it wouldn’t totally scare me to encounter at my mailbox. If that’s indeed what he does, how awkward would it be to break up with your mailman? He would still have to come to your house every day, and sometimes he would have to ring the doorbell and give you a package. He would see everything that was sent to you. Mark your mailman down as another person you can’t date, ladies. He’s right up there with your barista and your favorite bartender.

Back at the party, rich people were doing the stupid things that they do when they all get drunk together. While the professional…contortionists? acrobats? dancers? What were they?…were performing on a table, Kyle decided that she deserved some of the attention too, at which point she hopped up and did a split. For a mother of four in a fancy outfit, that’s kind of impressive on a certain level, I suppose. What was less impressive was Taylor, who sough attention for herself by sticking one of her legs up in the air and showing all of her ladybusiness to everyone standing behind her. Thankfully, the camera was in front.

  • Kate M

    Now I’ve got to re-watch the dinner scene. I felt like the separation news was the story in Us, not actual news that Russell was breaking to Kyle and her hunky hubby. Can I just say how hysterical I found it that Taylor put on an apron to answer the door? I wonder if she bought it just for the occasion.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      I don’t remember exactly what the story was about, but either way, Taylor clearly hadn’t chosen to share the news and he seemed to be aware that she didn’t want to tell Kyle yet. He very carefully waited until she left the room to divulge the information, which is, at best, totally backhanded and nasty.

    • Nancy

      Kate, you are right. The separation news WAS the story in US. Conversation went something like this:
      Russell “Did you see?” alluding to the magazine story
      Kyle “I heard about it” alluding she did not see it
      Russell “We broke up today” refers to the story
      Maurico “And yet here we are eating with you” guess it’s a lie, then

      Taylor goes to fetch the magazine.

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

        This is why I really don’t like livetweeting the episodes, even though I have to. I can’t pay enough attention to always get the fine details. I could have sworn it happened the way I heard it, but between taking notes for the recap and tweeting, I could be wrong.

      • Melissa H

        well, I like your version better, Amanda! haha! And we appreciate you live tweeting! for those that didn’t watch the episode, they will take away the creepiness of the scene and that is what’s important!

  • Melissa H

    I thought the US Weekly article was about Taylor and Russel separating and she was at the table when he brought it up and they made a joke like, yeah right that is why we are here together at dinner. Did I totally space during this scene? Either way, it was awkward and weird and creepy.

    Did you see the mermaid later sliding down the banister?! Crazypants!!!

    Also, I noticed that last episode, Mohamed’s lady was labeled his girlfriend in the name subtitles but this week she was upgraded to his fiancée! I didn’t think I rewind and scan her left hand though.

    • Melissa H

      *didn’t think to rewind..

  • Chicky

    Ok I’m not crazy. I saw the same scene Melissa H and Kate M saw – not the one Amanda described. In the scene I saw Russell and Taylor were aghast at a false article in US Weekly. I did not see a scene before that where Russell told K & M they had separated.

    • http://www.purseblog.com/ Amanda Mull

      There was a moment where he told them that the separation was official as of that day. It was just a moment, and then they showed Taylor coming back into the room from the kitchen.

  • Jamie

    I think that whole scene with Russell was creepy. Not just because he is dead – it was creepy despite the recent occurrences. That dinner scene was probably originally concocted to dispel the “rumors” of the separation. Keeping that scene in was in poor taste. My thought is that it was left in to set the stage for a Lisa vs. Taylor feud.

    Kim’s new beau – I immediately thought of witness protection!

    • Nancy

      Jamie – I think you’re right about setting the stage for Lisa vs Taylor. This is the second US Magazine story Taylor has been upset about and the first time we learn that Lisa knows the editor of the magazine.

  • Kitty

    Oh ladies, has nobody noticed the awful, pink, furry purse thing Pandora chose for her party. Little girls have better dressup purses for sure.
    Maybe Kim’s boyfriend is a paparazzo, hence him hanging around her mailbox.
    I like the new Camille, her tender moment with the camel, as she stroke his head and the big animal totally behaved like a horse with his trusted rider. She also seems like an adorable and totaly clumsy flirter. She tried to flirt with the waiter on last weeks episode and last night with the man with the bongo drums. lol she needs a date asap.

  • ellenbakes

    This episode had “sideshow” written all over it–from the cast of freaks at the engagement party (including the RH contorting themselves) to the most awkward boyfriend reveal in the history of television.

    Truth be told, I was half expecting the mystery man to Russell (that would have been more believable). I mean really which barrel on Hollywood Blvd did they pull “Ken” out of? Did anyone else pick up that there wasn’t an iota (zero) of chemistry between he and Kim? It was like they met just prior to the scene. And if she met him at her mailbox, what the hell? It’s not like they live in NYC where there’s a person every square inch so it’s possible to meet someone that way. (But even then I’m more likely to pull out pepper spray than get his number.) Where she lives, he’s either the mailman or a process server or a serial killer. Either way, Mr. Backroads didn’t add up. Plus he looks like a damn gargoyle (trick or treat?).

    Damn it Bravo.

    • Empress

      AMANDA!!! This recap was hilarious to me!
      I FFwd during the Russell & Kim scenes because they are both annoying, creepy and weird.
      @ellenbakes- I was thinking of the troll from The Three Billy Goats Gruff story… but you just killed me with the gargoyle comment… Overall-loved the Moroccan themed party, but the whole episode was soooo weird….

  • adrienne z

    Kim’s new beau – does anybody actually think that he is a legit candidate for a boyfriend?
    I’ve been a bartender for almost 30 years. This guy to me looks like many old smelly drunk guys that live to drink and drink to live. I immediately thought that he was a homeless guy that she picked up either from an AA meeting, or wandering the street and he happened to be at her mailbox to rest his weary feet. She may have said Hello to him (because she genuinely is a very naive nice person at heart…) and he came back hoping to get a positive response from somebody again. That’s how it starts. You’re nice once and they come back for more.
    If you check his mannerisms, his inability to control and stifle his nasal drip and nose twitches shows lack of breeding. He is trying to be on his best behaviour (especially for the camera), but his inherent lack of class is lost on Kim. All she sees is his suffering and tolerance for the adversities he’s experienced in his life and she finds his demeanor carefree, easy-going, tolerant, understanding, and not-easily stressed which is opposite of her own conception of reality.
    His skin and complexion is grey and dirty. He is not freshly scrubbed. There looks to be years of grime (unless he works as a mechanic or a machine shop) inbedded into his skin. His shirt almost looked like a work uniform or something bought at a thrift store (his one and only “date” shirt)
    I don’t know…. I think Kim is very lost. Remember the guy she picked up at the grocery store? She’ll pick up any “normal joe on the street” that looks twice at her and they are nowhere near her “status” in the community in which she lives.
    I hope I’m WAY OFF BASE, because I think there could be help for Kim if she ever finds the right person, but if I’m right – she is beyond all hope.

    • Nancy

      “If you check his mannerisms, his inability to control and stifle his nasal drip and nose twitches shows lack of breeding.” LOL. Rather lack of breeding, more than likely lack of Sudefed.

      It’s unfortunate that Ken was experiencing what could have been nothing more than allergies. He seemed to be kind to her. And she seemed to think a good deal of him.

      • Amy

        Nancy – I agree. And I also feel that Kim, more than any of these ladies, could use a nice person in her life. I hope he is kind to her – everybody needs a safe place to land. As they say, don’t judge a book by its cover…

  • NCGal

    OMG! Kim’s secret boyfirend looks like the Ex-Con version of Mr. Bean! EEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

  • Ellen

    Check out the link: http://absurdtosublime.net/2011/11/01/meet-ken-blumenfeld-kim-richards-man/

    It shows Kim’s boyfriend wearing a wedding ring! WTH? Is she so out of it that she didn’t notice this little detail??

  • Pam

    What about Mohamed (sp?) young girlfriend. She looks like a fembot straight out of an Austin Powers film.

    • Nancy

      Poor thing. It’s like she’s his personal pet.

    • Kris

      I learned recently Mohammed’s fiancée is Latvian model Julia Lescova, the new face of Guess Lingerie.

      • Kris

        I stand corrected. I just saw a recent interview of hers in Esquire and it appears they just broke up.
        “I just got of a long relationship, so my life switched from doing everything as a couple to suddenly being single. It has its beauty, too, though. – -
        Well I just broke up with my boyfriend, so everything was kind of empty. I’m moved in now, though!”

  • Pinkfeet

    I don’t know what to make of this episode..it seemed so ..slap dash.. not making sense..

    I mean, first the boob buffet at the engagement party ( wtf?), the over whelming heartfelt tear dropping gift exchange from Ken ( does he have any emotions left?) Kyle trying out for the Olympic gymnastic team..and Kim’s ..boyfriend? was he a reject from the “other” Kim’s casting call? You know, the husband one? I was ..mortified when he came on screen and promptly ashamed and mortified to BE mortified..

    Whose your daddy?

    • Nancy

      You know, I think I saw something in Ken that I had not seen before. I got the feeling that he’s very sentimental, but feels that it’s not manly to express himself, so he comes off rather cool. There was a look on his face when Lisa gave the watch to Pandora’s fiance…Ken’s from another generation and that’s compounded with the traditional “stiff upper lip” British credo…

  • shirley

    a clip from the dinner party:
    http://www.toofab.com/2011/10/31/russell-armstrong-makes-first-appearance-real-housewives-of-beverly-hills/

    you can see that russell is sarcastically telling them that they had separated that day, as if to highlight the absurdity of it. and then taylor brings the magazine to the table to show them what was written.

    • Vivid Texas

      Shirley, I agree, I thought the whole “we’re separated” thing was said rather “ironically”. Of course, since these shows are filmed so far in advance, we know that they DID separate, but I didn’t take it as Russell being all back-stabby to his wife.

  • Matthew

    Ok I like Lisa. I really do. But am I the only one who thinks her “Always remember…Mommy loves you” thing is a little creepy? Mommy Dearest, anyone? Shiver.

    • Nancy

      I don’t know…I thought it was kinda sweet (and I don’t like Lisa). But that necklace was gawd-awful….

  • Melanie

    Lol, totally agree with you about facelifts…. Just age gracefully, get lots of sleep and take care of yourself. Dont most of these women realise how butched and distorted they look? That CANNOT be cute to men.

  • Nancy

    Melanie – This look is without a doubt alarming. But to your idea that men cannot find it attractive, I wonder if that’s besides the point. I wonder if a woman who’s “done” herself is more like a badge of honor to these men in these social circles. Plenty of women get face work that’s not scary – we just don’t notice them. It’s an interesting subject…it broke my heart when Jane Fonda, of all people, started doing work. On the other hand, Kris Jenner’s facelift turned out nicely.

  • PhotoGirl

    “Once you’re old enough to need a lift, no one cares if you’re skinny anyway.”

    Sadly, this is not always the case. Let’s talk again when you’re on the wrong side of 40.

    • Blaine

      I adore Amanda, but that one stung.

    • suz

      I’ll second that…..

  • Lorie

    This episode was one dog-faced boy short of a circus.

    I’m not really seeing how Kim was able to hide a boyfriend for an entire year when she can barely dress herself. How’s that work?

  • Ms. Z

    George Glass!!!! Ha! Amanda that was classic…loved the Jane Brady (Brady Bunch) reference.

    • Ms. Z

      Oops…I meant Jan Brady, LOL!!

  • Mirna

    I think Kim needs to go. She’s so boring and always out of it. Can’t stand to watch her.

  • Decor Girl

    Um, did anyone else think it was a little odd when Paul was making phone calls during surgery? He did explain it, but if it was me I’d want the doctor I’m paying to be focused.

    Agreed on the bad necklace gift and Kim’s stalker BF.

  • Sophia

    That random partygoer looked a lot like Janice Dickenson to me, but I wasn’t really paying all that much attention so I’m probably totally off.

  • Somebody’s Mother

    How did I not know about you before today? Recaps such as this deserve throngs of housewife-watching, internet-foraging-the-next-morning-for-one-last-hit-of-drama-to-stick-in-the-bravo-pipe-and-smoke followers. Better late for me than never!Thanks!