When I try to think of ways to describe last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the only one I can think of is “awkward.” The show started with Russell being outed as a wife beater and ended with Taylor regaling 250 guests with tales of how wonderful her family is and how happy they make her. I can see why the other cast members are becoming tired with Taylor’s dual narrative.
I’m not an expert on domestic abuse (although apparently Faye Resnick is?), but I’m finding the scenes with Taylor or Russell increasingly difficult to watch. It seems inappropriate to view this kind of thing as entertainment, particularly since half the time, I don’t even like Taylor or find myself feeling particularly sympathetic toward her plight. Even grifters don’t deserve to be abused, though. I just have to keep telling myself that.
This episode started by picking up right where we left off at the tea party, with Camille outing Russell as a domestic abuser and Taylor having absolutely zero reaction to it. Apparently these weren’t things that Taylor had only confided in Camille – Taylor had told everyone at the party at one time or another, including even Lisa, but everyone was supposed to be quiet about it. Camille, lip quivering and obviously upset, just couldn’t abide the elephant in the room any longer, not with Taylor sitting there and demanding that everyone be entirely truthful.
After saying what all of them already knew, Camille got up and stormed out, giant Louis Vuitton bag in tow. That left only Lisa, Taylor and Kyle at the tea party, and after a few more words between Lisa and Taylor, everything was declared resolved. Those two seemed satisfied with it, but Kyle’s reaction was more in line with mine – WHAT THE HELL? And why did everyone move on from the subject of Taylor getting beaten up by her husband so quickly? Doesn’t that merit a little more conversation about Taylor’s personal safety, at the very least, even if those conversations have also ostensibly been had at other times? I don’t see why the group wouldn’t want to capitalize on getting that information out in the open.
Over at Kim’s new house, she and her boyfriend-troll were putting a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge on the wall and then Kim said she was an Arabian horse, which made absolutely zero sense, even in context. The roaring lion noise she made afterward made even less sense. Horses don’t make lion noises, as a general rule, but who knows what’s going on in Kim’s drug-addled haze. Whatever she was on that prompted that entire little monologue, I’d like to have some, but only for weekends. That’s not the kind of stuff that I can be saying during the week.
Kyle’s new house was our next stop, where Faye dropped by to whip a bunch of fabric swatches out of her croc Birkin and talk about the tea party. Mario also showed up, and the three of them talked about the patterns of domestic abuse and how awkward it was to know these things and be asked to keep them quiet. Naturally, Kyle was worried that Taylor would face retaliation if Russell found out that people knew, but that’s part of the cycle. Their concern seemed surface-level, though, like they almost didn’t believe that it was really going on. Faye mentioned that she had never noticed physical signs on it, like Camille also said, but longtime abuse victims get good at covering the marks.
Next up was the issue of Pandora’s bachelor party in Vegas, which Lisa was not so keen on attending. Pandora insisted, though, and she had brought a sparkly, baby pink bridesmaid’s dress along with her to entice her mother. Although Lisa was skeptical over partying with a bunch of 25-year-old, pink and sparkles goes a long way toward motivating her. The party was to be held at Planet Hollywood, where Lisa very conveniently knows the founder, because Lisa knows the people who own everything. That’s just how she rolls.
We quickly moved to lunch with Kyle, Camille and Adrienne, the most interesting part of which was Camille’s order. Ladies and gentlemen, this was the first Coke-and-chicken-fingers lunch in the history or Real Housewives. Full-calorie Coke! I love this new, Frasier-free Camille! (Even if she did say “goat” instead of “goad” at some point. That’s how we know it’s still really her in there.) I think Camille also had cake at some point. I’m pretty sure I saw cake on the table during the conversation.
Oh, right, the conversation. That’s what we’re supposed to be talking about. It was made clear that all three women had been made previously aware of the abuse in Taylor’s marriage but were then asked to not do or say anything about it, even to each other. Even though everyone else knew, and they all seemed to know that everyone else knew. Under those circumstances, it was only a matter of time before someone in the group said something to someone else, but I’m a bit disturbed that no one seems more concerned. Perhaps because Taylor has done a good job of disguising physical indications of the abuse? Perhaps simply because none of them like Taylor all that much? Perhaps because it’s been going on so long that they’re a bit jaded by Taylor’s conflicting stories about the state of her marriage? Who knows.
Speaking of Taylor, she was out at a big ranch to get ready for her daughter’s birthday party. 250 people, a mechanical bull, a fish taco truck. Those all seem like things that kindergarteners love, especially fish. Following our introduction to the party that would come, Taylor spent at least seven minutes of the show panicking over the absence of 10 children’s tables, which were eventually found after she asked every vaguely brown dude that she could find if his name was Jaime.
Once the tables were found, Taylor could change into all the neo-Native American regalia that she had borrowed from Countess LuAnn for the occasion, including more turquoise rings than most people have fingers. She went about her job of hosting the party by flirting shamelessly with Ace or whatever his name is, the American Idol reject who they had paid to write a song about Kennedy that later made her cower in embarrassment. And, I mean, I can’t entirely blame her. I don’t watch American Idol, but Ace could get it. Ace was his name, right?
Elsewhere, Lisa had declined her invitation to Taylor’s kid’s party in favor of spending the day wedding planning with her own daughter. They had yet to fire that idiot wedding planner with the indoor sunglasses from a few weeks prior, so he showed up again to convince Lisa and Pandora they they should have giant, hot pink, flower-and-rhinestone-covered boxes instead of paper invitation. And, I mean, “Pandora’s box.” He kind of had a point. Credit where credit is due. (Actually, it was Pandora herself who said it. I’M REVOKING THE CREDIT.) The invites cost $150 apiece, though, not counting how much it will cost to ship each one of them, and even Lisa balked at that price. Lisa, for all her money, doesn’t seem keen on wasting it on something like kitschy invitations. That’s probably why she still has so much of it in the first place.
Back at Kennedy’s birthday party, Kim actually showed up for once, and she seemed fairly sober and lucid. Brandi also showed up, this time without crutches but with a short blonde girl to lead her around the festivities. I’m slow to criticize Brandi for the crutches or cast because I’ve broken and dislocated my own ankle about a zillion times (and currently have it wrapped up, even as I write this), but seriously, I’ve never needed a small guideperson to lead me around, not even at my worst. And I have the kind of ankle X-rays that make orthopedists point, mouths agape, filled with confusion and wonderment.
While Brandi was hobbling, Taylor and Kyle stepped aside to discuss Camille, who Taylor was furious at even though she didn’t say anything that the rest of the people in the room (and probably even the production crew) didn’t already know. Really, though, that’s classic Taylor behavior – she loves to shift the focus to someone else and the wrongs they’ve done when people start asking too many questions about her. So of course Camille is the bad guy, for acknowledging the elephant in the room that everyone else had been instructed to ignore.
Kyle continued her duties as the entire group’s therapist when she sat down with Adrienne, who immediately started complaining about how hurt she was that Lisa’s daughter’s bachelorette party was going to be at Planet Hollywood instead of at her casino. Since Lisa wasn’t available to comment on why she chose Planet Hollywood (and really, The Palms is much cooler anyway), Kyle just sat there and looked uncomfortable because she clearly wasn’t privy to that decision-making process. Lisa mentioned at the beginning of the episode that the Planet Hollywood founder was a family friend, so I guess when you’re a woman who knows multiple casino owners, someone’s feelings are always going to get hurt.
After an awkward minute or two with Dana-Pam and Kim discussing their mutual ignorance of all things vaguely western, Brandi approached Kim to break the ice and apologize. Unfortunately, the ice hadn’t thawed enough to break, and she was rebuffed. The interaction was fairly calm and quiet, though, so I give them both credit for not throwing a shit fit at a child’s birthday party and ruining the entire thing. Even if the entire thing was already crass, obscenely expensive, and really about Taylor and Russell instead of their daughter. Speaking of which, Russell got all undermine-y with Dana-Pam about the order of events for the party in order to insure that the maximum number of people would be present to see the extravagant gift (a pony) that he got for his daughter so that everyone could congratulate him on being a great dad.
Before the pony could be trotted out, though, we first had to listen to the awkward song by the ex-American Idol contestant and his head-tattooed band (nothing says “kid’s party” like a tribal pattern above the shoulders!), much to Kennedy’s intense embarrassment. It speaks well of the kid that she still has the capacity to feel shame, considering who her parents are and the mess they made for themselves (and for her, sadly). Maybe Kennedy and her new pony can ride off into the sunset together. One can only hope.