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.

Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Nancy

    I think I had a breakthrough last night and have come to understand Taylor’s m.o. Taylor (like all of us) wants to be liked and failing that, she’ll settle for sympathy. Note that she told each and every one of the ladies about her home “situation,” but swore each to secrecy so no one would talk about her (backfire). When Taylor got moved from the sofa Kyle was sitting to the sofa Lisa was sitting on there was a major shift in alliances. Taylor graduated from the popular girl (Kyle) to the prom queen (Lisa) and with that, Kyle fell by the wayside. Lisa was always Taylor’s goal: the prom queen, for she knew with Lisa’s backing she could go far. Kyle will be the loser as Lisa feels betrayed by her and Taylor no longer has any use for her. Why Taylor is mad at Camille is beyond me. She doesn’t have a leg to stand on here – and it’s pretty odd that when Lisa expressed her confusion about Taylor’s public/private persona, Taylor forgave Lisa but not Camille, who seems to be suffering from the same distrust.

    On another note, Ellen Barkin was on Andy’s show and that woman is astute. Wish Andy had let her talk more instead of doing those silly games.

    Finally, if you read Dana’s blog, you’ll learn that the singer at the “party” was her stepson. So this entry “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.” which is pretty much exactly what Dana said, holds no water for me. She wanted to make sure her future step-son got his day in the sun.

    • You do have a point about the order of the festivities, but Bravo would have edited together in whatever order they saw fit, it didn’t necessarily matter when he sang for her stepson to get any facetime. Bravo shows us things out of order all the time, and the unveiling of the gift usually is at the end of a birthday party, particularly when it’s for a bunch of easily distracted elementary schoolers. I thought Russell’s demeanor during that scene was…interesting.

      • Nancy

        Clearly, Russell didn’t like Dana. Neither do I. Bravo’s decision to show this footage is questionable and surely in bad taste. If it was Lisa’s husband saying the same, not much would have been thought of it.

      • Nancy

        Since Russell’s not alive to defend himself, I’m gonna take it upon myself. Let’s face it, people throw parties like this for themselves, not for the kid. That’s a given. If I were blowing tons of money on a party, and I wanted to change things up because a live animal was on the way, the party-planner makes adjustments for me, the client. It was Dana who was “undermine-y,” and she didn’t handle it well. I work with hot heads all the time. When they want something that won’t work, I tell them what the issues are. If they still want to move forward, that’s what I do.

    • Blaine

      Nooo, Taylor’s m.o. is not “to be liked” her m.o. is money and power, and she’ll trade her sob-stories and friendships and loyalties like chips in a poker game. She turns on a dime and can be ruthless, vicious and cruel if it suits her social-climbing.

  • kjon

    I never thought I’d commend Camille on anything but I have to say that I support what she said. Taylor doesn’t seem to have much experience (maybe in real life, too?) being a good friend and seems to have been using the awful domestic violence (allegations?) at her convenience when she felt lonely or needy. Whether or not what she was saying was true, it’s still terrible of Taylor to drum those feelings up in people when she needs attention and then expect those feelings to go away when she wants them to. Usually when someone hears about such acts, they automatically become emotionally involved – even Lisa did – that shit is no joke. That’s why they felt confused when Taylor would pull a 180 and all the sudden everything was perfect in her home. I’m sorry but those feelings don’t just go away. Just because she’s “ok” after an emotionally draining pity party doesn’t mean they have to be ok – especially with there’s violence involved. So again, I was actually proud of Camille for pointing out the real issue – the domestic violence and maybe the anorexia – not Lisa being her bff. It’s sad that she would have to “shovel shit” at Kennedy’s bday party for that. Not like she offered her home, her ear and her heart to Taylor despite what she was/is going through in her own life, which Taylor was apparently not there for. I guess she’s not allowed to apologize either because, you know, reality is insufferable and I’d rather concentrate on this bday party that my kid kind of hates. Just like last year. I worry for that little one because it’s like her mom doesn’t know her at all.

    I think Taylor is very concerned for finding a scapegoat, a distraction. I’ve never seen her act “desperate” for Lisa’s friendship on the show – that’s just to make Lisa feel guilty and look bad. She knows she messed up by spilling (exaggerating?) her marital issues but refused to get help even from her own domestic violence charity. Releasing (selling) pictures of her face to Entertainment Tonight? Shady. Kyle disappointed me by falling for Taylor’s games. Saying that no one has backed her during altercations is ridiculous.

    Excuse the length and the two “s-words”!

  • Carla

    Just watching it now. Adrianne says, “I’m upset because Lisa didn’t come to me for her daughter’s engagement party to stay at The Palms”. Now, to me, “stay at” means it was once planned for there and then the venue was changed. If that is the case, then I can see Adrianne being a little hurt and it’s more then being in a snit over a choice of venue. IF that’s the case. Or maybe she phrased it that way because she assumed it would be at her hotel. I guess we’ll see.

  • Kristen

    Everytime that weding planner shows up I keep thinking of the ridiculous wedding planner, Franck, that Martin Short played on ‘Father of the Bride.’ But that he’s a worse version of Franck. Then someone last night told me that character was BASED on this Kenny Lee guy who has (or is) getting his own show. And he did Brad and Jennifer’s wedding!? Whoa, it’s actually all true too.
    http://m.aol.com/moviefone/default/article.do?mainLink=news&articleUrl=http://blog.moviefone.com/2011/06/15/franck-father-of-the-bride-kevin-lee-brides-of-beverly-hills-interview/

  • suz

    Great recap. Way too much sad drama to even dwell on. Every person, last night was, in some way, rather pathetic…even Lisa caving to the dreadful wedding planner. But, that said, I love reading the recap and all the comments…..thanks.

  • jomarie

    Very disturbing episode. To say that Taylor is manipulative is to understate her behavior. Personality disorder to the extreme. Her daughter was more than embarrased, Haley’s demeaner is broadcasting extreme sufferring.
    I agree that Taylor used Kyle to get to Lisa and the fact that her tactics only served to repulse Lisa seems to have enraged her.

  • NCGal

    Ok…I have to write my piece, here: I think Taylor is a liar. I don’t believe for one second that Russell beat her, I just don’t. With Russell dead, I guess the question/concerns about Taylor’s (and perhaps her daughter’s) safety are moot, but I do not believe for a nano-second that that woman was beat up by her husband. Taylor’s future behavior will be interesting to observe. G_d help the little girl.

    • Nancy

      I’m not entirely sure I believe her either…

    • ali

      I don’t believe her, either. I think the reason the other wives seem unnaturally unconcerned (if my friend told me that she was being physically abused, I would move that friend out of her home and into mine) is because they don’t really believe that the abuse is happening. Russell was creepy, but I never saw any aggression or anger in him. Imagine feeling responsible for someone’s suicide because of your untruthful accusations . . . Anyway, usually women who are being abused don’t like to mention it to every single person they have lunch with – oh, and the entire viewing audience of RHBH.

      • adrienne z

        “Imagine feeling responsible for someone’s suicide because of your untruthful accusations”…
        Awesome Sentence. I often wonder the same thing. Does she feel responsible for his suicide? Or is she Glad To Be Free and now she can gain even MORE sympathy and pity which to her is some sort of acceptance? I’m rather sick of her “Poor Me” attitude which is just a Ruse to get more of what she already had and just didn’t know it. It’s too bad she didn’t get the big Cold Shoulder from the new moneys and the bluebloods. I personally would love to see her sink and soon and get blackballed from the society she so thinks she deserves. She’s a total mess and not even a hot one.

  • Reality Junkie

    I believe Faye Resnick considers herself an expert on abuse because she was best friends with Nicole Simpson, who was murdered by her husband.

    • Nancy

      Yes, that is Faye’s claim to fame. It’s kinda funny how Kris Jenner, who has been pumping her book recently, has said she was Nicole Simpsons best friend.

      • Purse Mommy

        They both were supposed to be Nicole Simpson’s friend

      • Reality Junkie

        And does anyone else find it ironic that Kris Jenner was married at the time to Robert Kardashian, who was a key player in O.J.’s defense team and therefore largely responsible for his acquittal? Nice friend.

      • adrienne z

        I’ve never heard ANYONE mention the Shocked Look on Robert Kardashian’s face when the Not Guilty Verdict was announced to the world. He looked like he couldn’t believe his ears and even turned around slowly to look at Simpson and then back again in disbelief. Kind of like the rest of us felt at that moment. To me, his look said it all.

    • kjon

      This probably doesn’t add any value but I think Robert Kardashian and Kris Jenner got divorced right after the trial. Kris has mentioned that OJ trial was a huge source of contention for her because she was friends with Nicole.

  • LauraJ

    Whatever Paul did to Kim at the spa party seemed to work. Kim looked much younger and less haggard than she has all season.

    I know all of these shows have planned and coerced moments, but I truly believe Camille’s anger/exasperation/disgust during the tea part showdown.

    • Nancy

      Yes, Kim has been looking great since she’s seen Paul. I wonder what he did???

  • Pinkfeet

    @realityjunkie.. I was thinking the same thing. Didn’t OJ hide some evidence at the Kardashian house at the time as well? I don’t believe Kris Jenner AT ALL with her book crap.

    Kim is a brat and Taylor keeps giving her kid things that are so not meant for a little girl. An adult reality singer to sing happy birthday? Yea a 5 year old wants that! A huge horse? Taylor has issues.. more than just her marriage.

    She is already dating the guy from thatTexas reality show thats over.. it was confirmed with Andy on WWHL one night. And that was months ago. Thats mighty FAST for a 6 year marriage? And your husband just offed himself? I mean it took me longer to get over my BF..geez Taylor… she must be really looking for her next money ticket anyway she can.

    • adrienne z

      Supposedly, there was a luggage-type bag (sports-style but probably a Louis Vuitton or similar designer) that disappeared from Simpson’s driveway into Kardashian’s vehicle never to be seen again. There was a photograph of it and then Poof – it was gone. Kardashian knew ALOT more than he divulged and unfortunately since he’s no longer here either his conscience will never be able to set the truth free on Simpson’s guilt. He should have been the FIRST person take the stand for the prosecution and put that lying, abusive murderer in prison.

  • Blaine

    Re: Pandora’s Box invitation … see, this is where young brides really need to take a deep breath & hear out their mothers, or aunties, or fairy godmothers, and save themselves from a future of ridicule from their descendants. The “Pandora’s Box” invitation, besides being far too on-the-nose for charming irony to live, is garish and vulgar. This is no longer the eighties.

    • Nancy

      I agree, it was garish and vulgar. I can’t help but imagine how embarrassed her finance will be when he friends receive it! If she just HAS TO have it, maybe for a baby shower – but a wedding should reflect the couple (to me – I guess others would disagree)

      • Blaine

        My niece learned a little calligraphy and hand-wrote her wedding invitations on good card stock. My wealthier friends couldn’t get over the novelty of it. Purchasing something that’s “perfect” may just be the new red flag that you are cheap.

  • Ivy

    Lol at Kim’s Arabian horse comparison the highlight of this episode for me, I laughed so hard, I mean really?! Although I thought the accompanying sound effect was more domestic alley cat on the offensive than lion which still makes absolutely no sense

    • Kris

      As an owner of Arabians, I found it offensive to my horses. They’re far more intelligent than Kim. ;)

    • Nancy

      exactly like a pissed off alley cat – lol

  • tata

    Seriously… to see Taylor send ridiculous money for her daughter’s bday…. again… when she clearly doesn’t appreciate it… again… was just painful to watch. they got rid of the dog from last year and now, a pony??? cuz obviously, pony is easier to take care of than a puppy…

    and what makes it the most uncomfortable for me is that while all this party party is going on, taylor and russel are actually going through a financial mess. if you read WHY Russel is getting sued for $1.5mil, you’d understand why… it makes me sick to watch taylor just act like everything is wonderful in their life and living so lavishly. taylor needs to stop telling others to be honest and start being honest with herself…. on soooo many levels!

    • Blaine

      It kills me when I see this — parents making a child’s birthday party all about them and not the child. Instead it becomes a business-card flinging free-for-all.

  • Mirna

    I also couldn’t believe Camille got a regular coke and chicken fingers. I’m really liking her this season. She seems more real.

  • Mirna

    And Taylor is really annoying me. You can’t be so damaged by a person and act so happy when you’re around him. She needs help!

  • Charles

    Kennedy’s going to write a very interesting memoir one day.

  • Shirley J

    kim is unique lol thats all i can say

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