Well. Last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills certainly was dramatic, even if the allegations that the group wanted to level against Lisa were often unclear at best and petty complaining at worst. I’m not sure if that’s because the rest of the Housewives aren’t as smart as she is or because Bravo edited the episode to make Lisa look like she was being hounded by a gang of confused harpies, but either way, not much truth was established and some people cried and the husbands had fits over various things.
1. Puerto Rico is not the same as Costa Rica or Puerto Vallarta. Lisa, not so good with her Latin American geography. Better than Kim is with her Spanish, though. No one let her order her own food in Puerto Rico, please. Just Cokes. She’s got that part down.
2. We left the magical Real Housewives world at the airport for just a moment. The weird thing about reality shows like Real Housewives and Jersey Shore is that, although the show claims to depict the cast members’ everyday lives, they strenuously attempt to maintain an illusion of a world in which the cast is still not famous. It adds an extra layer of disingenuousness to shows that already require a significant suspension of disbelief on behalf of their audiences, and getting to watch the paparazzi take their photos for a moment was a rare reminder that the world we’re shown on TV is not, objectively, the real one. The Housewives are actors, in a weird, post-modern sense of the word.
3. Blue is Yolanda’s color. She’s so blonde and tan and wonderful and it’s as though Yves Klein blue was just made to be on her body at all times. Models! They really aren’t like the rest of us at all.
4. Real Housewives are afraid of smart people more than they are afraid of anything. That Lisa is strategic, conniving, a little two-faced and not genuine in all her friendships is not, in and of itself, a problem for any of her frienemies. In fact, if she weren’t all of those things, preferably all at once, she wouldn’t make a very good Real Housewives cast member and probably would have been sent to whatever island Sheree from Atlanta and Alex from New York now live on. The problem is that Lisa’s all those things and smart, which is where she largely differs from her reality TV compatriots. The rest of the cast pretty much proved that was what they were afraid of last night by nominating Yolanda, the smartest of the not-Lisas, to go over and pick the day’s fight, even though the disagreement was really Brandi’s and Kyle’s.
5. When was the last time Brandi called Lisa? You know, that’s an interesting point. (And Lisa brought it up, because she’s smart. Please refer to the previous point.) Brandi’s now complaining that Lisa isn’t mothering her as heavily as she used to (although she previously complained this season that Lisa mothers her too much), but what Brandi hasn’t detailed is how she has tried to maintain their previously strong relationship. So…has she? Or did just sit there waiting for Lisa to friendship all over her?
6. Lisa shoved a bunch of tabloids in Brandi’s suitcase before Palm Springs. The tabloids held fantastical rumors about Mauricio’s infidelity, and Brandi claims that Lisa shoved them in her bag not once, but twice before the group’s trip to Palm Springs. Lisa, of course, denies it, and I think she might be lying. Mostly because it’s a brilliant way to stir the pot, and Lisa is good at strategizing.
7. These people very clearly live in a warm climate. The entire time I was watching them argue on the beach, all I could think was, does anyone understand how many people I would kill to get an afternoon, just one single, solitary afternoon, on the beach at this point in winter? They didn’t even sunbathe, they just started arguing and storming off and questioning each other. If you think back to the Crazy Island episodes of Real Housewives of New York, you’ll recall that they at least waited until dinner time to fight.
8. Brandi wants Lisa to take a lie detector test. About how much she likes Scheana, I think? Or at least that’s what it sounded like at first, until Brandi got around to mentioning that she had heard Lisa knew Scheana was her ex-husband’s mistress long before she maybe set them up to run into each other at a party and combust. (In reality, it was probably the producers, or at the very least, the producers and Lisa together, who had that idea. It was clearly a setup.)
9. Lisa’s basically been caught, but they’re having trouble reeling her in. I don’t know if all the allegations that have been leveled against Lisa are true, but because they mostly seem like the regular Real Housewives plot manipulation in which every cast member attempts to engage with varying levels of success, I’m sure at least some of them are. The cast, as a whole, has been trying to pin Lisa down for a couple of episodes now, and last night, they made their most direct attempts. Which were…fair to middling? Lisa cried, and her tears seem genuine even if they’re not because she’s such a stiff-upper-lip Brit in most situations that it’s striking to see her upset. By not constantly crying wolf in other arguments, Lisa’s bought herself a small benefit of the doubt in this one, which should be a lesson to all future Bravolebrities.
10. Husbands, don’t yell at your wives’ friends. Mauricio looked like a bully when he did it to Brandi last season, and Ken looked like one last night, calling people stupid and all that. It’s not dignified, it’s not helpful and it’s not going to help Lisa win the argument. I can understand wanting to defend your spouse, but in these carefully constructed webs of alliances and audience loyalties, they should probably just take their own advice and shut up.
Bag count: One blue Rag & Bone Pilot Bag, two Louis Vuitton Neverfulls, one Juicy Couture beach tote, one Stella McCartney Falabella that has to be utterly exhausted by now.