Without a doubt, this season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills will go down in Bravo lore as The Brandi Season. Her various dramas and sit-downs bookended this episode, and despite Lisa’s efforts to integrate Vanderpump Rules into the storyline, Brandi and how people react to her, be it positive or negative, is really the person holding the entire thing together. She’s beautiful, flawed, loud-mouthed and often right, which is perhaps the perfect recipe for Real Housewives stardom. Are we sure that Brandi isn’t a robot that Bravo built in the basement at Rockefeller Center?

I really hate it when Bravo starts by forcing us to re-watch most of a scene that we already watched last week. That’s what happened at the top of last night’s episode; we were thrust back into Sur to watch Brandi and Scheana blubber at each other once again, but instead of following Scheana into Vanderpump Rules like we did last week, we followed Brandi into another section of the restaurant, where she sat down to drink pink wine with Lisa and rehash what had been said mere moments before.

Brandi then expanded a bit on how she had viewed her marriage while she was still in it, and apparently there weren’t all that many warning signs, at least not when she and Eddie were physically together. Watching her well up with emotion was unsettling (I’m not good with feelings. Ask Megs.), mostly because it seemed genuine. Relationship are hard, but breakups are harder.

Thankfully, we switched away from the feelings and toward Yolanda’s own subtle variety of insanity. Kyle was visiting her at home and they talked about cleansing and only eating lemon juice for 10 days and how it makes your brain all fancy and sharp. Sugar water for 10 days! Sounds super healthy and not at all like something that people who have disordered relationships with food do. Yolanda may or may not have also hinted at the stupefyingly incorrect idea that it might cure Kim’s alcoholism. Or at least “change her decision-making.” Which, when speaking about Kim and her problems, is sort of the same thing.

While Kyle was pretending to go on a cleanse in order to appease the Flying Dutchwoman, Kim was having a meeting with her life coach. Despite the often scammy nature of life coaches, the conversation she had with her “coach” was about a thousand times more sane and grounded than Kyle and Yolanda’s super-serious talk over spicy lemon water. They posited Kim’s relationship with Kyle is skewed because Kim is no longer drunk all the time and can finally see that Kyle is maybe not a nice person. Sounds plausible to me.

Next up was Lisa, who was trying a new special at Villa Blanca that involved beef and crab risotto and personally tending to the utterly enormous flower arrangements at the front of the house. Meanwhile, Ken and the household staff were constructing a flower-dotted tree swing made entirely out of pink and ribbons and loveliness in the back yard. Lisa came home and swung and continued to have the life of which every single girl on the planet dreams, and Ken pushed her and suggested that they celebrate their anniversary by renewing their vows. I would hate Lisa if I didn’t love her so much.

The show quickly snapped back to reality by sending us straight to dinner with Kyle and that Marisa person who is not a housewife yet but might be someday if she can insert herself in enough drama over the next few weeks. Brandi was the first to arrive (and apparently hadn’t been told that dinner was on the floor because she was wearing a short, tight dress) and announced that she was about to be sued by Adrienne and Paul unless she promises, cross her heart and hope to die, that she won’t ever talk about them again. Will she promise that? Unclear.

The rest of the group, including Lisa, Yolanda, Marisa’s husband, Mauricio and Kim, started arriving shortly thereafter. Marisa’s brother also showed up for reasons that weren’t immediately apparent. Once Kim arrived, Yolanda started questioning her about the Master Cleanse and whether or not she was going to do it, and Kim said that she no longer could because she just couldn’t, ok? She didn’t really have a good explanation as for why, so I’ll go ahead and give one for her: because cleanses like those are terrible pseudo-science BS. (That “high” people talk about? That’s an anorexic’s high. Google it.) If you’re going to torture yourself with a cleanse, at least do one that provides significant nutritional value beyond the sugar calories of maple syrup. Drink some green juice or something. (Ok, fine, I’ll hop off my soapbox now. And yes, I’ve done cleanses. NEVER AGAIN.)

When everyone finally settled into their seats, most of the group took the opportunity to complain about the restaurant’s bad service. Not Kim, though – she sidled up to Kyle to talk about reconciliation and moving forward, and she mostly did the talking while Kyle sat there and tried not to say anything wrong, or anything at all. I’m not entirely sure how the conversation ended, mostly because I got bored.

Elsewhere, Taylor stopped talking about the service and started talking about her troubles with dating and how she still felt like she was cheating on her dead husband. Talk then turned to how Adrienne and Paul are suing Brandi, and somehow, Taylor was suddenly holding Brandi’s hand and encouraging her to stand strong and not to back down and not to cry when people gang up on her. Taylor was also trying to rope Camille into the whole sister-friend lovefest, but she was having none of it. We all remember when Taylor was ready to throw bows on Brandi like three episodes ago, right? And now they’re two ladies fighting the good fight in tandem? What?

Pretty soon, the rest of the group started talking about the lawsuit and Brandi’s comments, and Mauricio made himself look like a giant jerk over this subject all over again. I still haven’t figured out why exactly he feels so entitled to be the last word on the Brandi-Adrienne conflict, but his smug attitude about it has quickly worn away more or less all of the affection I’ve built up for him over the past two seasons. He wouldn’t stop telling Brandi to call Adrienne, and he wouldn’t even shut up about it even when Ken (correctly) suggested that once lawsuit threats have been thrown, any halfway decent lawyer will tell you that you shouldn’t contact the other person at all. Why? Because that’s a good way to get harassment added to the lawsuit.

Mauricio’s brilliant advice? Ignore your lawyer. I’ve gotta agree with Brandi on this one: he would do well to shut the eff up. To be fair, Brandi would also do well to shut up about the difference between whether or not what she said about Kim was untrue or simply incorrect. If you’re going to be a self-described “truth cannon,” it’s best also to be able to graciously admit when you’ve gone afoul of reality.

In the middle of all the yelling and all the extra people at the dinner, it might have been easy to lose one of the most interesting details of the episode: Lisa and Ken both acknowledged that what Brandi had said was true. It was sort of a private aside between the two of them, but Bravo cameras caught it and producers were sure to include it. Sometimes I get the feeling that Bravo producers are talking to us and taking sides through their editing choices, and that was one of those moments. Looks like we know where the network stands on Brandi’s comments.

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