Kim Richards, you are a thin-lipped, brain-fried terrifying speck of questionable humanity.
You deserve every bit of the verbal viciousness people currently enjoy heaving your way. You deserve for random viewers and your Bravo co-workers and the maître d’ at the Encino Chili’s to openly question your sobriety – because you forgot where you left it that time when you were high in public and while being paid to appear on a reality show about your life. You deserve all of the shit you are getting, and I kind of hope that someone even tosses gum into your hair while you’re crossing the street and that the gum’s flavor is Blue and that it stays gobbed against your scalp until the very last second of time. Because Kim? You are quite possibly the very worst person I have never met – and just so we’re clear, I’ve never met Robert Durst either, but I’d sooner dine with him on cheese that is passed its expiration date and braid the strands of hair still left on his scalp and listen enraptured as he explains how he didn’t commit any of those three murders before I would deign to sit in a room with just you for five straight minutes. And perhaps if I were more religious, I’d even go ahead and pray for your children every hour on the hour because the level of fuckedupness you have possibly poured into your own spawn makes me fear for the future of this entire stratosphere.
You are a nasty, damaging asshole, the human equivalent of a runny hemorrhoid before it dries crusty, and the very first woman I have ever wanted to call a douchebag – and it makes me nauseous that you think you are doing well, that you think you are coming off as so very composedat this never-ending Reunion when the reality is that you should have been thrown tongue-first off of Witch Mountain back in the days when Ford was still President.
Kim, you seem legitimately incapable of telling the truth and you tell the shittiest and most poorly constructed lies of all time and your best friend is a Botoxed-stuffed monster and the most significant thing the two of you have in common is the fact that you’re both such good mothers. Wait – that’s wrong; it’s that you are both severely allergic to accepting the blame for your own repulsive actions and if you withered away like a slug coated in salt on some broken asphalt in the crushing humidity of a late August evening, I might finally start to believe in the Law of Attraction.
See, that’s the text I would have sent to Kim Richards before the Reunion if I were Lisa Rinna – and not only would I not begin to weep once Kim pulled the incriminating evidence from underneath her bony thigh where she was storing her iPhone for that very moment, but I would have embroidered the entire message on a tee shirt and worn it while I sat on that velvet couch next to other women draped in chiffon and wet Kleenex. I would have made pins and posters that shouted my text message to the world about just how much of an asshole Kim Richards is – and I would get Kyle drunk (or high) and convince her to get my entire text tattooed across her upper thigh and I would have done it all without a moment of hesitation or even a shred of guilt. Hell, I would turn Terrifying Text Day into an annual holiday where the traditional main course is created entirely out of pureed painkillers.
Lisa Rinna played it all wrong is basically what I’m saying. She soberly and somberly nodded as her “threatening” text was read by a woman who publicly attempted to destroy Lisa’s marriage instead of reclining against those overstuffed pillows on that bullshit couch that I’m really sick of looking at and saying, “Yup, I sent that message. And?” Instead, Lisa burst into tears and actually apologizedto a raving madwoman and I’m not sure that I will ever recover from that moment because I’m entirely of the opinion that Lisa should have taken great pleasure in destroying Kim.
I’m doing it – and it’s been pretty fucking fun. And it’s also an entirely warranted reaction. You don’t want to be judged or questioned? You want people to stay out of your business? Then don’t go on a reality show where the sobriety you are hanging on to by a lice-ravaged thread of hair is the only storyline you have ever had – other than owning a dog you refused to properly train that everybody expected to maul you somewhere back in the middle of last season. We were all wrong about that one – I blew my bracket terribly – but who could have known that it would be Kyle’s kid left bloody by that dog? And who could have known that her own aunt would blame the kid for everything?
Yes, my friends (I feel like we are friends now, like we’re the only group of survivors left dazed but alive after an apocalyptic event that involved wineries, public discussions of pubic hair, wine tossing, and Adrienne Maloof impersonating a magician), this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is finally over. And as it sputters to a sad and whimpering close, I can’t help but think about how excited I was back in the autumn for this season to start, how thrilling it felt to see the commercial for the show while I tried on brand new suede boots I’d bought for the winter that has a heel so thin and high (THIN & HIGH should be Kyle’s new nickname, one she won’t fully hate because it does include the word “thin”) and I never wore them once because here on the east coast, the ground was covered in a thick layer of ice from January clear through April.
But I digress. What’s important here is that the season is almost just a hazy memory and now it’s time to take stock of what we have learned along a journey where at some point I must have sipped acid-infused water because there have been many nights where I almost could not believethe nonsense playing out on my television screen by people who are permitted to both vote and procreate. Unsure how you feel about protecting our rights to birth control? Think about Brandi popping out a new kid next time you walk in the voting booth – it’ll be a terrifying exercise that might require a full exorcism at a later date, but it could prove worthwhile.
The final part of this Reunion begins with some silly and sassy updates:
· Lisa Rinna now owns the crown of Profanity Guru for saying “fuck” more times than anybody else on the show. And though it wasn’t acknowledged, Brandi wins the Cunt Crown, which is really just a plastic tiara she keeps underneath her pillow for the times she likes to pretend that she was born Lisa Vanderpump.
· Kyle really hates the word “pussy,” and while it’s never been an issue for me, I convulse visibly at the sound of the word “moist,” so I get it. And I will avoid joining together the words “moist” and “pussy” because I am fucking classy.
· Speaking of classy, Lisa Rinna has trimmed her bush! The trimming of her pubes saddened her husband, but it didn’t sadden him nearly as much as it did when Kim Richards dropped by his house for a terrifying moment of insanity that led to her disappearing for a while into his bathroom, screaming at his wife in the car, and then spending an entire season blaming only the sober ones.
· Brandi is still in touch with the mover she banged early in the season, but he hasn’t been around recently because he’s back at Chico State. Yes, Brandi apparently only nails young guys who don’t know any better. I hope this one does well in his Freshman English class and that he chooses Brandi as the topic for his essay on The Most Remarkable Woman I Know, but only if the assignment is an exercise in how to create irony out of a simmering pile of dogshit.
· The frozen look of pure revulsion that flashes across Kyle’s face as Brandi discusses the guy she dated who recently lived in a dorm is hilarious and I recommend that you immediately stop reading this recap and go back and pause the action at that precise moment so you can fully experience the horror churning away inside of Kyle’s spleen. She almost turns another color in that instant, and her expression reminds me of how Emily Post might appear if someone approached her table in a restaurant to ask whether or not a dental dam made out of a peach Fruit Rollup would be an appropriate wedding gift to give a couple – and if it would be acceptable to wait over a year to send it.
Just so we’re all abundantly clear, that was the light, happy stuff. Everything from here on out is misery thrown up chunky-style by despondent sisters, an alleged anorexic, and two blondes who are undoubtedly teetering on the slippery precipice of full-blown delusion.
I miss the lighter days of this show, back when the action involved things like suicide and alleged spousal abuse. And yes – that’s how fucking sick and twisted it’s gotten; I find myself longing for the happy days when Taylor had to slowly explain to her five-year-old daughter why they didn’t have a private jet anymore. After all, I think we all remember just how crushing it was to learn that the private jet had gone away from our lives; for me, that moment was a hundred times worse than finding out that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real, that my parents were getting a divorce, and that one day I’d be unable to turn away from horrible people doing dastardly things on television to secure themselves a brand ambassadorship for a very shitty line of wines.
Speaking of lines, I hope that Kim has been doing some because I desperately need to believe that there is a logical reason for the consistent psychosis she exhibits hourly. And the whole text message argument made me realize that this entire season has literally been about two things: Kim taking a pill (but-that- doesn’t-mean-she-lost-her-sobriety-and-fuck-you-for-thinking-such-a-thing-and-just-so-you-know-everyone-who-you-ever-loved-cheated-on-you-with-a-posse-of-traveling-circus-workers) and Brandi refusing to take accountability. That’s it, the entire season. I mean, sure, we had random tangential interludes that involved milkshake-gulping scavenger hunts and questionably-heterosexual Danish Princes and Lisa’s son wanting to explore his ancestry, but those storylines started and scooted forward and then ended and they mattered so little – they were storylines so negligibly explored – that it took me a good five minutes to think of any of them. This show has legitimately morphed into an exhibition put on by two ruthless and irrational women and the rest of the time is spent allowing the ones in their midst who have a smidgen of logic or decency to react to their antics.
Since there’s really nothing else to talk about, Andy Cohen again revisits the Lisa Rinna/Kim brawl, the one that happened because Kim lost both her sobriety and her fucking mind. Turns out that they haven’t spoken since the night of the finale party, when Kim refused to believe that Brandi also once questioned just how sober she has been – and she still refuses to believe that such a thing transpired even though she watched it happen on the show. I know I’m being snarky but that’s some next-level lack of self-awareness right there. It’s almost kind of impressive. It definitelyshould be studied. And then it should be caged so it can do the world no further damage.
But wait! It turns out there’s still more to squeeze from this storyline because, while they haven’t spoken in person, Lisa did send Kim a text. It was a text so horrible, so vicious, so threatening, that Kim Richards is now in fear for her life.
What did it say? “Be very careful or I will fuck you up.”
Look, that certainly wasn’t a kind text, but I’m all but positive that it doesn’t warrant Kim hiring a bodyguard or Lisa sputtering out an apology and tears. Desperate to get as much mileage as he can out of these lost women on Bravo Island, Andy asks Lisa why she is crying and she explains that being shut down is an emotional trigger for her because her father used to do it to her. And just as her emotion is reaching its sad peak, the creature masquerading as a hammered human begins to cackle.
“She’s gonna cry now,” laughs Kim. “The truth is that you have a problem and you want to hurt people.”
The icky waves of joy that reverberate across the dilated pupils of Kim’s eyes when someone sits devastated before her is quantifiable – and it’s tantamount to that glint of evil that’s drawn into the eye of a cartoon villain, except the cartoon villain has both more compassion and eloquence than Kim.
“There’s something wrong with her,” Kim continues with astonishment in her voice, and then she starts getting really into it, harnessing the same level of emotion she must have employed when she performed that Ibsen monologue to snag her role in Sharknado 3. “I bet if you look her up, she’s got a record of…” – and then she mimes strangling someone as she desperately tries to find her words before she comes up triumphant: “…batter.”
In the first round of Empathy Musical Chairs that occurs during this seventeen-part Reunion, Eileen gets up and walks over to Lisa to console her, telling Kim to cut it out, that Lisa has felt badly for months after sending texts that I personally think weren’t nearly threatening enough.
“Kim, I felt so provoked by you,” Lisa tries to explain to a person who has zero capacity for truth or for kindness or for knowing how to rig the Who Will Be My Best Friend game so you don’t end up with Brandi, who has morphed into someone so astronomically awful that I’m starting to believe that the whole thing has to be an act – a part of a long con she’s running – and that someday we will elect her to rule the entire world.
I mean, fuck…there’s got to be a reason, right?
Well, maybe – but there is absolutely no reason swimming around in Kim’s noggin. As far as she was concerned, after snapping at Lisa to shut her emaciated face on the plane and then sweetly chanting “Everybody will know…” at her over dinner, Kim thought the issue was far behind them.
“We left Amsterdam all huggy-duggy-doo-doo,” said Kim, to which Lisa responded, “We did notleave Amsterdam all huggy-duggy-doo-doo,” and it became evident to me at that very second that I might need to start watching more Downtown Abbey, a show where people only speak real words.
Huggy-duggy-doo-doo or not (God, I hate myself right now), Kim is still snickering at the wetness streaming down Lisa’s face and Andy Cohen glances over at her like she’s a science experiment gone berserk and asks her why she is laughing at Lisa’s tears.
“Because I’m an emotionally-bereft shell of a carcass,” sighs Kim with acceptance.
Oh, wait: that was my Imaginary Kim who said such a thing, the Kim who haunts me every single time it rains. The Real Kim declares that she doesn’t believe in the authenticity of Lisa’s tears, and I’m not positive that I do either, but it cannot be denied that those tears and that emotion did not spring from nowhere. That emotion exists because she watched Kim behave in a way that would have made Kerouac roll over in his tomb and whisper, “Now that chick is messed up.” That emotion exists because Kim taunted her with a menacing and malicious glee. That emotion has existed since the day the producers forced her to carpool with Kim Richards and that Lisa has not become agoraphobic because of her trauma illustrates that she’s got some strength inside her somewhere.
Maybe it’s just been hidden by her giant bush.
What finally gets this bullshit to reach the closest thing to a resolution that might possibly exist is Brandi, who leans over to her best friend and tells her not to bother fighting with Lisa or explaining things to Lisa because Lisa is crazy. That’s right – Brandi and Kim have mutually decided that someone is crazy and that probably means that Lisa Rinna is the sanest woman on either hemisphere, but I just cannot care anymore. And I genuinely almost gagged when Kim decided to concede to the irrational woman on the other couch by getting up and hugging her.
Listen: the Governor of New York just managed to pass ridiculous laws about Education, my elderly dog might need to start wearing diapers, a guy I thought I liked wears pants that need to be several inches longer than they are, and it took me until 2015 to begin to watch Friday Night Lightsand there are fifty-three episodes and I’ve only watched four so far and the show reminds me of someone I know and I obviously need to come down with mono so I have time to watch the entire series. I bring all of this up so I can better explain that I really don’t need this Kim and Brandi shit. I believe I’ve suffered enough. I believe we all have.
But you know who must not feel like she has suffered enough? Kyle. And I say that because I can think of no other reason for why she continues to engage with her tragic sister. I get that family bonds are important – of course they are – but bonding with a mindless creature who only reacts and can never reflect is a fool’s game and Kyle keeps losing round after round. And we’ll get to the showdown in just a moment, but first there are space cakes to discuss.
Andy Cohen, a weed superfan, wants to know why the women were so reluctant to take a nibble and the biggest reason seems to be that they were uncomfortable about doing it on television because they are mothers. Kyle’s main reason for shooing the cake away was because she heard that you would not be able to gage how much weed you would ingest if you were eating it, and as someone who once saw the future after eating two brownies, she has a point. As for Brandi, she didn’t indulge because she was in a lawsuit with her ex-husband at the time and how would that look? Um, I’m guessing it would look slightly better than sleeping with a twenty-three year old while you are drunkety-drunk-drunk and heralding his “beautiful cock” while on primetime.
But the real reason for bringing up that night in Amsterdam is so Andy Cohen can ask Brandi about why she was so angry at Kyle to boldly proclaiming to a world that doesn’t care that Kyle has smoked before. Kyle thinks it’s because Brandi believed that she was saying things about Brandi being a bad mother and that her kids should be taken away from her, and then she asks Brandi if she saw any evidence that she has ever said such a thing, to which Brandi responds that there’s a lot that doesn’t make the final cut of the show. Okay, who here with even the faintest glimmer of a pulse believes that Bravo would not air such incendiary comments had they been recorded? Yeah, me neither.
And still the weed debate rages on. Brandi says that Kyle is a liar and that she likes to smoke. Kyle maintains that it’s not her thing; she doesn’t like to feel out of control and weed makes her neurotic and she feels like she can’t breathe.
Please remind me never to smoke with Kyle. Please also remind me to visit Amsterdam.
Before I can imagine myself twirling happily beneath a windmill with Yolanda’s very first boyfriend, I am brought back down to the depths of reality with a thud because Kim pops back in to maintain that she is not struggling with her sobriety, she has never struggled with her sobriety, and she has been sober for three straight years. And if that’s the truth, then I am more alarmed than I have ever been because then what the fuck is wrong with her? If it’s not chemicals wrecking havoc with her brain, is Kim just like this? Is this jittery composure and aversion to honesty just who she is? Because if yes, then holy shit.
And now, with her sobriety once again proclaimed to the masses, it’s time to get into the Kim/Kyle thing (again) and explore why it is that these sisters despise one another with such a passion. As Andy Cohen introduces the montage of visual proof of that hatred, Kyle looks miserable, Brandi manages to look both defiant and afraid at the same time, and Kim looks like she maybe sees a pretty bluebird that can speak in the distance.
The clips are horrible. These people are damaged and they continue to air the poison between them to the world. It’s really quite insane when you think about it, but there’s not a whole lot of time for reflecting when Kim has some deflecting to do and she begins by saying, “There are some things that are outside this group that have happened and I have been hurt a lot,” to which Kyle responds that she too has been hurt. And then the dog discussion starts and the entire thing was grosser to watch than when I accidentally walked by a television set showing a face lift and I couldn’t change the channel because I couldn’t find the remote and I just stood there and watched the blood and the veins and the doctors, and I would rather watch that procedure on a loop than ever have to see this terrible interlude again.
Where to start? Well, Kim’s dog bit Kyle’s daughter and the bite was bad enough to keep the kid in the hospital for five days and on an IV drip for three weeks. And what upsets Kim the most out of anything – no, it’s not that her niece was in pain or that her sister was afraid or that it’s not very nice for her dog to maul family members – is that Kyle Instagrammed a picture of her daughter in the hospital and everybody made the connection that Kim’s dog must have been the one to take a chunk out of that hand. Then she goes on to say that all the injury involved was “a bite on her fucking finger.”
At merely the notion that Kyle is getting stronger and ready to confront some stuff (potentially helped by Lisa Rinna who is mumbling that Kyle needs to stay strong and make Kim own that dog bite), Kim loses whatever is left of her decency – it was just a dusting of decency, but it was there – and she shuts down whatever SECRET was about to come out of Kyle’s mouth with a legitimate threat: “I’ll tell the story and you won’t like it,” she hisses and then a look comes into her eyes so blistering in its frigidness, so predator-like in its retaliation, that if there had been even a single doubt that this kind of attack response has been the way Kim Richards has always lived a life where she guarded her secrets more than her sanity, that doubt can now be put to bed.
“You want to have an honest conversation?” asks Kyle, and the screen becomes split so we can all see how the word “honest” is like kryptonite to Kim. She can’t even look at it, so instead she just stares at her sister and snarls, “What did I tell you? You want to threaten me?” And then, with an evil smile trembling on her lips she trills, “Want me to tell?”
Andy Cohen kind of cuts what I was hoping was about to be a duel to the death short by asking where Kim’s dog is now and when she responds that he is at the trainer’s, Andy looks straight at her and asks, “Is that true?” to which Kim just sits frozen and kind of nods and then tells him to drop it, which is Step 13 of the sobriety program to which she is so committed.
“Certain things are personal,” says Kim.
“So why do a reality show?” asks Lisa Rinna, but there is of course no response to a question composed purely out of logic.
“I’m not going to say anything,” says Kim.
“So you’ll just imply it,” responds Andy Cohen – and Kim doesn’t have the ability to look even slightly chastened by what he has just said to her.
A few more things transpire. Lisa Vanderpump tells Kim and Kyle that they must somehow mend this fractured relationship so they won’t have regrets about being estranged. Lisa Rinna and Eileen both agree with comments they made earlier, that the relationship between the sisters is dark and borderline abusive. Brandi maintains she is not the problem between Kim and Kyle. And then it happened, and it was like a glittering angel from the reality show heavens fluttered down to Earth because as Kyle was saying that she had no recollection of giving her sister the finger, Kim leans over to Eileen and whispers, “It’s like when I called you a beast. I didn’t know I did that. I’m sorry,” and Eileen just stares at Kim with a blank face until it can finally just be over.
“Where do you go from here?” asks Andy, and neither sister knows, but Kim says that she doesn’t see how it can ever be resolved when they “keep throwing shit into the fire,” and I’m ashamed to say that it still stuns me that this woman doesn’t understand that when things are this compromised, you have to cover yourself in the simmering ashes of that fire to finally put those flames out for good. This is a relationship that I’m betting will never work, and that’s sad, but how can things be resolved when one person reacts to things that only happened in her time-lapsed imagination and the other person is reacting to what has actually transpired?
As the final segment finally arrives like it’s a stallion ridden by Prince fucking Charming, we learn that Kyle is sad, that Kim doesn’t know what’s next, that Brandi does not want to break up a family, that neither Lisa Rinna nor Eileen fully realized how insane being on this show would be, and that Lisa Vanderpump would once again like to suggest that the sisters work through the piling heaps of shit that has grown into a towering inferno of a raging mess.
The final moment of these Reunions usually involves the ladies clinking champagne glasses together while pretending that the past is behind them, but perhaps out of respect to Kim’s sobriety, the toast and the probably-necessary intake of alcohol does not transpire. But not to worry; Brandi heard that Kyle has a bong in her purse.