Just like real estate wives all over the country, Kyle Richards is borrowing her husband’s $150 million Malibu listing to throw herself a party. Don’t worry: It’s not another tired, played out white party. She’s going with a Great Gatsby theme, which is almost as tired and played out.
Kyle calls Lisa Vanderpump and begs her to come back from vacation for the party. Yep, that’s right: Cue interview with LVP talking about how hard she works and how much she needs a break. Change the record, lady. Lisa tells Kyle she’s in France and isn’t coming to her party, but Kyle says she knows LVP won’t miss out on a chance for attention.
Lisa Rinna’s husband Harry Hamlin is the best Real Housewife husband ever, right? He’s making fresh blueberry pies – and all the other food – for the barbecue he and Rinna are hosting for the ladies. Lisa makes a big deal about how her barbecue is going to be super normal and laid-back, in contrast to Kyle’s gowns-and-no-grill ‘barbecue.’ So of course, Eden Sassoon rocks up in stilettos and heavy makeup. Dorit Kemsley shows up in a simple, classic chambray shirt and white jeans combo, with a pair of aviators, a killer clutch, and her hair in loose waves. As weird and try-hard as Dorit can be, she’s genuinely a super-attractive woman. She’s growing on me as she seems to be avoiding her attention hog act right now.
Kyle, for whatever reason, is wearing all white, including a blazer. At a cookout. Camille Grammer is there in mom gear, while Erika Girardi manages to be casual fabulous in a satin bomber jacket and statement jewelry. Harry and Lisa’s teenage model daughters come out to fangirl out over her, and are rightfully starstruck.
Eden pulls Dorit aside and starts talking about her “issues” with Kim Richards. The issue, let’s remember, is that Kim didn’t fall over herself with gratitude to Eden for helping her down some stairs. Kim also had the nerve to put emotional distance between her and Eden when Eden started interrogating her about personal psychological issues. This is after Eden had inserted herself into a fight between Kim and Rinna. Now Eden is baffled as to why Kim is keeping her at arm’s length. She describes it as Kim being “not kind,” but everyone can see that Eden tries to go very deep, very fast with people she barely knows. That is extremely off-putting to most humans. Kim is actually doing a great job preserving her boundaries and energy when it comes to Eden—habits that will serve her well in staying sober.
Dorit gives Eden sound advice: Don’t have lots of conversations behind people’s backs. Go directly to the person in question if you feel there’s a problem. Dorit asks if Eden thinks she wants to talk to Kyle. Eden says she’s pretty good at jumping in “when the moment is right” and she doesn’t want Dorit “or anyone else to feel uncomfortable.”
Which means that as soon as Dorit leaves early for another event, Eden makes a beeline for Kyle, who is sitting with Camille and new arrival Eileen Davidson. Eileen says what a nice conversation she and Kim had at PK’s birthday party. “I don’t like icky energy between people,” she says. That’s all the cue Eden needs. “Well, now that you bring THAT up…”
Kyle has no poker face—you can immediately see she’s bracing herself for theatrics. Of course, that’s when Rinna and Erika show up to join the group, so everyone is assembled. Eden tells Kyle that Kim was “really abrasive,” “sort of rude,” and “just wasn’t nice” to her at PK’s party. It’s hard not to feel for Kyle, having everyone run to her to tattle on and ask about Kim all the time. But with Eden, who barely knows them, how would you even start to set her straight? Her expectations of Kim and Kyle are inappropriate, even if her intentions are golden. Rinna, for one, is horrified by her friend’s behavior and scurries off to get drinks.
To her credit, Kyle has enough patience to ask Eden what actually happened. Answer: nothing, except in Eden’s head. At that moment, Harry and Lisa’s dog Lola takes a steaming dump in front of everybody. “This IS bullshit,” Kyle says, forcing a smile. Then she very politely tells Eden that she is injecting herself into something she knows nothing about. But it takes Erika to really lay it down for Eden: “You know, you can’t expect too much from Kim or from Kyle—or from anyone. You may greet them with a certain energy or with a certain openness, but you can’t expect that back.”
Nail, meet head. Thank you, Erika.
Eileen says she’s uncomfortable discussing Kim when she’s not there, and the other ladies agree, scattering to find drinks and food. Eden, not quite understanding what Erika just told her, forces Kyle into a long, awkward hug. Kyle’s impersonation of Eden’s overly emotional embraces with strangers was the funniest thing so far this season. As Kyle says later in this episode: “I want to get to know Eden. But does every time have to be a therapy session?”
We’re gifted with a swift exit from the barbecue and fast forward to Erika going to ‘The Young & the Restless’ set to shoot a scene with Eileen. The casting director is recording footage to show the writers, who will use it to write a character tailor-made for Erika. She doesn’t look nervous but keeps saying that she is. When it’s time for her to act, she kind of kills it. You can imagine Erika fitting in well on a soap. Eileen and the casting director tell her she’s a natural.
Now it’s time for Kyle’s Great Gatsby party. There’s only so much you can say about 1920s-style flapper costumes, so I’m not going to describe what they’re wearing. It’s all just variations on the same look.
Dorit and PK come over to the Umanskys’ house to pile into a party bus for a ride to Malibu. On the way, Kyle fills Dorit in on the awkward conversation Eden started with her in front of everybody at the barbecue. Dorit tells her Eden had said, “Kyle’s [Kim’s] sister and Kyle enables her.” Mauricio hears this and whips his head around so fast, I thought it was going to snap off his neck. “Who’s accusing you of being an enabler?” he asks. When Kyle tells him it’s Eden, he responds without missing a beat: “She doesn’t know shit!” I can only imagine how much this hurts for them, considering all they have dealt with from Kim over the years. Now everybody is making strides in moving on, but this near-stranger is trying to pull their family issues apart in front of everyone? Kyle is much calmer about it than I would be.
Okay, I lied: We have to talk about Erika’s look for this party. She blows everyone else out of the water, with a short, platinum Jean Harlow wig, plunging neckline in a Jessica Rabbit-esque gown, and the most perfectly flawless skin you ever saw on someone over 40 (or under 40, for that matter). She’s too perfect for words.
As soon as Kim arrives and sits down with Kyle, Eden is all over them. My mouth actually dropped open watching this scene. Even though I’m positive Eden’s intentions were good, she has zero awareness of how others are feeling. It’s tremendously difficult to watch this without covering your eyes.
Eden tells them how she sees so much of herself and her dead sister in them. As Michael Malice would say, “Work on your openers.” An exasperated Kyle says in her interview, “I just told this woman I need her to back off and let me get to know her – and not put her nose where it doesn’t belong. And now her nose is right up in my face, at my party.” Eden says in her interview that she wants “to create a space for a healing.” That space is very far away from the Richards sisters, Eden.
Kyle sets Eden straight: “I’m not an enabler.” Eden looks taken aback, as does Kim, who is hearing this allegation for the first time. Kyle says she doesn’t share what goes on between her and Kim, and nobody knows their relationship but them. Even Kim is upset to hear this accusation, saying nobody knows all the phone calls she’s made to her sister over the years—no doubt at all hours of the night, few of them friendly or calm. Kyle says of Kim, gently but firmly: “She’s been really great. And I’m not going to have somebody mess around with that.” Meaning you, Eden.
Kim reminds Eden that women in recovery aren’t supposed to judge or have expectations of other people. Eden pulls the “I’m not saying I’m perfect” line, which is really just a coward’s way out of admitting fault. Kim tells her point blank: “You were looking for trouble and I didn’t want to be around that.” Well put, Kim.
Eden insists in her interview that she wants to tell them that she cares and is there for them. “But they don’t want to know that I care,” she says, looking dejected. They don’t know YOU, Eden – at all. It would be very bizarre indeed if Kim and Kyle plunged into a deep and intimate relationship with you, based on the darkest, hardest, most private things their family has ever suffered.
Kim reminds Eden of when she inserted herself into her argument with Rinna at game night, claiming Kim had “attacked” Lisa. She admits that put her on the defensive with Eden. Kyle says, “I don’t understand why all these conversations are happening. It feels gossipy.” Eden shoots back, “You should ask your friends, then.” Kyle and Kim look highly skeptical, asking which of their friends were asking Eden about Kim. “Everyone,” Eden insists. Nope. Flashback to Rinna talking trash about the Richards sisters, calling Kim’s recovery into question and labeling Kyle an enabler. Later on at the party, Camille predicts that Kim and Eden will be friends someday, like Kim and Brandi Glanville became friends after almost coming to physical blows the first time they met. Kim says she seriously doubts that.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd show up fashionably late so that all eyes will be on them. Lisa makes a massive deal out of how good she is to come to Kyle’s party. “And don’t you forget it, Richards,” she adds. Oh, please. It’s a party, not an organ donation.
LVP is soon on a chaise longue with Eden, who starts vomiting her feelings about Kim and Kyle. “Why has that got anything to do with you?” Lisa asks, reminding Eden that she’s already told her once that Kyle does not enable Kim. “I don’t know that this is your business. Really, I’m telling you that,” Lisa says firmly. She ends with a threat: “We started off on the right foot, okay? And I’m happy about that. But my other foot will kick you in the ass if you come after my girl Kyle.” This woman is well into her sixth decade of life. She’s a spoiled Beverly Hills restaurateur and mother of two adult children, not a teenage girl gang member. What next for LVP, chola brows?
Eden might not have learned what healthy boundaries are yet, but she’s not menacing or going after anyone. It’s pretty obvious Lisa knows this too, but can’t resist an opportunity to “stand up for a friend,” so she can throw it in that friend’s face at a later date. We’ve been watching this show for seven seasons, but the storylines really don’t change that much, do they?