Just like you, Kyle Richards wears a gigantic diamond ring while cleaning out her garage with the hired help. She also takes breaks to talk to her friends on the phone. Kyle speaks to Lisa Vanderpump, inviting her to a dessert tasting at her home with Carnie Wilson. Backstory not told on the show: Carnie has been the executive dessert chef at a restaurant in LA for a couple of years and is launching a new line of “gourmet” (worst word ever) desserts this summer. Yeah, Carnie says she needs the money.
Kyle tells LVP she has already invited Lisa Rinna and Eden Sassoon. LVP assumes that means Kyle hasn’t invited her sister Kim. Wrong. “If I have everybody in the room together, no one can lie,” Kyle says in her interview. Is she optimistic, naive, or stupid?
Rinna is at home on the phone with her husband Harry Hamlin. She tells him that she “thinks” she said everything about Kim Eden claimed: that Kim is not truly sober, “close to death,” and enabled by Kyle. Rinna blames being “in the heat of the moment” from game night, even though her shopping trip with Eden took place at least several hours, if not days, later. “I can see how your buttons got pushed if Kim was mean to you.,” Harry says. Talk about an enabler. “You’ve only been trying to help Kim since the very beginning!” he adds. Has this guy even met his own wife?
Lisa Vanderpump and her husband Ken are opening a new dog rescue venue, which looks more like a spa. It’s a huge space in LA, and Lisa says she wants it to feel more like a lifestyle shop. The plan is to bring shelter dogs and puppies in during the day so people can play with them and adopt them. As much side-eye as one has to throw at LVP, this is an awesome idea and noble project. She and Ken talk to their real estate agent about their advocacy work to end dog torture in China. LVP went to talk to Congress about it, and while she was speaking, they showed video of the torture the dogs are subjected to in China. “It’s barbarianism at its worst. And we intend to stop it,” LVP says in her interview, and you can really imagine her starring in some TV miniseries. Ken says he saw what was on the video, footage Lisa didn’t see. He is very tearful. Lisa is emotional, too, but quickly snaps into British stiff upper lip mode and walks away.
Carnie arrives at Kyle’s house with her business partner Tiffany and their desserts. Cards on the table: I have always found Carnie Wilson to be a great singer, but an obnoxious human. In her interviews and on her reality show, she has always rubbed me the wrong way. But if you like women who try really hard to be “sassy” and self-deprecating, you’ll love her. That said, it’s hard to defend her asking Kyle, as soon as she arrives, if Kim is sober. Kyle doesn’t seem to mind, and asks Carnie how long she’s been sober. It’s been 12 years, and Carnie admits that she has a foul mouth and is crazy, but says, “I’m sober as hell.” As ever, Carnie is trying way too hard to be funny and instead, comes off as full of herself.
Kim arrives with her sponsor, Clare. Bravo is very careful not to specify what kind of sponsor Clare is, but for good reasons: They are toeing a fine line on anonymity and not associating Kim with a specific program. As soon as she’s introduced to Carnie, Kyle says, “Carnie has been sober for 12 years!” I’m sure Kim would love for recovery not to be the first topic of conversation everyone comes at her with, Kyle.
Kyle explains that Carnie transferred her addiction to baking after she quit drinking and drugging, hence the new dessert line. Carnie admits she did gain “40 pounds” after that. Carnie has had two weight loss surgeries and regained all of her weight, so she probably shouldn’t go around talk about how sober she is if she’s using food as a drug. “But it’s better than being dead,” she says to Kim as if she can’t possibly eat herself to death. Sure, a cheesecake isn’t likely to take Carnie from her children in an instant, but it’s still an unnecessary thing to say, and clearly makes Kim uncomfortable. But at least Eileen distracts us by arriving and looking drop dead gorgeous – tan, lithe and blonde in a peacock blue bodysuit.
Rinna and Erika Girardi are riding together in a limo to the dessert tasting. Rinna brought a bunny for Kim’s grandson, which is obviously going to fix all their issues. She then broaches the subject of the disputed quotes from Eden. “This is what I’ve come up with, as much as I can figure it out,” she says as if she was in a blackout when she ran her mouth and now she’s trying to piece it together. “I think I said everything.” Erika says in an interview, “Kim’s gonna kill her. Shit, I would!” Erika tells her, “You’re gonna get it tonight.” Rinna does that thing where she flips a person off and says “Fuck you” but laughs as if she doesn’t totally mean it. Which she does.
Dorit Kemsley arrives with perfect Veronica Lake hair and red lipstick, in a white shirt and jeans with killer red shoes. LVP and Eden arrive, with Eden looking beautiful and angular. Outside, Carnie asks Kim about her grandson’s impending birth and says how great it is that she’ll be sober for the experience. Kim says a year ago she probably couldn’t have been present for it or able to help her daughter, and her sponsor says she’d never thought of it that way. Really?
Eden greets Carnie and Kim warmly. Kim says in her interview, “Eden absolutely makes my skin crawl.” Kim and Carnie keep talking about her grandchild and sobriety, with Eden sitting across from Kim but turned to the side. They’re not including her in the conversation and she’s not including herself. Super awkward. Eden tries to pass them tuna tartare, but they don’t want any, so Eden just sits there excluded. I don’t think Carnie is trying to freeze her out; she’s just too busy focusing on herself and her plate.
As Erika and Rinna walk in, LVP says, “Now I need a drink more than ever.” Rinna tells her, “That’s not very nice,” and LVP replies that she was just being honest. LVP teases Rinna about the bunny and trying to kiss up to Kim. Rinna goes outside and greets Carnie, kisses Kim and gives her the bunny. Kim thanks her graciously, even though she’s disgusted.
Camille arrives, looking fabulous but (spoiler alert) not bringing anything to this episode. Kyle brings Camille outside and immediately notices the tension between Eden and Kim, who gets up and walks away. “To deal with Lisa is one thing,” Kim says in her interview. But “I can’t even look at her. I can’t look at Eden.” She says people in recovery aren’t supposed to beat each other down, they’re supposed to build each other up. This is true, but Eden wasn’t beating Kim down – she only repeated what Rinna said by way of explaining to LVP why she’d been so hyper-focused on helping Kim and Kyle. Eden clearly wasn’t trying to malign Kim; if anything, she was going way overboard in trying to save Kim from what she had been told was imminent danger.
Rinna pulls Eileen into Kyle’s living room and starts softening up by mentioning the fact that she lost her own sister to an overdose. “Eileen, I said it. I said all of it,” Rinna blurts. Eileen is clearly surprised. “Oy! That changes a lot.” Rinna says, “I meant well. I really did. I really mean well!” For some reason, Eileen believes her and ends up comforting Rinna, who is laying it on thick about how bad she feels. Eileen tells her, “I love you so much.” Rinna replies, “You’re such a good friend!” and hugs her. Eileen is no dummy, but she sure looks like one when it comes to Lisa Rinna. Come on, lady. Eileen makes further excuses in her interview, saying it takes guts for Rinna to admit this, and “she always owns it and there’s something to be said for that.” The only thing to be said is: Stop doing nasty stuff you have to later “own.” Eileen either doesn’t want to be the friend who tells Rinna that hard truth, or she is truly deluded about who Rinna is.
Carnie is being extremely annoying about her desserts and how baking has brought her so much happiness. She’s one of those people who will tell you until she’s blue in the face how happy she is, and then have a total meltdown about something insignificant. Carnie says she’s trying to teach people how to eat treats in moderation, something she has clearly mastered herself.
Kyle notices Rinna is missing, and goes looking for her and Eileen in the living room. When she walks in the room, Rinna breaks out the tone of voice you’d use to talk to a developmentally disabled puppy: “Hi, Kyle! Oh, Kyle!” Kyle looks concerned and asks what happened. “What’s wrong?” Rinna stutters, “Well, we’re trying to figure out…um…” What Rinna is trying to figure out is how to tell Kyle she said all those nasty things while still portraying herself as a nice person. Right as she’s about to tell her, Carnie barges in and asks why they’re not outside with the group. “We’re literally sampling!” she cries. Of course she’s one of those people who doesn’t know how to use the word “literally.” Carnie is truly distraught, having her theatrical moment of despair right on cue. “Why is she not out there?!” she asks of Kyle, as if she has been abandoned by her mother on the side of the road. Yes, Carnie is THAT overly dramatic friend.
Rinna gets a momentary stay of execution as they all head back outside. Carnie’s desserts look plain and unappetizing. Kyle damns them with faint praise, saying, “They taste better than they look, even.” Eden, always trying to be nice, jokingly asks, “Who needs men when you have your dessert?” LVP snarks to Dorit, “Does that cheesecake buy me jewelry?” Dorit laughs and says “No cheesecake is going to buy me the diamonds I need.” God forbid you get a job and buy yourself a diamond, Dorit.
Rinna interrupts everything to have what should have been a private talk with Kim in front of the entire group. She starts with the excuses before the admission: “After game night, in the heat of the moment…” Kim is already rolling her eyes. “I said them.” Kyle’s jaw drops. As she says in her interview, “Lisa Rinna flat-out lied to me.” There was no “forgetting,” which everyone knew all along. Rinna was biding time to come up with an excuse, and the best she could do was “I was mad and my sister died once.”
Kim tells Rinna how she always says horrible things, apologizes, and expects everyone to forgive her. Rinna again tries to say she talked trash about Kim because her sister died of an OD. Huh? If Rinna’s nastiness toward Kim is influenced by her sister’s death at all, my bet would be she’s taking her anger at her sister out on Kim. But that’s not how Rinna sees it. “You were provoking me,” she says, blaming Kim for her own choice of action.
Dorit asks, “What did she do that night?” Rinna sarcastically responds, “Do you remember it?” Kim tells Rinna that’s not nice, either. “I certainly don’t remember her doing anything to garner that kind of judgment,” Dorit says.
Kim tells Rinna she doesn’t think of the consequences for other people when she opens her mouth and says such things. She explains how Rinna’s lies hurt her and her children, and says even her grandchild will be affected by Rinna’s gossip. Rinna says, “You have to know that I have only wanted to move on with you.” Yeah, so people will forget what you said.
LVP points out that Rinna was questioning Kim’s sobriety. Rinna again uses game night as an excuse. She says of Kim’s behavior, “a sober person doesn’t act like that.” Everyone is aghast. Kim asks Rinna if she has any idea how a sober person feels and acts. “You lied, and now you’re trying to cover your ass,” Kyle says of Rinna in her interview. Exactly.
Then Kim savages Eden for being in recovery herself and repeating Rinna’s words to LVP. LVP says, “But it was already out there.” Kyle snarls at her, “That’s not true, Lisa. Pick a lane. Pick a lane. Pick a lane.” Yes, she said it three times. And if looks could kill, Lisa Vanderpump would have been cremated on the spot.
LVP points out in her interview that it’s Rinna making these sordid allegations in the first place that’s the problem. Eden only confided to LVP what Rinna had said once she realized Rinna wasn’t all she appeared to be – and in order to try to get some resolution with the Richards sisters. For some reason, nobody is pointing this out.
Rinna blathers about how she and Kim have “never been able to heal,” as if that’s not her own fault. She says she wants “to be able to forgive and come from a place of true love for you.” How about just not being a total monster, Rinna? Watching on the sidelines, Erika rolls her eyes. “Isn’t it all about love in the end? It really is,” Rinna insists. Kyle points out that not everybody has to love each other. “Just don’t make up stories and spread bad rumors!” Word.
Eden is trying to explain the exchange she had after game night with Rinna. But Kyle rudely interrupts and asks how she’d feel if Kyle had said, “I don’t think Eden is sober” behind her back. Eden has an emotionally healthy attitude these women just can’t relate to, as evidenced by her response: “You don’t need to know if I’m sober or not. I know I’m sober.” Kyle accuses Eden of judging Kim’s sobriety, which she clearly was not. Kim finally admits what really made her mad: Eden speaking up and trying to resolve her fight with Rinna on game night.
Then Kim goes hard for Eden, telling her, “You’re not Kim and Kyle Richards,” and all but calls the death of Eden’s sister a mere sob story. Eden asks her to have some compassion. Rinna jumps in and Kyle tells her to stop mentioning that Eden lost a sister. Kyle turns to Eden and says she can’t imagine what Eden’s been through, but her story is not theirs. Eden says, “You’re absolutely right.” Rinna rightly points out that it’s not what Kim is saying that’s rough, it’s how she’s saying it. As is often repeated in recovery circles: Mean what you say, but don’t say it mean.
Carnie weighs in and for one minute stops trying to be funny. She says she has so many legitimate reasons to be resentful of others, but if she doesn’t let go of those resentments, she’ll end up drunk. Rinna asks how she thinks it felt when Kim intimated she had knowledge of her husband being up to no good. Kim continues her disingenuous “I never said anything about your husband!” act. Kyle points out Kim was implying something and making people wonder. Rinna says many people come up to him to this day and say, “What did you do?” Kim says she has apologized many times, but doesn’t seem to realize she can’t apologize for something she won’t even acknowledge doing. Rinna, who is desperate for a storyline about her being a terrible person to disappear from center stage, says she accepts Kim’s apology. Erika says, “I’m gonna be an alcoholic by the time this shit’s over” while taking a huge sip of wine. She is again the funniest and prettiest part of this show.
Carnie says Kim needs to understand that if Eden and Rinna judge her a little too quickly, “it’s because it’s all fear and sadness in there” due to the loss of their own sisters from drug overdoses. She fairly states that this tendency is something Rinna and Eden to check themselves on. Rinna nods in agreement. But, Carnie says, “You guys have to understand that we drank for reasons.” She says she, Kim and Eden are a little nuts. “We’re wired this way – that’s why we needed alcohol to calm it down. So we’re never going to be totally normal. There’s no perfect.”
Be that as it may, Kim says she is going to stand up for herself, because she has worked so hard to get to a good place and these slanderous remarks from Rinna take her back to moments when she truly felt like she was dying as an active alcoholic. Rinna says, “I’m sorry that I hurt you. That I am truly sorry for, Kim.” She sounds like she’s acting and not sincere in the slightest, but Eden pipes up and says she believes her.
“Don’t we all want to move on? Don’t we all want to heal this situation?” Rinna asks. As if it’s that easy. “Truly, from this moment on. Every ounce of my being wants to move on,” she tells Kim. LVP says she needs to mean it, not just say it. Words aren’t enough. But that’s probably all we’re going to get, at least until the next smear campaign.