The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“Big Buddha Brawl”
March 21, 2017
Trying to parse a Real Housewives fight is more difficult than I think a lot of people think. First you have to be very specific about what these women say they are fighting about, while also revealing what they are actually fighting about, which is usually the show itself, but the show refuses to acknowledge that. Then, add to this the fact that these women are very verbose and tend to read an entire universe of intent into something as small as a tone of voice. But then try to be funny about all of this, and, well, let’s just say that while the big fight episodes like this one are the bread and butter of these franchises, they are also the most challenging to write about.
Take this fight between Erika and Dorit, for instance. What started off as an argument between Rinna and Dorit about Dorit possibly suggesting that Rinna is a pill popper somehow becomes an argument between Erika and Dorit about Erika’s pantiless vageen and Dorit’s husband staring straight up it, a fight that everyone was pretty sure had been resolved months ago.
But here we are again: after Erika tells Dorit that she thinks she’s “bullshit” and Dorit complains that Erika has never been nice to her and Erika counters that Dorit has always been desperate for her attention and Dorit tells Erika to not flatter herself, that she is not that interesting, fun or nice, that she is cold and ice and too stoic for Dorit to be interested in, Erika admits that she has kept Dorit at an arm’s length ever since The Panty Incident.
And the next thing you know, Dorit is accusing Rinna and Eileen of blowing up the panty thing in Erika’s head and Rinna is telling Dorit to fuck the fuck off and Dorit is calling Rinna low-class and suddenly we are not just relitigating an old fight from previous in this season, but somehow we are reenacting a fight from an entirely different Real Housewives series?
Anyway, the real point is that Erika’s feelings were hurt by Dorit’s “joke” and Dorit says that she never meant to defame Erika or make her look bad or hurt her feelings, but Erika is like, “WELL, YOU MANAGED TO ACCOMPLISH ALL THREE, SO THANKS.” And with that, Erika goes up to the deck of the junk boat to have a good cry, shocking Vanderpump and Kyle with her vulnerability.
But not Dorit, who continues her streak of assholedom by suggesting to Kyle and Vanderpump that the real problem here is that Erika pays people to tell her she is fabulous and that Erika is starting to believe it. The next morning, Dorit calls P.K. and the pair repeat this assholish theory to each other on account of being assholes.
As for Erika, she returns to the hotel with Rinna, Bewigged Eden (Bewiggeden?), and Eileen, where Erika cries some more, becomes angry that she is crying, and tells Eileen that she loves her — a declaration you are going to want to put a pin in.
The next day, the ladies meet in the lobby for tea and coffee and for Erika and Dorit to glare at one another before heading out to visit the Tian Tan Buddha, a giant Buddha sculpture that the ladies refer to as the “largest in the world.” It is not. It is, however, very cool, as are the glass-bottomed gondolas the ladies have to take to get to it, and the sacred oxen that wander the grounds.
After an uneventful trip to the giant Buddha, the ladies return to the hotel where they get ready for dinner and OH HO HO, WHAT IS THIS? DORIT ALSO HAS AN ASSISTANT THAT SHE FLEW TO HONG KONG TO SLAP MAKEUP ON HER AND DO HER HAIR AND PICK OUT HER CLOTHES? Well, as long as this one-woman glam squad doesn’t fill Dorit’s head with notions of being “fabulous,” I suppose this isn’t BLATANT HYPOCRISY.
The ladies go to some restaurant in a high rise with a spectacular view of the harbor, and Eileen tries to toast the group with water which is bad luck, SO THANKS, EILEEN. WAY TO RUIN EVERYTHING, EILEEN.
Sure enough, Rinna begins making trouble, asking Dorit if she’s apologized to Erika yet, and Erika is like, “In fact, she has not.” Vanderpump encourages Erika to let it go; Erika accuses Vanderpump of trying to minimize her feelings; everything quickly goes to Hell in a handbasket.
Dorit wonders what she should have done differently, and Erika lets her know: “SHUT THE HELL UP.” Erika insists that Dorit should have approached her privately and not implied that somehow Erika wanted P.K. to look up her skirt, that Erika was “putting it all out there.”
And that’s when Rinna asks Dorit if she trusts her husband because if we’re going to reenact an argument from an entirely different franchise, why not reenact a classic fight from their own?
Kyle is OUTRAGED that Rinna of all people would ask that: they shouldn’t talk about someone’s husband that way. Which is when Erika points out the FUCKING OBVIOUS: they shouldn’t talk about someone’s wife the way they talked about her. Did Dorit ever take a moment to think about how the things she said and did in The Panty Incident might impact Erika’s marriage? And now Erika is going to have to explain herself and this whole dumb mess to her husband even though she didn’t actually do anything wrong?
This FINALLY strikes a chord with Dorit, and she asks what she can do to make this go away. Erika tells her that she can apologize to Mr. Girardi, which Dorit begrudgingly agrees to do. However, when Erika asks her to make P.K. apologize to Mr. Girardi, too, Dorit balks, and insists she can’t control her husband.
At some point, Eileen tries to broker peace, agreeing that what Dorit did was not great, but that she didn’t mean it in a malicious way, and she’s already said she’s sorry, so what more can she do? It’s not like she killed Erika’s child.
Erika loses her damn mind.
DON’T DO THAT. DON’T EVER TALK ABOUT KILLING HER CHILD AGAIN. HER CHILD COULD GET KILLED. DON’T EVER BRING UP HER KID AGAIN. EILEEN’S KID DOESN’T PUT ON A UNIFORM EVERY NIGHT. SHUT THE FUCK UP. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT ERIKA GOES THROUGH EVERY NIGHT. IT’S REALLY INSENSITIVE. DON’T EVER DO THAT AGAIN. FUCK EILEEN FOR THAT. HER SON IS UNDER FIRE EVERY NIGHT AND ESPECIALLY IN THIS CLIMATE AND IT’S HIS CHOICE AND DON’T EVER CRITICIZE THAT.
Eileen, trying to make amends, tries to toast Erika’s son, BUT HAVEN’T YOU ALREADY RUINED ENOUGH WITH YOUR CURSED WATER TOASTS, EILEEN?
After comforting Erika for a hot second, Rinna returns to her side of the table and announces that she has a fun new fight for the group. Hey, Dorit:
LOLOLOLOL, TO BE CONTINUED, INDEED.
But before we go, I want to return to my original point about these fight episodes which is that what they are fighting about is never what they say they are fighting about. What these fights are really about is that we are nearing the end of filming, and that is influencing people’s behavior in strange ways:
- Erika realizes that these episodes are going to air sooner rather than later, and she is going to have to explain this whole “some dude was looking up my skirt” situation to her husband who, though it sounds like he doesn’t even watch the show, will certainly hear about this “controversy” from someone: his office staff, colleagues, clients, whomever. Now, if these two had a normal marriage, he would have heard about it the moment it happened, but as this show has well established, these two are rarely, if ever, in the same state together for more than five minutes. Thus, Erika is starting to think about how she is going to have to manage this situation, and she is getting angry at Dorit all over again.
- Lisa Rinna is a trouble maker who is making trouble in an attempt to remain relevant to the show, the end.
Alright, my sacred oxen, I am off to watch the remaining two episodes. I CAN DO THIS. WE CAN FINISH THIS.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo on Tuesdays at 8/9 p.m. and needs to find her boat wig.