‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’: Rome-in’ around

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“There’s No Place Like Rome”
August 5, 2020

We left the last episode without a “TO BE CONTINUED” but it was certainly implied. And in fact, we begin this episode with the women leaving dinner and splitting up into two groups: Garcelle, Dorit, and Denise in Denise’s room, and everyone else in some other room. Rinna’s? Who knows, doesn’t matter.

In Denise’s room, Garcelle notes that the story about Brandi was a “huge bombshell” for everyone, and wonders what Denise is going to do next. Denise declares it “fucking slander” and insists that there aren’t any texts or anything out there that will catch her in a lie. “What am I going to text: nice fuck?”

Over in the other room, the women insist that if it IS true that Brandi and Denise slept together, none of them care. They mustn’t look like they are being homophobic slut shamers, after all. But they do worry that Denise might just flee and not be in Rome by the next morning.

And honestly, who would blame her?

But morning arrives, and remarkably, miraculously, stupidly?, Denise is still in Italy. As everyone starts their morning routines, Sutton goes room to room delivering customized rain boots that she had made for each of the women; though it took me forever to figure out who Sutton was as they didn’t show her face. It’s weird? Does she have some sort of rider in her contract that prevents them from filming her without makeup or something?

Meanwhile, Dorit calls Kyle and suggests they meet up for a chat before going shopping with Sutton later in the afternoon. She wants to discuss their little flare-up the night before and is looking for an apology; and Rinna calls Denise, suggesting that they also have a chat before proceeding with their day to discuss … everything.

Rinna goes to Denise’s room, where over coffee Denise demands to know why Rinna didn’t give her a heads up? Rinna insists that there was no time, she herself just found out … 36 hours before it was revealed?

Not only is this a shitty defense — as Denise herself notes, Rinna could have sent her a text at any point — but Rinna herself gave a completely different explanation as to why she didn’t tell Denise in the previous episode, noting that she had been burned by the whole Yolanda/Munchausen thing and she wasn’t going to fall into that trap again. (Mixed metaphors for the win!)

Denise is also angry at Rinna for encouraging Teddi to blurt out the Brandi revelation the night before (though I will note, Rinna wasn’t the only one: Denise’s biggest supporter in the group, Garcelle, was urging Teddi on, too), but Rinna insists that the story is already “out there.” Denise tries to argue that “it’s not ‘out there, out there,'” but Rinna is like “but it is” (translation: it is already on tape, and there’s no way the producers are not going to air it).

Rinna urges Denise to tell her exactly what happened, and Denise explains that she’s only seen Brandi a couple of times in her life. Brandi asked Denise to do her podcast and then met her on the set of her movie where she interviewed Denise and her cast (not “cats” as I might have written in the previous recap, though an interview with Denise’s cats sounds MUCH more interesting than an interview with the cast of a Lifetime Christmas movie). Brandi stayed overnight and then left the next day.



But Denise doesn’t elaborate, instead insisting that she does NOT have an open marriage and she has not cheated on her husband.

As for the things she supposedly said about Teddi, Denise argues that the shit-talking she’s done about Teddi, she’s done to her face. And anyway, Denise goes on, Brandi told her about all the things the group was saying about her behind her back.

Rinna is like, “HMMM … BUT DIDN’T YOU JUST SAY LAST NIGHT THAT YOU DIDN’T TALK TO BRANDI RECENTLY, AND CERTAINLY NOT BEFORE KYLE’S PARTY?” but not out loud because that would have required a little bravery. Instead, Rinna asks Denise if she is going to join them on their Ferrari outing, and Denise is like, “yeah, you’re going to need to give me a minute before I can be fully engaged in some rich lady shit.”

As for Kyle and Dorit, they have lunch and wine and Dorit whines at Kyle that she feels like sometimes she cuts her off when she’s trying to make a point, like last night’s argument that was too stupid for me to even detail, not when a lesbian cheating scandal was on the table.

But what had happened was, Dorit was making a point about Teddi being stressed and anxious, and Kyle — trying to not look like the bad guy for being a part of the team who brought the Denise story to the dinner — cut Dorit off and said, pointing to Denise, “Well, how do you think she feels?” thereby making it look as though Dorit was not being sensitive to Denise. As I said, it was a stupid argument.

But because Dorit and Kyle have been going at each other all season, Dorit’s feelings were hurt and she complains that Kyle cut her off before she could make her final-sympathetic-towards-Denise point, making her look bad. Kyle recognizes that she did step on Dorit’s comments, apologizes, and promises to try in the future to allow Dorit to finish her run-on thoughts.

Great. Are we done with this petty bullshit already?

As for the Denise situation, Dorit tells Kyle that she was up with Denise until 2 in the morning, and she is denying everything. Dorit wonders if Brandi may be lying for attention, but Kyle insists she doesn’t think Brandi is a liar.

Kyle points to a lawsuit that she was dragged into when Real Housewives of Miami‘s Joanna Krupa sued Brandi after Brandi claimed on Watch What Happens Live! that Joanna broke up Yolanda’s marriage to Mohammad Hadid, and then added that Mohammed told Brandi that Joanna’s vagina stank. For some reason, Kyle was dragged into the mix but when she told the lawyers that Brandi’s an asshole but not a liar, they dropped her as a witness. And that’s how Joanna’s ALLEGEDLY stinky vagina became a small part of this lesbian sex story. Because God is great.

But Kyle does make a valid point: leaving aside whether or not you think Brandi is a liar, it doesn’t make much sense for her to make up a story that could land her in more legal trouble two years after settling a lawsuit with a different Housewife that dragged her through the system for four years. Sure, there’s the possibility that she thought this would get her back on the show — which it admittedly did, in a limited way — but she also had to know that if the story could be proven false, there’s no way Bravo would touch her with a ten-foot pole.

Back at the hotel, Garcelle — wearing a very fabulous pink suit — collects Denise for their Ferrari outing, and checks in on how she’s doing.

But Garcelle knows Denise and if she can survive Charlie Sheen, she can take on Rinna and Teddi.

As for this Ferrari outing: Erika, Rinna, Garcelle, and Denise are loaned red Ferraris to drive up to Castel Gandolfo, on Lago Albano. From there, they’ll have a wine tasting and then the nice Ferrari people will drive the cars back to safety.

Upon arriving at Lago Albano, they admire the view for a couple of seconds and remind us, again that they’re “IN ITALY!” before being ushered into a nearby wine cellar. There, they are treated to a variety of wines and small snacks, including one squid dish that Garcelle is slightly hesitant about.


Oh damn.

Apparently, Denise is allergic to garlic (BITCH, THEN WHY ARE YOU IN ITALY?), and Erika reveals that her husband Tom is allergic to garlic, too, and insists that he can smell it coming out of her pores after she’s eaten it. Erika calls Tom a “drama queen” and the “biggest diva known to man.”

Oh, he’s going to bring the drama, that’s for sure. 

Rinna discusses how zen Harry Hamlin is — that if he’s raised his voice, you better GTFO. Denise notes that her father is the same way; that becoming angry is out of character for him. Garcelle points out that Denise is the same, that she has to be really pushed to get upset, and wonders how Denise can be so calm less than 24 hours after what happened. Denise explains that in her family, they talk about their feelings and then let things go, but it seems like some women in the group want chaos around them.

Denise complains that the group dynamics make it hard to talk about things: that you start to say how you feel and halfway through your sentence you have someone coming for you. Erika insists that Denise just needs to tell her truth, noting that they are all grownups and can defend themselves.

Denise is like, “So you’re upset with my husband?” And Erika explains that he was a rude asshole at Sutton’s event and that husbands shouldn’t get involved because it just adds a whole other dimension to the group dynamic.

SEE: Dorit’s Insufferable Husband, Grandpa Ken, Dr. Paul

Erika appreciates that Aaron was feeling protective of his wife, but men communicate differently than women, and the way he was communicating that night was … not good. Very not good.

Denise, who claims to have not heard him, apologizes on his behalf, and insists he would never do anything to be hurtful (… um …) or condescending (LOL, HAVE YOU MET YOUR HUSBAND?). Denise promises he will apologize for himself, and the issue is declared resolved.

Spoiler alert: Nothing is ever resolved on these dumb shows.

Meanwhile, in Rome proper, Sutton takes Kyle and Dorit to Dolce and Gabbana for a private shopping trip, with “Mr. Dolce’s” express blessing and encouragement. Sutton explains that every year for her birthday, Dolce and Gabbana send her a tiara, which … how much money a year on average must you spend at one fashion house for them to send you — every year — a gift that is worth somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000?

Despite receiving the VIP treatment: private dressing hall, champagne, hand-picked selections for Sutton, she apparently has a thing where she doesn’t like to try on clothes in stores? She usually has them send her clothes to her hotel room where she can try things on privately? And when she attempts to try something on there in the store, it results in a full sobbing emotional breakdown?

Anyway, Kyle buys some shit she doesn’t need, the end.

That night, everyone gets dressed for dinner, and once again, Erika and Dorit are in competition for Least Practical Outfit of the Night, and they come up with remarkably similar entries:

Erika goes for Way Underdressed for November Bombshell:

And Dorit settles for Too Many Belts Diva:

The biggest difference between these two looks is that Erika comes down to the lobby on time, while Dorit’s outfit takes 40 more minutes to fully assemble, what with all the pins and belts and pins. The rest of the women who are waiting for her in the lobby, they are not amused. Kyle, for one, threatens to lose her shit if she finds out Dorit was 40 minutes late because she was doing another Instagram shoot in her hotel room.

The good news is that she wasn’t! Because she was clearly doing the Instagram shoot in the hotel hallway.

Denise admits in a talking head that she is uncomfortable about going to dinner with these women, and, in fact, that she tried to get a flight out of town, but there wasn’t one available. Hopefully, Denise says, these women had a great day shopping and drinking and they can all put last night aside.

So these women go to Pacifico, a high-end Peruvian restaurant. Which … haven’t these loons spent the past two episodes screaming, “WE’RE IN ROME!” and “WE’RE IN ITALY?” and then they go eat ceviche? WHEN THEY COULD BE EATING RISOTTO? OR OSSO BUCCO? OR CARIOFI ALLA GIUDIA? OR — and this is a real thing that I have really eaten — CACIO E PEPE SERVED IN A BOWL MADE OF PARMESAN? In a bowl made of parmesan, y’all!


Over dinner, they discuss their afternoons, and Sutton mentions her breakdown in the dressing room and how she prefers to try things on alone. This leads Rinna to talk about how her mother Lois wouldn’t buy anything without her husband’s approval, which in turn leads the women to ask what Lois thinks about Rinna’s nearly naked dancing videos on Instagram:

And Rinna is like, “Oh, she sees everything. She doesn’t care.” And honestly, if you’re Lisa Rinna’s mother, you really would have to let go of giving a single shit.

However, in a testimonial, Garcelle expresses concern about a different member of Rinna’s family — how said videos might make Rinna’s daughter with body issues feel.

And let me just pause here for a second to say that I have not watched ahead, so I don’t know whether this blows up or not. But. BUT. I don’t disagree with Garcelle, and I do worry that Rinna’s continued choice to publicly celebrate her very toned body probably does send the troubling message to her daughters that their only real value is in their physical appearance. That all said, you don’t question someone’s parenting — especially on such a sensitive issue as eating disorders — on camera unless you want to start some shit.

They also talk about the Ferrari trip and how Erika and Denise discussed the entire Aaron conflict, and how Denise apologized on his behalf. Denise then adds, unnecessarily and hilariously, that Aaron “has respect for each and every one [of them]” before admitting in a testimonial that he will never actually apologize to any of them, not after what went down the night before.

Kyle admits to having anxiety after last night and crying over everything that happened, and Dorit, somehow, tries to claim that what happened wasn’t an attack on Denise. I’m not sure how that math works out, but OK.

Denise insists that she understands, but also adds that there “has to be a line,” by which I guess she means there are some things they can’t discuss on a reality show?

Sutton then announces that in the name of complete honesty, she heard this story about Denise and Brandi from someone else two years ago, and I have a lot of questions. But none of them are answered because we are instead more interested in Teddi claiming that she doesn’t know Brandi or Denise or care about what happened between them; she’s only interested in the shit Denise was talking about her.

But Denise is very interested in talking about Brandi, thankyouverymuch, and rehashes what happened: their mutual branding agent arranged for the two to meet over drinks, and then the only other time she saw Brandi was when she came to Denise’s set for the podcast.

Except, Denise then adds “after that, recently when I spoke to her, she knew everything that was going on in the group.”

Detective Teddi and Kyle are both like, “Wait, how recently?” And Denise, I suppose forgetting that she had said the night before that she hadn’t spoken to Brandi before Kyle’s party replies, “Before your party, Kyle.”

Denise goes on to claim that Brandi shared stuff that went on during their disastrous Santa Barabara trip, and she shared things that Denise did not know — personal things about people in the group. The women urge her to tell them what Brandi said about them, but she’s like, “No, that’s a line that I don’t cross.”

And then immediately Denise blurts out that Brandi claims that she’s had sex with “every woman she comes in contact with, including some of the people in this group.”

Kyle decides that this means Brandi can only be talking about either her or Rinna (or both) since they were the only ones in a cast with Brandi? I guess? Kyle immediately dismisses it. And Rinna points out that it’s really interesting that Denise is only saying this now.

Denise’s point is that Brandi says that she’s had sex with everyone, but Rinna is like, “Yeah, I haven’t heard that, though,” before becoming defensive, arguing that she doesn’t think that Brandi has ever claimed to have had sex with her, “SO DON’T PUT THAT OUT THERE …”



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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo.

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