‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’: Bottoms Up

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“Sutton’s Gotta Give”
June 2, 2021

Last we left these women, Sutton had decided that it was a good idea to tell a woman of color that she was discriminated against, too, because rednecks. Crystal, challenging Sutton, asks her if she’s “that girl who says they don’t see color,” and Sutton tearfully admits that YES, SHE DOESN’T SEE COLOR. IS THAT SUCH A BAD THING?

Crystal explains in an interview that older generations were raised to not recognize race as a well-intentioned means to fight racism, but that she and other people of color obviously do. It’s part of who they are — and whether people want to admit it or not, it’s how the world sees them. So basically, when you say “you don’t see color,” you might mean that you don’t judge people based on their race, but people of color hear it as a way for white people to brush racism back under the rug.

And I don’t disagree with Crystal in the least, but I will just gently point out that Crystal (as of today in 2022) is 39 and Sutton is 50, so it’s not like there’s some enormous generational gap between them. Additionally, Stephen Colbert, who is 58, has been pointing out the whole “I don’t see color” nonsense for well over a decade now:

Sutton cries that the word “racist” is a virus worse than COVID and she can’t talk about these things because it’s simply too upsetting for her. Eventually, the women agree to disagree — even though Sutton is unsure what, exactly, it is that they are disagreeing about — and everyone goes to bed.

Well — sorta. Because the next morning, we learn that Kathy Hilton and her box fan began roaming the halls sometime after midnight, until she finally landed in Kyle’s room. There in Kyle’s bed, while Kyle tried to sleep, Kathy ate chips, drank Red Bulls, read six newspapers, and apparently kept all the lights on until sometime after 2 a.m. Kyle has the patience of a saint because I, for one, won’t share a bed with my sister because she grinds her teeth. Once, I might or might not have punched a dear friend in the side of the head because he was snoring in the next bed over. What I’m saying is, I’m a light sleeper and I would murder Kathy Hilton and her box fan. Possibly with her box fan.

Over breakfast, the women (except for Kathy Hilton who is very much still asleep) discuss their plans for the day, and Garcelle admits that she would rather just stay there in the house and watch CNN as it’s entirely too close to the election. The women then speculate about what will happen on Election Day, and Erika replies that Biden/Harris are going to win and that will be the end of it.

Or, you know, not.

Rinna then reminisces being a contestant on The Apprentice — twice — and how the Donald Trump she knew is not the disgusting troll he ultimately became. But also, never in a million trillion years did she ever anticipate a reality TV star becoming the President of the United States. 1. YEAH, RINNA, NONE OF US DID. But 2. And this is a small thing, but I do find it funny that Rinna reduced him down to just being a reality TV show host, completely disregarding the whole “business tycoon” bullshit.

After breakfast, everyone gets dressed except for Kathy, who is still in bed.

While everyone is doing their own makeup because COVID has prevented their glam squads from tagging along, Sutton stops by Crystal’s room to talk about their conversation the night before. Sutton explains that she’s not entirely sure why she reacted the way she did, and she doesn’t want Crystal to think that she’s not sensitive to other races and cultures. However, when Crystal asked if she was “That Girl” who says she doesn’t see color, that was insulting. Sutton will not be dismissed as a “That Girl.”

Crystal is more focused on the race thing and explains that she finds it confusing when people claim they don’t see color, and has had friends tell her that they “don’t think of [her] as Asian.” However, she can’t escape being Asian. Crystal describes one of the scariest moments of her life in which a man confronted her father at a gas station, screaming at him to go back to where he came from. It was the first time she saw her father terrified, and he hurried back into the car and drove away without discussing it with her.

Sutton counters with her own story of discrimination: Once, when she was in New York City as a 25-year-old, a man in an elevator heard her accent and asked if she was a racist.

The end.

The women decide they are cool, hug it out, and proceed with the day.

The ladies — except for Kathy Hilton who is still asleep — then head out for the day’s activity: the Carson Valley Railbike Tour. It’s basically a multi-rider bicycle that is attached to the old V&T train line. There’s nothing to steer, you’ve just got a brake and a throttle and a prayer.

But before we get to that, the ladies load up into their party vans, and we learn two important things:

1. Crystal, an Asian woman, was named after two 1980s icons: Crystal Gayle and Krystle Carrington. Which, BRAVO, MOM AND DAD, WELL DONE.

3. Kathy Hilton is a huge prankster.

On the way to the tour, Erika points out Gardnerville, Nevada, and claims that its claim to fame is that it is the American city with the most fugitives living in it.

Now, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to prove or disprove this statement and I’ve got … nothing. I will note that it has a population of 6,211, and so unless all 6,211 of those residents are fugitives, I’m guessing that you have more fugitives in New York, or Los Angeles, or Chicago, or Houston or PRETTY MUCH ANY OTHER MAJOR METROPOLITAN AREA, but sure, why not. Why wouldn’t this little two stoplight town be a hotbed for fugitives?

Right, so they arrive at this railbike place, and the group divides itself into two groups: Fast and Slow.

Fast: Erika, Dorit, Crystal, and Rinna

Slow: Sutton, Kyle, and Garcelle

They ride the railbikes, there’s a lot of screaming especially from the Slow Group, nothing actually happens.

On the way back to the corporate retreat, Crystal and Sutton chat about their parents and upbringing, and they realize that they have both lost their fathers: Crystal’s father died after a long illness, whereas Sutton’s father committed suicide 18 years ago. See? They have something (terrible) in common after all!

When they arrive back at the rental, Kathy Hilton reveals that she spent her afternoon putting ear drops into her eyes because Kathy Hilton can not be trusted to be left alone for five minutes.

The other women head out to the patio to chat for a while. There they discuss Sutton’s $2,000 slippers and the fact that Garcelle thought very little of Paris Hilton having seen her at various fashion shows and events, where she spent all of her time on her phone. Kyle sticks up for her niece explaining that Paris is a profoundly shy person with anxiety issues and she uses the phone to hide. Garcelle stands corrected and claims she’s glad she was honest and said something, because now she knows.

While this is a stretch, I will give Garcelle credit for turning an incredibly bitchy comment into character development.

That evening, the women get all dolled up to go to Lake Tahoe’s fanciest restaurant The Bistro at Edgewood. (And I’m not being sarcastic — it would be difficult to find a pricier restaurant in Tahoe, honestly.) That said, this was filmed in November, 2020, so the restaurant still had some COVID precautions in place, including splitting up the table into several different sections of two people each, making conversation with such a big group … difficult.

After a toast to a beautiful weekend, Rinna mentions that she’s launching a lip line — which, of course, is the most obvious product tie-in imaginable. For some reason, it’s taken her 15 years to get around to it, and now, of course, it’s set to debut in the middle of a pandemic that has forced everyone to hide their mouths behind masks. A+++ timing.

At Sutton, Erika, and Rinna’s table, Sutton mentions that the night before, she, Kyle, and Crystal had a conversation that veered into racial issues, and it left her deeply upset. Sutton explains that as a Southern woman she worries that people assume she’s racist, and she turns to Erika, a fellow Southerner, to back her up on this. Doesn’t Erika often feel like she has to prove to people that she’s not a racist? Erika flatly replies “no,” because Erica is a lot of things, but insecure is not one of them.

Erika explains in an interview that sure, she’s seen and heard a lot of racist things growing up, but she never felt like people assumed she was racist just because she was from the South — because she’s not. (As a fellow Southerner and Texan who has also lived in New York, I have to say this is exactly my position. While I do not know what the people I befriended and worked with in New York actually thought about me, it literally never occurred to me that they just assumed I was racist … because I’m not. That said, I just asked my Yankee husband if he assumes every new Southerner he meets is racist, and his response was, “No, but I do wonder if they are until I find out one way or another.” So maybe Sutton does have a point? Still, it’s not my problem if other people stereotype me, they’re the ones being bigots as far as I’m concerned.)

Dorit jumps in at this point to say that as a “child of the world” …

… and let’s just pause here for one moment and savor the sheer pure assholeness of that particular phrase, “child of the world,” which Dorit uses to describe herself with not even a hint of irony …

… she never knew that people might think that everyone from the South is racist. Dorit then tries to explain the disparity between Sutton and Erika, by pointing out that Sutton has a strong accent, and that Erika has had a more multi-cultural experience, having lived in both New York and Los Angeles.

Sutton is all, “NOW WAIT JUST A MINUTE. I HAVE LIVED A MULTI-CULTURAL LIFE, TOO, YOU KNOW.” Sutton then reminds the audience in an interview that she has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and London. Dorit, who absolutely was suggesting otherwise, is taken aback by Sutton jumping down her throat, and huffs to Kyle and Garcelle that Sutton is being touchy. Or — and hear me out — Dorit is proving Sutton’s point for her that everyone assumes she’s a hick from some backwater town just because of her strong accent. Just because she doesn’t speak with a fake, vaguely European nonsense accent doesn’t mean Sutton is not also a “child of the world,” Dorit.

Meanwhile, down at the end of the table, a waitress delivers a third martini to Kathy Hilton who announces she’s going to chug this one. Dorit declares that she will join her and the two proceed to down their martinis in one glug to everyone’s astonishment.

Dorit then invites Erika and Rinna to join her and Kathy in another round of “Bottoms Up,” and they agree, because why the hell not, it’s their vacation, too.

As Sutton watches on in horror, the four women glug their martinis, but then in an interview, Kathy reveals that she was just drinking water to prank the other women.

RIGHT, SO. Dorit is in on the prank with Kathy, but says that after the first martini, Erika was looking at her like “she had seen a ghost.” So Dorit subtly suggested Erika check her phone and texted her what was really going on. Erika tells Rinna, and then the two of them agree to do “bottoms up,” in the next round. EXCEPT! Kathy doesn’t know that they know it’s just water, and so she goes into it believing that they were actually chugging vodka. It’s an inception of pranks.

With that, dinner ends and the ladies head to their party vans for the ride back to the corporate retreat. Sutton, Crystal, Garcelle, and Kathy share one van, and there, Sutton complains that she knows something was going on, and that it makes her uncomfortable to not be in on the joke. She then adds that she didn’t know that the women at her end of the table were drinking water, prompting Crystal to kick her and then whisper to her to shush, because she didn’t want Kathy to know that she had been the target of that particular prank. Sutton then complains in an interview that it hurt when Crystal kicked her because she has “very thin legs.”

That’s not how pain works, but sure.

Sutton then whines about people texting each other and not being in on the prank, to the point of everyone else in the van telling her to chill already, it’s not about her.

When the two vans arrive at the corporate retreat — TEN MINUTES LATER — Sutton runs out of it, crying to the ladies in the second van that people were texting about her and she has HAD ENOUGH.

Literally everyone:

Once inside, Sutton yells at Garcelle and Crystal that there was a practical joke and they were in on it, AND ALSO CRYSTAL KICKED HER. Crystal is like, “You have got to relax — the prank had nothing to do with you and I kicked you so you wouldn’t ruin the joke. Calm the fuck down.”

But Sutton does not calm the fuck down and stomps around ranting that she’s “a grown woman,” to which Kyle whisper-yells at her, “THEN ACT LIKE ONE.”

The group sits down to discuss the situation, and Sutton demands to know who was in on the joke. When almost everyone raises their hand (except for Kyle) Sutton pouts like a hormonal seventh-grader at a slumber party that it’s NOT NICE that everyone knew about it except her.

Garcelle tries to untangle the many layers to the prank: She and Dorit were originally in on the joke with Kathy, and Crystal just figured it out on her own. But then, she, Kathy, and Crystal didn’t realize that Erika and Rinna had been brought in on the prank, too, and they believed Erika and Rinna were actually downing martinis. Everyone was pranking everyone else.

Crystal then explains for the fifteenth time that she kicked Sutton in the car to keep her from ruining the joke for Kathy, but Sutton is still VERY HURT and snips that she’s never had a friend kick her before. “There’s a first time for everything,” Crystal sighs before calling Sutton “ridiculous.”

Sutton then takes offense at being called ridiculous, for which Crystal apologizes, albeit in not the most sincere tone, before heading off to bed. Kyle then tells Sutton that as her friend, she’s telling her that she’s being overly sensitive.

With that, everyone goes to bed … except not. Kathy, Kyle, and Sutton stay up for a nightcap, where Kathy, bless her, is completely confused by the whole kicking controversy. First, she believes that Sutton kicked Crystal, and then when Sutton corrects her and explains that Crystal was doing the kicking, Kathy marvels at how long Crystal’s legs must be to have kicked Sutton under the table at the restaurant.

Kathy Hilton is the best thing to happen to this show in a very long time. 

Upstairs, Crystal is in her room talking to some friend on the phone about what a nightmare Sutton is. And this is when Sutton decides, for some reason (Chardonnay) that she needs to bring Crystal her coat and barges into Crystal’s room, uninvited.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo.

Leave a Reply