‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’: Fashion is a Battlefield

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“The Divided States of Erika”
June 16, 2021

We begin this episode with a VERY DRAMATIC flashforward: it’s three days after Election Day, and as the women gossip about Erika’s divorce at Sutton/Kyle’s house, Erika is in a car on her way to join them, monologuing about how there are “many layers to this divorce” and that it’s “so fucking complicated and difficult to explain.”


But before we get to all that we have to rewind to Election Night. Kyle is hosting a small results party for just the cast, and has demanded that everyone dress “patriotically.” Kyle helpfully explains to Mauricio that everyone will be in attendance except Erika, who had just announced her divorce hours earlier, and Garcelle, who has no good excuse for not attending other than “didn’t want to.” Kyle checks with Mauricio that Dorit and Her Insufferable Husband are, in fact, attending, and he’s like, “Yeah, why?”

Meanwhile, at Dorit’s house, she’s chosen this green number to wear:

… which Her Insufferable Husband correctly points out is only patriotic if she’s Irish.

Turns out, Dorit is wearing this green number in what is clearly a passive-aggressive “fuck you” to Kyle’s attire request because she’s still pissed off about a very stupid tiff they had on the flight home from Lake Tahoe. According to Dorit, she was having an intense conversation with Crystal when Kyle turned around and interrupted her.

According to Kyle, she just wanted to add something to the conversation, and Dorit snapped at her so viciously, that Kyle burst into tears.

Dorit’s response to Kyle crying:

You know what? Fair, Dorit.

But here’s the thing: Dorit never stops talking; and Kyle does interrupt her a lot. We covered this last season. And this is way too low-stakes to be the basis of a multi-season-long feud. I get that any one Housewife’s value lies in what drama she can create on the show, but this ain’t it, ladies. Find something else to fake fight about.

So Crystal and her husband Rob are the first to arrive at Kyle’s, and Crystal is a little anxious about seeing Sutton for the first time since everything went bananas in Lake Tahoe. They are followed by Kathy Hilton, who is followed by Dorit and Her Insufferable Husband. Kyle notes Dorit’s “patriotic” outfit in the interview.

But here’s the thing: Sutton is next to arrive, wearing this very not-patriotic Dolce and Gabbana car crash of a dress:

“RBG collar?” Nice try, lady. You’re not fooling anyone.

Crystal seems tense at the sight of Sutton, but Sutton is being friendly and bubbly and introduces herself to Crystal’s husband Rob. They both know Jennifer Tilly, so that’s something.

Rinna arrives in the most ridiculous wig and the sparkliest tracksuit ever made, and the group heads outside for cocktails. There, the ladies and men segregate themselves, which, considering the behavior of some of the husbands over the seasons, really is just for the best.

The women briefly and gingerly touch on the Erika divorce news, and everyone agrees that it’s just shocking, SHOCKING! and confirm that no one had any idea any of this was happening while they were in Tahoe. You just never know what is happening behind closed doors, sigh the women, though Kyle is slightly hurt that Erika didn’t share her marital problems before this — she believed they were closer friends than that.

Yeah, like Erika said (will say?), it’s a little more complicated than all that.

Kyle then addresses the shin-kicker in the room, and notes that Sutton and Crystal seem to have gotten past their thing … Sutton smiles that she knows she had a breakdown, but she apologized, and it felt good, and she’s not sure there’s anything left to say.

Except … Crystal still has a thing or two to say about the trip. Crystal announces that when she came home, she discovered she lost five pounds in Lake Tahoe. At first, the other women are all, “LUCKY!” but then Crystal reveals that despite this being Los Angeles, this is not good news: she’s a recovering bulimic. Crystal clarifies that she didn’t relapse, she just lost the weight because she didn’t eat on the trip, because she was so stressed and having such a terrible time. SO THANKS, SUTTON.

Crystal explains that she became bulimic at 11 after seeing a video about eating disorders in school, which instead of being a deterrent as intended, she used as an instruction manual. She decided that if she admitted to being bulimic and talked openly about it in high school, it would somehow be normal, but over time, she’s realized that it was not normal at all. Rinna praises Crystal for being brave enough to share her story — that it helps her and others to open up and talk about it, and then goes on about what a hero her daughter is, too.

Or, and hear me out: Los Angeles is an unhealthy place to raise kids if you want them to have healthy body issues.

At some point, Kyle takes Dorit aside to discuss their kerfuffle on the airplane, joking with a large paddle that she has lying around for some reason, that she’s going to punish Dorit appropriately. Kyle explains that she just wanted to add one thing to Dorit and Crystal’s conversation, and Dorit screamed at her before she could finish her sentence. Had Kyle been anyone else, she’s certain Dorit wouldn’t have reacted that way.

Dorit counters that Kyle constantly interrupts her, and it feels like Kyle doesn’t value what she has to say.

Kyle demands to know if she’s important to Dorit, and snips that if Dorit wants her to make this effort in their relationship, she can never speak to her the way she did on the plane ever again. OK, replies Dorit, but do you remember telling me to fuck off repeatedly last season? Because that is a thing that happened and the producers will gladly drop the clip in right here to prove my point.

After Kyle claims that was different because it was a “heated moment” unlike the plane which was “calm and nice,” Dorit excuses herself from the conversation, announcing that she’s done.

Dorit finds Her Insufferable Husband, and demands that he take her home so that she can visit with her parents who had just arrived in town earlier that day — and so that she can run away from this fake fight. Everyone is sorta disappointed to see her leave, but also, eh. It’s not like they’re going to get election results that night anyway.

The next day (?) Sutton and Garcelle go Bentley shopping, which is exactly as obnoxious as it sounds, and I’m not going to spend any more time on it than this.

There’s also a prolonged boring scene at Crystal’s house where she and her husband talk about Sutton, and he’s like, “I dunno, she wasn’t terrible.”

They also discuss the fact that Rob was surprised Crystal opened up about her eating disorder, and then Crystal uses food to punish her daughter’s behavior which …

Over at Sutton’s boutique, Kathy and Kyle stop by to chat with her about an upcoming luncheon she has planned for the cast — and just the cast. Apparently, she’s moving a bunch of store pieces, including clothes and jewelry, over to the rental house, I guess to try to sell them to the ladies at the lunch? Because I guess that way this entire lunch — which she claims will somehow cost $35,000 — is actually just one big business write-off? IRS? Are you listening?

Anyway, the entire point of this scene is to discuss whether or not they think Erika will be in attendance.

Over at the Harry Hamlin residence, Rinna is learning how to use a giant fire hose to protect their property from wildfires. Seems reasonable! Also, in the spirit of the pandemic, Harry Hamlin has turned their backyard into a giant garden, so as to make them self-sufficient in the inevitable collapse of society.

Rinna and Harry Hamlin also briefly discuss Erika’s impending divorce, with Harry Hamlin noting he’s been through it twice, and has no intention of getting divorced again. I mean … never say never, Harry Hamlin.

Finally, Sutton’s luncheon: as the party planners run around putting giant bouquets of white flowers everywhere, Sutton decides then — and only right then — that it all looks too “bridal,” and demands that they change it. Girl, if you are spending as much as a modest wedding on this luncheon for seven people, you should probably approve of the flowers a day or two before.

Meanwhile, Kyle stops by Crystal’s house, so as to ride to the luncheon with her, and the only reason we are doing this scene is so Crystal can show off her $95,000 Hermes purse.

I am not exaggerating.

And I understand that these purses are “investment pieces” but spending the same amount on a tiny purse that some people spend on a first home is just gross. It’s gross!

BUT ALSO, y’all remember Dana Wilkey?


Yeah, so she became an object of ridicule amongst these women, especially Kyle, for this particular moment, but I demand to know how spending $35,000 on a lunch, or, my God, $95,000 on a purse that is barely large enough to hold a phone and keys is somehow more acceptable or practical than spending $25,000 on a pair of sunglasses? Explain it to me like I am five.

Upon arriving at Sutton’s house, Kyle reminds us again that it’s her old house, and can’t decide if she should knock or just walk in. Eventually, Sutton invites them inside, and Kyle stomps from room to room, judging Sutton’s decorating decisions.

Rinna arrives next, wearing the exact same dress as Kyle, to their astonishment.

And Dorit arrives soon after, wearing the patriotic outfit that she should have worn to Kyle’s:

I promise you, she considered wearing this outfit to Kyle’s, decided she was mad at her, and chose to wear the green Dior — which I am certain she had planned to wear to this luncheon — instead. And now here I am overthinking how the Housewives use sartorial decisions as emotional warfare. What is happening to me?

Garcelle and Kathy soon follow, and everyone discusses how shocked they are that Erika will apparently be joining them. Everyone is still shocked! SHOCKED! about the divorce news, and Garcelle remembers her first one-on-one time with Erika, and how she became emotional just talking about how much she loved and appreciated Tom.

Garcelle asks if they really think it was Erika’s idea to file for divorce (and by “her idea” I think we can all assume “her lawyer’s idea”), and then adds cryptically that maybe Erika should just … wait. These dummies are all like, “Wait for what?” and when none of them catch on, Garcelle helps them along, “I’m just saying, they’ve been married that long …”


And that’s when Erika arrives, dragging behind her a “TO BE CONTINUED” title card.

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo.

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