It was a heavy night for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as the show set about tackling the breakdown of Taylor and Russell Armstrong's marriage, with no happy ending in sight. After all, we know this one's going to end badly. (The couple split in July and Russell killed himself in August.)
But first a couple of lighter moments thanks to the couple that loves to take digs at each other: Adrienne Maloof and her birthday-celebrating hubby, Paul Nassif. And Kyle Richards gives an illuminating explanation on how to deal with people you don't like. Seriously, Miss Manners should be taking notes...
Kyle's meeting with Kim's new BF "backroads" Ken could not have been more awkward. Especially when she spies a ring on Ken's finger. Not that Ken and Kim Richards have eloped. It's a promise band, according to the (new-ish) couple.
"I think that went well," says Ken as Kyle sobs in the kitchen. Interpersonal skills may not be his strong suit. Especially after he asks for a hug from Kim's teary-eyed sister. Body language experts could have a field day with the one-handed shoulder pat Kyle gives Ken. The moment had less feeling than a Rodeo Drive air-kiss.
But it all makes sense once Kyle explains how mama Richards trained them: "When we were teenagers and we'd bring home a boyfriend that we liked, if my mom didn't like them she just didn't acknowledge them so that's what I'm going to have to do, it's the only way I know."
Better bundle up, Ken. You're about to get iced out.
Things aren't much cuddlier at Paul's birthday dinner with Adrienne at Crustacean. But we're hoping this is just a coping mechanism for the cute-but-constantly-bickering couple.
"Marriage, it's work. You have to hold your tongue," says Adrienne in between eye rolls and deep sighs as Paul talks tiger prawns with the waiter and tries to convince his wife he should order the crab dish for her. It's your party, birthday boy.
There's no question Taylor is calling the shots at a Women in Business luncheon by excluding Lisa Vanderpump (and Brandi Glanville but nobody seems to be acknowledging her existence. Kyle must be rubbing off).
And the diss sparks the mother of all confrontations at Lisa's tea party the next day.
Side note: Lisa earns her nickname, Pinky, at the tea party she claims she just threw together. There's Rosie the maid, dressed in a pink smock, pink Perrier-Jouët champagne, pink petit fours and sugar cookies and even a pink stroller for Giggy. It's giddy, girlie heaven.
It's too bad, then, that the rosy glow doesn't extend to group gathered for tea. Taylor shows no remorse for excluding Lisa from her luncheon and then proceeds to rip the Brit to shreds for talking behind Taylor's back, for her sarcasm, for using a picture of herself with Giggy as a screensaver. (It's Beverly Hills. Who doesn't have an ego?) And the list goes on.
Taylor's tagline this season is "I finally found my voice, and I'm not afraid to use it." We just assumed she was talking about confronting Russell, not one of the other Housewives.
But Taylor seems convinced this is the setting to take Lisa down a few notches and asks the other ladies to jump in—forcing Kyle to admit she's complained about Lisa's giant ego. Still, Taylor's spinning out of control and nobody wants to go down with her. "Chickens," clucks Taylor, not realizing she's about to get grilled.
Camille Grammer's been quietly diplomatic this season. That's over. Suddenly her nostrils are flaring and her eyes are bulging as she warns Taylor to be careful because "We don't say that he hits you. Because we don't say that he broke your jaw or beat you up and he hits you. We don't say that, but now we've said it."
Maybe Camille was just angry about being dragged into the confrontation with Lisa, but do you think it was the time or the place to share details of Taylor's alleged domestic abuse or would it be worse if she kept quiet? Weigh in below.