It was a face-off 20+ years in the making that we didn't even know was needed until last week's episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
In one corner, we had Kathryn Edwards, new Housewife on the block carrying around a major beef over how a certain Friend of the Housewives characterized her in a certain tell-all book back in the mid-90s. And in the other corner, we had "the morally corrupt Faye Resnick" (Camille Grammer's infamous words, not ours!), the author of said tell-all and the slithery BFF of Kyle Richards who's somehow managed to slide her way into the thick of the drama each and every season of RHOBH.
When the bell rang and the match began—well, it sorta just fizzled out, didn't it?
It was clear from the start that Faye had no desire to enter into a conversation with the woman who holds her accountable for dragging into the media circus surrounding the O.J. Simpson trial for Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman's murder. (In case you missed class last week, Faye "wrote" a book just months after her best friend Nicole was murdered, alleging that Marcus Allen [Kathryn's husband at the time] slept with Nicole, sparking O.J.'s rage.) "I'm not ready to have a conversation with Kathryn or anyone else for that matter about something that was so painful to me," Faye warned Kyle prior to the barbecue-with-no-barbecue they'd all be attending. "You know full well I'm never going to get into a conversation about Nicole and about the past. I'm not doing that. I don't know Kathryn. I'm sure she's a nice girl, but I don't want to have a conversation with Kathryn over it." Why would she when everyone could just read her exploitative book instead?
Kyle tried her hardest to get the fur flying right as Kathryn arrived, forcing an introduction with Faye by saying, "Kathryn, have you met Faye? I can't remember if you have. I know you ran in the same circles." You know, a few days after Kathryn explicitly said she'd never met Faye to Kyle's face. That Kyle, always forgetting things!
Kathryn didn't take the bait, choosing to instead sidestep Faye all together and strike up a conversation with Erika Girardi (though she'd probably have begun talking to a bush to avoid Faye, if we're being honest). But her diplomacy didn't last long. All it took was being seated directly across from Faye at the table (and probably more than a little wine) and Kathryn was off to the races.
"She capitalized on a tragedy. Horrible. She wrote a book back in the day, 21 years ago, and spoke of me. She's never met me, so don't act like you know me when you don't know me," Kathryn told anyone who would listen while Faye was away from her seat, before adding, "There's very few people in my life that I've carried a dagger for...She's one of them."
When Faye returned to the table, the tension was so thick, Kyle's caterer could've cut it with a knife. Without hesitation, Kathryn dove in. "I have to tell you Faye, I've never met you before and I feel like I'm being phony if I sit here across the table and not address the elephant in the room," she began. "For me to not say something, I feel like I'm being phony. And obviously there's history. Way back then, when all that s--t was going on, the way I was brought into it, I associated that with you."
What Faye did next was maybe one of the funniest attempts at feigning ignorance we've ever seen on reality TV. A transcript:
Kathryn: "My name was never mentioned in anything until you brought my name up."
Kathryn: "I don't know. You wrote about something."
Faye: "Oh, yeah."
From there, Faye went into her four-point deflection plan. First, dismissal: "There's not really much to discuss at this point, is there?" Second, disdainful condescension: "Do you feel better?" Third, faux apology (with bonus appeal for sympathy!): "You know something, I really don't want to have a bunch of conversations about this. That's a really uncomfortable time in all of our lives and I think that's something that should be discussed in private. If I've done anything to offend anyone, I'm sorry, I really am." And finally, the insincere compliment: "You look beautiful, by the way." Faye Resnick, ladies and gentlemen!
Was Kathryn satisfied? Not exactly. "There's a part of me that feels a little cheated 'cuz I was ready," she admitted later. "I was ready to just, like, annihilate her." With the look at next week's episode promising round two between these two, she just may get her chance.
- "Don't hate the game, just marry a player." How are we feeling about Kathryn's tagline? Pretty meh, right?
- Kyle was on a roll this week, huh? She ambushed both Lisa Vanderpump and Kathryn with Faye's presence at the barbecue-with-no-barbecue. She tried to force Faye and Kathryn to speak while playing dumb about whether they knew each other. She wanted everyone at the table to admit whether they'd been in Playboy even though Faye shot her a dagger-filled look to shut it down and then said "Oops, I forgot!" She grilled Vanderpump on Yolanda Hadid's kids Lyme disease after Lisa repeatedly said she didn't want to talk about it anymore. Kyle Richards, friend of the year!
- Eileen Davidson was off on her own, spreading her sister's ashes in Italy. RIP Eileen's sister.
- Lisa Rinna's face when seeing Yo for the first time since questioning her illness on camera was everything: "I've said things about Yolanda. Oh, God."
- Kyle: "I'm going to stop using the word 'barbecue.'" Probably a good idea.
Are you Team Kathryn or Team Faye? Sound off in the comments below.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)