Wow. Who knew at the top of the hour that we'd be in for such an emotional, deep episode? I mean, it got real all the way from Southampton to LA. So buckle up dear readers, because it's going to be a surprising, tear-filled ride. However, my first question is this: why isn't new Housewife Kathryn Edwards featured in the intro?? Erika has been giving us her "wrapped in a riddle and cash" tagline since the very first episode of the season, and she wasn't even introduced to the show until Episode 3. Yet, this is Kathryn's first official episode as a 'Wife and she's nowhere to be found. I'm confused. Give the girl her tagline!
We start back at Kyle's pop-up boutique in the Hamptons. Having been in Kyle's store in Beverly Hills, I can say the pop-up looks like a pretty exact replica of the original - which is a good thing since the store is gorgeous. The pop-up is meant to serve as a test run for opening a Kyle by Alene Too in New York City, and to add to the publicity Kyle is holding a book signing for Bethenny in the store. Before the other 'Wives arrive, Bethenny and Kyle (decked out in raspberry and fire engine cherry, respectively) rehash the Erika situation, with Kyle informing her friend that she may have offended the newbie with her harsh comments. Maybe just a little bit. Bethenny is still unclear about whether Erika is trying to make money off of this pop career, but Kyle tries to remind her that unsolicited advice doesn't always go over very well. (Never mind that B's opinion actually WAS solicited...by Lisa Vanderpump.)
Meanwhile, Eileen is discussing her own issues with LVP on the way to the book signing with Erika and Lisa Rinna. As the trio saunters into the boutique, Erika and her black-and-white gun print dress head straight for the display of hot shorts. Sensing her opportunity away from the other women, Bethenny joins her to offer an apology for insulting her music video. Erika graciously accepts the apology, saying she's a big girl and is already over it. I'd argue that her confessional soundbytes tend to tell a bit of a different story, but OK. Once Bethenny understands that Erika Jayne is passion project and Erika's really going for it, she gives her Skinnygirl seal of approval and the issue is put to bed. See? Housewives really can make up quickly sometimes.
With the book signing in full swing, Kyle's aunt, Jane, and cousin, TIffany, arrive to show some family support and gift Kyle with a sentimental picture of her mom and uncle. Once Lisa V. and Ken show up, conversation inevitably turns to Kim's struggles, and Lisa R. admits she feels somewhat responsible for exacerbating the problem last season by trying to hold Kim accountable. Across the room, Kyle is having a tearful conversation with her aunt about the same topic and reveals that she and Kathy aren't even on speaking terms. My heart broke for Kyle as she explained in her confessional how helpless she feels - she's not speaking to Kim, but when she tries talking to her that doesn't help either. It's the definition of a lose-lose situation for any sibling to be in when all she wants is for Kim to get better and beat her demons. Naturally, Kyle joins the other ladies just as Bethenny is voicing how badly she feels for her friend, walking right into the conversation. Kyle tries to explain to the women that, despite not being her problem personally, Kim's struggle with addiction affects her life every single day.
Later that night, the Beverly Hills 'Wives convene back at the house for a final dinner in the Hamptons. As the ladies take their seats at the table, Lisa Vanderpump asks Eileen if they're good. Eileen replies that she hopes they are, but admits she left their conversation in the last episode feeling like she had offended Lisa for expressing how she felt. The air seems to be cleared, finally, yet Lisa manages to turn the situation back around on Eileen for the second time. Despite having had multiple conversations by this point, this isn't over. Erika tries to change the subject by asking why the ladies have such strong feelings about Brandi since they seem to be "obsessed" with her. Not having any context for the situation, I'll give Erika a pass for that comment. Lisa V. and Kyle each take a turn trying to explain the things Brandi has done to them over the last four years. You know, just little things like attempting to destroy their friendship and Kyle's relationship with her sister. NBD.
This is where things start getting even deeper. Lisa Vanderpump turns the subject back to Kim by asking Kyle how she can react differently in ways that won't affect her as much. Kyle honestly explains that there's nothing anyone can say or do to fix the situation. Any advice or golden words of wisdom people offer, she's already tried. Meanwhile, Lisa Rinna says some very hurtful things about Kim in her confessional and I officially don't want to hear about this anymore. Eileen and Erika give a quick update on Yolanda's condition post-surgery as the lobster is served and then Kyle asks Lisa Vandepump to share what keeps her up at night. However, Lisa insists that even though she has problems, when her head hits the pillow at night she goes straight to sleep. Apparently the biggest problem is LVP's diamonds and rosé-filled life is which miniature pony to buy Ken for his birthday...
Ready to get even deeper? Eileen sure is. She reminds the ladies of Yolanda's suggestion in Amsterdam that they each go around the table and share something personal. Eileen never got a chance to speak up before wine glasses were shattered between Lisa Rinna and Kim, but she's ready to say it now: Eileen has been in two very physically abusive relationships in the past. She tearfully explains that the situation ended with her nose being broken, leading her to finally decide that she was strong enough not to fall back into the cycle of abuse. In a powerful moment, Eileen explains in her confessional that the reason she's sharing her story is to help other people in abusive relationships realize that it's possible to break the cycle and come out stronger on the other side. On that note, Kyle thanks all the ladies for sharing such an amazing bonding weekend together and Erika pronounces the group "one tough pack of bitches." Amen to that, Erika. This Hamptons trip was definitely a 10 out of 10.
On her way back from the Hamptons, Erika stops in Cleveland to pick up a still-recovering Yolanda. Taped up and stitched up but missing her implants, Yo tells Erika all about the surgery. Apparently, out of the 9000 explant surgeries Dr. Feng has done in her career, Yolanda's was the worst case she'd ever seen. However, the surgery seems to have made a difference, as Yo can already breathe easier now that the implants aren't on top of her lungs. Everything about the surgery has validated to Yo that she wasn't crazy and her symptoms were real all along. According to her, there's nothing worse than being an intelligent woman and having people doubting what you're telling them. Even Yolanda's own family had skepticism over her health issues! However, much of the issue is now (hopefully) behind her and it's time to get back in the proverbial saddle.
Back in Beverly Hills, Kyle meets with a face we haven't seen in quite a while - perennial pot stirrer and one-time Friend of the Housewives Faye Resnick. The "morally corrupt" Faye is, of course, Kyle's BFF and interior designer, so she's bringing over plans to turn Mauricio's home gym into the closet of Kyle's dreams - sans collapsable clothing racks. Faye usually means trouble, but this particular time she comes in peace. Asking about the status of Kim, she reminds Kyle that if something were to happen while they're not speaking, Kyle would never forgive herself. In her confessional, Kyle explains that Faye is like family and she recognizes that her friend is coming from a good place. However, she simply needs to keep Kim in her life at a distance at the moment, which is completely understandable. Faye ends the conversation by counseling Kyle not to let herself feel guilty about the relationship, and I'm shocked to say this might be the most positive screen time Faye Resnick has ever had in the history of this show.
At Pump, Lisa V. is hosting a pre-party for something called the Hero Dog Awards. However, I'm too distracted to pay attention to what that means because CAMILLE GRAMMER IS ON MY SCREEN! Apparently this is an event Lisa throws every year, but for some reason we've never seen it before. The awards honor dogs who can detect cancer, predict seizures and perform (human) life-saving acts of valor. It's clearly something that's a part of Lisa's modus operandi. And look - there's Lance Bass and his adorable husband Michael Turchin. As Erika and Kyle cheers with Queen Camille, Lisa Rinna and Eileen are at the bar when the sight of an old friend makes Lisa do a double-take.
That's right. Eight episodes in, new Housewife Kathryn Edwards has finally arrived on the scene. The statuesque blonde met Lisa Rinna more than 20 years ago when they were both getting their starts in LA. While Lisa became an actress, Kathryn chose to focus on modeling - signing with Elite Model Management, moving to Paris and landing Nike's very first "Just Do It" campaign. From 1993 to 2001, Kathryn was also married to NFL star Marcus Allen, who just so happened to be O.J. Simpson's best friend and was rumored to have had an affair with Nicole Simpson Brown before she was murdered. For some inexplicable reason, O.J. is the very first thing Lisa Rinna decides to bring up, which visibly annoys Kathryn as she explains that she's been married twice since those scandal-filled infamous days. (Ironically, Eileen also chimes in that she went out with Marcus a couple of times back in the day. What are the chances?) These days, Kathryn is married to former NFL linebacker Donnie Edwards, who is nine years her junior.
When Kyle gets wind of Kathryn, she openly wonders if the newbie knows Faye. Considering that Kathryn came up in Faye's book that was published during O.J Simpson's trial, Nicole Brown Simpson: The Private Diary of a Life Interrupted, it's a valid question. In the tell-all, Faye confirmed the alleged affair between Marcus Allen and her best friend, claiming somewhat slanderously that Kathryn turned a blind eye to the indiscretion. However, both Marcus and Kathryn have always denied the affair ever happened. Tired of sitting in the heat, the 'Wives decide to go for drinks at The District by Hannah An and invite Kathryn to join them. After sitting down at the Vietnamese hotspot with their cocktails, the newbie schools the ladies on how to pronounce her maiden name (Eickstaedt) and regales them with tales of competing with Yolanda for modeling gigs in the '80s.
After Eileen informs everyone that she and Vince are going to Florence to spread her sister Connie's ashes, Kyle addresses the elephant in the room by asking Kathryn if she knows Faye. The newbie denies ever meeting Kyle's BFF, which seems odd considering their dual connection to the murder trial of the century. In her confessional, Kathryn explains that her feelings regarding Faye are less than warm and fuzzy. Kyle finds Kathryn's response to her question bordering on aggressive, and I'll agree it was rather abrupt. Uh-oh. I have a sinking feeling that opening this pandora's box could spell trouble.