Well, that just made things a bit more complicated, didn't it? In a season that's already filled with a twisted and complex maze of allegations, feuds and accusations, the revelations in this episode added an entirely new layer to the already convoluted and muddy drama.
As the episode begins, Erika Girardi is prepping to host a dinner party at her Pasadena home so all the women can finally meet her husband, Tom. However, the guest list quickly shrinks by half as Kyle Richards, Eileen Davidson and Yolanda Foster all inform the hostess they can't make it to the party - Kyle and Mauricio are celebrating Yom Kippur, Eileen's shooting stunt scenes for The Young & the Restless and Yolanda's too worn out from a Lyme flare-up to attend. As Kathryn Edwards, Lisa Rinna, Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd arrive, the mood is lighthearted and almost jovial, with jokes and stories flying back and forth across the table. However, the night starts unraveling when Lisa Vanderpump tell Erika she wants to learn more about her after being accused of being closed off. Erika explains that it's not that she can't open up, it just takes some time. However, Kathryn flippantly jokes that she can only handle "a few hours of foreplay" before she loses interest and it all goes downhill from there.
Kathryn starts being weirdly aggressive at the table, going off on Erika for forcing her to go "over and above" to become friends. Tom tries to step in and defend his wife, but Kathryn cuts him off, informing the table that she isn't finished speaking her piece. Erika doesn't understand what the rush is to become buddies, but Kathryn admits in her confessional that she's now on a mission to make Erika be her friend. However, it's safe to say that she won't get what she wants by assuming that Erika's language is all false lashes and lip gloss. Clearly, Kathryn doesn't have an accurate perception of who Erika Girardi really is outside of Erika Jayne. She just wants her fellow newbie to throw her a bone, but ends up just become rude and rather obnoxious in her efforts. This is not the way to win people over.
As Erika is trying to explain that not so much an ice princess as she is cautious, Lisa Vanderpump jumps into the conversation and makes it even worse by bringing up the conversation about her web yet again, which she finds "insidious," "duplicitous" and "clandestine." Sounds like pretty typical Lisa Vanderpump behavior if you ask me. With a smirk on her face, Kathryn asks Erika if she takes her for the kind of person who would be influenced by Lisa V. and Erika decides to put it all out on the table: she was hurt by Kathryn coming to her house, saying she wanted to be her friend and then running straight to LVP once Erika confided in her. As Kathryn tries to defend herself, Erika can't help but roll her eyes, shocked that this argument is happening in front of her husband. (My favorite line of the night easily came from Tom when he bewilderedly asked, "Do you guys do this all the time?" Welcome to the world of Housewives, Mr. Girardi!)
At this point, Lisa Rinna pipes up to try to mediate, asking Kathryn why she felt she needed to tell Lisa V. what Erika said in the first place. Finally, Kathryn admits that there might have been a part of her that simply wanted to get a reaction, but Erika points out that the person Kathryn got the reaction out of was Lisa Vanderpump, not her. Instead, Kathryn's actions hurt both Lisa Vanderpump and any potential for a friendship between the queen bee and Erika - not to mention what it's done to the relationship between the two rookies. Erika rightly points out that if something she said to Kathryn caused this big of a rift between her and one of the other women, why would she ever say anything to Kathryn ever again? Tom steps in to put an end to this ugly conversation, telling LVP that the "web" comment has a silver lining: it means she's seen as running this whole operation. Kathryn once again insists that the message got lost in translation, but everyone's over it by now and the dinner party ends awkwardly and abruptly. Any takers on whether Erika will be inviting these ladies back to her home any time soon?
The next day, Kyle and Erika attempt to play pickleball in Kyle's backyard. Quickly abandoning the idea, the pair sit down for drinks, where Kyle floats the idea out to go to Dubai and is anxious to hear about the dinner party she missed. At the same time, Kathryn and Donnie are out shopping as she rehashes the drama and we hear both perspectives simultaneously. Erika is mortified while Tom is pissed, and Kathryn still claims she was simply summing up Erika's sentiments with the "web" comment and feels like she didn't really do anything wrong.
Meanwhile, Eileen and Lisa Rinna meet for a chat at the beach. It turns out Eileen called this meeting to talk about Lisa's bizarre reaction at Wally's when she found out that Erika thinks Lisa Vanderpump is manipulative. Eileen reminds her friend that she knows exactly where Erika would come up with that idea - the three even talked about it in the Hamptons - and Lisa's aghast reaction that such a suggestion would be so out of the realm of possibility shone a harsh spotlight on her tendency to be a people-pleaser. Lisa Rinna admits that she's tried to stay on LVP's good side, being her cheerleader out of respect for their friendship, but has reached a point where she feels she's been protecting her and is ready to come clean. Further admitting that she allows the other Lisa to exercise control over her (which exactly proves Erika's point), Lisa Rinna drops a damning accusation: apparently, Lisa Vanderpump knew about the Munchausen conversation before it was brought up on camera and personally called Lisa Rinna to encourage her to put the accusation out there. According to Lisa Rinna, LVP doesn't do her own dirty work - she takes full responsibility for the M-word coming from her lips, but insists that she likely wouldn't have brought it up without Lisa Vanderpump telling her to.
Now, let's pause for a second here. This is hardly the first time we've heard that Lisa Vanderpump has been strategic or manipulated someone as a pawn in her game - we heard it from Kyle at the Season 2 reunion, from Faye Resnick at the Season 3 finale party, from Brandi Glanville over and over again during Seasons 4 and 5, it's come up more than once this season from both Eileen and Erika and now Lisa Rinna is confirming it as well. Throughout it all, Lisa Vanderpump has vehemently maintained that this isn't true, and that she's never used anyone to do her dirty work. However, it reaches a point where, when so many people are saying the same thing, isn't it time to consider that the real problem might be Lisa? That there's truth to her reputation as the Bobby Fischer of the Housewives, who treats everything like a game of chess?
Eileen is somewhat shocked by this accusation, calling it "inflammatory" in her confessional, but Lisa Rinna isn't done. Next, she starts putting Yolanda on blast, pointing out that she was apparently too sick to come to Erika's dinner party, yet went to lunch earlier that day with Brandi and Kim Richards for the latter's birthday. Lisa finds this suspicious, particularly since Erika's supposed to be such a good friend of Yo's, but Eileen guesses that the earlier lunch probably wore her out and gives her a giant pass. However, Lisa Rinna claims to be having trust issues because of everything that's going on and decides to go for the jugular. Yes Lisa believes Yolanda is sick, but she also believes Yo has everyone else painted in a Lyme green corner by using her illness to her advantage. Ever diplomatic, Eileen doesn't agree with this assessment and refuses to take the bait, but Lisa R. insists that she believes Yolanda is spinning the biggest web of all. As much as she wants to be her friend, Lisa's instincts (or paranoia) are telling her to run for the hills when it comes to Yo. No one has to agree with her, but it comes down to this: Lisa thinks Yolanda might be more manipulative than anyone. Wow. These are big statements that are bound to change this entire game.
After a couple of scenes of Kathryn at the audiologist and Kyle and Yolanda kind of, sort of making up after the email drama, (still Team Kyle on that one), it's time for the Giveback Homes service project that all the 'Wives went to SoulCycle for a couple episodes back. All of the women (plus Mauricio and Donnie) gather to help paint a house that's been remodeled for a local family by Habit for Humanity LA, but the good feelings evaporate when Erika and Kathryn decide to go at it in another round of their argument. Erika is still upset over how Kathryn behaved at her dinner party as well as for the entire "web" disaster, and tells her so while holding a paint roller. Erika is in the right here, but Kathryn is still, still insisting that she didn't do anything wrong and doesn't appreciate Erika's tone of voice. (Erika's sassy "or what?" when Kathryn told her to get her finger out of her face was easily my other favorite moment of the night. Mr. and Mrs. Girardi were on fire with the comebacks this week!) As Eileen and Lisa Rinna step in to take Erika's side, Kathryn finally caves and apologizes for all the drama she caused. The episode ends with the newbies hugging it out as Erika warns in her confessional that Kathryn's getting a second chance from her, but there won't be a third.