After last week's nonstop roller coaster of betrayals, confrontations and behind-the-back conversations, it was nice to have a bit of a reprieve with this week's slightly slower-paced episode. Don't get me wrong, there was still SO much happening between the 'Wives, but it wasn't quite at the breakneck speed that left my head spinning last week. Plus, we got the much-anticipated return of Kim Richards by episode's end!
First, though, we start with...tonsils? Apparently poor Amelia Gray, the younger of the Hamlin girls, has been having major problems with tonsillitis and Lisa Rinna is not happy about it. She's made it a point this season to feature her girls in front of the cameras as much as possible (likely in the hopes that they can replicate the success of Gigi and Bella, mark my words), and no pair of golf ball-sized tonsils are going to get in the way of turning her babies into stars. However, Lisa seems more nervous about the procedure than Amelia does, but jumps at the doctor's suggestion over the phone that they can see the tonsils after surgery. After all, Lisa got her tonsils out at age four, so all she remembers about it is ice cream, teddy bears and popsicles.
Yolanda Foster's busy planning a dinner party for all the girls at Wally's, a popular wine and cheese bar in Beverly Hills. It's the first party she's hosted since the one in Season 5 with Babyface, but she's finally feeling up to it and wants to provide one very special musical surprise for the 'Wives courtesy of David. We also finally get a new interview look on Yo for what feels like the first time in forever, and she explains in her red blazer that it's important when you have a chronic illness to try to keep participating in life. Maybe the Yolanda who's barely shown up to any major filming events this season has turned over a new leaf? Though I have to say it's still awkward watching her and David holding hands across the table from one another when we all know what's coming down the road...
Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump are more than a little apprehensive about going to Yolanda's dinner party after their argument with her at Frida last week, but figure that being invited may be Yo's way of extending an olive branch. On the limo ride over to Wally's, Lisa V. mentions that she texted Kyle's sister Kim to wish her a happy birthday and that the former 'Wife seems to be doing well. Kyle explains that she is remaining cautiously optimistic about her relationship with her sister. The sisters are finally talking a bit and texting back and forth after months of estrangement while Kim was in rehab and dealing with her legal issues, and are tiptoeing towards the possibility of healing their fractured relationship.
The OGs arrive at Wally's just as Kathryn Edwards is giving Erika Girardi (who's running on roughly two hours of sleep after a performance in Vegas the night before) on the email drama between Kyle and Yo. However, once Yolanda and David arrive, Kyle quickly pulls Yo aside to let her know she hasn't responded to the email yet because she wants to discuss it privately between the two of them. Lisa quickly jumps on the bandwagon by quietly insisting to Yolanda that she's never spoken ill of any of her children and that she never would, to which Yo replies that she wants to believe that and is trying to trust what Lisa is saying. For one second, we see a chink in Yolanda's facade, as she's suddenly on the verge of tears while talking to Lisa and Kyle, but just as quickly she insists she's fine and just wants the dinner party to get under way. Eileen Davidson, Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin finally arrive and the gang's all here!
Next, things get a little disjointed with a number of different conversations happening in a row, so I'll try to break it down as simply as I can. First, Eileen calls Kathryn over to fill Lisa Rinna in on the conversation started by Erika about not getting caught in Lisa Vanderpump's manipulative web. For some inexplicably people-pleasing reason, Lisa Rinna scoffs at the suggestion that the other Lisa is manipulative, rightfully prompting some major side-eye across the table from Eileen. At the opposite end of the table, Lisa V. pulls Erika aside for a chat about that very topic, questioning why the pop princess would tell Kathryn not to "get tangled in her web" in the first place. Clearly taken aback that this conversation has already reached Lisa Vanderpump's ears, Erika explains that she simply thinks Lisa can be influential over the other women and found it interesting that the queen bee and Kathryn would both ask how long she's been friends with Yolanda in a matter of days. Lisa Vanderpump insists this was nothing more than happy coincidence and doesn't understand why Erika would find it suspicious, but gets offended when Erika rather bluntly explains that she feels Lisa is trying to discredit her friendship with Yolanda. Which - for the record - is precisely what Lisa is trying to do. Erika's Jayne's instincts aren't anything but spot on in this situation.
Are you following everything so far? Because there's more. Naturally, being confronted by Lisa Vanderpump prompts Erika to go straight to Kathryn to give her a chance to explain herself. Why would she go from saying "I'd never use anything you tell me against you" to running straight to Lisa V. and spilling the tea? The look on Erika's face when she asks Kathryn if she had fun the night before at Lisa's is classic - Kathryn better have had fun because she just burned a major bridge with her fellow rookie. Erika thought she was speaking confidentially at Erika's house, but Kathryn defends herself by saying she would never say anything Erika couldn't repeat and assumed Erika was the same. That's definitely a different message than what was being communicated during their earlier conversation and this new rule is certainly noted by Erika now. In her words, "the f***ing b***h ratter [her] out."
Then we go back to the other end of the table, where Eileen questions why Lisa Rinna would act like she has no clue where Erika could possibly have gotten the idea that she's manipulative. Sorry, but Lisa knows exactly what Erika was referring to. Eileen surmises that her friend isn't backing her up because she's scared or intimidated by Lisa Vanderpump for some reason, though I'm willing to wager that it's just Lisa Rinna's people-pleasing personality kicking into high gear around the group's self-professed queen bee. Over the course of this dinner, both Kathryn and Lisa Rinna have proven Erika's point that Lisa Vanderpump's influence over this group of 'Wives is deep and far-reaching - just the way LVP wants it.
David Foster interrupts all the gossip and confrontations to bring the 'Wives and their husbands to a quiet back room. As Kyle explains, when David Foster tells you he has a surprise, you get excited. Next thing the 'Wives know, famed opera singer Andrea Bocelli is standing in front of them, prompting a spontaneous standing ovation before he even opens his mouth. He gifts the group with an impromptu performance of "Ave Maria" and the 'Wives are visibly moved, with Erika calling Bocelli's voice a "gift from God" and Kyle tearfully telling Yolanda that the famous tune was her late mother's favorite song. In her confessional, an emotional Kyle explains that she's always looking for signs from her mom, and this special moment is telling her loud and clear that she needs to check on her sister.
The following day, Amelia successfully gets her tonsils removed in all of 20 minutes and Kyle tries to convince Portia to live with her until marriage, while Eileen meets with Yolanda and Erika at the park to rehash all the discussion from the dinner party surrounding Lisa Vanderpump's machinations and Kathryn's betrayal. Erika is still irked that Kathryn went straight to Lisa V. about what she said, but owns that even though "getting caught in LVP's web" weren't the exact words she used, it's exactly what she meant. Eileen agrees with this assessment, filling Yolanda in on her own issues with Lisa. However, I couldn't help but notice that Eileen tactfully explained the situation from the Hamptons without going into nitty-gritty detail about the conversation, which I find quite classy and respectable. Go Eileen. Yolanda explains that she takes her relationship with Lisa Vanderpump at its face value - yes, she's best friends with Mohamed but Yo accepted the fact long ago that she and Lisa would never be what you would call best friends. Erika points out that the bottom line of all of this is that Lisa Vanderpump wants to be thought of as a formidable opponent and enjoys her position of power among the women. Checkmate Erika Jayne.
Next, we get a nice scene of Kathryn with her two sisters Ann Marie and Deborah. Over lunch at Coupa Cafe, the three discuss their mom's worsening dementia and Kathryn explains in her confessional just how difficult it is to see her mom go through the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Even though it's such a sad and sensitive topic, it's really nice to see a little more of who Kathryn is and get to know her outside of the circle of 'Wives. Also how different do Kathryn and her sisters look?? You'd almost never guess they were related by looking at them.
Speaking of sisters, Kyle took the sign from her mom seriously by inviting Kim over to her house for a talk. This is the first time we've seen Kim since the Season 5 reunion and the two have barely talked in over nine months. In the interim, Kim got arrested for public intoxication at the Beverly Hills Hotel, checked into rehab, relapsed at her daughter's wedding in Mexico, went back to rehab and later got arrested for shoplifting $600 worth of toys right before the 'Wives took off for the Hamptons. As the sisters make small talk, Kim denies having seen Brandi lately, and Kyle points out that she knows every time they see each other because Brandi always makes a point to tweet about it. Obviously feeling uncomfortable, Kim changes the subject to ask Kyle where's she's at with everything and Kyle admits that she's torn between wanting to work through things and simply not wanting to bring it up at all.
Kyle acknowledges that each time something happens, they go longer and longer without speaking - to the point where they've barely talked in a year - and when Kim says it was difficult for her not to speak to Kyle, the latter admits that she finds that hard to believe because she figured Kim hated her. Upon hearing this, Kim breaks down in tears as she tells Kyle she could never hate her, and heartbreakingly suggests in her confessional that maybe she's the one who's hard to love. Kim further suggests that in order to heal their relationship, the pair need to do it quietly, without anyone else influencing the situation or getting involved. Neither sister really knows where to go from here in order to begin fixing their broken relationship, but Kim tearfully asks Kyle to have faith in her, otherwise they'll never be able to truly move past the years of pain and hurt to get to a better place. Kyle admits in her interview that she has no idea what it's going to take to fix her relationship with Kim and keep it together, but they have to try again for both their sakes. Personally, I want nothing more than to see Kyle and Kim together and happy again, and I know millions of other fans want the same thing. We love you and are rooting for you Kyle and Kim!