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Real Housewives

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 18 - Dubai Daze

Glenn Rowley

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After last episode's small taste, the trip to Dubai is officially on this week in a super-sized episode of RHOBH. The luxurious Arabian city seems like another world entirely, yet the trip of a lifetime so far seems like exotic excursions punctuated by arguments between the ladies. And even in a Yolanda Foster-free episode, the gossip, accusations and whispered conversations all lead back to the messy Munchausen/Lyme conspiracy.  

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Day 1 of the trip starts off with the ladies breaking up into pairs: Kyle Richards and Lisa Vanderpump are off to swim with sea lions, Erika Girardi and Eileen Davidson are hitting up the hotel's aquarium and Lisa Rinna and Kathryn Edwards are spending the morning at the spa. While Kyle and LVP are getting kisses from their new whiskered best friend, the other women spend their outings rehashing the previous night's dust-up between Erika and Lisa Rinna. Neither Erika nor Eileen understand why Rinna used the word "enraged" to describe her feelings upon seeing the picture of Yo with Brandi Glanville and Kim Richards. Upset? Maybe. Annoyed? Sure. But enraged? It seems like an outsized reaction to something that really shouldn't be that big of an issue. However, Lisa Rinna is sticking by what she said because she's allowed to feel what she wants, OK?

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After reconvening at Atlantis, The Palm, the 'Wives are driven through the city to the Arabian desert, giving them their first real taste of Dubai outside of the comfort of the five-star hotel. Upon reaching the desert, the women are adorned in traditional headscarves (per Dubai's modesty laws) and hop into a dune buggy for a race through the Arabian sand dunes. Dressed in their finest caftans and high heels, the scene looks like something out of a 90's supermodel shoot - simply fabulous. Once they reach their destination, the ladies are treated to a falcon show and an impromptu photoshoot with the bird, and in her Mad Max-inspired makeup and fierce mohawk-braid, Erika looks like she belongs in this setting. All hail Erika Jayne, the bada** queen of the desert!

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The Arabian Nights dinner that's been put together for the ladies seems magical, complete with a henna artist, hookah pipes, a traditional dancer and...camel meat? OK, so some of the exotic flavor wasn't exactly what Kyle and Erika had in mind when they were putting together the trip, but Kathryn decides to take the plunge and try the local delicacy. When in Rome, right? (For the record, she said the camel tasted "a little gamey" but was otherwise edible.) And yet, despite the exotics sights, tastes and sounds surrounding them, conversation steers towards lingering drama from Beverly Hills when Lisa Rinna opens the topic of Yolanda's Lyme disease back up for discussion. Erika confronts her about using the word "enraged," but for some reason Lisa chooses to steer the conversation around to a strange back-and-forth with Erika over what the newbie really thinks of the women. Erika openly admits that she likes Lisa Rinna more now than when they first met, citing that she found the soap actress difficult to trust. Lisa Rinna brings up their introduction in the Hamptons, saying that she judged a book by its cover after seeing Erika's "Painkillr" video and there is some definite underlying tension going on. Erika scoffs at the suggestion that Lisa Rinna would be so shocked and dismayed at her pop star alter ego, and I have to admit the pearl-clutching seems like an extreme reaction from someone who has posed for Playboy. Twice.

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Thank goodness the concierge brought out the hookah pipes and put a pin in this tense conversation, but Lisa Rinna is far from finished. While the other ladies wander off to sample some shisha, Rinna finally confronts Lisa Vanderpump with the accusation that she manipulated the Munchausen conversation early in the season. According to Rinna, the story goes something like this: After admitting she engaged in the now-infamous Munchausen conversation, Lisa Rinna left Villa Rosa. LVP followed her out and, off-camera, said something to the effect of "why didn't you bring Kyle into it?" Naturally, Lisa V. denies this and insists she simply told Rinna to speak for herself rather than try to drag everyone else into the mess. From Rinna's perspective, the two OGs had already been openly talking and questioning Yolanda's illness, but found the scapegoat they needed the second she said the word "Munchausen." Regardless, LVP insists she never would've used the m-word and excuses herself from the conversation, leaving Lisa Rinna feeling like she's just been lied to straight to her face. If she wasn't before, Lisa Rinna is officially aboard the Lisa Vanderpump manipulation train.

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The next morning, the 'Wives venture into the city to do some shopping in the souk. Between haggling with local merchants and Kathryn trying on a caftan with a cockroach hiding in it, the ladies manage to come away from the famed Arabian marketplace with quite a memorable experience. Returning to the hotel, LVP, Erika and Eileen opt to take a much-needed nap, leaving Kyle, Lisa Rinna and Kathryn to go to Nobu for lunch. With such a whirlwind of activity, Rinna laments that there hasn't been time to talk about everything that needs to be discussed and relays her conversation with LVP about Kyle the night before. Upon hearing this however, Kyle drops a bombshell: she already knew what Lisa V. had said about bringing her into the Munchausen conversation. Wait, what?? She reveals that when LVP came back inside once Rinna left, she was dismayed at the allegation and said she thought Rinna was going to bring Kyle into it. Knowing Lisa Vanderpump as well as she does, Kyle stopped the conversation right there and chided her for trying to plant seeds that would implicate her in the scandal. Further, Kyle warned LVP that if she was trying to set her up to take the fall for questioning Yolanda's illness, Lisa Vanderpump would be going down in flames with her. According to Rinna, LVP has been caught red-handed now that her story has been corroborated by Kyle, and she is officially done being the scapegoat for this entire Munchausen mess. 

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Naturally, Lisa Rinna marches straight to Eileen's room after lunch to fill her bestie in on Kyle's bombshell. Now that Rinna has seen the proverbial light, Eileen finally feels validated in her perception of Lisa Vanderpump's manipulative ways. All she has wanted since their trip to the Hamptons is for LVP to take some kind of accountability for how she operates, but feels like she herself is the one left to take the bullet all the time. If Lisa Rinna feels like the group's scapegoat, Eileen feels like a grade A "a-hole" for harping on the situation so much without anyone backing her up. Eileen is shocked that Kyle knew all along that LVP was trying to use her, but now that Lisa Rinna is ready for a fight, the tension is bound to come to a head - sooner than anyone thinks.

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Changing into their most fabulous Dubai fashion statements (Kathryn is KILL. ING. IT. it in that crop top), the 'Wives meet for dinner on the beach, complete with an actual red carpet leading to their table. Before dinner begins, Erika and her Versace necklace call a truce with Lisa Rinna, explaining that she wants to be friends but Rinna needs to stop living in the past with the constant Brandi/Kim bashing and actually develop friendships with her and Kathryn. Let's focus on today (a.k.a. this season) and pay attention to the new girls, shall we? However, once LVP and Kyle arrive, a noticeable chill takes over the meal, directed squarely at the British queen bee. Here comes the drama...

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For probably the third time this episode, Lisa Rinna opens the discussion by saying she needs to get something off her chest. She jumps straight to the point, accusing LVP of "rewriting the truth" in their conversation the night before and insisting that the OG wanted her to bring Kyle into the Munchausen chatter. Over and over again, Lisa Vanderpump denies this, stating that Rinna must have misunderstood her. Kyle jumps in to explain what Lisa said to her after Rinna left, and Rinna doesn't see why LVP would mention bringing Kyle into the drama in two separate conversations. The fight quickly devolves into a game of she said/she said and no one knows quite what to believe. 

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Lisa Rinna insists that "everyone" has talked about Yolanda's illness, but Kyle reminds her that she was the only one to throw out the Munchausen allegation, which in turn pulled the rest of the 'Wives into the mess. Rinna can say what she wants about the women talking about Yo's social media posts, but no one else ever brought up the dreaded m-word. Absolutely fed up, Eileen tries to interrupt and cut through the B.S. to address why Kyle isn't more upset at LVP. Kyle explains that, while the other women may not get it, she knows Lisa loves her and believes they've worked too hard on their friendship to let it be ruined over someone else's issues. Besides, if Lisa V. did try to throw her under the bus months ago, she forgives her. Kyle has too much to worry about with her family drama and problems with Kim to care about this nonsense. 

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In her confessional, Kathryn explains that she thinks both Lisas believe they are are telling the truth in this situation, but I don't know who to believe. However, Eileen is clearly on Team Rinna and is ready to go for the jugular. Once again, she confronts LVP about what was said in the Hamptons about Eileen having an "affair" and that a sincere apology has never been given. Lisa Vanderpump doesn't see what the big deal is, but all Eileen wants is for her to really own it and learn to say she's sorry. Feeling attacked by both Lisa Rinna and Eileen, Lisa Vanderpump starts getting emotional and is ready to bolt, but Kyle convinces her to stay and talk it out. The episode ends, however, with each Lisa disappointed in the other - Lisa Rinna says she's lost respect for LVP for being dishonest while Vanderpump feels her friendship with Rinna is basically done. This, my friends, is a lesson in what happens when issues continually get swept under the rug rather than resolved. Who do you believe in the battle of the Lisas?

Next week, the drama in Dubai continues! Leave your comments below and hit the Share button to share this recap on social media!