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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: abusive relationships

RHONY S9/Ep 13 Recap - A Bronx Tale

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, Dorinda and Sonja face off over lunch in the Bronx to hilariously epic results. Plus, Bethenny takes all the 'Wives on a ski trip to Vermont, where Tinsley finds herself backed into a corner defending her life choices. Read on for a full recap of all the drama, confrontations and CLIP!-able moments...

And now for something completely different! In an effort to get the 'Wives out of their Upper East Side comfort zones, Bethenny Frankel organizes a lunch at Zero Otto Nove, the best Italian restaurant in the Bronx. (Fun fact from a New Yorker: the real Little Italy is the Bronx's Arthur Ave. Go check it out.) All of the women are invited other than Ramona Singer, for obvious reasons, and while a broad like Dorinda Medley fits right in to the restaurant's authentic wiseguy vibe, poor Tinsley Mortimer sticks out like a sore thumb in her black leggings, Mary Janes and prissy blonde curls. As the wine starts flowing, Bethenny proposes a ski trip to Vermont and all of the ladies jump at the chance, but everyone's thinking the same question: will Ramona be left out of the trip too?

Clearly the "salty broad" vibe of the Bronx starts rubbing off on the women because off-hand mention of Sonja Morgan's ill-fated Prosecco brand, Tipsy Girl, sets off the most hilarious fight of the season. First, Sonja claims that both Ramona and Dorinda wanted to get in on Tipsy Girl before she was approached by her BFF's former business partner, Peter Guimaraes. (You know, the guy Ramona went into business with on AOA Bar and Grill back in Season 7.) Dorinda shuts down this accusation, vehemently denying she ever wanted to be part of Tipsy Girl despite Peter reaching out to her multiple times. Sonja fires back that Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian told Peter that Dorinda wanted to be involved with the brand and has the texts to prove it. Naturally, this sends Dorinda on a delightfully slurry rampage, insisting she would rather "chew [her] left leg off than be part of Tipsy Girl" and that her boyfriend can say whatever he wants because John Mahdessian does not speak for Dorinda Medley. 

As the entire restaurant looks on in a combination of amusement and utter confusion, Sonja pushes the issue just a little too far and sends Dorinda over the edge. Next thing we know, Dorinda's arms are flailing in classic form as she warns her frenemy to "back that s**t up" and invents a brand new way of telling Sonja to "shut the f**k up" in the form of screaming "CLIP! CLIP! CLIP!" across the table before she storms out of the restaurant. I kid you not, this may be the most hilarious thing the gangster Housewife has ever done. As Carole Radziwill points out with glee, "when Dorinda's bad, she's just so good."  

Honestly, nothing in the rest of the episode can come ever remotely close to topping the CLIP! CLIP! moment and we're only 25 percent of the way in. But let's move on, shall we? It's the Italian way. 

  • On their way out of the restaurant, an old Italian man at another table tells Carole Radziwill she looks like Melania Trump, which is just about the worst thing you can say to the diehard Hillary supporter of the group who broke down in tears at her own election party.
  • Tinsley cries through a session with her therapist, admitting she can't sleep and drinks too much red wine to cope with the trauma of the abusive relationship that led to her arrest.
  • Sonja manages to offend Luann D'Agostino over lunch at Sant Andrea Cafe by crudely pointing out that they've both had sex with the Countess's now-husband, Tom D'Agostino. 
  • Ramona manages to score an invite to the ski trip, but not before condescendingly reminding Lu and Sonja that she "only skis Aspen." 

Later, the women head to Stratton, Vermont, where Bethenny has rented a massive log cabin-style ski chalet. Before arriving, Ramona attempts once again to make amends with Bethenny, this time over text, but the Skinnygirl isn't budging. She can be civil, but she's not letting the Singer Stinger back into her life. Meanwhile, Dorinda's the first to arrive after Bethenny and Carole, and hilariously realizes she forgot to stop and pick up her luggage before driving to Vermont (on account of being distracted by pre-trip sex with John). 

As always, the usual race for the best room kicks off once Ramona, Sonja and Tinsley arrive - but not before Ramona refuses to drink any Skinnygirl wine. Ramonja throw a tantrum that Dorinda got the biggest room and after nine seasons, the pair's act is getting tired. It's not cute; it's not funny; it's not a good look. Honestly. However, in a surprising turn, Luann hops on the bandwagon by complaining that no one thought to save her a nicer room since she just got married. Excuse me? Is the Countess serious? Sorry there isn't a honeymoon suite reserved for you, darling.

Over dinner on the first night, Bethenny announces that last season's cancelled Mexico trip is back on! Tequila, here we come! Conversation turns to Tinsley's dating life, which Sonja is quick to criticize by claiming it's not a good look to a boyfriend if you're living in your friend's townhouse. Suddenly, everyone seems to have an opinion about the choices Tinsley and her Lauren Conrad sidebraid are making for her life and the socialite starts feeling ganged up on by her new friends. Without warning, Tins starts to spiral and as her voice gets higher and higher, she demands that the other women "give [her] a goddamn second" to get over the trauma that's haunting her from Palm Beach. Ever observant, Carole points out via confessional that the newbie seems to live in a pattern of being put in situations where she's psychologically infantilized or controlled - first by her ex-boyfriend, now by living with Sonja - and as I watch Tinsley's tableside meltdown I'm starting think she's been through more than any of us possibly fathom.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Can Dorinda get any more amazing? Is the ski trip off to a good start? Is Tinsley being controlled by Sonja? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHOD Ssn 1/Ep 9 - Killing Time in Austin

Glenn Rowley

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The Real Housewives of Dallas head to Austin, Texas for their first-ever cast trip, but the weekend getaway takes the darkest turn imaginable when Marie experiences the wrath of LeeAnne over a humiliating betrayal and the women clash over death threats and the definition of the word "kill." Was this the most terrifying vacation in Housewives history? Read on for my full recap of the drama from the lake house turned slaughterhouse...

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Naturally, the prerequisite for any girls trip on Bravo is a good ol' Housewives packing montage. The ladies are headed to the lake house in Austin, Texas that Brandi Redmond and Stephanie Hollman's husbands built together on the shores of Lake Travis. The two besties are anxious to host their cast mates, but the rest of the 'Wives aren't quite sure what to think. LeeAnne Locken and Tiffany Hendra are simply hoping the lake house isn't a dump, while Cary Deuber's husband Mark is making her promise not to start any issues on the trip where they don't exist. Any bets on how long that promise will hold out?

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All the 'Wives arrive bright and early at The Rustic to board the party bus to Austin. Friend of the Housewives Marie Reyes and Cary's friend Courtney Westmoreland Rider, a statuesque, quiet blonde, also scored invites to the weekend getaway. For the first couple of hours, the drive to Austin goes smoothly as the alcohol starts flowing and empanadas get passed around the bus. However, everything starts going downhill when Brandi has to urinate and can't wait until they reach their destination. As Tiffany says, when you've gotta go, you've gotta go, right? Brandi decides that the most logical solution to this conundrum is to pee in a red solo cup in the back of the bus as Cary shields her with a blanket. When LeeAnne finds this disgusting, Brandi and Stephanie joke that peeing in a cup doesn't compare to the story they heard about the queen bee "sh***ing in a bag in the back of a car." (Remember, they got this nasty piece of gossip during Marie's cocktail party way back in Episode 4.) According to the two BFFs, they were told by Taylor Garrett, a reality TV alum from Logo's A:List Dallas, who apparently heard the story from Marie. Oh boy...from the look on LeeAnne's face, this isn't go to go well.

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Arriving at the Hollman/Redmonds' shared lake house, the rest of the women are blown away by how spacious and nice it is - especially when Stephanie and Brandi explain that Travis and Bryan built the house themselves. However, LeeAnne is starting to boil inside about the poop story and confronts Marie about it. Marie denies spilling the secret to anybody - especially Taylor - and even offers to take a polygraph test to prove she's telling the truth. According to LeeAnne, though, only three people were present when the embarrassing story took place 13 years ago: herself, Tiffany and Marie. And she knows it didn't come from Tiffany, so that only leaves Marie as the guilty gossip. However, I can't help but be frustrated that of course the major drama on the cast trip is about poop. Because apparently on RHOD, the women have to reference fecal matter at least once per episode. I honestly can't with the constant poop talk anymore.

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While a private chef cooks dinner for the women, Brandi bonds with Tiffany and LeeAnne over goblets of wine. The former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader thanks Tiffany again for her husband Aaron's song dedication to her veteran brother suffering from PTSD at the charity concert in Episode 7. Opening up that her brother checked back into the hospital the day before, Brandi breaks down in tears and the other 'Wives finally seize an opportunity to be truly vulnerable and bond with her. Just like that, it seems like everyone is finally starting to get along on this girls trip.

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Dinner is served and the Jesus juice starts flowing at maximum capacity. Before we know it, Brandi is three sheets to the wind, drunk as a skunk, wasted out of her mind. Quiet Courtney asks the women whom they would want to have at their perfect dinner party and once the 'Wives debate the merits of feeding either Bono or Mother Teresa, LeeAnne turns the conversation to why she finds it so hard to trust people. Citing her chaotic childhood and being abandoned by her mother, the queen bee explains that she's always had a difficult time letting anyone get close to her - even her BFF Tiffany had to claw tooth and nail to prove she wouldn't abandon her. Cary finds some common ground in this story, piggybacking on to explain that she's surprisingly similar to LeeAnne when it comes to letting people in. Maybe this is why the two have spent the majority of the season butting heads? To lighten the mood, an extremely inebriated Brandi decides to show off her tumbling skills by performing a bikini-clad backwards somersault on the dining room table. Now that is one way to end a Housewives dinner party, y'all.

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By the next morning, everything has taken a shockingly dark turn. Via confessional, several of the 'Wives explain that they were awoken in the middle of the night to the sounds of an enraged LeeAnne arguing with Marie over the poop story. And when they say enraged, they mean screaming-at-the-top-of-her-lungs, roaring-throughout-the-house levels of anger. After stewing about the betrayal all day, LeeAnne finally exploded after cameras went down and the Bravo crew left for the evening - threatening to "slaughter" Marie and "gut [her] carny-style." Meanwhile, the rest of the 'Wives cowered in fear in their rooms, with Brandi and Stephanie apparently sobbing in bed as they clung to each other in pure terror. Thankfully, Cary caught a portion of the terrifying exchange on her phone - in the clip, we hear LeeAnne screaming "s--- like this? You don't want that side of me!" presumably at Marie. Otherwise, the entire frightening ordeal would simply be hearsay without a shred of proof.

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Now, an overwhelmed Marie is cowering in fear at the dining room table as Tiffany tries to convince LeeAnne to approach her and the other women whisper about the previous night's confrontation upstairs. While Marie looks likes she's ready to burst into tears, LeeAnne and Tiffany enter the kitchen to address the tension. Marie refuses to talk to LeeAnne unless the former carny kid is calm, and LeeAnne counters that the only reason she's "agitated" is because she feels so massively betrayed by her friend of nearly 20 years for spreading such a humiliating story about her. Tiffany points out that there's no other way Taylor could've known the anecdote about LeeAnne, yet Marie continues to deny telling the gay gossip anything. Marie is still horrified that LeeAnne threatened her life in during the verbal attack, but a fed up LeeAnne shoots back that what her friend thinks of as "killing" and what she thinks of as "killing" are two different things. The queen bee also argues that when she dramatically said she would "gut" Marie, she merely meant she would cut her out of her life.

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Inevitably, the other women intrude on the conversation, with Cary specifically asking Marie what "kill" means to her when it's directed as a threat. Clearly still afraid, the Friend of the Housewives simply mutters that the word means that LeeAnne was extremely upset. Cary accuses her of dodging the question, but the most she can get out of Marie is an admission that the word was used as a threat to her safety. Stephanie adds that due her previous career as a social worker, she would categorize LeeAnne's attack on Marie as "beyond abusive." Feeling guilty for her verbal outburst, LeeAnne tries to offer a blanket apology to everyone in the room, but none of the other women are letting the threats get swept under the rug. In her confessional, Tiffany defends her bestie, explaining that she can't understand why LeeAnne is being so quickly condemned while Marie gets away with her betrayal by looking like a veritable saint. However, my biggest question is this: if all the other women were so scared for Marie's well-being, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE DO ANYTHING? If you honestly think your friend is in danger, you call 911 or step in and do something, not just hide in bed crying.

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Since there's still an entire day left, the trip must somehow go on in spite of the disturbing drama and the 'Wives attempt to awkwardly move forward with their plans. Pulling LeeAnne aside, Brandi sympathizes with her former nemesis for feeling betrayed and even persuades her not to leave the trip early. Somewhat inexplicably, the ladies divide into two cars (guess who's in which) and head to the Four Seasons for a supposedly relaxing afternoon of spa treatments. While the other girls hit the spa, Marie and LeeAnne stay behind in their room with Tiffany to mediate. Marie remains traumatized by the entire ordeal and breaks down in sobs as she asks why LeeAnne always has to lash out when she's hurting. LeeAnne's still visibly fuming from the discovery that she was betrayed, but as Stephanie, Brandi, Cary and Courtney commiserate over how unhealthy her close friendships seem to be, the queen bee manages to establish a fragile peace with Marie that ends in a tearful hug.

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That night, the women get dressed up and head to Bob's Steak and Chops for a group dinner to celebrate Cary, LeeAnne and Marie's upcoming birthdays. However, by this point LeeAnne has shut down and gone into complete survival mode - barely speaking as she picks her way through a salad. A frustrated Cary calls her out on not wanting to be there and it opens up a whole new can of worms regarding the season-long tensions between the two women over who's judging whom. In an effort to defend her best friend, Tiffany (who's rocking an awesome half-bun topknot), speaks to the fact that LeeAnne is constantly being judged and attacked by the other women for putting herself out there. Stephanie fires back that nearly everyone in the cast has been attacked by LeeAnne by this point, but Tiffany urges the other girls to try putting themselves in LeeAnne's shoes for a minute. Fed up with Tiffany constantly making excuses for her bestie, Brandi accuses both her and Marie of enabling LeeAnne's behavior and storms off to the bathroom. 

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Of course, Stephanie is quick to follow after her BFF, but not before calling Tiffany out for giving LeeAnne positive reinforcement to lash out at people like she did to Marie. Further, Stephanie throws out that if the trio of women are going to simultaneously attack and protect each other, she doesn't need it in her house. With Brandi in tears in the bathroom, LeeAnne gone silent and Cary fed up with the entire mess, dinner ends with an awkward parting of ways as the group of Housewives seems more fractured than ever before. All I want to know, though, is how in the world did everyone get back to Dallas in one piece?

What did you think of this nightmarish girls trip to Austin? Were LeeAnne's threats to Marie unforgivable or does she have the right to feel betrayed? Was Tiffany right or wrong to defend her best friend? Should the other women done more to protect Marie? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 23 - Reunion Part 3

Glenn Rowley

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It's Part 3 of the reunion this week on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and everything from the Munchausen rumor and spinning webs to the drama in Dubai is on the table. Plus, the ladies get a sweet message from one wine-guzzling former Housewife and Andy Cohen tries to get to the bottom of whether Lisa Vanderpump is the master manipulator once and for all. Read on for my full recap of all the drama from the couches...

Vulnerable Vanderpump

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The final installment of the reunion picks up right where we left off, with Lisa Vanderpump's shocking admission that she had been in an abusive relationship at the age of 19. As the Brit tearfully opens up the teensiest bit about the experience, Andy questions why she didn't empathize more when Eileen shared her similar experience in the Hamptons. Lisa explains that her story didn't even come to mind at the time, and several of the women wonder if she has a problem with opening up and being truly vulnerable. Even Kyle Richards is quick to point out that her fellow OG likes to live in a fantasy land where life is all diamonds and rosé. As the topic reignites Eileen Davidson's beef with Lisa, newbie Kathryn Edwards opines that the issue between the two women is simply lost in translation. It's also amusing to point out that when LVP tells Eileen she's hurt her feelings, the soap actress sincerely apologizes within seconds...which is really all she wanted from her fellow 'Wife from the second she mentioned the "affair" in the Hamptons. See, Lisa? It's that easy!

War of the Rookies

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Moving on, Andy brings up the lengthy feud between Kathryn and her fellow newbie Erika Girardi that started with a singular conversation about whether or not Lisa Vanderpump is a sniper from the side who spends her time spinning a web. At the time, I was fairly outspoken that - while I honestly love them both - I was on Team Erika on this one. Regardless of what she said about LVP, it wasn't OK for Kathryn to tell her she wanted to be her first genuine, female friend and then run straight to Lisa V. to spill the tea. Obviously, Erika still feels this way about the situation as well, and even Kathryn admits to the fact that she was wrong in how she handled the situation. However, Erika remains burned by the experience, and calls Kathryn out for listening "with intent," going straight to LVP to tattle on her and then admitting at Erika's contentious dinner party that she did it to get a reaction out of both Erika and Lisa Vanderpump. Further, Kathryn clearly didn't give any kind of good first impression at the dinner party, arguing with Erika's husband Tom and borderline shouting at nearly every other guest to get her various points across. Erika then asks if she should spill about some of the things her fellow newbie has told her and dramatically reveals that Kathryn referred to Lisa Vanderpump as a "harmless old lady." Ouch.

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Kathryn denies ever saying this - and for the record, Lisa V. is neither old nor harmless - but Erika insists that she used the terminology over the phone during an off-camera conversation. When Erika calls her desperate (hunny), Kathryn deflects by bringing up all the trash-talking Erika did about the other ladies in Dubai. Erika pointedly remarks that there's a difference between talking smack and having an opinion, but the question once again boils down to this: who do you believe? Over the course of the season, it's been clear that Erika is always observing and remains intensely aware of what's going on around her, so my gut instinct is to believe what she says. That's not to say I think Kathryn is dishonest, but it would make sense that she would want to deny saying something even slightly derogatory about the powerful OG with whom she's worked to align herself all season long. If there's one thing every Housewife and fan knows, it's that you don't want to be on the wrong side of Lisa Vanderpump.

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Also up for debate is Erika's liberal use of her certain favorite c-word. While "see you next Tuesday" isn't my favorite word either, I think there's a definite difference in the way she uses it and the way some now-former Housewives of the past have thrown it around (ahem...looking at you, Brandi Glanville and Carlton Gebbia...) Even still, Kathryn took offense to Erika calling her the c-word in her confessional after they had made up, but Erika justifies her comment by saying that what her costar did was a "c*** move." As for Eileen getting the two to talk things out at the Habitat for Humanity project, Erika actually thanks Eileen for doing it because the two newbies came to a resolution that has since lasted, reunion notwithstanding. After that day painting a house, the two never argued again and even bonded while sharing a room in Dubai. Both Erika and Kathryn can agree that they are on their way to building a real, genuine friendship with each other, and I for one hope it sticks. 

Putting the "B" Back in Beverly Hills

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Next, Andy has a special surprise for the ladies: a video message from former Housewife Brandi Glanville! The show's most iconic villain has been watching the season very closely and has something to say to pretty much every one of the 'Wives. To Kyle, she says she has an "odd soft spot" for her former nemesis, but accuses her of being one person when she's around Lisa Vanderpump and a different person when she's not. I'll give you three guesses about which version of Kyle Brandi likes more. She applauds Kathryn for locking down a hot younger man in Donnie, and shockingly offers a backhanded apology to Eileen for how she treated her last season. Now that Eileen had the guts to stand up to LVP, Brandi respects her more. Oh and her hair looks great this season! (That's one thing I can agree with Brandi on, you're stunning Eileen!) B's also come to the conclusion that Lisa Rinna isn't actually bipolar - she's just "nuttier than squirrel sh**." Additionally, she lays down a new rule for Rinna that I think every single Housewives fan can agree on: no more saying "own it" or "deflect." Please. Brandi knew she liked Erika the moment she referred to LVP as a sniper from the side. Too bad it took B five years to figure out what Erika say in just a couple minutes. And to her former BFF, Brandi has only good backhandedly good things to say. She claims LVP is "genius" when it comes to changing the narrative to make herself look good. Brandi also throws fuel on the manipulation fire by claiming Lisa V. was her "puppeteer" when they were friends - one who manipulated the self-proclaimed "truth cannon" into doing her dirty work for her.

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The video doesn't get quite the reaction Andy and Bravo were likely hoping for. Immediately, Lisa Vanderpump questions why they are giving Brandi a platform to bash the rest of the cast when she was fired from the show last year. The OG also points out that it's awfully easy to sit there with a glass of wine and rattle off insults to the camera without having to say it to anyone's face. Kyle rightfully points out that all Brandi seems to do is watch the show, tweet about the 'Wives and continually bash them on her podcast. With the exception of Yolanda Foster - who feels it's appropriate for Brandi to be allowed to say her piece if Kim Richards was allowed to as well - the collective reaction on the couches is mostly "meh." Move it along, Andy, no one cares what derogatory and mean-spirited things Brandi has to say.

Taking Off the Rosé-Colored Glasses

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Just we thought we'd heard the last of the Munchausen drama, Andy forces us back to the subject. This time, the argument centers around whether or not Lisa Vanderpump tried to drag Kyle into Lisa Rinna's Munchausen allegation, with the OGs on one side and Rinna on the other. Lisa Rinna insists that LVP followed her out of Villa Rosa to ask why she didn't bring Kyle's name into the Munchausen conversation which, incidentally is the exact same thing Kyle said Lisa told her after she came back inside. The three go back and forth and around and around on the subject until Kyle finally puts her foot down and says she doesn't think it's really that big of a deal. Thank you, Kyle, because I honestly cannot stand to listen to this argument one more time.

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One thing that is kind of a big deal is how much Lisa Vanderpump's husband Ken bashed the other women all season long. In a classic Rinna move, Lisa R. reads off his catty comments about her in the finale. All in all, Ken called her a "stupid bitch," "silly cow," "wanker," "crazy" and insinuated that she didn't have the "full ticket." While acknowledging that she would be upset if say, Harry Hamlin said those things about her, Lisa Vanderpump refuses to apologize for either that or any of Ken's other comments throughout the season (about Kyle's fashion sense and how Yolanda looked at Rinna's birthday party). From her perspective, the Househusband is allowed to share his opinions and vent about the women when he's upset by their behavior towards his wife. Several of the other women disagree, with Yolanda in particular citing this pattern of Ken lashing out all the way back to Season 4, and I'm suddenly realizing Ken Todd may be the Peter Thomas of RHOBH.

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The conversation morphs into a discussion about the seemingly eternal question of whether Lisa Vanderpump is the show's master manipulator. To this day, Lisa Rinna maintains that LVP manipulated her into bringing up the M-word (I can't type it one more time) and tried to get her fired up about Yolanda's comment that she could be bipolar and unstable. She also argues that the other women can't seem to decide whether she's a people-pleaser or just bipolar-level crazy, but I think it's clear after two seasons that Lisa Rinna has a major people-pleasing side to her multi-faceted personality. However, it needs to be clarified that whether or not any conversations happened off-camera between her and LVP, Lisa Rinna was the one - the ONLY one - to bring the word Munchausen into the dialogue surrounding Yolanda's Lyme disease. There, I typed it again. 

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Andy points out that six seasons in, there's been a definite pattern of Lisa Vanderpump's fellow Housewives accusing her of being manipulative. When you break it down, Andy's telling the truth. Over the course of six seasons, Kyle, Yolanda, Brandi, Lisa Rinna, Eileen, Erika, Kim, Taylor Armstrong and Adrienne Maloof have all leveled similar accusations about the queen bee. Bobby Fischer, anyone? At some point, when so many people are saying the same thing, you have to wonder how much truth there is to it. And yet, when Andy asks her point blank, Lisa Vanderpump insists she doesn't feel the need to apologize to a single one of her costars. Guess we'll have to wait for Season 7 to see who LVP manipulates next...

Final Thoughts

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To close out the Season 6 reunion, Andy asks each of the ladies for their final thoughts. Kyle's biggest takeaways are how much she learned about Yolanda's Lyme disease and to simply not sweat the small stuff. Yolanda just wants to keep recovering and getting well, while Lisa Rinna claims she doesn't have any regrets from all the talking her lips did this season. After two seasons, Eileen points out that Housewives absolutely trumps daytime soap operas in the drama department, and both Kathryn and Erika claim their first season was everything they each hoped it would be. As for the final word, LVP is sad people think she's manipulative, but chalks it up to the old "live and learn" mantra. In the final moments, Andy has each of the 'Wives turn to the person on their right and say her best quality. As the women point out each other's sweetness, honesty, integrity and sense of humor, the season ends on a positive note and we're reminded of so many of the good qualities these women have when they're not arguing at each other's throats.

Next week, Secrets Revealed! Leave your thoughts about this week's final reunion installment in the comments below!

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 22 - Reunion Part 2

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the reunion continues as the women of Beverly Hills seek apologies for the words and actions of their fellow Housewives on everything from addictions and affairs to that dreaded Munchausen accusation. Read on for my entire break down of Part 2...

Who Does Yolanda Believe?

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Part 1 of the reunion ended with Yolanda Foster's sudden walk-off during the two Lisas debate over who started the Munchausen conversation surrounding her illness. Ever a supportive friend, Erika Girardi quickly followed her into Andy's dressing room, where Yo dissolves in a flood of tears under the weight of her fellow 'Wives doubt and bickering. Most tellingly however, the arguing on the couches continues even when Yolanda isn't there. Lisa Vanderpump claims the blame lies solely with Lisa Rinna for bringing the M-word into the conversation, while Rinna fiercely maintains that she was encouraged off-camera by LVP. When Yolanda finally returns to set, Andy asks her point blank: with the conflicting stories and giant game of she said/she said, who does Yo believe?

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All Yolanda can say is that she's confused. Yes, she wants to believe Lisa Vanderpump's story, but she just doesn't know who to trust. LVP openly admits she was wrong to doubt the veracity of Yolanda's illness, but Yo fires back that the queen bee has a history of manipulating things behind the scenes to make good TV without any thought for who could get hurt in the process. As Yo says, "you can't run over dead bodies to get a great show." Therefore, according to Yolanda, it's completely within the realm of possibility that LVP was pulling Rinna's strings behind the scenes. As Lisa Vanderpump continues to deny that she wanted to utilize Yo's illness as this season's major storyline, Lisa Rinna gets so fed up that she (rather dramatically) storms off the set in a not-quite-walk-off. Standing between Bravo's multitude of camera operators, Rinna repeatedly shrieks for LVP to simply "own it" - by far her favorite phrase this season. Andy looks, at best, mildly amused by Lisa Rinna's outburst and I can't but think - as he stated in a recent interview - walk-offs at reunions are so 2009.

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Once Lisa Rinna sits back down, Andy steers the conversation to the drama from Kyle Richards' ill-fated BBQ, where the Lyme disease of Yolanda's children Bella and Anwar was dragged into the discussion. At the BBQ, LVP maintained that Mohamed Hadid (her close friend and Yo's ex-husband) had insisted that the kids were fine, adding confusion to whether Yolanda was telling the truth. However, Yolanda points out that calling Bella and Anwar's health into question was yet another mark on her personal integrity. Claiming that her fellow 'Wives would be ashamed of themselves for doubting her journey if they really understood what people with Lyme go through to find a cure, Yolanda gets emotional again and the tears start flowing. Several of the other women rally around her, apologizing profusely and begging her not to cry, but Yolanda shoots out that of course she's crying, this is her life they're arguing over! What would the purpose be for her to make up her disease? Finally, Andy puts a pin in the conversation and we can finally move on from this never-ending Munchausen merry-go-round. 

The Return of Kim Richards

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Next, original Housewife Kim Richards joins the couches to give an update on her recovery and the status of her relationship with sister Kyle. Andy starts off by showing a package of several of the other women gossiping and talking about her throughout the season. The emotional package leaves several of the women in tears, as Kim explains that her recovery is going well - but this time she's choosing to keep her recovery private rather than publicize it in front of Bravo's cameras. It's heartbreaking to see Kim say that she thinks she's hard to love, and Kyle is quick to jump in and make it clear: even when she didn't like Kim's behavior, she never stopped loving her.

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It's heartwarming to see Kathryn Edwards, who had never been on the show with Kim and barely even knows her, be so openly supportive of her fight to stay sober. Eileen Davidson chimes in that, despite their issues last season, she only wants the best for Kim. However, when Lisa Rinna - who had nothing but nasty things to say about her former costar all season long - tries to piggyback on and claim she's full of nothing but love and light, Kim finally gets to the chance to confront her. During the season, Lisa Rinna used her confessionals to bash Kim every chance she got - calling her "dangerous" and "a rabid dog," while referring to her shoplifting arrest as "gross." Kim explains that seeing Lisa R. calling her such vile things as she was trying to recover from her downward spiral only hurt her feelings, and certainly didn't help the situation. However, Lisa Rinna inexplicably tries to argue that she doesn't need to be held accountable for anything she said and doesn't offer so much as a single half-hearted apology to Kim. 

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Lisa Rinna attempts to justify her comments with the excuse that she "knows" addiction. After all, she lost her older sister to it. However, this simply doesn't excuse the lack of compassion she's shown Kim all season long as she's fought her way to a healthier place in recovery. Eileen jumps in to back up Rinna by pointing out that neither of them invented Kim's behavior last season out of thin air. At this point, Kim takes Eileen to task, accusing her of dramatizing and over-exaggerating to get the other 'Wives worked up. After Kyle confronts Lisa Rinna for her judgmental comments about her sister, Kim specifically thanks Kathryn and Erika for stepping in to defend her when she was being gossiped about during the season. It's still remarkable to me that these two new 'Wives who had never met nor filmed with Kim had to be the ones to put Lisa Rinna in her place. Also, major props to Andy for calling out the hypocrisy between Lisa Rinna's "Marco Rubio" talking points and wanting to quickly move on from anything she said all season long. Hello, you can't spew negative vitriol for 20 episodes and then try to move past it when it gets brought up at the reunion!

When Did the Affair Start?

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After a nice breather about all the glitzy and glamorous parties thrown by the 'Wives throughout the season, Andy addresses the season-long feud between Lisa Vanderpump and Eileen over the word "affair" and the apology that never came. After watching the clip where LVP admitted that she said what she thought Eileen wanted to hear at the top of the Burj Khalifa, the soap actress feels vindicated in her intuition that the queen bee wasn't being sincere. Calling LVP calculated, Eileen points out that the OG is smart woman who never does or says anything on camera flippantly. Lisa Vanderpump claims innocence in the entire ordeal, saying she never thought she was doing anything wrong by asking a question, but Eileen insists that the real issue is how LVP treated her afterwards. When Eileen tried to tell her why being put on the spot made her uncomfortable, she found Lisa Vanderpump to be condescending and dismissive. Point blank, Eileen finds LVP to be manipulative and doesn't trust her, even after all the attempts at apologizing. Coming from such different perspectives, these two will simply never see eye-to-eye on this issue.

A Bombshell Abuse Revelation

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Andy then asks a viewer question about why Eileen decided to bring up the abusive relationship in her past in the Hamptons but not the "a-word," and Eileen insists they are two completely separate subjects and experiences. Opening up about being abused was Eileen's way of letting viewers know more of who she is and what she's been through. Further, she took offense to Lisa Vanderpump for throwing shade in her blog by question why being vulnerable about that experience would be of benefit to anyone. In the blog, LVP revealed that she had too been in an abusive relationship once, and Andy presses her on the subject. On the couch, Lisa admits that the relationship occurred when she was just 19 years old and was threatened and physically hurt by her former boyfriend. Unexpectedly, the subject brings LVP to tears and we are left with yet another cliffhanger just as she starts opening up about the abuse.

Next week, the reunion concludes! What did you think of Part 2? Leave your thoughts below in the comments section...

RHOBH Ssn 6/Ep 8 - Going Deep

Glenn Rowley

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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!

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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.)

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.