At Mulholland Grill (there’s no snake symbol on this computer, but the ‘G’ in grill is made out of a snake. This is imperative to imply the right undertones for the scene), VANDERPUMP and MALOOF meet for drinks to discuss their friendship. MALOOF is uncharacteristically nervous, like a 20-year-old on his first JDate who’s detrimentally underestimated how attractive his date would actually be, and therefore detrimentally under prepared himself. In a state of panic, MALOOF cannot stop herself from asking VANDERPUMP how she is doing or complimenting her on how beautiful she looks. She ultimately provides a stuttering apology which VANDERPUMP accepts. The dramatic irony here is that we all know that what they had will never (evuh, evuh) be the same.
Among the clouds at Casa De YOLANDA we see she has an impossibly perfect array of picture frames wrapping around the stairs, so perfect that all you can think of is how crooked your Andy Warhol poster hangs on your only free wall. We then see she has AT LEAST four laundry machines. YOLANDA nestles her recently buzzed-cut son in her big giant bosom while she and KIM, who’s come over for no good reason, share sentiment about their children and their excitement for the upcoming girls’ trip (nightmare) to OJAI that KIM, not the producers, has put her blood, sweat and tears into planning. We discover that KIM has a relationship with OJAI. OJAI makes her feel… well, she can’t really put it into words so YOLANDA sums it up for her as “magic.” YOLANDA then proceeds to ask KIM a bunch of questions about the place they’ll be staying at while simultaneously — in a way only YOLANDA can manage — providing the answers as well. We’re also able to infer that a private jet provided by her husband THE MUSIC MAN will drop her in OJAI since it’s on the way home from D.C.!
Far away from YOLANDA’s sprawling mansion, we come to BRANDI’s humble abode. Her cute little rescue dogs run to greet literary agent MICHAEL BROUSSARD who has the exact same voice as KAYNE from Project Runway. BRANDI’s book is about her divorce and the Lexapro and sex that followed. She provides a (partial) list of the women her EX cheated on her with including THE COUNTRY SINGER and, of Sur fame, SCHEANA, which in a strange twist happens to be a plug for VANDERPUMP’s spin-off at BRANDI’s emotional expense. Whatever the case, BRANDI is the winner of her divorce. Because that’s how divorce works.
In the less glamorous parts of Beverly Hills, KYLE takes daughter ALEXIA to the DMV for the third time. For a permit test. KYLE asks the clerk if she can help ALEXIA cheat on the exam and to her dismay discovers she cannot. While KYLE waits eagerly for her daughter, we see the throng of normal, un-glittered and flats-wearing plebeians in the waiting room. This is a rare glance at the contrast between the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS and the actual world they live in. ALEXIA passes her test and drives them both home in her mother’s brand new Maserati.
At a shoot for Lifestyle magazine, BRANDI is modeling so well and looks so beautiful the fashion designer exclaims that she does not need the cape! VANDERPUMP, who has some ambiguous role at the magazine, got BRANDI the gig in hopes that it will lead to others and seems to be watching out for her younger counterpart. Looking at herself in the photos, BRANDI indicates some body, specifically thumb, dysmorphia. Possibly a crash of confidence following the scandal with THE COUNTRY SINGER and possibly normal womanly self-critique. But life’s not all photo shoots and lifestyle magazines appropriately named Lifestyle magazine; it’s trips to OJAI! And VANDERPUMP, not the producers, decided it was her duty to invite BRANDI into the ring of fire planned by KIM, not the producers.
At KYLE’S home, the HOUSEWIVES minus YOLANDA, BRANDI and VANDERPUMP and plus CAMILLE but minus DEIDRE gather for a Hummer limo ride to KIM’s planned trip — not the producers’ — to OJAI. Before getting in the limo they partake in the customary festival of kisses and compliments. Once en route, KIM makes some sort of comment about CAMILLE’s boyfriend’s long name and maybe it’s dick a joke? We’re not supposed to know. Either way, it’s crucial.
The Hummer limo full of HOUSEWIVES arrives at destination CASA ELAR in magical OJAI — the land where women needn’t wear any makeup! The resort manager reminds KIM that she’s the hostess with the mostest and shows them around the grounds. All the women are impressed with the view, décor, and rooms. Actually, they are embarrassingly disgusted by the rooms. There are five bedrooms, and eight women. Let the games begin! KIM as hostess is truly being tested here. Can she live up to the other trips planned with multiple double beds. ADRIENNE begins planning the heist of a lifetime: stealing a single bedroom and leaving a tardy VANDERPUMP in a wickedly small double bedroom. MWAHAHAHAHAHA!
A bit later YOLANDA arrives via private jet wearing a salmon-colored sweater. If you fly in a small airplane you must wear salmon (ask AVIVA). As she arrives at CASA ELAR she remarks, “What a cute house,” reminding us that perhaps these women needn’t take a trip to OJAI; they could’ve just camped at YOLANDA’s remarkable estate that she built with her own hands, and not wear any makeup there!
A bit later, the apparent outsiders of this season, VANDERPUMP and BRANDI, arrive at CASA ELAR and the festival of kisses and compliments ensues. They kiss and compliment, kiss and compliment and kiss and compliment until VANDERPUMP learns of the double bedroom situation. KYLE, underrated mean girl of the bunch, smirks and utters an evil “WAHAHA.” VANDERPUMP, who shares a room with BRANDI handles herself quite well.
Finally, it’s dinner time, where 99% of housewife drama goes down. It’s also here we realize YOLANDA’s hairstyle is not a result of the wind; she prefers her hair in a big slick backed puff. After a beautiful shot of the wine glasses on the long dinner table, KIM relinquishes her hostess powers and allows the women to sit where’er they desire. Little does she know her lack of leadership will allow for BRANDI to sit directly across from her. The UNIVERSE planned this. ROSÉ makes a late entrance this episode, but it does make an appearance so we can be sure that this is Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and not Orange County.
A gorgeous beet salad is served and we discover that KYLE cannot do a Dutch accent.
A little more settled into the seating arrangement, BRANDI and KIM are in deep conversation. Although KIM loathes BRANDI for calling her a methhead last season, she suddenly thinks this BRANDI might not be so bad after BRANDI compliments her daughters. We aren’t privy to the exact logistics as to how or why BRANDI hangs out with KIM’s girls, but we do learn that KIM’s children don’t like BRANDI because KIM literally says to BRANDI, “They don’t like you.” BRANDI keeps it together and says, “You did something good, you know what I mean?” KIM knows what she means.
The BRANDI/KIM interaction heightens to an emotional one about empty houses, divorces, drinking and of course, Lexapro. KIM gets teary-eyed about the methhead comment and we gain some insight into why it hurt KIM so badly. And then right when things are looking to mend themselves, MALOOF, like a lonely girl at a party who just wants an in to a conversation so that she can stop staring at the wall contemplating what BERNIE should make for dinner tomorrow since they served beet salad tonight — could she have beet salad two nights in a row? — chimes in from across the table like a monotone robot, “Somebody’s crying. Oh no! You guys, somebody’s crying! Let’s all look.” BRANDI does not take kindly to the negative attention MALOOF draws to her conversation. So BRANDI does what no peace-loving housewife in magical OJAI should ever do. She snaps back at MALOOF with a big ole’ unmistakable “Shut the fuck up.”