When this episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills opened with an extensive phone-based montage of Whitney calling seven of her closest friends to explain what snow tubing is while intermittently discovering her dog's urine on the floor, I was concerned that it might be a filler episode. But then I saw the preview for next week's episode wherein Lisa Barlow finally turns her sights to taking down Mary Cosby's Church of Donuts, and I realized that this episode wasn't fluff…
It was Lisa's Joker-origin story. Plus, even its fluffier moments, like Whitney making the snow tubing losers wear wigs she dug out of a Dollar Tree dumpster on Nov. 1, had their payoffs. Because it meant that when Lisa finally breaks down and indignantly screams, "My grandfather was gay," everyone staring back at her in stunned silence looks like some combination of Ronald McDonald and the Fanta girls.
See, things aren't going well for Lisa Barlow. Over a well-rounded afterschool snack of Wendy's junior bacon cheeseburgers, Starbucks cake pops, and Bahama Buck's shaved ices, Lisa's 9-year-old son shares that he's dealing with a similar situation at school where a boy inexplicably no longer wants to be his friend, and when little Henry still tries to be his friend, the other boy tells him he's "not a good kid." Now, I don't want to pull a Jen Shah on Henry Barlow… but what are the chances here that he also sabotaged the catering of a friend's philanthropic casino night? Because the fallout sounds exactly the same as his mom's with her friend Angie… and Angie's friend Whitney… and eventually, Whitney's friend Mary.
Outside of the RHOSLC playground drama, things are also not going well for Jennie, but that's just because her husband is the living, breathing embodiment of "men will literally commit polygamy and break their wife's/wives' heart instead of going to therapy." I couldn't believe this episode didn't open back up on the mountain where we last saw Jennie storming away from Duy after he suggested they get a sister wife since Jennie, after losing nine pregnancies and raising three children, does not want to continue attempting to birth and raise babies.
Instead, we find Jennie and Duy at date night because Jennie says she may still be mad at him, but she's not going to deprive herself of oysters and martinis because of it. Which is my kind of girl, except for the fact that she immediately brings up Duy's inappropriate sister-wife comment, which means she ruins a good dirty martini by having to listen to Duy once more be completely flippant and heartless regarding her wants and needs while she drinks it. Of course, now we now know that part of Duy's bullishness about having more children is due to witnessing the loss of their infant daughter after childbirth. But his emotional loss and his tendency to treat his wife more like a walking uterus than a woman with feelings is not a one-to-one correlation…
So, everything makes a little more sense when Jennie finally tells Duy that he needs to seek professional therapy to help work through his lingering grief over their daughter, and he responds, "There's nothing wrong with me to get help." As they said in the olden days of yore: "Whoop, there it is." Duy goes on to say that there's an emptiness inside him that he wants to fill with more children… which is the exact type of thing you could say to a therapist, who could use their subject matter expertise to tell you that's not how things work.
The other gals are mostly doing fine though — and by "fine" I of course mean taking shots at a birthday party for multiple 1-year-olds, and drunkenly collapsing like one of those inflated tube men at a car dealership because their pleather pants are so tight their knees can't even bend to break their fall.
And while I wish that had happened to multiple women, it was actually just Angie, which is why she's hungover when she shows up to the snow tubing party bus the next day. Mary says that Whitney picked an event that was two hours away — "that's 60 minutes, twice!" — so she had to figure out a way to be comfortable. And naturally, the only way to be comfortable was riding a stretch hummer the length of a city block. But if this is Mary comfortable, then I shudder to think what uncomfortable looks like. On the ride, Mary easily finds a way to mention for a second time in her Housewives tenure that carbonation "hardens your ovaries." Lisa said she was going to have to google that, which seemed pretty innocuous to me…
But not to Mary! She snipes back at Lisa, "Don't do that… don't talk to me like I'm dumb!" Lisa backs off fairly quickly, but Mary has more to say: "I mean, you really have an attitude, Lisa!" It is both a wild overreaction and perfect. Mary so rarely flies off the handle that she must have been feeling some kind of way about Lisa for a while. And we know she's not the only one, because it's starting to feel like Jennie is just about her only friend left. Which may be why Jennie then flies off the handle at Mary when she won't stop fussing at Lisa, and then fussing at Jennie for using the f-word. "This is how I talk. If you don't like it, you don't have to listen, Mary," Jennie hollers over her shoulder as she storms toward the snow tubing facility, fuming about how she just wants to have fun.
And even though most of them have just screamed at one another in the very recent past, it seems like the girls do have fun tubing (excluding Mary, who is physically exhausted after — checks notes — riding a moving sidewalk while holding a tube full of air). But nothing good can last, especially when there are Bloody Marys and wigs involved…
The women retire to lunch after tubing, where Jen asks if Mary and Lisa have worked things out. They mostly agree it was a misunderstanding, but Lisa says she doesn't understand why everybody always wants to assume the worst in her. Angie takes that moment to say that she knows their relationship is forever changed now, but she'd like to move on if they can. But surprisingly Lisa "Loves to Move On" Barlow says NO. Not unless that request to forget it comes with an apologetic plea to forgive it.
Angie wants Lisa to see her side of things, but Lisa wants Angie to understand how badly the accusation hurt her. Whitney jumps in to say that Angie was also hurt, and all hell breaks loose. "DON'T BRING YOURSELF INTO THIS!" Lisa yells, citing their clean slate that has never, not once been any cleaner than the air vent Whitney's dog peed in earlier. These two will never be friends. But Angie might still be on the table after Lisa breaks down into sobs, saying that her grandfather was gay and she would never sabotage an event that supports a group of people she loves (which leads one to wonder about events that support, say, women who wear colors other than black — would she sabotage them?)
Angie walks over in her Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle coveralls, hugs Lisa, and says she believes her. Jennie gets angry at Mary one more time, but Mary has already engaged more than she wanted to and has eaten exactly nothing to sustain her Housewives energy levels so she completely checks out. And, with that, so do we — see you back here next week for the first clips that will one day be used in the true-crime podcast they make about Mary's church.