Like a stereotypical Southern Belle, Sutton Stracke is good for talking shit and getting in her castmates’ personal business. And on tonight’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, she launches her latest probe into Kyle’s midlife crisis.
We pick up Episode 5 right where last week’s unwarranted cliffhanger left off, in the middle of Sutton and Kyle debating the former’s behavior in Las Vegas. After Kyle basically calls her mentally imbalanced, Sutton decides to flip the tables on her. “What’s going on with YOU?” Sutton shoots back.
Kyle immediately seems to know what Sutton’s getting at, regarding her lifestyle changes that include no drinking, working out obsessively, and a series of juvenile tattoos that she looks like she got on a Delaware beach. She tells Sutton to “bring on” her suspicions before she storms out of her house in her hideous bedazzled hoodie. Clearly, this is a woman with nothing to hide!
Then we go to Erika’s humble casita—which, if you ask her, is essentially public housing compared to her and Tom Girardi’s former estate. Her mother, Renee, is in town. And while this petite woman has appeared on the show before, it’s always strange to remember that Erika came from someone’s womb and wasn’t made in a factory and shipped to a New Jersey strip club. These two also look about the same age, because they’re only 18 years apart.
The last time Renee was on the show, Erika mentioned that she was tough on her growing up and basically blamed her for the emotionally vacant human being she is today. On this visit, Erika is really playing up their alleged tension. Apparently, they stopped talking when Erika was going through her legal issues with Tom. Her mom also brings up her old mansion, which triggers Erika. Unfortunately, thanks to Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, my standard for mother-daughter drama is Monica and her mother, Linda. So I need to see a little more friction between these two, a stolen car, at least!
That said, this Renee visit is mostly an opportunity for Erika to complain about how small her house is. She tells her mother their limited sleeping options for the night.
When your parents are sleeping over, you naturally forfeit your bed. But the thought of sleeping on a sofa is apparently too sad for Erika, so she not-so-subtly pressures her mother to let her share her bed. The way she lists the sofa and the floor as her only options truly made me crack up. Erika could definitely make one of her rooms a guest room if she wasn’t embarrassed to have people over.
Anyway, Crystal is finally getting some screen time after her birthday trip where she was upstaged by everyone else, including Magic Mike dancers. It turns out this anecdote about her getting in the middle of her brother, Jeff, and his ex-fianceé, Vivi, is a storyline we’re going to have to follow. And I’m only down for it if we get to see Crystal being a full-on bitch about Vivi. I’m not sure that I care about her brother’s heartbreak over this woman he planned to marry but abandoned in China to combat COVID by herself.
At any rate, I still feel like I’m missing something with this family drama. Crystal says, in this episode, that she and her mother “forced” Jeff to come back to the States during the pandemic. But what does “forcing” a 40-year-old man to move look like? Were they threatening something?? Also, I can’t tell if Crystal feels awkward that she prompted this breakup or if she just doesn’t want to be replaced by whoever her brother marries. Rob implies the latter while they’re eating dinner. And Crystal quickly shuts him down and starts fidgeting like Kyle being questioned in Sutton’s kitchen. I guess we’ll see where this weird sibling shit goes.
Sutton goes to check out her new horse, Santos, with Jennifer Tilly. Out of all the scenes on Bravo shows that I fall asleep through, anything involving the riding or petting of a horse are probably at the top of my list. No offense to horses! You guys just aren’t fun to watch humans interact with on TV unless you’re throwing someone off your back. Afterwards, though, Sutton talks to Jennifer about Kyle’s odd behavior. And Jennifer explains to her that Kyle is probably looking for a way to gain control of her life.
This episode culminates in a screening for Garcelle’s Lifetime movie Black Girl Missing, which she stars in and produces. (Where was this media mogul in Variety’s 40 Most Powerful Women in Reality TV list??) Unfortunately, Garcelle is wearing yet another garish ensemble, a silver sequined trench coat over a black-tie look. I truly have no idea where a person would even find these outfits she’s been wearing in 2023, but her stylist is addicted to dressing her like a giant 12-year-old who shops at Justice. I’m used to this being the franchise where I can count on everyone to look expensive!
Anyhow, Dorit and Sutton ride to Garcelle’s screening together. And Dorit’s already nervous that there’s supposedly going to be 100 people at this event, even though Garcelle told her it would be an “intimate” gathering. I don’t want to say that Dorit is weaponizing her PTSD from the robbery to not be around people. (I totally would.) But she was literally just galavanting around Las Vegas, a more likely place to get robbed than Garcelle’s party! You think Jerry O’Connell’s gonna reach into your bag while you’re ordering a drink?
Thankfully, Dorit doesn’t make this an issue (for now at least). After the screening, she and Garcelle have a talk about their Vegas argument. And Dorit apologized for telling Garcelle that “it’s been a year” since all of the drama with Jax and to essentially get over it. Jax and Erika also make amends after she drunkenly cursed him out last season. Jax makes Crystal walk over to Erika with him as his emotional support—considering she was present when she shooed him away—which was very cute.
We also get our first Denise Richards appearance. And boy, has this woman gotten kookier since her very odd Season 10 reunion performance. First of all, she’s wearing what you wear to an actual movie theater (a denim varsity jacket) with her hair in a bun. She’s also clearly excited to be on camera, which is great because I’ve never really felt like Denise was really tapped in when she was on the show. Next week, though, is when she’ll presumably unleash all of her grievances.
So the episode ends just like it began with Sutton and Kyle having another talk that goes absolutely nowhere. I have to say, Sutton is kind of flopping this investigation. She’s not going to get any answers out of Kyle by telling her that she’s changed 100 times or alluding to something being wrong. She needs to ask some questions!
Kyle thankfully brings up Mauricio’s cheating rumors because Sutton can’t move this conversation along. She tells Sutton it was shitty of her to allude to the headlines at her house, which I don’t think she did? Anyway, Kyle maintains that everything in her life is fine, and that she’s only changed “physically.” Sutton still gives her a potent stare, but Kyle remains stone-faced.
I always forget that Sutton really struggles with in-person confrontation, despite how shady she is in her confessionals. I would assume this is why Garcelle has to blurt out “her marriage!” to help her out when she broaches this subject again with Kyle in the next episode. Regardless, I don’t know why Sutton thought Kyle would admit to Mauricio having an affair or the two of them splitting up a Lifetime movie screening. She’ll presumably do it at a dinner party next week like a professional.