There are a few things I’d like to mention before really getting into the meat of the drama on this episode of Rich Women Doing Things Abroad. The first is Sutton, who I just continue to not get at all. Last week she was definitely on an upswing. At the dinner where Teddi told Denise how they were all talking about how she knocked boots with Brandi, Sutton raised the point to Teddi that she was more worried about someone saying something mean about her than airing Denise’s Brandi-stained linens with the world. Then, in a confessional, she tells us that she heard the rumor about Brandi and Denise months ago, but didn’t want to bring it up, “especially at the dinner table.” This sort of clutch-your-pearls, Southern Wisdom, voice of the people Sutton is one that I enjoy.
However, the next morning, she goes around giving all of the women pairs of Hunter rain boots with their initials on them in little black rhinestones because it was supposed to rain while they were in Italy. Um, which of these women would let a little bit of rain ruin an outfit and force them to wear a pair of field clompers? Denise. Denise is the only one of the women who would. Sutton should have just bought a pair of shoes for Denise. She could use a pick-me-up, and I have a feeling nothing getsDenise’s motor revving like a pair of sensible footwear. (She can’t go a block in Seattle without giving herself seven orgasms.)
The women break up into groups and Sutton takes Kyle and Dorit shopping at Dolce & Gabbana, which closes the store for them so they can try on $6,000 tiaras that are surely made out of paste and plastic. What do you think the markup on those bad boys is? No wonder Sutton gets a free one for her birthday every year. They can’t cost more than a few hundred dollars to make.
What’s so weird about the visit is that Sutton took her friends to a store and then refused to try on the clothes. She says she doesn’t want people judging how she looks in the clothes, even though her very first appearance on the show was when she took Rinna to the atelier to try on her new outfit. I get it, we are all self-conscious about our bodies, particularly after subsisting on a diet of Pop Corners and PB&J sandwiches like I have for the past five months, but this all just seems weird, like Sutton is making a huge thing out of something kind of inconsequential. She’s the type of person who draws attention to herself by refusing to make a fuss. It’s like the etiquette version of passive aggression. Not only do I hate it in my private life, I also hate to watch it on my television screen.
Another weird thing about Sutton is the way that Dorit says her name, and we see it when she calls for Sutton to come out of the changing room. She says her name with no hard T’s in the middle. It sounds like “Suh-en.” As a proud Connecticutian, I will tell you that is a product of our regional accent. Anything with a T sound in the middle — ”mitten,” “Latin,” “Clinton” — is a struggle. So, ladies, gay gentlemen, and a few misguided straight men who were looking for Jonathan Chait and somehow ended up here, we have found it. That is Dorit’s real, actual accent, and it sounds like “Suh-en.”
Speaking of Dorit, her summit with Kyle was the dumbest fake fight I have ever seen on this show, and just two weeks ago we saw Countess Luann Crackerjacks de Lesseps try to fake cry through her Botox in the Berzerkshires. Dorit is upset that Kyle cut her off before she could finish her point at the big Denise dinner the night before. Dorit says this happens all the time and Kyle interrupts before Dorit can make her real point. So when Dorit was defending Teddi and Kyle interrupted her to show empathy to Denise, you would expect that Dorit was going to end up feeling bad for Denise. Like so many accessories that Dorit has put in her hair, that is totally wrong. Dorit was just going to defend Teddi. That means that Kyle’s interruption actually was justified and Dorit should just shut the hell up. As Kyle points out, the problem with Dorit is she talks so damn much, sometimes you need to interject just to move on.
Dorit does bring up some interesting points, though, and says what she’s really smarting about is that Kyle never apologized for backing Teddi during Lucy Lucy Apple Juicey-gate when Teddi was out to destroy her. Oh god, do not make us talk about LLAJ again. Never, never again. It’s like someone singing a bad version of “Hallelujah” on American Idol, it just pops up every season and when you least expect it. Kill it forever, bury it under the sea, and set the entire sea on fire with all of Sutton’s wardrobe in it.
As the groups are broken up, Erika, Rinna, Denise, and Garcelle peel out in $200,000 Ferraris and I know it was probably the best afternoon of Erika’s whole year. If there is one thing that she loves more than a throwback glamour moment on a cast trip, it is tooling around in a fast sports car. When the group goes for a wine tasting in the cellar of a restaurant, Denise finally brings up Erika’s problem with Aaron. Erika says that she learned from past experience that it’s bad when the husbands get involved. “Men communicate differently and he has different perspectives and he’s protecting his wife, and that’s cool,” she says. “But there is a time and a place and a tone for everything.”
Amen. The way that Aaron talked to the women was not cool, even if he was right. Erika brings it up, Denise apologizes for him and says he didn’t really mean it, and they move past it. See, Denise, this is the conversation you could have had with Erika a week ago if you were unwilling to have an uncomfortable moment. I think that’s what Denise doesn’t understand about these women, if you just fight it out you can move past it, but by getting up and leaving, she’s letting all these wounds fester and it just makes them pop with an avalanche of puss that smells like rotting seaweed and the inside of a mildewing ashtray. (Wait a minute, that sounds like something I would call PK.)
Later that night at dinner, the Denise and Brandi of it all comes up at dinner and Denise decides that the best thing for her moving forward is to lay out exactly what happened with her and Brandi. She says that Brandi came up to film her podcast and then left that night. She says she doesn’t know Brandi that well, but they talked before the party at Kyle’s house and Brandi knew all the details of what had been happening with filming and that she said all of the women were talking trash about Denise behind her back and she wanted to give her a heads up.
Rinna and Teddi are mad that Denise said she talked to Brandi before the party when the night before she denied it. They actually take umbrage with a number of things Denise says and how it contracts her earlier story. I don’t think we can really hold Denise accountable for every single detail of what happened when she was ambushed in a hotel restaurant and was staring in the klieg light of these allegations and hoping they would go away. Yes, as they point out, she had some time to think about how she was going to react, but I think that’s the point. In the moment she didn’t even know what she was being accused of so how could she adequately respond.
Denise does the wise work of saying that Brandi told her that she had sex with every woman she ever came across, including Lisa Rinna. Lisa says angrily, “I don’t think that Brandi ever said she had sex with me, so don’t even put that out there.” Yeah, isn’t that the point of this whole thing, that we shouldn’t be putting rumors out there that can’t be proven? Lisa’s willing to go along with this Brandi thing, but she doesn’t want the specter of Brandi Glanville haunting her for the rest of her life either?
But, as Kyle points out, Brandi isn’t really a liar. Kyle brings up the lawsuit she was deposed for where she said that Brandi wasn’t a liar and it reminded me that I can’t believe a day goes by that we don’t talk about the fact that Joanna Krupa sued Brandi Glanville for defamation for saying on national television she has a “smelly pussy.” I mean, Krupa’s husband had to testify to the aroma of her downstairs rec room. Can you even imagine?
Kyle brings up a good point. That suit cost Brandi a lot of money in lawyer fees, why would she risk that again saying something that isn’t true? And her story does seem very credible, but so does Denise’s. Who do we believe? And should we keep talking about this at all when it’s still pretty tawdry it’s coming up? Who do we believe? Brandi or Denise? Maybe Brandi and Denise. Some of what each of them is saying has to be true, right? And then the ghost of Nero’s mistress swirls down from the ceiling like a drop of food coloring in a glass of water and whispers into all of their ears that this doesn’t matter, that none of it matters, and they should just all embrace their humanity breast to breast, sharing in each other’s breaths as their cells all swell and compact in the same rhythm. But she is dead and a ghost and she is no match for rumor.