Uh oh, we’re back to the biometric lock on Mary’s closet. I think we can all agree that the latest franchise in the Real Housewives universe has struggled all season long to catch a rhythm. It’s not in the end that these people are unlikable. I’ve come to think that Miss Mary is actually kind of a doll. She’s warm and well-intentioned and I like ogling her kitchen and her husband’s pretty hair. All of which would make her an interesting one-off client on an HGTV show. Instead she’s the heart of this Bravo series, with little source of tension. We learned in the first episode that her oldest daughter likes to borrow Mommy’s nice clothes. So, ha ha, the eccentric rich woman put a fingerprint lock on her closet door. It’s a throwaway detail, and one the Bravo producers pounced on as an indicator of deeper issues. But really, Mary just doesn’t want Lolly to get any sauce stains on her cashmere. We get it. And yet, without anything else to talk about, much of this episode revisited the dang lock, and Mary’s love for her pretty things, and her hand-wringing over Lolly’s disrespect for biometric boundaries. I think Rich spoke for the audience when he zoned out while Mary was talking. “You have a damn lock. Use it.” Then he told his wife there was something better on TV than listening to this damn conversation yet again.
Cat actually emerged as a sympathetic character this week. She’s such a dragon of a woman, so snobby and rude. And yet she looked so terribly broken when she got news that her friend in England had committed suicide. Her husband was off on another shoot (Joe Biden making funny faces into the iPhone!), and her young girls tiptoed kindly around their grieving mother. We know in hindsight that this woman’s marriage is imploding. At the Men Against Breast Cancer event (I’ve got a check ready after learning of their marvelous mission statement), she was introduced to Lynda’s nattily dressed ex-boyfriend. His cravat and pinstriped suit reduced her to clumsy, apologetic tears, which may have been her first genuinely human moment on the whole show. She missed her friend, who died an ocean away, and suddenly there was his eccentric spirit in front of her.
As Lynda would say, “I love everything holy!” There was an interminable scene of sage smudging at her new house in McLean. It came as no real surprise that Lynda is one of those rich women who needs to consult her astrologer before every big event. She’s into good energy, man. And is maybe a bit of a stoner? She’s also a Southern Baptist-turned-Jew. Ebong, it doesn’t matter how fine you are, you are not getting a ring on this woman’s bony finger. But if you’re really good, you may get your own room at the McLean mansion. I like Lynda, and I imagine in real life she’s a lot more fun and interesting than we’ve yet seen on TV. What I really want is a private interview with Lynda’s assistant KC, who happens to also be her live-in son’s girlfriend. KC always looks flushed and frizzy, like some scullery maid who sleeps under hard sheets on a cot in the mud room. Last night KC bent over, struggling to find the hole in Lynda’s stiletto. Everyone else, including her boyfriend I presume, was off to the ball! Except poor KC, who after giving the boss lady’s skirt one last pouf, bid them a weary good evening.
Poor Stacie, roped into the ruse of looking for an $8 million house for Tareq and Michaele. Michaele’s wish is to live in the Barbie playhouse, where the mirrors have gemstones and there are stars on the ceiling and the floors are shiny. She loves the Four Seasons! She loves money! She loves champagne! What I find fascinating about scenes with Tareq and Michaele is how their masks slip for a second when anyone pushes the idea of reality upon them. Stacie brought up the subject of money and Michaele’s face instantly went slack. Why do you have to harsh her buzz like that? They want a house that is anywhere between $100,000 and $12 million. They want to live either down the street or on the Moon. When Stacie wondered about the whole Tareq’s-mother-suing-them situation, and their winery being little more than a unused field, Michaele pooh-poohed the mess. “Every family has dysfunction,” she sing-songed, her eyes narrowing. Later on in the episode, Michaele and Tareq gloated to each other over a glass of sparkling apple cider about the winery’s glorious future and how they restore honor to the Salahi name with Tareq’s father’s blessing. Just then the sound of sirens came roaring down the driveway. Would somebody just arrest these two once and for all?
At this point, I just want Michaele to put on her red sari and get it over with. Mary will gasp, and then whisper loudly to her dinner guests that she always knew Tareq was trouble, she knew people who knew him in high school, you know, and he has problems that she will not dare name. Stacie will shake her head, and then log onto Facebook to see if her half-brother has accepted her ill-advised Friend request. Cat will cackle, and then declare whatever she is eating at the time to be disgusting. Lynda will sneer, and tell KC to rub harder at the knot in her back. But first we must make it through next week’s shenanigans, when Michaele dresses up like a Redskins cheerleader and uses all her energy to hoist a pom pom in the air. “Go Redskins! Love them! Buy me one!”
What did you think? Which of these women do you actually like? Do you think there will be a Season 2? And is Tareq incapable of shame?