I have to tell you, Bravoholics, it was hard to pick a low point this week. We were treated to three absolutely exceptional hours of Real Housewives, all of which served major highlights. First of all, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is back! And what a premiere it was, seamlessly picking up the threads that made the first season so compelling while also teasing the Jen Shah legal drama to come. On The Real Housewives of Potomac, grande dame Karen filmed a Virginia promotional video in Maryland and tried to rebrand her future self as "Diamonds," and that was just the first half of the episode. And finally, on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika shared another outlandish tale and Dorit debuted her line of wedding dresses. Here are the best, worst, and wildest moments from this week in 'wives!
HIGH POINT: Détente, RHOP
As much fun as it can be to watch Karen and Gizelle exchange barbs, it's so much better having these two queens of Potomac on speaking terms. I had extremely low expectations that any kind of reconciliation might happen at Mia's goddess picnic, despite the newbie's determination to force it (as Wendy says: "What in the summer camp is going on here?"), but somehow it worked. Maybe it was the flower crowns. After another round of demands for apologies from both sides, they agree to wipe the slate clean. Gizelle slips effortlessly into First Lady mode, delivering an elegant speech. "This group is special," she says. "Let's just try to move forward in the spirit of respect." The ladies clap! Candiace does a little dance! But make no mistake: They can forgive, but these women never forget, as Karen makes clear in her confessional. "That's what makes me a better person than Gizelle," she says, in reference to her apology for hurting Gizelle's daughters. "I'm capable of being compassionate." I hope neither of them ever changes.
Bravo 'The Real Housewives of Potomac'
LOW POINT: Snow in SoCal, RHOBH
This week, Erika delivers another shocking story with her usual performative monotone, which I don't think has exactly the dramatic impact she thinks it does. "Tom's house was broken into, and he confronted the burglar and then had to go have eye surgery, and then my son had to go over and help and then my son, he rolled his car five times on the way home. Yeah, I'm under a lot of stress," she rattles off to Kyle, unprompted, in one breath. She later adds that it was snowing when her son drove home, because he lives "further out." I don't really care if this is true because I'm extremely tired of caring whether anything Erika says is true. But the story is so bizarre that Kyle and Dorit, apparently unsure how best to question Erika's credibility themselves, call in reinforcements to openly mock a few of her tales for the cameras. That's right: It's the P.K. and Mauricio show! "I'm not a statistician, but what are the statistics that Tom and his stepson both flip cars?" P.K. asks. It's a good question. The dinner ends with everyone cry-laughing into their salmon about Erika opting to save Tom's ankle instead of his brain, or something. Does the whole thing feel a little mean-spirited? Sure. Was I cracking up right along with them? I was.
WILDEST MOMENT: Flash-forward, RHOSLC
The entire RHOSLC season premiere was basically perfect television. But those first two and a half minutes, which teased the historic moment that the feds came to Beauty Lab, have haunted me since I first watched them, involuntarily holding my breath throughout. The atmosphere is lazy as everyone prepares for a day of shooting, the ladies climbing into the bus in their furry and/or puffy outerwear, camera operators stepping in and out of the shot (since this isn't real footage anyway, right?). But the mood palpably shifts when Jen gets a call, asks Whitney to turn off her mic, and hastily leaves. Our friends the RHOSLC editors absolutely outdid themselves here. Not a second is out of place. The sequence of a paparazzi-hounded Jen walking to her car in slow motion, intercut with all the women talking about the implications for them (the RHOBH cast could never), deserves an Emmy. We are left with so many questions: What did the ladies know? Was anyone in business with her? Who told the feds that they were at Beauty Lab? And with that — season 2. Synchronize your watches to Mountain time, Housewives faithful. We're in for a wild ride.
👑 QUEEN OF THE WEEK 👑 Meredith, RHOSLC
Bravo 'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City'
CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE: Especially Wendy's kids, whose sweet and hopeful response to a conversation about police brutality broke my heart. (RHOP)
I LOVE THIS: The return of Lisa Barlow's catchphrase "I love that." (RHOSLC)
I AM ONCE AGAIN ASKING: "Who is this old man? Is this the new Elf on a Shelf?" — Kathy (RHOBH), re: Bernie Sanders at the inauguration.
CRUCIAL DISCLAIMER: "NOT AN ACTUAL DEPICTION OF SURRY COUNTY" (RHOP)
ONE, TWO, THREE TIMES: A cake dropped (by Whitney). (RHOSLC)