We find out in this episode that Sutton worked in Merce Cunningham’s studio for several years, and they had a very sweet relationship. She wants to honor him by not only spreading his ashes in Sitges (Merce would have loved Bukkake) but by spreading his name and his work to the Real Housewives fans out there. Even Erika Jayne had to be educated by Mikey Minden, who, say what you will about him, sure knows his shit about old choreographers.
I did enjoy learning all of this about Sutton. I like Sutton as a person and think she’s fun, weird, and off-kilter hilarious. But I don’t like how she plays the game of Housewives; it’s all mealymouthed, triggered, and hypocritical. When she’s not in the line of fire, she can be great, like when she made the women play a game on the bus to their haunted Airbnb called “All of a Sutton” and the winner of the game got a prize. They were all trivia questions about her life and, as someone who once made my family play Brian Moylan Jeopardy! at Christmas, hi, it’s me, I’m Travis Kelce’s girlfriend, it’s me. (That’s how we do this, right?) Shockingly, it was her old enemy, Erika Jayne, who won, correctly identifying Sutton’s cat’s name, her father’s name, and the kind of car she drives that is not a Bentley. Or is it a Rolls? Whichever, Dorit is jealous mostly because Sutton owes no money on it.
Once they arrive, their host tells them about the “little people” that haunt this crazy mansion filled with strange hallways, teetering staircases, and rooms with empty cribs like they’re waiting to be a set for Spanish Horror Story, a Ryan Murphy rip-off that no one asked for. After that, it is the selection of rooms (really, Erika’s prize for winning the Sutton game should have been the room of her choice, not a pathetic tiara), then it’s time for everyone’s glam squads to arrive while Kyle tries to put away 17 yellow bras all by herself. I’m sorry, but I’m kind of sick of the traveling-with-glam trend. I get this is a visual medium, and I love it when the ladies turn a lewk, but at this point, it’s the new overpacking. It seems unnecessary and performative and, TBH, I don’t notice a marked difference between those with glam and those without it.
We briefly interlude with Storm, the dreamy chef at the villa that Erika and Garcelle want to tag team. (I would pay at least $400 to watch that video on OnlyFans.) Storm doesn’t even need to think up a porn name; he already has one. At dinner, as the women are eating his tapas (not a euphemism), they are moaning and groaning in Fifty Shades of Grey delight, as if Storm is taking them to the Red Rooms of their mouths.
Then it is time for Annemarie to “address the elephant in the room,” a time-honored Housewives tradition that, like most seasons of Spanish Horror Story, does not end well. After apologizing for calling Sutton “lonely and insecure” and holding her smug married persona over the divorcees at the table, it’s time for her and Crystal to really kick off. Ann-uh-marie says that she met Crystal at a party before she was on the show, and Crystal says all of the women are not intelligent, uneducated, and shallow. I have surveyed the room, and check, check, check.
That’s a little glib, but Dorit caring so deeply about her designer plane pajamas is shallow. Also, Crystal is right; by having a college degree, she is better educated than most of the cast. Kyle, Garcelle, and Erika never went to college. Crystal says that she doesn’t think that the women are stupid and shallow, and she never said that. I think the editors did her dirty by showing a clip of her from 2020 saying the women were uneducated. That cast also included Lisa Rinna and Denise Richards, neither of whom went to college. Also, I wonder if Crystal would say the same thing now that she’s had three years with the women instead of in her first out.
On a merely semantic basis, Crystal is right, but just because they’re uneducated doesn’t mean they’re unintelligent or uninteresting. I wonder what Crystal would say about this. However, the other women seem to believe Annemarie because it rings true. Yes, Crystal has a bit of a superiority complex, and I wish the women would confront her on this instead of letting her retreat into herself as always.
I did take some offense with Karen Kemsley getting problematic again in her confessional. “You are nowhere near more educated than the rest of us. By the way, child bride, while you were off getting married at 12, we were building businesses, graduating college, doing things,” she says. Wait. Child bride? To an Asian woman? That seems unwise considering the stereotypes of Asian women as mail-order brides. Also, the age gap between Erika and Tom is much larger than Crystal and Rob’s. Garcelle was married for the first time just a year older than Crystal. Kyle was married with a kid when she was five years younger than Crystal. If we’re leveling these charges against Crystal, they need to be leveled at everyone. (Let’s not levy these arguments against anyone.)
Then there is a whole discussion about whether or not Crystal said she is a real socialite and the other women aren’t. There is no way I could see Crystal saying this because this is the same woman buying her PJs from the clearance rack. She wouldn’t care about this. Sutton, with the ABT board she pulls out every time the ladies want to express their sexuality, definitely cares. But Crystal? No.
Then, it gets to the part where Annemarie really drives me crazy. She says to Crystal, “I want a thank you for giving you something to talk about and making your ass relevant.” This is such a stupid Housewives retort that it makes no sense, although we often hear it. First, you can’t accuse a Housewife of chasing clout like it’s bad. They all chase it. It’s the name of the game. We live in an attention economy, and if you don’t gain that attention, Andy Cohen is going to kick you out faster than a twink who doesn’t bottom.
Second, this is just a dumb argument. Annemarie shows up on Crystal’s show, picks a fight with her based on absolutely nothing, and then accuses Crystal of being the one trying to stay relevant? Annemarie has done nothing but antagonize the cast since we’ve met her, first with Sutton’s dainty esophagus and then with Crystal. If anyone seems to be chasing the fame dragon, it’s Ms. 8.5 herself.
The next morning, everyone is surveying the damage, and Crystal says she doesn’t think anyone believes Annemarie. Still, then we see Dorit, Kyle, and Erika chatting about it and saying, “Yeah, seems about right.” I have a feeling we haven’t heard the last of it.
But Annemarie isn’t the only one coming for Crystal. As the women assemble for the day, Erika lets them all know about a court victory she just received, in which she was awarded the infamous $750,000 earrings that have been a point of contention among the cast for seasons. She tells us that the appeals court said they couldn’t prove that the earrings were bought with client funds, so they remain Erika’s. That is a victory, but I don’t think it’s the victory that Erika believes it is. Just because they can’t prove something isn’t stolen doesn’t mean it isn’t. It just means they can’t prove it.
However, I do agree with Erika’s main point, which is that she asked them to give her time, let it play out, and not rush to judgment. I am confident she will have future victories in the case that will continue to prove her right. But what always bothered me about this message was the tone of it. When we rewind to Erika talking to Crystal and Garcelle about the earrings, she seems cruel, defensive, and callous. She seems in a much better place this season