You are currently viewing Whitewashed: “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Season 16 finale recap

Whitewashed: “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Season 16 finale recap

Wow, what a party! Everyone was there: Camille Grammer and her husband who looks like a QVC David Foster; Faye Resnick giving morally corrupt realness; Cynthia Bailey showing the children a face card that has never once in the history of the world been declined; Denise Richards in a pink jacket along with her husband, Aaron, in a blue baseball cap as if no one put the dress code in the title of the party; Jeff Lewis spilling a drink on a guest and making Teddi Mellencamp (say her name three times and she shall appear) question why she didn’t score an invite to this big fat finale party. And they were all joined by *checks notes* Lauren Stafford Webb, the chief marketing officer of SoFi, who got to appear onscreen as part of the show’s contractual duty to use this field for free for a television episode.

Sutton wears her new $80,000 earrings to the party. We see her buy them earlier in the episode, and she takes her daughter to the jewelry store to talk about how hard she should work in her life. This is what I don’t get about Sutton; she’s so afraid of everyone thinking that she’s just a rich lady as if something’s wrong with that. Sutton says she thinks her kids saw her sink when she was married to their father, but she wants them, “especially Porter, to see [her] thriving and not being a cliché of a wealthy woman, sitting around in a muumuu eating bonbons.” She, apparently, goes to work.

While I believe that is true, we also don’t see it. What did we see Sutton do this season? She throws extravagant parties, buys herself a horse, shops for $80,000 in earrings, and talks a lot about her designer clothes. Yes, Sutton looks like a cliché of a rich lady because she is on a show that is about the clichés of rich ladies. If you want to look like you work on a show like this, you need to stop attending lunches on a Wednesday afternoon and carp all about how you’re not selling more insurance like Victoria Denise Gunvalson Jr. I’m coming around on Sutton, but she needs to give up on the business woman’s special because she looks as professional as Romy and Michele.

There wasn’t much drama at the party. Denise says, “Erika’s about to lip sync, come over here,” which is shady in the best possible way. I am ideologically opposed to Housewives returning, but can’t we find a spare diamond somewhere in the back for Denise? I bet right now you could get her for the cost of one Kyle Richards White Party.

What else happened? Oh, Sutton says she is done with Steve, the guy she went on two dates with. She says he called “two days after he ghosted [her].” Um, Sutton. I know you’ve been out of the game for a while, but that is not ghosting. He called you! Ghosting is when you never hear anything again. He was slow to respond, in your opinion. I don’t know if there is an internet dating term for that.

After the party, it seems like the episode is ending. We get some updates on the cast: Crystal and Annemarie aren’t talking, and we manage to forget for a minute that Annemarie is part of the show. She doesn’t even get her own update. I mean, if Annemarie perspires, do we call it flop sweat? I think we must. The bigger shocker is that Dorit and Kyle haven’t spoken since December, so this will be quite the reunion.

Yes, it seems like the episode is ending, but it’s only halfway through because we have to add the “One month later” addendum to find out what the hell is going on with Kyle and her separation from Mauricio that was announced in People magazine — possibly strategically? — right after the cameras went down.

Before we talk about Kyle, can we talk about Erika? She goes over to Kyle’s to talk about the separation, and she does an amazing job. She acknowledges Kyle’s feelings but also lets her know that it is bullshit to worry about her marriage being a failure because it might let the fans down. Sister, we love this shit. Don’t worry about us. Married or divorced, we’re still going to talk all sorts of shit about you, so you might as well do what you want and make yourself happy.

That is exactly what Erika says to her. “Listen to me,” she says, finally marshaling her stern force for the good of a friend. “There are only two people in this marriage, so everyone else’s opinion can fuck off. You have to make yourself happy. You’ve raised these girls, you’ve been a good wife to this man, you’ve been a great sister, a great daughter. If you’re not happy, whatever that means inside for you, you need to figure out where you need to go in this life.” Amen, Erika.

It is weird that Erika gets to be the one to be Kyle’s friend in the moment. Yes, they’ve been on the show together the longest, but Erika was always Lisa’s ally, and Kyle had Teddy (uh-oh, that’s two times) and Dorit. Now we have Erika comforting her? It shows that Kyle may be the star of this show, but she’s without a staunch ally. Crystal, here’s your opening! Move in there!

Going back to Erika’s advice, we’re not sure where Kyle wants to go in this life, and sadly, this little addendum doesn’t give us any answers. When a producer asks Kyle what the sticking point is, she says, “There are things that happened that made me lose my trust that I couldn’t recover from.” Okay, but what things?

This is what frustrates me about the whole situation: What we see in the press, on social media, and out in the world is not what we see on our television screens. What are those things that made her lose trust? She says they didn’t break up because of anything that has to do with cheating, so what are those things? She says that she and Mo are living in the same house, trying to work things out, but she doesn’t say how or what their life might look like now.

I do find it a bit hypocritical that Kyle, who has produced every terrible moment of her friend group’s lives over the past 13 seasons, won’t tell us the answers we want. Well, Kyle, here are the questions: Did Mauricio cheat? Did Kyle get with Morgan? Are they getting divorced? And if not, what is the new arrangement going to look like? Yes, Kyle has answered all of these questions, but none of us believe her, including the cast. It’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out, and trying to make the messy look nice will alienate the fans further and faster.

At the same time, I get that what I want from Kyle as a reality star and what I want from Kyle as a person are diametrically opposed. We see Kyle get on the giant multi-number landline and call her daughters to the living room like she’s the manager at Target calling for a pre-opening meeting. They all look terrible and miserable and talk about how there have always been rumors about their family, but this time, it feels different.

Portia, the sullen teen who doesn’t even want to show her face to the camera, is the first one to crack. Of course, she is; she’s the only one still in the house full time, the one who is trying to deal with this and also the hormones of adolescents. Kyle hugs her on the couch and tries to make it better.