The episode starts where we left everyone at the Isle of the Dolls, a monument a crazy man built after a difficult loss. Hey, the Taj Mahal was built for the same reason, but I’d much rather take a gondola ride to this trash heap of abandoned doll parts. I don’t get why the women didn’t want to get out of the boat and take a million selfies. Do you know how good this island is for content? If Larsa had taken her feet out, she could have made at least $1 million on some really niche OnlyFans kink.
I do understand why Julia, who saw the body of her dead baby, wouldn’t want to go exploring, but I think that her reaction was the most beautiful. She says she wants nothing to do with the place since she’s dealt with her own dead child, but she respects the pain that the father who lost his daughter and built the island went through. She looks at all the creepy dolls almost as a sign of respect for someone who has endured the same debilitating tragedy that Julia has and, by doing so, lets his own pain augment hers, bringing a deluge of tears. That’s pretty damn deep for some Cabbage Patch Kids that are possessed by witchcraft.
Several of the ladies decide that their need to pee is worse than hanging out with the dead dolls, so Larsa, Lisa, Adriana, and Marysol all head to the heart of the island for a tinkle with a side of panic attack. Adriana says that it smells like evil. When a producer asks what evil smells like, she says, “Cat pee.” Adriana has never been more right in her life. And I appreciate that she bothered to talk to the docent of this little monument, finding out that, yes, there is indeed witchcraft in these dolls. The guide says that their eyes change color so that they’re all the same, and one of the dolls opens its mouth and salivates. I’m sorry, that is some cool-ass shit, and there has never been another location on a Housewives trip that I wanted to visit more. Okay, maybe the hotel room in Dubai that Eileen Davidson stayed in with a shark tank in it. That’s No. 1, Scary Baby Island No. 2, Bluestone Manor No. 3. Lock it in.
As they leave the island, Guerdy says that she’s not feeling well and is going to puke, so they move a giant blue barrel next to her. All the women decide that she needs some peace and quiet, and just as they simmer down in unison, a mariachi boat pulls up. Guerdy is puking, Adriana is out of her seat trying to get people to dance, and Lisa is taking selfies with the band. Oh, this is the content you want?
Guerdy is retching on camera and Alexia says, “We need to get a doctor. Marysol, help her.” Um, Dr. Nicole is sitting right there! She literally has doctor in her name and Alexia thinks that Marysol, who can lift nothing heavier than a full martini glass, is going to help Guerdy? Please. Then, as the producers and ladies are hauling Guerdy off the boat to safety, Lisa is like, “Has anyone seen my lip gloss? It’s the only one I want to use.” This is why Lisa is always late, not just because she only cares about herself but also because she loses everything. When she connects her AirPods to her phone, you know it says “Lisa’s Airpods (274)” indicating just how many pairs have ended up in toilets, Pilates reformers, the massage chairs at the manicure salon, nightclub banquettes, and the like.
Even off the boat, Guerdy is not doing better, and the ambulance is called. I’m with Dr. Nicole; she should just bring a medical bag with her, give all the women IVs every morning, and keep the damn paramedics from being called every time this group travels outside of the Sinkhole State. (That’s what is on Florida’s license plate, right?). Or maybe not, because the relentlessness of bad things happening, the reactions of the women, and the escalation to involve first responders is all perfect. It was all we needed; it was the horrible trip story we all wanted, but none of us had to endure. Now we have it.
It was so traumatic that they don’t do anything that night because the next time we see the ladies, it’s the morning. Guerdy is hydrated and thriving, and Adriana is about to dress as a gay turkey for the biggest Pride party in the world. Or … maybe not. This Wikipedia page says that the biggest pride parade ever was in New York City in 2019 for World Pride. Mexico City doesn’t have an entry until 33rd place. Yeah, it seems like Manhattan’s and São Paulo’s are the biggest in North and South America. That doesn’t take away from the magnitude of performing in front of 200,000 people but don’t lie about the event’s size.
When Adriana gets onstage, she would win an EGOT if they were given out for standing around, lip-syncing, and thrusting one arm up in the air. Granted, this is far better than I would do performing under the same circumstances, but it’s not like she got up there and gave us Beyoncé at Coachella. It was sweet to see the women support her, especially those that can’t stand her, which include Alexia, Marysol, and about three-quarters of the viewers of this here reality television program.
I was a little disappointed in my girl Julia at Pride. As the show’s only member of the LGBTQ+ community, I was expecting her to wear a killer outfit, but she was wearing a weird dress with rainbow gauntlets. She’s totally showed up by Kiki, who is giving us soft-butch, chic-baby-girl lesbian realness with her short hair, a sparkly crop top, and some wide-legged jeans that were two strips of denim intersecting each other, so there were huge holes all the way up those statuesque legs. Then Julia doesn’t even spell Adriana’s name right when she makes a big sign for her. I can’t even make fun of Julia for that because English is like her 16th language, and I still can’t spell “guarantee” or “diarrhea” without looking them up.
But someone must have given Julia a shot or something because that night for dinner, Julia is on, on, on, on, on, FYAH. She shows up in a tiny mauve velour dress that she keeps having to put her purse in front of so her coochie doesn’t show and tells everyone she is there to give them, “Free kisses!” But that’s not the real havoc she causes. Things are already tense between Kiki and Lisa after their giant fight on the gondola in the last episode, and Lisa keeps joking with Kiki about, “Oh, are you going to attack me again?” I get that Lisa is trying to be funny and defuse the situation, but to make the same joke three times in the same day, as Alexia says, seems passive-aggressive. It is also winding Kiki up because it distills her argument against Lisa — that she’s so privileged and narcissistic that she can’t see how she was the one who started the whole damn fight. As Kiki says, it’s time for Lisa to stop playing the victim.
Julia first stirs it up by going outside and telling Lisa that Kiki is calling her an “entitled, spoiled girl.” The two don’t do anything to try to work out their differences, but Julia gets in there again when they go to a Pride party in their hotel. While sitting with Lisa, she says that everyone has been very empathetic to what she’s been going through with Lenny for the past year, but that does not excuse her bad behavior, and “everyone in the group” is a little fed up with it. Julia says, “What you’re going through is not an excuse to tell Kiki to shut up and I agree with that.” Get out the Camille Grammer, “But Now We Said It” GIF and slap it in Lisa’s face a million times.
Lisa does not take it well and would rather leave the party — and drag everyone with her — than try to see if there is any truth in what Julia is saying. When they all get back upstairs, Larsa, Lisa’s bestie, tells it to her straight, saying Lisa shouldn’t have said the things she said to Kiki on the boat. For her to stand up and tell Kiki to “shut the fuck up” when Kiki doesn’t come for anyone was wrong. The part that Larsa leaves out is that Lisa, assuming the dogs she saw on the side of the canal were hungry and fed bad food, is woefully misinterpreting a situation because of her own prejudice and privilege.
Kiki tells Lisa that she doesn’t know anything about her, including her son’s name. Lisa knows she doesn’t know it and doesn’t even venture a guess; she doesn’t even check the contacts tab in her brain to see if it might be there; she knows it’s not. Lisa is never listening unless people are telling her she is amazing or that someone has wronged her. Those are the only two notes Lisa can hear.
Finally, Kiki opens up not just to Lisa but to all of us who know not much about Kiki other than the fact that she’s a Haitian model and our favorite Burger Queen. She tells Lisa about growing up in a similar environment and how it’s insulting that she just assumes those people aren’t taking care of their dogs. Lisa can’t receive it because she’s too busy worried about her words being turned against her. Once again, her default mode is victimhood, but she also employs the same fighting strategy we see with both Larsa and Alexia: rather than looking inward and seeing that she might have done something wrong, she lashes out at her accuser, making her look even worse.
All Kiki wants is for Lisa to say she’s sorry, for Lisa to see something beyond her selfies and her lip gloss, and for Lisa to try to understand her for even a millisecond. Instead, what she says is, “I can’t fix your childhood trauma. I’m not a therapist.” Of all the terrible, callous, unfeeling things we’ve ever heard on Housewives, this is right up there with when Ramona told Bethenny on the Brooklyn Bridge that she has no real friends. Kiki says, “Fuck you,” and is entirely justified. Kiki isn’t looking for Lisa to fix it; she’s looking for her to understand it. She wants a bit of empathy, and what she gets, instead, is caring more about how people are thinking about her than how Kiki is feeling.
But that’s when the tide turns against Kiki. “This is why I said you were selfish and entitled, and maybe what is happening with you and Lenny is karma,” she shouts. Everyone in the group made the same noise I did at home: an “Ooh” sound of a low blow, of something that is a little out of bounds, of something uncalled for. It’s the same “Ooooohhh” that they hear on that island in the middle of the night, the wind whipping through the half-dead trees as the dolls limp splay to and fro, thinking about the little girl that was lost, thinking about the life that could have been in them, thinking about how the worst witches are the ones who don’t even know they have the power to hurt.