By ANDREA HIGBIE
Kim's got a secret. She's in love with a gay mailman, and guess what! She married him!
Kim, get a grip. First of all, a secret's not a secret when you tell it on national TV. Second, all through Season One you believed your alcoholism was a secret. It wasn't.
So just stop it. Stop it right now.
But about the gay mailman: since the Richards sisters, both bitches, Kim and Kyle have not spoken for months -- after Kyle announced that Kim was an alcoholic, no shock to anyone with eyes or ears -- Kim has said nothing to Kyle about anything.
The outing, as Kim believes it was, seemed to be provoked by a typical evening of drunken behavior, nothing especially horrible except the slurring. No one peed on anyone.
That Kim believed her alcoholism was a secret showed the extent of her delusion, or denial, or both. But Kyle, too, believed Kim's alcoholism was a secret. And seemingly provoked by this tipsy turvy evening -- but really by the last, say, three decades -- the semi-Demi Moore let it rip. In a limo, in the first-season finale, last May. Wrap!
The season ended, Kyle put Kim in rehab, Kim checked herself out of rehab. Last summer, TMZ aired a video of a drunken Kim wandering about an airport and trying to make friends, with younger men, which would have been fine and relevant except that it was an old video, not especially newsworthy until it seemed to be.
This season, Kim's lips have said Diet Coke but her behavior has said otherwise. Crystal meth, is what Brandi Glanville said. Possibly anti-anxiety medication, said Taylor. (I think Kim's been dipping too hard into the ADHD pill bottle.) Everyone else said NOTHING. Ssh. Nothing's wrong.
Even while an incoherent Kim was on the phone with Adrienne Maloof and her husband, Paul Nassif, having forgotten all about meeting them at the plane they'd chartered -- on which they had been waiting for her -- Adrienne said Kim was just tired. And she'd been ill, Adrienne added, at Camille Grammer's Colorado ski chalet.
But it was the kind of ill one falls prey to after a long, loud night of pinching the ski concierges, grabbing all the menfolk and guffawing naughtily over the town's name, Beaver Creek. OK, Kim didn't actually go all Beavis and Butthead/"Wayne's World" over Beaver Creek, but that was only because she was too, too...tired! Tired! That's it! Too tired to think of it.
Wasted, was the diagnosis given by Paul, who is no fool and a doctor besides, on the day of the chartered airplane. A day that grew rapidly worse once Kim was reminded of their plans and somehow made it to the plane.
A shame, because from takeoff on, Kim served up an endless flow of gibberish, loudly, annoying Paul behind human endurance. Carrying on like a loon at the Sacramento Kings game, where all eyes were on the owner, Adrienne.
OK, so denial, denial, denial. That was nonsecret Secret No. 1.
Kim, go to a meeting and get help. The only shame is not doing something about this.
As for nonsecret Secret No. 2, Bravo's cameras show us Kim, sitting, glass of Diet Coke at her side. For a change, she seems subdued. We see the back of a head, a man's head. He's got gray hair, so he's no pool boy. What could be going on? Whom could he be?
We were "introduced" to Kim's paramour at the end of last night's "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." While all the other housewives were off doing fancy Beverly Hills things, arranging facelifts, ordering $2,000 strawberry shortcakes, attending Mohamed's party for Pandora Vanderpump (that's my name for my next life; I called it), his newly claimed goddaughter -- circa Mama Lisa's stint on the show), count on Kim to do the big crazy thing and marry a stranger who looks just this side of John Wayne Gacy.
Won't Kyle be surprised!
So, as Kim is telling the romantic tale of their fated meeting -- here, I'll let her tell it: "I was walking in my neighborhood. He was standing at the mailbox." -- the camera draws back, and we see him. Then we hear him.
"Our love for each other will transcend," he, Ken, said, when Kim warned that her sisters would be rough on him. "Should I brace myself?" he asked. "Buckle up?"
Why her sisters will certainly disapprove? "They don't like anybody," Kim said, and, who knows, maybe that's what she believes. But if ever there were a years' long living lesson in bad judgment, Kim is giving it.
And then we know just how Kyle must feel.
Next Sunday, when we get to see Kyle's full reaction -- we got just a hint in coming attractions; we can cheat and find out now, but what's the fun in that? -- we'll analyze this some more.
As for Kyle, this Richards sister (Kathy Hilton is their elder half-sister; like Kim, she was dragged around the child star circuit by their mother, Big Kathy. It's clearly more profitable to marry into the Hilton hotel family, even if your penance is being the mother of Paris Hilton, than living the life of Kim) spent last night's episode with her husband having dinner with Russell and Taylor Armstrong, a dinner uncomfortable on so many levels, for the guests as well as us, not least of all because Armstrong killed himself in August; attending Mohamed's party, where Kyle joined the undulating dancers, shocking Taylor, whose nearly lifelike lips devoured her face -- why does she find it shocking that an extroverted fame whore like Kyle who is on TV and who is widely reported to love the paparazzi would jump up on a table and wiggle, on or off TV?; and pretending to be shocked, shocked, herself by cosmetic surgery.
Dinner at the Armstrongs was probably never too pleasant an enterprise, and probably less so once Taylor began flapping her lips (hahaha) to "confide" in everybody that it wasn't all $60,000 tea parties over at Casa Armstrong.
Which turned out to be not even their own casa, but a rented one. Like Kim's. But Kim didn't lie. About that.
But dinner in last night's episode was worse than usual. Not because Kyle's husband, Mauricio, gave her a kiss on the shoulder (he loves her; it's very nice -- learn from it, Kris Humphries), no doubt igniting an eight-year marriage's worth of resentments within Taylor. And not just because Taylor had told Kyle, and so Kyle told Mauricio, of course, that Russell had been hitting her.
But because with Russell's customary tact he served up his agenda along with the appetizer. (Taylor hired a chef for this dinner, an interesting fact amid the later revelations of their financial facade.)
"So, did you read the big story today?" Russell asked. "We officially separated today."
"And yet," Mauricio said poetically, "we're having dinner together."
Almost on cue, Taylor whips the May 11 issue of Us Weekly off a perfectly placed piece of furniture, and waves it around.
Cute picture, Kyle murmured. There's that, at least.
"I don't mean to falsely accuse anybody," Russell continued, with the tone of someone accurately accusing some particular body. "But a certain person we both know told me that Lisa is very good friends with the editor of Us magazine."
Whenever Russell speaks, I expect to hear an amplified gulp in the room. His slow, measured and quiet voice, the kind of non-Texan Texas accent you hear spoken by the more monied (or aspiring to be) Dallas, where he lived as a teenager after a childhood in nearby Carrollton, is a voice that intimidates, purposely.
While his reaction to the Us Weekly story seems outsize, knowing now what we know, he feared a full revelation of his financial portfolio, ruses, scams and all, which already included his conviction for felony tax evasion, many bankruptcy filings and lawsuits by numerous investors.
Before her husband killed himself, Taylor did all she could to distance herself from him. She portrayed herself to be an innocent in all respects, especially financially, which was contrary to the reports that she and Russell worked as a team, grifters in every sense of the word.
One scam, though not heinous or victimizing, just crass and desperate, was lying about their wealth, their home and their assets, so that Taylor (formerly Shana Hughes) would be selected by Bravo for "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." (If Bravo's executives were also liars, they could have come out looking clever instead of easily duped by claiming that hiring financially iffy people -- Taylor Armstrong, Adrienne Maloof, Teresa Giudice, Sonja Morgan, etc. -- for "Real Housewives" was deliberate. To insure drama to come.)
Kyle and Mauricio simply don't believe that Lisa was the secret source, and they say so.
Unbeknownst to them, Taylor seems to have been leaking tidbits about her marriage all season, then accusing Lisa Vanderpump -- behind her back, of course -- of the leaks. Why? At that point in real life, early May, Taylor's main interests included hiding the truth about the Armstrongs' finances. If she had to leak her own information or accuse Russell of slamming her around to divert attention, so be it.
And in this surprisingly childish social circle, Lisa, who was Kyle's friend first, resents Taylor for horning in. Taylor, who plays sweet but is cold-hearted, knows this, and exploits it, burning Lisa twice over.
Kyle and Mauricio point out that the whole town knows about the Armstrongs' marital problems. (And the world! Please, stop pretending you're not on TV.)
But problems be gone, as Russell plans to "summon one of my litigators" and sue the pink pants off her. Or somebody.
Threatening others is what scared, powerless people do when they feel cornered, trying to scare them off. But it worked, and Kyle and Mauricio were unnerved. Yet they finished dinner. With the unseparated Armstrongs. Or so the Armstrongs said.
Shivering, Kyle and Mauricio finally escaped into the night. Only to have an even scarier experience, or so Kyle would have us believe.
If Dr. Gregory House were the town physician, he'd have a fresh batch of I-told-you-so's every Monday. "Everybody lies" has long been his mantra, and all he would have to do around here is pay attention for an hour. Last night, he would have smacked Kyle in the head with his cane when he heard her going on and on about her mother-in-law's facelift.
It seems that Mauricio's mother, Estella Sneider, who sources herself as Dr. Sneider, with a Ph.D., on Wikipedia, wants a facelift, so Kyle takes her to see Paul. Since Paul doesn't ply his trade on Adrienne, this is something I've been waiting for someone to do since the show began.
And it's good that Kyle showed up, because Paul and Adrienne are having some cash problems too, which is making me unsure about coming back as Adrienne (but with Pandora's name) in that next life I'm planning. Adrienne's home spa last week did the trick, no matter that Brandi Glanville's son peed on the grass outside.
Kyle is very worried, and even gathers her family for the awakening, or the hoped for awakening, after the surgery.
I was worried, as well, when I saw Paul goofing around with his anesthesiologist, telling him that he looked just like Mark Wahlberg and summons a minion to get him on the phone. Then he jokes with Marky Mark, telling him that the anesthesiologist is better looking. (I couldn't tell because of the mask.)
That was worrisome, but not as worrisome as Paul's suggestion to the Mark Wahlberg anesthesiologist that he meet Kim Richards.
Paul later makes sure to note that during such five- to seven-hour-long surgeries, his medical team takes little breaks. But as long as they're not joking about Jocelyn Wildenstein, it's probably going to be all right.
The idea of plastic surgery has Kyle all agog (just wait until she hears Kim's news, next Sunday!), and then she visited her mother-in-law in the recovery room. (At least she didn't have to watch the surgery, as we captive souls did.)
There is probably no such thing as a good-looking post-surgical patient, and this one is no exception. "It was really scary looking," Kyle said of her mother-in-law's bandaged face, but what really set her off was her slurring voice.
She sounded as if she were dying, said Kyle, who could be reminded only of Kim's own slurring voice in her mother-in-law's, a jolt if ever there was one. She didn't mention that, of course.
Somehow, Kyle failed to recognize, or pretended that she did, that the medication was behind this, not the threat of imminent death. After I spent Season One rooting for Kyle as Camille Grammer so relentlessly pummeled her, I see during this season in which she's freer to be herself that she pretends to be more naive than any grown person could possibly be.
The remark Kyle made two weeks ago when Brandi, Kyle's own punching bag for the alpha bitch prize this season, accused Kim of using crystal meth is a prime example. Crystal meth? Kyle wondered. What is that? Some kind of automobile fuel?
Cosmetic surgery? What's that? Cracking an eyeliner pencil in half? Who would ever, for the love of God, get her face sliced up?
Kyle would, and she did.
She had a nose job. She also gets botox injections, she told former publisher Judith Regan on her Sirius XM Radio show last November.
Mauricio didn't know for a while, Kyle said.
It was a secret.
It's party time, and what would a party be without some remorse over parties past? It would be Taylor's party!
"I do feel like people have expected me to apologize for Kennedy's fourth party," Taylor says in her solo on-camera interview.
That would be the $60,000 tea party, which no one even enjoyed, and which the Armstrongs had to pay for themselves, per their contract with Bravo.
And so nothing. Taylor is accompanied by an uncharacteristically normal-seeming Dana Wilkey -- or maybe she was just wearing nothing worth crowing about -- to a ritzy cake shop, where one can order cakes to look like your pet pug, and pay more than you would for the real thing.
Time to select a cake for Kennedy's fifth-birthday party -- what fun! -- only Taylor, not familiar with children, needs help.
"What do kids like?" she asks, and doesn't like the answer: not what she likes. They would not like the chocolate with the raspberry. They would rather have just chocolate.
Rather than set off tantrums, a strawberry shortcake is tried, yum, and chosen. It's $2,000, but should feed the 200 guests. (If you think little Kennedy has 200 friends, think again; that would be like Russell and Taylor having 200 real friends.)
Onto the party of the hour! At Mohamed's!
Mohamed insisted on throwing Pandora Vanderpump's engagement party at his palace, something he might not have done, along with suddenly declaring Pandora his goddaughter, if the Vanderpumps were just the usual Beverly Hills hoi polloi.
There were snakes (Taylor shrieked, in self-recognition), a camel, undulating belly dancers, a mermaid out of water, a girl sliding down a banister and every other thing that sounds like a Middle Eastern version of clubs touted by "SNL"'s nightlife correspondent, Stephon.
Kyle grabs a knife, possibly a scalpel, when she meets a beautiful young woman who unfortunately referred to her husband as "Daddy," saying Daddy didn't want children. Kyle's game night torture of Brandi was child's play compared with what happens here. Kyle not only openly talks trash about the poor woman, but she screams it out to the whole room as well.
Poor Kyle. You know you're next in line to need a facelift.
Taylor is annoyed when she meets the woman, and actually takes up for Russell. When Lisa invited Taylor, she said Mohamed would not allow Russell to attend; bad business blood between them. OK, said Taylor, see you at the party, first camera to the left.
But this woman is an appropriate guest? Taylor complains. More appropriate than attending a party where your husband is not welcome. (See previous paragraph.)
It's not as if that (beautiful young) woman was there having sex with her actual Daddy. And she wasn't peeing on the floor, either.
Brandi! Where was Brandi? Surely Mohamed wasn't worried that she'd pee on his camel. Or in his tent. Where was Dana? Off trying out for "The Price Is Right"?
We know, though, that Kim was away, far away, away from Kyle and worry and care, playing post office, keeping secrets.