Something monumental has happened. Last week, I made the bold prediction that someone would utter the term “lady in red” on this episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And it happened. God damn it, it really happened.
As the women donned red dresses and hit the streets of Barcelona, tour guide Manolo proudly said “ladies in red!” and validated everything both I and this cast have ever worked toward. I genuinely gasped hearing it, as though I’d found the lost city of Atlantis. But truly, it was something much greater.
This week’s RHOBH maintained the Barcelona trip’s calmer pace, as the women said goodbye to the struggles weighing them down. We open on a distraught Sutton, who’s in shambles over releasing Merce Cunningham’s ashes. It’s not just about Merce, but it’s finally hit Sutton she has to let go of her father and her marriage, and truly move forward.
She receives comfort from Kyle, as well as her friend Trevor, who has come to help spread the ashes. They join the rest of the ladies, and head off to Sitges, Spain, to release Merce. Along the way, Trevor gives the ladies a lesson in gay terminology. Of course, Erika rolls in to explain, and the ladies learn all about bears, cubs and even otters. Then, Garcelle reveals that Andy Cohen told her he’s a “powerful top,” so, that’s cool. Congrats to Andy! And congrats to the bottoms.
Arriving in the gorgeous town, the women walk by the water for their healing ceremony. Sutton begins with a speech. Teary-eyed and sentimental, Sutton shares her hopes of releasing her pain, before tossing the ashes. But, they toss themselves right back. It’s a classic Sutton moment, beautifully raw and just a bit awkward, causing a mess for the rest of the cast to clean up.
The women look traumatized, shaking off the ashes as though they haven’t already lived in a haunted mansion for three days. At this point, what’s another ghost?
The ceremony continues with Garcelle, who wants to let go of her loneliness and abandonment issues. Next, Crystal cries over her brother moving away, while Annemarie announces her goal is to find a peaceful place so she can be happy. With a husband accused of sexual assault, transphobic allegations, and a production team that seems to hate her guts, it’s no wonder Annemarie isn’t thrilled with her life. Poor Annemarie has received such a haphazard edit, just popping in to say “my life sucks, and I know that” before scurrying off screen, making way for emotional beats from the season’s actual stars.
Next up, Dorit shares her wishes to release her PTSD from the break-in, before Erika takes the stage to change the tune a bit. Erika’s good with herself, evidently, but she has an ax to grind with the ladies.
“I’m here to let this go in representation of the hurt in the last two and a half years that I feel many of you have contributed to,” she says. Thus, the feel-good scene is over, and the Real Housewives are back in session.
Erika’s not going to give this up any time soon. And good for her. Tank your redemption arc with consistent reminders of the morally dubious past you fled when filing for divorce. We don’t need a rational Erika; she’s a tried-and-true villain.
Kyle steers the conversation back to a place of healing, looking to release the guilt she has over her friend Lorene’s death, as well as with her sister Kathy. But, what the women don’t know is Kyle’s also struggling with the disintegration of her marriage.
In a confessional, she remarks how strange it is to be on vacation withholding “what is weighing on me so heavily, which is that I don’t know if my marriage is going to survive.” Of course, the women are entirely oblivious, as Kyle “Open and Honest” Richards simply doesn’t abide by her own rules. If only Sutton had continued attacking her marriage, maybe Kyle would’ve revealed this sooner. But with 13 years under her belt, she’s well aware of how to hold her cards very close to her chest.
For Kyle to even reveal this to us, the audience, is a radical change. For 12 seasons, her entire role was defined by her strong marriage, and the dysfunction is truly a fascinating evolution of a dynamic I thought I had figured out.
Having released their pain, the women waltz around and enjoy their final day in Spain, before heading home to prepare for dinner and flamenco dancing. While preparing with her glam team, Erika once again vents about her frustrations with the ladies. What she’s implying, while avoiding a fourth-wall break of course, is that she wants Sutton, Garcelle and Crystal to sit their fanbase down and say, “Hey, Erika Jayne is a good woman. We like her, and you should stop leaving her hate comments. And Denise Richards bundles sell for $7 on OnlyFans.”
The RHOBH women face a special kind of audience, which is my nice way of saying some of you are vicious in truly scary, inspired ways. While much of the vitriol toward Erika has made sense, she’s over it, and she needs the Greek chorus to vindicate her. Now, that’s not going to happen, but Erika is nothing if not persistent.
Ready for dinner, the women all enter the foyer in gorgeous red dresses. Well, that’s with the exception of Kyle, who shows up in a blood orange pantsuit. Kyle, you saw the dancing emoji and the words “red dress” in Sutton’s text, so your choice to wear orange is well-documented. Do you realize that you could’ve thrown the entire “ladies in red” moment into sheer chaos with this? Blood may be red, but blood orange is simply not in the same family. Get it together.
The ladies hop into a sprinter van and discuss marriage, or moreso, to trust or not to trust a husband. Fancy Drew Sutton offers the same advice she did when Erika’s life imploded in Season 11: Read your documents. That seems like common sense, but to be fair to Kyle, she struggled reading the L.A. Times exposé of Tom Girardi, so of course she’d punt the taxes to Mauricio.
Now, if it comes out Mauricio is an embezzler too, well, tough luck. That’s essentially what Erika jokes in a confessional, no doubt hoping and praying Kyle will fall victim to the same woes as she has, so the two can share in their misery. Unfortunately for Erika, that seems unlikely, but so did the idea of a Kyle and Mauricio divorce. Maybe, the unexpected isn’t so out there anymore.
The women are greeted by tour guide Manolo upon arriving, our knight in shining armor. Of course, when he proudly says “ladies in red,” the other women can’t help but comment on Kyle’s color choice. Erika describes her look as a “hot orange popsicle.” Dorit, on the other hand, is just grateful Kyle dressed in a classy outfit versus her more risqué choices. I, for one, would like to see Kyle in red, and why not be a little sultry in Spain. You’ve earned it, Kyle. You are a lady in red. Or, you could be.
At dinner, the women are treated to some sangria and tapas. Dorit orders a “Coca Cola, normal” in a lovely little accent, continuing Dorit’s beautiful tradition of showing off her language skills on a cast trip. Kyle busts her chops in a confessional, not understanding that it’s Dorit’s civic duty to throw on a new accent everywhere she goes, as a child of the world.
A jarring voice then asks the ladies what their favorite moment on the trip was. Annemarie has resurfaced, sneaking in her third line of the episode, and it’s probably her biggest yet!
Erika’s grateful that she’s been able to let her guard down and truly enjoy this trip, a sharp change from last year’s tumultuous foray to Aspen. New to the group, Annemarie asks what Erika was referring to earlier with her “cryptic” comment at the healing ceremony.
Erika takes this moment to, once again, bring up her diamond earrings, and the vindication she feels from the recent court ruling. Garcelle continues to prod Erika, asking if she feels she can trust the women now, referencing her cagey feelings at the beginning of the season. Erika does feel more relaxed with the group, but the baby steps are ever so small. And if next week’s preview is anything to go off, this will be rehashed once again very soon.
Then, Sutton makes a toast to Erika, but it’s more of a segway into another inquiry. Congratulating Erika on her “Bet It On Blonde” residency, Sutton also pokes at Erika’s choice not to invite all of the ladies. Sutton does make a commitment to be there, but postseason, she said she’s too busy to attend, before calling attention to the $7 resale tickets she found on Ticketmaster.
To her credit, when she found out tickets were actually only a dollar, Sutton offered to “take everybody,” showing her philanthropic spirit is alive and well.
The women put a pin in their conversation to go flamenco dance for the restaurant’s patrons. Dorit and Kyle don’t want to go up there—Kyle rightfully embarrassed by her orange ensemble—but nevertheless, they persist. The dancing is rather sad, though. As the women flop around, Sutton lauds the trip and these women who have become her “family” via confessional.
“We’re getting through problems in our relationships individually and as a group, and it’s so good,” Sutton says. “Nothing’s more important than friendship, because friends become your family.”
Back in Beverly Hills, Dorit goes over to Kyle’s house with a Coca Cola, normal, to check in on things with Kyle and “Mo-ster.” Dorit can sense something is awry, but she’s not quite sure what. And for the first time, Kyle gets a bit raw with her friend. The built-up resentment she feels toward Mauricio is truly fascinating, and in hindsight seems like an inevitable conclusion. A switch has flipped in Kyle, and she needs Mauricio to step up and put the same energy he puts into his company in her marriage, or get out.
“If there’s no effort made or put into us, we’re not going to end up together,” she says in a confessional. “We’ll never survive this.”
We close on this ominous note, and it seems final. I wonder how many times Kyle has covered up for him on camera and painted a prettier picture, but she’s no longer interested. While the two have still not filed for divorce in real time, Kyle’s words are cutting, and a clear statement. The marriage is all but over.
Next week, we’ll see yet another tense Kyle and Mauricio moment, gearing us up for the finale separation reveal. R.I.P. to one of the few Housewives marriages that seemed stable. Guerdy Abraira, you’re our only hope.
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