Photo: Bravo/Nicole Weingart/Bravo
This week on our favorite show Crystal Clocks In, Crystal finally clocked in! She saw her husband off to an event for The Brave Little Toaster, which he designed the characters for. (Whoo boy, are these Minkoffs rich.) (Also, stream that shit with your kids.) She went to République to meet her brother for overpriced Apple Date Tarts and to learn that both she and her mother were overbearing to the brother’s girlfriends and that she might need to just step off a bit if she ever wants this man to be happily married to an adult human. Finally, she called Annemarie Whosiwhatsit a “bitch” straight to her face, and everyone watching at home cheered and cheered and made Crystal our new hero.
It’s crazy that Annemarie, one of the worst Housewives in modern memory, not only brought out the best in Crystal but also made me root for Sutton in a fight. Who is this transformative figure, and how has she corrected everything wrong with the franchise with one evening of complete and utter ineptitude? That is a rhetorical question because I really don’t want to waste any time or energy examining Annemarie, a woman as useless as the extra syllable in the middle of her name.
The episode starts with Crystal … No. Wait. Let’s back up a moment. The episode begins with Sutton, who is doing “hot Pilates” on her in-house reformer with the gas fire on as Josh, the fill-in assistant, holds the phone while she FaceTimes Avi, the full-time assistant, who is on vacation. Two twinks were harmed in the making of this footage.
But it really gets going when Crystal is on the phone with Garcelle talking about how Annemarie was coming, once again, for Sutton’s small esophagus. In the Real Housewives Institute, we have a section dedicated to the dumbest fights ever on Beverly Hills. Over here is the pair of panties that Dorit gave to Erika when PK, an eczema patch on your penis head, witnessed she wasn’t wearing any. Next to that is a framed portrait of Lucy Lucy Apple Juice, the dog that we never saw but continues to haunt our nightmares. Next to that is Sutton’s esophagus, which I hope to never hear about again, but I’m sure we’ll keep going for its throat all season.
Crystal says that she Googled “small esophagus” and found out that it’s a real thing and that it could just be a genetic condition. I also did a five-minute Google and came to the erroneous conclusion that Sutton is an alcoholic, so between the three of us all having different diagnoses, maybe we should, I don’t know, believe that Sutton knows what is up with her body and just listen to her?
The rest of the episode is taken up by Dorit’s Homeless Not Toothless benefit, costarring Paula Abdul and Taylor Dayne. It says a lot about Annemarie that everyone knows who Taylor Dayne is except her. I feel like whenever I meet a new person, I’m just going to sing “Tell It To My Heart,” and if you can’t join in on the chorus, I don’t even want to know you. I would like to add that it fills my heart with joy that the stupidity of the Bravo community hasn’t abated around this charity’s horrendous name, and we still have to take a moment to think about whether these people have teeth, homes, both, or neither.
On the way to the big party, the show is doing its best to sow the few seeds of discord it can muster about Kyle and Mauricio’s marriage. We have Sutton talking in confessional about how he didn’t show up to her celebration of life for her dead best friend, but he could come to the Untoothed and Unhoused gala. Then we have Kyle opening up a box of shoes, but they aren’t her shoes — they belong to Morgan Amelia Wade, homewrecker. (That is a made-up middle name, but I like it.) Finally, he asks about her schedule, and she tells him that she’s not going to be around. She’s going to Spain for work. She says it’s a taste of his own medicine because he does it to her all the time. I’m sorry, but when we have reached the tit-for-tat stage of marriage, you better get a divorce lawyer on retainer because I give you six months to a year.
Everyone looks absolutely amazing at the party. Erika is rocking a pink dress with a long train, and she’s so gorgeous that she gets hit on by her very own dentist (Erika, get on it, he’s handsome!) and then takes a picture with Pink Lady, some random tiny old woman in a pink dress with pink hair. Crystal and Kyle are both wearing black dresses that read as one piece but are really two with all sorts of pearls and jewels and embellishments along the waistline. Even Sutton, in an ombre pink and white gown, looks good for a change. Congrats to all of their stylists.
The women all look great in front of the step-and-repeat, which bears the logo for many brands sponsoring the event, including Neuro drinks, a line of beverages owned by none other than Diana Jenkins. Is she there? Did she get a ticket in exchange for her financial support? Could she have not blown through to lick her lips at the camera one last time?
All of the women know this thing with Annemarie and Sutton is coming to a head and as they stand around a high-top table Annemarie approaches. Sutton tells them not to be afraid. “No one is afraid of her,” Crystal says, starting a streak of attacks that is miraculous to witness.
Sutton tells Annemarie that they need to talk, and AM goes on the defensive immediately. Sutton starts spewing out a line of “No, ma’am,” like a whole South Florida sorority just showed up at Chipotle and asked for free guac. Annemarie says that Sutton has lied to her multiple times, including about her doctor telling her she could drink and be on some medicine at the same time. Did she ever think that wasn’t a lie? Did she think that maybe Sutton’s doctor told her that and he’s a bad doctor? Instead of defaulting to “this woman is lying to me,” shouldn’t she have defaulted to, “This woman got bad medical advice, and I should help her”? It never does because Annemarie sucks.
Then Annemarie says that Crystal is the one saying that Sutton has an eating disorder. Even Garcelle, who was there for the conversation, thinks this lady is out of her mind. Also, if any of these women are going to clock Sutton having an eating disorder, it’s Crystal, who has been very open about her struggles. Crystal then tells Annemarie she was so obsessed with Sutton’s throat that she talked about it for hours, and they were so bored they had to leave.
The part that really got me was when Annemarie said that she was a critical thinker and that Crystal wanted to go to medical school, and if she had, she would be a critical thinker like her. Crystal has the best defense, which is, “You didn’t go to medical school.” Exactly! She’s a nurse! Nurses are great, necessary, undervalued, and underpaid. However, they do not go to medical school, so this is Annemarie doing exactly what Crystal accused her of: trying to make herself look like a doctor when she isn’t. (Again, nurses are great, but misrepresenting yourself is not.)
As the fight heats up, Garcelle says that she feels like everyone is watching them, like these people are at the zoo and they’re the animals. Duh! Of course they are. The people didn’t pay $1,000 a ticket and bid in a silent auction to give homes to the loose teeth that plague our neighborhoods. They came because they knew the Housewives would be there at each other’s throats, and they are getting their fill.
The rest of the episode is a series of phone calls discussing the party, their upcoming trip to Spain, and whether or not Annemarie can get along with enough women to be a part of it. She says she wants to apologize to Sutton but comes with an apology so weak it couldn’t even lift a raisin out of a bowl of Raisin Bran. She tells Sutton, “I’m sorry for my part in what happened.” I’m with Sutton. Her part is the entirety of the argument. If not for Annemarie, we wouldn’t be discussing any of this.
But as the episode ends, I’m brought back to the fight at the gala. When Annemarie tries to clap back that Crystal is mocking her career, which Crystal wasn’t doing, that’s when Crystal calls her a bitch. Thank you, Crystal. It took you three years. Three long years, and you’ve finally made it. I feel like a momma bird who just kicked its youngest out of the nest and watched it soar to great heights, watched it coast on the updrafts of rumor and the crosswinds of dissent, watched it soar through the canyons and valleys of Southern California, over the scrub brush and dead bodies in shallow graves, over crushed dreams and sundrenched parking lots, over the mansions and manicured lawns of Beverly Hills until it dropped a giant turd right onto the glass walls of Villa Rosa.