Who are these women? That’s what I keep asking myself while watching this reunion special. I don’t know if it’s the studio lighting or the fact that Bravo’s makeup artists beat these women’s faces to within an inch of their lives, but something is different. Honestly, it’s probably their behavior – so outwardly aggressive and petulant – that has thrown me off.Even Yolanda has been taken out of her character. When we pick things up at the second half of the reunion special, Kim and Kyle are still desperately trying to convince Lisa that Yolanda called her “full of s---” while they were in Paris. Lisa has chosen to side with Yolanda, even though the story sounds plausible as heck. It’s probably more about siding against Kyle than anything else.Kyle seems more upset because she feels Yolanda has shown her true colors on her blog, where she openly gives her opinion on each episode’s messiness. I tend not to read other blogs or recaps about the show, because I like to form my own opinions when I’m recapping. But darn it, if I don’t wish I’d read Yolanda’s snarkings this whole season. Best believe, I’ll be catching up her on her blog tomorrow.Andy Cohen asks Lisa to explain why she trusts Yolanda over Kyle and Kim and she basically says she trusts the two sisters least of all right now. She has always had an honest relationship with Yolanda, but after watching the season, Lisa isn’t sure that Kyle doesn’t talk about her behind her back.Kyle was so manipulative and conniving this season, it’s easy to see where Lisa is coming from. But Kyle is usually a little more discreet when she’s starting ish. She pretty much brings volatile people (Faye) into the situation, or brings up uncomfortable topics (Adrienne) and then watches it all burn. Then, she acts shocked and appalled at what she made happen.Welp. Andy brought up Adrienne and Paul’s bickering. SO UNCOMFORTABLE TO WATCH. Andy and Kyle were both convinced that Paul and Adrienne just communicated that way, but Lisa knew better. During the first season, Adrienne told Lisa that Paul had moved out a couple of times. But she’d told her in confidence, and this was back when they were friends, so Lisa kept it to herself.Adrienne was quoted in a magazine saying that she thinks Brandi’s relationship with Paul is a calculated attempt at relevance. At least, on Brandi’s part. It is a bit rich for Brandi to be buddy-buddy with Paul now, but Yolanda says he actually reached out to Brandi. Maybe he watched the season and felt bad? Or maybe it’s just an attempt to make peace with those he hurt while he’s going through a life-altering divorce? Whatever.Either way, Brandi stands by the fact that Adrienne and Paul weren’t happy way before her gossip. Whoop. Adrienne may be dating Rod Stewart’s 30-something son. The women all think it’s an odd pairing, but don’t throw any legitimate shade about it. Growth.Chef Bernie, apparently, posted pictures on his Facebook of Adrienne’s bruised back. Bernie is so messy, but it’s not the first time they’ve heard those accusations. Lisa brings up Adrienne’s opinions about Taylor’s domestic abuse. Adrienne wasn't willing to believe Taylor was abused, until she saw Taylor's bruises. Her past insensitivity toward Taylor's situation makes it difficult for the women to wholeheartedly believe Bernie's claims that Adrienne was abused.Kim addresses Kyle’s past comments about her sobriety -- from jokes about her being unreliable, to Yolanda’s questioning whether she remembered the Paris trip. She and Kyle grew close while they filmed some other reality show with each other, so it’s hard to watch the RHOBH season now.Kyle did spend a good amount of time reminding the audience that Kim was a recovering addict. Sometimes, it felt like she was sharing a little too much with the cameras. But now Kim wants to focus on Yolanda, explaining to her why she’s hurt by Yolanda insinuating that she wasn’t sober.Kim feels Yolanda has an excuse for all of her bad behavior, a comment that Yolanda rebukes immediately. Then Brandi jumps in, saying that Yolanda has been nothing but nice to Kim – even carrying Kim’s “s----stained pillow” through the airport when they were headed to Paris.What. The. Heck?If it did happen, why did Brandi feel the need to go there? And did it really happen? Because ew. The worst part? Kim doesn’t deny it. (Probably because she can’t.) Instead, she just deflects, acting astonished at Brandi’s behavior.Kim tells Brandi that she acts like a “mean, naughty little girl” and jumps into conversations and act mean to her. And then we come to the point where we have to discuss Brandi’s opinions about Kim and Kyle’s relationship. She feels like Kyle is always the one to bring up Kim’s sobriety, almost to the point where Brandi thinks Kyle would be happy if Kim failed.Kyle insists that Brandi knows nothing about how much she worries about Kim and cares. The history is long and messy, and Brandi can’t possibly understand. But I do feel like Kyle is less than loyal to Kim at times. Passive-aggressive comments about her sobriety aren’t going to help things. Brandi just said it in the harshest way possible.Kim would be so hurt to find out that anyone, let alone Kyle, was rooting for her to fail, especially since the last relapse almost killed her. Kim explains to Kyle that it isn’t OK for Kyle to ever insinuate that Kim isn’t sober. Uh, duh. And that’s what Brandi says she was referring to, Kyle’s constant doubts.Andy lightens the mood, showing clips of the extravagant parties, houses and trips the ladies go to. It’s all so lavish that the hater in me can’t take it. He then quotes some website, that estimates celebrities’ net worth, asking the ladies if the numbers given for them are true. They won’t cop to it, and Yolanda stands by the comment she made about not being able to afford another horse for her daughter.Later, Paul appeared in a goodbye vid, where he talked about how “hard” the season was, and how he doesn’t blame Brandi for the divorce. I don’t know if I’m more annoyed at the video being made because it was in poor taste, or because it was corny. Either way, Paul, you won’t be missed.Mauricio has also decided to show up and be awful. He and Lisa begin fighting about his relationship with Adrienne. Lisa insists that he befriended them to sell their home, which he claims is ridiculous, but after the way he spoke to Brandi at that Moroccan dinner, I don’t put anything past him.Glad Brandi finally confronted him about that on camera. She told him it was “disgusting” for him to speak to a woman that way. He tried to pretend that he didn’t know what she meant, because he didn’t swear at her, or hit her, or anything. Brandi sticks to her guns, insisting that his tone was aggressive (it was) and made the whole situation worse (it did).Honestly, it Baroness Monica von Neumann isn’t on next season, and turning next season all the way up, I don’t know what I’ll do. We need some fresh blood and some new arguments and alliances.
Lauren McEwen, for The Baltimore Sun
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