Before we go any further, Stephanie Hollman wants to make one thing clear: She is not a day drinker. I repeat: Stephanie Hollman does not get drunk while the sun is still out.
OK, maybe sometimes she does, but not often. And not alone. She’s not, like, “a sad and depressed person,” you know?
Today is an exception, though, because Stephanie, who suddenly deems herself a mixologist, is crafting a signature cocktail for her upcoming Halloween party, and, of course, she has to taste what she’s making. It’s OK, though, because Halloween is a big deal in the Hollman house, as it is the time of year when Travis is most likely to get laid.
Speaking of Travis, he’s not around for the party planning, and Stephanie isn’t too keen to loop him in. You see, he bought a fugly house (with a pool in the living room) without consulting her, so she’s throwing a party to the tune of $20K without consulting him. God, I love it when rich people use money to assert their superiority over each other.
Meanwhile, Kameron, who becomes more of a caricature of herself with every episode, accompanies her husband and daughter to dinner at “an authentic Mexican restaurant,” where 7-year-old Hilton will be expected to translate. They end up at Meso Maya, where a very patient Spanish-speaking waitress communicates solely with Hilton, because what’s more adorable than a child ordering mezcal? Oh, I know! Mommy asking said child to tell Daddy in Español that “pink dog food would be fabulous.” Yes, using your daughter to convince your husband, an actual businessman, that your peroxide-fueled dream of developing a line of pink food for dogs is a good investment idea is totes adorbs.
Cary is also experiencing some familial strife. She’s taken a bit of a back seat at the office, where she works alongside her husband, plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Deuber, to focus more on her 3-year-old daughter, Zuri. As a result, Dr. Mark is disappointed that Cary isn’t working as much and annoyed that dinner isn’t as impressive as he’d hoped. Bro, you try cooking with a 3-year-old.
Elsewhere, new BFFs Brandi and LeeAnne meet for drinks at Ida Claire and order shrimp and grits from a hipster dude with what might be the worst man bun on the planet. Talk soon turns to Stephanie’s upcoming Halloween party, which both women are reluctant to attend. Brandi thinks Stephanie still has no idea what she did wrong. According to Brandi, Stephanie “spoke negatively about [her] family” and put “her society life first, before [the] friendship.” It sounds like Brandi has never actually explained this to Stephanie, but she’s still confused about why Stephanie is oblivious. Turns out, if you want someone to know something, you probably have to tell her. Just a thought.
LeeAnne prays that the friendship between Stephanie and Brandi won’t get in the way of her own friendship with Brandi, “because that would break my heart.” You called Brandi “a little piece of shit trash” not too long ago, but whatever.
D’Andra is also worried about relationships, but she’s focused on her relationship with her stepson, Keatin, who is 21 and a bit rudderless. D’Andra is going to help give him direction by recruiting him to sell her old clothes on Ebay. It’s the “School of Hard Knocks,” Simmons-style.
And now, the moment we’ve been waiting for … Oh, we’re only three episodes in? And already a major heart-to-heart sitdown between frenemies? OK.
Stephanie goes to Brandi’s house to finally talk about their issues. This is the most cordial discussion I’ve ever seen on a Bravo show. Within the first few minutes, each woman has thanked the other at least five times for God-knows-what. Brandi tells Stephanie that she thinks Stephanie is concerned about being associated with her because it could hurt her reputation. Then she pulls a 180 and says she didn’t appreciate that Stephanie said watching Brandi’s marriage on TV was like watching “a slow car crash” (even though it totally was). This is, evidently, something Stephanie wrote in her Bravo blog while watching last season, and she seems genuinely shocked to find out that this is what all the problems with Brandi are about.
Stephanie tells Brandi she wishes she had come to her back when that was published, instead of now, months later. Brandi, holier-than-thou from all the “Jesus juice” she drinks, says she would never even comment on Stephanie’s marriage, let alone say something negative, though I maintain what Stephanie wrote wasn’t negative so much as an admission of discomfort.
Brandi remains stoic throughout the whole conversation, while Stephanie apologizes and explains that Brandi cutting her out without talking to her about anything was kind of not OK. Eventually, they both break down as Brandi admits she was just trying to hurt Stephanie because she, Brandi, was hurting. Then they sob in each other’s arms, and Brandi gets snot in Stephanie’s hair, because it isn’t a Brandanie (Stephrandi?) moment without some bodily fluid, am I right?
Back at D’Andra’s house, the mood is a little lighter, as she walks Keatin through her closet and quizzes him on how much her various Oscar de la Renta dresses cost. Knowing how frugal his dad is, Keatin asks how D’Andra gets away with purchases like an $18,000 dress. “Sexy time!” she replies, and Keatin throws up a little in his mouth.
Later, LeeAnne meets up with her therapist and admits that she’s worried about going to Stephanie’s party. She also reveals that she will be dressing as “Two-Face.” Not to be confused with Two-Face, the schizophrenic Batman villain, LeeAnne’s version of “Two-Face” will actually be the two sides of Stephanie Hollman, the sweet side and the talk-shit-about-you-behind-your-back-side. “That I don’t love,” says the therapist.
Elsewhere, D’Andra is having issues with Keatin. She tells her hubby, Jeremy, that the dresses she asked Keatin to research and sell are still in her closet. Wait. You mean to tell me that a 21-year-old male isn’t showing enough interest in his stepmother’s clothing? Color me shocked. I sure hope D’Andra gets more of a storyline this season, because in spite of the fact that she’s ridiculously rich, she seems normal. It’s just that, right now, I think she’s on the show to advertise her health and wellness brand, not to start fights. And we just can’t have that.
Thankfully, Cary and Dr. Mark swoop in with some cringeworthy moments. They’re filming a segment to promote their practice online, but Cary is clearly over it. Mark doesn’t like that she’s spending less time at work, and Cary doesn’t like being called out for wanting to spend more time with her daughter. Everyone filming the segment looks super uncomfortable.
Finally, it’s time for Stephanie’s Halloween party, and the theme is “Bad Romance.” Mark and Cary arrive as a tiger trainer and tigress, because one always needs an excuse to dress as a sexy feline on Halloween. And by “sexy,” I mean Cary is wearing only body paint. Jeremy and D’Andra are Bill and Monica, while Brandi and Bryan are “Mr. and Mrs. Skeleboner.” Clever, you two middle schoolers. Clever.
Kameron comes dressed as a “pink princess.” I am already so bored with her.
When LeeAnne shows up dressed as “Two-Face,” she’s disappointed that no one “gets it.” Once she waves the (fake) $75,000 bracelet in Dr. Mark’s face, though, he immediately guesses that she’s Stephanie. As LeeAnne sidles up to the bar to take shots with Tiffany Hendra (remember her from last season?), Brandi, and Stephanie, Travis gets wind that LeeAnne is telling people she’s the two-faced version of his wife. He quietly tells Stephanie he’s going to kick LeeAnne out, but Stephanie says to leave it alone. Stephanie asks LeeAnne what’s going on, and LeeAnne goes off on her, telling her to “watch your words.” Brandi suggests they should have this conversation in private.
Meanwhile, D’Andra and Kameron are laughing about the constant drama with the other ladies. D’Andra astutely points out that LeeAnne is just a “placeholder” for Brandi, a summer fling until Brandi and Stephanie make up. LeeAnne clearly thinks this, too, and she admits to Brandi that she feels it’s going to be everyone against LeeAnne again now that the ladies have made up.
Please note that this is all going down while she’s dressed like Cruella de Vil at the prom, so we’ve now had two weeks in a row where LeeAnne is having serious conversations while in costume. Based on the previews for next week, it doesn’t seem like she carries on with this new mode of communication, but there is the promise of Kameron confronting Brandi while costumed like a pink prairie maiden.
To be fair, though, I think that’s just the way she dresses.