‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ recap: Can Brandi change?

While lots of things happen in this episode (Jamie Lee Curtis for the win!), all of them are overshadowed by the never-ending battle between Brandi and Joyce. After the pathetic ending to Lisa’s dinner party debacle, I think the win is pretty clearly in Joyce’s column. She may be many things, but I don’t think Joyce is one to play the victim card, at least not the way Brandi did. 

When her onslaught of F words failed to cow Joyce and Michael, Brandi took another approach — tears. She misses her puppy! She doesn’t have a boyfriend! World’s tiniest violin playing for her! Joyce has a good point that missing your dog doesn’t really give you license to be a raging asshat, and yet Brandi did manage to get Lisa and Yolanda cooing over her like a bird with a broken wing. 

Yolanda, who has more sympathy for Brandi than the girl really deserves, tries to reason with her after the fact. Yes, yes, she’s had a hard time. “F-you is really not the best way to articulate how you feel,” she explains, as if this is news. But Brandi isn’t going to change who she is! She just swears like a drunken sailor with Tourette syndrome, so what! I think at this point Yolanda is allowed to slap Brandi, because I think she needs it. Yolanda tries to explain that she doesn’t need to change who she is, just the way she expresses herself, but no use. Brandi isn’t interested. After all, swearing and freaking her out has gotten her this far, right? 

Meanwhile, Lisa talks to Ken about her challenge in trying to broker a peace between Joyce and Brandi. Ken takes Brandi’s side, insisting that Michael had no right to defend his wife, but even Lisa has to call B.S. on this. As admirable as it is that Lisa and Yolanda are so defensive of Brandi, it’s bordering on enabling her bad behavior — which apparently bubbles to the surface whether or not she’s wasted. 

I’m a little sad that Brandi’s sunk to such depths this season, showing she’s truly a mean girl who can’t handle her own jealousy. As Michael responded to Yolanda’s protestation that Brandi is genuine, she’s genuinely mean — at least when she feels threatened. 

Lisa invites over Joyce, an offer Joyce accepts but without putting down her guard. I’m pretty sure any efforts to make a case for Brandi’s behavior will fall on deaf ears, as Joyce really has put up with more than she should. Of course, Lisa’s a pretty wily adversary, so we’ll see if she casts her English-accented spell on Joyce, too. 

In other news, Carlton gets a big ol’ neck tattoo while dressed like a teenage stripper and assures us she’s not going through a midlife crisis. Yeah, right. While she may have the (artificially enhanced) body to pull off a lace-up top, unless she’s hooking for a living, it’s a bit much. 

Kim got her perfectly trained pit bull back after a week of doggie camp, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to completely undo whatever training Kingsley had while he was away. She doesn’t just want a dog, after all. She wants a baby that can attack burglars, which is just as ludicrous as it sounds. 

Finally, we got to see Kyle’s fashion show for Children’s Hospital, which was also a chance for her to trot her awkward teenagers up and down a runway and assure them they didn’t seem as ridiculous as they really did. There was a sweet moment between Kyle and Jamie Lee Curtis, who apparently isn’t so busy plugging yogurt that makes you poop to do a good deed. I can’t believe that Kyle was the little girl in “Halloween,” or I should say, I can’t believe it’s taken this long for someone to flog that info, as we knew Kim was the little girl from “Return to Witch Mountain” before she showed up. 

But back to Brandi vs. Joyce, which did yield the best line of the episode: “You don’t need rehab. You’re just tacky!” Though Joyce said that to Brandi, I think it could apply to quite a few of these gals, don’t you?

Do you think Brandi can change? Were you surprised to see Jamie Lee Curtis? Do you think Joyce should forgive Brandi?