On part two of Housewives' study of a woman on the verge, the Virgin Island girls drank some very non-virgin drinks and got to squawking. And then, sadly, Kelly Killoren Bensimon exploded.
Yes, unfortunately, she exploded into a million pieces and there was nothing anyone could do to save her. I mean, we all saw it coming, so we should have been prepared, but it was still quite shocking to see a young-ish woman sputter and die on national television. I can't believe they didn't turn the cameras away or cut to black. It was so graphic. There she was one minute — teeth gnashing, terrible eyes bulging and cat-clocking, limbs jittering and jumping, ears wiggling furiously — and then the next there was a loud bang and a sickening rain of parts and all that was left was a bag of gummi berries. It was tragic. It is tragic. It will forever be tragic. So how did this all happen?
Well, folks, once again I am faced with an episode that is pretty hard to write about. How do you diagram one single hour-long ramble of a sentence? Basically the episode started and the sKellyton was rattling her jawbones about something and when the episode ended, or rather right before it ended, she was still rattling away. She did not stop for one whole Christian hour. I just don't even know how to break that down! Plus it is a sunny Fridayyyyyyy and the boss is awayyyyy so it's very hard to concentrate. But I will try. I'm just telling you up front in case I fail. OK. So.
We were still in the Virgin Islands. The Caribbean sun was jollily rising up behind the verdant hills and a beautiful yacht was bobbing in a quiet harbor. This boat was a'rockin' but it was perfectly OK to come a'knockin' because that's where the Housewives were! Yes, the girls were still stuck on Murderboat, that terrible vessel where nothing but misery happens. Next on Julie the cruise director's misery itinerary was a Misery Character Breakfast. Ramona had passed out on the table the night before so she just kind of seal-shuffled her way off'a there and into a chair. Sonja had just finished washing the blood off her hands when she heard the breakfast bell and came running. Bethenny was checking her email on a tiny computer, and Kelly... Well, Kelly didn't want to eat breakfast because she'd just eaten a bunch of pills in her stateroom, so she wasn't hungry. But she came to the breakfast room anyway, crashing her way through walls the whole way there, and was all jumpy and squiggly and itchy. This did not spell good things.
At first the breakfast was going fine — Ramona was vomiting up pinot grigio in interesting shapes, Sonja was rubbing at a dark red spot on the cuff of her white shirt, Bethenny was getting some good tiny emails — but then Beth had to go and sit down and start talking about how Kelly had called her a hobag the night before and then she mentioned that she was a chef and Kelly darted in, blurted, "Cook!" Meaning Bethenny is a cook, not a chef. (Like Rachael Ray.) Bethenny was all "Oh helllll to the no," and started mixing it up with Kelly, who was just opening and shutting her jaw continuously at this point, turning her head back and forth and saying "Gnyah gnyah gnyah..." And then of course she would say "Cook! Cook. Cook. Coooook...." just to bother Bethenny and the other girls sat there being all "WTF?" until Alex lamely tried to save the situation by going "Oh, hey, squaawwkk, my kids are making pancakes... how do they do that, Bethenny?" It was a kind offer of an out on Alex's part and it did manage to quiet things for a moment. Kelly kept gnashing though and finally Bethenny left the table and went to go re-check her email and cry. I do not blame her for crying. I would cry if I was attacked by a sKellyton too. (Plink a dink dink... I'm coming for your skinnn...., the sKellytons sing as they tip-toe out of the graveyards.)
That was the first fight. Ramona then decided they needed a change of scenery. So she took the captain's hat off of the captain, who was lying dead on the poop deck, and went to the ship's wheel. "Prepare to come about!!!" she yelled to the seagulls and turned the wheel hard to port and sounded the fog horn.
After the yacht was run aground and destroyed, the girls were left standing on a beach, wondering what to do. "Look!" Alex cried, pointing up into the hills. "What? What is it?" the other girls asked. "There... Is that... Is that a house?" The girls squinted their eyes and, why yes, it was a house. A strange mansion perched high in the trees. "That looks fun!" chirped Ramona. And so they hiked up, mile after mile, bugs and sticks in their hair, Kelly on her pogo stick made of syringes, Sonja disappearing every so often and then reappearing with a new necklace made of human teeth. They heard drums far off in the jungle.
When they arrived at the vine-covered house, Ramona yelled "Knock knock!!" No one answered. "Dammit," Bethenny said, "There's no cell reception up here." And indeed there wasn't. All the girls' phones had gone dead. A cold breeze rushed through the clearing. "What is this place," Alex whispered. And then the giant door creaked open and a man in fine linen robes strode out and said "It is the house of your dreams, Ms. McCord Please, come in." Not knowing what else to do and feeling hungry, the girls followed the strange man into the cavernous mansion, Alex wondering how he knew her name, but then figuring it was because she's so famous. The man gave them a tour of the house, showing them all the decks and bedrooms and numerous wet bars. At the end of a long, dark, echoing hallway there was a small door. He stopped and pointed at it. "This, I fear, is the one place you cannot go in the mansion. The rest is yours to explore and enjoy! But this door must never be opened. Never. Do you understand?" The girls nodded timidly and the man put his hands together and said "Excellent. Come, I'll take you to the pinot grigo fountain."
So everyone was enjoying themselves! The mansion was beautiful, sweeping vistas and attractive servants, and the weather was warm. Bethenny decided that she wanted to cook for everyone, excuse me chef for everyone, so she was going to be occupied all day. This gave the sKellyton a chance to give Ramona her big pre-re-wedding present. It was a photograph! Not one that currently existed, one she was going to take, on the beach, that day! Isn't that a great gift idea? "Why is the picture all blurry and, like, jittery?" "I have noooo idea," Kelly says, shaking around the living room with her camera in hand. Given that they are wildly vain and also wildly clueless, all the ladies (except for Beth) were supes dupes poops about this adventure. Ohhh, on a beach like a real fashion model?? Oh golly mister, can I keep it? I'll walk it every day. Just like a real fashion monster, I mean model!! Kelly grinned her sKellyton grin, grabbed one of the lean houseboys to use as a photographer's chair, and headed down to the beach's powder white sands.
First up was Sonja. Oh cozy Christmas was her fashion shoot just the most jaw-droppingly "Awww, fiddlesticks" thing I've seen in a good lorng whiles. I half expected a Mötley Crüe song to be playing in the background while Red Sonja writhed around in palm fronds, clad in a leopard print bathing costume and tossing her hair around. At one point she actually got on all fours and did a miserable purr-purr-kitty thing that caused a tree to fall over and someone drowned. "Good, good!" the sKellyton clattered, sand fleas crawling around in her eye sockets. Sonja looked so pleased as she rubbed her breasts with sand and thrashed around, feeling for a moment that it was 1987 again and she could avoid all the years and mistakes, she'd stay in the sun like this forever. But then there was a whir and Kelly said "Oops, gotta reload the film!" Sonja look perplexed and said "But Kelly, that's a digital camera. And I can clearly see you making the 'whir' sound." Kelly smiled. "What whirrrr are you whirrrr talking whirrrr about? I'm outta film! Gotta go change the film!" Kelly boundered off into the bushes and Sonja sat down on the sand and said "Humph..." and felt old again.
When Kelly came back, clapping her hands and yelling "Sand up my nose! Sand up my nose! Mama's got sand up her nose!", it was time for Ramona. When Ramona was taking the picture a little dog came up and pulled down the seat of her bikini bottoms and Ramona turned and put a hand over her mouth and Kelly snapped it and it was beautiful.
Finally it was Alex's turn. "Hey thar, I'm here for the big pictchy takin'!" she guffawed as she strode up in her flippers, water wings, swimming cap, and old-timey bathing bloomers. Kelly shook her head (more than usual) and said "No, that isn't going to work." For once I agreed with her. So she got Alex stripped down into a sort of Katharine Hepburnish '30s bathing suit and told her to walk toward the camera, sexily. No, Kelly didn't tell Alex in a sexy manner, she told her to walk sexily. To Alex, "sexily" means "like a chin monster from the planet Ministryofsillywalks" so that is exactly what she did. She tucked her chin down into her clavicle and took long, foot-leading strides toward Kelly. It looked like the robot from Lost in Space turned into a human and had to learn how to walk. Kelly said "Good, good" and Alex kept stomping toward her. "OK, you can stop now. Alex, stop. Stop!!" But Alex didn't stop. She kept stomping and stomping and stomped right over Kelly, burying her in the sand, where we all wish she'd stayed.
But she didn't! Oh she didn't. While the girls were off on their really professional swimshoot, Bethenny was home in the creepy mansion putting together SkinnyGirl giftbags. They were cute canvas giftbags with all the girls' initials on them. She even made one for Kelly! Isn't that nice? Well, no, apparently it's not. When Kelly came back to her room she saw the bag sitting by the door and made a grunting sound and brought it inside. "The fuck is this??? The fuck is this?????" she bellowed. She rooted around in the bag, saying "Where's the pills? Where's the powder??" but there were no pills, and there was no powder, there was only booze and a SkinnyGirl brand men's grooming kit. Kelly was horrified. Kelly was horrified to tears. Yes, she started crying. She just couldn't handle being so crazy anymore, so she cried. And then she called Jill. Here are some factual things about Bethenny that Kelly said to Jill on the phone:
- "Bethenny has knives in her mouth." Yes, all chefcooks have this.
- "I have dreams where Bethenny is going ree-ree-ree and making stabbing motions." That is not a dream and it isn't Bethenny, it is you Kelly, right now. It was Kelly, in the bedroom, with the ree-ree hand.
- "Bethenny shot the Archduke Ferdinand." Warn the duke!
- "I have a terrible case of spiderbrain." While not actually having to do with Bethenny, this is entirely true.
Jill being Jill, she was like, "Oh yeah, shuah. Bethenny is gonna shoot the duke but you know what? That's just Bethenny. I told you not to go on that trip." Kelly rattled on the bed and said "I knowww....." and wept some more. What was Kelly weeping about? Why was Kelly weeping? Well, you have to understand that to understand what happened next.
See, OK, do you remember a little while back, paragraph-wise, when I said that Ricardo Montalban's ghost (oh I should have mentioned that — the owner of the house was Ricardo Montalban's ghost) told the girls not to open a specific door? Well, unfortunately, Kelly did open that door. She'd been sneaking around earlier looking for things to stuff up her nose and she'd searched high and low but found nothing. And then she found herself in the long, dark, echoing hallway with the small door at the end of it and she rubbed her hands together and said "Ohhh goodyyy...." She floated down the hallway, toes just brushing the ground, and put her leathery talon on the door knob. She grinned to herself, said "Here goes nothin'!" and opened the door. At first nothing happened. There was an eerie stillness and quiet as Kelly peered into the doorway. But then, quite suddenly, there was a great rushing of air, a loud whoosh, and then a blinding stream of bright black light. Not like a blacklight. Actual black light. Kelly shook and trembled, still clutching the doorknob, and said "What's... happening... to... meeee...." and suddenly behind her there was Ricardo Montalban's ghost and he was smiling devilishly and he said "You are mine now." And then the light and noise died down and Kelly was able to let go of the doorknob and she turned back to the camera and... Her eyes... Kelly's eyes had turned obsidian black. And then she opened her mouth and when she spoke it was just the sound of bees, of thousands and thousands of wasps or bees, just a terrible cacophonous hum. The camera jerked and swayed and we heard a low moan and then the camera dropped to the floor and cut out.
The next scene it was a lovely sunset and Bethenny was bustling around the kitchen pleasantly, cooking dinner. Everything looked to be going wonderfully. It was a wonderful evening! Red Sonja and Ramona were doing wine shooters out on the lanai with a brown-eyed houseboy named Jacques while Alex stood in her floppy hat, painting a landscape — little sailboat, happy clouds, a smiling stick-potato figure in a floppy hat, the whole nine. What a pleasant scene it was. Ramona was so happy that everything was going so swimmingly. She knew that there had been unpleasantness earlier, but now everything was just perfect. A happy Bethenny in the kitchen, Alex doing her arts, Sonja riding Jacques like a canyon burro, her hands wrapped tightly around his neck, Jacques slapping at her arms desperately, his eyes bulging, gasping for breath. It was so sweet and serene, the whole thing.
Bethenny rang the dinner bell and Alex put down her paintbrush, Ramona took one last gulp of pinot on the lanai to go drink pinot on the patio (Patio Pinot, from Singer Vineyards), and Sonja left Jacques' limp body on the chaise, his neck bruised and purple. The servants brought out the first course and everyone sat down to eat. It was so nice. But something felt... off. Something was missing. And then they realized. Alex said, "Hey guys? Where's Kelly?" And no sooner had Alex said Kelly's name than did Kelly suddenly appear, moving in creepy J-horror jumpcut motions, folding herself into a chair. "Why you wearin' sunglasses," Ramona slurred. Kelly said "Oh, no reason." But there was a reason. Oh yes, there was a reason. Kelly then started talking on her phone, on speaker, really loudly, and everyone was annoyed because they couldn't hear Bethenny's delicious salsa, so they asked her to can it or move somewhere else, and it was the perfect trigger for the door's wicked magic to begin its terrible work. The rest of the dinner unraveled.
The first course was crabcakes and Kelly refused to eat them. Ramona very sweetly took the uneaten thing off Kelly's plate because she didn't want Bethenny to see an uneaten crabcake when the plates got sent back to the kitchen. That was a nice thing to do, Ramones. Good work. Sonja said "Oh I'll eat that!" She was suddenly very hungry as she remembered seeing the light in Jacques' eyes fade and disappear. Kelly started making weird huffing dragon noises and then she told us, in camera interview, "The crabcake just wasn't good. The salad dressing was great though! Bethenny could be like Paul Newman or something." Oh there's that Bensimon wit! We'd see much more of it as dinner progressed.
Next came steak, which Kelly declared tough, but everyone else gobbled up. Alex was kind enough to chew up Ramona's food and then regurgitate it into her mouth. It's nice to see friends being friendly. By this point Kelly had started bouncing up and down evilly, shaking her hands in rapid succession. Everyone else could sense that something was... occurring... they just weren't sure what. Bethenny sat down for a while and Kelly started in on her about something. I don't really remember what it was, there was so much and it was all a jumble. Plus my Thousandbeesanese is a little rusty. Just know that it was crazy jibber-jabber black-eyed monster talk and everyone started getting uncomfortable. At one point Bethenny got up to go cry or vomit or both, leaving someone else vulnerable to a Kellyattack. That person happened to be Alex. Poor, unwitting, turnip truck Alex. Alex started talking about the day's photoshoot and how Kelly had made her a little nervous with the camera and Kelly was just full on full-body buzzing at this point and she just lashed out at Alex. "You're a vampire!" she declared, teeth falling out of her mouth like hail. "Huh?" everyone in the world asked. "A what?" "A vampire," Kelly declared again and then started dancing in her chair. Sonja and Ramona both took big lumberjack gulps of Patio Pinot (lumberjacks love that shit) and prayed for a lightning strike or something.
But no such luck came. Bethenny came back out and that's when shizz really started going dizz. Kelly was swinging over the table on a trapeze, yelling insults at everyone as she flew over them. Sonja tried to tell a story from her past and Kelly declared "The past is over!!" for some reason. It made no sense. Why be mean to Sonja? All she did was pose for a ZZ Top music video, drink some wine, and drain the life out of a young college student trying to earn some extra cash by working at a creepy mansion on his winter break. She's an innocent bystander! But that mattered not to Kelly as she dismounted the trapeze and with a big floppy flip, landed smash down on the table, cups and plates shattering or rolling off the table. Bethenny couldn't believe what she was seeing. No one could believe what they were seeing. Alex at one point actually scrubbed her eyes. Not made the cartoony motion of scrubbing her eyes. Actually got out a bucket and scrubbed her eyes. But it did not work. She was not seeing things. This was actually happening. Life is hard, here is someone. Here is someone slapping herself in the face and trying to set Sonja on fire.
Kelly then started heckling Bethenny about being on the trip when her dad had just died which was just like... no, Kelly. Absolutely not. Then she called Alex a vampire again for a while, accused Bethenny of wanting to rape Sonja or something based on a joke she didn't get, and then she started calling everyone Al Sharpton. So if nothing else has been gained from this decidedly miserable Housewives season, we at least have a new expression: "The show ain't over until the sKellyton Al Sharptons." I think it's a pretty good expression. I think it'll take.
Oh mercy what happened next? I don't even know. This is really hard to talk about because Kelly Bensimon actually had an Episode last night. Like a real, formal Episode. I don't know what it was — if it was drugs or drink or just general complete fucking mental imbalance — but Kelly was saying things that were like a record played backwards. When Kelly speaks Paul is always dead. Finally it just got to be too much so Bethenny shrieked the already-famous "Go to bed! Go to bed!" line and Kelly's face contorted into a hideous death mask and suddenly Jacques sprang up, back to life, and ran ran ran as fast as he could back to Bates, back to Caitlin whom he now knew he loved, back to living. "Go to bed!!!!" Bethenny bellowed again and then Kelly disappeared for a second. She ran off to an unseen room and everyone was like "Ohhhh holy hell." And vindicated Bethenny said "See? Seee???? I told you guys this lady was a wackadoodle." And she's right. That is the correct psychiatric term for Kelly. Wackadoodle.
What does a wackadoodle in this situation do next? Well, I'll tell you what a wackadoodle do. (This whole recap exists solely for that joke.) A wackadoodle comes back to the dinner party armed with various gummi candies and "lollies." Yes, Kelly actually called them "lollies," as if she were a Victorian child wearing a sailor's outfit. I kind of wish she'd called them "suckers" and had thus turned into Dennis the Menace or some other 1940s child. ANYWAY. Kelly was acting all weird with her candy and rambling on and on about god only fucking knows what and suddenly a light bulb appeared above Sonja's head, a clear knowledge. "You guys," she said. "We're all sane and Kelly is not, so now we're just ganging up on a crazy person." Which, ha. Sonja!!! She kind of made a powerplay to be awesome in this episode, didn't she? She was just like "Oh, dear. Guys, just let Kitty Krazy over here have her candy and we can just drink more wine." It's exactly how I would have liked to have reacted in that situation. In actuality I would have gone and curled up next to Jacques and prayed for death. Kelly didn't really seem to register what Sonja was saying, because how could she even hear her over her own loud tone poem recital.
Finally Ricardo Montalban's ghost appeared and he seemed exhausted. "Enough of this tonight," he said in that coffee purr of his. He blew a fresh breeze over the table and everyone relaxed slightly. They took deep breaths, they unclenched fists. Phew. Shanti. Bethenny spoke soberly and frankly to Kelly and said that she is not after her, she is not trying to kill her, she is just a person thrown into a room with her, that is all. Kelly nodded her brown pony head as Sonja stroked her arm and you saw, with weary sadness, that Kelly is a frayed and troubled human being and probably shouldn't have been cast on a reality show. What a sad dump we make of everything, us humans, huh? What messes we make. Go to sleep, Kelly. Gently. I mean that gently. Go to sleep. Goodnight.
Eyugh. While all that insanity was going down, Jill and the Countess were back at home in New Yawk, doing their lady thang and having dinner with each other. Lu had her foot up on the table and was puffing away on a Winston when Jill said, "I'm thinking about going down to the islands. I'm thinkin' about surprising everyone." Which was such a nice idea! It was such a great, great idea. Bethenny loves you! Alex loves you! Ramona loves you! Yayyyyyy Jill!!! She's such a terrific social maneuverer. She really knows her way around the course, doesn't she? Good for Jill.
For her part Lu took her leg off the table and sat forward in her chair and leaned across the table and looked Jill directly in the eye, holding the stare for a long time until she said, in a determined, low voice, "Are you fuckin' crazy?" When Jill didn't respond, Lu pressed on. "I'm askin' you, at a restaurant, in New York City, are you, Jill Zarin, fuckin' tits to the wind crazy?" Jill started to sputter a reply, "Well I, I—" "I'm askin' you if you are actually that bullshit bonkers that you could get on a goddamned aeroplane and fly all the way to Tim-Tim-Tiki or whatever the fuck island those batty bitches are stranded on just to hang with the likes of Kelly and Ramona? 'Cause lady if you're that apples-to-assholes, Lu here is gonna have to do some reevaluating of her friendships. Ya dig?" Jill nodded. "I'm askin' you out loud, Zarin. Do. Ya. Dig?" Jill looked about to cry. "Yes, I dig. I dig. I really do. I dig." LuAnn smiled and leaned back in her chair, put a foot back up on the table, lit a fresh cigarette. She raised a hand and snapped her fingers. "Garcon! We'll take another round. Me 'n my perfectly sane 'n savvy friend here."
But of course Jill is going, did go, will go forever. Jill does that. It's just what Jill does. And I wonder if she knew. As she sat in the round metal belly of the plane, the propellers whirring, the slip of the atmosphere starry blue above her, I wonder if she knew she was heading into darkness. I wonder if she could feel that creep and tingle in her bones, if she could sense the impending whirlwind of horror and psychosexual madness that Kelly was whipping up down there on her island, a bony chap-lipped Prospero. I doubt that Jill did. I bet that she headed off as most unwitting people head off into disaster. A skip in their steps, a light and carefree song in their hearts. Happy to be on a little adventure, blessedly unaware of what terror awaits them.
Oh this will be fun. What a good time. What could possibly go wrong?