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Last night's episode of The Witches of Westwick had some of the ladies traveling north to meet their enemies, while others faced demons more domestic. All told, another miserable installment!

You'll remember that at the end of last week, the Maloof and her husband Chim-Chim were headed up to Sacrum's Mento to watch the Maloof's basketed-ball squadron, the Kings, play what might be their final game in that northern outpost. See, for money and other Maloofy reasons, the owners might move the b-ball team downstate a bit where more people live and where more people aren't still sucking on the teat of a hundred-and-fifty-year-old gold rush. These are reasons that make sense, but it does not matter to the old gold panners and prospectors who still haunt the tumbleweed-strewn streets of Old Sac. They are angry about this move. There is trouble in River City.

So the Maloof needs protection. Sure she's got Chim-Chim and his handfuls of poison botox hypodermic needles, but she needs more than that. Naturally then she called the old whiskey demon she knows name'a Kim Richidz to come on down to the private jetway to fly up to the dying brown planet that the moon of Davis orbits. Grand idea, Maloof! Grand idea indeed. You'll remember too of last week that when Maloof and Chimmers got to the jetway, Kim was nowhere to be found. So they called her and she was all "Oh, hello lampshade. I've fallen up the stairs again. I'm on my way! Let me just do my finger taxes." The Maloof and Chimps and everyone just sorta blinked and Chimps said "I think she was intoximicated" and the Maloof shook her head and we shook our heads and, I swear, my roommate's cat shook his head. (Or maybe he was just coughing up, then swallowing, another hairball. This is something he does. Oof.) It was just a bad scene, man. A real drunk lady freakout if ever there was one.

Last night's episode began with the Maloof and her wild-eared husband waiting for Kim, waiting and waiting, calling again and Kim saying "Who'sthis?" and the Maloof saying "Uh, hun, it's me, remember me, the person you're headed to right now?" And Kim was like "Ohyeah, Magoof, sure thing Professor Maroof, I'm on it." Chances that Kim would make it before this private jet had to take off (isn't that the whole point of a private jet, that you can tell it when to take off?) were not looking good. But then of course there was the sound of an old jalopy backfiring and up sputtered Kim, stumbling out of a car and waving heavy, sand-filled hands in salute. Oh good, I guess we were supposed to think? Kim made it! Except, no, it was probably a very bad thing that Kim made it. Kim probably should have been at home, lying in the dark with a cold compress on her head, some soothing music playing to help ease her jangled, chemical nerves. But now instead she was getting on a private aeroplane and flying up to the north country, into a hostile hotbed of angry old Mother Loders. Probably not a good idea.

But then, in the way that this show sometimes presents a big situation only to sort of listlessly meander off in a slightly different direction and thus leave us unsatisfied, when they got to Sacramento it wasn't really about Kim. I mean sure she said weird things in the airplane on the way up, strange mutterings about knocking on strangers' doors to ask if she could do her makeup and what have you, and when they got there she kept blabber-sputtling about various odd things and annoying Chimzy who was just trying to watch the basketed-ball game, but really the Sagra Memo storyline wasn't really about Kim. It was really about the Maloof and the work that her shadowy conglomerate, Maloof Industries, is doing up there in NoCA.

When they arrived, all the Sacramento Kings fans were lining the streets in protest, spray painting things and holding signs and chanting "Don't leave us alone in this windswept dream tundra!" and other catchy things. Yes, all seven Sacramento Kings fans were out in force, but the Maloof was undeterred. Chim-Chim was like goddamned terrified, shrieking his chim-chim shriek and furiously picking gnats out of people's hair. He was really freaked out by these seven angry gold miners, but the Maloof held strong. She and her security team of sixty hurried through the stadium, Kim carried in a basket held atop one of their heads, all the way to the raven-circled skybox where the Maloofs watch the games and plot grim things. They'd survived! They'd made it. Chim-Chim calmed down a bit and took a relieving pee in the corner, while Kim sat in a chair, dreamily lolling her head around, lost somewhere faraway and intangible, a Kim Richards dream world full of cotton ball clouds and seltzer rains and soft oboe music. Everyone was happy to have run the angry fan gauntlet and made it up to safety. Well, everyone except the Maloof.

No, she wanted to be down with the proletariat. She wanted to go down into the lower parts of the arena and mingle with the common folk. "Can I go down there?" she asked her head of security. He shook his boulder head and said "No m'am, no you cannot." But in the end it was up to the Maloof and she's the one signing the checks (well, actually, she pays them all in MaloofBucks), so down she went, dragging a terrified Chim-Chim and a spittling Kim behind her. Down in the crowds the mood was definitely different. It was more immediate and alive and intense. Well, ha, not really. Maloof wasn't heading into the Congo. I mean, there were a few moments where people said some not so nice things from afar, but for the most part it looked like people wanted to take pictures with her (mostly women, fans of the show despite themselves I'd imagine) or, at worst, sadly plead with her to not take away their b-ball funtimes. One guy was holding up a sign that was an acrostic of MALOOF, saying something like Maloofs Are Losing One Outstanding Family or something. A family. Oh. Aw. Not business! Not cold, indifferent money. Not basketed-ball players with no personal or emotional ties to the places or people of Sagrumlentos. A family. A real thing, a bonded and knit group of folks who come together, who commune, who break the stale bread of concession pretzels together and sip of the same fountain sodas and really share themselves with each other. Don't lose a family, Maloofs! Don't abandon your family!

Will they? It remains unclear. Alls we know is that the Kings are still in Suggaminnow for the time being and that the last we saw Kim she was stumbling East, vaguely following the wide line of highway 80, stomping off towards the Sierra Nevadas for lord only knows what reason. What did she see there, on the dawn's horizon? We may never know. Sometimes, they say, in corners of Tahoe, you can hear her calling on cool, crisp nights. A ghostly sound wafting through the pines and rocky shores. "I lost my power..." the voice seems to say. The stars twirl in the cold indigo sky and then she's gone again. Once again hush. Once again sleep.

Meanwhile! Back down in California's boiling fupa, Los Angeles, Kim's sister Kyle was planning a charity for "kids with cancer." Just that vague old thing. "This week I have my charity for kids with cancer, next week I have the charity event for broken ladies, and then after that poor ethnics. So busy!" I'm sure there was an actual individual charity involved — was it called Lollipop maybe? Is that a terrible name for a kids with cancer charity? — but to hear Kyle talk about it, she was just having a party for kids with cancer. "It's going to be so fun!" she told everyone, in this way that like, well, yeah, I guess a party can be fun but is that the selling point? The funness? Or is the kids with cancerness really the grab? I don't know. I hate the way these women do charity stuff, like it's this Thing that they're supposed to do to that... what? What at this point is it supposed to do? Make us like them? Make us think they're generous and selfless and decent and kind? I mean, that's hokum. Nobody on a Housewives show this late in the game could possibly ever think we'd ever think that about any of them, could they? That's just patently absurd. So I'm going to assume that the misguided idea that we might like them is not on the table — because only a dummy would think that and I don't think these ladies are dummies (haha, they are all dummies, they are all Gabbo) — and I'm going to say that there are always charity functions on these shows so Bravo can look good. Because why the fuck not? Why not assume that?

The point is, the charity events on these shows always come across petty and mostly shallow and this one was no exception. Kyle was all in a tizzy about planning it, though from what I could tell she just had some blue lights lit up and some like auction gifts donated by friends and that was about it. Oh and the party was apparently held in the small upstairs employee event space at a mid-sized science museum. Like maybe the Orlando Science Center's employee event space. It was all burnished metal and blue light but also kinda small and unadorned. But whatever! It was still for a good cause, so who are we to make fun of it.

Soo... Yeah there was all this planning and whatever, total snoozefest, and then it was time for the pahhtee. The Maloof and Chimzers had returned from Sac Town, so they were there. Kim of course was not. She had apparently told everyone that she was too tired from the trip to attend. Which basically means that, having at some point wandered out of the mountains, she now had like the mondoest hangover ever and was probably embarrassed, just now lucidly remembering all the things she'd said to the Maloof in the past day. So yeah, she was tapping out. I hear ya girl. I hear ya bigs. It's like when you get accidentally really drunk at an office party and then the next day you wake up and just think "Oh holy chimmers, I cannot face those people right now." Kim was feeling that way. Girl that's fine. Just do you at home. Or in the mountains. Or wherever you are. Just do you and ride out the storm.

Everyone else was there, though. Kyle was pleased with that. There was a good turn out and her husband Mauricio made a speech about how he'd had cancer as a kid so he'd spent a lot of time in hospitals and this was a good charity because it would help kids like him, so that was nice. Apparently they ended up raising something like $15,000 for the kids, which, well done on that. A good show, ladies! Too bad you had to go and instantly ruin it.

Well for the one thing Lisa Plumper-dump was once again making herself the total primo bitch of the season, whether by editing or by personal mandate, so was talking to Taylor about how skinny she is and how she looks emotional all the time and all this stuff. Taylor, who was upset about some gossip that had been written about her in Melancholy Fancy magazine that she suspected Lisa had leaked, was really put off by Wumper-sump's grilling about her weight and stuff. Which, yeah, upstairs at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum staff lounge is probably not the best place to have a conversation about how someone is depression skinny. Oof, Gumper-gump. Not good.

Also not good was the way that the ladies reacted to the arrival of the newest cast member, Brandi Glanville (Glandville? "Yes, the population of Glandville has really swollen in recent years."). Oof. Now, this was sort of a bunk and sexist thing for Chim-Chim to say, but upon witnessing the ladies' negative reaction to Brandi, he said "In Beverly Hills, when a woman who's younger and attractive shows up, everyone's mad." I mean, that's not exactly what he said, but that was the basic gist of it. And I hate to say he's right, but these ladies proved him right. Women be jealous.

I mean the thing is is that Brandi Grandi is, what, famous for being married to Eddie Cibrian? Eddie Cibrian who is famous for, what, his role as Griff Walker on the seminal series Baywatch Nights? (And I do mean seminal.) OK, yay? Plus Brandi and Eddi aren't even married anymore! Remember, he stepped out on her with LeAnn Rimes, that lady who had a hit song when she was a kid. So Brandi is now just a former model with a cast on her foot and a fight brewing with some TV strangers. That's all! Nothing to be jealous about. And yet, they were.

Kyle immediately doesn't like Brandi, because she perhaps threatens Kyle the most, but Kyle pretends she doesn't like her for the same reason that Lisa doesn't like Brandi, which is because Brandi had at some point been photographed with her old friend from her modeling days, the nefarious and sinister Cedric the Entertained. As in Lisa's ex-houseboy Cedric. Waiiiiit. Cedric was modeling in Paris? But I thought he was living on the streets, a common urchin-angel just waiting for someone to rescue him! Now we find out that he was modeling? Hmmm. Verrryyyy mysterious.

Anyway, the point is that any friend of Cedric is an enemy of Lisa's apparently, so that's that. Kyle couched her immediate dislike for Brandi in that, and Taylor dimly and doe-eyedly joined in on the hate parade, and thus all the cackling witches sat on a couch, very close to Brandi mind you, basically within earshot, and made fun of her like they were fifteen years old. "Nyah nyah nyah, what is she wearing, why's she so weird, why do her feet look weird, nyah nyah nyah." All that embarrassing hooey. Brandi kinda overheard and was like [eye-roll] about it, and for a second she seemed above it all. I mean, obviously she's not. Obviously she won't ever be. Obviously she's on this show, same as the rest of these dumps. But for just a second, a brief glimmer of time, Brandi won. She was victorious! Shining there all tall and bright and only slightly broken, while the other dark crones in the corner spat into a cauldron, making venom stew. So that's that. Here we go with this whole thing, I guess.

Yup, here we go! On and on with this, this glittery fiasco. All these ladies lurching on ahead, dancing manically like flags in the wind. During the charity event there was a brief dancing sequence and it was so weird, is always so weird, to see them dancing to this wordless, barely tuneful music. Obviously that wasn't actually what they were dancing to, but Bravo can't air that music because it would be too expensive. So we get this weird instrumental muzak that's just so silly. Isn't that kind of funny to think about, or to guess at? What song were they dancing to? Whose rhythms made Kyle wiggle her arms and Taylor parrot her head and, I don't know, Lisa tap a foot disinterestedly? It's always a small, strange mystery on these shows, the secret music. A funny thing to try and figure out. The pressing and prodding of it, the vain attempt to find an answer, to gain some clarity, to connect these people somehow to the outside world.

Oh yes, of course. I know that song. I've heard that tune before. I know what they're moving to! I know why they're dancing! Just once it would be nice to know what makes these creatures wriggle and shake, what makes them strut and creak and groan. But, alas, instead, we're just shown this atonal lie, this bit of pretend. Everything muted and flat, the brown layer surrounding them as thick as city smog.