Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 12 Premier: The Break-In




It seems like just yesterday when a full six month season of Erika Jayne’s ongoing legal issues and impending divorce from famed shamed attorney, Tom Girardi, finally ended, but it actually has been 6 months.  Last season was a tremendous success, and firmly secured RHOBH as the current ratings champ of the real housewife series. Averaging around 1.5 million viewers each week, only RHONJ even comes close. 


While all of the ladies were rewarded with renewed contracts (and presumably hefty raises), much has been written about how the Bravo slave drivers gave the cast very little time off.  However, a quick calculation suggests otherwise.  For example, although last season began airing in May 2021, filming concluded around Valentine's Day 2021.  This season begins with the alleged Kemsley home invasion and Harry Hamlin's birthday, which is in October. Aaccording to my math, that's an eighht month break in filming. There are a few days of "interviews" (talking heads),  a one day reunion shoot, and neverending promotion and press, but such is the life of a "real housewife". 


Season 12 episode opens up exactly how I predicted it would; with Dorit’s robbery, and then a flashback leading up to that horrific night.  Through a montage of the cast going about their daily lives, we see Kyle Richards and Crystal Kunt Foo Minkoff with their respective kids, Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke in Miami promoting some kind of Haitian relief thing, and Erika Jayne and Lisa Rinna catching up at Erika's now fully decorated Hancock Park bungalow.  Prominently placed in plain view on Erika's new white marble counter is a huge bouquet of flowers.  Erika explains that they are from "an admirer", a.k.a. someone she's having sex with.  Lisa is elated and screams "Oh good, because you've never done that!".  A clearly confused  Erika, quickly takes Rinna's cue and then basically outs herself as an adulteress and responds "No, not really ....... because I've been married my whole adult life".  Yeah sure, and her fuck buddy neighbor, Armie Hammer, is a vegetarian.


Lisa is angry that Sutton publicly humiliated her by telling Andy Cohen (on WWHL) that the Hamlin's were HER guests at the Elton John AIDS gala (meaning SHE paid for their seats), and what's more, Lisa didn't even thank her.    Lisa adamantly denied the charge and then posted several pics of the Hamlins at various Elton John's charity events throughout the years (as if that proves anything).  In case you didn't get the shade, Sutton was more or less getting back at Lisa for her  earlier comment about her bestie, Garcelle, not properly thanking Lisa for the gift of Harry Hamlin's famous spaghetti sauce.  Clearly enjoying the catiness of it all, Erika tells Lisa that "Sutton came for the wrong bitch".  Of course it all seems so silly and trivial, but this is kind of stuff that makes the real housewives so much fun, and no one pulls it off better than the RHOBH. 


In what is supposed to be a surprising RHOBH twist, Sutton and Crystal are now chumbs, but as we all know, housewife friendships are a game of musical chairs, and next season it will be someone else.  Accusations of racism and questioning one's mental competency have been replaced with a common love for baseball.  Also, as things between Sutton and Erika have only deteriorated, it appears that Sutton may have found a new ally against Erika.  As the following scene clearly shows, Sutton already has Garcelle firmly in her corner. 


Following a workout session together, in true blunt Garcelle fashion, she asks Erika when she's going to apologize to Sutton.  Erika innocently says, "For what?".  Garcelle responds, "For threatening Sutton".  Erika tells Garcelle that that is never going to happen.  Again, this confuses me because apparently I am the only one who saw Kunty take Sutton by the hand on a dock last season and genuinely apologize to her.  Erika tells Garcelle that "Sutton says a lot of shit, and eventually people are going to punch back.".  They also discuss Erika's legal problems in which Kunty proclaims the worst is behind her.  Garcelle says she's done asking her about it, but will be there if and when Erika needs her.  Then in a talking head, Garcelle tells us that Erika is in pure denial. 


Finally, we get to the day of Dorit's home invasion.   We see Dorit and "her babies" schlepping through LAX on their way home from the fateful London trip (Pea Kye was conveniently? detained in London).  Once at home just hours before the incident, Garcelle checks in with Dorit via Face Time, as Dorit is enjoying observing her babies' personal Karate class by the pool.  Moments later, we see the infamous (crystal clear) surveillance video of the burglars smashing the patio glass door and breaking in.  As we all know by now, Dorit was awakened by the intruders standing in the doorway of her bedroom.  However we do learn that they were apparently surprised to see her, then charged her and ordered her down onto the floor *((((shivers))))). 


The following morning, the media is all over the robbery, as Kyle, Erika, and Lisa are seen rushing to her side.  At the time, fans were loving how the cast rallied around Dorit, but the "detective" (ok, cynic) in me was taking notes.  The video shows the break-in occurring at 21:54, which is 9:54 pm) .... why was Kyle (who only lives a few minutes away) not arriving until the next morning?  Wouldn't she (and especially Mauricio) have been there within moments? 


Later than day, Lisa and Crystal are meeting at the venue where Lisa is hosting Harry Hamlin's (70th) birthday celebration.  Crystal tears up  as she and Lisa talk about the horrifying incident.  Meanwhile, Sutton visits a still sobbing Kyle who is at her old Bel Air haunt, inspecting a new paint job.  But Sutton is anything but horrified, let alone sympathetic; in fact, she's downright cavalier about the whole thing, and then proceeds to talk about the citizenship status of one of her (illlegal?) "help".  Between this and her arguably shabby treatment of Lisa and Erika, it is evident that Sutton Stracke has been appointed RHOBH's resident season twelve villainess.  Kyle is shocked at Sutton's lack empathy, and in a talking head asks us, "What's wrong with her?!!".


The next night after the robbery, Kyle hosts a little soiree for just their closest cast members, Lisa, Erika, and oddly enough, Garcelle, to discuss the incident.  The guest of honor, Dorit arrives, visibly shaken and perhaps for the first time, void of all glam.  Dorit relives the horror again, revealing that one of the intruders told the other to "just kill her".  She also reveals that normally, the kids sleep in the bed with her when Bubba is away, and thanks God that they were in their own beds on this night.  Dorit says that she was able to remain calm and actually helped the intruders locate the valuables and some cash.  She also told them to not only speed it up for their own good (before they got caught), but pleaded with them NOT to take her phone.  So they instructed her to "count" to a certain number, and then retrieve the phone from the front yard after they left.


P.K. then shows up and we are supposed to believe that he and Dorit are seeing each other for the first time since the horror.  As he begins to share his thoughts, he breaks down at the thought of what could have happened to his wife and children.  As a viewer, you couldn't help but get emotional watching this all play out, but at the same time, I kept thinking, "How do you sleep through a patio door (((exploding))), and why wasn't the damn alarm set?".   I'm also thinking that this was no time to have reality tv cameras in your face.


Immediately following the episode, Dorit and Kyle appeared on Watch What Happens Live, and to Andy's credit, he asked Dorit precisely that.  Her explanation was that because the kids often get up in the middle of the night (and wonder around the house?), they often times do not set the alarm.  Sounds feasible at first glance, but as anyone who has a home alarm system knows, you set the alarm for "away" or "home", which then sets the alarm, but allows for activity throughout the house.  So while I'm not ready to accuse the Kemsleys of any kind of Jussie Smollet type behavior, I have come to the conclusion that something about this whole thing stinks.