Last night's episode was all about how children will listen. Be careful of what you do, children will learn. But these women, well some of them, aren't careful, so their children will grow up to be terrible.

OK, I'm just going to put it out on Front Street. Mama's a little... under the weather this morning (I blame Maureen O'Connor), so this might not be the most thorough recap of your lives. But that's OK! There's not that much to analyze, because it was all plainly laid out for us.

We'll start small. Kim can't do anything right. She tries and tries, but nothing ever goes her way. She wrings her hands and pulls at her hair and makes a strained, high-pitched humming noise, "Hnnggghhhhhhh", trying for things to go right, her eyes watering with tears, that horrible prickly flutter of anxiety filling her chest, but things still fall apart. The sky is always muddy with gray clouds, there is always a bracing whine in the air. Kim is trying, trying, trying to get things together, to pull all the strings and corners and edges together, to make life a warm cozy bundle rather than this big, fraught, messy and mean explosion of sharp edges and sad thoughts and mundane disasters. But she's failing. And now she can't even turn on the stove in her new house. Not even that! "Hnnnghhhhhhhhh" she goes, with teeth clenched, hoping her kids can't hear her. "Hnnnnnghhhhhhhhhh." Oh where are her pills. Maybe a glass of wine. "Hnngghhhhhhhhhh." Maybe she just needs to fix her hair into a tight ponytail, maybe she just needs to go to the living room and rearrange the magazines on the coffee table, maybe she just needs to go lie on the floor of the laundry room for an hour and bury her face in a pile of towels and scream and scream and scream. "Hnnnghhhhhhhhh." Why won't this stove turn on?? Why can't anything ever work in her life????? Maybe she should just walk out the front door in her sweatpants and slippers and maybe she should just keep walking and walking and walking until she reaches the ocean, and maybe she'll get in a boat and just drift away into nothing. Maybe that's what she'll do, if she can't get the stove working. "Hnggghhhhhhhhh..." The clock is making fun of her, that annoying kitty-cat clock that Kyle gave her a few birthdays ago. They'd sat in Kyle's backyard for lunch and Kyle had bought noisemakers and party hats and everyone was smiling and saying "Happy birthday! Happy birthday!" and talking about the cake and the weather and all Kim had wanted to do was flip over the table and run away, to curl up into a little ball in a pile of dirt and leaves and live like an animal, like a squirrel, all she'd do all day would be sleep and climb and run and eat. She'd like to be a squirrel, Kim sometimes thinks. But instead she's got a broken stove and a kitty-cat clock that's ticking and ticking and ticking, saying "You can never go back, you can never go back, you can never go back." Hnnnghhhhh.

So that was Kim's sad story last night. Gosh, she is a sad one. I do feel badly for her. Especially when her sister, as boorish and loud as she is, has her shit capital-T Together. Lady just gets it done. Nice husband, attractive children, and now a birthday party for the littlest one, ridiculously named Portia. "Honey, do we know any kids named Bassanio we can invite to the party? I'd really like to lock up this marriage thing as early as possible." Portia. What a ludicrous, obnoxiously prissy name for a little girl. But oh well. At least she's going to have an awesome birthday party! Kyle planned a spectacular mac-'n-cheese-filled, moon-bouncing, french fry-laden boifdee party for the little one's second year of life. It was an expensive (12 thousand simoleons, I believe) but casual affair, rife with merriment and children squealing and all sorts of good, life-affirming things like that. (Too bad Kim had to show up and spray her dreary sourness everywhere, infecting the corners of the room with stress and tiredness, filling the yard with a vague whiff of unhappiness. Oh Kim. You know what, don't get the oven fixed. Ovens can be used for... bad things.)

Kyle's party was amazingly juxtaposed to another children's birthday party, this one thrown by the vanishing ghost in the corner there, Taylor. Good gravy is that woman a disaster. So her child, I don't remember her name at the moment so let's call her Porsche, is very young and didn't really seem to even want a party, but Taylor insisted on spending SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS on one anyway. SIXTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. I mean, I know that gawping at the money thrown around on these shows is a little cliched at this point, but come on. In these times. These particular days. Sixty thousand clams. It just fills the head with lava to think about it.

The spending began with diamonds. Taylor figured her little Porsche needed something very special to commemorate her fourth birthday, and what four-year-old doesn't like diamonds. All four-year-olds simply love diamonds. I was reading a four-year-old's Facebook profile the other day (don't ask) and she listed under Interests: "The theatre, Schopenhauer, dinner with friends, and, of course, diamonds." It's just something that four-year-olds are all about. So Taylor went to J.J. "Crazy" Caprezian's Diamond Emporium & Armenian Buffet and went straight for the Barbie-brand diamonds. MmHm! Those are the good diamonds, the Barbie ones. MmHm. Everyone knows that. Taylor picked out a stupid necklace that nobody liked and said "Well, it would be nice if we had the same thing, so I guess I'll get one too!" OHHHHHH. Ha ha ha, ya burnt, Taylor. Ya busted. You were buying your daughter diamonds so you'd have a shitty excuse to buy yourself diamonds! I hate you forever, go fart in a wishing well.

After the diamond adventure, it was time to put the party together. What do four-year-olds like? Mostly they like elegant sit-down tea service with ornate flower arrangements and lots of drunken adults. That is what most four-year-olds will tell you when you ask them "What's a fun way to spend a day?" No four-year-old will tell you "Cake and then running and then probably more cake and maybe some mud and then Mommy." No four-year-old will say that. They will say "What an interesting question! Why, I suppose I'd enjoy having something very staid and elegant, with little rosettes of flowers for centerpieces and, oh, you know what sounds nice? Some drunken adults. That would be lovely." And that's exactly what Porsche said. So that is the party that Taylor gave her. $60,000 for an elaborate table spread and flowers shaped like teapots and some creature named Dwight trilling about nonsense and all of Taylor's friends, who really deserved a party too, swilling away and ignoring their children, who were stuck down in some pen on a lower level of the yard. Poor Porsche was fucking miserable. Just yelling and not playing along and really not digging it when her mother did this bizarre photo shoot with a photographer who was there for some reason. The photo shoot was the most sickly sad thing I've seen on this show in a lorrrrnggg while. (With the exception of everything Kim says or does.) I mean, Taylor was reeeally into it. Like really into it, lifting a leg up in a whimsical way, making cutesy kissy faces, tilting an elaborately stupid hat to a jaunty angle, farting in a wishing well. It was just unbelieeevably pathetic. I wept hot tears of sweet and sour sauce watching that bit.

The party went on and on and on, Taylor strangle-smiling at all of the guests, acting chipper and can-do, saying cutesy-pie things to her daughter, who was scowling or crying the whole time, making sure everything at the tea party table was perfectly arranged, the perfect ribbons, the perfect alignment of silverware, the perfect angle of flowers and tilt of a teapot. Taylor also drank, but mostly she fretted and posed and giggled and pretended that her daughter was into it. It was so much work! She put so much money and time and effort into this whole thing, this was her baby, her real Taylor moment to shine, and then suddenly her husband showed up with a puppy-dog for little Porsche and the whole thing was completely overshadowed. PUPPPYYYYYYYYYY lots of four-year-olds are known to think, often. And it was a cute, squiggly little guy. And it came in an enormous box! I mean, that is just an exciting gift for a four-year-old! That's the day right there. "How was your day yesterday?" "PUPPYYYYYYY." "That's nice. Did you have an elaborate sixty thousand dollar tea party too?" "Um, I'm pretty sure just PUPPPYYYYYY." And Taylor knew that. Taylor knew that the entire party was an embarrassing, over-the-top bust. She knew it. And, in some creepy ways, I think Russell knew it too. I think he knew that PUPPYYYY would do the trick of upstaging Taylor's little thing pretty well. I think Russell likes to remind Taylor that she is weak and foolish and, try as she might, she will never get out from behind the mottled, lumpy shadow of Russell T. Slicksman. Poor Taylor. She should go join Kim in her boat. Hnnghhhh.

Camille. Every time she pops up on screen I want to turn right around and run out of the house like Rudy Huxtable's fat little friend Peter. That's all I want to do. She is just the worst, all lazy-faced and braggy about all of her fancy shit. She was going to Hawaii for a little vacation and she was soooo stressed out. She had to: pack her suitcase AND talk to her "house manager" about how the house should be managed. I didn't say "or", guys, I said AND. Both of those things. Do you know how hard it is to talk to your house manager? I mean do you have any idea the level of focus and concentration and guts that takes? "Please... like... turn off lights... and make sure... the house... doesn't run away.... So..... Have you seen my nannies?" That is some taxing shit right there. Girl, you deserve a damn vacation! Go on to Hawaii with ya badself, workin' girl! Bring those nannies, too. You earned it, baby.

In Hawaii the house is big and gorgeous, surprise surprise. In Hawaii Camille likes to go paddle boarding (one of the dumber looking activities one can do in the water) and show off her bazooms and hang out with weird unemployed moochers. That last one was a strange activity, wasn't it? Who were those weirdos? Camille explained to us, in humble terms, how she is basically Jesus because she let two crumb bums with no jobs live in one of the Hawaii houses, rent free, until they got on their feet again. Lady bird, they are never going to get on their feet if you keep letting them live in free Hawaii houses and then putting them on TV shows. That is not incentive to get up and go! That is sit down and stay behavior. But Camille really doesn't mind, because she is a tireless philanthropist, yes, but also because she enjoys it when the creepy man stares at her barely covered jagunga beans and drools into the hot tub. (I've officially decided that hot tubs are gross. I know they can be pleasant, but so many unpleasant people spend time in hot tubs, really seem to love hot tubs, that I just can't with them anymore. They're gross. Case closed. I'm done. Goodbye, hot tubs. Ya clipped.) Camille just sat there while Aloha Fiddlerslacks, the Hawaii Hobo, eye-groped her coconuts and the lady grifter quietly robbed the house. Happy Hawaii, guys! Thanks for sharing your special adventure with us, Camille. You're great. You're just so, so pretty and nice and great. And so rich. I'm so jealous of you and your riches. Is that what you want me to say? Is that what you're angling after? Well, I've said it. So there. Now go climb Diamond Head and sit up there for a hundred years, thinking about what you've done.

What else? Oh, the Maloof has sons that are crazy people. So they were goofing the maloof all over town last night, and who cares. Lisa Vanderpump introduced us to her children, including Pandoraaaaaa!!!!!!!!! Although we didn't see Pandora do much, unfortunately. I'm beginning to think that the most exciting thing about Pandora is her name. Which must be something of a curse, don't you think? "Hi, my name's Aeschylus Rotorbridges." "WHOA. What do you for a living?" "I'm an accountant." "Oh." "Yeah, I know." Always high expectations met with mild disappointment. Poor Pandora.

And poor Lisa's son, who's apparently had some issues. But now he's back and looking like Landry from Friday Night Lights and he really, really wants to go to Hollywood Upstairs Music Academy come falltime. It has tons of sweet guitars and girls playin' tambourine topless in the quad and Chancellor Rico gives out the best kush. It's an awesome, awesome place. But Lisa is concerned, especially by that last bit. it seems Landry may have fiddled with drugs a little in the past and Lisa is worried (with good reason) that the whole LA music scene might suck him back into all that. So we don't know if Landry will soon be beatin' drums and other things at T.J. Tunemeister's Song School. We'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, let's look out across that cold Pacific ocean and enjoy the view. And, oh, what's that? Do you see it, out beyond the breakers? It's a little dot of a thing, bobbing along in the way, way distance. Why, I think it might be Kim, there in her little rowboat, furiously rowing toward something, or away from everything. I hope she finds what she is looking for, out there on the waves, past them even, on some faraway island, some peaceful place where everything works. Where kids are always young and never leave you. Where everyone gets starring roles and the lines are good and the lighting is flattering and the work is always fun. Where stoves flick on with ease. A quick, satisfying tick. A brief hiss of gas. And then precise, even blue flames. Ringing around, hot and dancing, in a pure, perfect circle.