Roundup of the Real Housewives of Miami: Rules of Engagement

Photo: Vulture; Photo: Bravo

Not every day we get to witness a birth. Since this show came back last year, Dr. Nicole has always been one of my favorites. Like Kyle Richards or Kandi Burruss, she always seemed like a real person, someone I could see me having dinner with. (You know, unlike someone like Ramona Singer, who I would consciously walk away from if she saw her at a social function.) But with this episode, Dr. Nicole died and the housewife Nicole came. All it took was sending a mirrored invitation to Larsa Pippen’s house when, very conveniently, both the cameras and Guerdy were already there.

The fight between the two is a continuation of an argument that started in the last episode when Nicole tried to explain to Larsa why it hurts her to keep bringing up her “ex-husband, the teacher.” She turned into Larsa saying that Nicole judged the last season of her and checked her OnlyFans page of her before meeting her. Larsa is still obsessed with this, but she doesn’t remember that Nicole reviewed it, she saw that it wasn’t so bad and decided that she wouldn’t mind meeting Larsa.

I always thought that Dr. Nicole was here. If they told me I have a new coworker and they have an OF, of course I’m putting on my investigative journalist hat and ripping that shit off. (Hello, I already did it for journalism). Even if they didn’t have an OF, I’d still google them because that’s what we do. I’m with Nicole, if someone comes to your house, you want at least a little bit of information about them, not even to judge them or let them in, just because you’re curious.

Larsa’s reaction is to say that she heard that Nicole slept with all the doctors at her hospital, someone who is as unprovable as I assume is false. Alexia is not wrong, where there is smoke there is often fire, but no way Nicole slept with everyone doctor at the hospital. There are probably some gays and a couple that are so gross that Nicole wouldn’t dare. There might even be some who would reject it. But most likely Kiki’s answer: nobody has time to have that much sex. I’m saying that maybe she had an affair with a guy, which I can believe. But all the staff? Go. Even optometrists’ wives don’t get nervous around them.

Nicole says in the confessional, “I went to school for so many years to be a doctor, to take care of patients, and this comment is coming from a lady who sells her feet for $5 on the internet?” Yeah… I don’t like the undercurrent of slut-shaming that’s been running rampant among housewives lately, but your point is valid. Of the cast, Nicole is the only one with a real person job where she gets a paycheck from a boss. She could easily get fired for this, just like Justin Rose in rhoslc He lost his job. Larsa is not at risk.

Larsa accuses Nicole of judging her based on something she read on the internet. Mmm no. She judged you based on something you deliberately put into the world for profit. Plus, bonus points to Nicole for bringing up the very substantiated rumor that Larsa is dating Marcus Jordan, the son of her ex-husband’s arch-nemesis, something Larsa refuses to put on the show. Also, bonus points to Larsa for this extreme pettiness. Also, bonus points to Marcus for being hot. Nice job on this one, honestly.

I’m very much for Nicole in this argument, especially since she discovered Larsa as yesterday’s Wordle. Nicole says that when Larsa is challenged or uncomfortable, she picks the meanest thing she can think of and throws it at that person. We see her tell Adriana that she’s bipolar, tell Julia that she was making out with a guy, and we see her do it right away in this scene where she says that Nicole must be unhappy at home, and that’s why she’s doing this. After her interaction, Larsa goes back to Nicole to tell her that Nicole can be friendly to everyone, but Larsa is fake. Um, what’s fake is pretending to be friends with these women and then trolling as much baseless DeuxMoi bullshit as she can think of out of her head.

Later we see Nicole and her fiancé Anthony at a fancy dinner, and Anthony talks shit about Larsa and makes fun of her appearance. I don’t like this one bit. Anthony, that’s it our worked. I’m not trying to do lawyer insurance or whatever. But Nicole tells him that she did something that will fix the situation.

The scene is intercut with Guerdy visiting Larsa and a box from Nicole arriving in the post. Guerdy says: “Oh, that’s great. It’s something to help throughout your friendship.” Um, Gerdy. I know you’re getting all of that good nerdy fireman D back home (the things the man knows about Star Wars has my basement flooded like the water planet Kamino). This probably got you a happy slap in the face, but this is not a gift I’m looking forward to either. This is a gift meant to destroy.

Larsa opens the package and it has a message written as if Nicole just got kicked out of RuPaul’s Drag Race. He doesn’t just expose Larsa as fake; it also exposes her for not taking enough school reading tests when she was in fourth grade reading class. He says, “Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fake of all.” If Larsa misread it, or Nicole misspelled it, she could go either way. He ends with Nicole saying that Larsa is no longer invited to her engagement party and instead she has to stay home and clean up the dog drool at her athleisure.

I mean, a slow round of applause for Nicole, all of you. He hadn’t been this impressed with an act of meanness since Kenya Moore turned up with a drum line at the Marlo Hampton Wig launch. (You know those drums launched Marlo’s wig all the way to the International Space Station.) Yes, denying someone an invitation is vulgar and silly, and you would never do it in real life, but it’s becoming of rigor in our favorite docusoap, and Nicole has mastered the art. How quickly did he get a mirror, get a box it would fit in, find a pen that would work on the mirror, get Larsa’s address, find out when Guerdy and the production camera were due to arrive, and mail that crap? ? That’s like a $400 joke and it was worth a lot more than the $15 I paid for photos of Larsa in a bikini in OF.

Nicole’s engagement party looks amazing, but why is she wearing a (beautiful) white dress? Isn’t that bad luck? She is annoyed that Marysol wears white to the party, but it’s just a wrong move to wear white to a wedding. I think we can let this engagement party slide, especially since Marysol is so patient with Nicole’s father, Mike, who Marysol points out that he’s just a villain from an episode of Miami Vice. You know there are white blazers five sizes too small cluttering up that guy’s wardrobe.

We learn from Nicole and Anthony’s dinner that her father has been invited, but she made it clear that his girlfriend is not welcome. I’m sure Nicole has a valid reason to hate this woman, but she needs to tell us what she is. If it’s something silly, like she doesn’t like the color of the lady’s hair, I’ll say it’s silly and she should move on. If the new girlfriend is Anna Delvey, then there’s a perfect reason why Nicole wouldn’t want to be around this woman at all.

Mike doesn’t behave horribly, though he drunkenly flirts with everyone who comes his way, especially Kiki, the world’s most perfect “friend” and the subject of an upcoming retrospective at the Real Housewives Institute. He is devastated, stops Nicole and says: “[Anthony] will never be like me. She will one day come home at 11 pm and say, ‘Nicole, listen to this…’”. At this point, Nicole interrupts him and says that she doesn’t want to have this conversation. Um, yes, but there are three of us here: Nicole, her father, and us. We want to have this conversation. What was she going to say? Where was this going? What will Anthony say to Nicole one day? We must know! I guess we’ll have to call Allison DuBois, who will tell us that she’ll never emotionally deliver. Know what.

At the end of the party, Nicole sits down with all the women and tells them that she disinvited Larsa. Julia claps her hands and says that Larsa needs to learn that she can’t make these accusations like she did to Julia. Alexia, however, loves all the rumors about someone other than her and says that maybe Larsa is telling the truth. “Anyone can say what she wants,” she says, which you know to be true until someone says her son Peter was arrested for domestic violence, and then says it’s all the woman’s fault. Sorry, Alexia, if you’re the moral compass, we’d be lost in the bedding section of Target.

As the rest of the women wrap up the night, Larsa sits at home in her Lululemon, drinking a half-hot La Croix from the can. Of her Look through her full-length windows at the glittering city below her, at the stars dimpling the sky, at a cloud speeding toward the moon like Pac-Man looking for a pill of energy. She walks over to her desk and sees the black box Nicole sent her half open. She lifts the cardboard lid and looks at her face at a bad angle in the mirror. She looks down at her face and then out the windows at the wide world beyond. She goes back and forth in silence for about five minutes, occasionally taking a sip of her drink. Then, as she walks away from her, more by inadvertence than intent, she sends the box and mirror to the floor, crashing and shattering, shards of glass sliding across the floor and under the furniture. She goes to bed without cleaning up any of the mess she’s already made.

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