The Kardashiad, Part 16: You Can’t Have Social Anxiety and Race Cars

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Out back at Khloe and Lamar’s house, Khloe asks Bernard Hopkins, “Why are you so cute, pooty-face?” Bernard Hopkins doesn’t answer. Kim’s on her jewel-encrusted laptop. Rob walks in and says, “Hey, fat feet” to Kim, which I’m going to assume means this scene was shot not long after these made the rounds. Rob says he’s going up to his room to “[bleep bleep] for two hours” and not to bother him. Khloe and Kim talk about what’s wrong with Rob. “He needs to go to a psychologist,” Khloe says. “He cries at all times.”

Kylie goes to an acting school in Woodland Hills, where an acting coach tells her some important things about auditioning, like how if all they give you propswise is a chair, you should use the chair, and how it’s important to “really go for it.” The acting coach smiles the whole time like her area of expertise is teaching people how to smile. Meanwhile, at his photo studio, Victoria’s Secret photographer Russell James tells Kris that Kendall is coming into her own as a “legitimate supermodel” who could hold her own opposite Candice Swanepoel and Karlie Kloss. Kendall “has unlimited potential,” he says. “It’s immediate and it’s happening now.” Her potential has the immediacy of a thing that is presently happening, is what he’s saying.

The foundation is being poured here for an episode about Kendall and Kylie bickering as they begin to pursue divergent paths in life; before too long we’ll see Kendall and Kylie sit behind a table as models wearing racer-back tank tops and rompers from their Kendall & Kylie X PacSun clothing line are paraded before them. Kendall says everything looks great; Kylie wears a beanie and says frustratingly vague and disapproving things like “I want to see if we can make it more muted.” It’s pretty tense. First, though, Khloe’s in the middle of telling everybody about how Rob’s been “bingeing on string cheese” from her refrigerator when the phone rings. It’s Rob. He went running in Sherman Oaks and now his car’s missing and he needs a ride. Khloe calls him a “phony baloney.”

Cue montage of past instances of Rob being a phony baloney — claiming he fathered a child in Miami, saying he’s 21 when he’s actually 26, asserting that his whole existence on the planet isn’t a bleak joke, etc. Rob ends up having to take a cab home and walks in dramatically pissed that no one believed him. Everybody starts yelling at him about “twisting the truth” but nobody really digs in for the fight except Kris. By the time Rob storms upstairs — so mad he can’t even make a joke about how he’s going to go masturbate — you can see Khloe taking cell-phone pictures of Kourtney holding Bernard Hopkins.

At a photo shoot somewhere on Cahuenga, somebody sticks their head in the makeup room to warn Kendall and Kylie that they’re taking too long to get ready and “the day won’t wait.” It’s Kylie’s fault. The shoot is high-fashion-y, the direction Kendall’s trying to go in, she’s really excited, her makeup’s almost done, but Kylie’s just sitting there in regular clothes, dicking around on her phone. (She’s taking selfies, the most selfish of all photographs.) Finally Kn&Ky’s no-doubt-long-suffering management person manages to get Kylie up out of her chair and pointed toward wardrobe. Kylie passes Kendall on the way out and subtitles tell us she says “Kendall, I will hit you in the throat.” The makeup artist asks Kendall, “Do you guys beat each other up sometimes?” and Kendall answers “We used to,” with a very My sister died today — or maybe yesterday, I can’t be sure kind of look in her eye.

Scott tells Kourtney that Chapman Ducote — Scott’s race-car-driver pal from the last season of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami — has suggested that Scott take the first step toward becoming a professional race-car driver by attending race-car school up in Monterey. It feels like a scene that was definitely scripted but also possibly read off cue cards by people whose commitment to verisimilitude has begun to waver; by the end of it Kourtney’s basically doing Janet Snakehole. At one point Scott says “I’m not going to be the best at first, but I have to try,” and Kourtney looks up from her phone and says “Oh, I didn’t hear you. I was e-mailing about the wallpaper … I’m a wallpaper addict.”

Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and Kris go furniture shopping with Kourtney’s interior decorator, whose name is Jeff. Kim says “Look how weird those chairs are!” and takes a picture of a weird-looking chair. “I don’t know what Kanye’s style is,” Kim says, “so I’m just taking pictures of everything weird.” (You can tell she hasn’t heard Yeezus yet because she doesn’t mention looking for fabrics that don’t stain.) There’s a conversation about how annoying Rob’s been; everybody gets on Kris’s case for babying him, buying him new suits when he’s sad, stuff like that. Kourtney suggest that Kris talk to a therapist about how best to help Rob. This is maybe Kourtney’s quasigentle way of suggesting that Kris needs help, but of course Kris takes it as an opportunity to sing the old Of course, as a mother, I’ll do ANYTHING song to the confession-cam. Kim sees a chair made of antlers. It’s very Chesapeake Ripper. Kourtney says “Jeff, this is like my horn chair!” and Kris says “Oooh, you’re making me horny, baby,” and we don’t see the eight seconds of intensely awkward David Brent silence that follows, but we really feel it.

Kylie needs to log hours behind the wheel to get her driver’s license. Kylie’s a terrible driver, though, so nobody except Khloe will ride with her. Khloe chews gum and explains why they’re called “California stops” (“because Californians do that [bleeped s-word]”), and then Kylie changes lanes to the left without looking and almost hits somebody. Khloe answers Kylie’s phone; somebody named Anastasia wants to have sushi. Khloe lobs a question to Kylie about whether she’s going to invite Kendall so that Kylie can talk about how she needs a break from Kendall. And man does Kendall ever pretend to be mad when she finds out. Hoo boy.

Cocktail hour at the Jenner house — or maybe not, but Kris has a healthy splash of white wine in her glass either way. Khloe picks up the phone. It’s Rob. After a second, Khloe says “Is it really pressing charges?” She transfers the call over to Kris, who repeats what Rob’s telling her like it’s Lassie on the other end of the phone. Seems a female paparazzo paparazzed up out of nowhere and started taking pictures of Rob even though Rob was on private property. He’s being charged with robbery and battery.

Scott shows up about 10 minutes late to race-car school. He’s wearing a black baseball hat, a nice sweater, some jacket — celebrity-at-the-airport clothes. Nearly everybody else is in a cool red race-car-driver suit. They’re going around the room and everybody’s introducing themselves. Guys are talking about building their own street-racing cars, invoking years of track experience, introducing themselves by names like “Mauricio.” Scott’s out of his depth. He introduces himself by saying “My name is Scott, I live in L.A.” in a quiet, broken-man whisper, having forgotten to bring both a helmet and a backstory that doesn’t involve being a rich goober who bickers with his wife on TV.

Kourtney’s in some kind of leatherish pleated skirt and disco-secretary blouse, doing little pirouettes in Kim’s kitchen. She says “Should I walk like this, like I’m frolicking?” and Kim says “You’re the biggest, oddest person alive.” Kendall calls and says she’s supposed to go on a ski trip and she went down to, like, the universal closet downstairs, where everybody’s ski stuff is, and got her snow pants out and put them in her room and then Kylie came and took them and won’t let her use them and now Kylie’s flipping out — she says it all in one sentence like that — and Khloe calls Kylie to mediate. Kylie says it’s a lie. That they were her pants. Kendall, Kylie says, is “literally being crazy. She said I’m gonna grab this knife and stab you multiple times in the throat.” Khloe laughs. She’s cutting garlic. Kylie says something snotty to her and Khloe tells her not to be rude. Kylie says she has to get off the phone to use the bathroom and Khloe says, “So [bleeping] pee in your little white snow pants, you little bitch,” and that’s not the title of this column this week because, c’mon, low-hanging fruit.

Scott’s on his phone at race-car school until some older racing-instructor-type guy tells him “There’s no cell phones at race-car school!” Old racing-instructor guy continues to give Scott guff — gentle guff that feels well within the margins of what you’d expect to take off an instructor after showing up late for the first day of race-car lessons you’re paying for, but within seconds we’re hearing Scott saying “It just didn’t feel like a comfortable environment for me” in voice-over as the camera follows him out the door with his bags. They use the same picked-up out-the-window shot of Northern California scenery to denote his departure from Laguna Seca as they did for his arrival, like it’s painted on a rotating scrim.

Everybody but Scott has dinner at the Jenner house. Bruce announces that he’s opening a second beer. That it’s a two-beer night. Kim walks in, notices some magazines on the table in the foyer, open to something that makes her say “So embarrassing.” Maybe because it’s a two-beer night, Bruce points out that both Brody and Rob have tattoos of their exes. Brody says he’s getting his taken off real soon. (He doesn’t say this, but Brody has ex-girlfriend Avril Lavigne’s signature on his arm; she dots the “i” in “Avril” with a star, presumably only because it would be hard to dot an “i” with a skull-and-crossbones that’s also flipping the bird.) Rob says his tattoo takes up “like, my whole stomach.” If he’s talking about the tattoo he got of ex-Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon’s name back when he was in a younger, pec-ier place, he’s exaggerating; it’s not that big. Since everybody’s there but Scott, Kourtney offers up the story about Scott pussing out of race-car school. Bruce says Scott needs to grow up. Bruce says “You can’t have social anxiety and race cars.” Rob says “How can you be Lord Disick and have social anxiety?”

Khloe tries to mediate a fight between Kendall and Kylie, but it’s maybe gotten beyond the place where Khloe making bring-it-in motions with her arms and saying “Happy sisters” can fix things. Eventually Khloe orchestrates a Kendall-Kylie run-in at a trampoline park, things are hugged out, Kylie does a backflip into a bin full of blue foam bricks, it’s all good.

The paparazzo-battery thing’s not going away, though. Rob’s got to be arrested, go before a judge, and post bail. Lamar’s hanging out in the kitchen as Rob’s getting ready. Lamar critiques the pants Rob’s decided to wear to court. “Those look like jail slacks,” Lamar says. “That looks like the outfit they give you.” Lamar’s wearing a faded Journey T-shirt. Lamar’s basically becoming the Jimmie Dimmick of this show now. Rob ends up not having to get arrested after all, though. He tells Kris over the phone that a lawyer named Bob was “on top of his [bleep]” and he slid through the proceedings. “We got Bob on our side, and everything was good,” Rob says. It’s not until Rob tells Kris that he didn’t even have his mug shot taken that she starts to cry.

A shrink comes over to talk to Kris about the situation with Rob. He’s Thomas Carouso, a marriage and family therapist from Redondo Beach whose bona fides include two seasons as a counselor-in-residence on VH1’s Couples Therapy. He looks kind of like an Eric Wareheim character but he clearly knows the wrinkles of the reality-TV-person brain well enough to hit the ground running in this session, using the phrase “your journey” and reminding Kris that she can’t keep her kids from suffering. Through the kind of tears they give you a Soap Opera Digest Award for, Kris agrees to ask Rob if he’ll talk to Carouso about his issues.

Scott and Kourtney climb a canyon together; Scott talks more about the race-car thing. He’s worried that everyone’s going to want to see him fail, is the real issue; Kourtney says you have to fail and try again, because that’s what life’s about, and because this show is weirdly obsessed with making the Kardashians seem like founts of wisdom. The Rob-batters-a-paparazzo subplot puts this episode sometime in March; Scott turned 30 on May 26. His whole arc this season is about him beginning to regret having played a preening douche on television/in life for six straight years. Kourtney says “YOLO” at the end of her pep talk.

Rob and Kris have a phony-baloney conversation about Lamar’s struggle to stay fit during the offseason, which Kris quickly steers down an isn’t-that-an-interesting-life-lesson-when-you-think-about-it avenue — man, somebody get this woman a sanctimonious daytime talk show, stat — and then springs the therapy thing on him. Rob says he won’t go; Kris makes some more crying noises and says “I don’t want you to sit up there in your room and be, y’know, dark.” But how dark is Rob gonna get, really? Milky Way dark?

Next week: Kim and Kourtney don’t include Khloe in conversations about baby stuff; Kris pees outside.

Filed Under: Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner, Scott Disick

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Alex Pappademas is a staff writer for Grantland.

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