The Kardashiad, Week 6: Dying Is No BuenoAlexander Tamargo/Getty Images
Kim’s in her Bentley coupe, on the phone with somebody named Karen, who asks her if she’s living in Miami and then says, “I ran into someone who knows Reggie” — presumably that’s Reggie as in Reggie Bush, Kim’s ex-boyfriend, and not Reggie as in Watts or Noble or Mantle or Miller — “and oh my god, have you heard that his girlfriend’s pregnant?” Kim immediately, OCD-ishly starts smoothing the hair on the side of her head with her left hand. But it’s fine: “I’m like so, so, so in a different place,” Kim says, “like, truly.” She says she’s genuinely happy, genuinely calm, really together, because that’s what people say when they’re genuinely happy and calm and together — they make sure to say it’s genuine. Karen — who, again, wasn’t sure until a minute ago that Kim was living in Miami, and has only this conversation to go on — says Kim seems like she’s in a really good place. We should all have a friend like Karen.
Oh, hey — it’s another Jonathan Cheban–centric episode, this time with zero Khloe, because this show’s trying to kill me. Kim tells Jonathan that she’s decided to put up a profile for him on an online-dating website. This isn’t what the episode is about; it’s just here to establish what a meddling little Cher Horowitz Kim can be when it comes to Jonathan, and that Kim and Jonathan’s relationship is fun, which is a lie.
It’s an overcast day in Miami. Kim and Scott are sitting on lawn chairs, on a patch of grass overlooking the water. The wind whips the foliage. Kim’s complaining that whoever did her spray-tan missed her ankles. Scott talks about how he needs to lie out before he goes to Vegas. Kim asks him if he’s taking Kourtney with him; Scott says no. (You don’t take sand that hates you to the beach.) Scott manages to get through this whole segment without saying anything over-sharey about his sex life with Kourtney; when he talks about how they never lie in bed together watching movies he seems to actually be referring non-euphemistically to lying in bed together watching movies. “We need to remember that we’re still humans and we’re not dead,” he says.
In the next scene Kourtney’s walking around the house in giant knee-high lace-up gold boots and some kind of blue tunic thing with gold sequined epaulets. She looks like she’s in the Sexy Sea Org. She’s looking for Scott; instead she finds Kim, who’s lying in bed with her laptop and tells Kourtney that unless she starts putting more effort into her relationship with Scott, “He’s going to cheat on you,” then adds “You’re literally going to end up, like, alone,” because people don’t understand that you care about them unless you’re as mean as you can possibly be, all the time.
The next day Jonathan’s in the car with Kim — who is, spoiler alert, terrible — and out of nowhere Kim brings up Simon Huck, Jonathan’s former intern at Command PR, who’s now apparently running the company while Jonathan hangs out in Miami and eats fancy lunches with Kim and tries to launch a website and a sushi restaurant. There’s a quick black-and-white montage of Jonathan being a publicist/yelling/telling Simon to shut up. They don’t talk much anymore, Jonathan and Simon, but like someone who’s got 24 hours to earn an Elbowing Your Way Into Situations That Will Only Be Made Worse By Your Involvement merit badge, Kim makes Jonathan call Simon just to say “Hi,” and they have a skin-crawlingly awkward 20-second speaker-phone conversation. Kim says, “I feel like, if anything, I’m a pretty good mediator,” which is totally true, if by “if anything” she means “in some bearded-Spock reality that is the exact opposite of this one.”
Kourtney and Scott go to test-drive a flame-emblazoned purple speedboat, except what really happens is Kourtney shows up in an absurd cobalt-blue Liz Taylor turban, a Diane von Furstenberg caftan, and Prada Baroques, like a practical person who is going for a speedboat ride. And the minute they’re out on the water Kourtney complains, “We’re going too fast,” so Scott drops her off on shore so that he and Larry the Speedboat Guy can “let it rip a little bit” and Kourtney can tell the camera how annoyed she is that Scott doesn’t want to hang out with her. Everybody wins, in the sense that everybody gets to feel like the victim! “Her fashion is always impeccable while always staying very genuine,” a fashion blogger wrote in a post describing Kourtney’s outfit in this scene, because “genuine” is a fun word to use to describe anything your senses can perceive.
Simon calls Kim on her gold BlackBerry. She is in a sunlit closet, trying on different shoes, running her hands along racks of clothes arranged by color. Simon explains that Jonathan’s no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of their PR firm and that this is a source of tension and they don’t really speak. “If I got 20 percent of what he gave to you, I’d be happy,” Simon says. Who has a sunlit closet?
Kourtney Skypes her therapist, Erica Jaffe, and reiterates the central issue of their marriage, which is that Kourtney likes to stay home and Scott likes to go out to “these nightclubs, where there’s temptation.” (Quick file-footage montage of Scott surrounded by slavering club-succubi.) Erica talks about Kourtney’s mommy-guilt; cut to Kourtney touching her knee in a weird way. Kourtney says she wants to plan something romantic as a surprise for Scott; Erica says, “I think that would shock him,” which is an interesting choice of words, and Kourtney says, “I think it’s time I do something really major to show him that it isn’t my last priority in life,” which is also an interesting choice of words.
Mason wakes up from a nap; Kim walks into the nursery and starts talking to Kourtney about how Jonathan and Simon aren’t getting along and what a tragedy that is, because studies have shown that kids who are constantly forced to listen to adults talking about stupid bullshit grow up to be geniuses. Kourtney says there’s two sides to every story and that Kim should probably mind her own business. Cut to commercial break, including a trailer for Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor, in which we hear Kim Kardashian say the words “The largest social-media inventor since Zuckerberg” like she’s reading them off the fifth line of an eye chart. Cut to me picturing Tyler Perry at Tyler Perry’s house with Final Draft open on Tyler Perry’s computer, typing “The biggest social-media inventor since Zuckerberg” and then changing “biggest” to “largest,” because Tyler Perry only uses the best words.
Somehow Kim has convinced Simon to come to Miami without telling him that she plans to force him to have a face-to-face conversation with Jonathan; when she reveals her plans, Simon’s aghast. “I know for you this is, like, light and fluffy,” he says, “but this is my life.” Kim says it’ll be great. “I can even play, like, the therapist,” she says, and Simon looks even more aghast. Seriously, what does Kim think this is, Kim Kardashian’s Tyler Perry’s Argumentation: Confessions of an Estranged Business-Partner Counselor? “He seems really nervous,” Kim says to the talking-head camera. This is going to go really well.
Kourtney takes Kim up to a terrace on the roof of the house (“I bet you never even knew this existed!”) and tells her that she’s taking Scott to Paris, and that she’s bringing the kids, because that always makes for a super-restful vacation. “Sometimes you just need a good vacay,” Kim says, sagely, and Kourtney stretches her arms out in an opening-the-heart-chakra kind of way and says “I always need a good vacay,” and meanwhile in some other part of the world a person who works in a mine commits suicide, probably.
Kim has Jonathan and Simon over for dinner. “You guys are so blessed with this weather,” Simon says. “You could cut the tension in this room with a big kuh-nife,” Kourtney says, holding up a big kuh-nife, the kind you use on buh-read. Kim enters, sits down in the empty chair between Jonathan and Simon, and high-fives both of them so awkwardly it’s a miracle any of them survive.
“When was the last time we had dinner with Jonathan and Simon?” Kim asks.
“Never,” Jonathan says, “because Simon likes to do sneaky dinners. So if there’s a dinner, he’ll let me know the next day.”
“I just feel like you guys should be honest with each other,” Kim says, which is weird because that’s kind of exactly what Jonathan’s doing. He honestly hates Simon’s stealth-dining ways! It goes on like this; snippier and snippier things are said, and Kim, who’s, like, really good at mediating, occasionally says something like “Talk it out,” and finally, as the soundtrack builds to a thunderous the-Sentinels-are-attacking-Zion intensity, Jonathan storms out and drives away and Simon starts crying.
Later Scott and Kourtney are in bed; Scott’s wearing some kind of a fancy diaper, it looks like. Scott says Kim needs to worry about her own problems, because apparently everybody aside from maybe Mason understands this, except for Kim. “You’re kind of, like, a philosopher,” Kourtney says, and Scott quotes this song, and then they have sex, maybe? I don’t know. It’s a moment of domestic tranquility that lasts until the next time we see them, when Kourtney tells Scott that she’s planned a trip to Paris, “the city of love,” and Scott’s into the idea but suggests bringing along “Chris and Nicole,” and Kourtney fumes.
They go to Paris anyway and check into the Shangri-La Hotel. There’s a view of the Eiffel Tower, and at this point I get distracted by a note on the E! crawl about Jaden Smith and Kylie Jenner having sushi together with Will Smith as a chaperone and miss most of what I’m assuming is a really superbly edited enjoying-Paris montage, in which Kourtney points at things from a cab and then Scott gets vertigo on a carousel.
Back in Miami, Jonathan comes over and, instead of apologizing unreservedly, Kim tries to argue that what she did wasn’t stupid while drinking what looks like a big glass of honey. Jonathan explains that this is about business, and that while Simon’s having a hard time understanding how Jonathan being in Miami doing something that looks an awful lot like jack shit benefits the company, he’s going to feel differently “when the money starts coming in on these businesses.” Kim promises not to butt into Jonathan’s business anymore.
In Paris everybody’s eating breakfast outside, even though you can tell it’s not eating-breakfast-outside season by the fact that they’re all wearing winter coats. Mason’s in a fur-trimmed parka with the hood up. Kourtney makes a date to meet Scott and add a padlock to the so-called “locks of love” collection on the Pont de l’Archevêché; in the meantime there’s another enjoying-Paris montage, which really brings home for me the fact that I’m here watching Kourtney and Kim Take Miami (Miami, by the way: still not in any way “taken” this week) instead of enjoying Paris.
My mind wanders. I look at this GIF from the Marina Abramovic movie and think about how I should have gone and stared at her when I had the chance, because someday she’ll be dead. I read about a kid in the Bronx who murdered his mom and took cell-phone pictures of himself holding up her severed head. I read the New York Times story linked above, which is about how French people think the love-locks are stupid. “Love is not about possession or property,” writes Agnès C. Poirier. “Love is no prison where two people are each other’s slaves. Love is not a commodity, either. Love is not capitalist, it is revolutionary. If anything, true love shows you the way to selflessness.”
Scott doesn’t show up at the bridge, so Kourtney hangs up a padlock with Mason.
Kim and Jonathan eat nachos at Serendipity. The chips and the upholstery of the booth and Jonathan’s polo shirt are the same shade of red-orange. Kim says these nachos will be the death of her. Jonathan says that he’s always scared he’ll choke on the cheese. “I choked like a year ago, like, terribly,” he says. “I almost died.” Kim says, “Dying is no bueno.” Jonathan gets a call from his lawyer; they discuss a pending deal that would entitle Jonathan to 10 percent of something unspecified, probably a terrible restaurant for dead souls to spend an eternity of torment in, but not 10 percent of something else, and Kim hears this and starts telling him he needs to get 10 percent of the whole thing, whatever the thing is, thereby breaking her promise not to involve herself in Jonathan’s business by literally involving herself in his actual business.
Scott gets back to the hotel and doesn’t remember that he was supposed to go do the love-lock thing with Kourtney. She hides in the bathroom and cries. She explains to Scott that this was supposed to be a romantic vacation. “You complain that you want this and you want that, but when it comes down to it, you don’t make the effort either,” Kourtney says. Kourtney wipes tears with toilet paper. The moment feels — what’s the word? — genuine. Scott says he feels like an idiot. Later, he and Kourtney and Mason go on a riverboat ride. “I love you very much,” Scott says to his wife and son, pulling them close, “and I hope this is fun for you guys.” Mason looks out the window at the Seine and says, “The water’s getting rough,” and the episode doesn’t end right there but it should have.