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Real Housewives accused of acting—with scripts!—as The Traitors fracture

Real Housewives accused of acting—with scripts!—as The Traitors fracture
Dan and Phaedra are surprised to learn that Ekin-Su didn't die overnight (Photo by Peacock)

As much as I was thrilled for The Traitors’ weekly release schedule, starting “The Funeral” with Parvati’s poisoning took me a moment to readjust. And that there was a cliffhanger in the middle of a dramatic conversation at the end was also unsettling.

I guess I’m just old and want my reality TV to be in neatly packaged hours!

Parvati was carrying around the rusty chalice and, when no one just picked it up and drank out of it, debating who she could try to give it to.

Ekin-Su—who seemed like she was having a good time, ranting about how, after the game, “I’m going to fuck [the traitors] up, hard”—became the perfect target.

“You can have it,” Parvati said, and Ekin-Su accepted the drinking wine from the glass.

“I love you,” Ekin-Su then said repeatedly, hugging Parvati. “I would never think you are a Traitor.”

Parvati was so smooth that Dan, who was sitting directly underneath them during this moment, did not even notice. “I have no clue who got murdered,” he said. Later, though, he’d start talking about “our best murder yet,” which is quite the journey, from clueless to claiming it for himself.

A person in a sparkly jacket holds his arms out
Alan Cumming on The Traitors US season 2, episode 4 (Photo by Peacock)

Phaedra and Dan arrived first to breakfast, and then Parvati joined them, giving them a chance to talk. When Phaedra learned it was Ekin-Su, she made some good television: “Fan me, honey! Not Ekin-Su!” she cried. “That is gonna put a target on me like crazy.”

That was because Phaedra called out Ekin-Su at the roundtable. Dan repeated this idea later. “We’ve gotta give them some blood,” Dan told Parvati, who replied, “before it’s me or you?”

Dan really seems to want to burn a traitor, which makes me wonder if it’ll actually be him who’s out first—again, he’s Cody, not Cirie.

But would a traitor actually behave this way? Call out someone at the roundtable and then murder them that night because the faithful didn’t banish them? It’s so obvious that I think the opposite is true: such a plan would work as cover because no traitor would be dumb enough to do it.

Janelle was making friends in the castle and at NBCUniversal. “If any other Housewives left, I could move on with my life. I just wouldn’t care,” she said.

Janelle had praise for Love Island UK’s Ekin-Su, too: “so useless in the competitions, and she’s just a messy, messy game player.” But to make sure they’d be friends after the show, Janelle said later, “Ekin-Su sucks.”

Perhaps asked by a producer “How would you describe yourself, besides ‘a messy, messy game player’ and ‘sucks’?” during an interview, Ekin-Su told us, “I am charming, you know, very glamorous, confident.”

Before the players learned who’d been murdered—or not!—Larsa declared that “it’s my inner-circle” who’s being targeted. Larsa later decided that the only players capable of this would be “somebody alpha,” i.e. a big, strapping hunk of man meat like CT.

MJ, John, and Ekin-Su were the last to arrive, and then all three did. The way Phaedra and Parvati’s mouths dropped open when Ekin-Su walked in was the biggest tell of the season—or just clever editing that took those reactions from an unrelated moment.

Alan Cumming clued everyone in, and then delivered news of the mission’s theme: a funeral. “By the end of today’s mission, they will be dead,” Alan said. “Dress appropriately to pay your final respects.”

Peter asked the group, “Was anyone given a drink?” Peter asked. No one responded.

“I think, Tamra, you poisoned me, because you don’t want to see me eat with my mouth open,” Kevin said. The editors cut to footage of him chewing with his mouth open so wide a cow would be impressed. I think they also borrowed Survivor’s chewing sound effects, and I just screamed, Why oh why! at my TV while holding down my dinner.

A close-up of a person with long hair and a blank expression
Larsa on The Traitors US 2 episode 4 (Photo by Peacock)

It was Larsa who decided to take this episode in her hands. “We are in industry where people are fake,” said the Real Housewives star. “Sniffing those people out—that’s kinda what we do.”

And then she insisted, “it’s gotta be a strong man.” She marched what’s left of her inner circle over to the picture wall to point at people, and while there was pointing toward Dan, his introversion may have paid off, as the fingers went to CT.

Sandra, who’s been in the background so far, told us, “What I do is usually observe,” and I guess she’s doing a good job of that. She told us Larsa “gets under my skin.”

The funeral mission began with the shielded players sitting in the horse-drawn carriage. Everyone else, in campy funeral garb that Mrs. White would be proud of, had to walk in a line behind Alan Cumming around the estate.

“Look out for some Emmy-award wining acting—and no, not by me,” he told the players. Once again: he was robbed! Alan’s outfit alone needs its own Emmy.

The mission was quite simple: the players answered three questions about each other, and correct answers were safe. Then they had to figure out which of the remaining players was poisoned.

In The Traitors US style, this came with rich, over-the-top production design, from the funeral marching to the Scottish choir humming Chopin’s “Death March” before transitioning to singing, “Who did Johnny Bananas trust the most?”

I love this show!

People in black outfits follow another person, walking in front of a stately Scottish castle
Alan Cumming leads a funeral procession during The Traitors US 2 episode 4 (Photo by Peacock)

The questions gave us some hilarious reactions. Tasked to determine which of them were born in the same year, MJ told us that her “husband definitely doesn’t know” her real age.

When CT climbed into the carriage, safe because Johnny Bananas had identified him as one of the two people he trusts the most, CT said, “It’s the first time he’s ever done anything for me.”

As much as I loved the richness of the production design, I wouldn’t have minded, like, a tough question. The Bananas one was as hard as it got. The final question was literally about what color shirts they were wearing in the scarecrow challenge.

The real mission, though, was determining which of the players were targeted by the traitors, and Parvati, MJ, and Ekin-Su were the final three standing.

Before they even arrived at the coffins they had to lie in, the other players were insisting it was MJ. One by one, they had to throw a black rose on top of the coffined player they thought had been murdered.

MJ got all the roses, so the $20,000 was lost. Alan Cumming revealed the answer by closing the lid on Ekin-Su’s coffin, and then—presumably after she climbed out off-camera—a bunch of alpha men put it in a hole in the ground and Alan Cumming ate more of a meal of this scene by throwing dirt onto it.

This is when Dan told us, “it’s probably our best murder yet because it’s caused the most confusion.” This is a murder he had absolutely nothing to do with; he couldn’t even find the freakin’ fake book with chalices on the binding.

Before the roundtable, Larsa got on her CT kick (“This one’s the alpha. He’s a silent killer”) and Sandra decided to start playing (“I can’t allow that to happen”).

Parvati decided her best bet was to go after the Housewives, telling others, “they perform every day on Housewives.” Janelle was on board for targeting Larsa, and said, “the faithful really need to band together instead of listening to the Traitors”—while listening to a traitor. This show has so many great moments of irony like that.

At the roundtable, Janelle called out Larsa’s “weird” toast for dearly departed Marcus. “You’re telling me that cheers is weird?” Larsa asked. “I think you’re weird.”

Then Parvati joined in. “You guys get scripts,” she told the Housewives, and somewhere a Bravo executive shat themselves.

“We don’t act, my friend. We live our life,” Larsa said, with the other Housewives joining in with a chorus of save our jobs!

Phaedra, of course, was livid that Parvati was aiming any heat her direction, though in fairness to Parvati, that’s hard to avoid considering how many Housewives there still are.

“Don’t do the Housewives thing, honey. Don’t do that, Parvati,” Phaedra said at the roundtable.

Despite Larsa identifying CT as the alpha male at the roundtable, he only got one vote. Kevin, however, got four, which I assume are for his disgusting table habits.

MJ got a vote from Peter, who told her, “you should have been murdered,” LOL, and Shereé voted for John while declaring she thought he was not a traitor but she just wrote his name down because she needed more time to think.

Larsa received eight votes, and left, which is okay with me because honestly I don’t watch The Real Housewives of Miami and kept forgetting who she was.

Our cliffhanger this episode left us in the tower, where the traitors took down their hoods, and Phaedra’s face set fire to the turret.

“That wasn’t cool,” she said to Parvati, and then added, for icing, “no one likes you, Parvati. Everyone says you’re a fucking traitor.”

Will we have a traitor war?

One thing we do know about next week’s episode—and stop reading if you haven’t already seen the news—is that The Traitors season one cast member and breakout star Kate Chastian “returns to the game,” according Peacock, which also announced that, sometime later, “Dr. Will joins as a surprise guest.”

I will wait to see about this twist of adding a player, but I hope it’s not just Kate arriving to play again, either as faithful or traitor. But I am annoyed with Peacock for spoiling the surprise.

And speaking of adding a player: Deontay Wilder disappeared this episode, and because of the week-long gap, I completely forgot that we’d left him in emotional distress over Maksim’s departure.

Right before breakfast, Alan Cumming said, in a quick voice-over, “After the day’s events, Deontay has left the game.” That was it. He’s the first player to (apparently voluntarily) leave The Traitors, besides the season-one player who was replaced after the first day.

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Bad Mitten

Monday 22nd of January 2024

For whatever it's worth, Ekin was on Banana's podcast and told him that she was actually in the coffin when they were putting dirt on it. She called it an emotional experience.

Bad Mitten

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

@Andy Dehnart, that's weird, not sure who's lying then! That would be pretty wild for Ekin to make up (there are plenty of people there who could contradict her), but I thought it would be odd in the first place for them to keep her in there (when I watched live I said I assumed they cut, had her hop out and then continued rolling)

Andy Dehnart

Monday 22nd of January 2024

That's hilarious because two of The Traitors' producers, who wouldn't admit what we already know about the cast sleeping in a hotel in a Variety interview, did admit that she was not in the coffin:

Cotton: She didn’t actually get covered in dirt.

Rees-Jones: As far as the cast is concerned, she was!


Friday 19th of January 2024

I must have missed an announcement about Deonte - I'm guessing he withdrew?


Friday 19th of January 2024

@AS, Completely missed that too.

Andy Dehnart

Friday 19th of January 2024

I almost missed it, too—and added a note above. Right before breakfast started, there was a voice-over from Alan mentioning that Deontay left the game.

Michael Harmstone

Friday 19th of January 2024

Believe or not, the UK version of this episode that aired on Wednesday is *even better*. It was just stunning (plus, four questions rather than three with a smaller cast meant every decision was tougher!)

I do like to see the traitors going at it though - that was a fun ending.