Keeping Up with the Kardashians: S08E09: "Greece Him Up"
By Mark Abraham· Jul 31, 2013
Editorial Note, 1 June 2015
These recaps were written before Caitlyn Jenner came out, is the reason they use incorrect names and pronouns.
“Greece Him Up” should have been about the material its excellent stag film-ish title suggests. Instead it’s about confrontation and avoidance.
…I guess it’s still kind of about in and out, then, huh?
The Set-Up: In the previous episode, “Greece Is The Word,” the family flew to Greece in smaller cohorts, the better to ramp up some non-existent tension. Plus Rob stayed at home, so even though the episode was pretty boring at least Rob stayed at home. Although I have to admit I’m starting to wonder if this whole trip is just an excuse to get Rob off screen so he can get better. Kinda like when Billy Chenowith would leave Six Feet Under for episodes at a time only to return once he was back on his meds, y’know? Refresh the character so he can fuck up again.
Mark: I’m tired of walking on these eggshells you keep putting all over my floor, Rob. Buck the fuck up.
Recurring Guest Star Lamar Odom: For reals.
The episode begins with Kim and Khloé talking about Lizard Legs, or Lucky Legs, which is basically just some kind of lotion that tingles, I guess? Khloé rubs it on Kim’s feet (no incest) and Kim rubs it on Khloé’s thighs (no incest) and Khloé tells Kim not to get horny (no incest). Which increasingly I think is a thing Kardashians don’t realize is a thing most siblings don’t feel compelled to say to one another.
Kourtney, Kim, & Khloé: What?
Brandon, Leah, & Brody: It’s not like you guys have zero contact with the outside world…
Scott: Yeah. Like, Kim, what does Special Guest Star Kanye West say when you talk about cuddling with Rob?
Kim: He says, “Rob does look like a practical bedspread. Maybe I’ll see if I can get you one in a pattern designed by Takashi Murakami.”
Anyways, this is all you need to know about this episode:
The A-Plot: The A-Plot is a mess, because The Whole Family Does A Thing Together plots are always a mess, because the whole family has to be involved, which means there are several sub-components to this vacation thing. Here. I’ll rate them individually:
- Bruce, Kendall, and Kylie haven’t yet joined their family in Greece. After a short intro scene—which largely just has Bruce making Dad-ish comments about the Russell James’s photos of Kendall at the same gallery we visited four episodes ago—they get to Greece. Rating: F.
- Kim is very tired on this trip and spends most of the time sleeping. On the other hand, she does explain why she named her kid North West, which is due to her fears that if she and Special Guest Star Kanye West chose a name that started with “K” people would refer to her, Special Guest Star Kanye West, and K-child as “the KKK.” Brody then says something stupid about how he’s “feelin’” North. Rating: D.
- Brandon and Leah have a romantic dinner sans the rest of the family. We barely see any of it. Rating: A.
The primary component of this plot, though, is Kris and Brody starting to maybe hash out their shit. Of course, this is a three-parter so it probably won’t be fully hashed out till next week. Spoiler!
The most notable thing about this boring waft of a story is that Brody finally says out loud a thing that makes a lot of this relationship make sense: when he was younger, he blamed Kris for not getting to see his father more, and those feelings of resentment have never truly disappeared. What he doesn’t say, but what the episode makes pretty clear, is that he still mostly believes Bruce’s absence was Kris’s fault because of what a control freak she still obviously is, and he assumes that she must have kept Bruce away because Bruce does whatever Kris says. Which…on the surface? That seems pretty reasonable, given that Kris clearly is a control freak. Primary evidence? That she spends the entire trip trying to force Brody to like her.
Incidentally, part of the way she does this is with various outfits:
I’m not sure this part of her plan works.
To the episode’s credit, it takes a sort of subtle approach to contradicting Brody’s image of Kris. She is demanding—there’s yet another subplot that is all about Kris wanting her husband, children, step-children, and in-law children to tell her how great she looks in the erratically adorned wig from the above pictures—but she’s also really invested in Brody liking her because she likes her kids liking the things they do together. And we could split hairs about whether that’s because she genuinely cares about Brody’s happiness or because she can’t deal with rejection, but it’s probably a little of both so let’s assume, with no real evidence to the contrary, that while her motives may be self-serving they also generally seem well-intentioned.
Kris: EVERYBODY MUST BE HAPPY!
Taken together, there are several moments that make Brody’s beliefs about Kris look foolish. For starters, Bruce notes that he’s had years to build a relationship with Kris (and discern her rhythms) so he’s not surprised that Brody doesn’t get why Bruce acquiesces the way he does to many things. Bruce says this all in a tone that clearly suggests that he enjoys having his sons to vent to about the things his wife does that drive him batty, but only in the same way that any person in any relationship enjoys the opportunity to vent once in a while. There’s nothing seemingly wrong, in Bruce’s opinion, with his relationship; there’s just comprehension of his partner, which Brody doesn’t have.
We get that comprehension, though, just in this very episode, which makes me feel less bad for Brody. For example, there’s an entirely different scene where Bruce hops on the back of a jet ski piloted by Kris, an event apparently so extraordinary that Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé all remark to one another about how they’ve never seen Bruce let Kris drive before. Combined with Bruce’s explanation of his home life to his sons and a separate (and very excited) confessional about how excited he is to have Brandon and Brody along because he gets to do manly things with his sons it’s pretty obvious that there are things Bruce thinks women do and don’t do because…well, he’s sexist that way. Taken together, what all of this means is that a) Bruce is just as controlling as Kris is about things he thinks he has purview over (driving, the Olympics, the gun), and b) it’s Bruce who thinks Kris has purview over their domestic space, even if she has turned it into Jenner, Inc. central HQ. So even though Bruce tacitly agrees with his sons that he’s annoyed that Kris won’t let him build the putting green he mentioned when Brandon made him go see an ENT, it’s not a thing that, as Brody feels it does, indicates Bruce’s total submission to and emasculation by Kris. It just means that Bruce is sad that Kris doesn’t want an ugly putting green plunked down in the middle of the Jenner Compound’s backyard.
In short, shut up, Brody.
But whatever, the explicit plot is that Brody thinks Kris is too controlling. Meanwhile, Kris starts to go out of her way to make Brody feel welcomed into the family, which involves being too touchy feely—which Khloé notes in a confessional is kind of a Kardashian thing, and not really normal, which is the first sign of self-awareness about this Kardashian trait that I think we’ve ever gotten—and talking about how hot he is while forcibly rubbing suntan lotion into his back. Kris tops this all off by comparing his back to Bruce’s, which is awesome on so many levels it hurts. (This is all happening while Brandon and Leah are off on their romantic dinner alone, is how Kris gets all this Brody time to herself.)
Still, Brody and Kris are basically talking around each other, and still are when, on a catamaran at the end of the episode, Kris begins to try to open up to Brody and he decides, therefore, that it’s finally time to confront her. Unfortunately, this whole scenario ends mid-story when this episode cuts off, which confirms my suspicion that even though I make fun of this show all the time for never continuing stories episode to episode that’s probably the right choice since the moment they do it’s inevitably done to prolong some form of not-drama.
Still, let me try to parse this half-a-convo. Brody’s absolutely right that Kris’s “you don’t get me” defense is hand-waving, a notion Kourtney already tried to impress upon her mother earlier in the episode. Kris, however, is absolutely right that Brody is blaming her for things that weren’t necessarily under her control. Like, I suppose she could have been more assertive when she first married Bruce in forcing her husband to stay close with Brandon and Brody—she probably could have made it happen—but as I said last week these things are really Bruce’s fault, and the show has never made clear how bad the blood was between Bruce and Brody and Brandon’s mother, so…we have no means to gauge Kris’s culpability. Whatever. Like most big conflicts on this show the details here are so sparse that it’s hard to know who’s side to pick. Until Brody—no shit—begins to life-coach his way through the argument bu by asking Kris what’s actually important to her, which…what? What? You’re asking her if the trip you are presently on which you were sad to not get invited to is the most important thing to Kris because you’re standing up for love instead of material things? What?
…I’d make fun of that more, except it’s hard to because the closing five minutes of the show are pregnant pauses and tortured looks and crying Kris confessionals and Brody saying “it’s past time for me to say this to you” and then the episode cuts before Brody actually says whatever “this” is. So…great. See you next week, for what I’m sure will be a scintillating dress down before the healing powers of Greece solve all of Brody and Kris’s problems, and maybe Bruce finally will get that putting green after all.
The B-Plot: Khloé wants to be YOLO about this whole Greece thing because she’s threatened by all the step-Jenners that are out in the water doing crazy shit while she and her older two sisters are just sunbathing. With Kim lizarded and pregnant, though, that leaves Kourtney (who could clearly care less) as the one who Khloé demands get YOLO with her. So Khloé makes Kourtney make a YOLO pact.
Kourtney: Whatevs. You only live once, and I’ve never cared how many times I’ve lied during that once, so sure.
YOLO means staring at naked sunbathing people and squeezing Khloé into a wetsuit, but then staying on the boat while step-Jenners swim and snorkel and CATCH FISH WITH THEIR BARE HANDS. YOLO also means feeling guilted into swimming around the boat once, and then acting satiated like you just swam around the Horn of Africa. Khloé literally YOLOs it by swimming around the boat once.
Later, Brody jumps of the side of the boat Kris tried to sunscreen him on (understandably) so Khloé decides it’s time to YOLO again, which gets Kourtney, Kendall, Kylie, and Brody all egging her on. Kourtney agrees to do the jump with her, but after doing a count down only Kourtney jumps. Then Khloé goes, and I guess all of her fears have been conquered, so cool.
Remember when Khloé was the cool sister on this show?
The C-Plot: Kourtney complains a little about Scott still being in England after some prompting by Leah, but it’s mostly just the same shit we already knew. We get some sparse scenes we get with Scott in London, which are mostly montages of Scott at his “appearances,” and we get some more moments of Kourtney trying to rationalize, which she wouldn’t need to do except the rest of her family is populated with insecure people who always want to know why Scott can’t stand being around them and would rather take manly trips to London bathhouses. Literally the only interesting thing that happens is when Brandon and Leah go off and their date and Kourtney confessionals that Scott never believes her when she makes the argument that they could make their own time and not spend the entire trip with everybody else.
Snore. Though, sure: stop being a baby, Scott. Mostly so I can enjoy your segments of the show again.