Plus Kyle Richards says she and sister Kim have had a breakthrough
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Watching Tuesday night’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you’d almost be forgiven for mistaking it as a rerun.

Kyle Richards cried about Kim Richards. Lisa Vanderpump wore a large hat. Lisa Rinna got into an altercation about Yolanda Foster.

But there were new quirks to the familiar formula: Kyle seemed particularly broken over her sister; and Rinna and Foster’s altercation – about all that has and has not been said about Foster’s battle with Lyme disease – roped the rest of the women in a large group discussion.

It was a lot. Let’s break it down one at a time – starting with Kyle.

There is always, no matter the conflict, a moment when it becomes too much.

For Kyle – when it comes to Kim’s battle with addiction and the tough, uncertain future of recovery – that moment may just have been on Tuesday’s episode.

The hour was in some ways encouraging for the Richards women: Kyle and Kim were texting one another and had started down a path toward reconciliation, Kyle said.

But there were difficulties, and talk of Kim left Kyle in tears multiple times.

VIDEO: Does Kyle Richards Blame RHOBH for Her Roller Coaster Relationship With Sister, Kim?

“Now that Kim and I are actually reconnecting, I’m happy, I feel relieved,” Kyle told Faye Resnick, “but I’m nervous. We’re not there yet. We have so much work to do.”

Part of that work involved no longer participating in one of the groups’ favorite activities this season: Swapping stories about and speculation around Kim.

When, during a meal at Kathryn Edwards’ home, Rinna began discussing an earlier fight with Kim, Kyle sat quietly for a while before excusing herself from the table.

Lisa Rinna’s hands are not completely clean in this argument with my sister … I don’t like to feel that Rinna is blaming my sister for the entire thing,” Kyle said.

“This is really uncomfortable for me,” she told the table, as Rinna described how “scary” Kim was in that altercation.

When Edwards pushed back on that description of Kim (wasn’t “scary” a tad melodramatic? she asked), Rinna stood firm, telling the camera, “Kim Richards is an addict, she’s a f—ing lunatic. She comes at you like a dog, like a rabid dog.”

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Eventually, though, she softened, the conversation ended, and Kyle rejoined the table.

She told the others about how she and Kim were headed toward a better place. She teared up: “I can’t participate in that conversation and I don’t want to hear it.”

Meeting with Resnick later in the episode, Kyle was equally unmoored when discussing her relationship with Kim.

“It’s been a rough year,” she said. “It’s almost impossible to have a relationship when she’s not in a good place.”

She added, “How did everything go so wrong?”

She and Kim and their families were always so close – “and I feel that absence,” she said.

Speaking to the camera, she sank suddenly in her chair. “I don’t want to do this right now.”

But the women did hash out the conflict over Foster’s Lyme disease gossip, and they hashed it out perhaps in a definitive way, in what is now part 10 or 12 in a very long, winding argument.

Their resolution involved a lot of raised voices, as first Foster expressed her anger with Rinna, and Rinna her anger with Foster. And everyone else expressed some opinion about the others.

The thin red line? Foster actually found out what Munchausen syndrome.

Knowing that Rinna even brought it up in connection with Foster’s health was “the biggest f—ing blow I’ve ever had in my life … sorry is not enough.”

“You labeled Kim last year, you labeled Brandi [Glanville] and now you’re labeling me,” Foster told Rinna, who in turn defended herself as a tortured party to someone else’s gossip. (She declined to name that other person doing the gossiping.)

Every single other one of the women was sitting at the table with Foster and Rinna, and didn’t keep from participating, including trying to make Foster understand what confused them about her Lyme disease.

But by the end of the argument Foster was loved and supported.

She and Rinna hugged it out, but the breakthrough seemed short-lived.

“It’s like putting a Band-Aid on,” Rinna told the camera, “but there’s still blood gushing all over the place.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.