Keeping Up With The Kardashians Season 16 Premiere: The Kanye Show

Welcome to the safest, most contoured space on the Internet: A space where we can openly discuss, dissect, and indulge in the greatest show of our time, Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
We're back for season 16 of KUWTK, baby, and if things feel a little different, it's because Kanye West got his hands on a few of the producers' numbers. In an interview from earlier this week with the New York Times, it was revealed that the rapper has taken a new interest in the series and will be appearing in interviews for the first time. And I am already incredibly obsessed with the interactions between Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. In the words of my roommate, who often watches me recap and says nothing, quietly remarked, "I cannot wait to psychoanalyze this relationship." Same, girl, same.
In episode 1, "Chicago Loyalty," we get front row seats at the Wests life in Chicago, Kourtney Kardashian's anxieties around her newly single life, and Khloé Kardashian's happy relationship with Tristan Thompson. Gulp. Let's get to recapping.
Is That You Kanye?
"This is my first time doing this," Kanye tells the camera in his first interview in the first clip from the season premiere. "I am not attempting to do it good." Alright 'Ye. Off to a good start.
Kanye even made it a point to explain why, after avoiding the cameras for so long, he would finally actively engage in the series: The Incredibles. Yes, the PIXAR movie. He says that he "considered" doing this because in the movie The Incredibles, the superheroes do interview like the women do on the show. He added that he noticed the "wife got a big butt" and it reminded him of Kim's. He feels like his family is getting closer and closer to superhero status because of this. His mind is a puzzle.
After his big intro, Kim and Kanye "reveal" that they are expecting a fourth child via surrogate, news that they previously confirmed in early 2019. Penelope is the most excited. She calls out to tell North that she is "getting another baby," and North seems unamused. As we will see later in the episode, 5-year-old North thrives being the only child despite her parents constantly adding to their family. (I was the same way.)
The Wests, sans the littlest ones Saint and Chicago, head to Chicago for Kanye and Kim to show North some of her dad's old stomping grounds. Yeezy's headquarters are in Chicago (this only adds fuel to the rumours that the family may be relocating there), along with Kanye's foundation, Donda's House. Named after his mother, the foundation was in the news in 2018 when an IRL spat between Kanye and his childhood friend, Rhymefest, hit Twitter and resulted in intense tweets exchanged between Kim and Rhymefest. The drama centred around Kanye and some debt he experienced which resulted in Rhymefest, who was set to run Donda's House for Kanye, publicly calling out his friend.
But Kanye is totally over it, and doesn't anticipate any drama when he is forced to confront Rhymefest during their trip to Chicago to get keys to the house. Kim feels differently. She even curses about the fight in front of North, but North is too busy doing whatever kids do to notice. Kanye calls out his wife for loving drama too much, and not letting things go. "You know I am about forgiveness," he tells her. "That Buddhi. That Yandhi."
The night before they're set to meet up with Kanye's frenemy, Kim tells Khloé via Facetime that she just isn't used to having people close to her start public drama. She also tells her sister how much North loves being on this trip alone, away from her siblings. (The end up not meeting up until a few days later in Calabasas, and everything goes fine. Crystals are exchanged. Zen AF. I guess Kanye's rubbing off on her.)
Speaking of siblings, during a meeting with Kylie Jenner (the first time we've seen the youngest in the episode), Kim tells the fellow mother that she is not telling anyone except family about the fourth West baby. "I am only going to tell your friends," Kim jokes, referring to the fact that Kylie's friends kept her pregnancy a secret and are the most loyal. (This is such Jordyn-Tristan drama foreplay.)
Kim also drops a truth bomb: North is an informant. "North is going around saying she is having a baby brother so now Saint won't bother her," Kim tells Kylie, conspiratorially. Kim's gotta fix that hole in the ship, and quick. North's only getting older which means the tea she's hearing is only getting hotter.
A Kardashian Break-up — No, Not That One
Oh yes, this episode is all about a different Kardashian sisters break-up: Kourtney. Remember Younes? Big TBT. Well, Kourtney is anxious and upset over the split, and Khloé, who is happily with Tristan Thompson, offers up a girls weekend. Or rather, a "light girls weekend." I'm not sure the difference between the two, but just know this is GNO, Lite, okay?
Khloé, Kourtney, Kendall, and a few friends head to Kris Jenner's new Palm Spring pad — which is beautiful — for a day of tanning and swimming, and a night of karaoke and dancing. It is actually very lame, which makes it cute and relatable. I like this girl's trip. And now "Coco" will be stuck in my head for the week. Their impact. It's a weird pre-cursor to the impending drama with Khloé and Tristan. Soon, KoKo will be taking her own advice, which is "it is okay to be single."
Are MJ & Kendall OK?
Kendall Jenner's only real appearance is her dropping, and probably ruining, her phone in the pool in Palm Springs. When will she ever have a fun plot line for us to observe? : /
Meanwhile, while Kendall is doing nothing in Palm Springs, Kris is doing the most in Calabasas. Her mom, MJ, moved to a house nearby to spend more time near her family, but has felt iced out by the other matriarch. Scott Disick devises a plan to help MJ confront her daughter. The three go to tea time, giving MJ the ability to "time shame" Kris. And she's right — the momager is too busy running too many empires for her daughters to remember that she is a daughter herself, too.
Our weekly round-up of the craziest one-liners from the episode (these are all out of context because it makes them funnier):
"I appreciate you enjoy my singleness with me." — Kourtney
"I was my mom's favourite for a decade, and now Kylie is." — Kim
"It was too much. It was so much 'too much-s.'" — Kourtney
"I can't babysit him." — Kim

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