Keeping Up With The Kardashians Episode 16 Recap: “Love at First Fight”

Photo: Brian Brown Smith/E!
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians mid-season finale is upon us. After tonight, the full Kardashian complement hands off their time-slot to E!’s new show Rob & Chyna, starring, of course, Rob, Chyna, and the baby Kardashian-to-be. Presumably, this would be the perfect time to ramp up the drama for the new show. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This week we need to deal with Khloé’s birthday, Kourtney’s stage fright, and a big blowout fight between Rob and Chyna. Khloé has a birthday coming up, and Scott and Kendall want to do something big. Khloé isn’t feeling it. “I hate birthdays,” she says, meaning her own, of course. She loves throwing big parties for other people. Which is basically Khloé in a nutshell, right? Kendall and Scott know better even if they don’t get very far with Khloé. Kourtney has agreed to be a brand ambassador for skincare brand, and one of her new responsibilities is a trip to London and a speech. She is happy about the skincare line, but not at all thrilled with the idea of the speaking engagement. “Speaking in public is like a huge ‘no’ for me,” she says. She failed two classes in college simply because she wouldn’t give a speech. Jonathan offers to “come out of PR retirement” to help her prepare. The tension ratchets up, a little, when Khloé, Scott, and Kendall discuss Rob over lunch. Scott asks about Khloé’s meet-up with Rob. “It was good, right?” Scott says. It was, she replies, but she wishes Rob would do more to introduce Chyna to the family. “When I married Lamar, it was awkward. It was my job to bring Lamar in and make people love him,” she says. Scott points out that the new couple has had a big fight. Rob’s not living with her right now. Scott doesn’t have many details, but it worries Khloé. She doesn’t want Rob to go back into hiding. Jonathan lives up to his promise to help Kourtney prepare for her London trip. However, it doesn’t go as planned. He reminds her that she will be there on her own without her sisters. He stresses her out more than he helps her. Back in birthday mode, Kris, Kendall, and Scott meet to discuss plans for Khloé’s party. Kendall tells her mum that she tried to get ideas out of Khloé but the birthday girl was no help. “She was into nothing, so I think we just do something,” Kendall says, her logic unassailable. Scott has some suggestions. A foam party. Jello wrestling. Kris vetoes the jello. “Khloé is so good at making sure that everyone else feels so special and loved,” Kris says. Kendall has a solution: male strippers. Kris catches up with Khloé and Kim over lunch, and the topic is Rob. Kris talked to Chyna, and the conversation was concerning. “It really scared me,” Kris says. “Everything that we experienced is what’s she’s experiencing.” Khloé is surprised because when she talked to Rob, he was totally loved up with Chyna. She shares her mum’s concern.
Later, Kris stops by Khloé’s house to get to the bottom of this whole birthday problem. Kris has a novel idea. She’s going to straight up ask Khloé what she wants to do. She wants to know Khloé’s dream party. Khloé is a real Debbie Downer. “Why doesn’t everyone just call me and wish me a happy birthday?” For one reason, you’re on a reality show and just a bunch of birthday texts isn’t going to cut it. For another reason, you’re on a reality show, and you’re missing out on some major product placement. Kris knows better. She tells Khloé to give her a couple of ideas that would work for the whole family, and she’ll take care of the rest. Kris is off on party patrol, so Khloé, Kim, and Kourtney can focus on Rob. They call him, but he doesn’t answer. Kim and Kourtney go to his house, and he’s not there. They leave a note. “We want you to be happy, and we’re here to support you any way we can,” Kourtney writes. Kim is more to the point: “Call us.” Kim tells Kourtney that she called Chyna directly. Kim wanted her future sister-in-law to know that Kim gets it. “You guys are not vibing,” she says, recounting the conversation to Kourtney. This ‘not vibing’ sounds very sinister coming from Kim. Chyna told Kim that she thought Rob’s sisters were the root of his problems, but she’s starting to see that he has some of his issues to work through. Kim just wants everything to be cool. She tells Chyna that the Kardashians are there to support her. Kim can be her person. Kourtney’s big moment is upon us. She flies to London as the brand ambassador. First stop is giving an award at the British Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Kourtney isn’t great. She stumbles during her speech and wants to make a break for it through the back door. She doesn’t. She powers through. “I just need to take a deep breath, finish this up, and never do this again,” she says. She makes it through the press interviews and enjoys herself at the cocktail party. Kourtney achieves solo adult status. Not the most interesting storyline, but bonus points for her honesty. The Rob storyline and the Khloé birthday storyline merge at this point. Kim encourages Khloé to invite Chyna to the party. “She feels like you don’t like her,” Kim tells Khloé. “I don’t know her,” Khloé says, but then takes Kim’s advice and reaches out to Chyna. Chyna sounds surprised and touched. Khloé makes sure Chyna knows she’s welcome whether Rob shows up or not.
Kim and Khloé manage to catch up with Rob at his house. They give him some straight talk about relationships. It’s hard out there, Rob. Kim and Khloé should know. Khloé tells him he needs to be strong for himself and the baby on the way.
The big finale of the mid-season finale is Khloé's party at—wait for it— Dave & Busters. Yep, it’s all about beer and Skee-Ball for Khloé this year. The party starts off slow but picks up fast when the A-listers like Chrissy Teigen and John Legend start to show up. But that’s not who everyone is looking for, is it? Does Rob show up to Khloé’s party? Is this a big cliffhanger for the start of Rob & Chyna? Nope. No need to wait for the big reveal. Rob and Chyna come to Khloé’s party. Joy is felt throughout the land, or at least as far as the Dance Dance Revolution machines. Photo booth pictures are taken. Snapchats are recorded. “This is honestly one of the best birthdays I have ever had,” Khloé says, and, just like that, the torch passes to Rob and Chyna.

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