Kendra on Top: Did Hugh Hefner really give Kendra the best advice?
This week on Kendra on Top, Kendra Wilkinson reconnects with two older men. Will hearing about his wife's breakthroughs inspire Hank Baskett to have one?
At the start of this week's show, Baskett is nowhere to be seen, so we know there likely won't be any revelations in the first episode — at least not from him.
To the mansion we go
While "trying to adjust to life as a single mom," Wilkinson decides to load up and seek counsel from her pre-Baskett main man, Hugh Hefner.
After her bestie Jessica Hall takes the kids into another room so Wilkinson can chat more intimately with Hefner, the ex-Bunny opens up about her confusion and heartache. Hef, proving that he's actually a pretty sage old dude, offers a blunt but balanced perspective.
"I couldn't imagine anyone more well-suited than the two of you," he says. "So when all this hit the fan, it was unreal. But you've got two beautiful children. Whatever else happened... Hank is a good guy. He obviously f***ed up. That's human," he says, before offering up a theory.
"From a distance, it looks like he was set up."
But couldn't it be problematic for Hefner to put an idea like that in Wilkinson's head at this point? Yes and no, says SheKnows Dating and Relationship Expert Andrea Syrtash.
"Hefner is an important person in Kendra's life and it's good for her to hear from people she trusts. In general, different perspectives are valuable so she can make an informed decision," Syrtash told us.
Naturally, there's a but.
"That said, nothing should supersede Kendra's gut feeling and instinct. She knows her husband better than anyone; and there may be a good reason she is questioning his story."
To track down Dad or not to?
Chatting with Hefner, though, does make Wilkinson circle back around to the notion that she has such trust issues because she never got any kind of closure with her own father.
After making sure Wilkinson is serious, Hall hops on the computer and quickly pinpoints Wilkinson's father. Interestingly enough, ol' Eric Wilkinson is a nudist surfer multimillionaire.
That's quite a skill set, if you ask us.
The first episode ends with the girls theorizing about how one in a nudist colony might handle getting a boner and then, after Hall leaves, Wilkinson asks Raskal (possibly the world's most portly Corgi) if she should call her father.
Accordingly, Wilkinson soon goes upstairs and dials her long-lost dad.
The conversation is short but super-sweet, and they agree to try to be active in each other's lives. Perhaps Wilkinson would be up for a trip to Costa Rica to visit her dad at his house there, he asks, and it seems like Wilkinson is actually considering going.
Hmm. Might bringing another potentially unstable relationship into her kids' lives at this point cause even more emotional turmoil?
SheKnows Parenting Expert Vera Sweeney thinks so — and she has personal experience with this sort of scenario.
"My father is no longer in my life because he is just too unstable for my children and for their mental health. There is no way that Kendra should have introduced another shaky relationship to little Hank's life," said Sweeney.
"He needs structure. He needs balance. He needs sanity and straight lines. Instead, this poor boy lives in a state of chaos and confusion. What good will his grandfather do? What if he forms a bond with him and then he decides to leave? Another burn he will have to live with and age prematurely from."
As a mother, Wilkinson should first consider how these types of decisions could impact her family. "Kids need to be sheltered from damaging forces, and it is the parents' jobs to do this," Sweeney said. "Kendra made a mistake with this one."
Still, when Baskett calls, Wilkinson tells him she is thinking of taking that trip to Costa Rica — an idea her estranged husband seems to scoff at. Wilkinson, although slightly annoyed, halfheartedly agrees to visit Baskett later at his apartment.
Spying on Visiting Baskett
After a quick stop at Dr. Monica's, Wilkinson arrives at Baskett's apartment to discover he isn't there... but his door is unlocked. She walks in and, seeing he really isn't there, starts to snoop in his phone and on his computer.
When Baskett walks in and catches her, he makes a snarky comment about knowing that he needs to lock his door. Hold up. Does he have a right to be indignant?
"It isn't unusual to want to 'snoop' or investigate when you've been betrayed and lied to by your partner," says Syrtash. "Kendra is trying to gather evidence and put pieces together in a story that doesn't add up. I don't blame her for looking around, but there's a better way to do this than to break into your partner's accounts or riffle through his drawers and closets — when caught, he can throw it in your face: 'And you don't trust me?'"
But, ultimately, Baskett should be an open book at this point.
"Instead of snooping, Hank should give his wife access to his social media accounts and messages and keep an open door policy, literally. This approach may be too much for a couple that has developed trust and healthy boundaries, but in a case like this, he should make these things available to his wife so she knows she truly has nothing to worry about. Rather than being indignant, Hank should show his wife — not just tell his wife — that he can be trusted."
And as far as that goes, Baskett's still flailing. When Wilkinson asks him again to tell her something (anything!), the former pro baller can't muster up the truth. This, in turn, infuriates Wilkinson, who asserts to him that they "are not married right now."
With such definitive statements being tossed out, is there any hope of reconciliation for this couple, really?
"By saying this, Kendra is likely trying to hurt Hank's feelings and distance herself from him. She's hurt, and wants him to know how it feels to be rejected," Syrtash says.
"If they want to save their marriage, they have to stop trying to hurt, undermine or offend the other," she explains. "They have to remember that in marriage, you are on the same side as your partner. It doesn't make sense to have a winner and a loser."
Unfortunately, Baskett doesn't make any headway in the truth-telling department as this week's Kendra on Top closes. Instead, when Wilkinson makes it clear she can't trust him, he offers yet another frustratingly cryptic response.
"I know right now I don't have that, and it's eating me alive," he tells his wife, "and that's why I'm trying so hard to talk to you about things. I just want you to know I will."
What do you think? Is Baskett trying to stall in the hopes the season will end before he actually ever has to fess up?
Check out a sneak peek from next week here.