Coming into this week’s episode of Kendra on Top, fans weren’t sure what to expect. After all, the last thing we heard last week were the words “Let’s go confront this b****” as Kendra Wilkinson and BFF Jessica Hall headed toward frenemy Holly Madison’s book signing.
In an alarmingly grounded move for Wilkinson, though, she decided it would be playing right into Madison’s mind games if they confronted her and made a scene. “I have to focus on me and my life, and not focus on childish things,” she tells Hall.
Kudos, girl! Kudos.
Back home, Wilkinson tells Baskett the real reason the whole situation has her up in arms: Hef. She recalls how good Hef was to Madison, before calling to check in on her old friend.
For the record, there will likely be no reconciliation between Wilkinson and Madison. “Unfortunately for both of them and their fans, they remain very much estranged,” Kendra on Top‘s executive producer exclusively told SheKnows.
When Grand-dude comes to town
After hanging up with Hef, Wilkinson gets ready for a visit from her dad, Eric, aka “Grand-dude.” And this week’s visit was well-timed, as his daughter obviously needed someone to confide in about her conflicting emotions.
And can we just talk for a minute about how adorable he is? It looks like he’ll be popping up more frequently as the season presses on, and I for one couldn’t be happier.
“Eric will be playing a larger role in upcoming episodes — especially in our season finale,” KoT‘s EP says. “Eric is one of our very favorite people, and he has become an important and very positive influence in Kendra and Hank’s life. But don’t let the ‘daddy’ status fool you. He’s still a big kid at heart, and Kendra’s parental instincts are often strong than his!”
In this episode, though, his instincts are spot on, and Wilkinson takes his words to heart, scheduling a session for her and Baskett with their marriage counselor.
In the midst of the session, the couple reveals something shocking: Baskett recently caught Wilkinson engaging in a flirtatious conversation with a former flame. And while Wilkinson vows she didn’t cheat, she does admit she likes the attention. “I’m playing with fire, but I won’t let it burn,” she says.
Perhaps the most heartbreaking part of this is what upset Baskett the most — not that his wife was exchanging messages, per se, but that the messages were so happy and friendly. “Why don’t you transfer that energy you put into them to me?” he implores.
Afterward, Wilkinson asks Baskett to teach her how to hug. It’s a sweet moment, until Wilkinson makes the exchange awkward with an ill-timed, “Oh, man.”
When that small-scale experiment crashes and burns, Wilkinson decides to call in the big guns. In this case, leading sexologist and 2015 Sexpert of the Year Ava Cadell. So following a brief reprieve in the form of a fun day out with Hall and Hall’s baby/Wilkinson’s goddaughter, Sophie, Wilkinson arranges a time for Dr. Cadell to come to the couple’s house.
As they run through various exercises, Wilkinson at first seems disengaged — even interrupting her husband at one point to ask if he’d brushed his teeth that morning.
Wilkinson then admits she tends to self-sabotage, and they get back on track temporarily until a scurfuffle over who said I love you first derails their progress. At that point, Dr. Cadell chimes in, “You treat him a little bit like a naughty boy instead of an equal partner who you absolutely love.”
In a shared camera confessional, Wilkinson turns to Baskett and asks, “Am I mean to you?” To Baskett’s credit, he doesn’t make his wife feel bad about it and, to Wilkinson’s credit, she really does seem to be trying.
Explains the show’s EP, “Kendra sometimes asks a question like that so that Hank will say ‘no’ and reassure her that he still loves her. What’s more important than Kendra being self-aware (which she very much is) is that Hank answers her honestly, and not dodge it by saying ‘no’ when he doesn’t mean it. This is what they are working on: honesty and trust — on both sides.”
Later, when Wilkinson is chatting with her regular therapist, she once again references Baskett’s scandal last year as a possible explanation for her intimacy issues. But, as her therapist points out, hugging has never been natural to Wilkinson — suggesting her intimacy issues, in many ways, aren’t about Baskett at all.
The parental predicament
Finally, the flood gates open. Wilkinson opens up about battling severe depression. “I was a young f***ing girl,” she says, crying. “All I wanted was my mom to say I love you and I’m here for you. I never got that.”
Obviously, Wilkinson is starting to connect the dots between her intimacy issues and the fragmentation in her family. But was there any talk at this point of trying to bring Patti in for a joint therapy session to work through some of those issues together?
In a word, yes.
“When Patti recently went to the press (as usual) and ‘outed’ our production for calling her a few months ago, it was to beg her to work things out with Kendra — even if it meant doing family counseling. We even offered to pay for it and promised not to film it!” the EP revealed. “To Patti’s credit, she agreed to do it if Kendra would call and ask her personally.”
Unfortunately, Wilkinson got a classic case of cold feet. Recalling the phone call Wilkinson made after Hall’s baby shower a few episodes back, the EP elaborates, “Kendra, who wouldn’t use her phone, got Patti’s voicemail and then decided not to go through with it.”
Still, don’t count these two strong-willed women out yet. “For all her outer toughness, Kendra is really very sensitive and vulnerable,” says the EP. “Most of her attitude toward kissing and hugging is really an elaborate means of protecting herself from emotional harm. I wish Patti could see past Kendra’s anger and try and understand the reasons for it. If Patti called Kendra tomorrow, I would expect Kendra would take the call and things would work out — at least in the short run.”
Of course, that may not happen this season, which isn’t to say we don’t have plenty to look forward to.
Teases the EP of what’s to come, “In no particular order: spanking, someone held in police custody, a Playboy party, male escorts and a tailgate wedding. And did I mention that Little Hank and Alijah get even cuter?”
More on this season of Kendra on Top
Kendra on Top insider clears up Holly Madison’s wild claims against Kendra
Kendra on Top insider reveals details about Kendra’s digital adultery
Kendra on Top: Is Kendra flirting with sexy costars to hurt Hank?