And because it's "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," Odom's tragic circumstances were incorporated between multiple other storylines, such as Kanye West throwing a surprise party for his wife, Kim Kardashian, or Kris Jenner's 60th birthday. Sound insensitive? That's how the series operates — the show tackles so many issues, both silly (nonsensical bickering, ridiculous pranks) and serious (Scott Disick's rehab, Caitlyn Jenner's transition) that probably no one thinks twice about addressing someone's near-death experience in the same scene as Kris's lunch date with her boyfriend.
In the middle of the episode, producers acknowledged that something important happened in typical reality-show fashion: A solemn screen with text: "On October 13, 2015, Lamar Odom was hospitalized after being found unconscious in Las Vegas. Khloe, Kim, and Kris immediately flew to be with him while he was placed on life support," it read. "Out of love and respect for Lamar and the family, filming of 'KUWTK' was stopped for a brief period. After 7 days, Lamar was airlifted back to Los Angeles for continued treatment."
Those were the only details mentioned, and Khloe didn't appear on screen again. At the beginning of the episode, there was some foreshadowing about Khloe's close connection with Lamar, although the two have been separated since December 2013. Khloe acknowledged that she would always be grateful that Lamar loved her even when she thought of herself as the "fat" Kardashian sister. "That's what his hold has been over you this whole time?" Kim asked in disbelief.
After viewers learned what happened with Lamar, producers jumped to two weeks after his hospitalization, as Kris and Kourtney were discussing the details. "I'm so overwhelmed with what's going on with Lamar, it's heartbreaking," Kris said. "I don't think I've ever felt so powerless and it makes me sad."
Kris told Kourtney that the Las Vegas hospital struggled to find a helicopter big enough to transport Lamar because of his height. She emphasized that Khloe barely left his side since she arrived at the hospital, because having her around might help Lamar's recovery. "Khloe has been spending every second with Lamar," Kourtney later explained to the camera. "She feels guilty for needing to leave, even if it's to take a shower."
Then suddenly, the tone abruptly changed — time for Kanye's surprise party for Kim! (Even though Kim didn't want a party because she was extremely pregnant and because of the drama surrounding Lamar.) But Kanye made it happen anyway, and throughout the lavish bash, viewers saw Kris elaborating on Lamar's condition to guests.
"The doctor at the last hospital said, 'He basically came in here dead,' " Kris said. "The fact that he is alive is, like, a miracle. A miracle." She added that he remained in and out of consciousness, but when he saw Kris at the hospital, he opened his eyes and said, "Hi, Ma."
Viewers never learned exactly how Lamar became so ill — the show generally skips those types of details, maybe assuming fans have read the gossip sites. The biggest clue was a scene of Kris talking on the phone to the family's lawyer, saying vague things such as, "We want him to have the best attorney if they try to charge him," and something about calling the district attorney's office in Nevada. No other information was provided: Although we did learn that Khloe decided to hold off finalizing their divorce so she could still make medical decisions for him.
Then it was back to more party planning, this time for Kris's birthday. All the sisters (minus Khloe) wrote a special song for their mom and sang it at a recording studio. "Deep down, I know Lamar would want us to have this party, so we're going to get back to planning it and just make it a really exciting time," Kim said to the camera crew, adding that they didn't want to bother Khloe with the song because they knew she needed to focus on Lamar.
And finally, with a lack of actual Lamar or Khloe footage, producers went back to Kris's perspective — which is perhaps where the show is most comfortable. She was very drained from everything going on with Lamar, so her boyfriend, Corey Gamble, took her for a surprise fancy lunch to relax. "There's only so much you can give," Corey assured Kris. "I really want you to focus on yourself, sometimes, too."