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Real Housewives of New York Recap: ‘It’s Amazing How Much We Can Endure, Isn’t It?’

When the former Countess LuAnn DeLesseps spoke the words above, early in last night's episode, she was referring to her recent divorce, which had been finalized that day. At the time, she had no idea how much worse things could get. She was about to find out. Soon enough, the Countless, along with us, the audience, descended, Dante-like, into the hellish inferno that is the New York City of the blandly rich, beginning with Circle One — fashion week — and culminating in the sinister place that all New Yorkers fear and dread: A dinner party with too much alcohol and absolutely no food.

Would she make it out alive? And who won the episode?

It took great feats of strength to win this episode. Let's assess the performance of each of the candidates:

Bethenny

We keep waiting for Jason to do at least one annoying dude thing — to at least show some evidence of drifting off into space when Bethenny is gabbing on about her endless feud with Jill. Instead, apparently fully listening, he says, "That's childish," about Jill's behavior, which it is, then tells her that he is ready to commit to her forever. What the hell? Are all the good men on reality TV now? However, even Jason's awesome attitude did not do much to offset Bethenny's bad one:Her bitterness was on lurid display in this week's episode. So LuAnn says she didn't expect to see her at the Pamella Roland show. Why didn't Bethenny just let it go, instead of responding to the Countess's tone like some kind of junkyard dog and launching into an attack? And let's not pretend you are invited to these shows for any reason other than the fact that you are on TV, people. You don't have some personal relationship with Pamella Roland or Jill Stuart. For this, even despite the fact that she fully admits boozing through a "cleanse," Bethenny loses the episode. (And no, Bethenny, if you and Kelly killed one another, it would not "be like gladiators.")

Bethenny Frankel

Simon was having a grand old time at Jill's Saks event. He was just so happy to be around the lady's clothing and shoes! Alex, on the other hand, burst into hysterical tears. She said it had something to do with her son, Françoise, but after assessing her skeletal features and My Little Pony hair, we suspected the truth was that Alex hadn't eaten in days. Possibly weeks. For this, Silex loses the episode. (But she does get points for managing to flawlessly shut LuAnn down with the phrase "some of us have to work," and somehow make it not sound spiteful.)

Jill

Jill set up a Glamor Shots photo shoot for herself, her mother, and her sister, However, only Jill was allowed to look glamorous. She lay in a one-shoulder gown on a chaise lounge, making frankly appalling model faces, as her family members one by one took this in. "NOT HAPPY," the much-overworked Gloria blasted at the photographer, as her sister adjusted her boxy Hillary Clinton suit. "I look like … a lawyer," she said, with horror. Later on at Saks, Jill did a good job of comforting a hysterical and starving Alex, but that didn't really count, since she was really just trying to stop someone from making a scene at her party. And also, it doesn't count because it was her that made the dig at Alex's kids, and somehow she managed to convince herself and Alex that she was innocent of all charges. ("I never say anything!" Jill protested, which is what all shit-talkers always say, because they are also liars.) Therefore, Jill loses the episode.

Ramona

"MAINLINE IT INTO MY VEIN," Ramona yells, upon seeing a waiter bearing pinot grigio at the Saks event. Not that she needs any more. In this episode, Ramona maniacally insults virtually everyone. Early on, she subjects Kelly to a long harangue about how she didn't invite her to a party, then packs her preteen daughter in a cab in order to hit a late-night party. (This made us, like Kelly and obviously Avery herself, uncomfortable.) At Jill's party at Saks, she sniffs that the hostess's dress "reminded [her] of her apartment" (so true!), is "too much metallic" and "just didn't look as chic as it could have looked," then mentions, sotto voce, that she was surprised that Jill was holding a party at Saks at all, because she'd heard she was banned after returning so many garments she had worn. As if that wasn't enough, she embarrasses both LuAnn and Silex by injecting herself into a conversation between them solely to inform the couple that the LuAnn had specifically uninvited them from a party and didn't actually like them. Later, when it seems as if she cannot possibly do any more damage, she asks Kelly if she had fixed her lopsided boobs before the Playboy shoot, then showed a classic lack of remorse when called out on her rudeness. "Ramona's been acting really weird, lately," Kelly said later, in a way that couldn't have been more clear if she'd done the bottle-to-mouth gesture. Despite all of this awesomeness, and the way that she brought nearly every single other cast member aside for a moment to explain to her what an idiot she is, Ramona loses the episode.

Kelly Killoren Bensimon

Kelly has clearly learned how to play this game. She managed to smile blithely through the terrible awkwardness at the fashion show as if it wasn't happening, but then at a key moment switched seats so that Bethenny and LuAnn would have to sit next to one another, thereby tripling the very awkwardness she was pretending to ignore. She stayed true to the character she's picked for herself: the mom who doesn't want to drink even a sip of booze before picking up her kids from school, the one who notices the shy designer's child and says hello, and the one who worried about her friend's young daughter being sent home alone in a cab. Sure, she is, as Bethenny said, "not a moron, but not quick." She doesn't get Bethenny's Lithium joke (really Kelly? Someone that bitter takes lithium?), and she doesn't manage to laugh off Ramona's boob-arial inquiries. But still, she's almost a winner!

LuAnn

On the very day her divorce was finalized, LuAnn was forced to endure: 1) Being called a "skank" by Bethenny. 2) Recieving a skeletal hug from Jill's mom. 3) Awkard conversation with a pair of goths from Brooklyn. 4) Ramona interrupting said conversation to inform the goths that Luann actually hated them. 5) One of the goths literally bursting into tears over a perceived slight to her fake French son, François. She's gotten to the point of fear and loneliness where she frantically begs for, nay, demands two kisses from everyone she sees, and hears imaginary accusations of former adultery from all corners. Amazingly, she rose above it all, and even coined an amazing new rule for her next etiquette book: "You don't ask somebody if their boobs are fake. You can talk about it, you can whisper about it, but you don't come right out and ask them." For this one, LuAnn wins the episode.

Ancillary Winners
Ally: Cute as always, but did we see a costume change at the Saks dinner? Disturbing.
Avery: Looking good, girl!
The stuffed animal that Jill’s dog was vigorously fucking: Because that looked fun.

Ancillary Losers:
Lisa Rinna: Run for your life, lady.
Perez Hilton: Was he wearing a Mickey Mouse muumuu?
The makeup artist: It's not really his fault, but for saying, "I forgot, you're European," to LuAnn. Despite what she so desperately wants you to think, SHE IS NOT EUROPEAN. SHE IS LITERALLY A NATIVE OF AMERICA.

Photo: All Images Courtesy of Bravo