“Watch out for the poop!” Sonja cries, as she ushers LuAnn into the back garden of her Upper East Side townhouse, where in lieu of art or furniture she eccentrically keeps a collection of cemented dog turds. Once again, fecal matter was front and center on Real Housewives this week, cementing its status as a leitmotif of the show. Of course, Sonja’s warning comes too late: LuAnn has already stepped in the shit. Later, Alex will figuratively do the same when she boldly delivers Bethenny’s “message,” to Jill, and as we, the viewers, did long ago when we first flipped to Bravo to watch this godforsaken program, the particles of which will cling to us no matter how feverishly we wipe our shoes in the dirt. We will always be sullied, different, dirty. Though we can always look on the bright side: At least it doesn’t smell.
The scene where Bethenny “discovered” that Perez Hilton broke her pregnancy couldn’t have been more fishy. Her and her assistant’s reactions seemed fake, and at the end of the day, if she “didn’t tell anyone” about it, how did he know? Then the unsettling nature of the moment deepens when she forces Jason to come on camera to learn that his parents are going to find out they’re set to be grandparents from reading People magazine rather than at a nice family dinner. “I can’t lie,” Bethenny rationalizes, before preparing a statement for the press. “I have to confirm it.” Actually, Bethenny absolutely has to do no such thing. She can wait until she’s three months along, like every other celebrity — and normal person — and address it then. For once Jill is kind of right here, and that’s before Bethenny sends Alex on her Mission of Doom. Bethenny very much loses this episode.
Alex lands right at the bottom of the pile this episode, alongside Bethenny. She starts out sweet about Bethenny’s pregnancy, then suddenly becomes a bat out of hell. “Bethenny’s not necessarily the person you’d think of when you think of the mother type, but she’ll figure it out,” she says, and she keeps that smile on her face as she is assigned the Mission of Doom, right up to when she is faced with Jill, whose pulsating darkness causes her to break out in hives. We don’t get it: Alex probably knew she shouldn’t have agreed to Bethenny’s request, and she certainly knew she shouldn’t have “delivered the message” in front of everyone else. So what happened? Did she just get carried away? Did starvation cause her to become lightheaded? Or was it just that all the terrible, cruel things Jill has done to everyone welled up in front of her like an onyx aura and she had to lash out at it using the only weapon at her disposal? In any case, she connected, and appears to have wounded Jill, but in doing so she became exposed to some of the blackness herself. Hopefully she’ll recover, but for now Alex loses.
At this point, LuAnn has got to develop a plotline of her own, otherwise she’s not only going to keep losing episodes, but she may just lose her golden apple. All she does now is totter around like a cliché in awful Burberry coats and voodoo jewelry, speaking French and using words like “barbarous,” backing up Jill and saying vaguely mean things about people that are only offensive because they’re not clever. Step it up, LuAnn.
“I wish I knew I was being postpartum depressed,” says Sonja in her poop-filled backyard. “For so long I was being such a bitch and I didn’t know why.” About Bethenny’s pregnancy, she adds: “I thought she had a little teeny bubble that she never had before, but of course I would never say anything because I always have a little bubble and I’m not pregnant.” There’s something sort of wise and honest about Sonja — we sure as hell wouldn’t have shown our fupa on national television. Not so wise that she doesn’t see a medium, but wise enough to know that “People think I’m a psycho, I call my psychic to see if I should have lipo?” We were almost thinking she was kind of down-to-earth in her own weird, super-rich I-have-a-giant-portrait-of-myself-in-my-dining-room sort of way, until she went into this monologue: “I have to do everything by myself without being part of a team,” she says, tearing up and gently hugging herself. “The help and the nannies and baby nurses and drivers, security, gardeners, all of that stuff I needed to run five houses.” They do say there’s no “I” in team …
We did like it when Kelly explained to everyone that, “in literature, the messenger always gets killed.” But her red underroos were a bigger presence in this episode than she was. Not a lose, just not a win.
What’s in Ramona’s Tru Renewal products, has anyone checked? The flesh of babies? Stem cells? Much as we are loathe to admit it, she looks fantastic, and we have a hard time believing it’s just that she’s been doing “more planks” instead of getting plastic surgery. That said, she had a strong comeback this episode: She asked some serious questions at the doctor’s office — though maybe with a basic misunderstanding of how the whole Park Avenue plastic-surgery world works. And she quite rightly tried to stop Alex from “making a delivery” to Jill. “I wouldn’t even have the balls to do that,” she noted, chugging some more Pinot Grigio. Ramona, you win!
Okay, so Jill was wronged in this episode. Which, in a vacuum, would make us feel a little sorry for her. But luckily, this is Manhattan, and no bitchery exists as an island unto itself. Therefore, once again: Reasons Why Jill Zarin Is a Disgusting Person!
She covers up for herself by making other people feel bad: When she forgets LuAnn already sent her an invitation to the cocktail party, she says, “Yeah, it’s not really a fancy Evite, I can see you didn’t really put much thought into it.”
She keeps tabs: A Google Alert for your enemy’s name? Who has the time?
She has no sense of timing: “If she is pregnant then I don’t want her to tell anyone.” Jill says, after the news was on a blog read by millions of people.
She has no shame: She tells Jennifer that she needs lamb chops at the party so she can bring them home to her dog.
She can’t do anything unless the publicity is maximized: “Oh my God I forgot to Twitter!” she says just before going on LXTV.
The only thing going on in her head is Jill Zarin: When the camera crew at LXTV asks her to “Say some words” for mike testing, she says “Jill Zarin Jill Zarin Jill Zarin.” Most people, you know, count to five.
She has to run the show: Though we do see her point — Bobby was a mess — she still could have let him have his moment on TV.
She has no sense of self-awareness: “It’s all about me!” she jokes as she talks over LuAnn’s intro during her book reading and tries to attract attention, having arrived late. “I’m so funny.”
She is incessantly negative: “Where is everybody?” she asks when she arrives at Ramona’s empty-ish event, just before picking up a picture of Ramona and shredding it and tearing apart even the snacks that were served. Then the editors, who clearly hate Jill, too, cut in a confessional where she said: “But I, being the bigger and better person, wanted to show her, maybe teach her through example, how to do the right thing.”
She doesn’t understand that being a bitch to someone means you don’t get to expect anything from them anymore: “She didn’t call any of us,” Jill whines about Bethenny’s pregnancy, even though she’s been trying to tell Bethenny not to tell anybody, and even though she has made a huge point this season of telling anyone who will listen that they are not friends.
She has no memory: After admitting in a confessional that she always forgets things, Jill is caught on camera outside of Ramona’s party crying and saying, “I can’t believe she did that to me, I never did anything to her.” Yes, what Alex did was bitchy and insane, and Jill was right to be upset, but let’s not forget that Jill has been plenty bitchy to Alex in the past, and just seems to have “forgotten” about all that.
Jason: As always, for having a perfectly normal reaction to a nasty situation that, let’s be honest, Bethenny probably created.
Dr. Bellin: That office is awesome, minus all the diplomas. Also, he said “I’ve got poochies and hugies, too.”
Bobby: For being nervous about going on TV, like a normal person.
Roberta the psychic: For drinking that giant cocktail while on the clock.
Santa Margarita: If Ramona isn’t the best spokesperson for a mid-list Pinot Grigio, we don’t know who is.
The gays capering around in the background at Ramona’s party: At least someone was having fun.
Cookie the dog: Who “does not work well with others.”
Jennifer Gilbert: Lady, if you want to be a character on this show, that’s your prerogative.