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Real Housewives of New York City Recap: The Reunion Runneth Over

Let's not mince words here: Three episodes of these harpies talking about themselves is two too many. Leave the recapping to the recappers, Bravo! We know you read us, you read a list of "Reasons Why Jill Zarin Is a Disgusting Person" that was cribbed directly from our recaps, and you even quoted an interview we did with Simon. Watching Andy Cohen talk about what happened on the season is fun, but watching the girls dissect it and re-cast it (and, frankly, rewrite it) is a little like watching Kelly Killoren Bensimon try to feed her children a home-cooked meal: confusing and at times even distressing.

But like we always say (as if it were true), somebody has to decide who won this episode. And since Intel Jessica has the day off and Intel Chris didn't even realize there was an episode last night, that somebody had to watch it while trying to blog and do a million other things this morning.

Bethenny recently told us that this was truly Ramona's season. We agree, but it's certainly not Ramona's reunion special. She hasn't been acting out at all, except to get up at weird times and make sad faces about Kelly. "There was no bullying, Kelly," she finally ejaculates. "Nobody was bullying!" Shortly after, she malfunctioned and was down for the count. Luckily, we noticed a lone glass of Pinot Grigio waiting just out of reach in the middle of the giant pink tuffet in the middle of the room. Once she gets up the nerve to mainline that junk, we predict she'll be back in action.


Bethenny recently told us that this was truly Ramona's season. We agree, but it's certainly not Ramona's reunion special. She hasn't been acting out at all, except to get up at weird times and make sad faces about Kelly. "There was no bullying, Kelly," she finally ejaculates. "Nobody was bullying!" Shortly after, she malfunctioned and was down for the count. Luckily, we noticed a lone glass of Pinot Grigio waiting just out of reach in the middle of the giant pink tuffet in the middle of the room. Once she gets up the nerve to mainline that junk, we predict she'll be back in action.

Alex got some good punches in early when everyone was pounding on Jill, observing (rightly) that Jill is "upset now because you see how you came off." Deep down, Alex knows, this is more important to Jill than anything. Unfortunately for Alex, she does not care enough about how she herself comes off, and continued to beat on Jill long after it was tasteful, or even fun.


Similarly to the above two, LuAnn flew relatively under the radar for this episode. But unlike the two of them, LuAnn managed to laugh everything off and remain calm. She professed to be unfazed by Bethenny calling her a drag queen and did a great job of explaining to Kelly exactly why it was her fault, not the other girls', that everything went awry on Scary Island. Her reason was so simple and so powerful, you almost saw a flicker of understanding somewhere in Kelly's face, but it was fleeting; almost immediately the gremlin who is clutching the reins of her neurons like a rider in a chariot race whipped her back in line, and the light winked out. Still, LuAnn wins big points for this episode: She is the only person in Real Housewives history to ever actually remain quiet to facilitate someone else speaking instead of shrieking "LET HER TALK" over and over. Good showing, LuAnn!

LuAnn was curiously quiet, also, when everyone ganged up on Jill. This left Jill to fend for herself, objecting here and there to everyone's complaints, but mostly just accepting blame and even, eventually, ceasing to do that jerky shoulder gesture that implied that secretly she was shrugging it all off. "I did see things that I didn’t like about myself," she says, even copping to being motivated toward regret by her own shallowness. This was clearly hard for her, as was demonstrated by the moment when she screamed at Bethenny, "YOU'RE RIGHT," as though she could shut her up with just the words. By the time Bethenny did let all the wind out of Jill's excuse that she was mad about Bethenny's response to Bobby's cancer, it was boring to watch. Jill, you're off the hook. Do better next time.


Meanwhile, it was lucky for Bethenny that she had Alex to go too far in punishing Jill, because Bethenny was laying it on pretty thick herself — both to Jill and to Kelly. She had some funny Bethenny lines ("I'm in a television show with you, it's not a shock that I'll walk into the same restaurant") and admitted to her own bad deeds, like trying to get Kelly off the show during her first season. But by the time the discussion got around to Kelly, instead of being civil and letting the woman hang herself by her own malapropisms, Bethenny couldn't control herself. Eventually her outburst led Kelly to leave the stage, ending the episode, and, we imagine, the only fun left in the reunion special.

It was tempting to hand the win to Kelly, actually, because she really has some magical powers. Initially, you worry for a person who has made up her own reality for herself. But then, as you realize that she will never be forced to reconcile that reality for the actual one, you begin to be sort of envious. At every turn during this episode, someone told her that what she was saying was untrue. Never once did it penetrate. So averse was she to the characterizations of events by others that when Andy Cohen summarized what she had just said for her, Kelly looked at him and said, "No." Still, as fun as she was, we couldn't give her the win. She claims to remain on the show for the charitable opportunities that it gives her, which is a noble stance, if only we believed it. In the first season, she told the ladies that she never did charity work. And in the second season, the only charity work alluded to was COURT-MANDATED. Sigh.

Which leaves, once again, Sonja. Thank God for Sonja, bringing a breath of fresh air into the room. Everything rolls off her back, even when Andy Cohen compared her to alleged Tiger Woods madam Rachel Uchitel. "You have full chance to make a joke about me and I'll laugh about it, just give me a chance to explain myself," she says to them all, and it almost sounds believable. It would have been enough that she just lightened the mood by appearing. But when it was revealed that she has a daughter, whom she has been quietly protecting from the show, that sealed the win for her.

Photo: All images courtesy of Bravo.