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The Real Housewives of New York City Recap: It’s Like Getting Back on a Horse

[With regular RHONY recapper Intel Chris out this week, Alex Rees is stepping in. Please indulge any slight variations on the FTW/FTL recap scheme.]

As last season's epic Virgin Islands vacation demonstrated, you can take the housewives out of New York City, but you can’t take the New York City “sass” out of the housewives. Except, it seems, when you go the Hamptons. This episode, with the set pieces playing out across the homes, beaches, riding schools, and hired farms of the South Fork, fell flat indeed. Nobody’s a winner when everyone’s sort of losing out.

Sonya Morgan

After the near-Herculean effort it took Sonja to make it all the way to downtown NYC for lunch with Cindy and a silly little segment in Vivienne Tam’s store, it seems only fair we dissect her antics in this week’s episode first. But don’t think that awards her the win, or even close to it. No, no, because grading even by RHONY standards, she overplayed her hand a little. And when we say "a little," we mean it in the way Ramona only drinks "a little." Visibly put out at Cindy’s bailing on their lunch at Cipriani (to get her teeth all fixed up), Sonja talked and squawked her way over and out of our affections again tonight, because she was just that: affected. Like, “My personal assistant opens my e-mails, which might be why I didn’t get your party e-vite” affected. It’s not novel any longer, and this giggle-fest snobbery isn't cutesy like Sonja thinks it is. Given this, even her literally bouncing off a horse was only lol-worthy for a second. (And can we also say that, Sonja, as a self-proclaimed gay icon, you should know better when it comes to bareback-related double entendres.)

Cindy

For her outright disgust at the presence of dip at her party — the sort of disgust you’d think would apply to a guest bringing a greasy, coked-out gigolo in a pleather muscle shirt, not a plastic tub of hummus — Cindy pulled way ahead for the win. Cindy’s clearly beginning to realize being the new girl on the UES/beachfront-summer-home block is not really fun at all. Her growing frustration with Sonja was delightful, as were her semi-stealthy machinations to undermine the toaster-oven death match (Sonja’s bene-malevolent streak) planned for Ramona and poor unsuspecting Kells — even if it did set off another endless cycle of tattle-telling. And her un-birthday party was on just the right side of tragic, too, saved by the quad bikes. Unfortunately, chipping your veneers on pistachio nuts and then re-gluing them in a Soho boutique with Fixadent you claim to have stolen from your parents is a bit of a no-no. Close, but no cigar.

Ramona

Speaking of cigars ... Yes, that means we’ve reached Ramona, who — let’s just get this out of the way — made very little sense last night. Go figure. In just three short-ish appearances, Ramona ran the gamut from just-a-tad-too-practiced bitchery, to some understated snark thrown at a party host (de rigeur Housewives shade), to shakily dancing that confrontations-masked-as-closure dance with Kelly and then, later, Cindy’s brother Howie, too — the latter over a seemingly nonsensical, socially incestuous cigar funeral breakdown brouhaha. In neither instance was it a successful self-led intervention, but kudos for putting it out there, Ro — don’t hold back. And we did feel bad that you weren’t invited to Kelly’s "special" brunch.

Kelly

Which is why Kelly didn’t quite snatch the win this week either. (Isn’t it crazy, old-school-Kelly crazy, that she even came close?) Kelly’s retaining an eerie, Stepford-esque quality, by which we mean she seems to have managed to get at least some of her shit together, and it’s kind of less fun. Genuine concern at Sonja’s balls-to-the-wall horse riding, not so riveting; making nice with Ramona, air kisses and all, at LuAnn’s soiree, much of the same. But in a moment at Quogue, she sure shut down Ramona’s halfhearted olive branch in no time at all. Cold, ice cold. And at least her spilling Cindy’s disclosure back to Sonja will bring dramz in the near future. Still, we’ve come to expect more from her. One more note: Sand angels are gross. Because sand gets everywhere.

LuAnn

After the near-Herculean effort it took Sonja to make it all the way to downtown NYC for lunch with Cindy and a silly little segment in Vivienne Tam’s store, it seems only fair we dissect her antics in this week’s episode first. But don’t think that awards her the win, or even close to it. No, no, because grading even by RHONY standards, she overplayed her hand a little. And when we say "a little," we mean it in the way Ramona only drinks "a little." Visibly put out at Cindy’s bailing on their lunch at Cipriani (to get her teeth all fixed up), Sonja talked and squawked her way over and out of our affections again tonight, because she was just that: affected. Like, “My personal assistant opens my e-mails, which might be why I didn’t get your party e-vite” affected. It’s not novel any longer, and this giggle-fest snobbery isn't cutesy like Sonja thinks it is. Given this, even her literally bouncing off a horse was only lol-worthy for a second. (And can we also say that, Sonja, as a self-proclaimed gay icon, you should know better when it comes to bareback-related double entendres.)

And then sad, sad-faced Alex — whom we just want to hug and feed a little cheese and/or a small plate of oily carbs for trying so hard — spent over three hours driving out from the city for LuAnn’s piss-poor house party, only to receive blink-and-you’ve-missed-it screen time and a single throwaway line about warm Champagne. But then, perhaps this week a lack of presence is a good thing? Well yes, but she’s foiled again. Because Jill’s absence altogether left her in by far the best light. Even a win by default is still worthwhile.

Ancillary Winners:
Australia: Jill’s prolonged presence there can only be a good thing for the continent — enough said.
Vivienne Tam: Her clothes looked nice! Let’s think about buying them! Except, oh wait, that’s clearly just what the hollow promo-piece intended.
Cindy’s dad: For not knowing what was going on at all, which in even the remotest suburbs of Housewives-land is always for the best.
Jacques’s dog: For getting a lesson in Buddhism, or at least in balancing on two paws.
Oh, and dogs (and cats) all over the east end of Long Island: Well, the Animal Rescue Fund’s sponsored walk looked like it was well attended.

Ancillary Losers:
Ramona’s maroon velour tracksuit: Yeesh. More like Real Housewives of Sun City attire.
Quogue: Well, the neighborhood’s prestige sure took a hammering. Good thing the power of RHONY has yet to affect the real-estate market. (It’ll happen, though.)
Unsuspecting Hamptons-based skateboarders: Does such a curious beast even exist? If so, poor things could be half-piping or whatevs on a deck designed by LuAnn’s 14-year-old son. Street cred diiiiive, much.

Related: Which Self-Professed ‘Classy’ Real Housewife of New York Is Actually Classy? Anybody?