Before we get to this week’s episode of The Real Houseguests of Turks & Caicos, let me take a moment to apologize for not introducing myself last week. As I’m no one’s teacher and merely a fellow Bravo-holic trying to make sense of the crazy, I neglected to do what is required of a substitute. No, I don’t mean writing my name on the board (“Hello, my name is Ms. Rimalower”), but rather that I should have explained the absence of your usual recapper, the genius Brian Moylan. I actually don’t know where he is, exactly, and so I cannot confirm or deny reports that he’s been kidnapped and is being held for ransom by Jill Zarin or anyone affiliated with Zarin Fabrics. What I do know is that he is scheduled back next week. In the meantime, I will continue to do my best to get us all through this Bahamanian bacchanal.
The main cause for turbulence on the trip is the Ramona-coaster. Sure, there’s a lot of discussion about Sonja’s drinking problem, but that isn’t exactly breaking news. It’s just this week’s tinder for the sparks of Ramona. While Ramona has been talking about Sonja’s apparent alcoholism to anyone who will listen, including an early scene this episode where she and Bethenny go deep into the issue (before eventually moving on a to teary discussion of Ramona’s own addiction — to her estranged philandering husband Mario). Despite this seemingly solid solidarity, Ramona throws Bethenny under the bus with Sonja first thing the next morning. I think Ramona’s intentions were good, bringing the drinking to Sonja’s attention, but she was unprepared for Sonja to push back so hard. Sonja gets really defensive and Ramona backpedals like crazy, as Bethenny paddleboards by in the background, a not-so-subtle reminder of Ramona’s duplicity. When Bethenny joins the conversation, Ramona denies everything she said about Sonja’s drinking, which pisses Bethenny off and just makes Sonja more defensive.
Ramona actually has the nerve to try to blame Bethenny for Sonja’s tantrum, but everybody knows it was Ramona who stirred the pot. Even Dorinda, who encouraged Ramona to stand up for herself (pointing out that the ladies love it when Sonja’s drunk — it gives them something to pick on, record-keepers that they are), counsels her to let it go. “You’ve said your piece.” Sonja just keeps harping on it.
My thing is, if she’s really so comfortable with her drinking, why does she put up such a fight? Why would someone without a problem care so much what the others think? Seeing the futility of the discussion, Bethenny gets everyone to make a pact not to discuss Sonja’s drinking or mental problems — violators have to put $100 in a bucket for charity. The omertà doesn’t last five minutes.
Sonja is so upset that she stays behind while the group spends the day frolicking on a yacht. Thank God for LuAnn, who refuses to let Ramona off the hook for selling Bethenny out. As Bethenny, points out, though, the good thing about Ramona is she knows when she’s up against the firing squad and will kiss everyone’s asses to get back in their good graces. She does just that, being the silly, up-for-anything, good-time girl (“the Ramona we love,” many remark), ready to laugh at herself, even when the rest dump icewater on her. “Cheers to Singer,” they merrily toast. The general bonhomie is so strong, in fact, that LuAnn texts Sonja to say how much they miss her. She is, after all, the one who would enjoy a yacht the most. Sadly, Sonja misses the text because she’s down by the pool making the most of having the house to herself. What’s that thing about dancing like no one is watching? Do lunge squats in wedges like no one is filming?
In other maritime events, Bethenny and Kristen bond (partly over Kristen’s hatching the plan to dunk Ramona), but mostly just because Bethenny is chilled out and openhearted and letting the others “in.” Everybody’s hanging loose. The Countess is even freeballin’ under her sundress.
The good vibes continue for a bit back at that house, where Bethenny and Heather get a couples massage and patch up any residual hard feelings — in that order. Bethenny apologizes for being a bitch and says it’s not Heather’s fault she’s annoying. Maybe it’s the massage talking, but Heather can’t argue.
That’s where the fun times end. Dinner at Fire & Ice restaurant is a temporary detour into Dorinda Town when the otherwise calm, cool, collected dame goes off the rails. Vulnerable and weeping one moment, irrationally lashing out at Heather the next, Dorinda makes herself the center of the drama for the first time all season. Bethenny, happy not to be involved, sits quietly chowing down, and Ramona gets deep with Heather, offering marital advice from her own rough experience. Perhaps shocked by seeing Ramona so docile, Dorina kisses and makes up with Heather, although not before showing a bit of her inner gangsta. Takeaway: Don’t mess with Medley. Second takeaway: Ramona has self-diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder, which, when you think about it, could explain a whole lot.
The next day starts off sweetly enough, with Bethenny cooking in the kitchen and LuAnn cooking topless in the ocean. Then, Hurricane Ramona bounds in, followed by her stooge, Marcie, I mean Sonja.
RAMONA (to BETHENNY, entering kitchen):
“Bethenny, Sonja thinks we should go to Bugaloos. You should come, too. So what if you’re cooking, I’ll snack on it later. You should come to Bugaloos. Sonja says.”
RAMONA (to other ladies outside):
“So, ladies, Sonja had this great idea. Last night they told us about this great place, Bugaloos. Sonja thinks it’s a great place for lunch. We should go there. Of course, Bethenny’s okay with it. I just told her.”
Perhaps hearing her name mentioned so many times, Sonja smells a rat and warns Ramona to ask Bethenny if it’s okay with her that they’re going out for lunch when Bethenny cooked.
It’s not really okay with Bethenny. They had all discussed her making lunch and she’s been enjoying cooking for them all, but I’m sure she’d be fine with some people going out. It’s just Ramona’s desire to steal away the troupe that’s annoying, and the manic way she and Sonja confront Bethenny. (“How does Bethenny feel?”) As Bethenny says, “I don’t care. I don’t wanna have a therapy session over a lunch.”
Bethenny goes on to call out Ramona’s narcissism and sense of entitlement, and Ramona coldly remains silent. I do think I’m on Bethenny’s side, but I can’t help wondering if the final round actually went to Ramona. Bethenny stalks around the pool area hollering and storms off muttering about Ramona being manic. “Hey, Kettle. What’s up? It’s Pot. I just called to say you’re black.”
Don’t get me wrong, this could easily be just a trick of the editing. Producers want to add a bit of intrigue to the end of a relatively humdrum episode, so they make it look like the beginning of a Bethenny meltdown. It could easily turn out to be nothing! I’ll be very interested next week to see whether Bethenny returns to her cooking or continues her tirade … and how the other ladies react to this latest conflict.