The Real Housewives of New York City Recap: You Can Countess on Me

Sonja Morgan. Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of New York City
Episode Title
The Benefits of Friendship
Editor’s Rating

We have learned many things about Ramona Singer over the years: She caught her husband cheating on her, she is awful in a fashion show, she's had her boobs done, and all sorts of foreign substances injected into her face. However, we learn two things about Ramona Singer in this episode that are just over the line. The first is that coffee gives her the "runs" (or the Bosco Trots, as my grandmother used to call them). The second is that she has large nipples.

I actually don't care about the first one, if I'm being honest. I think it's healthy to talk about poop. In fact, poop is my boyfriend's third favorite thing to talk about after monkeys that mug tourists and SoulCycle instructors' bulges. But there's something about imagining Ramona Singer sprinting to the gilded toilet in her Upper East Side aerie and ripping down her Spanx to let out explosive coffee farts that just makes me feel incredibly vulnerable, like when a stranger has to hold your hair while you throw up in the bathroom of a karaoke bar.

The big nipples … I'm sorry, I just can't. Now every time I see Ramona Singer, I'm going to think that she has some huge rejects from a charcuterie plate hoisted on the lily-white skin of her bosom, and I'll just want to pull my eyelids so far down that I could use them as snowshoes as I walk myself to a frosty grave.

The funny thing is, it doesn't phase me one bit when all of the other women talk about their vaginas and sex lives and who they've been screwing. Jules, bless her little lima bean of a heart, goes to her plastic surgeon to make sure that her labia would be majora beautiful after their recent accident. Now, I'm not going to say that something is wrong with her plastic surgeon, but didn't it seem like his face had been pulled so tight that it moved his larynx a little out of joint? And why didn't Jules take Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Vajazzaling Morgans to the pubic plastic surgeon with her? If anyone knows about getting renovations in the Bermuda Triangle, it is Sonja Tremont Morgan.

I do love that Jules wants her vagina to look like a "perfect pistachio." That's so cute. I'm not entirely sure what a vagina looks like close up, but from now on, I'm going to picture it as a little greenish nut. Speaking of which, does it really matter to people how their vaginas look? I know they're all different, but having a pretty vagina kind of seems like having sterling-silver collar stays: It's nice for those who notice the details, but most people aren't getting near enough to notice the difference. Oh, what do I know? Ladies, make your vaginas as beautiful as a Mexican beach sunset after three bottles of rosé. You deserve it.

Bethenny decides to delay her surgery after she goes to go see a lady doctor about her lady parts. Now I think that having a female gynecologist is just the only way to go. You wouldn't go eat a meal at a steakhouse owned by a vegan, would you? Then why would you go to a gynecologist with a penis? That just seems insane to me. But Carole is right: There is a little bit of doctor shopping going on here. Bethenny just needs someone to tell her that she doesn't need the surgery and there are some alternatives. Also, it helps that this woman would appear on-camera, which makes it that much easier to document Bethenny's vaginal journey (va-journey?).

Luckily, Bethenny is well enough to go to the launch of her Skinny Girl Chocolate Bars or whatever the hell, which I have had and, I must say, are pretty tasty. They're sold in 100-calorie packs so that you can still have some chocolate and not go all What's Eating Gilbert Grape. If you give me a bag full of chocolates, I don't care how many layers of packaging I have to tear through, I'm going to devour every last one. But who goes to these product launches? Bethenny doesn't invite her friends, so who shows up? Just the random public? Food bloggers? Those people who stand on the street and ask you if you have a minute to help gay rights? Old Chinese ladies who do tai chi in public parks? Pizza Rat? Seriously, who?

At least Bethenny looks great, like some sort of crazy sci-fi hero in her asymmetrical red wig and her black-and-white jumpsuit. She looks like the Fifth Element, if the fifth element is aspartame. But we do need to talk about her hair genius Tokyo Stylez. That is not a name that belongs to a human man. That is a name that belongs to the free magazine you wipe your fingers on in the Asiana Airlines lounge in Seoul when they run out of napkins. That is the name of a drag-queen character in a new TV show written by an old white man like Cameron Crowe. That is the name of one of the monthly signature cocktails at Sushi Roxx, Times Square's finest purveyor of food-borne illness and cringe-inducing dance numbers since 2015.

Ugh, I guess we need to talk about Luann, right? I have to admit that I'm with the ladies on this one: She is being totally insufferable with all of this stuff about Tom. How is it that every conversation with her comes back to the fact that she's found her soulmate and she's going to get married? You could be having a debate about the cost of oil in a post-Brexit economy and somehow she would find a way to insert the words "married," "soulmate," "Tom," and "happy" into the conversation. It's like having a friend who finally gets sober and can only talk in AA aphorisms.

But like getting sober, falling in love is inherently an egocentric proposition. The new lover is only concerned about how great she feels. She's thinking about how she looks, how she's acting, what this person thinks of her, how her future will be altered. There is no time for friends or other people, unless they want to hear the dirty details of this new love. That's fine. We all have friends who fall in love and we all have to suffer through their discovery. The thing about Luann's love is that it's all so sudden. Of course it's hard for these women to adjust and bring up their issues with Tom, because there was no slow courtship period for them to get to know him and air their grievances before the great hammer of love fell down from the sky and slapped the Countess right in her statement necklace.

Regardless of what is going on with Tom, Luann is playing a very dangerous game with Bethenny and Carole. When she tells Dorinda that she doesn't give a "flying leap" about the other woman, she's essentially saying that she doesn't give a flying leap about being on the show, either intentionally or otherwise. Let's look at this for a minute: If Luann doesn't care about making up with Carole, then Carole will not want to do anything with Luann. Because Carole and Bethenny are so tight, Bethenny won't want to do anything without Carole. Like it or not (and I know many of you don't like it), Bethenny is the show these days. That means if Bethenny doesn't want to do anything with Luann, she bought herself a ticket on Cindy Barshop Airlines. Destination? Quogue. Look at what's happened to poor Sonja since she ran afoul of the Queen B. Tokyo Stylez got more screen time than she did.

If Luann refuses to make up with Carole, she's essentially saying, "Well, just don't cast me next season." Maybe that's what she wants. Maybe Luann dreams of a new life swanning about the terrace in Tom's apartment and only dropping in on the ladies for their big parties to tell them how gorgeous they look, dance a little bit in the corner, and maybe scowl at the new girls. You know, she could be the St. Camille of Grammer of New York. But is that what she wants? Who knows?

Right now, it just seems like she wants to get out of that restaurant to find shelter from the insults and perceived ignominy of talking to these women about something other than her soulmate Tom who is going to marry her and make her so happy. She walked from the back room toward the entrance, not even stopping to get her coat. She marched past the bar and saw someone who was paying a little bit too much attention to what was going on, a redhead who was staring and pushing a straw absently around a Diet Coke. She was sitting next to a stunning brunette. Luann locked eyes and suddenly changed direction.

The redhead suddenly darted her head all around the room as Luann approached her. It is happening, she thought to herself. It's the big moment. This is what I have waited for. She rehearsed how she would greet her, the fake surprise and the barely contained anger. She thought about what she would say, going over and over the script she had prepared with her therapist in the event that she should run into one of her old co-workers. The pit of her stomach sank lower than Ramona's original breasts, and the tingles started in her fingertips as her body started to physically prepare for this confrontation, like the way a sea wall probably braces before a wave crashes over it, spilling brine into all the pores of its surface, changing it forever in small and immutable ways.

Jill Zarin was ready. She looked at Luann dead in the eyes as she got within feet of her, and then Luann passed by, hugging the attractive brunette behind her. "Dominique!" Luann cried. "What are you doing uptown?" They continued talking and Jill swiveled her chair away, finally plucking the straw out of her Diet Coke and throwing it at Luann's hair. It got stuck there, gelled in a web of hairspray and angst. It teetered there silently, like Jill was controlling it with her mind, that little piece of plastic gasping out with its gaping hole as if it were screaming or laughing or both at the same time. But then it fell, landing on the ground without a noise, leaving a stain on the tiles that would be mopped up at the end of the night.