The Real Housewives of New York City Reunion Recap: Tom, Dick, and Scary

The Real Housewives of New York City - Season 8
Jules Wainstein, Sonja Morgan, Dorinda Medley, Countess Luann de Lesseps (née Crackerjacks). Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo
The Real Housewives of New York City

The Real Housewives of New York City

Reunion Part Two Season 8 Episode 22
Editor's Rating 3 stars

There it was, staring at me once again, a mini black hole trying to suck all of the intelligence out of the room. Yes, I’m talking about Andy Cohen’s big brown butt-hole. Well, not his specifically, but the one immediately next to him on a little pedestal during the second part of this reunion. It’s like I had forgotten about it or maybe didn’t expect the Balloon Knot of Doom to still be there, but it’s the same set, the same people, the same outfits, the same yelling.

You all know that I don’t love writing about the reunions, but at least the first part of this one was pretty momentous, with the cocaine talk and Bethenny calling her boyfriend’s daughter to verify whether or not she was dating a married man. This one, well, it is just the usual backbiting and recriminations. We’ve settled into the sad valley of the reunion experience, but hopefully it will rebound next week when we can finally wrap this show up and ship it off to a farm upstate with lots of room to play and a huge barn that also has a conveyor belt that will rip your leg off and force you to become a reality-television beast with only three working appendages.

Yes, that was an Aviva Drescher joke.

No one comes off well tonight. Okay, I take that back. Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Ted Casablancas School for Modeling Morgans continues to be the MVP of this whole reunion. She is being frank, honest, and entirely lucid. She is willing to stick up for herself when it comes to Dorinda’s pot stirring and Luann’s recriminations that she is “delusional.” Well, she is a little bit delusional, but not when it comes to Tom. Sonja mostly keeps her mouth shut and only pipes up when she has a good point to make or a devastating bit of evidence to relay, and it is serving her well.

Jules also gets her little time in the spotlight, and she acquits herself nicely. She doesn’t really talk about her relationship with Pizza Box (hello, pending litigation) but she does address that it was hard to watching the season and see that her marriage was in trouble. Also brave of Jules to talk so frankly about her eating disorder and let everyone know that she is working on it and that she has drastically improved. I think that offers some clarity about where she stands, and it is also a good example for women suffering from such a disease should they ever be attacked by a pack of flying monkeys that don’t like the way she won’t eat any of their bagels and lox.

The problem with Jules is her jokes. Actually, it’s not even her jokes; it’s her delivery. When she deadpans, “Now that I’m single, I get to date Tom,” she does it with a seriousness that is almost sincere. This is also true of her jokes about making her intern wait in line and the rest of that ridiculousness. If Jules were just a little bit more of a ham, these women wouldn’t believe she actually means all the things she says, because I certainly don’t. Subtlety is an art that all of these women have yet to master.

Bethenny comes off really badly in all sorts of ways, including in her relationship to Jules. When Bethenny insists that her “friend” was right about Jules’s divorce, she looked like a real jerk. Jules says that this friend was right that her marriage was in trouble, but not that she signed a prenup or that she went on the show to use her divorce as a springboard for other opportunities. So when Bethenny keeps saying her friend was right, she looks like she wants to incriminate Jules with information that is only half true. But nothing Bethenny does really looks good at all. I don’t know how a woman so intelligent could be so incredibly misguided about how she appears to other people.

The only wise thing she says all night is about Luann’s fiancé Tom. As she tells Andy, “You don’t date three Housewives and not like the limelight.” Yes, the only person who makes Bethenny not look totally like the worst is Countess Luann de Lesseps (née Crackerjacks), who is 100 percent the ultimate worst. She is worse than the Yelp reviews for Trump University. She is worse than Ryan Lochte’s career prospects. She is worse than Andy Cohen’s Bronze Medal of Death that I’ve been staring at for the past two weeks.

Here is the thing that upsets me most about Luann’s behavior: She keeps doubling down on things that we all know not to be true. We know Bethenny is not dating a married man. We know Ramona went on more than a couple of dates with Tom. We know Sonja had sex numerous times with Tom over the course of the years. If we didn’t believe her already, Ramona (who is in the running for co-MVP of the reunion) shows up with evidence to back up her claims about her dates with Tom and that Luann knew about their relationship. I love that Ramona did the most mom thing in the universe by printing out an article from the internet and folding it all up and then presenting it at a key moment, like your own mother would if she were worried you weren’t flossing enough or something.

Even worse than knowing all of these things to be true, we feel them to be true. Based on everything we know about Tom, he is a liar, plain and simple. He lied to Luann about (at least) two things and got caught making out with some woman in public. Why is Luann taking his side? Like Ramona, we’re all very concerned with how this will to turn out for her because he is giving everyone severe red flags.

It makes Luann look stupid and delusional when she won’t cop to the fact that he lied. But he lied. He lied about his relationships with these women and he lied about when he told Luann. Maybe Luann is just afraid that if she admits the truth, she’ll look like the sucker she is for still going out with him. But right now, when faced with a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, she’s still hoping that she can talk her way out of this situation. She’s like a climate-change denier, an anti-vaccine activist, or that guy Michael who gave me crabs junior year even though he was all like, “You were the only person I hooked up with all year, it couldn’t have been me,” but it was you, Michael, I swear to fucking Christ it was you and you still owe me $20 for Nix and disposable razors to shave my pubes.

Boy, does Luann look bad. She looks like she got swallowed by a brown hole and delivered to another dimension where the love of a man smothers all of her senses and makes her trust him more than she trusts her friends. She lives in a universe where she wishes the other women the same happiness she has found, though that happiness is like an ice sculpture in the middle of a SoulCycle class, melting even more quickly thanks to the sweaty platitudes being belted by a 28-year-old former actor in cycling shoes. She lives in a universe where she is nothing without a mate and anyone trying to rid her of that is just “jealous” and it makes me want to pluck my eyes out and throw them at the television. Either that or get sucked into Andy Cohen’s Magic Teleportational Grumpy Man in the Valley myself.

RHONY Reunion Recap: Tom, Dick, and Scary