The Real Housewives of New York City Recap: Bendel Like Beckham

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Photo: Bravo
The Real Housewives of New York City

The Real Housewives of New York City

Tea for Tat Season 10 Episode 5
Editor's Rating 3 stars

This episode is a perfect illustration of what I always say about Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Bendel Bonnet, Shakespeare Sonnet, Mickey Mouse Morgans: It’s not that she’s wrong, it’s that she’s really bad at expressing herself.

It all starts when Bethenny invites Sonja over to see her new apartment because all Bethenny does now is invite women over to look at her properties. Of course, she also wants to get to the bottom of what is going on between Sonja and the women. Bethenny finally teases out why Sonja is mad at Tinsley. Sonja tells her that she’s upset because if Tinsley supposedly has all of this money to donate to Bethenny’s charity, she didn’t have to live in her house. But she chose to anyway, talked shit about the experience to everyone, and then gave her a gift as if to wash it all away.

I totally get Sonja’s point. Other people, Luann included, have lived in the house and had no issue with how Sonja treated them, so there has to be something different about what went on with her and Tinz. But Bethenny is also correct to tell Sonja not to talk about Tinsley’s money or where it’s coming from. That is totally undercutting her argument and, let’s face it, is kind of cruel. It’s sort of what Dorinda is doing to Sonja. Dorinda is right that Sonja comparing her divorce to Dorinda’s husband’s death is unfounded. But I also understand why Sonja didn’t apologize, because the subsequent things that Dorinda said to her were mean and potentially slanderous (if they’re not true).

I also understand why Sonja was upset with Ramona, who, rather than taking Sonja’s feelings into consideration when Dorinda accused her of cheating on her husband, just told Sonja to apologize to make it better. However, what Ramona says at the Henri Bendel Shopping for Old Fashioned Fur Collars Attached to Nothing Party is a little suspect. She says she didn’t defend Sonja at that brunch because Sonja told her things in confidence that she didn’t want to bring up because she thought they were private.

This actually leads me to believe that Sonja did cheat on her husband. If Sonja told Ramona that she didn’t cheat, why would Ramona think that was something that needed to stay private? No one wants to keep their fidelity under wraps unless that person is Hugh Hefner, Donald Trump, or that bloated dude from the Girls Gone Wild videos who is friends with Lea Black. What Ramona seems to be implying is that she couldn’t defend Sonja in that instance because Sonja had, in fact, cheated on her husband. If that is the case, I am more on Ramona’s side.

However, that interaction at Bendel’s made me think for a second, a brief shining moment, that what if Sonja is the one who’s right and all of the other women are wrong? What if sobriety, juicing, and the antidepressants have finally opened her eyes and she saw that Ramona is a bad friend, Dorinda can be a little mean, and that Tinsley took advantage of her? What if Sonja, like a Cassandra wearing lipstick three shades too bright for her foundation, is actually the one who’s right? Let’s be honest, she’s probably wrong at least about something, but think about that.

The most amazing thing at the Bendel party, other than Carole’s long velvet jacket in Sannyasin maroon, is that Ramona invited Missy, Tom’s ex-girlfriend who may or may not have been fooling around with him behind the Countess’s back. Everyone thinks it’s inappropriate to invite her except for Ramona, a woman so oblivious to everything other than her own desires that she decides she knows better how to redecorate Bendel’s than the dozens of merchandising professionals they’ve already hired. Anyway, Luann and Missy are cordial, but then Missy introduces Luann to Richard, a man who wants to keep his face off-camera and ask Luann out on a date at the same time. Dorinda finally scares him off by telling him that she and Luann used to be lovers. Honestly, it’s for the best. We don’t need Missy weaseling her way into this already perfectly cast reality-television drama.

Now we have to talk a little bit about two relationships. The first is Carole and Adam. As she describes it to Tinsley, they’re still spending a lot of time together, having sex, and feeling emotionally engaged. She then adds that if Adam dated someone else, it would be a betrayal. However, Carole doesn’t want to call him her boyfriend. I mean, come on. There is love, sex, and commitment here. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and fucks you after drinking a soy latte, then it’s a boyfriend. I’m with Carole that we don’t need to have traditional labels or ideas of monogamy to have viable relationships, but it seems like she wants to have her cake and call it a doughnut.

I also liked her point when she sat down with the Countess to talk about how their relationship had gone so sour. The Countess thinks that her relationship with Tom should have a certain level of legitimacy because she married him. Oh please. First of all, Carole and Adam lived together longer than Tom and Luann. Second of all, Carole thinks that marriage is a bullshit institution. Why should she feel that it somehow validates Luann’s relationship? And Carole is right: Luann is always talking shit about Adam and putting down what they have, even if she says she’s not. Admitting that is the first step to healing.

The other relationship we need to talk about is Tinsley and Scott, the King of All Coupons. She has the exact opposite problem that Carole has in that she wants Scott to be her boyfriend really badly. Scott decides to surprise Tinz in her hotel room while he’s visiting New York, and when she sees him at the door, she drops to the ground in a pile of disbelief. Finally, she gets up and hugs him and lets out a keening noise that’s a combination of a tug boat whistle and the Emergency Broadcast System buzz. Is that how you cry when your vocal chords are Botoxed?

Next, she shows him a bouquet of flowers that Carole gave her when they broke up and says, “I said I was going to get rid of these when we were back together. Are we back together?” Hesitantly he says yes, as the color drains from his face and he has a wan and wobbly look like a bowl of cold oatmeal. Then, in the car ride to the airport where he’s whisking her off to Chicago a day early, she calls her mother and asks if he’s coming to Christmas.

Damn, this is all nuts. They just broke up and are tentatively getting back together. I think that we should all express our emotions and be honest with those in our lives, but we might also want to hold some cards a little closer to the vest. Maybe, instead of asking him point blank if they’re together and shoving the dead bouquet in the trash like a plumber trying to snake a drain, Tinz could have waited until the end of their weekend and then had her own little ritual all on her own.

Tinsley and Scott decided to skip the Bendel party because their love is more important than 25 percent off faux-antique nutcrackers and free glasses of champagne. Someone else decided to skip it, too. She wasn’t far away on the Upper East Side, settling down into the couch with her husband. They had made a sole arrabbiata together from a Blue Apron box, which she learned about from her assistant. Totally full, they both lounged on the couch, their legs entwined under a blanket and their hands lightly touching each other. “What should we watch?” she asked as she shrugged, and she put on House Hunters because she knew it would make him fall asleep before the couple had even squabbled about open floor plans in the second house. And that’s what she wanted. More than being with the cameras, more than being with the girls, more than being at the heart of her beloved New York City, Jill Zarin wanted to stay home and watch her husband doze in her warmth.

RHONY Recap: Bendel Like Beckham