Before we talk about the episode, we have talk about the trailer for the second half of the season that aired at the end of the episode. It had some footage of a foul travesty that has been perpetrated by the Housewives on the sovereign nation of Colombia. It’s something heinous. It’s something repulsive. It’s something so destructive and wrong that we will spend months and decades and years dissecting it here at the Real Housewives Institute. I’m, of course, talking about Countess Crackerjack’s long blonde wig that she wears when she says, “Hola, chakitas, welcome to Colombia,” and does a little cha-cha for the girls. Yes, it wasn’t enough for Luann and her fake hair to appropriate one culture this season, she has to try for another one.
While that’s bad, the really excellent nugget is the footage from what we’re already calling the “boat ride from hell.” The end of the trailer is just an insane montage of the women screaming about life jackets while being tossed around on the briny in a ship that is supposedly coming apart. I haven’t been this excited since I woke up from a dream where Chrises Pratt, Pine, Hemsworth, and Evans took turns licking chocolate fondue off every inch of my body. This season really has given with both hands and it now it seems like it’s also giving with both its elbows, most of its torso, and at least one prosthetic leg that someone threw on the floor.
This episode, however, was a little bit of a lull while we approach what will surely be not only the apex of the season, but what we can all assume to be an apex of the franchise as a whole. We’re still at the Mayflower Inn and Spa in Luann’s native Connecticut where she is supposed to be relaxing after her return from rehab.
The dinner that these women had was nothing even close to relaxing. There were just fights upon fights upon fights. Just as one was calming down, another one would pop up. It was like the rolling waves of nausea from food sickness. Just when you think it’s over and there is nothing left, your body decides that it is just going to make you heave until you collapse.
The first fight started when Bethenny innocently asked Tinsley if she was secretly engaged because Tinz and her mother, Dale, were trying on wedding dresses a few episodes ago. Apparently Bethenny heard this from her friends at the wedding dress store which … [twirls mustache] interesting. Once Tinsley says she’s not engaged, all of the women, particularly Bethenny, tell Tinsley that shopping for wedding dresses before you’re even engaged is a bit weird. Tinsley gets defensive, Bethenny gets loud, and it’s an embarrassment for all of them.
Bethenny, however, segues this fight back into the fight about the “family crest” that Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Scrunchy Hair Care Fortune Morgans has on her shoes. Dorinda takes up her argument, once again, that Sonja is not a Morgan and that she has no right to the crest. Well, as much right it seems as Luann has to the title of Countess, but that seems to be lost on no one. Sonja stands up from the table, which is usually Dorinda’s first line of defense, and screeches, “Really?” in an octave so high it shatters all the wine glasses in the restaurant with such a force that they formed into those giant crystals in the middle of the spa table that all of the women were admiring so much.
To make it worse, Dorinda and Sonja then get up in each other’s grills like they’re about to bump chests together and start beef like they’re a stripper and her twin sister who stole her man on the Jerry Springer Show. When Sonja and Bethenny talk about the incident later we can see how Bethenny is right: Sonja just had to have a clear message and make a swift defense to get Dorinda to back down. Sonja usually caves under pressure and is cowed by the louder woman, letting them run roughshod over her. This coalition with Bethenny is working out in Sonja’s favor.
What happened next was really odd, though. Dorinda apologizes and tells Sonja that she’s doing really well moving out of her house and staying in the present and she’s proud of her. Then Bethenny yells at Dorinda for the false platitudes. What is Bethenny expecting here? No matter how Dorinda treats Sonja, Bethenny is going to jump down her throat for it.
This season really has created some odd bedfellows. We have Sonja and Bethenny sharing a bed, Carole and Tinsley attached at the hip, and Dorinda pissing off every woman one at a time until she’s totally isolated. The oddest pairing of all though was when Carole went to Luann’s side after dinner. These two have always gone together like foie gras and chocolate milk. They’ve had nothing but distrust and stink eye for each other since the day they met and now Carole is hanging out in Luann’s room wearing black satin pajamas and matching pumps? Strange. I mean the outfit, not that they were hanging out together. Okay, that too.
That brings us to the last fight at dinner, which was between age-old sparring partners Luann and Ramona. Luann once again brings up the picture of her at dinner that Ramona posted without her permission and alerted the world to the fact that she was out of rehab. Ramona initially defended her decision by saying it was a really good picture of them all. In Ramona’s mind the only thing that makes a picture suitable for the public or not is whether or not she looks good in it.
When Luann challenges her on this point, she apologizes in that Ramona way that is sort of like rinsing off the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher. Still you can tell that she doesn’t really think she did anything wrong. Then Bethenny points out that the picture brought up the news cycle again of the arrest and her trip to rehab and it slowly, surely dawns on Ramona that what she did was really messed up. It’s quite a face journey she goes on. It was like a woman’s erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.
When it fully dawns on Ramona what she hath wrought, she seems genuinely upset and concerned and tries to make it better for Luann. However both Sonja and Luann accuse her of having fake tears to cover up her ignorance. I’m sorry, I think Ramona really had no idea what she was doing. Still, incompetence is no defense. Just ask someone who wore a coat that literally said “I don’t care” to visit a refugee camp.
That fight is just the tip of that particular iceberg though. Luann still has bones to pick and she sits across the table from Ramona and folds her arms over the biggest, grandest statement necklace that she’s ever worn. This thing looks like eight olde-tyme wooden pepper mills that are connected to a gigantic Moroccan knocker robbed from the door of the riad where they all stayed in season four. Luann is still upset that Ramona is trying to hang out with Tom at his New Year’s Eve party and supposedly had drinks with him at the Regency.
I fully understand Luann’s point that Ramona should not be trying to socialize with Tom, but, I mean, if being at the Regency at the same time as him is “having drinks” with him, then everyone on the Upper East Side has had drinks with him at one time or another. It’s not like they scheduled a rendezvous, they just ran into each other. New York is deceptively small like that.
Ramona’s defense was that she was there having drinks with Harry Dubin. Ugh, Harry Dubin, the rogue used Band-Aid you somehow find in an empty shoe. Palling around with Harry Dubin is no excuse for anything, and Ramona should know better. (But what are the awful things he said about Luann? That he was trying to sleep with her when he was “dating” Sonja?) Between Harry and Tom all Ramona needs in this situation is a Dick, but I think she already might have two of them. (Thanks, kids, I’m here all week.)
The real star of this episode though is the server with the black nails who is watching this whole thing go down. These women are jumping around and screeching in this dining room like it’s cell-cleaning day at the lab-rat test center. You don’t see any of the other guests look at them, but you can tell they’re annoyed. This poor girl, she doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t know if she should tell them to be quiet, get them the check, or get out of the way before another earthquake hits.
Finally she knows exactly what to do. She leaves the dining room and makes a call on her cell phone. “Someone told me that you pay for information like this,” she tells the woman on the other line, who stays surprisingly silent. “Hello?” she asks again, “Hello?”
“Sorry. I don’t do that anymore,” Jill Zarin says, smoothing the tangled hair away from her face as she pokes her head out of her comforter. “I think you have the wrong number.”