Real Housewives of New York City Recap: We Are Family

All of a sudden, this episode it was like the producers of the Real Housewives wanted us to pretend that all of the wives were a big happy gang. You know, as if we haven’t been watching the rest of the season. It ended with a toast, and LuAnn saying, “No matter what happens, you are like family to me.” That’s certainly an apt simile. You can’t get rid of family, you’re stuck with them — even if you don’t like them or even hate them. At this party, thrown by LuAnn to rub her happiness in the other ladies’ faces after they got to gloat about her divorce — was full of simmering, familial resentments. Ramona tried to steal the spotlight. Jill tried to start fights. And Sonja acted like a mess, just as your favorite aunt always does.

But in the end, like all family celebrations, there was that effort to put a happy bow on the affair. Everyone was all smiles, Alex and Simon even complimented LuAnn’s singing, and even Jill played nice. Sure, they might not all be together next year (seriously, sayonara Cindy), but for now they might as well pose for a nice picture. And also, like all family celebrations, one person came out the winner …

Let’s just get this out first and foremost. We know Ramona is 54, we learned it in a recent episode. So for her to even joke, “You never know!” whether it’s too late to have another child, is ridiculous. This charade continues throughout the episode as she makes everyone believe she actually thinks she might be pregnant. First of all, that is the worst cover-up for a boob job ever. Why not just do that thing that Christina Aguilera did where she just got fat and then when she lost the weight she kept the bigger boobs? That’s at least more believable. (Also, how funny was it that Sonja says, “You look weak” to her, and then when she heard she thought she might be pregnant, she said, “You look great!”?) And let’s not forget she and Mario are seriously Christian, they’d never talk about this pregnancy on camera if they thought it was real and had to consider getting an abortion. By the time the episode ended and Ramona was just peering creepily into Mario’s face as he ignored her, we were exceptionally glad to have a breather from them.

How funny was it when Sonja came right into Ramona’s apartment, grabbed Mario’s upper hip, and gave him the up-down? In front of his wife? That’s the side of Sonja we love. The side we don’t love is the one that says completely blind things like, “I’m a smart businesswoman” and “I didn’t get where I am because I fell off of a potato truck.” You can’t say that kind of thing when half of the season has been about how you are bankrupt and don’t understand your own finances, and when we know you got all your money by sleeping with and then marrying a rich guy. You can’t make a big deal about how you slaved over a meal with your own hands when you’ve talked over and over about how you don’t have any help anymore. And you definitely can’t name-drop the Churchills, because there’s no way even you would cook for them out of your toaster.

(Meanwhile, did anyone else notice how much Sonja knows about pregnancy tests?)

Once again, Kelly doesn’t turn up until literally halfway through the episode, looking pretty and shiny. And then she’s totally funny about Alex and Simon tweeting, and also pretty blasé about making divorce jokes. Seriously, let’s get this woman a boyfriend next season — demonic or not, we don’t care.

Did anyone notice how crazy apologetic Alex was when she took a call during dinner? This was obviously a jab at Cindy for taking a call during breakfast at Sonja’s. And also it was obviously staged that LuAnn would call during the Dinner of the Blondes. But whatever, it was nice how pleasant she and LuAnn were about it. “Eighty percent of the time LuAnn can be really insufferable but twenty percent of the time she can be really fun,” Alex said. Funny, that’s exactly how we feel about this show. Fast-forward to her magazine shoot, when she self-consciously lies about only having bad skin on that day. Look, you wear a lot of makeup. Models often have bad skin. These stylists don’t care! Have a sense of humor, like when you admitted to being on Us Weekly’s worst dressed of the year. (What, Caroline Rhea went into hiding for twelve months?) Later, when we see her in a matching pink blazer and shorts, we get why she made the list.

Jill launches straight in with the bitchiness right when she arrives on scene, complaining about the idea of a one-year dating anniversary. Yes, it’s weird. But this show is based on people having parties, Jill. Remember when you pretended to have a focus group for your Spanx-knockoffs the day the brand was launching? Let’s not get into knocking the fake setups you all made. Then, not five minutes later, she suggests LuAnn get in a fight with Ramona for arriving late — bait that LuAnn thankfully doesn’t take. Later, as Mario and Ramona are having their funny conversation about pregnancy, you can literally hear Jill howling about LuAnn in the background, like she was a monkey being tortured. Not long after that, Jill makes a huge fuss about Ramona and Sonja going into the bathroom together (despite Alex’s best efforts to cool her off) and tries to get everyone else worked up about it, even though it is absolutely no big deal at all. Yes, a cameraman went in with them, so obviously there’s a plot point developing, but the idea that women don’t go to the bathroom together is just laughable.

The fact that she’s the only person who observes how ridiculous it is Ramona thinks she’s pregnant is lost in all of that terrible-ness. Sorry, Jill.

Cindy, once again, is left out of most plotlines. But she does try to assert her alpha-ness on Sonja again, making sure to point out how early she gets up in the morning. We can forgive her this for how funny she is about how Sonja and she keep trying to be friends, for no good reason. And how well she points out the way Sonja can be two people at once, which is really true. And how she admits to thinking about her next outfit while Sonja is ranting. But when she starts getting into how she “treats her staff with respect,” we can’t help but flash back to when she said her assistant doesn’t eat, and when she called a random (non-nanny) employee to take her child off her hands during a lunch. Lose.

It was very funny to start the episode with LuAnn starstruck. It was unclear whether she was actually surprised when Natalie Cole turned up in the recording studio (first of all, is anyone on this show ever actually surprised? LuAnn’s face certainly doesn’t have the mobility to express it), but it was funny how giggly she was and how blown away she was that Cole had heard her “dance singles.” And there was a refreshingly self-aware moment when Cole asked her to do a duet where you could see on LuAnn’s face that she knows she’s not actually a singer. But the glow from this and the party stayed with LuAnn throughout the whole show. She was even able to rebuff Jill’s best efforts to make her mad at her own party. “Don’t even go there,” she says. “Nothing’s going to burst my bubble at this party.” She made the night fun, and came off looking happy and pretty. LuAnn wins!

Ancillary Winners:
Coco: Ramona’s dog has always been cute, and now we know they chose it over a second child.
Mario: For putting the kibosh on, and making the proper faces at, the concept that they would have another kid.
Avery: For hilariously outing her mom for bragging about still having her period. And for saying, “That’s why I don’t have any wrinkles,” even though we know from the show that Ramona gets her face injected with all kinds of crap.
Simon: For jumping in at the one time in the show someone else has shared too much information. He nearly lost this honor later when Alex told him that the magazine photographers “shoot very fast” and he said, “so do you.” AAAAUUGH!
Brian: Still cute!
Romantica, the boat: That looked fun.
Victoria: Looking good as always.
Matt, Victoria’s friend: He looked so cute LuAnn even went in for a second cougar hug!
Noel: For perfecting the unimpressed-teenager look.

Ancillary Losers:
Natalie Cole: Honey, what are you doing here? We’ll give Nat credit, though, for calling “Money Can’t Buy You Class” “hilarious” to LuAnn’s face. And for looking goofy and singing well, as always.
The Block Magazine: “It’s hip and edgy,” Alex says during her photo shoot, which makes us assume that it’s not. But we checked it out, and it has our hero Ed Westwick on the cover this issue. What are they doing with Alex? Oh, this is what they are doing. Blech.
Photographer Ryan Pfluger: Oh, see link above. He should definitely stick to scantily clad boys from now on.
That Florist Shop: They should have some sort of policy about harpies hanging out in the orchid section and clawing at one another.
Whatever Cameraman Had to Cram Into the Bathroom With Ramona and Sonja: That had to be awful.
Bravo’s Epilogue Writer: Jill has not changed, Alex has not always had the conviction that “Class” is the original “C” word, there’s no way Sonja has started wearing panties, the phrase “Cindy’s pecking order is full” doesn’t even mean anything, Kelly will never find a “real, authentic” boyfriend, Ramona never actually thought she was pregnant, and LuAnn will never marry Jacques because she can’t lose her title. (But Bravo — heh! — for the AutoTune crack at Simon.)

Real Housewives of New York City Recap: We Are Family