The Real Housewives of New York City
Guys, we have something we need to talk about. [Here is where you all collectively shout, “Don’t let it be about Tom.”] It’s about Tom.
If you haven’t been paying attention to the gossipier parts of the media landscape lately, then you will have missed the well-timed announcement that Countess Luann Nadeau de Lesseps D’Agostino and her husband of seven months, non-grocery-store heir Tom D’Agostino, filed for divorce. Just like the melting of the polar ice caps and nuclear war with North Korea, the inevitable has happened a lot sooner than any of us expected.
The timing, of course, was immaculate and definitely crafted by some public-relations professional because it came one week after the filming of the reunion special and one week before this episode, where Tom, a steak-of-the-month club that never arrives on time, wants to take off his microphone so that he can talk about the last time he saw his ex-girlfriend Missy and admits that he gets all choked up every time he sees her. We all knew that it was foolhardy for Luann to try to make a husband out of this lifelong cad, just like it is foolhardy to try to make a mink stole out of a piece of patio furniture. But still, she attempted to do it.
This allows Luann to have exactly one scene of wedded bliss during this episode, where she utters sad phrases like, “I was on a mission to make this work and, guess what, I did.” Oh God. As horrible as that is, I don’t want to make Luann suck on it like a Popsicle made of her own tears. But now it is over, and we can all get ready for her to Miss Havisham for an entire season and, well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t entirely looking forward to it.
While that is the biggest news, it is actually the smallest part of the entire episode. First, we have to go around and visit all of the housewives and see what is going on with them. Bethenny buys a loft so big, she can do cartwheels in it, but instead she invites Dorinda over so that they can sexually harass Nate Thompson, a smoking-hot professional hockey player who gets even hotter when he removes his fake front tooth. Tinsley moves out of Sonja’s with the help of Scott, her new Insta-boyfriend who somehow seems like he’s been duped into everything.
Carole and Adam walk a dog; Dorinda gets a knock-off House of Deréon wedding dress; Ramona talks about how she wants to move into Sonja’s “boom boom room” so that she can find a husband; and Sonja packs up Frenchie’s clothes so that he can go on a trip, including the pair of underwear that her dogs licked. Yes, dogs are exactly like their owners. There are a few things we need to discuss about Sonja’s house, though. The first is that she has pairs of men’s boxer briefs just floating around like they’re extra bottles of Wesson Oil hiding in her basement storage room. Of course she does. Frenchie can’t get upset about this. This is extremely on brand for Sonja Tremont-Morgan of the Waste Management Morgans.
The other thing we need to discuss is that there is apparently a fresco of Sonja T. Morgan in her lingerie on a bearskin rug on the wall of her boudoir. How have we never seen this before? How has this marvel of modern art not been catalogued by MoMA and taken from her wall and transported to an appropriate venue where it can be seen by more than just the hundreds of half-drunk bachelors that Sonja seduces with her siren song? Actually, does her seduction look like the wonderful blur that is painted on the wall? Because if it does, then we all know why she is so successful.
My favorite floozy has plenty of wonderful moments this episode, from eating a fistful of cake shoved in her mouth by a gay and saying, “Um, that is good,” with the sort of half-drunk grimace one usually reserves for self-inflicted orgasms on a lonely Saturday evening after a half a jar of chocolate frosting and three episodes of a Norwegian drama on Netflix. Then she decides to put one of the centerpieces in her hair because, clearly, she is going to San Francisco or modeling for the cover of Party Hardy magazine. Oh, and what about taking her $5,000 Bergdorf Goodman gift card and waving it between her legs and then tucking it into her panties for safekeeping? Well, at least we all hope it was in her panties and not somewhere a little bit deeper.
This happens at the end of the party that will lovingly be referred to heretofore as Tinsley and Sonja’s Passive Aggressive Honors Gala 2017. It’s like these two are trying to stab each other in the back while smiling in their faces. While Tinsley hires some hot dudes to thank Sonja officially at the party, she gets one who is a repeat from an earlier party. Is there such a shortage of professional hot dudes in NYC that she couldn’t find a new one? Then she fills it up with her friends and some of Ramona’s old buddies, like Harry Dubin. Inviting Harry Dubin to Sonja’s party is like taking Ivanka Trump as your date to the next inauguration.
Oh, speaking of the guest list, the best person at the entire shindig is the lady who shows up looking like Carrie Donovan from the old Old Navy commercials. She has a gray bob held in place with a bowed headband, a giant dove-colored pussy-bow blouse, and the kilt that Charlotte wore to the Highland Fling in that one episode of Sex and the City. I don’t know about a whole reality series about who this woman is, but I would at least like for there to be a digital extra explaining her existence on Bravo TV dot com.
Yes, there is a lot of passive-aggressive back and forth between Tinsley and Sonja at this “Thank You, Fuck You” party, as they are all calling it, but Sonja eventually wins. First, she walks into the party and says, “Oh, I didn’t know the theme was pink!” Then, when she is offered a Sonja-tini, she takes one sip of the specialty cocktail and says, “Oh, this drink is sweet and warm. And it’s bar liquor. I won’t just drink anything!” What is so amusingly cutting about this remark is that we know it’s a lie. We know Sonja will, in fact, drink anything. She’d drink a day-old Dr. Pepper that someone put a cigarette out in if you added a bit of vodka to it. Regardless, I love when Sonja is being lightly bitchy. It’s like biting into a blueberry pie that is just the right amount of tart.
The only real emotion that we get at the party is when Ramona finally admits to Bethenny that she is lonely and unhappy without a partner, and then Bethenny — newly likable and relatable, even after doing cartwheels in her multi-million-dollar manse — receives it with aplomb. My heart almost broke when Ramona said to Bethenny, “I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen,” with an unsatisfied smile that would look at home on an animatronic pig at a family restaurant. Then I remembered we’re talking about Ramona Singer, and I don’t know that happiness is something she ever deserves and perhaps should remain elusive, like a perfectly fitting bathing suit or just the right contact solution.
Then each of the women got their own little title cards to close out the season. Of course the Countess’s was about her divorce, but the rest were a little bit more surprising.
“Tinsley moved into a hotel which promptly burned down when all of her Mary Janes spontaneously combusted.” “Carole and Adam are still together and are considering a joint run for New York City Board of Education.” “Ramona is still single and has turned into a spider monster that ate the Chrysler building.” “Bethenny was forced to eat her own Skinny Girl–branded lunch meat and disappeared into a dimension that has not yet been discovered by science.” “Dorinda is ending poverty in Botswana by employing all of the villagers to craft ‘Make It Nice’ swag.” “Sonja has not been seen in three weeks after buying three bags of Haribo candy and some tampons at her local bodega. If you see anyone matching her description, please call 1-888-OU-EST-SONJA.”
While all of this was going on in Lovage, downstairs was where the real drama was unfolding, where a redheaded woman walked up to the elevator to join the party. A large man blocked her way. “This is for a private party, ma’am,” he said.
“My name should be on the list. It’s Jill Zarin.”
“I don’t see it here.”
“No, it must be. Look again. That’s Za-rin. Z-A-R-I-N.”
“Nope. I’m sorry.”
“Well, if you could just let me go peek, Tinsley invited me herself. I had dinner with her not that long ago. They filmed it for the show. Andy said I could come back. He said they would have me at the party and I would say something to Bethenny, and that next year we would all be back. It’s going to be great. So, you’re going to let me inside.”
“Sorry, ma’am. Not tonight.”
She tried to inch around him and squeeze into the open doors, but he held his considerable arm out and blocked her. She wriggled from one side to the other, like an earthworm trying to regrow its chopped-off bottom half, but he blocked her repeatedly.
Jill walked across the lobby and sat down on a sofa and exhaled, the blood rising up into her face while she put her clutch into her lap and popped the clasp. She pulled out a square metal box with a large red button in the middle and a little antenna. It was so comical that this is what it really looked like, and she swirled her manicured thump around the button, depressing it a little bit, teasing some disaster, and still not making up her mind if the C-4 that Harry Dubin planted earlier around the party would ignite all at once or in consecutive bursts. She wondered if it was worth it, if they would find her, if this would get her back on the cover of the Post just like she wanted. But most of all, she wondered if the blast would be big enough for Danielle Staub to see across the river, and if she could truly appreciate the carnage.