The Real Housewives of New York City
So, is this the trip? Are we only going to Miami this year? Is that because of the boat ride from hell or is it because Luann isn’t allowed to leave the country because of the probation of it all? She got to go to Colombia last year, so why can’t they get her the same clearance this year? Or is this because the last time they went away someone (ahem, Ramona, ahem) left a poop smear on the floor?
It just seems odd that after almost a decade of taking both a domestic vacation and an international vacation that the women would only go to Florida. It’s Miami. It has so much appeal. It’s a great place to get a seafood meal. But it’s also Miami, the Mariah Carey of cities. We’ve seen the women go there plenty of times before (“Don’t let it be about Tom” was in Miami) and then they got a trip. A real trip with passports, crying jags, and an animal trying to destroy Luann. Not this year. What is going on?
Before the women can go away there is some New York business to deal with. Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Shire Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers of Adderall Morgans does a surprise visit by Luann’s cabaret rehearsal and it is an unmitigated disaster. As we’ve noticed a lot this season, Sonja’s internal monologue has become external and unceasing. It’s like the sound of a passing siren when that siren is stuck both in traffic and also somewhere in the ‘90s.
This comes up again when Sonja, Ramona, Tinsley, and Luann all attend a Christmas tree lighting ceremony that Dorinda is emceeing. It’s a little suspect because it seems to me that this ceremony was held at the very hotel on Fifth Avenue where Dorinda got that room for her “spa party” and where she was staying when her new apartment wasn’t quite ready. Is she suddenly a brand ambassador for them? Did they have to pay as much for all of this product placement as The Hustle? And if that is true, did the new Beautique have to pay a fee for the ladies to talk about Ramona making out with Harry Dubin there?
Anyway, the other women tell Sonja that Luann said that she thought Sonja might be on pills or something. That’s rich coming from Luann, a woman who is supposedly sober but was drinking the whole damn time. When she hears that Luann described her as manic, Sonja counters by doing some weird dance and saying, “I’m not manic. Hi-yah!” and kicking the air like a four-year-old giving a karate demonstration or Molly Shannon declaring that she is, indeed, 50.
To get back at Luann, Sonja tells Dorinda that Luann is planning on doing some jokes about Dorinda in her new Christmas-themed cabaret show. Apparently Sonja shut up long enough to hear that part of the act and is now reporting it back. Dorinda is not happy about this and threatens to get her lawyer on the case. I’ve never even come close to taking the LSAT, but what is Dorinda’s lawyer really going to do? She’s a public figure and if Luann wants to talk about her onstage, there really isn’t any lawyer who can stop her. What it boils down to is that everyone is pissed at Luann because she’s thinking about no one other than herself.
Finally the ladies get to Miami and we get the obligatory selection of the rooms where Ramona decides that she and Sonja need to get the biggest room because they’re sharing, even though there are totally enough rooms for everyone. I will never understand this logic, but that is why I have been on many group vacations where no one has ever left a poop smear on the floor and these ladies can not say the same thing.
Everything that follows for the rest of this recap should be said with a huge SMIFFEE (which stands for Sonja Morgan Is my Favorite Floozy for Ever and Ever), but boy did Sonja make a fool out of herself. What was so odd about her this whole episode is that she was acting like a child. Did she make a wish on an old fortune telling machine or did she and her teenage daughter switch bodies or something, because she’s suddenly behaving even more immature than usual? For instance, take when she’s getting soused in her closet that is bigger than every New York apartment I ever lived in and she’s shouting things like, “Punch buggy drink! I have one drink, two drinks. Now I have one big drink.”
The next stage of her rampage is harassing the staff. She starts by #MeToo-ing the house manager and not very politely offering to give the man a blow job even though, she fully admits, she wasn’t even going to go through with it. I have said many things in my life, but the thing I have said that is the most true is to never go on the internet after 2 A.M. But after that, the second most true thing is that no one likes a tease.
While Sonja is in her giant closet she gets up in the face of Tej (rhymes with “rage”) who is helping Ramona unpack. Serving as Ramona’s luggage Sherpa is the most thankless job in the universe because there is no way she is going to tip that man and she’s probably not even going to say thank you. She’s just going to rant at him about her coveralls and bikinis and platform shoes and then forget his name. Anyway, Sonja is yelling at this guy that he doesn’t know how to pronounce his own and name and starts calling him Taj.
The managers of the house arranged for someone to do all the ladies’ hair and makeup (no, it was not Priv) and while Sonja is supposed to be getting made up instead she’s in the bathtub screaming about how Ramona made out with Harry Dubin. Downstairs, Dorinda is showing the poor bartender how he should be making her drink and then forces this poor lad, whose face registers the interest level of a eunuch at a strip club, to taste the cocktail she just instructed him to make. Who even lets these women leave the tri-state area? Who even lets them be around staff? They shouldn’t even be allowed to use a Arby’s Drive-Thru.
Sonja saves her worst behavior for dinner when she is barely coherent and just raging at the top of her lungs about various and sundried topics. Mostly she’s shouting that Ramona and Luann fuck all the dudes that she’s been with, centering on Harry Dubin and supermarket magnate Tom D’Agostino. When Luann tries to shut it down, Sonja gets up from her seat and shouts, “Get off your high horse. Don’t talk to me like that.”
Here’s the thing that I always say about Sonja and it continues to be true: She’s usually right. Even Bethenny, who comes in as sober as a pediatrician at an anti-vaxxer town hall meeting, admits that Sonja is right. She is right about everything. She is right that Luann shouldn’t put jokes about Dorinda in her show; she’s right that everyone steals her dudes; she’s right that Luann has been treating everyone like crap. Sonja is right. Sonja is also a mess.
Luann does the right thing and escapes up to her room so that Sonja can’t keep shouting at her anymore. Bethenny, however, follows her up to her room and says the most frightening words in the English language: “I’m not here to listen, I’m here to talk.” She tells Luann that Sonja and everyone else is sick of her only thinking about herself and pretending like she’s the only important person in the group. Her behavior sort of reminds me of Kim Richards in that everyone thought it would get better once she got sober, but when she did it just got worse.
I do feel a little bad for Luann because she’s clearly trying to get herself out of a very sticky and booze-fueled situation by retiring to her room and the situation just follows her up there unrelentingly. Then again, I also don’t feel entirely bad because everyone has been telling Luann to get it together all season and she hasn’t listened, so maybe this is just the car crash she needs to get it together.
When Bethenny goes back downstairs, she finds Ramona trying to artfully dodge having to go out with Barbara, who she hates even more than she hates not getting the best room. She also finds Sonja belligerently drunk and threatening to beat people up. Just like in Scary Island, we see Bethenny screaming at a totally messed-up person to “go to sleep!” Just like Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Sonja refuses to go to sleep. Unlike Kelly Bensimon, Sonja has the decency to pass out, hitting her head on the table on the way down.
As she laid there, somewhat passed out and drunk on the floor, Sonja was visited first by her old partner, Jill Zarin, who told her that during the night she would be greeted by three spirits. Those spirits are the ghosts of Sonja Morgan’s past, her past, and, also, her past. “Wait,” Sonja said to Jill. “They can’t all be from my past. Don’t I have a present and a future too? Where is my future?”
Jill’s eyes suddenly grew dark, like bricks of charcoal whose final glowing is extinguished. She looked at Sonja and then looked out at the ocean. She pointed her finger off toward the horizon. Sonja followed her gaze and looked past the spilled dinner plates, past the discarded pool noodles, past the dock at the edge of the ocean, past the water itself, past the skyscrapers in the distant Miami skyline, past the stars and the clouds and the very universe itself and all Sonja could see was that Jill’s finger was pointing at one spot of darkness so far away that it seemed like, somehow, it was inside her.