The Real Housewives of New York City
Before we get to Sonja Tremont Morgan of the Asbestolene Fire Retardant Pants Morgans, who had a humdinger of an episode (not a ding hummer of an episode, at least according to Ramona and the man she took home from their birthday party), we have to talk about something else. Why do both Leah and Eboni’s dogs have two names? Leah’s wheatgrass shot of a Chihuahua is named Angel Marie like it is Scheana Marie’s cousin (they both have nails that are far too long), and Eboni’s dog is named Carey James like it’s the mascot for a brand of direct-to-consumer cookware that comes in fun colors but singes if you use it on an electric stove. Isn’t one name good enough for these dogs? Ramona’s dog, Coco, the oldest living dog in New York, only has one name. Is that because they are so old? Do all the young dogs have as many first names as all serial killers, most child actors, and a few former presidents? We’re lucky that Sonja remembered to give her dog even one name; how do you think she could settle on two?
Speaking of which, Sonja Morgan has $10,000 of uncashed checks sitting around her House for Wayward Interns. More than a pair of panties laundered in a bidet, this is the most Sonja Morgan detail ever. We learn this during a meeting with her business partners Gaurav and Laura, the VP of Sonja Morgan Brands. What? Sonja Morgan Brands now has employees? When did this become a legitimate business? One second we have Will, a “former intern” and certified hunk, advising Sonja on her business ensemble like she’s about to bellow “Right on top of it, Rose,” and the next minute she has an actual employee. If Sonja is paying people to work, does that mean Will is now free to pursue the career of his dreams: modeling matching harness and jockstrap ensembles in my bedroom. Oh wait, that is Will’s career of my dreams. The Housewives Institute regrets the error. (It does not.)
We actually learned quite a bit from this business meeting because Sonja was smart enough to invite Ramona to attend it as well. Say what you will about Ramona, but she has built a very successful apparel business and made so much money that she could buy a huge house in the Hamptons and then kick her ex-husband out of said huge house after walking in on him diddling a younger woman in it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the American Dream. As Eboni instructed her earlier this season, Sonja asks Gaurav how much money they’re making, and he just gives her the sunny projections of her future. He says that Sonja will reach “Martha Stewart level sooner than we thought.” He wasn’t talking about Martha’s level of wealth, though; he was talking about Martha’s level of highness after she’s been hanging out with Snoop Dogg. Now, SMIFFEE (which is short for Sonja Morgan Is my Favorite Flooze for Ever and Eternity), but Sonja will never reach “Martha Stewart level” of anything. Not even Bethenny is at Martha Stewart level and she is what all Housewives aspire to be.
Here’s the thing about Sonja’s business meeting: It was sort of like Rashomon, but one of the narrators is a litchi-and-mango bubble tea, and the other is a blown-out semi-truck tire on the side of the Long Island Expressway. No one here is telling the truth or, frankly, making any sense. Gaurav says that Sonja’s brand makes $50,000 a month, so Ramona asks, “So why isn’t Sonja getting any money from it?” A very fair point. This is when Gaurav says that Sonja has the $10,000 in uncashed checks. Sonja says that he sent her a $2,000 check and it was “such an insult” that she lost it and never cashed it. What? I once cashed a check for $0.76 that I got from some mineral rights that my grandmother left me. I mean, yes, Sonja should be getting more than $2,000 if her line is selling as this guy says it is, but letting $2,000 slide when she can’t even afford the guac at Chipotle is insane.
Then Guarav tries to explain that he was going to pay Sonja $80,000, but $60,000 of it had to go to attorney’s fees or something. Wait, why are the attorneys being paid out of Sonja’s cut? Why can’t this guy pay for the attorneys on his own? I think this is a case of Sonja being completely oblivious about how to do business, and a guy who is most likely taking advantage of her, and the two of them come together to make this perfectly horrible concoction, like mint-flavored mashed potatoes. Sonja says she wants to see the books, but does she even know what the books are? Is she expecting the Twilight saga to be plopped on her front door? Would she even know what the books meant? I like that she’s trying to take control of her destiny, but I feel like she’s already in bad.
The other sad bit about Sonja is that she shows up to lunch with Luann and Ramona the afternoon after her and Ramona’s joint birthday party and talks about how she hooked up with Dylan, the long-haired model at the party. When Lu asks if they had sex, Sonja says, “Did I have sex with him? I can’t even walk today. I’m Sonja Morgan!”
Well, later, at Luann’s Christmas-song music-video shoot, Ramona tells Luann that while Sonja went back to Dylan’s hotel room, his girlfriend was there and Sonja passed out in the bed and Hank, Luann’s gay, had to come at 2 a.m. to get her in a car and take her home. Sonja even left the caviar she was gifted for her birthday in the suite. Speaking of which, what the hell was up with Luann’s video shoot? Ramona shows up and wants to drink the Champagne that is there for the set. Then there is caviar for the women, but it’s not for the video, it’s just so they can … eat caviar in the middle of a workday? I can’t believe that no one tried to open the presents in the Chanel bags and Tiffany boxes under the tree. I would have opened all of those boxes if someone told me that Leah’s sexy brother Danny and his so-pervy-its-chaste mustache were in one of them. And then he and Sonja’s intern Will would start making out and I would take off … sorry. Sorry. We’re filming a Christmas video, not a new installment for my OnlyFans.
So, yeah, Lu and Ramona tell everyone that Sonja totally made up having sex with this dude to burnish her image as the straw that stirs the drink. Then Sonja basically tells Leah that she knew the GF was there, but she wanted some dick so she just got it on with the two of them. Sonja doesn’t come out and say that she had a three-way with them, but either she is totally lying or she doesn’t remember exactly what happened. Actually, SMIFFEE, but I think she is totally lying and doesn’t remember exactly what happened.
All of the women aren’t actually upset that Sonja lied to them, they’re more, like, sad. Ramona just says, “She lies. She lies. She lies,” three times in three different tones with three little shrugs in between all of them in a way that is both patronizing and accepting, like the way you say, “No, but have a good day” when someone from UNICEF accosts you on the sidewalk in the middle of rush hour. Eboni says that Sonja thinks she always has to have some funny, sexy story to entertain the ladies, but she doesn’t have to sing for her supper. Amen! Luann says that Sonja told this story as if to say, “I still got it,” but all the women know that she still has it. Luann says Sonja has nothing to prove to them.
Luann is missing the point. It’s not that Sonja has something to prove to them, it’s that she has something to prove to herself. She wants to embrace this mythology that she is a fun, sexy woman those younger men want to bone. She needs to believe that she’s still the bombshell and center of the party that she was back when she was younger or when she was married. The thing about Sonja is that she’s always trying to claw something back: the fame, the money, the attention, the D, the tags in a bathing suit she wore on someone else’s yacht.
Maybe this all comes back to her daddy issues, something that she shares with Eboni. This episode we learned that Kenneth, the man who Eboni thought might be her father was not, and that Ashley, the woman she thought might be her sister, is not related to her either. That leaves Eboni searching for who her real father might be.
The same goes for Sonja. After her father visited her at a séance (it is an event that Sonja thinks is real, so we have to treat it as real), she meets with her healer, Aleta St. James, which is also the name of a line of chunky jewelry for older gals you can buy at Walmart. But wait, you are thinking, didn’t the medium tell Sonja she needed actual therapy rather than a healer? You are correct, but Aleta had a Groupon for eight (8) sessions, and Sonja is working through those before seeing an actual therapist.
Anyway, Aleta comes by and bangs her drum and shocks Sonja’s chakras with her symbols like they are clitoral suction cups on a space-aged vibrator. Sonja tells her about her father, who abandoned her when she was 3. She also tells her about her stepfather, who loved his biological children more than he loved Sonja. Once he even pulled up in his convertible and when all four of the kids piled in, he kicked Sonja out so that only his kids could go for a joy ride. Sonja stood by the Thunderbird, kicking the Pennsylvania dust as they whizzed around the block, dreaming of the vanilla cone with a chocolate dip that her sister was surely enjoying while she stared up at the already turning leaves of the trees. She thought about a place far from home where she could remake herself, where everyone would adore her, where her life would be nothing but caviar at music-video shoots with two-named dogs and Liza Minnelli’s accompanist. Aleta bangs her drum, and the vision vibrates. She bangs it again and nearly scares it away, but Sonja clings on, she always clings on, not letting her projected self out of her grasp even as her reality takes a spin around her childhood in an empty car that she almost can’t remember.