The Real Housewives of Miami Season-Finale Recap: Back in Black

The Real Housewives of Miami

Melting Pot Meltdown
Season 5 Episode 16
Editor’s Rating 5 stars

The Real Housewives of Miami

Melting Pot Meltdown
Season 5 Episode 16
Editor’s Rating 5 stars
Photo: Vulture; Photo: Peacock

At this exact moment in time, Miami is where it’s at. It’s the best show in the franchise, and it delivered an almost perfect finale. To go out on Lisa barking at Lenny, a golem made of well-done steaks and mashed potatoes from the Spearmint Rhino, one more time is absolute perfection. That’s what made this whole season so great: We had real issues, like Alexia dealing with her son and Lisa dealing with her divorce, contrasted with some of the most wonderfully petty fights in the Real Housewives universe. Remember when Larsa and Lisa were fighting about Lisa insulting Larsa’s apartment building? Remember Alexia freaking out because she thought Julia was trying to put a hex on her? This shit is, and I say it as a compliment, some of the most unserious nonsense we’ve ever seen on reality television.

Along with all the shenanigans, we also had a cast with deep, authentic, and dynamic connections, women who like to have fun in general and with one another. Some of the shows (especially Potomac and SLC) are much like a closed-down Chuck E. Cheese: All the fun that could possibly be had there is exhausted, and the remaining animatronics occasionally come to life to deliver a read or put on a reunion dress. But not Miami — our girls came to play.

The episode starts with Lisa in the middle of an argument with her ex-mother-in-law (does that make her a mother-out-law?), and I don’t like it one bit. Lisa should not try to get Marina to choose between her and her son. Yes, Lenny is a piece of shit. I mean, this guy told his mom that he has wholesome DMs with women on Instagram. Girl. I think wholesome has an added W on it, because the only thing I ever get in my DMs is pictures of holes. Okay, maybe sometimes D. For me, they are always welcome (@brianjmoylan), but Lisa is not having that even for one minute.

That was followed up by some fascinating scenes of the women alone. Adriana goes to meet Gloria Estefan’s husband, and I believe his name is Miami Sound Machine. Adriana met Mr. Sound Machine, and he said he would produce a song for her. It’s called “I’m Not Cheap.” Hmmm. Where have we heard that before? And how did that work out? Also, what is going on with Adriana’s final confessional look, in which she has the red flowers and an entire orchid plant on her head? She looks like the Chiquita Banana lady, if she were dressed up as a cheap wedding centerpiece.

Next, Julia and Martina go to dinner together and discuss their relationship, which is rebounding after some bumps this season. Julia admits that she needs to focus more on Martina and the people still in her nest rather than the emptiness of her nest. (As long as she doesn’t buy a Nest thermostat. Those suck.) It was also difficult to read about Martina’s cancer diagnosis at the end of the episode, and I think they are a really sweet couple and I am rooting for both of them. But next season, can they have a thruple with Captain Sandy? We need all of Bravo’s power lesbians in one place.

Dr. Nicole meets with her therapist, Dr. Lisa, who is wearing an amazing blue silk skirt with giant stripes and a million pleats. They’re meeting at Nicole’s house with her father, Non-Dr. Mike, so that they can talk about his and Nicole’s relationship together. I could write a whole psychology doctorate on this meeting. Mike thinks he is perfect, and if other people don’t like it, then they can fuck off. Dr. Lisa puts it perfectly: That sounds like a good way to live, but when you say that to someone whom you’ve hurt, you sound like a giant asshole.

The narrative gets unreliably fuzzy when Mike tells a story about taking Nicole and her brother pumpkin-picking, and when he said hello to a friend, he lost track of Nicole, who got hit by a woman’s car. He says, at that point, he didn’t abandon the family; he left them because he couldn’t care for them. Um, well, yeah, you couldn’t. I mean his only job is to make sure that his daughter doesn’t get hit by a car, and he couldn’t even do that. Maybe his stepping out of the way was a good thing. Nicole comes around to that point and sees how the story of her life and her father’s story of his life don’t match up and maybe rectifying those stories is the way forward.

Then we see Alexia’s son Peter, the worst human being on television, have a meeting with his father. It’s something about how hard Peter’s life is because his mother is mean to him, so he’s getting a $350,000 loan to move to Puerto Rico. I mean, this all sounds bad. This sounds like the start of a documentary about how NFTs ruin lives. It all sounds about as bad as Peter’s father, Pedro, a known drug runner and ex-convict, wearing a T-shirt during a national television appearance that says CARTEL across it in giant letters. He better hope his parole officer doesn’t have a Peacock login! But these two jamokes talking together? No women around? Nope, not the show I signed up for.

A much better scene is Alexia in the kitchen teaching Frankie how to cook Cuban food. We don’t get to see much of this journey, but she also teaches him how to shower, make scrambled eggs, and do his own laundry. Finally, she isn’t infantilizing her son and is showing him real-life survival skills. Julia says something in her final confessional that applies to her and Alexia’s parenting styles: “The less you’re needy, the more you’re needed.” Frankie’s doing well; Peter broke up with his girlfriend — maybe Alexia can finally get it right in middle age by taking a step back?

The big final event is a “Melting Pot” party that Guerdy throws. This is sort of a silly theme that makes no sense. Also, if you invite me to a “Melting Pot” party, by the end of it you better have given me so much pot that I think my face is melting straight off my skull. I want to be so zooted I try to take a ride on one of those moving chandeliers.

I have to say, though, Guerdy can throw a motherfucking party. This shit was like a Stefon sketch from SNL. “The hottest club in Miami is FWOOSH! Located in a lighting warehouse in the Arts District, FWOOSH! has neon garage doors, floating Chinese torture lanterns, a jungle promenade that houses a cocktail truck, neon signs of all attendees’ names, and a Nazi death munchkin dressed as Bernard Kerik who will tell your fortune.” If I am ever in Miami, I am getting Guerdy to throw me a party. I am also inviting Manu, her long-suffering assistant. Can you imagine how much micromanaging that man experiences just while trying to find a parking space at CVS with Guerdy in the back seat? Canonize this man: Saint Manu, the patron saint of personal assistants.

The big tension at the party is if Alexia and Marysol are ready to forgive Adriana, a lonely person. Well, I have a feeling that she is lonely, because she treats everyone like the doo-doo that the Nazi death munchkin took in the alley behind the dinner. Even as she’s apologizing to Alexia and Marysol, she can’t accept culpability. When she tells Alexia why she said that thing about Frankie, she says that she was having a mental breakdown and didn’t know why she did it. Wait, you can plead insanity to your friend group now? This is going to go over well at my Fire Island reunion with my friends this summer. “Oh, I didn’t mean to steal all of your molly, sleep with your husband, and wipe my butt with your Casablanca shirt. I must have been OuT oF mY mInD. WHOooooooo.”

It’s no better when she apologizes to Marysol. She says she isn’t the one who said Marysol’s ex-boyfriend didn’t love her; it was the ex-boyfriend who said it. When Marysol asks why she repeated it, she says, “I have ADHD; I repeat everything, baby.” Oh, so the first one was an undiagnosed medical condition, and the second one is a diagnosed medical condition. Got it. It’s not that Adriana is a bad person (she is); it’s that there is something wrong with her that is beyond her control. Got it.

Marysol seems to forgive Adriana, mostly, but Alexia sure hasn’t. She’s giving her lip service in the moment to make sure Guerdy’s party runs smoothly, but I think this will be a very rough reunion for the Brazilian bomb. No, not a bombshell — just a bomb.

Lisa ends all the squabbling around the table by getting up and insisting she make a toast. She thanks all the women for being there for her during her divorce, and they all toast, hug, and come together because there is nothing to unite a group of powerful women like a piece-of-shit man. Isn’t that the plot of every Nancy Meyers movie? Okay, maybe not.

As a final treat, we see Lisa filming her confessional when her phone pings. It’s an article from “Page Six” that reports that Lenny — a heap of pastrami that shouts “You should smile more” as you walk past him down the street — says that Lisa was flirting with multiple dudes at their annual Halloween party.

Lisa gets Lenny on the phone and immediately starts cussing him out. She didn’t want to have that party, and he forced her to. Then his girlfriend couldn’t come because she had a restraining order against Lisa, so Lenny got to flirt with all of these girls and told his friends he was glad his girlfriend wasn’t there. It goes on and on and on, and finally he just says, “Leave me alone.” Yeah, good luck with that, asshole. As we zoom out of Miami, past the beach and the Speedos and the Versace mansion, past Frankie’s nail salon and Peter’s crypto wallet and Adriana’s video shoot, past the palm trees and the skyrises that house only content creators and the mansions on Star Island, past Julia’s farm and Dr. Nicole’s plane and Kiki’s … well, wherever Kiki lives. We can zoom out of the whole place, out of the city, out of the whole world. We’re going up and up in space, past the satellites and Mars and the suns of distant star systems, toward the infinity of the Milky Way. We can get that far away, and we still won’t ever forget what that awful man did to a good woman.

Real Housewives of Miami Season-Finale Recap: Back in Black