If the New Jersey reunion felt like a trip to an angry zoo, New York felt like going to a department store staffed with women who for the most part were in bad moods and didn’t like each other. Holla? The big surprise of the night was that Ramona wore royal blue leather. What can she say? She loves color. A few things to set the scene: Aviva and Ramona haven’t spoken since the season finale. Heather wore a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue equivalent of a dress. LuAnn went for a low-key Gwyneth Paltrow at an awards show look. Sonja, duh, dressed like a tight, sparkly star in the sky. Aviva looked pinched, anxious to redeem herself to the viewers. Carole looked pretty and had her season-long expression of “I’m here sitting with these women, but don’t confuse me for one of these women.” Andy’s first question was a polite “Then why exactly are you here?” “As a journalist [the show] appealed to me,” she explained. “I think like most journalists we’re attracted to spectacle—whether it’s politics or war or a cultural phenomenon like the Housewives franchise.” You’re sounding like a windbag, Carole. “Doing the show is my guilty pleasure,” she simplified. Now you’re speaking my language.
If you’ve DVR’d the episode and are planning on watching tonight, consider this next segment a 10-minute snack break. Was Carole mean to LuAnn? (“I don’t like women who talk about me behind the back because that’s not the kind of princesses I know,” said a very hurt LuAnn, to which Carole snickered at her ridiculousness.) Should LuAnn not have asked to borrow Carole’s friend’s dress? Throughout this increasingly tedious conversation, LuAnn looked into the horizon with the same disappointed expression my Grandmother bore when I came home for Thanksgiving with a short haircut.
Andy, who looked a little sleepy, then moved the talk onto the subject of Aviva’s ex Harry. “Everyone in the city, and internationally, loves Harry. Who doesn’t love Harry?” asked Sonja. Did we know during the season that Aviva was battling in court with Harry for what sounded like unpaid child support? Aviva told Sonja that what with their similar situations she would’ve hoped Sonja could have been more sisterly with her. Sonja refused to accept that their situations were similar, insisting that she and her husband had entered into their marriage as partners. Whereas Aviva knew exactly what she was getting into when she married Harry. Everybody knows the deal with Harry. What any of this meant I’ll never know because for the sake of their children Aviva cut the conversation short.
I dare say the best moment of the whole hour was the flashback to introducing Aviva’s prosthetic. “Do you have fake toes?” asked a shocked but intrigued Ramona, who then collapsed into giggles. What a yo-yo of a woman, who I can’t help but find oddly endearing. And then began the montage of Aviva’s many phobias (heights, planes) and precautions (bottled water, gas masks). To explain away her neuroses, Aviva delivered a terrifyingly vivid description of her accident. “I never discuss that with anybody,” she said. “Because I don’t want to go there. And the result is this big bottle of anxiety. And I feel so badly actually that I projected my anxiety onto these other ladies, I really do…” Ramona and Sonja, who’d tried to look politely unmoved throughout Aviva’s story, bounced in their seats with birthday girl glee when Andy asked the viewer question about how for someone who doesn’t want it to make the conversation about her phobias Aviva always managed to make it all about her phobias.
Doesn’t Heather and Ramona’s snit about London seem like ancient history? Long story short: Heather may have been nervous at the start of filming and thus leaned too hard on her You-bug-the-crap-outta-me, but-I’m-not-ready-to-get-in-the-ring-on-national-TV toothy grin. And if there’s another season she and Ramona are going to hit a foreign city hard.
NEXT: Pack up your crazy, we’re going back to St. Barths.