Much like Luann’s previously stated sentiment that “Just when you think you’re not gonna become a mogul, that’s when you become a mogul,” in Wednesday night’s episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, just when you think you’ve mustered up some sympathy for Luann (y’know, for that time Bethenny Frankel had a rage blackout and repeatedly called her a slut while trapped with six other women in a vacation-home-turned-Saw-sequel), Luann has to go and snort a line of sweet l-u-v, rendering her nearly intolerable.
Now, surely there are more offensive things than being giddy with newfound love. But given that we spent the entire episode following Luann around the Upper East Side as she delivered the news to each of her increasingly skeptical friends that she’d not only met a man named Tom — whom apparently everyone in the Real Housewives franchise, short of Andy Cohen, has had, uh, something to do with — but had also fallen in love with “Tom,” moved in with “Tom,” and was planning to marry “Tom” in a matter of weeks, it was a little much. Shall we blame Luann for her levels of hysteria? Shall we blame editing? Shall we blame the incomparable nature of “true” love?
Let’s just blame Tom — he seems sketchy, anyway.
The episode opens at Luann’s first stop on her love-boat tour, Sonja’s house, where her social media intern has just finished up one of his social media duties: making her a lovely pitcher of jasmine tea. “Son” and Luann drink their Twitter tea while Luann proceeds to dish out what will surely become the tea (forgive me — I’m the Real Housewives of Atlanta recapper, filling in for your trusty New York recapper, Tim) for the rest of the season: “I can’t even believe this, but I’ve found my soul mate, and I’m in love, and I’m probably going to get married!” she squeals like a particularly husky-voiced middle-schooler. As it turns out, she and Tom went on their first date just before Thanksgiving, and now, sometime between Christmas and the New Year, they’re moving in together and starting to plan their wedding. Presumably, Luann will provide her own musical talent, and we can only hope Bethenny gives a toast.
Of course, there are also other important things to discuss, like how Bethenny is still mad at Sonja about Tipsy Girl. For some reason, that’s still a thing Luann cares about, despite recent rage blackouts pointed in her direction. Sonja — unusually clearheaded this episode, perhaps because she’s decided to give up alcohol, not for health purposes, she says, but just to shut her friends up — says she knows Bethenny doesn’t see her as a business threat, she’s just offended on a personal level: “I’m not a competing brand… people who want to be skinny, drink Skinnygirl. I’m doing fat, tipsy bitches!” I mean, I’m serious, if that becomes the slogan, Bethenny might actually have a little competition on her hands. (Of note: For this entire conversation, Luann is wearing a fully buttoned cardigan as though it’s a shirt. It’s not a shirt. It’s a cardigan.)
And while Son and Lu are busy talking about Bethenny, she’s busy talking about them. She’s gathered the rest of the ladies — Ramona, Dorinda, Carole, and Jules — for margaritas to talk margaritas. She’s planning to start a new Skinnygirl flavor (???), and as she wants it to contain the most top-shelf tequila, she’s planning to take a trip to Santiago de Tequila in Mexico. And why not bring your very rational and well-behaved friends (who handle liquor incredibly well) on your tequila-tasting business trip? The problem is, Bethenny doesn’t know if she should invite Sonja and Luann. Actually, that’s false — it seems to be a hard “no” on Luann because Carole says if Luann is going, she’s not going. But Bethenny is willing to put it to a vote on Sonja. Ramona, Carole, and Dorinda: “Nay” on account of tequila; Jules’ vote: “I don’t even care.”
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Carole and Bethenny have a pretty serious conversation about the way they behave in relationships, and Carole opens up about what a foster cat has recently taught her about her own psyche: She’s set up her entire life — including her relationship with Adam — to be temporary, and that’s no way to live. It’s quite the existential moment, and I hope someone gets Carole a cat that she can have for keepsies.
NEXT: Long hair for Luann…
The next stop on Luann’s Tour de Tom is Ramona’s house, where there is, I kid you not, a hair-extension party going down. Ramona has just loved the extensions she’s been sporting lately, so much that she wants to get in on the business side of Luxe Beauty. So she has a few of the stylists over to put extensions on Luann, extending her ‘do potentially past her chin! I say “potentially” because after being tempted by the idea of Luann with extensions, we don’t actually get to see the final product, which seems like a federal crime. But Luann is too busy telling Ramona about Tom, who as you might recall, Ramona says she dated. She tells Ramona (and adult-Avery) that a month-and-a-half-ago, a fortune-teller told her she would meet her soul mate in two weeks. Four weeks ago she met Tom, and now they’re in love with each other.
Ramona’s reaction: “Oh, that’s sweet.”
Luann follows this up with a gleeful, “Meanwhile, he wants to marry me,” so Ramona feels like she has to be a “girl’s girl” and tell Luann that she knows Tom still calls his ex every day and tells her he loves her, and that he gave her a gold bracelet for Christmas. Christmas…as in, like, five days ago. Luann says she doesn’t believe it, but then whispers, “Which ex-girlfriend?” Again, we don’t see Luann’s final extensions; I’m writing Bravo a strongly worded email right now.
Jules and Michael join Dorinda and John for a dinner to celebrate the New Year. Jules expresses her continued frustration with Michael’s resistance to helping her with their kids (quite foreboding, considering the recent news…), but she need not have fear — Dorinda’s got marital platitudes, including such gems as, “The greatest grapes in California are the ones that have suffered and cried and been through hell,” and “It’s a corporate deal! It’s like a corporate deal! There’s no emotion! DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING?!?!” We do, Dorinda. We do.
And the final stop on the Plot Line That Tom Built is, of course, drinks at Bar Bordeaux with Bethenny. Bethenny is under the impression that they’ve come together to talk about why Luann isn’t exactly invited to Mexico, and if they can test the waters of her perhaps securing an invitation. But Bethenny is wrong — they’re there to talk about Luann. Or rather, Luann is there to talk about Luann. (To be fair, Bethenny has had no problem meeting her word-quota over the last few episodes.) She opens the floor thusly: “I can’t believe I met my soul mate! Look at me, I’m like — I’m giddy, it’s a disaster!”
And it kind of is a disaster of a conversation, with Bethenny trying to figure out how Luann is saying she’s going to marry this guy she’s known for four-ish weeks, and then Luann letting slip what Ramona said about the ex-girlfriend, seeming to assume Bethenny would side with her on the matter of why Ramona couldn’t just be disastrously giddy for her. Instead, Bethenny says exactly what I’ve been thinking since the hair-extension party: “If he sent someone else a bracelet, that would be topical information.”
Luann doesn’t thinks so: “I’m so happy that he’s that kind to buy her a gift. That was very thoughtful of him!” That is some kind of reasoning.
Bethenny has been having some feminine-bleeding issues, and is suddenly so overwhelmed by Luann that she says she needs to leave, but Luann insists they need to talk about Mexico. Bethenny tries to explain that Carole doesn’t want Luann there and that, well, Carole is a lot more important to her than Luann; but Luann’s not really catching all that, so Bethenny tells her she talks more than she listens. Luann completely agrees, but proceeds to talk some more and suddenly screams out “YES! I would love to come!” without ever actually being invited, and then whisks herself out of the bar.
At one point during all of this, Bethenny asked Luann, “Did you take crystal meth tonight?” Indeed she did, Bethenny — the crystal meth of loooove. What do you think about Luann’s sudden new relationship? Is it really allowed for Luann and Sonja to just not be invited on the Mexico trip? Will Luann wear extensions at her wedding??? Sound off in the comments!