By Karen Valby
Updated April 02, 2010 at 02:38 PM EDT

Image Credit: BravoMy God, last night was like watching a sequel to Mean Girls. Mean Middle-Aged Women who still engage in stealth phone wars. This season is one harsh toke of nastiness. I’m with Ramona. At this point perhaps Simon is the only person who can save us from this toxic misery. More red pants and harmless ridiculousness! Kelly did provide a little comic relief when she engaged in some casual non sequitur flirting with a Playboy freelancer. “I just read an amazing Swedish novel called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” he told her with a jaunty leer. “I don’t have any tattoos,” she quickly responded. Somehow all of this awkward banter ended up in a cutely flustered Kelly getting asked out on a date. But then she remembered that she was up here and he was down here. The ex-wife of Gilles Bensimon deserved someone more major. Yikes, sorry Mike.

I’ve done a fair amount of taking Bethenny to task this season. That’s done. She called Jill to initiate a dialogue over their floundering friendship and all Jill could do was grasp for the speaker button. “Are you alone?” a confused Bethenny wondered. Jill said no, without bothering to reveal that LuAnn was excitedly curled up on the couch next to her making obnoxious faces. (“I said friends,” Jill later unconvincingly told the camera. “She didn’t ask me who, I didn’t lie.”) Bethenny wondered over the disproportionate escalation of their troubles. Jill snipped for a definition of disproportionate. Bethenny, who was trying hard I thought to keep her default aggression in check, asked how their troubles had grown so enormous. Jill meanly expressed her lack of interest. “I thought our relationship was much bigger than this,” Bethenny said with genuine sadness. It was ugly. Jill kept swatting Bethenny down — basically calling the girl an ungrateful orphan who had been given food and shelter by the beneficent Bobby — until the younger woman snapped and started volleying back lobs of her own. Why didn’t Jill respond to her e-mail? Why didn’t Jill let her know the severity of Bobby’s condition? Why was Jill busy running around to press events all summer if Bobby had been that sick? Jill’s face got scary mean and she looked like she was about to eat her phone. She got the last word, announcing that their friendship was over and done and hung up.

Bethenny was left stunned to the point of tears, unmoored on a Manhattan street. The scenes of her misery were juxtaposed with shots of Jill and LuAnn snickering to each other. “She’s a poisonous snake,” sneered LuAnn. “I don’t want to be in the same room as her,” said Jill. “She doesn’t deserve it.” Jill ought to be ashamed of herself. I hope she is, and I hope she delivers a heartfelt, unconditional apology at the reunion show. I’m embarrassed to admit that last season I was so taken by her daffy charm that I became a fan on Facebook of the woman. I took it back this morning. She doesn’t deserve me.

It’s hard to imagine where the season has left to go. Oh God, that’s right. Ramona and Mario are going to TruRenewal their vows. (The woman did have a rare moment of measured emoting last night when she cried to her friend Joni over the death of her abusive father.) I imagine we’ll all be crowding onto the Brooklyn-bound F train for fashion week and more scenes with Alex’s day gay, Duckie-doppelganger Derek.

Next week: Ramona calls Bethenny a loser. What? What?! She’s not being mean, she’s just being factual, she tells it like she sees it, mole mountains!, give her a break, give her a break!

What about you fine folks? Do you like Bethenny again? Can you handle an entire season of bickering? What would Gloria say about all of this? Did you like it when Alex threatened Kelly and Bethenny with a time-out?