By Catherine Garcia
Updated May 07, 2010 at 03:26 PM EDT

Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/BravoAnyone who saw the previews for last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of New York knew that a showdown of epic proportions was going to take place between Alex and Jill — the clip of Alex angrily saying “You are a mean girl! You are in high school!” has been making the rounds for weeks now, actually. Of course, anyone who watches the show also knew that several smaller eruptions would occur before we got to the main even. That’s just how these women roll.

The episode started off at Sonja’s Cocktails and Couture party. Everyone (minus Bethenney and Simon) showed up, toting their designer duds. I wish we had been able to see the clothes, but since they can’t fight, they stayed zipped up in their garment bags. Everyone was still abuzz over Alex and the infamous message. Luann, who’s known to be the neutral one of the group (eye roll), told Alex that the way she delivered it to Jill was “heartless,” and “to take sides is not the thing to do.” Pot. Kettle. Black. Luann, you are the captain of Team Jill, and we all know it. Shut up.

Bawby also had to get his two cents in, and told Alex that Bethenney should have given Jill the message of doom, not her. I understand Bawby wanting to defend his wife (after he idly stood by while she and Mario got into a tiff last season), and sure, it really wasn’t Alex’s place to end someone else’s friendship. But wasn’t he doing exactly what he told Alex not to do? He wasn’t bluntly delivering a message — he was meddling.

Alex did try to approach Jill and was rebuffed. She was still angry, and she told Kelly that she wanted to be in Bethenney’s life again and would never forgive Alex. Cue dramatic exit.

The next party, hosted by Gotham magazine for Kelly and her street photos, brought everyone together again, but this time Simon came along. I had to laugh when Alex told him he was her “wingman,” and the minute her back was turned, he scampered off to sit on the floor, right next to Jill. Ha! I don’t think that’s what Alex had in mind, Simon….

Jill — you know, the one who said she hates Alex and will never forgive her — said hello to her with a forced cheerfulness and kissed her on the cheek. The blatant fakeness ticked Alex off, forcing her to grab her wingman and leave. “Was it something we said?” Jill asked in a coy voice. Ugh.

Luann meanwhile was at the bar with her date Court, and her idea of wooing him was to announce that she’s working on a single. When she announced, “I’m not Madonna, but I could be the female Barry White,” I guffawed. [Ed note: I gu-barfed.]

The episode needed more Sonja. She was at all the events but wasn’t given a lot of airtime. She made me laugh on several occasions, including her response to someone suggesting she exercise with Kelly. “She runs in the road! In the street!” she exclaimed in horror. Ha! Kelly will never live that one down.

Bethenney was out of NYC most of the episode, due to her dying father calling her (for what she said was the third time in her life) from California, saying he wanted to see her after blowing her off earlier. You could see how emotionally drained she was: her relationship with her mom wasn’t much better. She tried calling, but her mom’s phone was disconnected. She also told Jason that her mom would probably be happy if she found out about her father’s illness. Yikes. I hope none of that gets in the way of Bethenney’s new life with Jason and the baby.

There was some other stuff — Ramona trying on elaborate gowns for her vow renewal, Luann bringing some of the women to a yoga spa, and Ramona inviting Jill and Sonja to her pre-vow renewal vacation in the Virgin Islands. They packed a ton into this one! Finally, it was fight time, at new-girl Jennifer Gilbert’s party. Jill got there early and asked, “Who’s coming so I can talk about them before they come?” Is she 14?

In an OMG moment, Ramona announced that Bethenney’s dad died. Jill blew up, screaming at her, “How could you not tell me? Why didn’t you say he was sick?” Ramona sagely tells her, “If she wanted you to know, she would have told you.” She added later, “Why does it have to be all about her?” Ahh, Ramona Singer, unlikely voice of reason.

Jill’s answer to all this was to run into Jennifer’s pantry. Kelly ran after her. It was weird. After Jill cried, she decided it was time to leave the pantry. She probably should have stayed in there, because Alex was ready to let her have it. She was absolutely disgusted with the fact that Jill sent a text earlier fishing for info on Bethenney’s father. “You talk all the time, now it’s time to listen,” Alex said with an edge to her voice. Jill didn’t take too kindly to that and yelled back, “Don’t you ever talk to me like that!,” jabbing her finger at Alex. I love that she responds to Alex’s only slightly raised voice with such venom. Why so much rage?

The fight continued. Alex was over Jill and her snotty remarks about Simon, the kids, Brooklyn. Jill deflected, saying, “Oh yes, I’m the Big Bad Wolf!” Well, Jill, you kind of are. While Alex obviously has trouble choosing the right moment to express herself, she’s put up with a lot from Jill over the past few seasons. Before leaving, Alex apologized to Jennifer, who wa taking this all strangely in stride. I guess she’ll fit in with the housewives just fine.

So, what did you think? Will Jill ever get it? Was Alex was right to go off on her at Jennifer’s party? Who’s excited for the big vacation episode next week?