By Karen Valby
Updated May 14, 2010 at 02:25 PM EDT

Recently I’d begun to worry that I wanted to break up with the Housewives. All of their manufactured dramas had grown tiresome and tedious. And yet last night, towards the end of what had been an overwhelming week and all I wanted was a good, deliciously silly hour of TV, came the perfect such hour. This may have been my favorite episode of the entire franchise. And Sonja, I must say that I think you are the most delightful, sweet-natured, refreshing horndog ever to grace a Bravo production. Somebody get this woman a Hooters girl to cuddle up with stat.

“Buzz kills” LuAnn and Jill decided to sit out Ramona’s bachelorette trip to St. John. Jill was mercifully absent from the entire episode—in seclusion brain-storming ways to wrest the unflattering story line from the producers’ clutches—but LuAnn came through in a big way with some studio time. Apparently when LuAnn gets near a microphone, the spirit of James Brown takes over her. “Ho!” she said unconvincingly. “Oh!” Oh no! Seriously LuAnn, never again. Her producer, a ridiculous man, thinks natural ability is cool and all but does he really want to go see Itzhak Perlman and Mariah Carey in concert? “I mean, those are unbelievable singers,” LuAnn says. Well actually …. oh, never mind. Anyways, LuAnn takes off her jacket and snaps her fingers and shakes her narrow hips a little, reminding us in an unforgiving climb up the scales that elegance is lear-er-er-ned. That tomcat wail is what her producer is talking about!

Later LuAnn went on a date with Courte, a disturbing man who strikes me as a cross between a Nelson brother and the sweaty guy who sold me my car. Despite LuAnn boasting that he is a published author (scandalosity!) and an intellectual, he frightens me with his waggling eyebrows that managed to turn a proposed game of tennis into something lewd. Three sips into LuAnn’s femme fatale drink, he dove in for a series of odd kisses, which she managed to awkwardly duck. “We have great chemistry,” she told us. Poor thing, life with the Count must have been dreadful for this to strike her as a hot romance.

The trip to St. John got off to a promising start. Alex wore her theater-student outfit of jean shorts and denim vest. Kelly started pontificating in the cab that she didn’t eat processed foods, except for Gummi Bears which don’t count, because Gummi Bears are fun and they have a good life and they love living it. Bethenny, fresh from a soul-battering trip to LA where she buried her jerk father, looked dazed and desperate for a nap in the sun. Ramona, who was in great spirits all episode, gave us a peek at her various swimsuits. There was the bohemian bikini, the fruit bikini, the platinum bikini, the flattering bikini. Kelly likes a nice swimsuit and all but don’t expect her to eat food in one.

“Anybody who is not here is missing out,” said Alex, toasting the other Housewives. (You. Me. Ellen in Cleveland. Barbara in San Diego.) At lunch, Ramona was very sweet to Bethenny, putting her arm around her and acknowledging that death is always a hard blow to absorb because you’re never prepared. She proceeded to bring up Jill’s poor behavior, which was probably unnecessary, but didn’t strike me as any more mean-spirited than these women’s usual behavior. Kelly was not having it though. I think her initial intentions were admirable enough. She wanted to keep the bad-mouthing to a minimum, but then her crazy took over and she started acting simultaneously righteous and bored. “It’s so gross! It’s disgusting! Oh f— me, the feelings!” she told the group, before stressing that it’s not like she even cares. But really, why do they have to always go on making lemonade out of lemons. (Sonja, who’d been quietly waiting for the conversation to end so she could ask the ladies which actress they liked to fantasize about in the bathtub, helpfully offered up the molehill expression.) Kelly was so disgusted that she stormed away from the table at one point, shouting that the women were vile and gross and creepy. “We’ll see you in a little bit sweetheart,” called Ramona, who’d been placated with a refreshed glass of pinot grigio. Alas, Kelly was trapped on the deck, unable to work the automatic doors. It was a ridiculously thwarted grand exit. At home, I howled.

Later that night, after Bethenny tartly wondered to Alex if Kelly in fact meant she went to Colombia the country for college, Kelly really went loco. She wasn’t going to let Bethenny have a moment mourning the empty relationship with her father (“There’s so many people who have a story similar to you,” she said meanly). Sonja wanted to change the subject so she asked after Kelly’s sex life, and the possibility that Kelly fantasized about women in bed. Bethenny managed to keep a straight face while she looked at the Hooters calendar that Ramona had gifted her with. Um no, Kelly does not think about ladies. And she does not have one night stands, or “unprotected sex” as she primly defined it. She is from the Midwest! (Bethenny held up the calendar filled with other proud Midwesterners.) She has integrity! You don’t give a body like hers away for free! Bethenny plays the victim all the time! So 1979! Is Bethenny even a chef?! No one cares about you Bethenny! No one! Cunning! Creepy! What can she say? She’s sorry she’s not a ho-bag like Bethenny! Crazy, mean Midwest bitch. Bethenny smartly extricated herself from the situation. “Adios lunatic, I’m going over to the Hooters boat I can see some sane people,” she said, in the line of the evening. Poor, sweet Sonja, stranded again with the leggy nutter, who she possibly wants to make out with.

Over on the Hooters yacht, Ramona is smashed on pinot and blooming under the attentions of the good captain. She will not stand for bad vibes. Kelly needs to make peace, she slurred happily. Kelly is like so over it. Sonja wants to take home a Hooters girl. Ramona declares it Turtle Time, and Bethenny somehow finds the energy for a little dance party action. Ramona, Bethenny, and Alex: an unlikely trio, but one I can get behind. Sonja is stuck on the yacht with Kelly, wondering if Kelly finds the smell of cat pee an aphrodisiac.

Next week: Kelly terrifyingly ages before our eyes, crying to the table that Bethenny is out to kill her. Alex puts her serious therapist’s voice on trying to talk her down. Ramona makes the curl my hair and brush my teeth face.

Who scared you more: LuAnn’s date Courte or her producer Chris? How much do you love Sonja? What was so emotional about 1979? Is Kelly certifiable or had she just hit the Cafe Patron bottle one too many times? Did Bethenny handle herself well in the face of Kelly’s attacks?