'The Real Housewives of New York' Finale: Oh Ramona, give us a hug
Image Credit: BravoWe came for closure. (Psych! We’re really just killing time as we wait for the reunion. Bring it Andy Cohen. Roll the clip when Kelly tries to pin the tail on “systematic bullying.” Roll the clip of LuAnn and Jill cackling on speakerphone. Push Jill harder when she tries the “We all make mistakes” line. Call Alex out for her unnecessarily theatrical delivery of her non-message. Let Sonja sit on your lap.) While we wait, let’s all clink our glasses for charming Ramona on her season of TruRenewal. I don’t know how she did it but I dare say I’ve come to love this nutbird of a gal.
Before we get to the celebration of Ramona and Mario (thumbs up!), let’s go to lunch with Bethenny and Jill. Jill wants forgiveness. She held a grudge longer than maybe she should have and yes, maybe she should have let it go sooner. Hey, she’s not perfect. She does her best. She can’t change. She has good intentions. She made latkes. When the two finally sit down, they make some quick small talk about Bethenny’s pregnancy and you really could see Jill pining for their old intimacy. “Ya sleepin’?!” asked Jill. Would that she was still enmeshed in Bethenny’s life and could be pushing naps and nutrition drinks on her former friend. Damn you Alex, you can feel her thinking, it should have been me giving her designer maternity jeans!
The conversation was civil but distant. Bethenny is done. Jill can wonder all she wants about “What the hell happened to us?” but Bethenny isn’t ready to brush all the latke crumbs under the rug. She accuses Jill of being disloyal, and likens the death of their friendship to a divorce. I give it to Jill that she tried her best to offer a sincere apology for her role in their rift, and never once went on the offensive. As much as I find Jill hopelessly self-absorbed and childishly manipulative, I don’t think she just wants to be friends with Bethenny to win her old fans back. Bethenny believes otherwise: “I think the tides turning on her are the reasons we’re having this conversation.” I give Jill a bigger break than that. But I will say that the woman seems deeply afraid to take a clear look in the mirror at herself, and to own that not only should and could she have done better by her friend but she promises to do so in the future. “I need to get toxic people who don’t wish me well out of my life,” she says by way of explanation for her behavior. “You said that I was a toxic person,” Bethenny reminded her. Zing!
Later at LuAnn’s dance party, Jill had a revelation of sorts: “I never thought of that,” she told Kelly, “elegance is learned.” Hmm, good point. LuAnn wore her best bullfighter pants and her producer brought the Hooters girls from St. John and Sonja got her groove on. The song is ridiculous and I like to picture LuAnn’s autotune wearing a clenched smile and shiny red cowboy boots backstage. But LuAnn deserves a big hug for getting up there on stage and asking the crowd if they were ready to rock and roll. She’s had a lousy break this past year and if she wants to sway her hips to an etiquette dance song then who are we to harsh her buzz. Good for you LuAnn. And Jacques is super cute.
Sonja, my love. Where have you been all my Housewives life? As Jill artlessly steered the conversation back to her troubles at the party, LuAnn started insisting that Jill had been sorely wronged by Ramona. Who kicks a friend out like that? Who shows up unannounced? corrected Sonja. LuAnn interrupted her and Sonja let out a little tiger roar. Nobody talks over her, not even la Contessa. She put her final stamp on the matter and then skipped back to the dance floor. Jill was sorry to see the spotlight taken off of her but she was having another light bulb moment. “Ya know, it’s true,” she said, “money can’t buy you love.” Like Madonna’s early recordings—that was blasphemy, Jenn G.—LuAnn’s song has many layers that are only revealed on camera.
Off to the Pierre we go. Ramona keeps losing her notes but her hair has been recently sassified. There’s a knock at the door of her suite and “Surprise!” Jill of course couldn’t miss out on the finale event and she needed to make her own grand and unique reentry onto the scene. Jill, you’re a mess but girl, you have never looked better. Great dress. Adorable hair. Jill makes nice with Ramona and Ramona, without being Ramona-mean, urges Jill to stop seeing the world only through her narrow prism. Ramona has a skin cream to help with that. Only $29.95. Alas, downstairs Jill can only go so long before kvetching about the affair. Guests need something to nibble on! This is unacceptable. If she’d known they were going to be kept waiting she would have brought a couple latkes in her purse. At least a pretzel or something. Jenn G. says one should never serve champagne before an event because then people get loud and obnoxious, which she manages to prove by example. Kelly is there with her crooked boobs—I don’t know this to be true but it’s been brought up twice this season—and she says she forgot to RSVP but oh my gawd it’s just not okay to bully and she has a good life and loves living it.
Ramona and Mario’s vows to each other are legitimately adorable. Ramona didn’t get that melodramatic I’m-going-to-eat-your-face she tends to assume in emotional situations—see her gazing at Avery and herself in the mirror—and I wanted to stand up and cheer for some reason when she said “You respect me in business, you treat me as an equal.” Mario cut down on his slick Rick routine and told his wife that she has always been his “ray of sunshine when I couldn’t see the light.” Avery gazed upon both of them without her usual look of bored disdain. The whole thing made me want to cry, as it did all of their guests. Especially Simon. Quick shout out to Sonja’s boobs. You guys looked so moved by the expressions of love. (Ten bucks Sonja and the master of ceremonies made out in the Pierre rotunda later that night.)
Afterwards Bethenny gathered Ramona and Alex up in her arms and cried that their friendship got her through the roughest six months of her life. Then she did the back-up dance into her Baby Daddy. I root for this couple and baby Bryn too! Simon showed off his half-kilt and made a half-man joke. Countess did not approve. Alex tried to approach Jill but Jill rebuffed her with a pinched smile full of rage.
Where are the girls now? Well, we learned that LuAnn finally got herself a pied-a-terre (apartment). Genius. Kelly lives in an amazing world where she can walk outside whenever she wants and it’s sunny even when it’s raining. Ramona went on an all-girls trip to Kenya and smartly left the Housewives home. Bethenny has a new show to promote, and it will star basketballs and vases. Sonja is writing a sexy society novel that I will inevitably force upon my book club. Jill can’t change. What?! She means well.
Tell me PopWatchers. Tell me everything. Ramona adorable? Jill forgivable? Kelly laughable? Sonja delectable?