LuAnn pulls a low-down trick on Ramona during a wine tasting; Aviva insists that Ramona be upset about it.  
Real Housewives New York
Credit: Bravo
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The episode opened with Sonja and Ramona discussing their skin care regimens, at which point I was surprised Mario didn’t side lunge through the background holding up a sign for TruRenewal.Carole and Aviva soon showed up and they got down to a proper rag session on a missing Housewife. Has this season gotten off to such a slow start because we’re only getting Housewives in fractured groups of four? Speaking of, Aviva and Reid are going down to their penthouse apartment in Miami—would the present three like to attend. (And let’s never ever mention this trip to Heather.) In case Sonja was worried about being a fifth wheel, Aviva has someone she’d really like to set her up with. And what a pitch! She loves him very much, he’s very, very handsome and athletic, tall, dark and handsome, he’s a sex addict, yada yada. Oh and he’s Aviva’s father. Poor little Ramona nearly did a spit-take. Glug, glug, little bird. “Do you really need to tell her this ahead of time?” flapped Ramona.

Meanwhile Heather was working with Sonja to help establish her singular brand identity. I object. We all know women sign up for this show to fluff their egos and extend their brand, but now we’re dedicating air-time to them working on their brand logo ad nauseam? Even Sonja was bored. “F%@@ ex husband,” she groused to herself, as she had her man try to heave her Sonja-Bak-Oven out of her roller bag. “I should be sitting my fat ass in my house in France.” Heather’s brand expert couldn’t give a fig about the Morgan last name or whether she wore leather or suede gloves in last season’s photo shoot. And he couldn’t get it up for her the sexy J in her logo. Sonja (and all of us viewers at home) looked increasingly pinched as this turned into an extended debate about font.

That secondary Disney character Jacques hosted one of his wine tasting events and he and LuAnn had mischief on their minds. I have to believe their whole little set-up sounded funnier to them when they cooked it up over dinner, because they really came out of this looking like a pair of lousy weasels. Jacques had a wine expert on hand to lead folks through their blind taste-testing. “Master of wine is a title,” the woman explained of her credentials. “It’s kind of like the Olympics.” (Huh?) As Ramona sat down, with Jacques and LuAnn snickering behind her, she opted not to be blind-folded. It’s a thing, guys. She won’t even let Mario blind fold her. Ramona wanted a little more citrus flavor from the sampling of white, a little more depth. She guessed all of the proffered essences correctly though, so she was feeling good enough about herself to overlook the fact that Jacques had set her up to dog her own Ramona. If LuAnn hoped to embarrass her, she failed miserably.

NEXT: Aviva’s father is on the make.

All that white at the Drescher Family Condo made me terribly nervous. Is this what it’s like being Aviva? The endless white sofa. Aviva’s white dress. Grandpa’s white blazer. Does nobody see the two little kids in their midst? Do they bind the toddlers hands so they can’t muck everything up with one snotty, jammy wipe of the fingers?

Aviva’s father looked like a rather endearing, horny Ron Rifkin. “If I wasn’t your father boy, I’d be after you,” he said, complimenting his daughter’s tan. Maybe forget what I said about endearing. “It’s sick,” said Aviva. “What else is there to say?” Reid’s mother, a Jewish Ann Margaret, could give him a run for his money. Would that this was a reality show about these two goofballs courting each other, squabbling about whether they’d live in Boca or Miami Beach, the two of them nibbling at their Kobe beef hot dog until they met in the middle. The fact is that in their brief scene together Aviva’s father and Reid’s mother struck me as much more interesting than their respective kids?

Case in point: Aviva worried that Ramona wouldn’t be satisfied with her 300-thread count guest sheets. And she had second thoughts about the Drescher family portraits hanging above the bed in the guest room. Champagne chilling. Ramona wasn’t going to try to rope her into some Turtle Time, was she? “I don’t really drink much and I’m certainly not going to get into a wet t-shirt contest with Ramona,” she worried to Reid. After Mario and Ramona arrived, and Mario cheered Salud twice just to make sure we all heard him at home, Reid laid down some house rules. Everybody wears pajamas in bed and bathing suits in the shower.

Back home the tall girls took the least spontaneous trip ever to Heather’s friend’s Boom Boom Brow Bar ever. Heather is freakishly impervious to pain and got her brows waxed without wincing once. The end.

Aviva ordered an obscenely large hot dog at dinner on her father’s recommendation. But her phobias drew the line at tap water. Just when everyone was having a relaxing time for once Aviva brought up LuAnn’s lame move to embarrass Ramona at the wine tasting. “It made me angry,” she said with no emotion in her voice. “It really did.” Why couldn’t Aviva just let Ramona enjoy making out with her cilantro and arugula while Reid gawked at her in confusion. But now Mario was on the case and he had a bone to pick with Jacques being French. “What is it with that accent, it’s so over the top?” he said. Little Ramona looked confused. She didn’t feel mad, why? Had she not drunk enough? Had she remembered to take her pill? Had she forgotten the cameras were rolling? Jesus Louisus, why couldn’t she summon up any rage?

Next week: Who cares? Let’s skip to the episode where LuAnn brings an extra from Moulin Rouge back with her to the vacation house!

Well folks? Would I have been better off recapping the admittedly juicy scenes for the rest of the season rather than this extraordinarily dull episode? If forced to choose would you rather endure another branding session with Sonja or a brow waxing one with Heather and LuAnn? Was this whole wine-tasting event LuAnn’s least flattering hour? More of Aviva’s father or less?

Episode Recaps

The Real Housewives of New York City

Ramona, LuAnn, Sonja, Carole, Heather, Kristen, and Dorinda — and oh, yes, Bethenny — are in a New York state of mind.

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