Bethenny Frankel's not ready to see Luann de Lesseps hit the aisle just yet

By Amanda Bell
May 31, 2017 at 10:00 PM EDT
RECAP: 5/31/17 RHONY
Credit: Bravo
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Welp. It’s Groundhog’s Day up at Dorinda’s place in the Berkshires. Not only are we cycling through the same old “told ya so” routine with Luann and Tom, but Ramona’s so many sheets from the wind that she can’t wrap her head around even the simplest of concepts as they’re explained to her. So, yeah, just another day on Real Housewives of New York City basically.

Like one of the many bottles of booze that are consumed tonight to make this very unfortunate evening happen, let’s take it from the top!

It’s Dorinda’s birthday, and she wanted to gather all the girls for a staycation at her fancy country house. Like any good hostess, she’s making dinner (well, having her hired hands make the dinner while she supervises) and has the bubbly flowing for her guests.

And being that it’s only two weeks ’til Luann’s wedding day, the conversation basically writes itself: Ramona has concerns about Tom. He’s not a different guy than he was during their Miami trip with his, ahem, spit-swapping incident — the one he got caught for, that is — and he’s not going to change. She offers a rare moment of gravity amid her drink-induced histrionics by insisting that the only reason she continues to harp on Luann about her husband-to-be’s reputation around town is that she was the last to know that her own ex was stepping out, and she was thoroughly humiliated by that fact.

Others have similar concerns — Carole’s heard she’s been having doubts and wanted to address it, Bethenny thinks she’s being cuckolded by a notorious philanderer (or, as she puts it, “a trick guy” who has to prove he’s not the same geek who couldn’t get laid in his youth now that he’s rich). Heck, even Dorinda’s got two cents to throw in the pile.

The only one who’s buying into Luann’s whole “everyone’s just a bunch of jealous b-words” mantra is Sonja, and even she is just playing along for the sake of staying on Luann’s good side.

Although Ramona’s always good for a line about the Tom and Luann saga, it’s actually Bethenny who makes the biggest scene of all when it comes to her concerns over their impending union.

After a little smoke incident — somehow, Carole and Bethenny thought it’d be a swell idea to light a fire in Dorinda’s sitting room without knowing its flue was dysfunctional — the girls all retreat to another room to have the same drawn-out conversation, wherein Bethenny rebukes Luann’s idea that Bethenny’s story is some Hallmark card-esque journey of turning one page to start another and being grateful for the gifts of the last (vis-à-vis Bryn).

See, what most people don’t know about Bethenny, mostly because she doesn’t talk about it, is that despite the fact that she’s very close to finalizing her divorce on paper, her (soon-to-be-ex-)husband’s been harassing her and her new boyfriend Dennis to the point that she feels like she’s literally living in hell right now. Not only that, but she can’t for the life of her understand why Luann’s putting up with so much from Tom, of all people. (Her winning guess? “He really must have a chrome c–k … His d— shoots diamonds out the end.” Heyoooo.)

“I think you’re making a big mistake,” she sobs. “I think he’s cheating on you and I don’t want to see it. I know you want the fantasy. I know you don’t think that’s what’s happening.”
(Recap continues on page 2.)

While Bethenny goes ham on Luann, Sonja and Ramona go upstairs to gussy up and get a little deeper into the sauce because that’s what they do. Meanwhile, Carole and Dorinda agree to throw up their shoulders about Luann because she’s pretty much made it clear that she’s not denying Tom’s wandering ways but that she’s just tired of hearing about it all the time — que será, será. Bethenny eventually submits as well and leaves Luann to her momentary bliss.

This brief separation gives Bethenny just enough time to totally call it that she’s about to be hounded by Ramona, who’s just bound to make the conversation about herself. And sure enough, after one awkward toast proposal to the bride-to-be, Ramona literally sneaks up on Bethenny and whispers (with “wine breath,” per Bethenny) an apology to her for bringing up Bryn before.

It’s not just Bethenny that thinks Ramona’s lost all her marbles somewhere along the road to this locale — even Dorinda’s throwing shade like never before by saying, “money talks, wealth whispers, bad behavior screams.” Nailed it. Bethenny does her best to accept the apology graciously, enough to get away from her at least, but she’s in no way over her feud with Ramona, like Ramona thinks.

To be fair to Ramona, at this point, people really need to stop encouraging her to work it out with Bethenny. Bethenny’s not perfect, but her IQ is on a whole ‘nother level from Ramona, especially when she’s drinking, and it only annoys her further to have Ramona hovering with some “phony” apology set that doesn’t half make sense (i.e., “I don’t want to apologize, but I do want to apologize”).

The girls are universally dismissive of Ramona at the table because she’s acting especially bonkers — spilling meat juice on Dorinda’s fine chairs and then refusing to accept it when she doesn’t feel like breaking out the cleaner right away, offering senseless toasts that specifically exclude Tinsley, and the like.

Tinsley wisely changes the subject by asking why it is that only Dorinda’s coming to the wedding, which gives Bethenny a chance to, once again, lay out the web chart of who’s been with Tom before, and then they finally take their leave of the table.

Once Ramona figures out, courtesy of Dorinda, that her over-the-shoulder apology didn’t mend the fences between herself and Bethenny, she practices another apology speech to Sonja. And although it’s exactly the same thing she just said that flopped, Sonja gives it the greenlight because either (a) she doesn’t care or (b) she’s down to watch her fail, again.

And fail she will. Because she pulls Bethenny aside, and once Bethenny tries to lay out all the reasons she’s irked with Ramona to put an end to all this theatrical work by her frenemy, Ramona can’t help but continue to interrupt her about semantics. To Bethenny’s credit, she tries to power through Ramona’s asides about how she’s a sensitive person and her face just looks like that, but she can’t get past “you’ve been a bad friend” before Ramona’s eyes bug out of her head and she repeats the phrase four times with escalating levels of incredulity and we get the oh-so-promising “to be continued” sign on-screen.

From the look-ahead, next week won’t stray too far from this jagged course they’re running on now because we’re promised a “knockdown drag-out” between Bethenny and Ramona wherein one of them “let(s) it all hang out” (my money’s on Bethenny there). Meanwhile, Tinsley might finally end her passive-aggressive roommate situation with Sonja by moving into an apartment at Carole’s, and Tom is going to ask Luann for a hall pass… maybe in jest, but maybe not.

Like I said, just any other day in RHONY land here, guys and gals.

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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