The Real Housewives of New York City recap: Rated-R for reach
The women head to Luann's house upstate where the transition from countess to cabaret star reaches its breaking point
Grab your chunkiest statement necklace, your widest-brimmed hat, and your most niche genre of performing, because it’s finally time to head upstate to the circular house that cabaret built. Luann didn’t want her new Kingston home with a stove in the guest bedroom to become the next Berserk-shires, and she’s in luck! Because it sure didn’t. Watching Dorinda’s home descend into a live adaptation of The Shining every year (except the ghosts are lingering emotional traumas and instead of murder, everyone just screams “whore” into one another’s mouths until someone finally starts humping the pool table, and it all turns into a dance party) is a twisted sort of fun. Luann’s house is turning out to be more like…
Killer-Kingston, maybe? Because listening to all the other women try to break through Luann’s thick ego shell to tell her that she’s being annoying is pure torture. Bethenny can at least stay on message with saying that Luann telling her to parent differently so that she can have more time to celebrate her is hurtful. Sonja’s communication level, however, wavers somewhere between toddler-who-missed-their-nap and great-grandma-who-didn’t-realize-the-eggnog-was-spiked. She shows up at the weekend Luann is hosting and is basically like: Everyone hates you because they think you think you’re a star, and they’re gonna tell you that the moment they arrived at your circle home which is perfectly lovely but, you must admit, like 70 percent kitchen…
And it’s just all so frustrating because, listen: I don’t want to go all season-8-Teddi-and-Dorit, but in the end, we’re really just talking simple numbers here. Luann’s Halloween cabaret show was supposed to start at 11, and with two songs performed, there’s no way the show was longer than 15 minutes. Bethenny stayed until 11:30, long enough for the show to be performed twice, and with no indication of when Luann was ever going to come out—because in the three hours that Bethenny was there in what looked to be an extremely uncomfortable and not at all on theme angel costume—she left. And that was fine! Because the show went onstage over a half hour after it was supposed to!
But instead of using sheer logic as to who is in the right and wrong here, we have to listen to this crew take on the mantle of parenting. And that’s before we even get to Sonja maligning Tinsley for having a crisis of self over whether she’ll be able to have biological children after finding out her dog has cancer. We’ll also be tackling the idea of sexual fluidity, which these women continue to call “gender liquid” instead. I mean, wow…
Let’s get moving people, we’ve got a lot of ground to inaccurately cover.
The episode opens in Manhattan with a scene that is almost as odd as a few weeks ago when Dorinda and Sonja hosted an in-episode ad for The Hustle, but this time it’s just an ad for…Dorinda’s new neighborhood? She’s just wandering into shops purse-less like it’s Beauty and the Beast and being all, Hello, yes, I’ve just moved to the neighborhood, please give me your wares. And all the New York City shop owners are like, Ma’am, I appreciate that you like cheese, but you’re going to have to pay for that.
Meanwhile, Sonja, who takes the Jitney bus to the Hamptons, has for some reason decided to rent an entire luxury van to take her upstate to Lu’s house. “It’s like a private plane, but it’s on wheels!” Sonja exclaims, but surely she understands that she’s just describing…a car. That she could have just hired…a car to take her upstate. Especially because all she does in this fancy vehicle is mutter to herself and brush out her dog, and then immediately turn the same brush onto her own hair. Ah, yes, glamor!
Really, everyone is just puttering around until they go to Luann’s house, which is done in multiple shifts. Sonja arrives first saying that she’s been burning the candle at both ends, by which she means, drinking too much. She also brings a bottle of champagne to Luann, a recovering alcoholic, as a housewarming gift. Sonja at least admits that she acted out of hand in the horror scene the editors keep flashing back to where Ramona, Sonja, and Tinsley went out together, and Tinsley apparently had the nerve to bring up the fact that she’s aging out of her longtime dream to have biological children with a beloved husband.
And listen, I get that at a certain point you need your friends to face facts and live in reality—but the way to help them do that probably isn’t to scream right in front of their face, “I don’t understand why she wants to be married and have a kid and she thinks that’s gonna make her happy … that’s why she’s f—ed up!” Bethenny and Ramona ultimately have a much more compassionate approach when they have lunch with Tinsley, and she admits that she’s been programmed to think that she wants a family in a certain way, and she’s going to have to take some time and figure out if she can think differently about that or not…
They give her a four-week deadline. What, I said they were more compassionate, I didn’t say everyone suddenly got a psychology degree.
Clearly not Sonja who, when Barbara casually brings up that Luann should have come out to say hi to them at the Halloween concert, adds on: “It was terrible, all the girls were upset.” Luann’s mouth curls up like the Grinch, ready for a fight. Sonja insists that she’s just the messenger, but takes it upon herself to tell Luann that everyone thinks that she thinks she’s a big cabaret star now, and she’s treating them like fans rather than friends. Luann responds, “They think I’m a big start now, great, I’m not going to apologize for being a cabaret star.”
Reader, I have to laugh. I have no doubt that this is the message Luann received, and I really couldn’t blame her for not being able to quite crack Sonja’s intended message…but Sonja also could have said, “I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas,” and Luann still would have heard, “They think I’m a big star now.” Ultimately, the way that Sonja encourages Luann to package her extremely rude “isn’t the kid asleep” comments about Bethenny wanting to get home to her daughter, is that because Bethenny helped Lu in such a dark time, she just wanted Bethenny to be able to celebrate with her in a successful time too. It sounds positive enough on the surface…
But it’s still all about Luann. And boyyyy, does Bethenny catch onto that quick. When Bethenny’s wrong, she is wrong (there were enough flashbacks to her calling Luann a slut in the Berkshires year after year to remind us of that), but when she’s right, she is right. After Barbara tries to talk about being sexually attracted to both men and women, and everyone insists on correcting her that she’s “liquid” or “dabbles” because heaven forbid she just be bisexual like she says she is…it’s time to get down to the real arguing.
While Luann tries to force the other women into complimenting her view, the conversation quickly turns to her Halloween show. Dorinda says she’s just going to play this one like a National Geographic photographer: “Sit here quietly and watch this craziness unroll until there’s blood on the floor and someone’s eaten for dinner.”
Luann doubles down on her comment that she assumed at 11:30 Bethenny’s daughter would be asleep, so she doesn’t know why she would need to rush home, and Bethenny tells her the rushing isn’t to see her that night, it’s so she can be ready the next day when she needs to wake her daughter up, feed her breakfast, and get her to school. This is when Luann busts out what she thinks will be her winning argument: “You really came to my rescue in so many ways, and I just think it would be nice to have you celebrate the good things that happened to me.” Bethenny begs Luann to hear her say that she is the mother of an eight-year-old, and—Luann immediately cuts in that she’s a mom too, “Don’t talk to me like I’m not a mom.”
But Luann hasn’t had a child she had to take care of on a daily basis in a long time, and it seems that whether she did or not, she and Bethenny have different ideas about how that affects one’s going out schedule. And a pretty good rule of thumb is not to tell your friends how to parent their children. But Luann just keeps making the same argument that Bethenny could have stayed because her daughter was already asleep, so this is when Bethenny really steps ups to play: “You’re doing your cabaret and your life, and I respect that, and I was there supporting that—I’m living my life and you’re not supporting it.” Bethenny says she’s hurt that Luann would say something negative about the choices she’s making as a single mom to go home when she didn’t say anything negative about the choices Luann was making with her cabaret, and you can tell she really is hurt.
This would be a normal time when a friend would apologize for overstepping their bounds…
“Well, I was hurt because you didn’t stay to celebrate a moment for me,” this grown ass woman says about her 15 minutes onstage, which Bethenny came for, but the cabaret star herself was nearly an hour late to. It’s rare that I am so firmly on one Housewife’s side in an argument like this, but how could I not be when Bethenny is throwing non-stop touchdowns, cemented with this final line: “I can’t live my life to celebrate you. I celebrated you this simmer … I’ve done Luann.”
To. Be. Continued.
The Real Housewives of New York City