The Real Housewives of New York City finale recap: 'Santa got flipped off'
Jingle bells, necklace sales, Bethenny almost died / Barbara’s mic, is always hot, and Tinsley didn’t cry—HEY!
It’s Christmas in New York City, and that can only mean one thing: it’s time for a S’mores and Whores party. Just kidding. That’s so far from being a real thing, it’s practically just a hunch Dorinda has and has decided to presumptuously state as fact. But it is time for the RHONY finale, and that means we watch the entire episode just waiting for the freeze-frame life updates that come at the end of every Housewives finale. That the New York housewives’ freeze-frames were of them with male strippers in Santa hats, each one either detailing real estate endeavors or being taken into police custody, was a Christmas-in-June gift unto us all.
Said freeze-frames also usually take place at a party, and in Wednesday’s episode, we had three to choose from:
There was the aforementioned S’mores and Whores party thrown by Bethenny—always looking for an excuse to wear candy-striped tights, I feel—that closed out the episode. There was the surprises birthday party that Ramona threw for Dorinda and Sonja explicitly to avoid going to Luann’s cabaret show. And there was, of course, Luann’s Christmas cabaret, which is not technically a party, until of course, Barbara explained to another friend in the audience before the show started that other acts would come out as well because, “I don’t think she could really ever hold a show by herself—I mean, she can’t really sing.” Then it became a party.
And for as much as we owe Barbara for literally never knowing that she’s mic’d and talking the most honest s–t about Luann, Sonja and Dorinda owe us just as much for continuing to get dual-paychecks in the episodes this season. In a scene eerily reminiscent of the now infamous “The Hustle starring Anne Hathaway” scene, Dorinda and Sonja get their “flanks” “CoolSculpted” to “metabolize” the “bits and bobs” they can’t get rid of. But I can’t really be mad at them for getting that fat-blasting bread, especially when it makes Sonja worry “I just don’t want to be on a date and I start sweating my ass out from under my arms,” and have Dorinda reassure her, “Nooo, you pee it out!”
But if I can be this understanding about Dorinda and Sonja secretly marketing peeing out fat to me, then I don’t quite understand why they’re so worried about Tinsley possibly still getting gifts from her ex-boyfriend. I mean, I get wanting your friends to be honest with you, but I don’t think that necessarily includes full financial transparency. Especially coming from the two friends who are in the exact same “this right here is our job” boat as Tinsley. Like, the woman makes money—we’re watching her make it!
Anyway, that whole argument goes down at the surprise party that Ramona is hosting for Dorinda and Sonja in the former location of—hold onto your decorative toboggans—Boutique. Talk about some rebirth imagery. But before they can be surprised, Dorinda, Tinsley, and Sonja head to Luann’s cabaret venue to see her before the show, as they all mutually agreed upon at last week’s aerobics class since Luann was upset that Ramona planned a party in the middle of her show. And yet, when the women come backstage to greet Luann, she acts like it’s so overwhelming for them to be there right before their show, whispering to her hair stylist, “These people don’t realize, they have no idea.” YOU TOLD THEM TO COME, WOMAN!!!
Bethenny wasn’t there because the day before when she was with her boyfriend (Paul, whom we finally see a picture of and is quite handsome) in Boston, had an allergic reaction to a soup she didn’t know had fish in it, which she has stated many times she is severely allergic to. And listen, that sounds really scary, and I do not begrudge her that traumatizing experience, but like…why is this extremely rich woman not just carrying around a purse full of EpiPens with her all the time? She tells Sonja that the medics stuck “this, like, rocket pen” in her leg in the ambulance, leading me to wonder if she even knows keeping a life-saving EpiPen with her is an option. Hopefully she does now, but in the end, this near-death experience helped her move on from Dennis, telling her driver later that she can’t “go with [Dennis]” into the afterlife while they are, hilariously, both dressed in Santa suits of varying tightness levels.
I’m going to take a note out of the RHONY handbook and just refuse to talk about Luann’s actual cabaret show, which is exactly as you would expect it to be (save maybe Noel’s tiny mustache, which was serving a surprising Chalamet-energy), and skip straight to the surprise party which Dorinda truly seemed tickled by. And, of course, Ramona was tickled by the opportunity to pat herself on the back, no matter what her intentions were in throwing it. The only hitch was Tinsley asking Dorinda why things seemed off between them, and Dorinda replying that she thinks Tinsley is deceitful, and then beckoning Sonja and Ramona over to further reiterate that they think she has “an arrangement” with Scott.
And, I don’t know, we do love watching RHONY for its ugly style of honesty (the inverse of which is currently driving the RHOBH franchise into the ground), but is Tinsley being a living and breathing open wound not an honesty all its own? I mean, the other week we heard her sloppily tell a man on a first date that her mother wants her to have kids, but she’s not sure if she wants to have kids, but she wants to have kids, but maybe her chihuahuas are the only kids she’ll ever have, and she’s fine with that, but maybe she’s not fine with that—like, it might be good if Tinsley kept a few things zipped up, eh?
Tinsley ends up leaving the party because they won’t believe her when she tells them that she pays for her own apartment and dresses, but when she arrives at Bethenny’s party the next night, all is mostly fine. This is New York, after all; last week’s episode started with Bethenny having a panic attack and calling Luann a sicko, and ended with her sticking up for Luann against Ramona’s mid-cabaret party. And now, they’re all here at the same Christmas party, dressed as “elegant whores” in the name of Santa Claus, making oyster innuendos, hitting a nutcracker piñata full of vibrators, getting danced up on by sexy Santa strippers…
The life updates roll across the screen informing us that Ramona lowered the price on her apartment but it’s still on the market, Sonja’s daughter got into an Ivy League school, Bethenny bought a townhouse in Boston with her boyfriend, Tinsley “downsized her hotel apartment,” Dorinda’s Berkshires home flooded but she’s using it as an opportunity to make it “nice-r,” and Luann was briefly taken into custody because she violated her parole but nothing, literally nothing, could make her stop doing her cabaret tour. And now—we wait for the reunion, hope that Dorinda has somehow avoided hearing “Feeling Jovani,” and just wish that we could live in that reality with her.