The Real Housewives of New York City recap: Welcome to the faux pas spa
I’m almost positive that this entire episode of The Real Housewives of New York took place over no more than two days. Those 48 hours saw friendships broken and mended, romantic relationships terminated, a marriage that’s been dissolved for years potentially rekindled, two New York socialites learning how to swing trapeze, one Al-Anon meeting in a church basement, and an unknown number of large wine glasses full to the brim with vodka consumed.
I mean…these broads deserve every penny they make, don’t they? Are you not entertained? They fit more hours into a random Tuesday than a Silicon Valley CEO who’s just sure they’re saving the world one robotic dog butler delivery service at a time (or whatever). They’re ditching each other at galas and having truth-or-dare inspired breakups—and those are the things that happened during two days that weren’t even filmed. I spent the entire episode wide-eyed at how simply going to weeknight drinks with the single ladies of RHONY (here’s some life advice from Sonja: “there are two kinds of guys, the ones that want to f–k you, and the ones that want to marry you”) can wind up being a fascinating adventure in reliving past lives, to only then arrive…
At that preview for the rest of the season. Much like this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, this week’s episode of RHONY was ultimately revealed to be the calm before the storm. No matter what Dorinda says, the women have been getting along pretty well thus far. As opposed to arguing with each other, they’ve mostly been wrestling with personal demons which comes in the form of day drinking and then sobbing at a dinner table because someone asked you to call your boyfriend on speaker phone or dared to touch a piece of paper that bore the imitation handwriting of one of your ex-husband’s relatives…
You know, standard friend group fair. But the upcoming season preview promises the grand psychological warfare of RHONY seasons past. Yes, I enjoy watching these women nearly get into a physical fight over a Page Six quote before manicures, have the manicures, and then hug and proclaim their love for each other after the manicures on their home turf of Manhattan…but I also enjoy watching two queen bees with egos the size of all five boroughs stage a battle royale on the cursed beaches of West Palm Spring.
And speaking of the boroughs: this episode opens with Sonja and Bethenny headed to Brooklyn, acting like two suburban teenagers venturing to the other side of the tracks to buy weed. Even as a Brooklyn resident, I kind of love them marveling at the exotic outlet malls and foreign luxuries of Costco. You know what I don’t love? Bethenny just giving a cursory introduction of her new “driver/bodyguard,” Albi, like we don’t deserve an explanation for the absence of Kevin. Bethenny sharing her trauma with an unsuspecting and previously unseen “nanny/housekeeper” last week was giving me major Kevin flashbacks, and now to know that he’s been taken off Bethenny’s payroll of human sounding boards—I’m concerned and I need closure.
I’m also concerned for the number of times Sonja purposefully drew cute, young Albi into the conversation on the drive to Brooklyn to meet her artist friend Hunt Slonem at his gallery. Sonja says she knows Bethenny is working on her art collection, and since Bethenny has been so supportive of her (???), she wanted to introduce her to Hunt—something she wouldn’t just do for anyone. And that is because, in the presence of an actually famous artist that she goes so far back with, her photo is featured twice on his table of NYC all-stars (also a pre-mugshot Tinsley!), Sonja can fully dip back into her past life as a socialite, and not in a way that results in her teetering around an old house in her readers screaming, “YOU DON’T TOUCH THE F–KING MORGAN LETTERS!”
Bethenny is, indeed, impressed with Sonja’s credibility, but she’s also alarmed by the full squawking aviary that Hunt keeps in his gallery. “The thing is that everyone is acting like this is normal,” Bethenny says in her testimonial. “Like, everyone’s acting like, Oh yeah, of course, there are paintings of bunnies everywhere and birds that whistle Dixie and want to f–k you at the same time.” I truly, truly cannot think of a more apt metaphor for the way I feel watching The Real Housewives of New York City than that precise statement.
The birds currently whistling Dixie are Tinsley and Dorinda as they take an impromptu sail through the air while practicing for Tinsley’s guest gig hosting the Big Apple Circus—and the birds wanting to f–k are, forever and always, Ramona, Sonja, and Luann as they head to one of Ramona’s favorite Upper East Side haunts. One unique thing about New York being a Housewives franchise made up entirely of single women is that we get to see how they turn into maniacs the moment an eligible bachelor comes around…
And by eligible bachelor, I do mean Michael, a handsome older gentleman who is so sloshed on a Tuesday night, he can barely proclaim that he has had sex with either all or none of the women standing in front of him. Sonja, normally a totally cool downtown kinda gal goes full mean girl mode, announcing that Luann’s face went beet-red when she saw Michael. Luann, normally an uptight, lofty sort of lady, typically goes full Amazing Amy cool girl (“not all, like, uncool“) around single men. And, luckily for everyone within a 40-foot radius, Ramona is busy ordering “a very large glass” of vodka when Michael approaches and doesn’t have a chance to force us all into a biological mutation where we grow earlids to block out her flirting techniques.
Not to mention, she luckily still has some juice in the tank…
When her ex-husband Mario shows up. Whoo, it is wild! He comes bearing Turtle Time wine trinkets, so it doesn’t seem that this run-in is entirely accidental, but the sparks flying between him and his ex-wife are unexpected, at least on my end. But Ramona explains it plainly: “Mario had a midlife crisis. He went through this dark, weird place, and I didn’t know who he was.” And now that he’s returned to his old “charming, fun, great to be around” self? Ramona swears she’s not looking to get back together, but she does later reveal that he went back to her apartment that night where they did not “hook up” but she did “put cream on his face.” Being 60 seems like it rules.
This cream application kink intel comes out at the spa day Dorinda hosts that is ultimately more productive than maybe my entire 2018. Before they can get down to relaxing, Dorinda has a bone to pick with Ramona that is so classic Ramona it might as well be from the Mesozoic Era.
Apparently, Ramona invited Dorinda to attend the Angel Ball with her a few days ago; Dorinda arrived first and took her assigned place at Table 62. Then Ramona arrived, audibly received her Table 62 assignment in the sepia-toned flashback footage from the event, audibly repeated “Table 62, where is Table 62” to the hosts who gave her the table card, promptly encountered some hip woman she apparently saw in Mykonos recently, asks her what table she’s sitting at, and then decides her assigned table is now Table 61. And boy does she commit to this bit that she thought it was her correct assignment all along.
It seems that Dorinda was annoyed when Ramona invited her to an event and then didn’t sit with her, but she was willing to get over it…
Until Ramona told Page Six that the entire seating issue was due to them buying individual tickets and not a whole table, even though she got both of their tickets and invited Dorinda. When Dorinda calls her out on this, Ramona keeps insisting that the table assigners gave her a card for Table 61, and the award-winning RHONY editors keep playing the clip of her saying, “Table 62, where is Table 62” over and over again until Ramona literally pushes Dorinda because she says she’s not listening to her, and Dorinda gets very serious and says, “Don’t push me.”
I’m conflicted because I delight in Ramona being a transparently social climbing dumb-dumb…but I recoil at her being a defensive, abrasive liar. But Dorinda seems to take her storming off upset as an apology, and by the time she returns to the spa day, the other women have arrived and are ready to sort out their discrepancies. Sonja has already proclaimed to Dorinda and Ramona that she intends to speak with Barbara because “she has been making a lot of social faux pas lately.” Which is pretty rich coming from a woman who briefly masturbated with an electric Halloween ghost on camera last week…
But Barbara is ultimately quite open to Sonja’s suggestion that she needs to have a conversation with Dorinda today about their run-ins over the last few weeks. She does sit down with Dorinda, who immediately becomes emotional because apparently, the friction in their friendship has been bothering her more than she was originally letting on. This was one of those episodes where Dorinda talked about how big her heart is a lot, and I believed her. She’s very thankful for Barbara opening up the conversation and saying she wants them to be able to “support each other as two strong women.” They agree to put their differences behind them and start over fresh.
Barbara is a little less eager to follow through on Sonja’s other suggestion, however. Apparently, at Bethenny’s dinner party, someone asked Barbara if she liked Ramona after Ramona was gone, and Barbara said that she did not. If you can believe it, that news made it back to Ramona and now she’s upset…even though Ramona doesn’t like Barbara either and has done pretty much nothing but trash talk her in her testimonials since she arrived in her first wrap dress. And I’m not knocking them—it’s a flattering cut on her!
But Ramona is very much knocking, with all the subtlety of a Barbara-K-brand wrecking ball. When Barbara approaches and asks Ramona how she’s doing, she says, “I don’t know, how do you think I should be?” Barbara tells her she can think about if she wants to talk and let her know, and Ramona mutters, “you sure do love those wrap dresses, don’t you?” Gah, she is so rude, and I love it and I hate it in equal measure. Barbara responds that yes she does enjoy wrap dresses and Ramona chatters out six variations of “Well, you might want to change it up a little” while shrugging her shoulders at a rate of 40 times per minute which is, of course, equal to 30 blinks per second.
Barbara, who I’m still unsure about, but must admire for keeping this freight train on track, responds that maybe Ramona could take her shopping and show her what she likes to wear. Then she apologizes for saying she didn’t like Ramona and tells her that she just got caught up in the moment and said something she didn’t mean. Ramona refuses to hug Barbara, but does forgive her, saying in her testimonial that she intended to “give it to her big and hard,” but then she couldn’t do it. The power of a wrap dress, baby—Diane Von Furstenberg didn’t raise no fool.
Of course, the biggest news of this episode, which continued to be delivered with the casualness of a Jimmy Johns sandwich, is that—I kid you not—inspired by last week’s emotional game of truth-or-dare, Tinsley finally broke up with Scott. She called him that very night and said she needed to see him, and since he was unwilling to make that happen, she ended it for good. She says that she’s sad about it, but also surprisingly relieved. But the best part of all of this is watching her friends receive the news and try to show sympathy while internally rejoicing, and then very much externally rejoicing. Most of the time this show is penthouse spa days and haunted mansion possessions, but occasionally it gives us a moment so relatable you have to text your own friend and say, Remember when you dated [the coupon king of Chicago]? Wild times…wild times.
Sound off in the comments with your suggestions for Tinsley’s next boyfriend, and favorite moments from that wild season preview!
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