The New York ladies celebrate another birthday, visit a psychic, and set the table for a brand dispute — all in a day's work
Credit: Bravo

Exaaaaactly how many birthdays do the women of RHONY have? First it was Bethenny’s “tailgate chic” birthday party, then it was Ramona’s ladies-who-lunch birthday party, and now it’s Sonja’s sneak-attack product-launch birthday party, where Ramona will talk about her own birthday party gifts.

But who cares? It just means we get more absurd birthday fighting, and this time, with necklace rashes! And as an added bonus, Carole — the women who thinks she only has five more good summers ahead of her — thought it was time to look to the future once more. But this time, instead of using coffee grounds, they’re just using a good old-fashioned celebrity psychic, Kim Russo. I have a number of favorite Housewives tropes: any absurd assertion of being “old money” while actively participating in a reality show; talking about someone at a group lunch when they’re about a bowl of guacamole away from you; a group trip to Dubai to mend fences. But among my very favorites has to be bringing in a psychic, whether wanted (New York) or unwanted (oh early Beverly Hills, we miss you and Allison DuBois and e-cigarettes so!), to bring the women to tears.

Carole invites Kim Russo to her apartment, and she immediately gets down to psychic business, while Bethenny immediately gets down to destroying the cheese tray so she doesn’t have to pretend like she buys any of this. But the other women are pretty convinced: Kim tells Jules that she’s beginning to connect with her mission in life to be a role model, something that she’s done in previous lives, and Jules feels sure that’s a reference to speaking out on her eating disorder. Kim talks to Ramona about her father and freaks her out by identifying a very specific picture they took right before he died. And she tells Dorinda that her late husband Richard thinks John is “fine for now,” but that he doesn’t make her feel safe, and Kim gets the feeling she won’t marry him. And then Ramona slips out a, “Thank God”…

And then Dorinda loses her shit in that very special way that only Dorinda can — hands flying, words slurring, usually something falling out of her mouth a little bit — yelling at Ramona that she needs to cut that out, and John doesn’t like here either and thinks she’s a bitch, and then she invokes the name of Mario. But Ramona apologizes, and they get past it because these women seem to be able to easily tolerate somewhere between a weekly and bi-weekly screaming match. (Bethenny eats more cheese and says she’d be impressed if Kim could tell her “how many times I masturbate a year,” so it’s very possible that Bethenny is just unclear on what a psychic medium’s whole thing is.)

Carole goes over to Jules’ house to teach her how to make tea and say things like, “You have to articulate your suffering in a way that emancipates you and empowers other women,” that give Jules chills and make her decide that she has a connection with Carole. Something about Jules’ naivete to the Housewives process and her search for role models amongst the cast reminds me of Porsha’s first season on Atlanta, so we can only hope that in three season’s time, Jules will have a glowing mug shot, a new pair of boobs, and an entirely different personality.

NEXT: Team Skinny vs. Team Tipsy

I just…don’t even want to address Dorinda and John at one of their many, many dinners. They eat, he acts bullish, she gets mad at him, they fight — you know the drill. Except this time she gets so mad that she storms out, telling John to “grab an E-ZPass to Queens,” which is a pretty sick burn as far as Upper East Siders go…too bad he’s her boyfriend and she keeps reminding us that it’s her choice to be with him.

And finally it’s time for the birthday party that Sonja is so excited about she’s even letting her facialist come — but not her makeup artist because you have to draw the line somewhere (and that place is not at sticking upwards of six cue Q-tips in your nose, Hannah Horvath style). And Sonja is so excited because this isn’t just an average birthday party; no, it’s a product launch of her new prosecco brand. She hasn’t told anyone about it because business goddess Bethenny told her she needs to chill about spilling every potential idea she has for every potential Nigerian football team or international lifestyle toaster oven.

And she’s just so thrilled with herself. Sonja can be utterly ridiculous and occasionally intolerable, but I always have to marvel at her childlike enthusiasm for…herself. So all her friends — except, conveniently, Bethenny — come ’round in their finest leather matchstick pants and what can only be described as “cocktail tops” to celebrate Sonja’s “birthday.” But first, Ramona needs to tell everyone how Luann re-gifted her a necklace she liked at her jewelry launch but at the time gave her a rash, so Luann had apparently had another one made and then gave it to Ramona at her birthday party. Even though Ramona was talking mad s— about the “re-gift” to everyone, she wanted to talk mad s— to Luann personally and is peeved when Dorinda spills the mad beans.

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Perhaps the realest moment of this entire season will be when Jules is making her husband stand near her but not talk to her so that she can listen in on the absolutely ludicrous argument that Luann, Ramona, and Sonja get into over the itchy necklace and what exactly defines a re-gift. And perhaps the most rewind-able moment will be watching the little woman in the pink dress attempting to go speak to the birthday girl and nearly losing an eye for it — you simply must go marvel at her.

And with one argument on the birthday party record books, Sonja can now officially announce her prosecco named…Tipsy Girl. TIPSY GIRL! Is this broad joking? Jules tries to mention to a few people, including Sonja, that Tipsy Girl prosecco sounds mighty similar to their good friend Bethenny’s Skinnygirl prosecco and that Bethenny has been known to get ever so mildly feisty when you come for her brand, but everyone is all, “Noooo, she loves business; she loves prosecco; she loves girls; she’s gonna absolutely love this!”

Spoiler alert: I don’t think she’s gonna love it. Sound oft with your (hopefully tipsy) thoughts in the comments!