The best, worst, and wildest moments from this week on The Real Housewives.

By Mary Sollosi
July 16, 2021 at 09:27 PM EDT
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At last we made it, Bravoholics! After weeks upon weeks of just two Real Housewives franchises running at a time, The Real Housewives of Potomac came back to set things right again. We reunited with our Maryland 'wives just in time to see the tensions between Gizelle and Karen, which have been simmering since last year's reunion, boil over. Next, a little further up the east coast, our Real Housewives of New York City continued their Salem trip with a pleasant day of sightseeing followed by a disastrous night of name-calling. And finally, way over in California, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills were hit by two alarming developments: Three COVID diagnoses among them, and some shocking allegations against Tom — and Erika. Here are the best, worst, and wildest moments from this week in 'wives!

HIGH POINT: A nude interlude, RHOP

This whole event was pure Housewives candy. We begin with a provocative, try-hard invitation. Our hostess is late to her own party. The dress code goes about half-acknowledged across the group. The ladies are promised a big surprise, which turns out to be the debut of Wendy's new boobs (plus some undisclosed "tweaks"). We meet a new Housewife, Mia, who is bad at math. Gizelle is wearing a memorable outfit, pregnant Ashley can't fit into her shoes, and Candiace doesn't even show up, citing frequent visits to the commode. The pièce de résistance, however, is the final showdown in which Gizelle claims to have some good tea about Karen and threatens to spill it slowly, carefully, whenever her target least expects it. After a heated exchange about Gizelle's "fiery box" and Ray's "broken dingdong," the Grande Dame drops a devastating episode closer sure to go down in Housewives history: "You're a broken whore from Hampton University and everybody knows it, and that's why we went to Sing Sing." Oh, how I've missed these women.

LOW POINT: Send in the clowns, RHONY

I know what you're thinking: How did three cases of COVID-19 and Tom Girardi's alleged exploitation of widows and orphans fail to claim this position? The answer to that is the strangeness of this season of RHONY, which I haven't even disliked the way many of the Bravo meme accounts apparently have, but which has been significantly marked by the group's inability to gel. This week, right as the OGs seem to connect more with Eboni, Ramona's friend Bershan — who was much less convincingly introduced than most friends-of, adding to the inorganic feeling of the season — decided to liven things up at dinner, calling the women "boring" and "grandmas," then telling Sonja she's "a f---ing clown." Luann's abject fury over the group insults is almost funny, though she's right that it was rude of Bershan to say them. It's the attack on our beloved Sonja that feels cruelest, though, in part because there's a little bit of truth in it — Sonja has even said, when she's performed with Luann as an over-the-top version of herself, that she loves to make people laugh that way. Bershan wasn't speaking with affection, though, but derision. And as the group spiraled out of control in the aftermath of the blow-up — with Sonja drinking a whole glass of wine through her face mask and then rattling around an elevator with Ramona — it felt less and less like she was in on her own joke.

WILDEST MOMENT: How many days later? RHOBH

Time felt different in quarantine, which this week's disorienting but thrilling hour in Beverly Hills expertly demonstrated with a series of intertitles pushing us 4 DAYS, 2 DAYS, 5 DAYS LATER. Kyle, Kathy, and Dorit all test positive, so they're filming Romeo and Juliet-style — though Garcelle, yelling up from the ground to Kyle on her balcony, is "not drinking poison for her. Nuh-uh." Meanwhile, the reports drop alleging that Erika's divorce is a sham to hide assets, and that Tom embezzled a fortune from the families of the victims of a deadly plane crash. All of this is happening at once! And they all have to discuss it, at first, just over FaceTime! Adding to the sense of unreality is, of course, Erika herself, who is as difficult to read as ever — in part because she's obviously being so careful to tell a certain story, as clear as the mascara tears dripping down her face.

👑 QUEEN OF THE WEEK 👑 Karen and Gizelle, RHOP

Karen and Gizelle (RHOP
Credit: bravo (2)

NEW YORK'S HOTTEST DESIGNER IS: NEL-CHA, if we're to believe Luann's earrings (RHONY).

BEST EDITING: Our friends the RHOP editors outdo themselves every season. The quick glimpse of "Young Hot Karen," Juan's "Ex-Husband/Fiancé" title, the music cues throughout the whole nude interlude — truly, they're artists.

BEST REALITY REFERENCE: If the term "reality" is to be believed, then all reality shows actually take place in the same cinematic universe (which is just our normal universe, but the televised pieces of it), which the RHOBH cast understands better than anyone. It's unclear whether Erika, with her dripping face, intended to echo Lauren Conrad's infamous teary-eyed moment from The Hills, so Lisa wins this title for going international by FaceTiming her daughter Delilah with her boyfriend and Love Island UK star Eyal Booker.  

SURE, JAN: We all believe that's spilled makeup on the floor of Ramona's bathroom (RHONY).

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