The Real Housewives of New York City recap: The yacht has sailed, honey
Well, if we can't get wasted, throw fire, and use a vibrator to whip up a platter of chicken salad with our own friends, at least we have our Real Housewives of New York City friends to reflect a highly typical wine-night-in-with-the-gals back to us through our television screens.
If anything, tonight's RHONY episode is proof that glorious Real Housewives content can very much still happen under the nation's current quarantine. Six women created more chaos in a 24-hour period without ever leaving Ramona's Hamptons house than most people could create in a lifetime. This is doable, Bravo. Just give the people what they want: a cast of Real Housewives all-stars, quarantined together at Dorinda's haunted, half-renovated Berkshires home. At the very least, we get a found-footage-style horror movie out of the experiment.
Following Sonja's Emmy-worthy drunken performance last week (nominated for Best Writing for "I'm not arm candy, I don't shave my p----" and Best Actress in a Miniseries for the portion of the evening where Sonja hit on a 25-year-old by telling him about her "gas pocket" and "amazing vagina" in a single breath), I truly did not think that this weekend trip to the Hamptons could get any wilder. But perhaps my incorrect assumption stems from the fact that I haven't spent very much time with Leah yet, who is proving to be a shot of adrenaline directly to the heart of this RHONY franchise...
Which is, of course, to say, that she has the potential to bring RHONY to heretofore unknown heights — or burn the entire series down to the ground until all that's left is a pile of ash and one spinning bucket hat.
But if you can believe it, there's actually an entire chunk of this episode that doesn’t involve Leah launching tiki torches against The Man and drunkenly trying to empower her friends to give up their ex-husbands' surnames while they pee out two gallons of rosé. So we simply must get into it: We open in media res as Luann calls Ramona after fleeing her house the night before, leaving nothing but a "GOODNIGHT FROM THE LOWER LEVEL" text in her wake. And, you guys — it works! Luann gets all the attention and deference she's been craving; Ramona apologizes that she hurt her feelings by putting her in the spider-ridden basement, and everyone yells that they want Luann to come back.
Oh, and Lu returns in fine form. I won't ever forget that Luann spent three seasons being a kamikaze of narcissism who ruined the word "cabaret" forever…but I will happily accept her back as maneater, "don't be all uncool" Luann. She returns to play tennis with Ramona and Ramona's hot tennis pro, because as Dorinda says, "Ramona Singer uses the '80s method of hiring people: they have to be good looking, they have to be fit, and they have to be someone dateable."
Adriano turns out to be two out of three. Even though he notes that Luann is fit and good at tennis, when she sidles up to him after the lesson to ask if he "has a family," Adriano does not take her up on what she's very clearly putting down. Luckily, there are plenty more people these women can employ at Ramona's home! Cue Ed and Michael, the traveling dog groomers who Sonja has called to come and groom Marley. One of them — I assume Michael — looks as if a Hummel figurine got cast in a Marvel movie, and Luann is into it. She approaches him at the sink and asks if he needs any help washing Marley, even though I feel confident that if you paid Luann 7 million dollars, she wouldn't be able to think of that dog's name.
Michael responds that he could use Luann's "moral support," because surprise — he's into it too! As are Sonja and Ed, who go into full wingman mode, suggesting that Michael give Luann a massage, which is apparently what he does when he's not dog grooming. And folks, this massage had me blushing. There were…noises. Luann tells Michael he's got great hands, then looks deeps into his eyes and asks him if he makes house calls. In a completely unrelated noted, Luann later informs Ramona that she won't be staying at her house that evening, and winds up leaving their girls night in a little early.
Although that could have as much to do with the sexy dog groomer as it does with the fact that someone seems to have slipped battery acid into the frosé that everyone is drinking copious amounts of except for Luann. You know a night is about to get wild when the RHONY editors start time-stamping things, and this one starts at 7:03 p.m.
Ramona originally wanted everyone to go to her friend's birthday party in Sag Harbor, but the group convinces her to stay at home for a girls bonding night of dinner and drinks. I never actually see anyone sit down to eat dinner, but the drinking is definitely happening and by 8:15 p.m. this is the type of conversation taking place:
Tinsley: I'm like a stage mom, I want to style my dogs to have a cute round face, but then a skinny little body.
Sonja: Don't call your dogs fat, that's terrible!
Tinsley: I didn't tell my dogs they're fat…
Sonja: But you look at them like they're fat.
Tinsley: I'm a stage mom — this is my calling.
Soon, the women become annoyed that Ramona has invited a male friend named Jeff over, so naturally, they begin berating him. Luann sums up their behavior aptly, saying: "I can't help but watch this all go down and think to myself, Oh my God, is this how I look when I get drunk…and where the hell did Sonja get that dildo?"
Oh. Did I forget to mention that a number of dildos are brought out at what is now officially a frat party, but the origin of the dildos is never explained? "I think I'm gonna go," Jeff tells Ramona around the time that butt play starts to become a real possibility judging by what's happening between Leah and Sonja on the floor. And really, Jeff must have been the one thing keeping this crazy train in the station, because the minute he leaves — 9:15 p.m., as helpfully shown by the editors — Leah tears outside and takes all her clothes off. And she somehow convinces Tinsley, she of the never-fully-dressed-without-a-lash Mortimers, to strip down to her undies and get in the pool too.
It might be helpful to note that earlier in the day, Luann got vulnerable with the other women, telling them that she had found it really difficult not to drink the night before when they were at the Weird White People Party. Everyone really appreciates Luann sharing with them, and Leah is especially empathetic as she also quit drinking when she had to go to rehab as a young person. But Leah has also told us that about six months ago, she made the decision to start drinking socially again, while keeping in mind that if she doesn’t keep it under control, she has the tendency to go a little wild.
So, while Ramona is inside telling Dorinda that she's heard her boyfriend John has been flirting with other women all over town, Leah and Tinsley are naked in the pool, having this perfect discussion:
Leah: I hate these tiki torches! F--- you!
Leah: Because they suck! They just represent bulls---.
Tinsley: No, they represent, like, a fun party.
Leah: No, they don't, honey…you don’t read the news enough.
I mean…your HBO drama could never. Leah has been in the Hamptons with Ramona just a little too long and decides that these tiki torches represent everything that is wrong with social-ladder-climbing New York City society, and begins tearing them out of the ground and chucking them into the yard. At this point, Sonja comes outside, and she barely needs to hear two words before she is also fully nude and javelining Ramona's torches. "We are the rebellious ones!" Sonja screams, clearly thankful to have found her spiritual equal in Leah. But perhaps Sonja should have considered that another wild blonde might mean that for every belligerent outburst of her own, there could now be an equal and opposite belligerent outburst from Leah.
Because when the skinny dippers stumble inside, Ramona's friend Elyse has arrived, which once again brings up Sonja's outburst about not being a trophy wife from the night before. Dorinda steers Leah into a bathroom to help her get dressed, where we hear this exchange behind a closed door:
Dorinda: Wait…why are there wings on your vagina?
Leah: BECAUSE IT FLIIIIIIES!
The editors then helpfully flashback to the pool scene from just a few moments before, where a slightly smaller censor over Leah's crotch reveals that, indeed, she has a rather large set of wings tattooed just above her private parts. The timestamp is 9:45 p.m.
When Leah returns to the group — Ramona has departed to her friend's birthday party at this point, leaving these women alone in her home without even the supervision of Luann — she decides that it's time for Sonja to stop trying to prove that she was more than a trophy wife to her ex-husband and, instead, stop rooting her identity in her ex-husband altogether. A valid thought…which Leah expresses by screaming: "Sonja, the yacht has sailed…1985 is gone! F--- JP Morgan!"
It's hard to sum up precisely what happens next, but just know that Tinsley and Sonja come together on one side of the island to scream about keeping their ex-husband's surnames, while Leah and Dorinda join together on the other side of the island to scream about their humble upbringings, and soon, Leah is squatting in front of Sonja who is actively peeing in a toilet while screaming: "I'm much more than some b---- who married a Morgan!" Between this and Sonja pinning Leah against the bathroom wall and nearly making out with her, Leah finally relents and let's Sonja be the exact same person she has and always will be.
The next morning, Ramona walks into her trashed kitchen where Leah is somehow standing upright and acting like she has no idea how the backyard came to look like Lord of the Park Avenue Flies.
And maybe she doesn't, but like someone who's had to think quick on her hungover feet before, Leah ever so slightly slides the blame onto Sonja and Dorinda so that Ramona will go upstairs to confront them, and during the 10 minutes she's gone, Leah somehow manages to clean the entire kitchen. So by the time Sonja finds out that Leah was the one who trashed the backyard, she's a little less inclined to tear her limb from limb.
Plus, nothing was actually destroyed, and Ramona has been ordering Leah to set the tables and wipe down counters all weekend. Also, as Dorinda notes, it was just a year or two ago that she went to change the guest room sheets after a Berkshires weekend, only to discover that Ramona had made a habit of ripping sconces out of the walls while she was staying over. These women are all beautiful, blonde monsters, and if they don't leave the Hamptons soon, there's not a dog groomer — nor a plate of chicken salad — that will ever be safe again.
Ramona, LuAnn, Sonja, Carole, Heather, Kristen, and Dorinda — and oh, yes, Bethenny — are in a New York state of mind.