The Real Housewives of New York City recap: Better a crystal than a stick
As soon as I turned on this episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, I suddenly remembered this was the "Dorinda intervention" episode, and almost turned it right back off, sold my TV, packed up my house, and moved to an alternate dimension. That's how badly I never want to watch anyone tell Dorinda that she may have a bit of an anger issue. But much like Sonja, I am a professional, and I have written Housewives recaps from vacation breakfast tables in Paris, Puerto Rico, and once, an Amish cabin, so I decided I could handle whatever rage-fueled fireworks were headed my way.
And y'know what, this turned out to be a pretty chill episode. Well, until the last 10 minutes, when Ramona tried to casually confront Dorinda about her notable anger issue, and did so in public, with Dorinda's daughter on speakerphone, and while flying into wild hysterics herself.
Just some classic RHONY conflict mediation! Still, it seems the women of New York can still surprise us. For example, when Luann picked up two men off the beach and invited them to dinner that night, I just knew that if young, fair Leah took one of them out of the talons of Luann, Ramona, or Sonja, that they would rip her limb from limb until nothing was left but a bodysuit and a wisp of blond hair. But lo and behold — Leah scores the hot one, and no one blinks an eye. Of course, there are some things on RHONY that will never change…
(Warning: If you are not one for scatological talk, then this is not the episode for you, and I actually do recommend that packing-up-for-another-dimension tactic I mentioned earlier.)
Not only do the RHONY women talk incessantly about the time they pooped on all the floors in Cartagena a few seasons ago, but they add some new memories to the list in Cancun! And I quote, from Dorinda: "I s— on the floor trying to reach for my dress."
So I guess we can officially welcome Leah to the cast now because our girl brought a man home to the group villa (but did not have sex with him) and peed her bed (but did not poop it). She's like our very own RHONY junior bridesmaid.
After ending the last episode on a high note with Sonja's surprise birthday celebration, Dorinda runs around waking up the house, notifying them that are two handsome men outside to lead them in a workout class. "This is going to be a lot of energy," one of the trainers says to the other as they watch Dorinda hustling around, and that might be the quickest I've ever seen anyone size this group up. Luckily most everyone stays in bed, because the trainers have their hands full with just Dorinda trying to teach them her own exercise class and Luann trying to remove their shorts with her eyes.
Inside, Sonja is on the phone with the co-owner of Century 21 talking about the launch party for her clothing line next week. "Everyone who knows me has heard about my fashion, and my perfume, and my jewelry, and my toaster oven, and ha-ha-ha," Sonja tells the camera. "This party has to show that everything I've talked about has come to fruition." I like that Sonja is self-aware about the perception of her business acumen, but she just keeps on trotting herself out to that business partner's office in Staten Island, and through those red Century 21 doors, and trying her damndest to make something — anything — happen.
It's also sweet when she sits down to work alongside Leah at the table outside, and Leah sort of commiserates with her that other people just don't understand how hard it is to run your own fashion line like they do. It's nice to see someone treat Sonja like a working woman rather than their third-grade niece running a lemonade stand in February.
In the kitchen, Luann is maintaining my favorite of her traits: her passion for intercontinental breakfast eggs. She tells Ramona and Dorinda they simply must get the huevos rancheros while in Mexico, and then they sit down at the table for breakfast, where Sonja and Leah are working. Dorinda immediately starts laying into them about being present at the breakfast they didn't ask to attend. Sonja says she has to get this invitation finished today, so then Dorinda starts ranting that she has invitations she could be making right now, which… no you don't, Dorinda. Suddenly everyone is squawking over each other except for Leah, who quietly shuts her laptop and says that everyone came over while she was finishing an email. Dorinda starts monologuing about how everyone is "completely desocialized" these days, and how she "goes to hotels, and everyone is on their phone."
And she just sounds so lame. People can be on their phones in hotels, Dorinda! Also, this from the woman who pulls out her phone to rattle off a Tyler Perry quote every other episode…
To quote Tyler Perry: I don't think so.
Sonja ignores Dorinda and goes inside to keep working, but her outburst is all the ammunition Ramona needs to decide it's time for a confrontation about Dorinda's anger. She tells Sonja that she thinks it might be menopause-related, but Sonja tells her it's rude to ask someone about that. Ramona decides that she'll just casually bring up that she went through menopause around Dorinda's age, and then see if Dorinda responds that, well, she is going through menopause, and well, perhaps that is why she's been acting like a rage monster to all her friends for the last two years or so.
Even though Ramona ultimately handles the confrontation terribly anyway… I shudder to think how this menopause version would have gone down. Especially given Sonja's belief that menopause is the real reason they burned women in Salem.
While that's happening, Leah and Luann take a walk on the beach, where they stumble upon two single straight men who have…come on a trip to Cancun together, I guess? I'd ask more questions, but Philipe and Pascal ultimately seem like two pretty okay guys. I agree with Leah that these men should take Luann up on her invitation back for a drink at their own risk: "Because inside the villa, there are very horny, very insatiable women." God bless the editor who cut back to Ramona in the house teetering around in only her one-piece bathing suit and pair of fully closed-toed, fully ankle-strapped stilettos. Has her shoe game always been this absurd, or did Leah pointing out the heels with the leggings in the airport last week suddenly open my eyes?
The moment Luann brings the men back, Ramona sidles out, cooing, "Is this a miraaaage?" They have a drink, but given that it's 11 in the morning, and Luann has already worked out, eaten local eggs, gotten in an argument, walked on the beach, and picked up two strangers, they agree to meet the men out later.
And I guess this really was a workday on vacation, because the next thing we know the scene is cutting straight to the women getting ready for dinner. Sonja and Ramona get very glammed up and head into Dorinda's room, where they find her locked in the bathroom. "Do you have diarrhea?" Ramona asks. "Do you have any hairspray?" Sonja asks, walking right into the bathroom. Indeed, Dorinda does have a major case of the runs, so she's not going to be able to make it to dinner. But as Luann says later, "Diarrhea has a way of showing up when you need it most."
Now, I can't say I agree with that as a general sentiment, but in this particular case Luann means that Dorinda needed to stay the hell home so that they could have some fun without fear of her getting drunk and becoming enraged for some unexpected reason. And she is right not only about that, but I don't think Dorinda would have been nearly as laid-back about Philipe and Pascal joining them and partying all night as everyone else was.
For some reason, just as Leah starts making out with Philipe in the restaurant and Ramona tries to act like she doesn't care that Leah got the hottie, the scene just… transitions to the next morning! I would rather see Leah getting her freak on than watch Ramona show Dorinda a video she took of it, thanks very much. Either way, Leah says she sent Philipe packing before bedtime: "I told him I haven't had sex in months, I'm not having sex with you." Which was certainly the right decision given her next reveal: she peed the bed. "These women are rubbing off on me, and not in a good way." Run, Leah. Run.
Dorinda has a day trip plane to some nearby cenotes because she says their group are like newborn babies: "We gotta get fresh air every day." The trip does turn out to be revitalizing for Leah, who is half the age of the rest of the women but twice as hungover. She takes a nap in the van on the way to the cenotes, which means she misses Luann's reveal that she's sleeping with a former American Idol winner, who Ramona then reveals she's also had an entanglement with, to which Luann adds: "So has Tinsley!"
I mean, wow. A little sleuthing reveals this man is probably Constantine Maroulis, who did not win American Idol, but that doesn't mean Lu wouldn't say he won American Idol. He also fully dated Tinsley, and when the editors bleep Ramona saying his name, it's a whole bunch of asterisks: like three syllables' worth.
So, speaking of cave jumping… after a shaman asks the birds and the trees to take care of the women (they need it), Luann, Dorinda, and Leah rappel into the cenotes, and Sonja and Ramona totter down on foot. It really is beautiful, and Leah swears the water has restorative properties because she feels fresh as a daisy when she comes out. But that feeling will not last because you know what time it is: Argue at the Most Inopportune Moment and Ruin as Many Strangers' Days As Possible TIME!!!
At lunch, Leah shares that she sees a witch in New York, who had her put a crystal egg in her vagina to clear out the bad energy from her ex-boyfriend. Ramona and Dorinda — two women who have been talking about poop nonstop for upward of 36 hours — bug their eyes out, but Leah says in her testimonial: "It's a lot better to have a crystal up your vajayjay than a stick up your ass."
Indeed! But this fun cannot last. Dorinda gets a call from her daughter Hannah, and she takes it right at the table. This annoys everyone who had to sit through her monologue at breakfast about being present during meals. Now, I would be annoyed too, but I might have waited until after Dorinda was off the phone to say something, or just asked her to step away from the table. Instead, Ramona and Sonja start saying, "I thought we were having a meal together," while Dorinda is still on the phone with Hannah, who's telling her about a new job.
Eerily, Dorinda doesn't get as rageful as she sometimes does, she just immediately goes into that mocking voice she used to do to Tinsley that I think is among her nastiest traits because it's not just angry — it's mean.
"I'm so happy she called, I'm so happy my daughter called," Dorinda starts sing-songing, and instead of just letting her spin out and talking to her about it later (I mean… not that that would do anything either, but still), Ramona starts pleading with Dorinda to tell her where this anger comes from. Luann adds that she's blown up at all of them at some point during this trip, to which Leah says quietly that Dorinda hasn't technically blown up at her yet, and Ramoan snaps back, "Let us talk!" This will become important when Ramona later berates Leah for not stepping in and saying anything during the argument, but she did — Ramona just didn't like what she said.
Dorinda says she has to go call her daughter back, but mockingly tells them "Thank you so much for the advice and everything you gave to me." Ramona starts calling after her, "We wanna help you, don't you understand?" She's heaving and choking like she's sobbing, but there's not a tear in sight, though her face is in absolute anguish. "There's a problem here, we wanna help you and you're not getting it," Ramona cries. "It's really upsetting that you won't listen, you won't take it in," Ramona is absolutely wailing at this point, and I have to agree with Sonja: "It's just distracting from our cause and giving Dorinda the perfect excuse to walk off laughing."
Indeed, when Dorinda returns, she mocks Ramona incessantly for "getting hysterical back there" and saying how she knows this all "must be really traumatizing."
She really is such an ass. Unfortunately, you simply cannot fight ass with ass. Just ask Dorinda's toilet. And with that, I'll see you back here next week for the episode I probably should have been scared of all along.
Ramona, LuAnn, Sonja, Carole, Heather, Kristen, and Dorinda — and oh, yes, Bethenny — are in a New York state of mind.