After the dinner and the beginning of an intervention that didn’t quite take – after the first round of tears and immediately before the second river began to flow from another set of designer tear ducts – Carole and Heather find themselves in the spacious linen-covered room of their cool marble villa.
“I love Sonja, but man, she’s a lot of work,” muses Carole.
And if Sonja is a lot of work, then Ramona is a job that must be performed while in a small wooden box that never dips below a temperature of ninety-three degrees and there’s always a hundred percent humidity in there and no vacation time and absolutely no sick days and the boss is a woman who swings back and forth on what I can only hope is a bipolar pendulum and changes her persona constantly and the only thing those personas have in common is a running hysteria.
But look, I’m not dead inside. Watching Ramona bawl her eyes out to Bethenny about how her husband of twenty-five years is a part of her even if he’s not good for her was awful. This is a woman flooding over with pain and Bethenny proves she has the ability to be really good to someone and she holds Ramona in her arms and both of them cry deep, racking tears. Maybe Bethenny is crying out of pure sympathy or maybe Ramona has touched a radioactive nerve within her too, but the whole scene is maybe the most genuine example of honest sentiment ever seen on this show. It’s heartbreaking.
But it’s also confusing because I’m so with Ramona right there and then, in the very next second, I can’t stop these thoughts from popping up in the front of my head in a huge bold font:
Everybody’s noticing how jerky and overly expressive Ramona is when she speaks, right? Like, it’s not just me who can’t stop staring at how she can’t say a sentence without curling her lips weirdly and then bulging out her eyes and flipping her hair about, yes?
This odd posturing has become rather disconcerting for me. I realize it’s a side issue, but when I’m eventually taken to a padded room after this season is finally over, perhaps one of you can mention to the doctors that I’m just having an allergic reaction to Ramona Singer.
I am not allergic to penicillin should it come up.
Before the crying happened, Ramona and Bethenny both agreed that Sonja is self-medicating with alcohol and that it’s a real issue, though I did laugh when Ramona said that the big problem tonight for Sonja was that it was Ramona who had called her out and it’s almost impressive (wait, is full-on narcissism impressive?) how Ramona can make anything about her.
The next day dawns bright and yellow-sunny and the Countess had already taken a topless dip in the ocean and Ramona has already put on a hot pink bikini and some heels and Carole has already ordered a blueberry omelet (is that a thing?) when the yoga instructor arrives at the front door. Carole, Heather, and Luann are happy to plank on the back deck with a gorgeous backdrop flanking their deep breathing but the peace and the ohms keep getting disturbed by Sonja screaming. See, Sonja tells Dorinda about how the women upset her last night and Dorinda starts discharging some very odd advice. She tells Sonja to shut the women down and refuse to listen to any of their judgments and that these women like when Sonja is fucked up so they can keep score on all she has done wrong. Now, that strikes me as the kind of advice you give to someone who is not currently a public shitstorm of enormous chaos. Dorinda has personally witnessed Sonja’s drinking and slurring. She knows Sonja has a problem. That’s not the person you tell to ignore other people who are commenting on an issue that’s real.
Sonja, however, decides that Dorinda should be a life coach and maybe she should be, but it’ll be a very specific kind of life coach who only tells very messed up people exactly what they want to hear. She’ll make a fucking fortune. And Sonja also denies she has a problem and that the only one who could say something accurate is Ramona and Ramona doesn’t think she has a problem and why does Heather keep talking about her and the way that Bethenny speaks is because poor Bethenny “doesn’t have the education, doesn’t have the manners.” She booms all of these comments and completely disrupts any quiet trying to commence on the Lido deck and I guess it’s nice to know that Sonja can also ruin daylight while she’s sober and not just evening when she’s hammered. She’s really very versatile. Did you guys know she used to be in PR?
Now, to be fair, we haven’t seen Ramona onscreen for a good five minutes so that’s totally enough time for her to change into Enabling Ramona, one of her eight personalities that come out when Sane Ramona goes night-night, and now this new version of Ramona takes Sonja for a walk to tell her that the women all think she has “a major drinking problem” but she kind of asserts that she’s not so sure Sonja even has a problem and then Bethenny comes out of the ocean and towards two women with whom she thought she’d achieved breakthroughs, a mindset that goes hurdling over a cliff when Sonja tells her that Ramona thinks that Bethenny thinks that she has an alcohol problem and Bethenny responds, “Ramona thinks that also.” She does! She said that exact thing last night! A camera was aimed at her face while she said it! She was wearing a microphone! It’s almost fascinating how such a thing could be denied under that kind of circumstance but it kind of is and then Sonja declares that she does not have a problem and she has never been with someone’s boyfriend or husband and it’s a good thing that wedding rings can’t easily be slipped off and shoved in a pocket because that might make Sonja a little bit less certain about what she’s claiming. To be fair, her allegedly frequent blackouts might also make things a little bit less certain, but I don’t want to sound like I’m being ultra critical of this blowsy mess of a human being.
That was the calm and humorous ten minutes of this episode. As the hour dragged towards 9:45pm, I found myself wishing I could transport myself back to the time when Sonja was only shrieking about how she doesn’t bang other women’s men because what came next was pathetic and borderline frightening. It’s difficult to even explain what went down because it was so much and yet nothing at all and, if it actually reveals anything, it’s a visual tableau of who maybe these women really are at their core.
Bethenny comes off as direct, aware, and honest. She calls out Ramona for essentially starting the entire mess, changing her story halfway through, and being full of shit.
Heather proves she’s not one to allow conflict to simmer and she stays pretty even-toned even when Sonja begins to get louder and crazier.
Luann once again illustrates that she’s hilarious, though I’m never quite sure that it’s in any way intentional. She appears during the fight on the beach with scrambled eggs “a la francaise” and she quite astutely tells Bethenny that trying to reason with an unreasonable woman like Sonja is impossible.
Kristen is nowhere as any of this is going on.
Carole, as per usual, is quiet in her comments but they are fully formed and she absolutely believes that Sonja has a drinking issue but she’s not doing any of the confrontation.
Dorinda, running with the idea that she is now a life coach, tries to get Sonja to stop screaming things like, “I’m not under attack. I’m attacking all you bitches. I’m sick of being nice to you!” and tells her that she said what was on her mind and now it’s time to maybe reign it in.
Ramona, proving again that she is an asshole, shirks off any accountability for being in any way involved in this matter and tells Sonja that she loves her and then she straddles Luann a little later on and cries a few more times about Mario and acts like she has never said a single solitary word about her best friend falling down all over Manhattan in the pre-dawn hours.
And Sonja. Well, Sonja has lost her mind and appears caught in a hurricane of delusion and denial, which means she behaves exactly as anyone expects she’d behave. She screams that the women are talking about her behind her back as they are confronting her directly to her face. She bellows, “There’s a lot of things I’ve never said to anybody that they’re gonna hear!” but doesn’t actually follow that threat up with anything real. She mumbles that these vicious and clearly untrue things shouldn’t be said about her because, “You don’t throw that around! I’m a businesswoman!” My only guess for how she’s gotten so insane and incensed is that she must have blacked out watching old DVDs of The Bad Girl’s Club that one of her adolescent boyfriends left behind and she believes that, even awake, she’s still in that world and so she just keeps screaming ridiculous nonsense. She’s maybe never come across worse – and I think we all know that’s a rather bold statement.
It’s Bethenny who makes the proclamation that a pact needs to take place – and quickly – and the rules are simple. No matter if she drinks or freebases in their eyeline, they are not to speak of Sonja’s drinking or of her declining mental health and anyone who does utter a single word about her will be fined a hundred bucks. Heather needs to pay out almost immediately and then Kristen appears as though from behind a secret passageway and I like to imagine that she has been out trying to locate less douchey-looking fedoras for her husband and then the women leave to go on a yacht but Sonja stays behind because she hates those bitches.
On the boat, there is a blackened shrimp salad that I’d sell a family member for a bite of right now and the newest personality of Ramona’s appears. Straddle-Me Ramona is the Ramona that comes out when she has to make amends to people she has fucked over in the last thirty minutes and it involves lots of kisses and lots of hugs and a lap dance or two on a Countess and having cold water dumped upon her head and not knocking someone’s teeth out in retaliation.
Back at the villa, Sonja is exercising in reading glasses, a lacy cover-up, and wedges. I’m sure she also read a few volumes of Faulkner, but Bravo just didn’t show us that part.
Before they head back to the house, it comes out that Sonja is planning to invite the Premier over and ten other men too and Luann is pretty excited about such a prospect because she’s on vacation and it’s almost time for her to write a new free-verse poem about sex and it’s then that they meet this amazing looking guy who is standing on the dock and I’d like an entire series to be about that guy and I will binge-watch it even if he never says a single word.
Heading out later to dinner, Heather and Dorinda somehow stumble into an argument about nothing and it escalates fast with Dorinda crying and I think it might actually be wise from now on to take these women’s blood pressure before and after a contractually-mandated luxury vacation because I’m going to guess that the numbers rise alarmingly and that kind of thing should be part of their healthcare plan with the network. But Dorinda and Heather make amends quickly because they’re both sort of normal and then Ramona talks more about Mario and she is open about her feelings and she’s always so sweet when the conversation is all about her.
And then the morning arrives and the comfortable friendship they all shared around the table in the restaurant has vanished. Bethenny, excited to be in a big kitchen, prepares lunch for everyone but Ramona wants to go out and Sonja likes to be with Ramona because Ramona knows she doesn’t have a drinking problem and also because Ramona is as classy as Sonja is. Bethenny lets them know they can do what they want, but she is disgusted by Ramona’s spiking levels of entitlement and she tells her so and Ramona reacts with a big expressive shrug and just waits with bated breath for Bethenny to say something that rhymes with the word “Mario” so that maybe people will feel badly for her again and then tell her that she’s so pretty and smart.