If I have to listen to one more human being – or whatever species wants to claim Ramona Singer as one of its own – so much as murmur that Sonja Morgan has any sort of right to claim that all of the other women around her were wrong and innately cruel to have had doubts about the validity of Sonja’s clothing line and that it would actually become a reality and was not instead simply a long-running hallucination festering in the mind of crazy woman, I’m going to strangle that person with one of Sonja’s jodhpurs, which I’m imagining are being sold on her website and will be eventually shipped to my home by her Mailing Intern, Francois. Let’s just look logically and empirically at all that’s gone down. Was there clothing on the bodies of the models at Sonja’s fashion show? Yes. Was the clothing decently designed and styled well? Yes. Did every single person with whom Sonja had interacted with prior to that event have several exceptionally good reasons to doubt that those clothes existed in the first place due to the fact that Sonja seemed to have no clear idea of what her line was about or where it would be sold and because nothing else she has ever attempted on this show in the name of business has ever fully come to fruition? Fuck yes.
It is with that kind of acceptable suspicion that every Housewife went into Sonja’s fashion show and all of them looked frankly relieved that the drunkest one managed to pull it all off. Every single person had nothing but kind things to say, but the thing is, they had every right to have been shocked and for Ramona to saunter into Sonja’s bedroom (just looking at that room made me feel a little bit itchy) the next morning and to act like she was so glad that Sonja had shown all those women up reads as idiotic and gross and year after year I think there cannot possibly be any more facets of one person’s personality that I could loathe in such a real and stinging manner, but I suppose that the normal part of my brain that I usually use to measure my own capabilities of everything including hatred has never even considered a being like Ramona Singer.
What’s up with Ramona on this fine morning? Well, she is pleased as absinthe-spiked punch to hop into bed with her best friend in the whole wide world – a woman she has said is a tramp with a drinking problem on camera – and celebrate the success she and her brand new eyes bore witness to just the night before. Yes, Ramona’s eyes are approximately eight inches higher up on her head than they were last season and maybe that’s why she has a brand new view of life, one that must be celebrated at a New Beginnings party, the place I’m betting was the breeding ground of the recent legionnaire’s outbreak that has bounded through Manhattan.
But before Ramona can get too excited about a party that is being thrown for absolutely no real reason whatsoever, first she must discuss how weird it was for Bethenny to verbally throw down with her during the fashion show. “Oh, God, people spread gossip,” moans Ramona after Sonja tells her there’s an article in the Post about how she and Bethenny were duking it out and I guess we’re all just supposed to believe that Ramona Singer – who has been a Real Housewife for fucking eons – hates gossip even though I believe she would eat her own toenail clippings as long as she could gnaw on them on a red carpet. And Ramona also doesn’t know why Bethenny went after her, even though Bethenny was pretty articulate in demolishing Ramona by listing every recent transgression the woman has been involved in, from humiliating a bartender to making claims about Bethenny’s alleged infidelity. Still, in the warped mind of Ramona Singer, it is just so weirdthat Bethenny went after her! After all, Ramona has changed! Now, stop being silly; maybe those changes aren’t evident by her behavior or by anything she says (even in her sleep), but she knows in her own heart that she has changed and the crazy gnome who lives inside of her in an area with a decently close proximity to her heart has nodded in agreement and so the matter is closed. Ramona is a new person. She just went to church! She’s trying to be better! Sure, those attempts can never be measured with the naked eye, but the gnome can see how hard she’s trying and everyone who doesn’t just applaud her artificial growth is fucking mean and probably jealous and she is in a transition and Mario can go fuck himself and it’s time to celebrate the woman Ramona is now and I think it would make more sense to throw a party to celebrate the fact that I finally got that piece of green apple skin that was lodged in my back tooth for a day free.
Somehow during their conversation, a magical thing transpired: Sonja came out looking like the sanest woman in the room and that means that she should probably attach herself to Ramona so she can always look lucid in comparison. Who is the Office Accessories Intern? Delilah? Delilah, get the hell in here and staple those women together and maybe use some kind of glue as well because the positive outcome of this Office Max version of Siamese twins is that Sonja will look better and an even more positive outcome is that, at some point, maybe Sonja will finally get sick of Ramona and she will give Delilah some college credit to cover the woman’s mouth with packing tape that has a hole in it so Ramona can still sip pinot through a straw and the world at large will be a sunnier place. And who says Sonja Morgan is not a cutting edge philanthropist?
Over at Bethenny’s new apartment, there is paint on the walls and furniture in what was recently a vast empty space and the bar is set up and plans are already being made to bring in fresh flowers each week. She’s thrilled to be settled in her new home after roughing it in hotel suites for far too long and Carole comes by to see the place now that it’s almost finished and because the Bravo contract mandates that Bethenny interact with somebody one on one and Carole is really the only person she seems to like and respect. Turns out that Bethenny’s is the kind of home where you’re asked to remove your shoes upon entering the door and I’m a girl who hates that decree because I will always believe that shoes are an integral part of an outfit and I’d sooner remove my bra than my heels. Carole complies with the rule and she is really complimentary about Bethenny’s beautiful home and she even arrived with some sage to clean out all of the toxicity that could possibly have invaded that environment. I’d suggest that she wave a little bit of that sage through Bethenny’s hair as well, but the gesture is sweet and, whether it actually works or not, why not take a stab at crushing whatever negativity might be living in Bethenny’s walls? Maybe Ramona once rubbed herself against one of those walls! I say to light that bundle of sage and wave that shit around and pray for the very best and break out the Skinnygirl products so they can appear on camera because, even while Bethenny is behaving in the way that I want her to behave (smiling a teeny bit and making witty comments and verbally eviscerating Ramona), we all should still acknowledge why she’s on this show in the first place and the two bottles on the counter really say it all.
Bethenny brings up that Carole looks fantastic and youthful and that maybe her new glow comes from hanging out with a child, a comment that Carole is a bit offended by, but I think Bethenny is right here. If Carole makes a joke or two about dating Young Adam, the others will probably stop making those jokes and so the smart thing to do is act like the heavy kid in the schoolyard who acknowledges that he’s got a bit of a tummy so the bully won’t say it instead, but since I’m guessing that Carole was never the heavy kid standing next to a seesaw, the entire thing is a little confusing for her. What’s even more confusing to Carole than excess body weight is Luann because sometimes Luann is great and she’s fun and then sometimes she reverts into being the hypocritical Countess who is hyper-sensitive about rules of behavior that she herself violates hourly, and Carole just doesn’t know who she’s dealing with anymore. The obvious issue is that Luann doesn’t find it adorable that Carole is involved with her niece’s ex-boyfriend. That’s the problem, and unless Carole dropkicks Adam out of her bedroom window – which would be a moronic thing to do because that guy is cute and he can cook and I know that Carole doesn’t eat all that much, but that’s still a huge check in the “pro” column – Luann will continue to talk all sorts of shit about her.
But when Carole asks Bethenny about what went down with Ramona at the fashion show, Bethenny says something that makes me wish that Carole still had some lit sage so she could toss some of it onto Bethenny’s lap like a grenade. “I can’t stay mad at Ramona,” smiles Bethenny. And see, the reason that Ramona behaves like a rapid monster in heat during an allergy attack after dealing with a month-long bout of insomnia is because everyone allows her to get away with such ridiculous and borderline-demonic behavior! I mean, I get that Bethenny doesn’t quite see an upside in arguing with a woman who, at best, only applies circular logic to any given scenario and that Ramona’s circle always moves in a counter-clockwise direction. I get it. But at the very least – if you have to throw up your hands and refuse to fight with her because it’s a fruitless endeavor – at least freeze the woman out. Don’t make nice with her. Don’t giggle with her at parties. And don’t you dare feed her after midnight.
Moving away from the people who are simply talking about what has already transpired, Dorinda and John head out to a gluten-free restaurant because she will whip this guy into shape if it’s the last thing she ever does and she orders for both of them and he grips her hand before the appetizers even arrive and professes his love for her while she smiles and kind of accepts his adoration. But now that it’s about to be their three year anniversary, John’s got some needs. There is a ring in his pocket. He wants to move to the next plateau. He wants to live with her and actually have a conversation or two with her daughter and somehow Dorinda manages to get out of that meal with no ring on her finger and without making a single specific promise about how she will forge forward in the plan to bring John and her daughter and her daughter’s eyebrows closer together. It’s really quite masterful the way Dorinda is able to appear amenable and loving while still being able to do things exactly the way she chooses.
Over at the Strand – the hotel, not the bookstore – Ramona arrives covered in black sequins for the party that is meant to celebrate the person that she is, and I might be over blaming her for having even less self-awareness than the slug I’m considering pouring a mountain of salt on as it makes itself at home on my front steps. Instead, I think it’s time to start blaming the people who are choosing to show up to such a shit-show because, contracts aside, none of these people have to willingly be a part of this ridiculous game. But until her guests arrive, I suppose that I have it in me to once again contemplate the way Ramona again appears to be tweaked beyond what’s natural. I don’t care how renewed she fucking is; nobody’s got endorphins that powerful.
“This is my new beginnings party,” declares the monster. “It’s all about new beginnings!” And then she clinks glasses and drinks some chilled Ramona Pinot and welcomes Kristen and Dorinda and then twirls and mildly twerks for Sonja, who is wearing a flower headband stuck in an updo. Now listen, I will say this: Ramona and Sonja do seem to happily celebrate one another and they toss compliments all over the place and they probably both hope the other is happy. And that kind of support is lovely. Unfortunately, what that kind of support succeeds in doing is validating behavior that, from both of them, veers from the shocking to the utterly absurd. I certainly understand why they are friends with one another, but I will never understand why anyone else chooses to engage in such a sequin-drenched nightmare.
The first bit of crazy at a party intended to celebrate how far one woman is pretending to have come involves the illustrious Ms. Morgan. She is pissed that Kristen was interviewed at Sonja’s show and the article that eventually appeared was all about Kristen and not Sonja and that Kristen apparently said something about the toaster oven venture, which I think like Lord Voldemort is a thing that must not be named. Now Sonja wants to talk to Bethenny because Bethenny experienced something like this with Kristen too and Sonja needs back-up instead of doing the normal thing like speaking to Kristen directly or ignoring the matter entirely. And the brand spanking new Ramona, upon hearing that Sonja would like to put her foot up Kristen’s ass – without maybe first listening to some rational response from Kristen about how she did speak about Sonja but the reporter didn’t include that information – does exactly what the old asshole version of Ramona would do: she laughs and all but advocates that kind of behavior.
Then Bethenny arrives and her coat is not even off of her slender body before Ramona accosts her to find out if they’re good since Bethenny all but decapitated her last time they were in the same room together. Okay, first of all, in what universe would these two people legitimately be good now? Sure, they can feign cheeriness and pretend that they have a surface kind of friendship, but one person in the equation has done so many revolting things to the other that that person was able to list a litany of transgressions and the person who actually committed all of those transgressions reacted by shrugging and apologizing, but experience has proven that those apologies don’t mean dick. So are they okay? Maybe in a fucking fantasy world.
Bethenny, though, will always be somewhat interesting to me in spite of her frenetic energy and her sometimes callous treatment of others because she’s at least willing to dive into an issue instead of sliding a layer of gloss on top of it like Ramona tries to do with a massive-sized bottle of KY jelly. Bethenny, instead of saying that everything is fine, asks Ramona specifically what she’s apologizing for. I would have paid a small fortune to watch Ramona ask if Bethenny would rather that she list her asshole behavior chronologically or in order of occurrence, but that didn’t happen. Instead what happens is that Ramona just kind of stares at Bethenny until Bethenny has to try to make Ramona understand that it’s almost impossible to be angry with her because her typical behavior is like that of a four year old who cannot understand actions and consequences and Ramona takes that analogy as a compliment AT THE PARTY SHE IS THROWING TO CELEBRATE HOW MUCH SHE HAS EVOLVED AS A WOMAN and she nods that yes, she is like a six year old and at this point, every child close to the age of six should band together and start sharpening knives made out of Play-Doh and the spatulas that come with the EZ Bake Oven and start a fucking mutiny to oppose being in any way compared to this moron of a woman.
“What does this ‘new beginnings’ thing even mean?” asks Bethenny, and Ramona’s response is that silence is golden and sometimes maybe one should just never say anything – which is like hearing “noodle” as a response to, “So what part of the new Scorsese movie was your favorite part?” And when Bethenny forges forward and says, “I just think you should be honest and not be an asshole,” the total asshole before her starts to laugh and then asks Bethenny if she’s Catholic or Jewish and starts spouting off about forgiveness that hasn’t and will never be earned and finally walks away after Bethenny inquires about why she claimed that Bethenny cheated during her marriage.
To new beginnings!
Arriving next are Heather and her sweet husband and Carole and Hot Adam. What can I say? I know what I find good looking and it almost always involves scruff and the guy rocks his little topknot well and I give credit where credit is fucking due. Forget toasting to bullshit new beginnings. To Adam and his topknot!
There then comes an almost hilarious moment when Adam sits down near Josh and the sheer disparity of hotness that exists between Adam and Josh, who is back to wearing that unfortunate fedora, caused strange things to happen inside of me. Like, I felt kind of tingly for a moment, but one look at Josh and my insides froze and if I wasn’t so alarmed that they might not eventually thaw out, I’d perhaps see this as a televised-inspired science experiment. That said, I’d like to commend Josh for only appearing on camera sparingly this season so the world at large is no longer privy to the dynamics of his marriage. I have no idea if he and Kristen are any happier than they were last season, and I seriously appreciate and respect that I have absolutely no idea because that seems like the kind of thing a random person should know nothing about.
Into the somewhat happy fray walks Luann. She’s clad in black lace and on the arm of some guy billed as “Luann’s friend,” and she announces to the camera that seeing Adam there “makes me ill,” and those are some fighting words from a Countess built like a linebacker. But before things can get terribly awkward, Dorinda walks over to introduce herself to Adam and she sits beside him and talks sweetly about the stuff that she cooks and Adam smiles and seems slightly high and I’d like to take one more second to make another toast to him because, after having to look at Ramona for this long, simply gazing at Adam’s face is making me feel like I just took a Xanax or three and it feels amazing.
But Luann is killing my hazy buzz fast. Her date is gay, but at least, she says, he’s not twenty-nine, and Ramona fawns all over her because Ramona likes to make sure that she always has the same number of friends and since Bethenny now knows that she sucks definitively, she needs to quickly get Luann on her side. Before Ramona can compliment Luann on her shoulders, Bethenny pops back in to basically tell Ramona to own her behavior and Ramona is sick of being attacked “on her night” and all of a sudden I feel like I’m watching one of those horrible teenagers on that old show My Super Sweet 16 as the big reveal turns out that the kid got a Honda Civic instead of a Land Rover and she bursts into tears and rails against the travesty of having her big night ruined by the thoughtless parents who should have probably put the kid up for adoption when she became a toddler who started biting. But as for the very grown up and mature Ramona, she is fine with being attacked by Bethenny, but she’d prefer that Bethenny set her watch and attack her in an hour because first there are some guests to greet and some more wine to chug and a rope ladder to construct so she can repel herself off of that rooftop before she actually has to deal with the repercussions of any of her hideous actions. Unfortunately, as there appears to be no rope anywhere on the premises – where the fuck is Sonja’s Rope Intern, Bernie? – Ramona instead decides to apologize to Bethenny and then nod like she understands when Bethenny says that simply apologizing does not negate what she already did and they hug and I think I’d rather curl up in Josh’s fedora than watch any embrace involving Ramona Singer.
On the other side of the room, Luann expounds about how often she’s having sex and then Sonja busts in and tells Bethenny and Luann about what a dig Kristen made at her expense and honestly, I’d already forgotten about the whole Kristen thing which might be why I keep hearing loud rumblings about how she won’t be on this show next year because she hasn’t been all that memorable. And for Kristen’s sake, I really hope that rumor is true. Still, she’s here now and so it’s time to brawl and Sonja is raring to go and you can tell because she bellows, “Desperate people do desperate things,” which I think might be the tramp stamp her boyfriend Dominik has inked across his body.
But just because a conflict is simmering between Sonja and a seemingly unaware Kristen, that doesn’t mean that the Carole/Luann fracas that has been hinted at all season is not still about to go down. It’s the season finale, you guys. That means everybody has to fight or cry or piss in a corner or blow a waiter. Those are just the rules.
What’s the issue here? Well, Carole is really annoyed that Luann hasn’t called her since she’s been back from London and that she’s been heard trash-talking Carole and Adam and then Luann walks over and acts like everything is fine and instead chooses to tell Kristen about how Sonja is angry with her but she doesn’t want to go into detail about why and that’s just annoying. Kristen legitimately seems to have no idea that she did anything wrong and so she gets up and walks over to Sonja – who is standing with Ramona and Bethenny – to resolve an issue she didn’t know she had in the first place. And how does Sonja respond? She responds exactly the way you’d expect Ramona Singer’s best friend to respond. She doesn’t listen to Kristen’s explanation and she doesn’t believe Kristen is supportive and we of course get to see the actual interview that took place and how Kristen did nothing to betray or insult Sonja in the slightest. The whole thing is revolting to watch and whatever grace Sonja appeared to have for a second earlier in the episode has evaporated into thin air – much like her toaster oven.
Finally comes the showdown between Luann and Carole and they don’t get into the Adam thing right away. Instead they start rehashing the naked-guy-in-the-villa thing that I’d forgotten about weeks ago and I don’t even know what it is they’re fighting about here, but maybe my favorite moment of the entire night is Carole saying that Luann was hungover when it all went down the morning after the naked guy’s appearance and Luann responds with a huffy, “How dare you?” which is a hilarious response when we all saw her appear in the kitchen of that place wearing sunglasses and her voice was but a mere croak due to being hung way the fuck over. But none of that is the issue and Dorinda coming over with a margarita to diffuse the situation is but a mere Band-Aid on the puss-filled blister of the matter, and Luann tells Carole that, had there been a man in her room when they busted in on her, that kind of thing would have damaged her poor son in ways his mother’s behavior over the years on this show hasn’t already broken him.
And speaking of broken, Luann decrees that Carole has broken the Girl Code three separate times, and the first was when she picked up Adam in her kitchen and if she’s not willing to apologize for all of her terrible infractions, Luann sees no need to move forward with their friendship but before she pisses on Carole and then steps on her head and walks away from her forever, she first wants to remind her that Adam dated her niece and that he’s twenty years old and that Carole doesn’t have children, which is an insult that’s actually not at all insulting when you’re a person who doesn’t want children.
Away from the Countess and her Girl Code bullshit stands the woman of the hour and Ramona has just had an epiphany that will change absolutely nothing: she sometimes pushes people away because she’s afraid to let them into her heart. And that’s a nice thing to pull out of her ass and maybe it’s slightly true but she’s been on this show for too many years and has behaved far too deplorably for so long for anyone to really buy that fear of intimacy is her real issue. Still, I give her credit for trying out a new excuse at her new beginnings party, as I’m a woman who respects a party with a running theme.
As the end of the evening nears, Sonja has started to bob and weave due to sheer drunkenness and just when I thought the woman with a velvet flower plunked on her head could not possibly appear more pathetic, she decides to wow me and tell Kristen exactly what she should have said when that reporter asked her about the toaster oven. Here’s what Kristen should have known to say: “Excuse me. Sonja Morgan is much bigger than a toaster oven. Her brand is an international fashion lifestyle brand. We were here tonight to see jewelry and fashion, not to talk about a toaster.” Got that Kristen? Frankly, I give Kristen an enormous amount of credit for not laughing directly in Sonja’s face because that woman is fucking crazy.
And now it’s time for Ramona to make a toast to the friendships she has almost destroyed countless times and the new beginning she is embarking on while not changing even a tiny bit, but first it’s time to see where all the women find themselves at the end of a season that has seemed both quick and interminable all at the same time. Dorinda feels more alive and back into the swing of life though she will not be accepting a proposal any time soon. Carole is still with Adam, nobody accused her of hiring a ghostwriter this season, and Luann is dead to her. Kristen is doing well and so are her twelve shades of nail polish. Luann released another single that might cause eardrums to leak blood – but I’m sure it didn’t embarrass her son at all. Heather and Luann are no longer friends either and stories abound that Heather won’t be on this show next year either. Holla? Ramona has (hold on while I chomp down on one of Adam’s drug-infused gummy bears before I say this) written a book that someone with eyes will read. Sonja’s collection is available online only, you know, how international fashion luxury brands often are. And Bethenny, whose return to this franchise was something I looked forward to even though I don’t really think it was in her own best interest to do it, has cruised the Galapagos with Carole and gets the last word onscreen for the season and is the guest on Watch What Happens immediately following the finale and has so clearly been anointed a Bravo star.
Her reward should be that she never has to interact with some of these people ever again.