Whatever happens – no matter how many silk charmeuse gowns from her collection she promises you and no matter how hilarious the producers insist the experience will be – nobody take Sonja Morgan gardening.  I mean, if she is able to find a makeshift dildo during a cupcake decorating class usually intended for children, can you imagine what she could do while surrounded by actual hoes and fields that literally need to be plowed and cucumbers and carrots and – God forbid – an eggplant?  

But at the cupcake decorating excursion, Sonja can only rub herself against an instrument intended for rolling out fondant and there seem to be no toasters on the premises that she’s in danger of straddling and so she keeps herself pretty much in check and all of the ladies get along swimmingly, but that’s probably because only four of them are there.  Bethenny invited Ramona, Dorinda, and Sonja to join her in creating edible masterpieces that not one of these women will actually take a bite of – not even if they throw it up later – and Ramona actually reveals that she’s giving her cupcakes to her doorman, which might sound kind of dirty, but only if Sonja said it.

Arriving at the activity with a bottle of wine and a set of stemware in her purse, Ramona puts her own alcohol-endorsed product aside to take a sip of Bethenny’s newest product.  I have no idea what it is, but apparently it’s spicy and Ramona likes it and that means that nobody should buy me a bottle of it ever.  But maybe the women will end up drinking a carton of the stuff when they join Sonja for Housewife Vacation #2 of the season in Turks and Caicos!

The reactions to going on the voyage vary.  Dorinda is calmly excited.  Ramona does a weird little dance that I believe indicates pleasure.  Sonja, the one who did the inviting in the first place, thinks the trip will be fabulous because it’s sunny there and because she knows the Premier.  You guys?  I’m very tired today after a long, fun weekend where I got very little sleep.  Can everybody reading this just write his or her own punchline to Sonja claiming to know the Premier and making sure to mention it casually in much the same way that I mentioned to someone today how I take my morning coffee?

Anyway, Bethenny is not nearly as excited as the rest of them and I can’t really say that I blame her.  She was basically just invited to travel to an island with eight women after she’s already fought with three of them.  Seriously, let’s look at the stats here:  Bethenny has had major conflicts with Kristen and Heather; she’s just come out of a fight with Luann; she doesn’t really know Dorinda; she gets along with Carole well enough for Carole to dream-finger her; and her closest allies are Ramona and Sonja.  I would be terrified if I were Bethenny in this situation and I give her credit for acknowledging her fears about how the trip could end up turning into a tropical shit show because the recent getaway in Atlantic City was almost more than she could handle.  Trying to assuage any and all of Bethenny’s escalating anxiety, Sonja tells her that the reason Atlantic City got out of control was because she had PMS, which is the politically-correct term for a woman suffering from both alcohol poisoning and delusions of grandeur that star John F. Kennedy, Jr.

“It’s gonna be a great trip,” promises Sonja, and I am positive that I am not the only one who heard a chorus of demons laughing in the shadows.

Before we move on, might I just say that I would love to go cupcake decorating?  That sounds even more fun than getting a massage, though I don’t see why somebody has not kicked it up ten notches and combined dolloping icing atop a mini baked treat while enjoying some nice reflexology.  Anyway, the experience sounds like all kinds of fun, but I think that if I went, I’d have to vary the guest list.  Weirdly, I’d absolutely invite Bethenny.  She’s nice to have around for something I’d consider a brief-interval activity.  Yes, she’s conducted herself deplorably so far this season – with the exception of her virtuoso performance with Sonja and Sonja’s ego in Atlantic City – but at an activity you know will end soon, she wouldn’t be so bad.  I’d keep Dorinda too.  I know things could change, but so far my gut tells me that as long as Dorinda is nowhere around either her daughter or her boyfriend, I quite like her.  She comes off as both polite and direct and that’s not always an easy combination to pull off.  But I’d officially call in sick to cupcake decorating (I’d blame either projectile vomiting or spontaneously coming down with rickets) should either Ramona or Sonja be on the invite list, even though they’re both pretty much on their best behavior while they’re there – and that means that Ramona didn’t scream into a friend’s face that she’s stupid and Sonja didn’t remove her underwear and try to cover it with rainbow sprinkles.  So my reasons really have to do with precedent.  As I said last week, Ramona is kind of a dick and she will turn on you for no reason at all.  And Sonja isn’t really all that harmful to anyone other than herself, but I find that blowsy delusion tough to watch.  I guess I just don’t see her as charming in the way I once did when she was sharing screen time with Kelly Bensimon and she looked normal in comparison.

(I like to think of the kabuki comments Kelly made to Alex and the frantic gnawing on gummy bears as she patiently explained to the group how Bethenny was murdering her by using the knives that live in her mouth as the simple Housewife days.)

Clearly following the mandate of producers who decided that they needed to have a little one on one interaction, Kristen meets up with Luann at a shoe store.  As they try on strappy sandals, Kristen tells Luann about how Carole told her that Bethenny called her stupid and Luann’s reaction – that at least Bethenny had the decency to say it behind her back and not to her face – doesn’t appease Kristen all that much.  She just cannot understand why Bethenny deems her so unworthy, but she begins to feel a bit better after she takes some pictures of her feet clad in cute shoes to post on her blog.

The object of Kristen’s discontent is meeting up with Carole for dinner since Carole is someone Bethenny has no desire to instantly dismiss.  Carole’s wearing a shirt from Forever 21 that has the word “TROUBLE” embroidered across the front, and Bethenny, after warning that she’s about to do some name dropping, tells her that she used to go to that store all the time with Paris and Nicky, and you’re all going to need to excuse me for a second while I clean every Forever 21 tank top out of my closet and then burn it all because now the cheap stuff that collectively cost about a dollar fifty has been forever tarnished in my mind.


Okay, I’m back.  The bonfire went rather well in that I met a very cute fireman.  Anyhoo, over dinner, Carole tells Bethenny that she had a sex dream about her and that it involved touching her on the spot usually covered by a bathing suit.  Bethenny is flattered but what’s far more interesting is that Carole is the kind of smart woman who analyzes her own dreams pretty astutely and realizes that what it was all about was her desire to get Bethenny to loosen up and it manifested in her subconscious with a bit of finger banging and she’s probably absolutely.  But really, it doesn’t even matter what Carole’s motivations are for anything as far as Bethenny is concerned.  She has decided that she likes Carole in the way she likes very few people.  Maybe it’s because Carole’s cool – which I might have heard someone say once.  Maybe it’s that Carole is unemotional and therefore doesn’t make Bethenny feel exposed.  Or maybe it’s that Carole has a genuinely high New York City profile and that allows Bethenny to forgive her for things like telling Kristen that Bethenny said she was stupid when Bethenny didn’t actually say such a thing.

And for the first ten minutes or so of this episode, Heather has not appeared anywhere and I think it’s entirely possible that she’s off somewhere having her own sex dream about Bethenny.  But since Bethenny has continually ratcheted up the crazy and has been unwilling to really engage with Heather like she has been with Carole, Heather’s sex dream will be way more graphic than Carole’s.  Carole just touched her.  Heather’s dream will include vibrators and handcuffs and floggers and those silver balls that Fifty Shades of Grey tried to convince us felt romantic.  And like she’s a pornographic version of Rumplestiltskin, Heather will not wake up until Bethenny has a full-body orgasm in the dream, indicating that she will finally loosen up in real life, so whatever you do, do not wake Heather, not even if you hear her scream a breathless “Holla!” because that just means it’s working.

I’m guessing that at some point Bethenny had the best orgasm of her life where she even saw God because Heather is finally awake and she joins Luann, Kristen, Ramona, and Bethenny herself – who doesn’t appear all that calm, so Heather better go back to sleep and maybe this time take some NyQuil – at Luann’s shoot for her fashion line.  Yes, Luann also has a fashion line, but this one has actual clothing and it’s really being sold somewhere so it’s similar to Sonja’s in no way.  Right before Bethenny shows up, Luann informs Kristen that they might have to juggle the days of the Turks and Caicos trip because otherwise Bethenny has to come home early to attend her daughter’s recital.  Kristen’s reaction – that everybody has a busy schedule – is true, but it is a bit mean.  Now, at this point, she doesn’t owe Bethenny a hell of a lot of kindness, but she has to admit that it’s a different animal to juggle a schedule as a family versus juggling a schedule with a vengeful ex-husband who calls the tabloids every time Bethenny looks at him funny.  It’s like weighing adorable baby otters against a disease-ridden sloth; there’s really no comparison.

Heather is disappointed that Bethenny can’t join them for the entire vacation because I guess she thinks it might make a nice change for Bethenny to scream at her in a different time zone, but when it’s brought up, Bethenny tries to explain that if she is there for the whole trip, she will only be with her daughter for very few days this month and she doesn’t want anybody to change anything for her benefit and then she bursts into tears again.  There is zero joy in watching a woman I don’t quite like anymore crying her eyes out with this kind of alarming regularity.  I feel for her when she says she wishes she had a normal life again and that everything feels like a struggle.  But I also cannot fathom why she is back on this show in this state, adding yet another variable – a filmed variable at that – on her toppling-over life, and I will continue to think that and say that as long as she keeps collapsing into torrents of tears on my television screen.

Luckily, we get some comic relief next, and by “comic relief,” I mean a crazy woman packing with the aid of two people who I think I saw tapping their fingers into their palms as a makeshift form of Morse code and I’m pretty sure the message was a very simple “HELP US.”   Sonja is concerned about several things as she and her unpaid workers pile clothing into suitcases, but the paramount issue is that two of her bathing suits are broken and nobody told her.  I can see that if the front door was broken, it might be an intern’s responsibility to let the mistress of the house know and then arrange for it to be fixed, but shouldn’t it be your own job to alert yourself that a scrap of material that rests against your own ass and vagina is no longer in mint condition?  Is it possible that it is really somebody’s job in Morgan Manor to inspect Sonja’s bathing suits for signs of wear and tear?  Was there once a Crotch Intern?  Was she fired and that’s why there’s a new girl who has to smile and nod while Sonja tells her, “That’s why you’re an intern!  So I can teach you how to pack.”  And while we’re on the subject, can interning for Sonja Morgan actually be a career boast to anything but your very own reality television career?  Are we supposed to believe that someone over at Balenciaga rifles through a mountain of resumes and plucks one out because that person packed Sonja Morgan’s suitcases?  If we are meant to believe such a crock of shit, just tell me and I’ll nod and smile because who has time to fight about such things when I need my energy for later in this recap when I’ll need to call Ramona a total asshole a bunch of times?

Looks like I’m not the only one who is ceasing to find Ms. Morgan all that charming anymore.  At a fun little trip to Queens for some good Italian food, Bethenny, Dorinda, Luann, and Ramona talk about how Sonja has been drinking far more than is normal or healthy and that she was beyond plastered at Beautique, the place that keeps being brought up on this show in a way that is usually a sign of either the apocalypse or a spinoff.  (Is it wrong that I’m rooting for the apocalypse?)  Basically, Sonja was lying on Dorinda’s boyfriend like she was a period-stained duvet, and Dorinda is not even going to bother saying anything to her because she probably won’t even remember it.  Luann was the one who cared for Sonja and got her home safely and Ramona admits that Sonja has become a bit of a party girl lately and that she’s concerned and so are other people.  In fact, Heather recently gave Ramona some information on Al-Anon, which is actually a smart thing to do, but Bethenny’s reaction to the news is to snort and say, “Heather gave that to you?  That’s so not surprising.”  

Also not surprising?  That Bethenny just came off sounding like a huge asshole.  

But look who is coming up the hemorrhoid-ridden rear to take the asshole title from Bethenny!  It’s Ramona, and she’s either terrified of Bethenny and wants to align closely with her or she’s fully off the meds that really seemed to be working for a few weeks there.  She arrives for pedicures and immediately instigates a fight between Bethenny and Kristen – who is not even present – and the way she does it is either masterful or just plain bizarre and how you read it probably indicates your own levels of kindness and stability.  See, Ramona says that she hopes the trip will be calm and that none of the women will run amuck, and just when you think that maybe she’s about to lead a prayer for Housewife peace, instead she says that it’s so obvious that Kristen has a bone to pick with Bethenny.  She manages to leave out that Kristen does in fact have a bone to pick with the boniest one of them all because Bethenny has been borderline cruel to Kristen, but Bethenny kind of falls for it because she doesn’t like Kristen anyway and besides, Kristen’s face reminds Bethenny of a disgruntled bitch face – and that’s really the most miserable face of all calling the kettle pitch-black.

Before we finally get to leave the worst pedicure experience ever – and that includes the time the woman tending to my feet accidentally sliced my toe open and I almost needed stitches– Bethenny attempts to teach Ramona the genesis of the expression “bros before hos,” and let me tell you, linguistics class has never been this trying.

Now, there have been drinks and modeling shoots and a dinner in an outer borough, but there hasn’t yet been a party on this episode, and that’s grounds for shutting this particular franchise down and seeing what kind of mischief might occur on The Real Housewives of Shreveport.  But not to worry!  Luann will throw a party to celebrate her fashion line and she will have the women and her children up to a suite prior to the event and the place will be decked out in mannequins wearing her clothing and later on everyone will have to pick up the mannequin that most resembles herself and haul it downstairs because the actual party needs some décor as well.  

Heather and Kristen are there to support their friend and then in walks Ramona, resplendent in Ramona Blue.  And before she can even say hello, Ramona tells Kristen that she didn’t think it was very nice that Kristen “came in with a shotgun and attacked Bethenny.”  Kristen looks squarely at Ramona and says there was no attacking going on and Ramona responds by mimicking her like she’s four and she tells Kristen that she put Bethenny – a woman so naturally defensive that even her smile is protected by a layer of steel – on the defensive.  And before the night can blessedly end, Ramona does that awesomely crazy thing where she sticks her face right next to the face of the person she’s fighting with before pulling back and looking Kristen directly in the eye and asking her if she is just that dumb.

Yes, my friends, the old Ramona is back.  And she suuuuuucks.

Next week, we will all be arriving in Turks and Caicos where Sonja will give the Premier a BFF string bracelet while wearing a torn bikini bottom and Ramona will continue to be just as repulsive as is typical for someone so repulsive.  

Anyone willing to take one for the team and have a sex dream that includes Ramona Singer as the middle layer of a gang bang in the hopes that it might loosen her up?