So it seems the rumors about Bethenny are true.  No, not that she can in fact shimmy into a child-size onesie or that she’s dating the guy from Modern Family – which might fully ruin my love of that show for good – or that wasps really love nibbling on the ass of a bitch, though I thank her for posting the photo of the massive welt on her behind because, after she freaked out over Kristen talking about her on the record, I (pretend) feared that the Skinny Girl was becoming press-shy.  But the rumor that she can sometimes still feel a wee bit of joy?  That one is true!  And all she needed to prove it was an apartment under construction that’s closer to being finished than she expected.

The place looks huge, though it’s entirely possible that it looks larger because the two tiniest grown women in all of Manhattan are hanging out inside of it.  As Bethenny shows Carole around, Carole oohs and aahs and declares it’s on the best block in NYC, but that’s enough about construction and real estate and Bethenny no longer being homeless.  It’s time to talk about their friends now, including some people I fully believe neither one would speak to willingly unless they signed a contract saying that they had to.

Carole laughs and tells Bethenny that she has perfect timing because she always manages to leave places immediately before things explode into a smithereen-filled mess where remnants of Restylane and self-worth are left stuck in the chandeliers and she goes on to explain what happened when Luann accused her and Heather of busting into her bedroom at nine in the morning while they were on vacation because they hoped to trap her in some unglamorous pose with a Turks and Caicos townie. “Luann made a dreadful fool of herself,” explains Carole.  “The Countess is back.”  Now, I’d venture to say that the Countess never went away in the first place, but Bethenny’s a woman with some theories and one is that Luann’s paranoia must be a residual thing from St. Barts when everyone wanted so badly to “bust her with a pirate,” and I’m just going to say here and now that there are some things that I both love so deeply and yet despise so fully that I fear I might be becoming one person made up of two dueling personalities that might soon fight to the death and I only hope the fight transpires outside because I just had my floors professionally cleaned.  Still, here are some examples of things that manage to make me both thrilled and also make me wish I were born in an era when Andy Cohen did not yet rule the galaxy:

1.    The desaturated flashbacks used to catch viewers up about how the women are presently lying.

2.    Luann speaking the mystical language of French that she somehow (“somehow” is code for “she was drunk off her royal ass for six days straight and forgot”) believed could never be translated by the fools over at Bravo who never want to catch their stars in an untruth.

3.    The fact that “bust her with a pirate” is a sentence that I fully understand, even without the flashback that I could stare at on a loop until the very last second of time.

One thing I don’t love, though, is that Carole tells Bethenny that she is embarking on a trip to London to pick up her husband’s ashes.  That actually sounds like quite a poignant experience, but news has been raging that Carole’s former mother-in-law is aghast that something so personal is playing out on camera for the world to see – I’m guessing she’s not a big fan of Marriage Boot Camp, which means that she and I have something very significant in common – and her displeasure has cast a gigantic pall on Carole’s endeavor, at least to me.  But Carole’s got a show to do and Aviva’s gone and there’s nobody besides a Countess to fight with and so she is bringing Dorinda with her on the trip because, as a fellow widow, Dorinda might really have the most compassion about having to do something this painful.

That’s enough with the normal discussions.  It’s time for the women to attend an event they probably had to do some Lamaze breathing and meditation before entering.  It’s the Diamonds and Denim party Kristen is throwing for the charity Smile Train and I’m pleased to report that Josh shows up without that fucking fedora on his head, but my delight was wiped away clean when Carole showed up wearing something that looked like OshKosh B’gosh overalls.  Yes, I get that she was working the denim theme and all, but couldn’t she just have worn some fantastic skinny jeans she would have to take in three sizes (to a size -12) and called it a day?  All the women appear, though Ramona waits for her very own form of a bat-call and only shows up when the photographer does.  She looks good, and some random men who are collectively the age of the newest filler in Ramona’s face stop her and Sonja to tell them they’re hot but Ramona doesn’t seem to be biting and I hope it’s not because she caught something in Turks and Caicos that isbiting.

Since it’s a party for a worthy charity, the women need to slink away to all corners of the room and discuss the newest reasons they all hate one another and first to hammer things out are Heather and Dorinda.  Dorinda wants to resolve the conflict that’s raging like a twig on fire between them.  She really feels that their Berkshires connection is pure and this (being on the show?) is complicating things.  Yes, Dorinda – that’s what cameras do.  They complicate things.  And I’m just going to allow myself to believe that she was trapped in some urban biosphere for the last decade and that’s why she couldn’t possibly know that complications would eventually ensue once she became a Real Housewife.  Dorinda only wants to color her life with crayons in the shades of Lemon Yellow and Periwinkle Blue, not those dark maroons and blacks that illustrate chaos.  And that’s a very nice thought – to live according to Crayola – but I’m thinking that as long as she’s on this show, she might need to hold on to her Radical Red crayon like it’s a sword.

As Kristen goes to the stage to make a speech about the charity they are all there for, Ramona sends a text message and annoys a waiter carrying appetizers because she is not really there to fulfill her philanthropic quota for the century; she’s there because she needed a place to wear a skintight denim dress.  She’s also there to make sure that the True Faith jewelry that she donated is being featured as prominently as Heather’s Yummie Tummie jeans and, when she realizes it’s not, she is ready to hop right off that smile train and shove her pointed heel clear up Kristen’s caboose and she will do it in the name of charity because she is such a benevolent soul.

“It’s a slap against sisterhood, womanhood,” says Ramona – and, even after all this time, I am still stunned silent that she can say such a thing with a straight face given how horribly she treats most people in her life, especially those born with ovaries.

Heather and Kristen hug and cry about how this endeavor is hopefully going to really help people and I know that a lot of people out there find Kristen dull and Heather insufferable but I’m just not there yet.  I find them to be decent people in spite of the fact that Kristen is married to a creep and Heather can never stop talking, but then again, there’s still a few episodes left this season that could make me deny ever making such a statement even though I just put it online for the world to see.

When Dorinda’ boyfriend brings up Luann and Ramona’s booty call in the tropics, Luann smiles and says, “At least they were over forty,” cause, you know, Carole is presently shtupping a guy under thirty and that’s all Luann has to throw in her face and she seems really intent at heaving some shit right at that woman.  I’m guessing her fury is also in the name of sisterhood, as is straddling a married man.

Then Heather sits down with Ramona and Carole and Ramona immediately launches into her newest battle and asks Heather how much her denim retails for and that her True Faith logo should have been emblazoned everywhere in that room and Heather almost can’t even handle that Ramona is this livid because the six necklaces she brought with her aren’t being given a holiday of their very own.  Heather just shakes her head at the lunatic in front of her and tells her to go take a walk and Ramona shakes her head right back and tells Heather that she’s just not being supportive and it’s almost impressive that Ramona has managed to make a charitable endeavor so disgusting.

You know what else is disgusting?  How Carole is Heather’s lackey!  That’s right; standing up for a friend when you fully believe your friend is right is no longer called “loyalty,” and I thank The Real Housewives for correcting my vernacular so I no longer make a fool out of myself in public.  But quick question:  isn’t loyalty kind of a key part of sisterhood?  Oh, it’s not in Ramona’s tilted universe?  Fair enough.

On another brisk day, Carole, Heather, and Dorinda head out to Queens to see a Turkish Coffee Reader – and that reminds me that I miss the Swami Priestess so damn much.  The women drink the coffee slowly and the grinds catch in their teeth and then they cover the mug with the saucer and flip it over and the psychic starts reading the coffee residue and she seems to hit a few things pretty accurately.  She tells Carole that someone is coming back from her past – like a deceased husband – and that there was a black jeep with a scratch on it that was once meaningful in her life and the tears start flowing a bit because the woman is right.  She and her husband did have a black jeep and Carole is also told that her husband is always around her and Carole is pretty honest when she says that she’s not sure that she always wants him around her and I can’t help myself from appreciating that kind of sentiment and it took me right back to being sixteen and lying on the floor of a bedroom with a guy and, just as he unhooked my bra, I remember hoping that my father who had died two years prior couldn’t see me just then from the beyond.  

When it’s Heather’s turn, the psychic tells her that her son has an operation coming up and that things will turn out okay and she shouldn’t be frightened as he has reconstruction done on his eardrums.  Then Dorinda is up and the psychic immediately knows that there’s a divide in her life between three people and, since we already know that Dorinda is caught between her boyfriend and the daughter who loathes him, I’m starting to wonder just how bad that coffee might taste and whether I can meet with this woman in an hour, though when she brings up a balloon that once loomed large in Dorinda’s life seemingly out of nowhere, I cannot help but become very concerned that now I won’t be able to get an appointment with the lady for clear over a year.

Then it’s therapy time for a woman who doesn’t like sharing her private self with the world!  Bethenny shows up at her doctor’s office and even turns off her ringer and gets confronted about how she tends to shut the therapist out of her life when it comes to business.  He thinks that’s a sign of arrogance on her part and she doesn’t lunge across the room to strangle him and I think that must mean that she’s evolving.  She also tells him how much she’s enjoying being around the other Housewives and I have to wonder if she is saying such a thing because she lost a bet somewhere along the line and it was either utter that sentence out loud while wearing a microphone during a therapy session or eat an entire meal in under an hour and since Bethenny knows her limits, she chose the word thing.

Another woman pretty good with words is Carole and she’s throwing her very first dinner party and Adam is cooking.  These two still have a nice dynamic – calm and silly and flirty – and they both look really happy and that means that the thought that came careening into my head as I watched them smile was that she should immediately cancel that dinner party and instead just sit in a closet with the guy because there’s not a chance that the people she’s inviting all really want to see her happy.  But since Carole’s not crazy, she actually only invites Kristen and Heather and Heather’s husband and those people actually root for her happiness and they smile watching Carole and Adam and there really is something sexy about a guy who cooks and I know this for sure because a very cute boy made me something very yummy for dinner last night and that’s why this recap is going up later than usual and I’d go into that a little bit more but I’m still kind of transfixed by how such a lovely meal was prepared in Carole’s kitchen which she turned into an office last season.  

Could the homemade gnocchi have been stapled?

The next day, Dorinda and Carole show up at the airport for their trip to London and I love how they are flying in comfortable clothing and neither one is caked in makeup the way the Housewives from Beverly Hills always are.  Dorinda used to spend a lot of time with her late husband in London and she’s feeling a ton of conflicting emotions about going to a place associated with so many specific memories of a man she still truly misses.  Carole is less emotionally torn, at least for now.  She’s excited that Anthony is sort of in her life again because of this journey and she opens up about her husband’s family ties more than she ever has on this show and talks a bit about how she lost her husband and her two closest friends in the span of a three week period and how it messed her up for a while.  She delves into all of that in her first book (which is kind of gorgeously written), but it’s nice to hear her talk about it a bit too, though I fully understand when she says that she writes it better than she can speak of it.  Dorinda proves herself a dynamite and empathetic listener here and I’d love nothing more than for Ramona – in full make-up and binding clothing – to come ambling by so she could actually see a moment of true sisterhood, though there’s not a shot in hell that Ramona would show up unless she was allowed to toss some True Faith jewelry onto the laps of her dear friends so her sojourn to the airport would be worth it.

There was very little Sonja in this episode and not too much of Luann either, but something tells me that this week’s relative calm won’t last all that long because there’s only a few episodes left and the one thing we all know is that if these women want to be hired again to preen in front of cameras next season, they’d better quickly stir some shit and bellow out some slanderous statements before they raise a glass of champagne and make a heartened toast to friendship.