There’s something exhilarating and yet sad about The Real Housewives of New York City. On the one hand, we’re witnessing the rush and thrill of intense reality TV feuding — a crazy car wreck that seems to only get worse week after week; sort of like a pileup on a foggy highway. On the other hand though, it’s sad. So very sad. It’s sad that we sit here and eat it all up. And it’s sad that these women don’t know how to handle themselves like adults. This week’s episode saw the simmering volcano that is Alex erupt spectacularly, bowling over Jill Zarin with a pyroclastic flow of pent up rage. It was an epic showdown full of screaming and finger pointing. Bethenny and Kelly’s argument last year looked demure in comparison. Truth be told, in a season full of bickering and blowouts, this was certainly the most heated and venomous. It was amazing.
The animosity all stemmed from last week’s bizarro move by Alex, who famously “delivered a message” from Bethenny that the two yentas were now officially kaput. It was an admittedly poor decision on Alex’s part, and as such, Jill was furious with her. Just their luck that three days later, they were both stuck at Sonja and LuAnn’s garden party. Before Jill arrived, LuAnn pulled Alex aside and did her usual thing: haughty scolding. It wasn’t really her place to do so, but to her credit, I did understand what she was trying to do. However, LuAnn failed immensely as she’s truly incapable of being a mediator without being totally condescending. Alex muttered something to us about being annoyed that LuAnn was butting in, but although I like Alex, she perhaps failed to see the hypocrisy of accusing the Countess of meddling when she herself just committed the most flagrant meddling of all with Jill.
Well, Jill did ultimately show up at this party and engaged in frosty greetings with Alex. Then, while Kelly squealed greetings to the guests and the dogs and perhaps a doorknob or two, the rest of the group gabbed away, with Jill noticeably ignoring her new nemesis. This only served to anger Alex more, and when she finally pulled Jill aside in an attempt to apologize for her “delivery,” Jill shut her down. Alex then informed us that this was the pattern with the two of them: they have blowouts, and then whenever Alex wants to apologize, Jill doesn’t want to hear it. I could see her point, but at the same time, Alex was sort of in the wrong about Bethenny’s message, and although Jill has been a vicious beast all season, I think she’s entitled to still be mad. Of course, had she been a bigger person, she would have at least heard Alex out, but asking Jill to be the bigger person is like asking Sarah Palin to speak a coherent sentence (political ZING!).
If only Jill had the sensibility of Bobby, who approached Alex and asked her very kindly in so many words “WTF??” He seemed genuinely concerned, and it’s sad that Jill doesn’t seem to have the thoughtfulness of her husband. Of course, she would claim that she does, what with her sudden desire to make amends with Bethenny. Now that there was a baby on the way, Jill saw this as her chance to be a clucking Jewish aunt. She wanted nothing more than to apologize and talk with Bethenny. I suppose it’s good that she’s finally realized what an ass she’s been and how ridiculous the feud has become, but the damage has been done. We all think Jill is a monster now — even holdout fans like me — and it’s hard to imagine her ever falling back into our good graces. Then again, if Kelly can become likable (not to mention Vicki from Orange County), I suppose anything is possible.
Well, not long after Sonja’s party, all the women were again thrust into the same social space, this time at The Eldridge for a party in Kelly’s honor. Everyone gathered in the cramped space, and if you were expecting a fight, think again. Jill was suddenly lovey-dovey with Alex, greeting her with a warm hello and kisses on the cheek. It didn’t really make sense — either Jill was truly happy to see Alex (unlikely) or she was pretending to be the bigger woman (more likely). Either way, Alex detected phoniness and stalked out of the party with Simon (who seems less present but more goofy this season) by her side. Meanwhile, LuAnn cozied up to a goblin with wide lapels named Coerte, and despite the fact that he seems like the type who hires three manservants to dote on him every summer in Mykonos, she took quite a liking to this shifty character. Say what you will about LuAnn, but she’s actually quite a catch. Certainly she could do better than Golem with highlights. To be fair, Coerte introduced us to the term, “Scandalocity,” which I believe is the measurement of “Scandal” and “velocity,” thus revealing the speed at which someone becomes famous through said scandal. Or something dopey like that.
The other benefit of this budding barfmance was that LuAnn revealed for the first time that she was working on a song. Why? We don’t know. But she promised us that she might be the female equivalent of Barry White. At first I thought she was making a self-depricating joke at the expense of her man voice, but then it became clear that she was actually equating herself to the late singer. I can only imagine what her poor children must be thinking. Actually, I can imagine it: “Why doesn’t mom ever come to taco night? Does she not love us?”
Anyway, we then sat through some forgettable filler (the ladies at a yoga studio, Bethenny crying about her ailing father, Ramona browsing for wedding dresses). And then came the party. Thrown by event planner and new (unofficial) Housewife Jennifer Gilbert, we knew shit was about to go down, thanks to the promos, but we didn’t have any idea of how much shit there would be.
It started unexpectedly when Ramona announced that Bethenny’s father had died. She then revealed she had received an email at 6 AM that morning about it, causing Jill to absolutely freak out. She immediately demanded to know why Ramona hadn’t let her know, totally flipping her lid in the process. It was one of Jill’s more horrendous moments of self-absoprtion. After all, since when is Ramona obligated to pass along information to Jill at the drop of the hat? The entire attack was somewhat pitiful. I suppose Jill felt sudden panic — like she should be there for her friend — followed by anger that she couldn’t be, followed by jealousy that Ramona knew first, followed by helplessness, followed by an inability to process all the aforementioned emotions, thus resulting in rage. Nevertheless, Jill totally freaked out, not listening as Ramona explained how even though the email came in at 6 AM, she hadn’t checked her email until much later and — oh who cares. Ramona shouldn’t have had to justify herself. Jill was being completely unreasonable, and next thing we knew, she had literally shut herself in the pantry with Kelly, leaving LuAnn to stand as a sentry outside the door. And yes, of course, LuAnn quietly declared to Ramona, “You should have said something.”
Well, Jill finally calmed down and emerged from Jennifer’s well-regarded pantry. Ramona tried to soothe things over, but it was hard to tell if Jill could hear anything beyond the sound of her own voice. It seemed like at last, the night was ready to return to normalcy. And then Alex showed up. All smiles and gawky posture, it seemed like this was the same Alex of yore, but no. She was on a mission. She marched right up to Jill, and in the most melodramatic way possible, seethed, “How COULD you?” Oh, okay. So apparently this fight is starting RIGHT NOW.
According to Alex, Jill had texted something to the effect of “Did you hear that Bethenny’s dad died?” and Alex was having none of it. This was not information to be used as gossip, said Alex (who had previously used it as gossip, kind of), and now the gloves were off. Alex came at Jill hard, and when Jill interrupted, Alex essentially told her to shut up. This pissed off Jill to no end, and she too got her finger in Alex’s face and said that no one could speak to her like that.
The following imbroglio was so fast and intense, I can hardly even remember what happened. Basically, Alex accused Jill of always talking and never listening. Then she accused her of being fake. And then she pulled out this line about “You are a MEAN girl! You are in high school! And while you are in high school, I am in Brooklyn!” The madness continued from there as Jill threatened to cut Alex from her social circle, and Alex more than happily accepted such a punishment. Ramona, meanwhile, moseyed on out of the apartment, and suddenly, Jill and Alex were raising a toast to their dead friendship. It was so bizarre and intense, I almost fainted. In many ways it was actually awesome to see Alex lay the smackdown on Jill. I’m not sure how effective it was, but I’m glad someone confronted her about her behavior (similarly, I must give Ramona kaDOOS for telling the Countess that had she not whisked Jill away, she and Bethenny might have made up that one afternoon). Of course, I think Alex would have been more effective had she not been acting like a raving lunatic, but hey, that’s just not good TV.
And so now we’re left with a totally dysfunctional cast, and guess what? It seems like a good chunk of them are all going off to the Virgin Islands to celebrate Ramona’s wedding vow renewals. The madness continues…
“My love, you truly hurt Jill’s feelings. I think an apology is in order. Let’s face it, you handled yourself very poorly, and being that you’re from Brooklyn, you should be so lucky to have us as friends. Also, I find you occasionally repulsive, and your teeth remind me of Scrabble pieces without the letters. Oh look! Guests! Toodles!”
“I don’t appreciate you butting into my beef with Jill. That’s not your place. That would be like ME butting into Jill’s beef with Bethenny! Oh wait…”
LuAnn: “Jill, you’re going to walk into that party, smile, and enjoy yourself, my love. Don’t give Alex the satisfaction of knowing she got the best of you. I mean, are you a shrinking violet? JE CROIS PAS!”
“I’m not happy about this party. So wrong that I should just go to a party without drama? FEH!”
“HIIIEEEEE!!! I just opened a door! And now I’m walking inside! BYEEEEE, door!!”
“HIIIEEEEEE!!! I don’t know where I am, but that’s okay! I’m having a blast!! Okay, BYEEEEEE!!!”
“How could Alex say that? How could she say she doesn’t like Fiddler on the Roof? For that, I will never forgive her!”
“Alex, I want to talk to you about Jill for a moment. Something’s been on my mind, and I want to share it with you. SAVE ME!!!!”
“Alex, you have balls. I wouldn’t have been able to say what you said. And I’m RAMONA.”
“But you know, I’m also renewed now, and I don’t know if you noticed, but I cut my hair, and it’s just, you know, a whole renewal process, and I think after my father died, I really felt like I should renew, and that’s why I keep my mouth shut. Because when I open my mouth, I get into trouble. Kind of like you [insert suddenly spastic open-jawed laugh with one eye squeezed shut]. But really, what you said was very mean. No, it wasn’t mean. It was dÃ©classÃ©. That’s what it was. DÃ©classÃ©. Sorry! It was dÃ©classÃ©.”
Jason: “Did somebody fart in here? Bethenny? Why won’t you look at me?”
“I just love this dress. I love it. I feel like I’m wrapped up in vanilla soft-serve.”
“Tell me, LuAnn, do you like men who look like Ellen DeGeneres?”
LuAnn: “I really think I’ve found the perfect man. He always wants to shop with me, he loves interior design, and whenever we have sex, he does all sorts of kinky things like yelling out ‘Daddy!’ Although, I think he means ‘Who’s your daddy?’ I mean, why would he call me ‘Daddy?'” [insert haughty Countess laugh]
Sonja: “I find it rather odd that they have these open-air toilets here.”
LuAnn: “These aren’t toilets, my love.”
“Well then. Looks like someone’s about to find a little surprise back here.”
“Seriously, Ramoner? You want me to go away on a trip with YOU? I’d rather go to Auschwitz. Or worse: BROOKLYN.”
“How DARE you! The nerve, telling me this is a naked party when everyone else is clothed!”
“Look at them go! They’re like two rabid dogs. Well, Alex is more of a mangy raccoon [insert haughty Countess laugh]. Sigh…. Don’t we all just HATE Ramona?”
“Parties are fun!”
“Oh no! Parties are scary!”
Alex: “Jill, you are a MEAN girl! You are in high school, and while you are in high school, I am in BROOKLYN!!!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I… I don’t know. I thought it sounded good. I was in the zone.”
“It didn’t make sense.”
“Well, I think what I was going for is that I’m a working mom, and I have things to deal with, and–“
“So wrong that I don’t work? I should be so lucky!”
“It’s not that. It’s just–“
“You’ve crossed the line.”
LuAnn: “I agree.”
Alex: “Excuse me, LuAnn, this is between me and Jill.”
Jill: “Don’t yell at her!”
LuAnn: “Thank you, Jill. Would you believe she called me a snake?”
Alex: “That was Bethenny!”
Jill: “Once again, bragging about how you’re such gooooood friends.”
LuAnn: “It’s just nasty. I mean, ME. A SNAKE!”
Alex: “Listen, we are off message, and I’ve told you countless times–“
LuAnn: “Well that was rude.”
LuAnn: “You said countless.”
Jill: “She said countless. Can you believe this one?”
LuAnn: “I certainly cannot!”
Alex: “I didn’t say it in a pejorative way.”
LuAnn: “My love, I think you are wonderful, but you have SOME mouth on you.”
Jill: “You know what? We ARE through! I’m banning you from my social circle. No more ZAAAARIN FAAAABRICS for you!”
Alex: “Good. I like Calico Corners more!”
Me watching the Housewives.
What did you think about the episode? Did Alex do the right thing?