I have to admit that midway through the latest episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, I resigned myself to thinking that this would just be one of those humdrum “odds and ends” episodes where nothing too exciting really happens. After all, all that seemed to have been on the docket was Sonja’s not-so-hot masquerade “ball” and Cindy’s trip to the dentist. But then out of nowhere came a loud, shrill fight between Ramona and Jill, and we were right back on track with the craziness. Gotta love these women: four years in, and they still can’t stop themselves from clawing each other’s eyes out.
But let’s back up a touch. The episode began with Sonja cavorting around her home, ordering the staff (of perhaps unpaid “interns”?) to bring her tea in the blue and white cup and to shake the almond milk for her. It was so over the top that I couldn’t help wondering if perhaps she was in some fantastical ’80s movie wherein her life will turn upside down when she trips at a helipad and wakes up a pauper. Because that happens. (I’m picturing Ally Sheedy with a supporting role and perhaps Danny DeVito as the unlikely love interest).
Anyway, Sonja invited over Project Runway finalist, Meryl Streep dress-maker, and drag queen superstar Chris March who spent much of his time panting and delivering pithy remarks. Standard fare for him — which is a good thing. He had entered Casa Morgan to help Sonja with her costume for an upcoming masquerade ball to be held at Sonja’s favorite lunch spot: Cipriani’s! There were a lot of neurotic demands from Sonja and lo and behold, Chris managed to turn her drab “$200 or less” Venetian costume into a lavish, over-the-top look. To be fair, I didn’t really see much of a difference. Yes, Chris did tease out Sonja’s wig to an epic new size, and yes the mask was wonderfully feathered, but the costume itself looked not that different to me. Then again, I don’t have an eye for these things; so what do I know?
Well, all the ladies arrived at Sonja’s ball only to discover that they were crammed in a small wine vault with about only twenty other people. Not the bash they were used to from Sonja. Even worse, Sonja had inexplicably forgotten to wear her ruffly undergarments, which meant everyone got to see a whole big chunk of her ass — which conveniently featured a welt the size of a watermelon, probably from her horse accident a few episodes ago. This led to Sonja squawking about missing the bottom half of her outfit while Jill informed us that she felt bad for her and didn’t want people to laugh at her. Of course, this was intercut with Jill simultaneously walking up to various people and saying, “Did you see Sonja’s costume? Her ass is hanging out.” Good ol’ Jill. Can’t keep a good yenta down.
In other news, Alex showed up as Cleopatra and impressed everyone with her jet-black wig. A new look for season five perhaps?
Elsewhere in the episode, a good amount of time was focused on Cindy and her weird life. First we saw the father of her kids come over to play, and we learned that he and Cindy’s brother Howie have awkwardness for reasons that we’re not totally clear about. All I know is that there’s something weird going on with the Barshops, and we better get to the bottom of it.
Later, Cindy finally went to the dentist to get her veneers done, and she brought along Jill for the support. I loved this scene. This was the old Jill we fell in love with in the first two seasons: meddling, overbearing, but oddly nurturing. Plus, she called a shocked Cindy “horsey,” and that’s gotta be worth something.
But the real heart of the episode came later on when Ramona had a party for her wine (which LuAnn grilled her about yet again, once again showing off all the knowledge she had gained from Jacques — claaaaaassic Countess). Everything seemed to be going fine until Jen showed up. Who is Jen, you might ask? Well, she’s the bride. You know, THE BRIDE. From that wedding in the first episode. Seriously — her title on the show is The Bride.
Anyway, Jen was up to no good. She told Ramona that Jill had pestered her at the wedding about why Alex had been invited, and then after that, Jill asked The BRIDE why she was even friends with Ramona. This sent Ramona into a tizzy, full of classic “I’m getting verklemped” Ramona faces, and we just knew this would spiral out of control. She pulled Jill aside, and after much buildup (on a level of Alex delivering The Message to Jill last year), Ramona spilled the beans about what she’d heard. Jill then clarified that it was someone ELSE who had said the things about Alex, and then there was a lot of yelling, and I couldn’t follow it all, but in the end, Jill accused Ramona of ambushing her and stormed off. Conveniently, she found Jen in the street, the two had some words, and then more or less they squashed the beef. Jill then inexplicably returned to the party and told Ramona that everything was fine with her and THE BRIDE, and then somehow this all turned into a fight about whether or not they were fighting. It was amazing.
It all ended with Jill storming out again and crying to LuAnn (who was more than happy to take Jill’s side and bash Ramona) while Ramona bawled to the other girls. Total mess. Both women declared that their friendship was over, but best of all was Jill presenting LuAnn with the final, un-bestowed koala trinket from Australia and begging her to deliver it to Ramona. It was the ultimate over-dramatic, passive-aggressive gesture — the equivalent of Diane Weist uttering “Don’t Speak!” in Bullets Over Broadway.
Man, I love this show.
“Do I look relaxed? Tell me if I look relaxed. This is the face I give Mario when I’m horny.”
Jill: “Look at this. It’s an apartment for babies.”
“Well, I have two kids.”
“‘I have two kids,’ she says. So you won’t entertain anymore. No big deal. That’s life. You entertain, and then you have kids.”
“I have no problem with that.”
“Who says you should have a problem?”
“I thought you were saying that.”
“So wrong that I talk about problems?”
“Not at all.”
“May this problem be the worst problem you face.”
“And speaking of faces, when you gonna get that horse mouth of yours fixed?”
Cindy: “Is it me, or does no one seem to care about the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie?”
Jill: “There’s a new one?”
“Yeah, sure, you didn’t hear?”
“How could I hear? I was in Australia for three weeks.”
“They don’t have internet in Australia?”
“You think I go to a beautiful country to sit on the Internet?”
“I thought maybe you might check your computer.”
“Check the computer, she says. The only thing I checked was my bank account after I bought all those koala gifts.”
“You bought gifts for the koala bears?”
“No, I bought little koalas for all you guys.”
“Aw, Jill, that’s sweet, but I got two kids already. I can’t take on a bear, even if it is little.”
“It’s not a real bear.”
“Alright, so give me the koala then.”
“There you go.”
“When you gonna get that horse face of yours fixed anyway?”
“You think I look like a horse?”
“ONLY in the face.”
“DARLING, Sonja said she was having a party in Quogue. I certainly got a CHUCKLE from that joke!”
“What a perfect mask for a gay icon like myself. I can’t be spotted with something all chintzy and QUOGUE-like.”
Chris March: “You look fabulous!”
“This is true. But where the HELL is Ramona’s pinot grigio. There’s a pecking order, Chris. And you must obey it.”
Jill: “You know, Sonja, I thought this was going to be a masquerade ball. It’s just us in a costumes in a vault.”
“Well, we’re masquerading, and I don’t know about you, but I’m having a ball. Plus, we’re at Cipriani’s; so even if friggin’ Cindy Barshop bails on me again, I can still have lunch!”
Ramona: “This isn’t a mask. My face just grows horns when I’m surprised.”
“Hey Kell, you mind not whipping me with that black thing in your hand?”
“Oh sorry. I thought you were a horse. NeeeeIIIIIGGGGGHHHHHH!!!! HIIIEEEEE!!!! EQUESTRIAN!!!!”
Jill: “Hey Doctah, see if you can get Cindy’s horse teeth taken in a little.”
“What do you think now?”
Jill: “I like it. Much less horse and more Donkey from Shrek.”
“They did WHAT on Real Housewives of New Jersey??”
“Mmmmmmmm… come to mama….”
“So, Ramona, tell me about the wine. Did it come from many estates or just one? And what sort of barrels is it fermented in? And the grapes — how are they harvested?”
“You know what, LuAnn, I would love to have a conversation about the technicalities of my wine at another time, but not now.”
“Darling, I was simply asking some rudimentary questions. Just wanted to make sure this stuff was real, not some crap from a dumpster in QUOGUE.”
“Ramona, you have that crazy look in your eyes, and given that your eyes always look crazy, this means they are really out of control. Like Golem orgasming.”
“Jill, you were speaking about me behind my back — something I discovered when I was speaking about YOU behind YOUR back!”
“Ramona, I’ve told you for the last time: I will NOT go on a field trip with you to Nyack just to eat at Applebees.”
“Wait a second — I have an identical twin of me who was separated at birth and now lives in Jupiter Hollow??? And now she’s come to NYC to stop me from destroying her town???”
Jill: “Ramona, you’re Big Business-ing again.”
“You know what — you shouldn’t be mad at me, BRIDE. You should be mad at Ramona for wearing cream to you STUPID wedding which is playing FAR too large of a role in our season.”
Ramona: “You’re a really bad friend, you know that Jill?”
“YOU’RE the bad friend! I came here to support you, and instead you’ve ambushed me!”
“This wasn’t an ambush!”
“I’m not here to fight.”
“I’m not fighting.”
“Yes you are.”
“No I’m not.”
“This isn’t a fight?”
“Well, you’re fighting, but I’m not. I’m having a lovely time. I don’t fight. That’s déclassé.”
“I’ve had enough of this. ALEX, what the hell are you doing over there?”
“Oh, just singing some vintage Enya. ‘aaaaaaAAAAAAHHHH.'”
“She was awful, LuAnn.”
“Oh, Darling I know. She can be so rude.”
“She attacked me.”
“No manners, that one.”
“I wanted to support her.”
“You acted like a lady.”
“I hate her.”
“Well, she does have those crazy eyes, but I would never say that to her face. Again. NEVER.”
“LuAnn, I want you to do something very important to me. I want you to give this koala tchotchke to Ramona. I… I just CAN’T.”
“Jill, I simply can’t do that. I can’t be the bearer of the koala tchotchke. That’s too much pressure.”
“Please. I’m begging you. Bequeath the koala.”
LuAnn: “Would you believe Bethenny called me a snake?”
What did you think about the episode? Do we believe Jill or The Bride? And who is the worse friend? Ramona with her undermining or Jill with her gossiping?