This week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New York City contained very little action but hinted at some of the major conflicts to come this season. In particular, we were able to get away from the grind of endlessly rehashing #BOOKGATE at every social function on the island of Manhattan. Well, sort of.
When the episode begins Ramona is supervising a photo shoot for the family dog so that Avery can take a personalized calendar with her to college, as we all desperately wanted to do as college freshmen. Sonja shows up with Marley, who brings the shoot to a screeching halt. Sonja collapses in a heap on the couch and updates Ramona on her various financial travails and her plans to get out of them, one of which apparently involves designing formalwear for children. Ramona is agog, both at that “business plan” and Sonja casually allowing Marley to slurp water out of her glass, which is never not funny.
In less crazy territory, Heather and her husband visit the doctor to check their son’s hearing, which has been getting worse. They are very sweet and concerned and their kid is cute, and having this as one of the main plots of the week has the probably undesired effect of making the ladies’ other shenanigans seem even more ridiculous in comparison.
To illustrate this principle, Aviva and Kristen take their kids to a soap-making store (???) to hang out while their moms whisper-yell at each other. Immediately Aviva jumps on Kristen after she suggests that Aviva might not be on the side of righteousness with #BOOKGATE, telling her that she shouldn’t be talking about it if she’s sincere in her desire not to get involved and besides, they shouldn’t raise their voices near the kids. When Kristen presses on and Aviva cuts her off with a “shut the fuck up,” surely the most dramatic fight ever to take place in a soap-making establishment, you could see Kristen’s eyes widen with the knowledge that she is dealing with a true insane person.
Even crazier, Aviva immediately backs down, apologizing for her language and wanting to make up, and I start wondering wildly if this soap-making store, in some kind of Fight Club homage, sells soap made from the bodies of Aviva’s victims, because this woman is bananas.
Anyway, it’s Fourth of July weekend, so we head to the Hamptons, stopping first to check in on Heather, who fills Carole in on her son’s health issues. They have a nice, supportive moment of genuine friendship and later Heather hears from her son’s doctor, who believes her son’s hearing problems can be corrected with a surgery.
Aaaand that’s it for nice moments in the Hamptons! At Ramona’s house Kristen and Josh come over to play tennis, but Kristen is wearing the wrong shoes and is summarily barred from the court. She makes her second fatal error when she asks Ramona why she wasn’t at Heather’s anniversary party. Ramona scoffs and huffs and puffs and flaps her hands until Kristen is basically frightened into silence, but when Heather herself shows up and demands to know why she didn’t come the best Ramona can do is tell her that she’s been having “phone problems” where her texts don’t go through, and she didn’t want to risk that happening by sending Heather her regrets.
“…So why didn’t you come?” Heather asks, nonplussed. Ramona flaps away so she doesn’t have to answer the question. Unfortunately, she can’t catch a break because Sonja, wearing a bathing suit beneath a sheer bedazzled gown (the whole look is very “shipwrecked Barbra Streisand gives a concert”), tells Ramona that someone has apparently told her if she takes her caburlesque act on the road to Mykonos, 10,000 people will be waiting there to see it.
“You’re not a Broadway star!” Ramona exclaims, unable to help herself. “I could be if I wanted to!” Sonja retorts, becoming so offended that she threatens to leave and go to the “four or five” other fabulous parties she’s been invited to. At some point during this conversation Aviva looms into the frame like a fuchsia-clad ghoul, demanding that Ramona apologize to Sonja and ordering Sonja to accept the apology. They make up almost immediately and…almost kiss? It’s an odd moment.
Aviva is probably relieved not to be in the middle of yet another fight, but it doesn’t last long. Kristen has requested that everyone participate in a clambake on the beach because that is apparently the name of an Elvis movie, and as everyone gathers on the sand Heather decides this is the moment for Aviva and Carole to squash their beef. It seems the tiniest bit self-interested, as she is sick of hearing about #BOOKGATE from Carole, and perhaps naïve, as she was able to come to a détente with Aviva herself last week and probably assumes that the same will be true for Carole.
Aviva goes over to Carole, who is hanging out with Mario “the best cheaters are the ones who get away with it” (yeah, he said that out loud while cameras were rolling) Singer, and asks to talk to her. Carole clings to Mario’s hand until Aviva has to literally drag her away, which is not a great look on an adult woman. They sit on the sand a ways away from the larger group, who narrate their interactions like sportscasters.
Basically it comes down to this: Aviva has realized that #BOOKGATE is doing her zero favors with the more reasonable contingent of the cast and wants to let it go. Carole is still luxuriating in being the wronged party and wants to keep milking it a bit longer. Also, Aviva is maybe a psychopath who makes soap out of the fat of her enemies. At this point they’ve been arguing so long that the sun has gone down, and Luann sees fit to intervene. She plops down on top of Carole’s foot, making her yell out in pain.
For her closing argument, Aviva pulls out a galley copy of Carole’s book, declaring that she read it and thought it was “tremendous.” Carole finds this creepy. Aviva continues to attack her with compliments until she runs away on her injured foot. The fireworks go off. Everyone vows never to return to the Hamptons.