Another week, another episode, another fight. Well, make that fights, plural. Because what’s a housewife episode without these over-injected, plastic women having it out as their voices rise to decibel levels previously unheard of even in the cacophonous jungle of the Amazon? I mean, at this point, after years of loyal Real Housewife watching across all franchises, I have been desensitized to the drama. But yet, I keep coming back for more. It’s not that I expect things to change, for the show to suddenly become about ostentatious wealth with a tiny side of drama. But my god, some of these fights are just eye-numbingly boring, especially when the same fight is repeated and rehashed Every. Single. Episode. Which then makes the season’s theme center around that one fight or that one issue. With Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, it was questions over Yolanda’s lyme disease, with an extra shot of accusations about munchausen’s syndrome. Over at Orange County, the show centered around Brooks’s lies about his supposed cancer. But here at NYC, it seems that the theme is centered around Dorinda’s volatile relationship with Slimy Johnny and everyone’s distaste for him. Which is, of course, the focus of this episode’s first fight.
The fight is between Dorinda and Ramona, the now-constantly clashing frenemies whose relationship has become as volatile as her relationship with Slimy Johnny. They were at Carole’s house for a psychic reading. Carole, of all people – supposedly the smart, rational person among these women – hires a psychic named Kim to do a reading for the girls. I don’t believe in psychics per-say, especially because a lot of what they say is so general and the whole reading always becomes this game of 20-questions until the psychic seems to “get” the right answer. I mean, a father having a picture with his daughter isn’t exactly uncommon (as with her reading with Ramona) and knowing someone or being close to someone who passed away from heart disease (as with her reading with Bethenny) is highly likely, considering that, according to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the US. But then, when it came to Dorinda, and the psychic mentioned that he leaves money out for her to remind her that he’s always looking out for her, I mean…it’s moments like that that do make you wonder if there are people that can connect to the people that we love that have passed on. I certainly teared up a bit.
But on to the fight. When Dorinda asked the psychic if she will end up with John and she said no, Ramona – a perpetual violator of foot-in-the-mouth-syndrome – blurted out, “oh thank god.” The moment those words left her mouth, it was obvious she regretted it. She jerked forward, an involuntary action where her body tried, too late, to force her to swallow back her words. Unlucky for Ramona, the reaction was immediate and nearly fatal: Dorinda went into mob wife mode, raising her voice to frightening levels, telling Ramona to shut her mouth and stop being a jerk about Slimy Johnny. She also lobbed back a vicious offense; she brought up Mario and insinuated that he cheated on her because she’s so unlovable (or, at least, that’s how I interpreted it). Ramona was uncharacteristically silent, the tears at the corner of her eyes threatening to stream down her face. Dorinda didn’t just react to Ramona’s stupidity; she strapped on a suicide vest and exploded onto Ramona’s insecurities. It was at that moment that I realized how much I disliked Dorinda. She was cool last year, in the beginning of her tenure as a housewife, but she’s showing a truly ugly side to her. A side that she hides behind this veneer of high society and good breeding, neither of which comes naturally, which harks back to Heather’s painfully forced grin that we were subjected to last year. It’s this insincerity that’s going to lose her fans, especially if she keeps up this destructive and noxious relationship with the slimiest man in dry cleaning.
Which brings us to the second fight of the night, the fight between Dorinda and John. After the reading at Carole’s, an already annoyed Dorinda meets Slimy Johnny for dinner at a steak house. Slimy Johnny is already working on some tequila. I think guys like Slimy Johnny need to be surrounded by booze because they know that their pancake faces and flat personalities don’t help with their attractiveness, and need some liquid courage to embody the Alpha male, charismatic persona they wish they had. But his reliance on booze has a side effect of making him look desperate every time he interacts with Dorinda on camera (maybe because it’s on camera?), pulling her toward him to engage in embarrassing levels of PDA. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: he knows Dorinda is way out of his league, and it’s one of the main reasons he acts like such a bumbling buffoon.
Anyway, Dorinda tells him about her fight with Ramona, and he, like anyone with an axe to grind, turns Dorinda’s fight into his own fight. He uses her pain to justifies his position with Ramona, that he isn’t the one to blame here, that he’s been nothing but nice. But Dorinda was having none of it. Like sisters who have a love-hate relationship, but will tear apart anyone who dares to insult their sibling, Dorinda is not ok with Slimy Johnny having disparaging things to say about Ramona. It’s ok for Dorinda to be upset with Ramona who has been her best friend for decades, but Slimy Johnny has no right to get involved, to have an opinion because it shows that he only cares about himself, that he only cares about his own ego. All she wants from him is for Slimy Johnny to show empathy, to show her that he has her back unconditionally. Him getting involved is petty because it’s not about him. Sure, the conflict is about Dorinda’s relationship with Slimy Johnny, but that’s not the real issue here. The real issue is Dorinda’s frustration with Ramona’s inability to respect her decisions and Ramona’s frustration with Dorinda for not seeing that she could do so much better. Slimy Johnny is the sideshow here, the issue distracting from the real issue of Dorinda and Ramona’s erosion of trust.
And so, when Slimy Johnny made it about him, Dorinda – for the second time that day – raised her voice and reprimanded Slimy Johnny. But it was interesting to see how Dorinda’s voice didn’t get too shrill, that even as she became increasingly upset her voice didn’t quite get to the levels that she reached when surrounded by the women. She did this with Slimy Johnny at the bra party too. Before he arrived at the bra party, her voice was so loud, it was heard all the way across the Outer Boroughs. But when he was there, her voice was decidedly more tempered, more controlled, almost docile. It’s an odd thought, but given the volatility of their relationship, would it surprise anyone that Slimy Johnny has made our confrontational, formidable Dorinda into a submissive mate?
When Dorinda realized that she was getting nowhere with Slimy Johnny, she got up, told him derisively to get an EZPass to go back to Queens (which is where I’m assuming he lives) because he wasn’t welcome to come home with her. As she stalked out of the restaurant, Slimy Johnny was left alone with his plate of food, smiling awkwardly at his beau’s retreating figure.
Moving on, it’s time for Sonja’s birthday party. Now, Floozy Boozy Sonja Morgan doesn’t just throw any kind of party. She uses every resource necessary to make a fabulous soiree as cheap as possible. Not only does she have free labor in the form of interns, even her facials — the sublime Sotoko who threw epic shade at the Countess a couple of years ago when she announced on national television that the Countess likes to date short, French men — offers Sonja free facials (perhaps in exchange for TV time?). She gave Sonja a human stem cell mask, massaging her back as she explained the inner working of the black market for placenta masks (um, ew, that sounds so gross) as she helped Sonja prep her face for her party. Her birthday party is essentially comped because it’s also a launch party for her line of Prosecco wine, “Tipsy Girl” (which apparently will cause tension between Sonja and the original Skinnygirl herself, Bethenny Frankel on the next episode, so stay tuned). As crazy and as flaky as Sonja is, she is quite wily when it comes to manipulating the people around her to maintain whatever vestige of glory that was her former lifestyle as Lady Morgan.
At the party, there was a minor scuffle between the Countess and Ramona, where the Countess confronted the Ramonacoaster about her comments that she is a bad influence on Sonja. Ramona, being Ramona, was very flippant and stood her ground. At least flaky Sonja is reliable about one thing: derailing conversations. Here she did so by changing the conversation to how she Single-White-Femaled Ramona and copied her hairstyle. Luann walked off in a huff, but it’s obvious that this fight over Sonja’s virtue is far from over.
– Sonja claiming that she’s allergic to makeup and sticking a Q-tip up her nose to stop her nose from running while her makeup artist Maya puts on foundation. Oh, Sonja, never change.
– The flashback to 2009 when Bethenny started her Skinnygurl business and hosted an event in a supermarket that not a single person attended. Especially when compared to the success of her food truck event on last night’s episode, with press and dozens of attendees standing around to get Skinnygurl products on a freezing cold, gloomy, rainy day.
– “You could hire a ghostwriter; I know a good one.” Nice job with that one Carole. Does this mean we’ll hear more about the ghostwriter drama from enemy number 1 Countess Luann?