Dorinda Sticks With (Diet) Coke, Still Ruins Ramona's Party Anyway On The Real Housewives Of New York City

She isn't drinking martinis tonight in case she confronts Sonja. How's she doing? Not well, bitch!

"Not Well, Bitch!"

Tinsley and Sonja walk into Ramona's party. It's a little awkward since one's new to the group and the other is on the outs, but whatever, it's fine. It's going to be fine. They even brought a gift: a candle, something Ramona apparently loves. (Spoiler: they should have brought sage.)

Dorinda's sticking to Diet Coke tonight -- which sounds more and more like a euphemism for taking Adderall recreationally each time someone says it -- because she's stalking prey and wants to stay on message. A safe distance from Dorinda's dysarthria and Tinsley's vocal fry, Carole tells Sonja about Ramona bringing up Bethenny's "softcore" past at last night's dinner and how it upset her because it involved Bryn. Sonja waves it off; everything's going to be fine. She's more interested in whether or not the video is hot because she hasn't seen it. Carole says it's hot "in a Cinemax kind of way" and Sonja's impressed by the "top-shelf" comparison.

Speaking of bad softcore shtick, Luann's shocked to learn Tinsley's staying in Sonja's daughter's room. She could have an entire floor to herself, but no. Instead she's staying in a teenager's room and telling everyone she feels sixteen again. Luann thinks it's creepy that she's probably blowing the VPs of all tech startups downtown in front of dozens of stuffed animals, and I'm inclined to agree.

Ramona wrestles everyone into the dining room for dinner. She claims to have made the food herself -- it's really just angel hair with pesto (?), a spring mix, asparagus, and some sort of protein that's probably chicken with lemon or chicken marsala, because it always is -- but know that she absolutely had it catered. There's no way she threw all that together and is as calm as she is now. Anyway, now that everyone's seated, the evening can begin.

Sonja's telling everyone she and Tinsley can see Luann's house from where they're staying when Dorinda loses it and announces that she wants to talk about the elephant in the room. The presentation of her argument is like a hyperactive five-year-old telling her grandparents about a trip to the zoo. The conversation starts with the elephant, which is Sonja talking to the press and bad-mouthing her. Then there are meerkats (a vaginal rejuvenation dig; comparing Sonja's vagina to the Holland Tunnel), beluga whales (something unintelligible about using cucumbers and bananas to…), orangutans (calling her delusional for saying she was an advisor to Trump), an alligator (going after her "disgusting" OFF-Broadway play), and the bat exhibit ("Fix your toilet in your townhouse!" Grey Gardens references). It's unwell, and it's incredible.

Luann brings up how she "wouldn't be caught dead at [her] wedding" -- which she allegedly wasn't even invited to -- and some of the things she's said about Dorinda. It's no use. Dorinda's outburst is so extreme that even if she's technically right, she looks wrong by comparison. Then there's Carole, who at the head of the table lords over everything and coolly tells Tinsley to stop defending Sonja since this stems from her not being invited to one (disastrous) sleepover. "Oh," says the former IT-Girl, pretending the hives she just broke out in is an allergic reaction to whatever tortured acrylic/polyester fabric Luann's wearing beside her. One of the guests gives a toast in hopes that it will save the evening; he's wrong.

Bethenny arrives to get Carole as a fight breaks out inside. Dorinda's screaming, "FRAUD" at Sonja, whom Ramona drags into the kitchen to talk. Sonja's fine, though. If anything, she's glad; maybe now Dorinda will just move on. Carole thanks Ramona for having her and disinvites her to her election party in the same breath. Ramona's stung and starts ranting about how insulting it is and how she's smart too when Carole shrugs it off and slinks out. Elsewhere, Dorinda shouts, "How am I doing? I'll tell ya how I'm doing. Not well, bitch!" in Candace Bushnell's face. To be fair, Bushnell seems to like it.

Ramona comes out with a cake for all the November babies and we get a moment that plays as if Bethenny and Carole are speeding away from a Southern Baptist cult. It feels incredibly right. So thank you, editors.

Additions & Division

The next day, Luann's hosts a brunch to show off her new addition. Dorinda, Ramona, Candace -- billed as "Luann's Friend" -- and another woman sit around the table talking about Sonja, Bethenny, and Carole. Dorinda feels great now that that's out of her system. It's unclear whether she's talking about the outburst, or the Diet Coke. Though I suppose the two go hand in hand, if you know what I mean. (Am I overthinking the importance of everyone but Candace wearing white? Are they making sure she stands out because the rumors are true and Tinsley's a dud? Will this FOTH eventually be holding an apple?)

Sonja and Mini Me walk down the street to Luann's. (Their outfits are almost identical and it just like the scene in AHS: Coven when Jessica Lange tells her girls to put something black on because they're going out.) They let themselves in and linger in the hall to eavesdrop. If Tinsley looks panicked, it's probably because (you may not know this) she was arrested for trespassing in Palm Beach, and that's basically what she's doing right now. As if none of this is weird enough, Dorinda and Sonja greet each other as if they made plans yesterday and each went to a different restaurant by accident. You know, just a funny misunderstanding.

Luann gives the tour; Sonja says it looks amazing and that she's so happy for her. Luann, of course, responds with her singular incredulous catchphrase: "Oh really?" Yes, Luann, really. They make up, but it's less than five minutes before Sonja's putting her foot in her mouth in a stream of consciousness rant to a less-than-amused Ramona.


Tinsley meets Luann and Dorinda -- in almost identical shrugs -- for dinner…without Sonja. What's Sonja doing while the girlfriend she's indefinitely hosting has dinner with her friends and talks about Ramona's upcoming surprise party? She's setting up a date with new beau "Frenchy," sure, but she's also soaking her unmentionables in the bidet in a scene that feels lifted out of Fargo. Feel free to fast-forward from here, unless Luann booking a mariachi band for Tom's birthday and Tinsley's record getting expunged are of interest to you.

Stain Remover

Dorinda brings a slimmed-down John lunch at work. Hannah is moving out of the apartment. John wants to move in. Dorinda isn't acknowledging either. There's not really a lot to say about this one.

Carole the Cat Lady

I'm into Carole the Cat Lady. Her ripped-up couch still gives me anxiety, but I'm into her beautifully art-directed version of whatever the fuck's going on at Sonja's. Were she alone, talking to the animals and using her gold orchid mister, there'd be no problem. Unfortunately, Bethenny's there with her.

I generally like their dynamic -- or did -- but here they're operating at two completely different speeds and The Odd Couple angle or whatever it is they're going for never really clicks. Bethenny's reactions to the phrase "shacking up" and three or four animals with the same name are, sorry, boring. Worse is when she starts up about Ramona and how she can never forgive her. [blows raspberry]

"Face It [Sonja], I'm Not Getting Into [NYFW]!"

Sonja's in the kitchen talking to Connor about how obnoxious it is that Tinsley's hanging out with all her friends without her when, like clockwork, Tinsley comes downstairs and hears her. She's complaining about how they went to TAO -- Rocco's one of the owners -- without her when Tinsley bursts through the door. A few words back and forth later, they quasi-resolve it once Sonja brings up Tinsley hosting men in her daughter's bed and both decide they'd rather laugh about it and goof about sex than alienate each other, but it's an interesting note to end on. And the humor of starting the episode with Tinsley saying she felt like a 16-year-old again and ending with her shouting at Sonja like an angry teen -- literally saying, "I'm not a teenager" -- wasn't lost on me.

I like that tensions are rising and I'm interested to see where it goes. If not for them, then for Tinsley in general, because I'm very into the petty, feral shades of Alexis Neiers we saw a glimpse of in the kitchen.


I was worried. It'd been suggested this season didn't have anything going on -- and it's still early, so who knows -- but this week brought the show roaring back to life for me. There are lulls, but they're harmless. This is a must-watch.

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