'The Hangover Meets The Golden Girls' On RHONYC
As the Mexico trip comes to an end, Dorinda slices her hand open. Is she the drunkest though? Find out in this week's rankings!
Greetings from the ruins of Casa La Vida Dulce, the once palatial Mexican getaway that naively hosted seven manic pixie night terrors for a weekend built around tequila. The pools and hot tubs have been drained; the linen, cushioning, and mattresses were built into a pyre; shrubs were lost when a broad-shouldered woman fell into them and seized with pleasure; the dining room and kitchen look like crime scenes; mice have overtaken the south wing; a mint green bikini is stuck to the floor of one of the bathrooms; the overall smell is unbearable.
Whatever. Having to tear down a $10-million-dollar estate and salt the earth it was built on is a small price to pay when held against the embarrassment of riches that made up this week's episode.
To the rankings!
Tinsley is ending her first (and most likely final) season on a high note. The sea breeze has blessedly transformed her from an eighteenth-century doily into the modern woman some of us suspected was beneath the parliamentary wigs and layers of dust, velvet, and lace. Everything else is same old same old, though. There's some Blair Waldorf-lite scheme to throw Sonja a passive-aggressive party as a thank you -- I must have missed the part where she got her own place -- and an admittedly great moment in which she breaks down the difference between Palm Beach and West Palm for Luann, but they aren't enough. Of all the terrible, embarrassing things shown this week, I found nothing sadder than when she jumped up from the table to join Bethenny in conducting Dorinda.
She looked five years old and lost. Delighted to be engaging with a slightly older cousin, but still lost. It was embarrassing.
Carole may seem boring compared to everyone else, but only because she is. Listen, she's fun in her own way. Like, she loves to fish and prank. (I'm not sure how buying a fish and telling everyone you caught it is a prank, but I probably wouldn't; I'm not a prankster.) Her muted approach aside, I respect her for making sense out of what Dorinda was saying at dinner and for helping sand down that situation's edges the next day.
Sonja's right, Luann's hot; she looked like a Bond girl by the pool. If you doubt that statement then consider this: why is Bethenny's response to a conversation about how great Luann looks in her chain-link slip and bikini to tear off her clothes and jump in the pool? Aren't you exhausted, Bethenny? Anyway, whether she realizes it or not, Luann once again makes terrific use of limited screen time. Highlights include: probably falling asleep having phone sex with Tom and another couple from West Palm; saying they can start yoga whenever because yoga instructors are never in a rush; being the only one smart enough to take Sonja's drink (a pitcher) away instead of just telling her not to drink; asking Tinsley to stop dropping Fs; pointing out that Tinsley's place in Palm Beach is her mother's.
The scene between Bethenny and Ramona in the pool is the most honest and vulnerable either has been all season, so it's annoying that it was clearly whittled down to just a few minutes. It would have been nice to see more of that, and Bethenny and Sonja after, it as opposed to, say, the fishing trip more than half the cast couldn't even be bothered to go on. But I digress.
This week did wonders for Bethenny's image…until it didn't. It's only natural that she rebounds from letting off a little steam with going inside and tearing everyone's heads off because they're late to dinner again -- as if it's not to be expected by this point. But the worst is the way she responds to Dorinda telling her she needs to relax and doesn't have to be so perfect all the time. ...Scratch that. The worst are the mental gymnastics she does to try to suggest Dorinda is jealous of her success.
Dorinda isn't jealous of her success. Dorinda is annoyed the former fan favorite has production in a headlock and is quietly killing the series. Dorinda is annoyed her friend is being such a pill on vacation. Kudos to Bethenny for having so much self-respect, but the be-all, end-all attitude isn't sustainable in this sort of environment. I wonder how many more seasons she can go before there's a mutiny and change of regime.
The best was when she said she feels guilty about her success and doesn't tell people half of what's going on in her career. Which would be an interesting thing to explore…if I believed it. I think the only things she's sitting on are the things she's legally bound from announcing until they're ready to be announced. And that's all I'll say about that. At least she scratched the surface of her and Ramona's core issues.
Did Ramona learn anything from her experience this season? No, probably not. I love that she's sixty years old and still learning the complexities of human emotion. One of these days she's going to master empathy and sympathy, I just know it. Carole jokes that Dorinda's performing an exorcism on Sonja while she gets a bathing suit on her. It's Bethenny, playing Judd Hirsch and Robin Williams to Ramona's Timothy Hutton and Matt Damon, who performs the real exorcism. Again: who knows if Ramona learned anything or was just jumping through hoops of human emotion, like an animal at the circus. Whatever the case, her "I DON'T KNOW! I DON'T KNOW!" was one of the most chilling, fascinating things I've ever seen.
Dorinda sliced her hand open because she was gripping a knife while Bethenny shouted in her face about how she is calm and doesn't need to relax. Need I say more? Major points for dressing Sonja while everyone else sat around as if there wasn't a mess that needed to be cleaned up right in front of them. And, I guess, for apologizing to Bethenny the next morning. She didn't have to, but she was the bigger person and came off ten times better because of it.
She's the straw that stirs the drink and you will respect her title even when -- no, especially when -- her eyes are rolled toward the back of her skull and she's trying to shove a finger in your ass and kiss you on the face. Is Sonja problematic? Would she be in prison or dead right now were she a man and not a chipped Swarovski miniature of a koala? Yes, probably. But she's not, so let's not think too much about it because it's so sad and just move on. I'm still trying to burn the image of Dorinda dressing her limp body from my mind.