The Real Housewives of New York City Presents: The Maiming Of The Lu
The prospects for the Countess's fairytale ending take a turn for the worse in Palm Beach, Florida, where the town motto is, 'Even Sonja Morgan thinks we're sketch!'
Act I: Tom And Lu And Ramona And Sonja
Everything. Everything about LuAnn and Tom's engagement party is perfect. The Palm Beach bourgeoisie are all in attendance (primarily homeless gay wizards and Aviva Drescher drag queens). Sonja, who's restricting her suspicions about Lu's engagement to her testimonials for the time being, gets her contractually-mandated, (mostly) appropriate conversation with Tom out of the way, and then moves onto flirting with the gays -- and, at one point, I swear, Lenny Turtletaub from BoJack Horseman.
Everyone spent so much energy worrying about how Sonja was going to behave, they forgot that Ramona is currently the crazier one. Ramona is one misplaced bottle of pills away from a fake pregnancy storyline at all times. She stumbles over to the happy couple, boozily dodging obstacles LuAnn places in her path (namely, a coffee table and herself), to congratulate them. But when Ramona and Carole end up alone with Tom, Ramona peppers him with less-than-casual questions, and directly challenges him on his LuAnn-approved story that he and Ramona only went out once or twice. As it usually goes with Ramona, accusations of lying quickly evolve into flirting. Tom doesn't really reciprocate, but editors (and Ramona) really try to make it seems like he is. He doesn't do himself any favors by telling Ramona she smells like grapefruit. ...Okay, maybe he is flirting. Straight people are weird.
Ramona and Carole eventually end up together on the deck, where Ramona is raring to talk more about Tom and what a sleaze both he and LuAnn are. Lu's comment to the press, combined with her Disney princess gushing, has Ramona up a wall, and she's done protecting her sorta-friend's feelings.
(Side note: Carole is a much more likable when she's hanging with Ramona and Sonja than when she is with Bethenny. She's just seems so happy to be part of the Ramonja ride.)
The night ends, as all nights should, with Dorinda giving the slurriest of slurry Dorinda toasts, and the disembodied voice of LuAnn saying, "Just disappear, like elegant people do."
Act II: Brunch Is Other People
Dorinda, possibly still a 'lil boozy, wakes up Carole and Ramona around 10:30 AM so that they can get their Lu gossip out of the way, because she refuses to be a minute late to Yacht Brunch. Value friends like Dorinda. Ramona gives them the least abridged version yet of her relationship with Tom, including the fact that she slept with Tom on their first date when he invited her up to "play backgammon." (We also learn that Tom was that creeper who tried to neg Ramona and her very 2007 friend in the very first episode of the series.)
There are so many wonderful things about this episode, but my favorite might be Ramona walking into Sonja's room to find her in the dark on her iPad, asking her what she's doing, and Sonja replying, "I'm watching my Netflix!" Well, get off your Netflix, Sonja, because Ramona's here to make you cry about how much you miss your 3 AM alleyway fucking with Tom. Oh, and Dorinda dismissing Sonja's trysts with Tom by saying, "They were making love late at night after drinking heavy" is also my favorite thing.
The second Dorinda hits the deck, she tells LuAnn, in a misguided attempt to control the situation, that "they're all still going on" with the Tom stuff. I don't remember whether Lu slams her fists down on the table or whether her aviators shattered after hearing this, but I definitely think she did.
Wisely -- it seemed at the time -- LuAnn chooses to focus her berserker rage on Ramona, as the one most directly stirring the shit. Lu knows Sonja is the wounded puppy dog America is rooting for, and she's not about to throw away her newly mended friendship with Carole, so Ramona is the only logical choice. AND. RAMONA. IS. NOT. HAVING. IT. She goes in on Lu about mentioning her name to the press and calls her a bitch before throwing some newspapers around and storming out.
Once everyone is back on the deck, LuAnn scream-apologizes for losing her temper and scream-demands one from Ramona for talking about Tom. Ramona refuses, because Ramona's a wonderful, but says she won't continue because she's said all she wanted to say. Meanwhile, Jules and Dorinda eat brunch and pretend nothing extraordinary is happening.
(Side Note 2: Dorinda and Jules are the new Carole and Heather. Don't @ me.)
Act III: Bethenny's Burden
On the way from Palm Beach to Miami, Carole takes a covert phone call from Bethenny who tells her she's got some hot goss, but not what said hot goss entails, because, come on, we're doing this in person. But once the women arrive at the nicest Holiday Inn in South Florida, the usual divvying up of the rooms hits a snag when they find, already occupying one of their rooms...Bethenny (dun Dun dUN!!!!). While Ramona and Sonja plot to trick Carole into taking the room with the bigger TV at the expense of the bigger balcony ("Just turn it on! You can watch CNN!"), Lu takes the opportunity to one-on-one with a woefully unprepared Bethenny.
This is Bethenny's UnREAL moment, when she realizes how many pour unfortunate souls are wrapped up in this TV show's machinations -- and that there is no right way to let her friend/co-star know that her fiancé is cheating on her. So, she decides not to tell her. This week, at least. Instead, she just asks vague questions about whether she "knows" Tom well enough and alludes to Lu's open relationship with Alex. Lu deflects and leaves, but her antennae are definitely up.
Lu joins the nosh room and Ramona and Carole sneak out to conference with Bethenny. She holds her cards for a while, encouraging Carole and Ramona to talk about the party so she can punt on spilling her beans on camera, but, eventually, tells them she has a photo of Tom making out with some chick at a hotel bar three days ago. She also makes clear she'll never in a million years reveal her source, which probably means her source is a Bravo PA.
Legit, I watched that clip nine times for Ramona's scream alone. It's guttural and funny and primal and, ugh, just so fuckin' Ramona. She's so much fun. Ramona Singer and Sonja Morgan are the only Housewives I'd let into my bomb shelter.
I'd say a Top Five all-time best? I will rewatch this episode and eat Chipotle the next time I feel depressed.