The Real Housewives of New York City Put Season 8, And Their Cheating Partners, To Bed
LuAnn experiences the five stages of grief, landing on the saddest possible version of 'acceptance.'
The Tom-Shell Fallout
Twelve minutes into the chaos of the finale, after patiently waiting in the corner while everyone else debates how LuAnn's going to react to being cheated on by her soulmate Tom, beautiful Sonja Morgan pipes up and declares, "The night she met him, she was with a different guy and he was with a different girl, and now he's with a different girl after being with me. I still don't get why everyone's so surprised." The twist Sonja puts on "surprised" is so casually funny that it alone would merit this section, and this episode, a "watch."
Not that the aftermath of Bethenny's revelation needs any help in the watchability department. LuAnn, hyper-controlling as she's been about the perception of her relationship with Tom all season, suddenly could not care less. She's in shock, running around from hotel room to hotel room trying to make sense of all the information getting thrown her way. Despite Bethenny's pictures and time-stamps and private investigations -- in which she apparently gathered information by calling The Regency bar pretending to be LuAnn -- Dorinda and Jules still insist that LuAnn give Tom the benefit of the doubt. Which makes sense when you remember that Dorinda is dating John, and Jules is still married to Michael.
Meanwhile, Ramona is ready and willing to compare LuAnn's situation to Mario's cheating to anyone who will listen. I'm not quite sure how many times Ramona says, "At least she didn’t hear it from Page Six like I did!" in this episode, but I'm pretty sure it's close to a million.
Significantly more shocking than Ramona's making everything about herself is the fact that we get to witness the phone confrontation between LuAnn and Tom. And so does Bethenny, since it takes place in her room, much to her discomfort. Whoever at home has the phrases "I was too drunk to remember," "It didn't mean anything," and "It will never happen again" on your Cheater Apology BINGO card, well...BINGO. After the call, LuAnn again moves from room to room to tell everyone she'd prefer that they stop talking about Tom (on camera) for the duration of their trip...and then proceeds to talk more about Tom to Carole, Dorinda, and Bethenny. Bethenny is just relieved she's not on LuAnn's shit list (yet), so she enthusiastically joins in on LuAnn's "Men are fucking garbage" tirade to keep on her good side.
Of course, once Lu leaves the room again, everyone agrees that there's zero chance she's leaving Tom. If she hasn't mentioned leaving her cheating week-and-a-half fiancé yet, you better believe she is committed to this wedding taking place, even at the cost of her remaining self-respect.
Probably Not The Regency
Upon returning to New York, LuAnn checks into a hotel instead of going back to Tom's place so that she can process everything. Although, she's already repeating "everyone makes mistakes" in her testimonials, so I'm not sure what's left to process.
Three days later, LuAnn and Tom have made up and are now on the same page. Bethenny reveals to Carole -- over catered sushi, no less -- that LuAnn is ignoring all her calls and texts. Now that she's had time to get over the non-trauma she's caused Lu, Bethenny is more than comfortable shit-talking her again. She recalls how LuAnn, during her phone call with Tom, kept returning to the fact that he made out with someone "at The Regency of all places." Bethenny -- and I -- believe Lu is more mortified that people know Tom cheated on her than she is by the fact that he did it.
More scandalous is the phone call Dorinda did have with LuAnn -- or Tom, rather. She tells Ramona how they called her -- from The Regency -- so that Tom could essentially threaten her into lying for him. He had this cockamamie plan to bring two Regency waitresses to Dorinda's house so that they could all line up their stories and explain what really went on that night. Why is Dorinda involved? I have no idea. But Tom allegedly told her that if she doesn't comply with his demands, she is uninvited from the wedding and her friendship with LuAnn is over.
Ramona's insta-iconic response to all of this: "That's an asshole."
Tijuana Go Home
In honor of the Mexican trip her broken vagina ruined, Bethenny throws a Mexican-themed finale party which includes, like all such culturally-appropriating Housewives events, thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry in a piñata. These people.
Everyone is pretty civil toward the beginning. Dorinda brings John along, and because he hasn't been around for half the season, it's actually kinda nice to see the dumb galoot. Adam is also uncharacteristically tolerable -- not to mention a sex-fueled revelation with his new douche-by-night GQ look. LuAnn is actually able to have a conversation with Adam and Carole without once smacking either of them in their intergenerational faces.
The one Housewives partner not literally in attendance is Tom, although he's definitely there in spirit. LuAnn is so jumpy about anyone having a conversation about her fiancé that she mishears a conversation the other women were having about the jewelry in the piñata and automatically believes it's about Tom gifting his ex-girlfriend with a bracelet. Which is maybe a warning sign in and of itself.
Finally, though, LuAnn does confront Bethenny with...wait for it...why Bethenny felt it necessary to conduct such a thorough investigation into Tom's cheating. Because LuAnn is bent on marrying this fucker, she is forced to direct her anger at less deserving targets. LuAnn insists that she and Tom are meant to be, and when Bethenny tells LuAnn, as gently as she knows how, that LuAnn's being willfully naïve to think Tom won't cheat on her again, LuAnn storms out. And before the traditional season finale toast! Rude.
After the piñata and some obnoxious photo-booth sessions, we get the usual wrap-up paragraphs telling us what we already know: Sonja is still mostly sober, Jules left her fuckface husband, Carole and Adam will never write that cookbook, LuAnn is determined to stretch her relationship with Tom to a wedding special next season, and Ramona still has herself to keep her company, so she'll never truly be alone.
Never have I been more excited for a reunion than after this finale. How many different ways will Bethenny find to call LuAnn a moron?!