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The Real Housewives Of New York City Reunion Part I: Dorinda Can't Make It Nice

The annual airing of the New York Housewives' dirty laundry begins with a return to the Berkshires and, unfortunately, a reminder that John exists.

John and Dorinda vs. The World

Can you believe all that John mishegas took place this season? It honestly feels like a lifetime ago that John stumbled into that bra party surrounded by a cloud of coke dust and Skinny Cow conspiracy theories. Because none of the other women have seen John for seven or eight months at this point, and because his casual-ish relationship with Dorinda shows no signs of changing, everyone treats him with kiddy gloves. For most of the segment, they refer to John almost as if he's Dorinda's mildly irritating, rambunctious little brother instead of the full-grown pig-man she's dating. Sonja -- coming out surprisingly haughty right out the gate -- points out that John's use of "moist" at the dinner table is evidence enough that, as much as he'd like to swim with the Manhattan elite, he'll never truly fit in.

This section doesn't appear to be going anywhere until Andy asks Bethenny, rather unnecessarily, what she meant when she asked John whether he'd like to "blow some more rails." "It sounds like you're referring to coke," Andy tells her, the camera cutting away presumably right before he starts cracking up. Bethenny meekly concedes that's what she meant and tries to move on, but Dorinda, for some goddamn reason, decides she wants to linger on the subject. It only takes 15 seconds of Dorinda denying that she and John partake in the nose candy before Sonja gets frustrated and blurts out, "Everyone knows you do drugs!"

Sonja also informs us in this segment that she recently saw Rey -- LuAnn's ex with the very important charity that "helps poor people" -- at a black tie event, and he wasn't even remotely high. And Sonja should know.

Ramona's New New New Beginning

Ramona's still "seeing" multiple men, which could mean anything, and she still can't pronounce "reggae." So, not much has changed for Ramona in the past year, even though Andy talks about her attitude this season as if she underwent some type of miraculous metamorphosis. The only real moment of interest in this segment comes when Andy asks Dorinda to describe one of the "douches" Ramona has been dating. When she won't, Sonja -- the real hero of this reunion -- tries to pressure her into talking shit, but only ends up getting Dorinda further pissed at her. A drinking game could be devised simply based on the number of times Sonja and Dorinda scoot away from each other on the couch in this episode.

The Bezerkshires

Go ahead and skip through the last commercial to get to the real drama, but we have a few loose ends to sew up from the Berkshires in the meantime. Among other things, we learn: Bethenny did not steal LuAnn's hair style, although Lu is still convinced she did; Dorinda thought her Christmas decorations were restrained; LuAnn still doesn't understand why it was inappropriate to bitch to Jules about being called a slut while Jules was on the phone with her dad in the hospital; and Dorinda got upset about people criticizing her cake because she was going to bake it on top of her daughter's birthday cake two weeks later (?). So, there's all that.

Not Copping To It

As you'll recall, Bethenny and LuAnn got into it in the Berkshires because LuAnn was still sorta pretending to be the co-creator of Skinnygirl amidst all Sonja's Tipsy Girl nonsense…at least, that's what I thought it was about. It's been a while, you guys. Anyway, it somehow ended with Bethenny screaming, "You sleep with EVERYBODY!" in LuAnn's face. It was, everyone agrees, the textbook definition of slut-shaming. As much as Bethenny would like to retcon her attacks as "hypocrite-shaming," she finds it impossible to get out of her own way during the reunion, continuing to hurl "slut" and "whore" comments at LuAnn, even after Andy warns her there's no walking those words back.

Though Bethenny makes it ridiculously easy for her to win an argument, Lu still can't close the deal. Instead of focusing on Bethenny's condescending view of all the women's dating lives -- which is a rich subject I hope we hear more about in the next two weeks -- LuAnn tries to paint Bethenny as a hypocritical married woman dating a married man. To be clear, yes, both Bethenny and her current boyfriend are in the middle of long divorce proceedings, but no one -- not even Lu, probably -- considers their relationship an affair from any perspective. When that plan fails, Lu doubles down and seemingly lies about Bethenny's boyfriend leaving his wife for her. But it only takes Bethenny one shoddy speaker-phone call to her boyfriend's daughter to disprove that. When she hangs up, Lu tries to make the weird case that OF COURSE the daughter's going to side with…her dad's maybe mistress? The right couch applauds and laughs in LuAnn's face, and it's both the saddest and most cathartic thing I've seen in some time.

Verdict

This will probably be the tamest episode of the three-part reunion, so I'm giving it a pass. Still, we're coming away with this triply-mixed metaphor from Bethenny, which I'll be using next time some bitch tries to come for me: "Got any other smoking guns? Because you're in quicksand, sweetie pie. Nothing's sticking."

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