I don’t know about you guys, but I’m feeling a little conflicted about last night’s episode of Real Housewives of New York. It was an extra fifteen minutes long, which adds on an extra hour of recap-writing for me, which makes me rather cross. If that fifteen minutes had been put to good use to give us something fantastic, that might have been ok, but it seemed as though there was fifteen minutes of filler that could have been removed – the palace tour, the cooking lesson, the visit to the pool hall with the boys.
The episode felt bloated, but in between the aforementioned nonsense, some interesting stuff happened. Kelly nearly fell off the deep end again in frustration with Alex, but through various miracles of medicine and pharmacology, was able to maintain her sanity. LuAnn maybe sabotaged the blondes to look like jerks by not informing them of a planned meal. Jill got into a vicious fight with a small-barrel curling iron. There was fun to be had, if you looked hard enough.
As with last week, we started out exactly where we left off – the aftermath of the Jill/Ramona drunken smackdown. Jill ran straight into LuAnn’s arms to blubber and sniffle and wail about “owning” things, which was perhaps more irony than I was prepared to deal with in the first two minutes of the episode. Jill called Ramona a shithead, LuAnn swore that she’d never, ever let anyone Jill her and looked like she maybe wanted to stroke her hair a little bit, and the rest of the non-blondes gathered around to comfort and commiserate in order to receive their requisite camera time.
Once someone pried Jill out of LuAnn’s arms, LuAnn went to see if she could stir up some more trouble in the other room to avenge
her beloved Jill. Ramona mistook her for a cater waiter and asked her for a glass of pinot grigio while Alex and Sonja schemed to get LuAnn out of the room, but LuAnn couldn’t be distracted from her wine-fetching duties, which she apparently took very seriously. Once Sonja and Alex finally yanked her out of the room, they tried to comfort Ramona until Kelly came in to negotiate a peace treaty so that they could all go to dinner together and gawk at belly dancers.
And go to dinner they did. “Sonja” had booked a table at the city’s premier belly dancing joint (and I use the scarequotes because Bravo did all of this, clearly. Sonja can’t even plan to put her panties on.) First they flirted with a table of anonymous men near theirs, and then a dancer came over, which naturally resulted in vicarious embarrassment all around. Ramona made lots of inappropriate comments and appeared to actually go into heat, and then she stuffed some money in the dancer’s skirt. Is that ok? It seemed like maybe it’s not ok, but I’ve never been to a place that had belly dancing and I’ve also never been to Morocco, so I have no idea. I just assume that everything Ramona does is in some way offensive.
The next day, the group was still mostly getting along and they set out to tour what appeared to be a historic palace. My sound wasn’t great at this part of the episode, so if you know what the place actually was, feel free to share. They talked of polygamy and concubines while strolling through the estate, but mostly I found myself distracted by the fact that the guide was wearing a pair of Carrera sunglasses that I have in black. And despite the fact that he was wearing a robe that covered everything but his face and a pair of large sunglasses, Sonja thought he was hot. Sonja thinks everyone is hot. Sonja thinks the guy who played Newman on Seinfeld is hot.
Back at the house, Ramona and Alex got together to discuss the issues with Jill and hug and cry a little bit and generally act like Ramona had been violated in some huge and heinous way instead of just having participated in her umpteenth fight with Jill. Did Jill molest Ramona and I missed it? Ramona, show us on the doll where JIll touched you. It has to be something huge and heinous because they have the we-hate-each-other fight twice a season, don’t they? And haven’t they both acted like complete jerks in reasonably even measure? I don’t even have a side in this fight, I think they’re both absolutely crazypants.
After they had a moment and hugged, Alex left Ramona to go request a private audience with LuAnn. Well, it would be more accurate to say that she stormed down the stairs in the world’s loudest shoes and demanded to see LuAnn after she finished getting her henna done with Kelly and Cindy, and since LuAnn knows that you should never let anyone take you to a second location, she made sure to have Alex say her piece in front of everyone so that there would be witnesses. LuAnn is a jerk, but she’s occasionally a smart jerk. And she had a point – you can’t loudly barge into a room and make a scene and then refuse to tell everyone what’s going on. If you want to be discreet, you have to actually act discreet.
Alex, for her part, hemmed and hawed and stuttered and finally spit it out, in an almost exact replay of her public carpet-bombing of Jill from last season. And although I’ve watched it twice at this point, I’m still not entirely sure what they were arguing about. Alex was mad at LuAnn for wanting to talk to Ramona? Because Ramona is such a delicate flower who’s unable to be confronted, and when confronted, unable to defend herself or hold her own? Does that sound like the Ramona that any of us have come to know and love/sometimes not love?
LuAnn and Cindy just sat there, baffled at what it was that Alex was trying to accomplish (and to be honest, Alex looked mostly baffled as well. Baffled but angry.), but Kelly sprang to action so quickly that she ruined her henna. She then gave us a glimpse of OG Scary Island Kelly by pacing around and yelling the word “weird” a few dozen times before stalking out into the woods, followed by Alex, who was so upset that she was nearly on the verge of tears and appeared to possibly be shaking.
They stood in the woods and fought for a while, during which Kelly commanded Alex to both close and then open her eyes, which seemed to be a relaxation tactic. Possibly one taught to her by her therapist, who clearly deserves a raise? I’m not sure, but I would have loved to see Kelly command Alex to stammer out her monologue with her eyes closed, just because that’s the sort of detailed inanity that I appreciate from reality TV. Speaking of detailed inanity, this set of scenes also gave us the spectacular phrase “casino of crazy,” which may be the greatest thing to come out of Kelly’s mouth since “satchels of gold.” And I ask you again: HOW DID KELLY BECOME THE BEST HOUSEWIFE?
While all of that was going on Sonja and Ramona sneaked through the house, Ramona with two crazy rollers sitting on top of her head, and they eventually found where the caftan designer from two weeks ago was setting up for everyone to try on the dresses. They both seemed drunk or stoned or maybe both. How’s the kush in Morocco? Is it legal? That would explain a lot. They tried on everyone’s dresses over their clothes with the two rollers on Ramona’s head bobbing and bouncing in an almost hypnotic way, and it was almost so hypnotic that I almost missed the part where they said that they have great boobs. ALMOST missed it.
Speaking of hair problems, Jill emerged from having her hair done while Kelly and Alex were still out in the woods arguing about who should fight whose battles, and let’s just say that a bad hairdo is one way to quickly ease tension and divert attention in a group of exceptionally vain women. Jill had been viciously attacked by a man with a small-barrel curling iron, and the results were nothing short of tragedy. She had some tight spiral curls on top with straight hair underneath, and the effect was…I don’t even know what it was, except to say that she looked like a moron but had an exceptionally positive attitude about it.
The group was finally able to move on toward the last meal of the day, at which point Sonja, Alex and Ramona ordered dinner in their rooms and refused to come down to eat with everyone. Well, that’s what LuAnn claimed, anyway. Alex came down and said that she hadn’t been told when dinner was, and LuAnn was adamant that everyone had been told. Alex was adamant that she hadn’t been. In those situations, it’s basically impossible to figure out who’s right, although I certainly wouldn’t put it past LuAnn to passive-aggressively omit certain guests from the dinner invitation in order to make them look rude.
Sonja and LuAnn also came down to claim that they hadn’t been told when dinner was scheduled, to which LuAnn summoned up her best incredulous response and pulled Ramona aside to convince her than she had merely forgotten. I have a hard time believing that all three of the blondes would have willfully gone without dinner to make LuAnn look like a jackass; it would be far simpler for LuAnn to just leave them out and not want to look like the bad guy. So that’s the theory I’m going to go with, feel free to debate with me in the comments. LuAnn eventually changed the subject to how much she liked Ramona, though, so she was able to confuse her long enough to end the fight.
The next day everyone was packing to leave and Jill and Ramona finally took a moment to talk, at Kelly’s urging. And they talking and hugged and agreed to be more sensitive to each others’ feeling, which will probably last a couple more weeks until it’s time for the reunion. At that point, they’ll likely go back to wanting to rip each others’ faces off, just as it should be. No truce can last more than a couple of weeks on this show, because if they do, things get exceptionally boring.
Just when I thought the episode was over, Bravo sprung an extra 15 minutes on us (groan), which started with a group-wide cooking lesson. Cindy doesn’t cook, but not in the same way that the others “don’t cook” – she said that she doesn’t understand the “pleasures” of food, which is a statement that made me irrationally irritated with her – how dead inside do you have to be to not find anything pleasurable about a great meal? Or even a diner omelette? Although it didn’t make me as irritated as I was with Sonja and her rather pointed comments about Cindy having a staff, which was almost at startlingly ironic as Jill’s diatribe about how bad it is when other people don’t “own” their actions. Does Sonja not have special staff members dedicated to plucking her eyebrows, fluffing her pillows and wiping her ass?
Once they returned from the cooking lesson, we joined Sonja and Ramona while they got ready to attend dinner. Since they would be wearing their custom caftans, a Moroccan makeup artist came in to glam them up, at which point Sonja and Ramona requested both Native American and Egyptian makeup, demonstrating that they actually have no idea where they are or why they’re there. Neither did Mario, who was back in New York with the rest of the husbands, shooting pool and weakly flirting with a girl who didn’t seem all that interested in him or any of the other men. I was mostly distracted by trying to figure out if they were at the pool hall in my neighborhood, and I think they were. East 86th Street right next to the subway, you guys! The drinks are strong and cheap, you should all go. You might even run in to me.
After a quick belly dancing lesson in which only Kelly and Ramona showed their bellies, it was time for everyone to go to the other hottest, most impossible to book restaurant in Marrakech that Sonja was able to book because she is awesome and one of the cool kids. I was under the impression (because that’s what Sonja told us) that the first restaurant from the episode was the place to be in Morocco that Sonja had to pull in a lot of favors to book, but when you’re with a woman like Sonja, everything is special because it gets to bask in her reflected glow of her imaginary superiority.
The meal, thankfully, was pleasant. Everyone said the things that they liked about Morocco, and even though LuAnn disregarded Alex’s answer and told her to try again, no fights broke out and no one called anyone any names and they got along for long enough that they all got to eat and ride back to the riad in the vans together. When you consider the three episodes that we just lived through, I think that qualifies as a minor miracle.