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Real Housewives

RHONY Ssn 7/Ep 14 - Conch Blocked

Glenn Rowley


The trip to the Turks and Caicos is still going strong and the women seem to be catching a bit of island fever. Right away, we're back where we left off at the end of last week with the lunch debacle. Long story short, Bethenny was making lunch for everyone but Ramona and Sonja insisted on going out to a restaurant because they can't handle the thought of having to be alone with the other ladies for a single second longer than necessary. At Sonja's urging, Ramona insists on trying to talk the conflicting plans out with Bethenny to smooth things over, but Bethenny doesn't want to have a full-blown therapy session over what the women are doing for lunch. Seems reasonable. The Ramonacoaster's sense of entitlement is simply baffling to Bethenny. For someone who came from virtually nothing, you'd think she would try to be a bit more appreciative and grateful in life. But no. It's Ramona's way or the highway. After calling her out on her constantly manic behavior and bad attitude, Bethenny admits that it's impossible to stay mad at Ramona for long. It's like staying mad at a five-year-old for throwing a tantrum. 


Eventually, Ramona caves and everyone stays in for lunch - which was the plan in the first place. Ramonja predictably operate under reverse psychology - when Bethenny wants them to leave, they're ready to stay. Over the meal Bethenny cooked with hate (her joke, not mine), the conversation does a 180 and inexplicably turns into a girl power-fest. Toasting to the need for good girlfriends in life, Ramona brings up the news that she's going to start writing a book, and she wants help from the other ladies in choosing a title. Ramona's ideas get thrown around: "From Hell to Happiness" (too negative), "A Work in Progress" (sounds like another bestseller) and "Life on the Ramona Coaster" (two words, and the title we now know she chooses - the book hits shelves July 28) among the options.


However, Bethenny is quick to advise  Ramona that you can't start writing a book until you have some sort of story arc. Is it a memoir? Is it self-help? Where does the story end? For some reason, Bethenny's opinions hit a nerve with Heather, who accuses the Skinnygirl of being a know-it-all. According to Ms. Yummie Tummie, Bethenny has to be the authority on everything and is never without an opinion ready to be given about any and every subject. In this group, that's most definitely the pot calling the kettle black. Can Bethenny sometimes come across as too strongly opinionated? Yes, but the woman happens to know a great deal about a lot of different subjects. That's how you get to be running a multi-million-dollar empire. While we're at it, Heather's just as much of a know-it-all as Bethenny and most of the other women. And of course, Heather's saying these things to Carole and Luann rather than Bethenny herself, who overhears and comes out of the villa ready to "light this thing up." When confronted, Heather calls B a know-it-all to her face and says she feels like no one can get a word in edgewise around her. The accusation prompts one of Bethenny's best lines of the season: "Maybe I know it all! So if you'd like to know any of it all, come to me and I'll tell you." #TruthbyBethenny. B further points out that if Heather has anything else to say, she'd prefer it "live and direct. I'm right here. Until tomorrow." The B was on a roll tonight. Heather claims the issues between the two really aren't that deep, but Bethenny counters that the Holla! Girl actually wants their feud to be deeper than it is.


Of course, the chatter about this know-it-all situation still isn't over. Bethenny retreats to the beach to fill Ramona and Sonja in on the drama. Two seasons ago, Heather's personality was the Ramonacoaster's favorite subject to gossip about, so she jumps right into the conversation. According to the Singer Stinger, Heather comes across as a type-A personality, but she's actually sensitive, insecure and territorial when it comes to friendships. Heather feels intimidated by all the friendships between the veteran 'Wives, Ramona insists. Just as Bethenny's referring to Carole as Heather's "pet," Heather approaches the beach of gossiping sharks and demands to know if the women are talking about her. "100 percent," says Bethenny, live and direct. In her interview, Heather claims that at this point, she's convinced Bethenny's a complete joke, but on the beach her behavior is much less dramatic. Next thing we know, the two are joking around, with Heather threatening to throw B's "skinny a** in the water." Bethenny beats her to the punch by throwing Heather over her shoulder and scampering down to the ocean, full moon on display. The beef seems squashed and Bethenny points out in her confessional that this is the best day they've had on the trip, because everyone's finally happy.


Later that night, Kristen's using the other ladies as an impromptu focus group about the packaging for Pop of Color, while Heather approaches Sonja outside on the deck to apologize for the mayhem last week. Heather admits the group's timing was terrible, but insists that all of the women love and support Sonja and no one has the right to put a label on anyone else. The ladies inside may be painting their nails, but Ramona's ready to head out for a night at the Conch Shack, a local beachside bar. Upon their arrival, Kristen has her hand sanitizer ready for the wild dogs roaming the beach, but the Ramonacoaster is single and ready to mingle. She immediately hits the dance floor with Luann and orders a round of fireballs for the table. Meanwhile, Bethenny and Carole take a walk to meet John MacDonald, the handsome and single owner of the bar. Back at the table, Ramona promptly finds out about John and insists that Keron the waiter escort her to meet this handsome island entrepreneur. In her confessional, Ramona claims she's always looking out for the other ladies' needs, but this time she doesn't care about anyone else and is going to do what's good for her. This may be one of the least self-aware statements in the history of the Singer Stinger. So, she makes a beeline for the owner, hijacks his attention and turns his back to Bethenny and Carole. Ladies, you've officially been conch blocked. As Bethenny broke it down for viewers, Ramona's thought process must have been something like "I may never see these girls again, I might marry this guy and live on this island, my daughter's in college, I look good in a bikini, get the eff out of my way!"


While a tipsy Luann is petting a stray tropical animal on her hands and knees (hand sanitizer, please!), the rebuffed duo are dishing to the other girls about Ramona's "conch" block. According to Carole, Ramona acted like she didn't even know them, with Bethenny chiming in that it was a very rabid, almost desperately Ramotional move. Since Ramona's clearly chosen the company of a handsome stranger over her friends for the evening, the other ladies join the conga line, with Bethenny proclaiming that this is the perfect last night for her vacation. The next morning, she's off at 7:20 a.m. to catch a plane back to her daughter in NYC. According to the Skinnygirl, the trip was a success, seeing as she didn't leave the island wanting to sedate anyone and wrap them in constraints. With that, Bethenny exits stage left. Naturally, Kristen's the first one up after she leaves, as Sonja and Ramona (in yet another macrame dress, black this time) stumble into the kitchen. Before the rest of the women wake up, Kristen tries to kindly explain to Ramona that she shut everyone out the night before, and it was actually really rude behavior. Ramona insists she was simply in the zone, which Kristen calls having blinders on as she proceeds to imitate the patented Ramona Singer flirting technique of boobs out, eyelashes batting. In her interview, Ramotional claims that the girls aren't used to her being selfish. She's allowed to be selfish too sometimes, right? I nearly choked on my drink at this. Again, self-awareness, Singer. 


The entire day is planned at the Gansevoort Hotel, where the 'Wives have booked the penthouse suite and a beachside cabana all to themselves. Ramona and Sonja sneak off first because they just can't wait for the other ladies, and immediately I'm having deja vu watching Ramona telling the staff where to put her bags. Frick and Frack bolt down to the beach when they hear the other girls are on their way up to the suite. According to the dynamic duo, the other women are buzzkills who turn the smallest fights into the biggest issues. At lunch, the girls are all giving Ramona the silent treatment and Carole explains why everyone's upset with Ramona, who has no man game or girlfriend code. "Don't get so dramatic about it," Carole tells Ramona, "you were obnoxious and dramatic last night." Of course, when Ramona feels like she's being attacked she goes for the jugular, and she takes a jab at Carole's relationship with 28-year-old Adam the hot chef. Carole tells her to stop with the crocodile tears, and we watch the waterworks literally roll in reverse back into Ramotional's eyes. Hilarious. She admits Carole's right and apologizes for her behavior, but still thinks the cold shoulder punishment and being called out at the table didn't fit the crime. Once it's settled, Carole quietly tells Ramona that she's been a good consistent friend to her throughout the past three years, so don't characterize or belittle her relationship with Adam.

Meanwhile, Luann pulls Sonja aside to apologize for the attack on her in the last episode, saying she's only trying to be a good friend to Lady Morgan. The Countess claims that everything the women are saying comes from a good place, but Sonja still believes they're not truly concerned and are merely looking to crucify her reputation. Luann explains that she wants her friend to be in a good place more than anything, and that all the 'Wives want her to be happy and feel awful about what happened. The ladies all love Sonja, and while Lady Morgan sometimes can't see that because they're not all buying into her facade, I think it's true. The chat ends with a hug and the Countess says in her confessional that she feels the two are connecting and on a good path to becoming friends again. 

After popping champagne in the beachside cabana, Kristen and Carole decide to go for a swim, where Carole backs out in the last minute of their run to the water and Kristen's top comes off in the waves. So much beach-time nudity on this trip. Back in the cabana, Dorinda starts asking Carole about her late husband. If he was still alive, the two would have been married for 20 years and four months. They might even have kids. The two start connecting over their shared experiences with loss - Dorinda would have been with her husband Richard for nearly a decade by now if he was still alive. Dorinda explains in her interview that losing a spouse is something you can't possibly understand unless you've gone through it, so she doesn't talk about it with many people. It's nice to see these two connecting over something real that not many of the other women truly get. 


Later that night, everyone's all dressed up for dinner at the Gansevoort. Carole's rocking a side braid, Heather's baring her midriff and Kristen looks stunning in her flowing floral dress. It was my Kristen Fashion Moment of the night. Dirty martinis are ordered all around and Luann chides Ramona to stop texting at the table and bond with the girls. Manners, darling, but the Countess is right. In her toast, an f-word slips out of Ramona's mouth and she acts like she committed an original sin. Since when do you not say the f-word? Heather asks, and Ramona counters that she picked up the habit from the Holla! Girl herself. Somehow, this devolves into a giant argument about cursing, with Dorinda and Luann on one side and Heather on the other. The Countess and the new girl are clearly sloshed when they both claim they don't want their kids picking up this awful swearing habit. Heather stops the conversation right there, saying that this is where the self-righteousness gets insulting because her mother didn't think it was a big deal and that doesn't make her a bad mom. Furthermore, the Countess, who swears, smokes and parties with men, needs to stop the hypocritical behavior of putting her judgement on everyone else. And by the way, she points out, your daughter says the f-word all the time, Dorinda. 


This accusation sends Dorinda into a drunken rage spiral, as she lashes out with her classic "back that sh** up!" line. However, her argument starts losing credibility as she's slurring her words. You can barely make out the incomprehensible defense she's trying to make. This alcohol-fueled altercation really came out of nowhere and, in an argument about cursing, profanity is getting thrown around left, right and center. From the sidelines, Kristen and Sonja's facial expressions are the best part, and Kristen just needs more wine to get through this nonsense. Dorinda drunkenly states that her mother raised her to be the most gracious, ladylike person ever, and the root question here is does swearing equal bad parenting? Obviously not, but the ladies are too deep in this to back out now. Honestly, everyone who's playing the angel card is being a complete hypocrite because, in the last seven seasons, we've all heard each and every Housewife drop the f-bomb more than any of them have said "please," "thank you" or "I'm sorry." 


Carole tries interjecting some humor into the chaos by asking for her "fu**ing phone", and Kristen points out that this entire argument is "#sensitive #dirtymartini." Heather adds that it's because of #lotsofRosé, which causes Dorinda to lose it even more. Getting up from the table, she screams at Heather to never try to humiliate her like that. According to Dorinda, the two Berkshires buddies come from the same place and she loves Heather on such a pure level, so don't challenge her on that level. These two were friends before Dorinda joined the show, but a number of underlying issues seem to keep surfacing between the two on this trip. Heather wants to take Dorinda on a walk to calm things down one-on-one, but Dorinda just wants her mic ripped off RIGHT. NOW. As the episode ends with yet another "TO BE CONTINUED...", Sonja asks aloud "How did we get here" and I'm stuck wondering the same thing. There's no question that Dorinda's been a fabulous addition to the cast this year, but her outbursts on this trip have seemed to be over nothing. When she drinks too much, the rage spiral gets a little scary. It's like the polar opposite to drunk Sonja who just wants to party with John-John Kennedy. Next week it looks like we finally wrap up this epic Turks and Caicos trip with Luann's "be cool" moment that's been teased for the last 14 weeks. This entire trip has been hugely entertaining, though I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm more than a little excited to see the Big Apple again. NYC, we're coming for you!