The season finale has finally arrived and I honestly can't believe it's been 19 weeks since I started recapping the show. What a ride this season has been, and thankfully we have the sure-to-be-epic three-part reunion to look forward to, so it's not quite over yet. But in terms of the season's narrative storyline, the train is pulling into the station. Most of the finale centered around conflicts at Ramona Singer's New Beginnings party, but before we get to that let's finish laying the groundwork with a trio of other scenes for context.
The episode started with Sonja Morgan in her penthouse still reveling over the success of her fashion show. As she's looking over the press created by Bethenny Frankel and Ramona's front row fight, the Ramotional devil herself pops by for a post-Ash Wednesday congratulatory visit. (Yes Ramona went to church and yes they let her in). Ramona fills Sonja in on the issue with Bethenny during her show. She says in her interview that she doesn't know why Bethenny chose the front row of the fashion show to confront her - maybe it was because there was a lull in the show before the 2nd looks? Ramona feels like everyone is constantly attacking her, but she's ready to move into this new chapter of her life courtesy of her New Beginnings party. Sonja points out in her confessional that this "New Beginnings" thing seems to be a recurring theme for Ramona: she's constantly renewing, beginning and moving on. Maybe she should try a simple masquerade party next?
At Bethenny's, Carole Radziwill comes bearing sage to burn at her nearly-complete apartment to see all the renovations. It's a gorgeous living space and I love seeing the genuine and unexpected friendship that's developed between these two over the course of the season. After Bethenny jokes that Carole looks young and refreshed due to the company she's keeping these days, the conversation turns to the status of Carole's friendship with Luann de Lesseps. Radzi explains that she loves Luann, but there's a part of her that wants to be the high and mighty Countess, judging everyone for their behavior from her ivory tower. She's made a habit of criticizing Carole for dating Adam the hot chef while hooking up with younger guys off-camera; Bethenny agrees that, while she's seen a new anti-Countess side to her lately, Luann often protests too much to the other ladies' behavior. B also fills Radzi in on the fashion show kerfuffle, but explains that she can't manage to stay mad at Ramona no matter how horrendous her behavior is. Bethenny also pointedly remarks that if Ramotional confronts her at the upcoming finale, she won't hesitate to unleash the Skinnygirl fury. To new beginnings!
Meanwhile, Dorinda Medley and her boyfriend John are going to a gluten-free pizzeria for lunch. Dorinda does all the ordering and, unlike their last onscreen lunch date, John does fight her decisions. The couple are coming up on their three year anniversary and Dorinda explains in her interview that, with everything that's been going on in her life (a.k.a. filming the show and jetting off to the Turks and Caicos and London), John's gotten a bit more needy as of late. Taking her hands in the pizzeria, John starts spilling his heart out and sensing where this conversation was going, Dorinda beats him to the punch by saying there better not be a ring in his pocket. John admits that he does have a ring and asks if he can give it to her. No. The answer to that is no. Dorinda explains to viewers via confessional that she's in a different type of relationship with John. She's not looking for a husband or someone to have kids with, she's emotionally secure and dating him because it's what she wants, ring or no ring. And if there is a ring, it better not happen at a gluten-free pizza parlor.
The night of the New Beginnings party is finally here and Ramona arrives first to the celebration, which is happening on the rooftop of the Strand Hotel, decked out in a sparkly dress and ready to drink some Ramona Pinot. She explains in her interview that if anyone had told her a year prior that this is where her life would lead, she wouldn't have believed it but now it's a major reason to celebrate. Dorinda's looking for an excuse to buy a dress and get a martini (extra dirty!) while Sonja shows up with a giant bow on her head and a bone to pick about Kristen Taekman. Now, I say about Kristen because she seems determined to discuss the supposed slight with everyone other than the resident Pretty Girl. Apparently, Kristen was interviewed by a reporter from the New York Post at Sonja's fashion show and made a comment that she wished Sonja would come out with her toaster oven already. Naturally, Sonja finds this to be a dig since Kristen didn't say anything about her new line and plans to spend the entire party consciously not speaking to the nail polish entrepreneur.
Bethenny shows up to the party next, admitting in her interview that she didn't really want to go but knows that it'll be turned into a huge dramatic event if she were to skip out. (It is the final night of filming, after all.) The Skinnygirl is planning on drinking some "douche-o grigio" and keeping it moving, but of course Ramona pounces on her the second she walks through the elevator doors. The Apologizer is desperate to know whether the two are good after the fashion show dust-up and tries to offer a vague apology without copping to actually, you know, calling Bethenny a cheater. B presses her for a specific reason behind the "I'm sorry" and compares the Ramonacoaster to a four-year-old toddler who goes around slapping people without knowing better. Somehow, Ramona takes this as a compliment and tries to give Bethenny a high five, who then questions what this whole "New Beginnings" party is about if Ramona is going to just keep exhibiting the same bad behavior. Ramona exclaims that it's nice to forgive people (people being her, of course) but Bethenny rightly pushes back that being forgiven doesn't excuse Ramona talking badly about her. Feeling backed into a corner by the circular conversation, Ramona tries to retreat.
Carole and Heather Thomson arrive with Jonathan and Adam and his perfect man bun in tow, and Radzi states via confessional that she brought Adam because she's not scared of having him at a party just because of what the Countess thinks about their relationship. Luann arrives right on the couples' tails and says in her interview that seeing Adam at the party makes her ill and like she's been hoodwinked. She also manages to throw in a dig that at least her date to the party isn't 29. The opposite of Luann, Dorinda is anxious to meet the famed chef she's heard about all season and immediately challenges him to a cookoff. Gosh I want to be friends with Dorinda Medley.
In a different corner of the party, Bethenny and Ramona are going for round 2. Bethenny is still taking issue with Ramona's new beginnings schtick and wisely points out that everyone at the party is going through a lot, so Ramona doesn't have a monopoly on that excuse. Ramotional claims that she just wants to live a lighter life OK?, but according to Bethenny "you reap what you sow, sweetheart." Finally, the Apologizer admits she was wrong and should've never said what she did, which is about all Bethenny's going to get so she takes it and the argument ends in a spectacularly awkward hug.
With that conflict somewhat resolved, Sonja corners Dorinda, Luann and Bethenny to complain about Kristen's Post interview, saying desperate people will do desperate things and now she's fired up and angry. Dorinda slurringly concedes that maybe Kristen shouldn't have spoken to the press and in the funniest moment of the night, Bethenny tries to translate her comment from the Swahili dialect she must be speaking. To pass along Sonja's anger, Luann waltzes over to where Kristen, Carole and Heather are sitting. Having not heard from the Countess since getting back from London, Carole is frustrated by the fake smile she has plastered on as she introduces her (older-than-Adam) date to the ladies. She informs them of Sonja's tirade against Kristen, but in typical Luann fashion doesn't want to repeat what Lady Morgan actually said. I tell you, Luann is the queen of dropping a vague grenade on a conversation.
Taking matters into her own hands, Kristen crosses the room to where Sonja is and asks to talk, but Angry Sonja would rather just continue trash talking behind her back. Sonja petulantly proclaims that she doesn't want to be friends with Kristen anymore because of the Post article and can't believe that Kristen had to comment on the non-existent toaster oven from two seasons ago rather than the fashion show. Finally up to speed on why Sonja's upset, Kristen incredulously explains that the reporter specifically asked her about the toaster oven, and a flashback to the event proves it! He didn't even ask her about the fashion line. However, Sonja's not listening, insisting that Kristen doesn't support her and recycling the same martyr story we've been hearing all season. Surprisingly, Kristen loses her cool, saying that she's supported Sonja more than anyone else in the room and that for her to think otherwise is nothing short of "disgusting." We've never seen Kristen this enraged and I have to say, I kind of dig it. In her interview, she points out that if she had done something wrong she would've owned it, but she didn't even do anything. The next time anyone in the press asks about her friends, she's vowed to say "no comment" because they're all just a bunch of pains in the a**.
On the other side of the room, Carole and Luann finally sit down to have their long-awaited talk. The two are still in disagreement over whether Carole secretly pulled Luann aside to apologize after storming into her room with Heather in the Turks and Caicos, and I'm going with Carole on this one. It didn't happen. If it had, the cameras would've caught it. No matter how many times Luann calls her a liar, Carole isn't one. Lu tries to play the "well what if there was a guy in my room?" but Radzi sums up the answer to that easily: then don't bang random guys on vacation. Hello! Not that complicated, Countess. In her confessional, Luann claims that Carole has broken the all-powerful girl code three times now: first by dating Adam, then by storming into her room and then by lying about the non-existent apology. Well that should definitely stand up in a court of law, or at the very least at the reunion. Luann tells Carole that seeing her with Adam is "funny" and makes a dig about him being 20, to which the princess coolly fires back that he's not 20, she resents the comment and it's disrespectful to the both of them. Luann manages to hit below the belt one more time by saying that Carole won't be introducing him to the kids because she doesn't have any, which is an incredibly rude thing to say - particularly when followed by the maniacal laughter that came out of her mouth.
In a hilarious moment amid all the fighting, Bethenny comes up with a new idea for Heather: drive-by therapy, which I think everyone on this show could use from the Holla! Queen.
In round 2 of the New York Post drama, Sonja admits that she didn't actually read the article, someone just told her about it (a producer perhaps?). Oh ok. Well then in that case, your anger is completely justified, Lady Morgan. So, Kristen pulls up the story and reads it aloud, but it makes no difference to Sonja, who apparently doesn't understand the basics of journalism and still wants an apology. She accuses Kristen of playing the victim and acting naive, and claims that she should've said that Sonja Morgan is so much bigger than a toaster oven" when asked the question. However, Kristen did nothing wrong so she's not getting an apology. Ramona interrupts the argument just in time for Sonja to accuse Kristen of being "f***ing braindead" but Kristen's not the one never came out with a toaster oven that doesn't exist. Don't call her dumb, because pretty is smarter than you think, Miss Morgan.
The episode ends with Ramona attempting to give a toast with the rest of the ladies around her, but she can't manage to finish a sentence without someone (ahem, Bethenny) interrupting with wisecracks about the Ramonacoaster's impending album release and gender transition. Each of the ladies get their classic "where are they now?" snapshots. Ramona published a memoir, Luann released a song, Dorinda's not engaged and Carole and Heather's friendships with Luann have stalled. Kristen expanded Pop of Color and while Sonja's fashion line still isn't available in stores, you can buy it online. However, Bethenny gets the last word: this season, the Skinnygirl managed to find her smile again, and there's still more to come for her and the rest of the cast. After all, this really is only the beginning. Holla!