After five months of Big Apple drama, we've finally reached the end of the road for this season of RHONY. It went out with a literal snooze from Ramona and a dose of girl power from the ladies as a whole, reminding me why it was the best season the NYC Housewives have had in years. But don't worry, this isn't my final RHONY post for the year, we still have the Secrets Revealed episode and the 100th episode special that was FINALLY announced today, as well as a couple of other posts I have up my sleeve. But first, the final installment of the reunion.
The Empress is Wearing Clothes
Wearing a gold snakeskin dress from her own Sonja Morgan New York Collection, Sonja's in the hot seat about the creation of her "international fashion lifestyle brand." Heather brings up the beef between her and Sonja, saying Lady Morgan has it twisted by saying that she wanted her to fail. From Heather's perspective, she's been nothing but supportive of all of Sonja's different ventures. I'm with Heather on this one - from the time she joined the show in Season 5, she was always supporting Sonja. After years of confusion and nothing to back up the talk, she had every right to be skeptical of Sonja's business acumen. Sonja can be as defensive as she wants, but we never saw the White and Gold Diamond Collection. We never saw the Nigerian football team. We never saw any department store deals. And we certainly never saw any toaster oven. As a dedicated fan, I have plenty of questions about Sonja's business and at this point I have basically no patience left for her excuses. It's great that she finally delivered a collection, but she still lives somewhere in her head that isn't reality. Case in point: no, Sonja, Madonna did not show up at your fashion show.
Even still, Bethenny points out that none of the women want to see Sonja fail, they just expect honesty. Everyone on her purported team has a fancy, shiny title, yet she's renting conference rooms for the day and there's no retail component to her line. No matter which way Sonja tries to spin it, there's an element of smoke and mirrors in her trying to appear legitimate to the other women. As Bethenny rightly explains, she, in fact, has an international lifestyle brand and she doesn't even have as many people with titles around as Sonja does. Lady Morgan defensively says that she resents the feeling that she's trying to B.S. people, she just wants to be proud of what she puts her name on. Sonja Morgan is realizing her dream, which earns claps all around from the other ladies.
One more issue needs to be settled before this gets put to bed, though: Sonja's argument with Kristen during the finale over the New York Post article. After seeing the episode back, Sonja admits that she was in the wrong and Kristen was telling the truth about the reporter's toaster oven question. Kristen explains that the two already hashed it out over text and feels that she and Sonja have come full circle in the two years they've known each other.
The RHONY Widows' Club
Next, the attention turns to the widows' trip to London that bonded Carole and Dorinda forever. Dorinda equates sharing death to a warm pillow - it's something both she and Radzi have experienced and can understand together. The trip even earned Carole the right to call her 'Doris' - the nickname all Dorinda's British friends used when she lived there. In a funny turn of events, Dorinda also reveals that one of the first events she went to after Richard's death was a book signing for Carole's memoir, What Remains. At the time, Dorinda basically fangirled over her future friend and co-star as if she were Lady Gaga. Andy asks the two what their late husbands would think about them being on the show - Carole says Anthony is likely shaking his head laughing and asking what she's gotten herself into, while Dorinda says Richard was always her most enthusiastic supporter. Eventually, Carole starts getting emotional, fighting back tears as she describes the "one more day" she'd like to have with Anthony.
All the talk of friendship and widowhood was apparently not all that interesting to Ramona because the next thing we know, she's asleep! The Ramonacoaster literally dozed off in the middle of the reunion. Luann blames the nap on the three glasses of pinot grigio Ramona downed on their lunch break, but Andy loves it and jokingly asks Ramona if she'd like to be woken up when the conversation turns back to her. The veteran was the first Housewife to walk off at a reunion (during Season 1's discussion of Alex McCord's nude photos) and is now the first to fall asleep on the couches. Ramona is an all-star.
Cock Blocks and Meltdowns
The copacetic feeling comes to a screeching halt, however, when Andy turns the conversation to the season's dramatic centerpiece: the cast trip to the Turks and Caicos. After joking about the scramble for the best room, in which Ramona blamed her "selfish little girl mind" for wanting the best room, the attention turns to the drama surrounding Sonja on the trip. Bethenny starts off with her "shut the f*** up" heard round the island, saying that at the time she was frustrated because she couldn't understand where Sonja was coming from. She admits that she should've walked away rather than lose her temper, but was merely looking for any sort of acknowledgement from Sonja of the reality of her partying. B also reiterates that she never called Sonja an alcoholic, which was the tipping point for Lady Morgan's entire meltdown on the island. In truth, the accusation came from Ramona, when she pulled her BFF aside on the beach. Jumping in, Sonja says she was hurt by seeing what Ramona said during the season behind her back, and claims her bestie likes to create drama for drama's sake. In her defense, Ramona explains that she felt guilty for participating in conversations about Sonja's drinking and hard-partying ways without defending her, and admits to throwing Bethenny under the bus in the process of trying to tell Sonja what was being said. As for the cock block at the Conch Bar, Ramona readily admits to knowing what she was doing, and that she had a great time boxing out her friends for the owner's attention. No matter that she went full-on Sicilian and didn't say another word to the other ladies for the rest of the night.
Naked Men, Married Men and the Real Girl Code
Next, Andy asks the question every fan has been wondering all season: what really happened that last night in the Turks and Caicos? According to Ramona, she, Luann and Sonja went out to a karaoke bar, which is where they met Naked Man and the Married Man. After coming back to the villa, they all drank, danced and hung out until the wee hours of the morning. As her story goes, Naked Man was tired and asked if he could crash there for the night. Remembering Bethenny bedroom was now vacant, Ramona sent him upstairs with instructions not to use the bathroom adjoining the room with Heather and Carole's and wiped her hands of the situation. I'm not really buying the story, or that nothing happened between her and Naked Man, but Ramona's sticking to it. It doesn't sit well with Kristen either, who calls out Ramona for being inappropriate and beyond sloppy for sending a complete stranger upstairs to sleep in close quarters with the rest of the women. The Pretty Girl finds it "gross and disgusting" and says that Ramona was the one who broke the real girl code that night.
The Johnny Depp Pirate Lesson
Speaking of the infamous girl code, Andy turns his attention to Luann, asking whether hooking up with a married man on vacation is also a violation of her favorite thing to sing/talk/blog/tweet about. Luann stutters and stutters before claiming that all she did with the guy was take a walk on the beach and send him home. Heather and Carole think the Countess is full of it, and for me the right couch is quickly losing any shred of credibility with this rewriting of history. I'm not buying it for a second, and as Heather says, no one cares who Luann sleeps with or doesn't sleep with, but at least own your behavior, Countess.
This naturally leads to another round of Carole and Heather vs. Luann. The Countess is as insistent as she's been all season that the BFFs offended her and violated her privacy by coming into her room with cameras on their tails. However, Andy points out that there were cameras all over the villa and, having been on the show for seven years, Luann is well-aware of how it all works. Cutting through the she said, she said, Bethenny is able to break down the issue rather succinctly. After being caught with the Johnny Depp pirate in St. Barth's during Season 5, Luann felt that her friends were trying to catch her in another compromising position. Never mind that this wasn't Heather and Radzi's intention whatsoever, or that they had expressly been punted to her room by Ramona. B also likens Heather to Scarlett O'Hara for her dramatic histrionics and calls this the "most ridiculous fight in Housewives history." I'm pretty sure I can think of more than a couple feuds that were more petty than this (ChairGate anyone?) but I agree that this issue has been milked for every ounce of drama it could possibly have been and it's way past time for everyone to just get over it. Bethenny forces a resolution and next thing we know, Luann has crossed over to the opposite couch to give Heather a hug. This sets off a domino effect and soon all the ladies are up and hugging - Carole and Bethenny, Dorinda and Kristen, Kristen and Bethenny. It's become a regular love-fest on the couches.
As the reunion comes to a close, Andy points out that it's been really productive in bringing about resolution between the ladies, and that - when all is said and done - the entire season has really been about girl power at its core in spite of the drama. Bethenny agrees, claiming that the season worked so well because there was real conflict and issues between the women, but it wasn't dirty or trashy. She goes further by saying that the entire cast is likely to go to dinner together after the reunion is over (which they did!) and it will be entirely by choice. They really do all like each other that much. Ramona says there is a strong camaraderie among the current cast, and several women are getting teary-eyed as champagne is passed around. As the women rise to their feet, Andy makes a toast to friendship, being cool and ALWAYS HAVING A GREAT TIME! With that, the best season the NY ladies have seen in years has sadly come to an end.
Of course, even with three parts to the reunion, there was lots of footage that was sacrificed on the cutting room floor in editing. I dare say that, with everything that happened during the season, I would've been perfectly content to have had an unprecedented four-part reunion. With several issues left undiscussed, I'm anxious to see what airs during next week's Secrets Revealed episode. Here's what I wish we would've seen that got left out:
- Individual packages of each of the Housewives. Yes, we got packages on girl code, the art of being a cougar and the Turks and Caicos, but all the women had individual journeys this year too!
- Bethenny vs. Kristen regarding Pop of Color and talking to the press.
- A package on the AOA holiday party where everyone was gunning for Bethenny.
- A complete package on the trip to the Berkshires for Dorinda's 50th birthday.
- More on what caused the issues between Heather and Dorinda. I still have questions about that.