It's a lingerie party for the Housewives history books this week on The Real Housewives of New York City. But I'm just left with one question: is it a bra or a brassiere? In the first clash of the season, battle lines are drawn about boyfriends and mikvahs, and we all learn one very important lesson: don't piss off Dorinda.
This week we see newbie Jules Wainstein's morning routine, which involves wrangling Jagger, 5, Rio, 3, and her husband Michael. Jules may not know how to make coffee, but she knows how to stretch herself in order to balance the needs of everyone in her house. It's classic Supermom 101, though I'm starting to get the feeling after seeing Jagger argue his way into getting a popsicle last week and the kids being an hour later for school this week that Jules has a hard time saying the word "no." She claims the kids can be late at their elite school because it needs their tuition money, but based on what I've learned from watching Odd Mom Out, that's not how the cutthroat world of Manhattan private schools actually works...
Bethenny Frankel's birthday is coming up and she's decided to treat herself to some new jewelry from Kristen Farrell. She's enlisted Dorinda Medley and Carole Radziwill to provide moral support in her quest for the perfect present for herself. B's also invited all of the 'Wives to her house in the Hamptons the next weekend for her tailgate-themed birthday BBQ. Dorinda's staying at Ramona Singer's house with her boyfriend John Mahdessian, which should be quite interesting considering Ramona's general distaste for the guy. Speaking of Ramotional, Carole fills the the girls in on her two-hour lunch with the OG during last week's episode, particularly the part where Ramona did nothing but tell story after story. Dorinda comes to her friend's defense, pointing out that Ramona means well, but Bethenny admits she's wary - every time she's invested in her relationship with Ramona, she's gotten burned. Dorinda claims that's never happened in her 20+ year friendship with Ramona, and that her ride on the Ramonacoaster has been burn-free. Hmm...famous last words?
Meanwhile, Sonja Morgan and Luann de Lesseps continue their Grey Gardens-esque spinoff within the show by playing roomies in Lady Morgan's Upper East Side townhouse. (For the record, I've officially come to the conclusion that the Countess is most definitely the Big Edie to Sonjarita's Little Edie in this amusing side show.) Sonja laments how distant she's felt from her BFF Ramona lately, what with all the "skating and dating" the OG has been doing lately. Luann, on the other hand, claims to have seen lots of Bethenny over the summer, including at the 4th of July party she threw. However, Lu has also felt that she's competing for Bethenny's friendship with Carole, whom she's still on bad terms with over the fallout from Radzi dating Adam the chef. Sonja asks when Writer Girl and the Skinnygirl became such fast friends, and Luann declares it happened around the time Carole crawled into Bethenny's anus and took up permanent residence. According to Luann, there's a slim chance she and Carole will ever be friends again, though it's inevitable that they'll run into each other sooner or later...
After a quick scene where Dorinda pays a visit to Ramona's newly renovated, Mario-free apartment to invite her to the upcoming lingerie party she's throwing, Bethenny meets Carole for dinner while sporting her second moto jacket of the episode. These two have reached BFF status - which is only natural after sharing a bed for a week on vacation in the Galapagos Islands between seasons. Bethenny needs status updates on two major things in Carole's life: her relationship with Adam and her feud with Luann. Adam she's been dating for over a year now and while things are going great, Carole admits the two inevitably want different things in life. Plus, according to her logic, Carole only has about five good summers left in her, while Adam has about 20. But if it's making both of them happy right now, why mess with a good thing? Her feud with Luann is a different story. Bethenny acknowledges that the two used to be BFFs circa Season 6, but after all the drama that's gone on between them over Adam, Carole's relatively sure the damage is irreparable. According to Radzi, the Countess mistakenly thinks of herself as a fundamentally good person, but in reality she's not.
The next day, Ramona calls Bethenny bright and early to wish her a happy birthday and prep for Dorinda's bra party that night, or as Ramotional calls it, "brassiere." Dear Ramona, never change. At the party, Ramona wants to get something off her chest. Apparently it's gotten back to her that John was making some rather vulgar comments regarding Dorinda and his use of Viagra at a party the week before, and she feels Doris deserves to know. On top of that, Bethenny feels Dorinda's constantly working overtime to sell John to her, and says that if the opportunity presents itself at the party, she wants to tell Dorinda to cool it with the never-ending sales pitch. Well, this is a recipe for disaster if I've ever heard one.
Dorinda's hosting her bra party at the Gansevoort Hotel and has brought in a couple of sizing experts who manage to fit you for the perfect bra just by looking at you. Jules, Bethenny, Carole and Ramona are all in attendance, but there's no sign of Luann and Sonja, which just adds to the feeling that they're on a completely different show-within-the-show. Bethenny's sporting her third moto jacket in a row - this time in subtle Skinnygirl colors - while Carole's rocking some leather hot pants. I have to say, I laughed out loud when Jules accidentally touched the shrimp hors d'oeuvres and proceeded to plunge her hands into the nearest makeshift mikvah (otherwise known as the ice bucket). Kosher by Bravo, people. Carole also meets the newbie for the first time, and while she's not into skinny-shaming , she immediately comments in her confessional at how super-skinny Jules appears.
While the ladies get their bras sized, Dorinda informs everyone that she actually ran into Luann on her way to the party, and tells Bethenny that the Countess mentioned she would be at her birthday party the following weekend. This is news to Bethenny, considering she hadn't even invited Luann yet. Naturally, this brings up Carole's issues with the Countess and she asks B to tell Luann she doesn't want to be around her. However, this discussion somehow turns into Ramona confronting Carole for apparently not reaching out to her all summer. Carole contends that this obviously isn't true, but Ramona claims that actions speak louder than words and she barely saw Writer Girl while she was going through her divorce. Dorinda jumps in, offering her opinion that the two shouldn't try to pretend they're such good friends when they are so inherently different, and this opens the door for Bethenny to lay her issues with Dorinda and John out on the table. Uh oh, here we go.
In the name of "not pretending," Bethenny tells Dorinda that she feels something's going on with her representation of John to the rest of the group. Specifically, Dorinda feels the need to always be selling John to Bethenny and the other 'Wives. Contrary to Dorinda's assertion earlier in the episode that John doesn't do anything behind her back, Bethenny informs her that over the summer, John started pitching her business ideas as soon as Dorinda was out of sight. Apparently, he even went so far as to go around his girlfriend to try to get Bethenny's number because he knew pitching her friend would upset her. Dorinda starts getting fired up, defending her man and trying to shut down the conversation, and calls B.S. on B's opinion that she's selling John to anyone. Dorinda's chosen John to be a part of her life and everyone else can just deal with it. Bethenny Frankel's opinion is not the word according to God, and Dorinda can do what she wants to do. Period, end of story.
Then Ramona pipes up that she has something to add. No! Read the room, Ramona! The OG dives in headfirst though, relaying the gossip she heard about John and Viagra and doing Dorinda for six hours. Yikes. Now Dorinda is officially enraged, thanking Ramona for jumping on the John-bashing bandwagon and shouting that as her friend for 20+ years, Ramona should've pulled her aside and told her in confidence. Instead, bringing it up in front of the other 'Wives and cameras is turning Dorinda's party into her own public humiliation. (P.S. Lisa Rinna, if you're reading, this is the correct use of the word "enraged.) With lots of finger pointing, Dorinda rightfully points out that she's married one man, buried another and is allowed at this point in her life to choose who she wants to be with. Obviously, Dorinda informs Ramona that she clearly doesn't want to stay with her in the Hamptons anymore. Furthermore, she reminds Ramona that she's accepted every guy she's brought around for the last year with open arms, and would never bring up her personal issues with Mario in front of everyone. That's not what a best friend does, and Ramona has officially crossed a line in their once-cherished friendship.
With emotions running rampant and tensions at an all-time high, the episode ends with an ominous "To Be Continued..." And let me tell you, next week it's only going to get worse. Are you on Team Dorinda or Team Bethenny/Ramona? What's your opinion of John? Leave your comments below and get ready for the conclusion of the brawl next Wednesday!