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Real Housewives

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 4 - BBQ, Brunch or Bust

Glenn Rowley

rhony-carole-radziwill

This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, we're in the Hamptons for a weekend of BBQs, brunches and awkward confrontations. Whether it's Bethenny vs. John, Carole vs. Luann or a newly brewing feud between the Skinnygirl and newbie Jules, this wasn't exactly the relaxing celebration some of these 'Wives had in mind...

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It's the weekend of Bethenny Frankel's tailgate-chic birthday BBQ and all the 'Wives are in the Hamptons to celebrate. Dorinda Medley and her boyfriend John Mahdessian are staying with Jules Wainstein and her husband Michael at their Water Mill home, and Dorinda's still anxious about the residual fallout between her boyfriend and B. As they get ready for the party, Dorinda says point blank that John needs to apologize to Bethenny for his drunken assault at the bra party earlier in the week. However, Jules has perhaps the best solution for an conflict that may arise at the BBQ: just stuff your face with food.

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Meanwhile, Bethenny's prepping for the party at her gorgeous house in Bridgehampton. (For the record, the Skinnygirl mogul's house is literally my dream home. And Bethenny, if you're reading this, can I really come over any time I want?) In between setting up the giant mobile BBQ and the fire pits, Carole Radziwill arrives with her dog Baby. Sitting on the front porch, she and the birthday girl commiserate over their respective dramas with Luann de Lesseps and John.  Carole's plan is to maintain a friendly distance with her nemesis throughout the afternoon, but seeing as this is the first time Luann will be joining the rest of the Housewives at an event this season, things are bound to get interesting. 

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The rest of the Housewives arrive and the party gets into full swing with an open bar of Moscow Mules and Spiked Hot Chocolate (featuring Skinnygirl liquor, of course.) Ramona Singer's in a cowboy hat and there's a whole lot of plaid going on, but when Dorinda and John arrive with Jules and Michael, it quickly becomes apparent that Bethenny is in no mood to have any kind of conversation with Dorinda's dry cleaner boyfriend at her party. In fact, she avoids him at all costs, telling some of the other partygoers that it feels like there's an obstruction in her home that she has to move around. With the hostess refusing to give him so much as a greeting, John is left to sulk in the corner with his Skinnygirl-branded cup, looking like an awkward, lonely puppy dog.

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Always one to make an entrance, Luann arrives fashionably late and saunters into the party with a hula hoop on her arm. She's quick to bust out her hula-hooping skills and all I can wonder is "how has she not used this party trick before?!" Carole, however, is less than impressed with the Countess's ploy for attention and thinks she should've left the hula hoop at home. Carole immediately flees the scene and now this party has two low-speed chases going on: John's after Bethenny and Luann wants to force a conversation with Writer Girl. In fact, at one point the Countess's path crosses with the show's resident voice of reason like two ships passing awkwardly in the night, and point blank tells Carole she can't keep avoiding her forever. Hilariously, Carole's response is that actually...she can. 

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Eventually, the two 'Wives come face-to-face over the fire pit, where everyone except Luann is roasting s'mores (the Countess does not eat marshmallows, darling). With Luann eyeing her from across the fire, Carole shoots out "I don't know what you're looking at, Lu," which finally opens the door for a confrontation between the two former friends. The Countess wants to have a conversation away from the group, but Carole insists that whatever she has to say can be said in front of everyone. When Luann tries to start by saying how nice it is to finally see Radzi after such a long time, the latter shoots back that of course it's been a long time - the last time they were together, they were screaming at each other at the Season 7 reunion. Luann claims that the pair said quite a few hurtful things to each other last year, but Carole immediately counters that there's no "we" in this situation. From her perspective, Luann was the one who had a lot of hurtful and nasty things to say about everything from her relationship with Adam to herself as a person. To prove her point, Carole challenges the Countess to come up with one single thing the writer said about her, and Luann dismisses the idea by insisting she doesn't want to rehash the past. 

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Switching gears, Luann brings up the lengthy social media war the two engaged in as their drama played out on TV, but again Carole points out that she was only trying to defend herself. After all, the Countess was the one who accused her of being a pedophile, made up stories about her relationship with Adam and claimed that the chef had still been dating her niece when Carole "broke them up." Luann insists she wants to move forward, but Carole simply has no intention of being friends with her erstwhile pal again. As the conversation continues to go in circles, the two Housewives refuse to see eye-to-eye and eventually just agree that they'll never be friends again, but to be polite when they see each other. I mean, they do have a show to film over the next several months right? They might as well get used to being forced into interacting once in a while...The big secret here is that if Luann had just given Carole a genuine apology and said "I'm sorry," I think their confrontation could have had a much more positive outcome. Maybe they can try again at Jules's brunch the next day?

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With the disastrous party winding down, Bethenny finally agrees to give John five minutes of her time for Dorinda's sake, but the conversation doesn't exactly go well either. John attempts to apologize for barging into his girlfriend's lingerie party and attacking Bethenny, but the Skinnygirl points out that he probably has very little recollection of what he actually did or said that night. She pointedly reminds him that he came into the party thinking he had a giant smoking gun to take her down by accusing her of stealing her brand's name from the founder of Skinny Cow. But here's the thing: when you attack Bethenny's business, the claws are going to come out. Not only were John's allegations incorrect, they were flat-out uneducated and ignorant. John defends himself by claiming that he was just trying to protect Dorinda after all the horrible things Bethenny had said to her about him, but the Skinnygirl once again puts him in his place by pointing out that he doesn't even know what she said to Dorinda. Was telling Dorinda to stop selling John so hard to the other ladies such an awful thing to say? However, John goes back to his excuse that he was just protecting the woman he loves and the discussion ends with a petulant apology. 

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Obviously, this wasn't how Dorinda envisioned the conversation going between her boyfriend and her friend, and comes close to breaking down in tears that the situation somehow just keeps getting worse. As Luann and Jules attempt to calm an emotional Dorinda down, Bethenny realizes that she has to put aside her feelings about John for the sake of her budding friendship with her cast mate. I personally love Bethenny and Dorinda together so I'm relieved that the Skinnygirl wants to make this difficult situation work so they can continue being friends. At some point a petty feud with a boyfriend isn't worth all the anguish and tears it's causing for poor Dorinda. As she states in her confessional, Bethenny has to find a way to wrap this giant problem up into some kind of bow so that her guests stop crying and don't spend the evening in a mental institution. So, she marches right up to John and pronounces that they can be completely fine from here on out for the sake of his girlfriend. The clean slate is all for Dorinda. And with that, the most awkward BBQ birthday party in the history of Bravo finally comes to an end.

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The next morning, Jules and Michael host a brunch at their expansive home in Water Mill for most of the other 'Wives except Ramona, who went back into the city for a date. Mario who? Needless to say, after all the awkward confrontations at the BBQ, Bethenny and Carole are less than thrilled to be there and vow to duck out as quickly as possible. Upon arrival, Bethenny doesn't make the most gracious impression on her hosts, offering her unsolicited opinions on the massive construction projects going on in their home. Getting a taste of B's know-it-all tendencies rubs Jules the wrong way, and the new 'Wife demands to know in her confessional who gave Bethenny the right to judge her house. Stay in your lane, B. However, Bethenny sees more than just the seven-year construction zone the Wainsteins seem to be living in. The Skinnygirl takes note that Jules doesn't seem to be eating anything at the schmear, opting instead to push copious amounts of food onto her guests. The new 'Wife's ultra-skinny stature has come up more than once already this season, and Bethenny sees this behavior as a textbook red flag that there might be a serious issue with Jules and an eating disorder. Yikes, I have a feeling we've heard far from the end of this subject and there is no way it can end well.

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Once Luann arrives with a date in tow, Carole is ready to hit the road and she and Bethenny plan a quick escape from the Wainsteins' schmear. Taking a quick tour of the room that will eventually house an indoor pool, B and Radzi make a beeline for the exit, avoiding nails, sawdust and dog poop on their way out. This mean girl escape doesn't sit well with Jules, who wonders openly to Dorinda why Bethenny had to be such a Debbie Downer during the whole meal. As Bethenny and Carole drive away giggling, it would appear that perhaps battle lines are being drawn between the new girl and the OG. Watch out Jules, the Skinnygirl is not a foe you want to mess with...

What did you think of the episode? Was that just the most awkward BBQ and brunch you've ever seen? Leave your thoughts in the comments below...