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Real Housewives

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 14 - The Benefits of Friendship

Glenn Rowley


This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, tension start to build between Luann and the other 'Wives over her relationship with Tom after Sonja shares a surprising revelation. Plus the vagina problems continue for both Jules and Bethenny in what feels a bit like a filler episode. Read on for a full recap...


We start this week off with Bethenny Frankel prepping for the latest expansion in her business empire with the launch of Skinnygirl candy. For the big launch event at Dylan's Candy Bar in downtown NYC, Bethenny's planned something totally different, complete with a shrink-wrapped clutch made to look like a giant Skinnygirl chocolate bar and her rocking a bright red wig. Dylan's Candy Bar is peppered with gorgeous guys and girls wearing, respectively, t-shirts in signature Skinnygirl red emblazoned with the phrases "eye candy" and "arm candy" and the room is buzzing with excited customers ready to sample B's latest concoction. Out of all the Housewives, Carole Radziwill is the only one invited, though Bethenny also points out that both Ramona Singer and Dorinda Medley have been incredibly supportive in the wake of her medical crisis. The women have really shown up for her and she's finally found a few ladies whom she wants at any and all of her events. 


Following the Skinnygirl event, it's time for part three of "The NYC Vagina Monologues." First, newbie Jules Wainstein visits her plastic surgeon for a checkup on her healing lady parts. With his face rigid due to perhaps a bit much Botox, the plastic surgeon assures Jules that her vagina will soon go back to the "perfect little pistachio" it was before her freak accident with just a bit more rest. Thank goodness for that. At the same time, Bethenny's visiting a prominent female internist about her own vaginal issue. With the surgery to remove her fibroids just days away, B is understandably freaked out. So, with Carole in tow for moral support, she treks to the internist's office for a second opinion. Just like Jules, Bethenny gets the good news she's been hoping for: the doctor recommends not jumping straight into the operating room, advising instead to let the Skinnygirl give her body time to heal itself. This is music to Bethenny's ears and just like that, the emergency myomectomy is cancelled.


To celebrate, Bethenny invites Carole, Ramona and Dorinda over to her apartment the next day for a good old-fashioned Housewives hangout. Cuddled up next to the fireplace, the women chatter about everything from surgery and vaginas to old-fashioned birth control methods and Ramona's insistence on using the word "brassiere." (I know I say this in virtually every recap, but dear Ramona please never change.) Eventually, the conversation circles back around to the group's collective and individual problems with Luann de Lesseps. Carole's still harboring major trust issues with the Countess. Despite the sincerest apology Luann could muster at Ramona's holiday party a few episodes back, she has yet to reach out to Carole in any way since. Instead, it's been radio silence. Ramona and Bethenny both agree that Luann seems to be back on her Countess high horse, and she's become nothing but self-absorbed and narcissistic while blaming it on being head-over-heels in love with her "soulmate" Tom D'Agostino. Though Dorinda remains a silent observer in the corner, the other 'Wives have had it with Luann shoving her perspective down their throats while she floats around in Lu-Lu Land. 


The next morning, Dorinda invites Luann out for breakfast. Over two dishes of quiche lorraine, Dorinda promptly fills the Countess in on what the other ladies had to say at Bethenny's house. Luann is taken aback to hear that she's the subject of gossip - and claims to be particularly disappointed in Ramona for jumping on the Countess-bashing bandwagon so quickly. Dorinda encourages Lu to get back in the other girls' good graces by making more of an effort to be involved, but Luann dismisses the idea - firing back that maybe she doesn't want to be a part of the group anymore. Besides, she's sure that all the other ladies are just jealous she's so happy and in love. (Note to Luann: if you want to be on the show, you kind of have to engage with the other 'Wives.) In fact, the perfect opportunity to start reintegrating herself is that very night, since Dorinda's hosting a dinner party for all the ladies, and the hostess promises to be the mediator between Luann and the other women in case of a confrontation.


That night, the women all show up at Joanne Tratorria, a cozy Italian restaurant that happens to be owned by the parents of pop superstar Lady Gaga. Reluctant and suffering from a cold, even Luann decides to come by for a bit, and it dawns on me that this is only the second time all season that all seven Housewives have been in the same room. (The first and only other time was at Ramona's birthday luncheon in Episode 5.) At first, the meal is slightly awkward, with the Countess flanked on one side by nemesis Carole and the other by Ramona. She announces that she's moved into Tom's penthouse on the Upper East Side and an engagement is imminent, much to the ladies' collective murmurs of half-hearted congratulations. Surprisingly, Luann opines that only Carole seems to be genuinely happy for her, which is virtually unthinkable considering their two-seasons-long feud.


This meal is also the first time Bethenny and Sonja Morgan have seen each other since the massive fallout over their Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl controversy. As the two awkwardly acknowledge each other across the table, Luann takes Ramona to task in the corner for turning on her behind her back and accuses her frenemy of not being happy for her. Ramona feigns innocence, insisting that she is happy for Luann and Tom, but cautions that the relationship seems to be going awfully quickly - particularly considering the two only met after Thanksgiving. Bethenny points out that Luann, Ramona and Sonja seem to exist in a very small circle: after all, they've all dated some of the same men. In a moment of perfectly terrible timing, Sonja inexplicably decides to reveal that she and Luann's boyfriend had been friends with benefits for over a decade before the Countess snatched him up. Sonja's history with Tom is news to everyone at the table, and an upset Luann proceeds to storm out of the dinner after once again accusing her friends of not being supportive. If it happened "B.L." (a.k.a. Before Lu), the Countess doesn't care, and simply expects her friends to be happy for her newfound love. But should Sonja really have to be supportive when she was just sleeping with the same guy weeks before he started dating her houseguest? As Luann makes an abrupt exit, "To Be Continued..." flashes across the screen, and we'll have to wait until next week to see how the dinner concludes.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Did it feel like filler to you? Is Dorinda stirring the pot between Luann and the other ladies? Does the Countess have a right to be upset at the other 'Wives? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!