The craziness in the Berkshires continues on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City as Bethenny breaks down to Luann before facing off with Ramona in a no-holds-barred battle royale. And all poor Dorinda wanted was a nice, quiet birthday celebration. In keeping with the tradition of last year's one-act play format, I present this year's trip to the Berkshires in four scenes...
Scene 1 - It'll Only Get Worse, Luann
One by one, the Housewives join Dorinda Medley in her last-minute intervention of Luann de Lesseps (soon-to-be-D'Agostino). As they wander into the conversation, Ramona Singer, Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill each take a turn expressing the piece of gossip they've heard about Lu's fiancé Tom - that he's forcing himself on ex-girlfriends, carrying on full-fledged affairs behind her back and that she's having serious second thoughts about tying the knot. Ramona particularly claims she's simply trying to protect Luann from getting hurt down the road like she did with Mario. After all, if a man begins married life as a serial cheater, the problem is only going to get worse. Up against the barrage, Luann smacks down allegation after allegation, repeatedly insisting that she trusts Tom, is excited to get married and can't wait to spend the rest of her life with the perennial bachelor about town. The wedding is two weeks away and she is untouchable, always circling back to her well-worn excuse that all the other women are just "jealous bitches" of her fairy-tale romance. However, it's telling that the Countess' last word on the matter is how happy she is with the lifestyle Tom has afforded her - the trips to Palm Beach, the penthouse apartment, the security of a man on her arm at all the UES parties. According to Bethenny, that's what this sham of a relationship is about, but if Luann knows what she's getting into and is happy with it, so be it.
Scene 2 - Burning Down the House and Breaking Down the B
While Carole lights a fire (in a non-working fireplace...using Dorinda's wooden door jams) and Tinsley Mortimer vents her frustrations about living with Sonja Morgan, Luann attempts to create a bonding moment with Bethenny over the latter's recently signed divorce papers. The Countess is all Hallmark card slogans and mantras, spouting out fortune cookie sayings about trusting your heart and embracing each chapter of life as it comes. However, the always no-nonsense B isn't having it, and points out that following her heart led her straight into the hellish torture chamber of a situation with her almost-ex-husband Jason Hoppy. Bethenny alludes that what's going on in her personal life is so bad that the ladies couldn't possibly understand. As Carole reveals to the group that it's worse now that it even was when Bethenny was going through her long, nasty, very public divorce, the Skinnygirl has a full-blown emotional meltdown, leaving the room and dissolving into tears.
Luann follows her out to apologize for upsetting her, which leads to a sobbing Bethenny admitting she thinks the Countess is making a huge mistake marrying Tom. B feels confident - in her heart, gut and soul - that Luann's husband-to-be is cheating on her and promises Lu that she doesn't have to go through with the wedding if she's not 100 percent sure. Of course, Luann claims that this emotional display is simply Bethenny projecting her own trust and marital issues onto the situation, but the Skinnygirl has every reason to be wary. As Carole explains to the other women, Bethenny's ex has been constantly harassing her for months - sending threatening emails, voice messages telling her she's a bad mother and, perhaps most creepily, calling her "Bernadette" (which fans know is the name of Bethenny's own estranged, absentee mom). Considering that her ex was arrested last January in the midst of filming for allegedly stalking Bethenny, the hell she's going through is no laughing matter.
Scene 3 - Manic Chocolate Santa Claus
The women convene to the dining room, where Dorinda serves a delicious-looking dinner of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce. Out of nowhere, Ramona becomes astonishingly manic during the meal, practically falling over herself to gush compliments about the food (so moist! so succulent!) and squealing hysterically when she wins a giant chocolate Santa. Dorinda points out that Ramona seems extra jittery this evening and is intensifying every little thing. Without a doubt, the Singer Stinger has been - as Dorinda says - "emotionally heightened" so far this season but there's no way of telling what's really going on with her yet. But it's certainly something cuckoo, even Sonja describes her bestie's behavior at the table as "off the Richter scale crazy."
Of course, Ramona chooses the moment Dorinda's birthday cake is served to sidle up to Bethenny and deliver a boozy, whispered apology over the Skinnygirl's shoulder. Yet again, she's attempting to make amends for bringing up Bethenny's daughter Bryn in relation to the B's scandalous role in the recently unearthed B-movie Hollywood Hills, 90028. Equally unsurprising is the fact that this apology leaves Bethenny entirely unaffected. Instead of engaging, she hilariously sums for Tinsley all the reasons Dorinda is the only Housewife invited to Luann's wedding. Exhibit A: Carole's boyfriend used to be Luann's chef, who also happened to date her niece. I mean, watch Season 7. It would be weird. Exhibit B: Ramona dated Tom before Luann and is on a completely unsubtle mission to find every ounce of dirt possible on the guy. Exhibit C: Tom's diamond-shooting dick has literally been inside Sonja. Exhibit D: Last year in this very dining room, Bethenny unleashed a fury of epic rage on Luann, calling her a slut, a whore and every other nasty name in the book. Caught up, Tins?
Scene 4: Are You Kidding Me, Bethenny?
Frustrated that Bethenny won't accept her countless apologies, Ramona corners her frenemy in the living room to try apologizing one more time. Finally fed up, Bethenny agrees that it's time to put all the cards on the table, starting with the fact that - all things considered over their nearly decade-long history - Ramona has not been a good friend to her. As someone who takes her status as a friend very seriously, this is an unforgivable insult to Ramona, akin to character assassination. Unbridled rage lights up in the Singer Stinger's eyes as she belligerently stammers "are you kidding me, Bethenny?" over and over again. And just when the powder keg between the two OGs is about to ignite, the episode ends with a startling "To Be Continued..."
What did you think of this week's RHONY? How does this year's trip to the Berkshires compare to last season's? Should Luann listen to the other 'Wives? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Ramona? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!