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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: blue stone manor

RHONY S9/Ep 8 Recap - Return of the Berzerkshires

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the women head to the Berkshires once again to celebrate Dorinda's birthday. However, an argument between Tinsley and Sonja threatens the fun before the ladies stage an intervention for Luann about her pending nuptials to Tom. Read on to find out if the third year in the Berkshires will be the charm...

The annual cast getaway to the Berkshires is upon us, but first we get a scene meant to prep viewers for Bethenny Frankel's new real estate series with Fredrik Eklund of Million Dollar Listing New York, tentatively titled Keeping It Real Estate. Clever, huh? After working together to sell her old Tribeca apartment, B is going into the real estate business with the MDLNY agent and selling her current place in Soho. The two alpha personalities immediately begin bickering over decor and selling points, and the look on Bethenny's face when Fredrik uses the word "clutter" to describe her home is absolutely priceless. Eventually, the new partners settle on listing the property for $5.25 million and it looks like we'll be getting much more of this when the new series premieres sometime later this year on Bravo. 

Over in the West Village, Ramona Singer drops for an impromptu visit with perpetual cat lady Carole Radziwill to spill some serious tea on the relationship between Luann de Lesseps and Tom D'Agostino. Despite promising to drop the Nancy Drew act, Ramona has continued to quietly do recon on Tom and has the texts to prove that Luann's fiancé allegedly forced himself onto a former girlfriend and tried to "stick his tongue" down her throat just one week earlier. This revelation coupled with the bombshell that dropped into Carole's lap last week (via a good friend) that Luann is having serious doubts about going through with the wedding and now everyone is once again concerned that all is not as it appears in the relationship between the Countess and her "dirty dog" of a fiancé. Whether it's a cry for help or something else, the ladies are left with a serious conundrum: do they say something to Luann and risk a redux of last season's explosive cheating drama or not say anything and avoid a confrontation? Which choice falls under the category of being a good friend?

It's time for the 'Wives to head to Blue Stone Manor for the yearly celebration of Dorinda Medley's birthday. Despite the insanity of the last two years the women have gone to the Berkshires, Dorinda has decked the halls of her manor home and remains confident that she can make it nice - and yes, even Sonja Morgan scored an invite this year. The first full day is Dorinda's birthday and, despite a cake catastrophe that would've sent Heather Dubrow into a blind rage in the OC, the weekend starts off surprisingly...pleasant. However, if we've learned anything over the last three seasons, it's that history has set a precedent for drama in the Berkshires so all of the women are wary of an impending blowup. It's kind of like hosting your birthday party on top of a giant powder keg covered in Christmas decorations... 

Luann, en route from Palm Beach, is the only 'Wife who hasn't arrived yet. So naturally, the topic of conversation turns to the rumors and stories swirling around Manhattan about Tom's handsy, philandering ways. In addition to the damning information held by Ramona and Carole, Bethenny's heard a separate piece of gossip that Lu's husband-to-be is carrying on an affair with another woman behind her back. B wonders aloud whether she and the other 'Wives can get Luann out of this seemingly doomed union, but that'll be much easier said than done. With everything going on off-camera with her toxic ex, Bethenny feels a certain responsibility to go to Luann once again and try to keep her from making a similar mistake - particularly since so many stories are coming out of the woodwork. However, rather than shouldering the brunt of the task, Bethenny decides all the damaging news would be better received with Dorinda running point in a tag-team effort with all the other women.

Gathering in front of a cozy fire in the great room, the 'Wives begin to compare their notes on Tom as they prep for Luann's arrival and one by one lay all the information in Dorinda's reluctant hands. Talk about a great birthday present...Cut to the Countess pulling up in the driveway and Dorinda is now obligated to share all this information with her so that Luann can, in her words, "either leave, stay or shoot someone." 

Luann arrives as the party move into the dining room for some Christmas cookie decorating and the women make some rather stunted, uncomfortable small talk about, ya know, how the wedding planning is going now that the big day is just two weeks away. Then suddenly, seemingly out of left field, the festering roommate drama between Sonja and Tinsley takes center stage. The former socialite (accurately) accuses Lady Morgan of complaining about her behind her back and somehow the argument devolves into a screaming match over the time Tinsley asked Sonja's assistant to open the door and receive a delivery of hats for her. Apparently this display of poor etiquette is grounds to start WWIII because Sonja feels Tinsley and her privileged, Southern upbringing are beginning to take advantage of her kindness. The second Sonja stays the words "chain of command" in her confessional, I'm checked out of this ridiculous fight, but all I know is that next time Tinsley will be sure to GET HER OWN GODDAMN HATS! PERIOD!

Bringing it back to the real issue at hand, Dorinda pulls Luann aside for a private chat. Going straight to the point, Dorinda shares the group's collective concern over Tom. Revealing the text messages, hearsay and rumors swirling behind her back, Dorinda asks point blank whether Luann trusts Tom and really, in her heart of hearts, wants to go through with the marriage. Unsurprisingly, Lu remains deliberately unaffected by all the gossip, repeating the party line that she trusts Tom completely, knows that this is the right choice and all the women saying otherwise are just "jealous b*tches." Regardless of any concern, evidence or amount of scandal thrown in front of her, Luann is marching down the aisle come hell or high water. Got it ladies?

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Did the 'Wives handle their concern about Tom the correct way this time? Is Luann choosing to be willfully blind to red flags? Does Sonja and Tinsley's arguing make any sense? Tell me in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 10 - Unhappy Holidays

Glenn Rowley

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas? This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the festive drama continues as Dorinda's explosive sleepover in the Berkshires reaches its conclusion and Sonja rejoins the ladies at Ramona's holiday party. Who's on Santa's naughty list? Did any of the 'Wives make the nice list? Read on to find out....

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This insane sleepover in the Berkshires is now spanning the course of three episodes. Think about that for a second - three episodes is usually the amount of time we get for a major cast trip to somewhere like Turks and Caicos, Morocco or Montana. That's how full of can't-miss drama this night in Blue Stone Manor is. Picking up where last week left off, Bethenny Frankel and her gray onesie walk in on Luann once again dissing her just moments after the Countess sent her an apology via text for their earlier squabble over the creation of Skinnygirl. Now, round two of the argument pits Luann against the double-team of B and Carole Radziwill, who take turns painting a crystal clear picture of the reputation the Countess has developed for acting hypocritically and put on a facade about how proper and very Countess-like she is. According to her fellow 'Wives, in reality Luann has a "cunning, crafty, slithery" side to her and no man is off the table when she sets her sights on him - even if he's married or recently dated one of her friends.

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Luann obviously disagrees with this assessment, insisting that she's the most loyal friend anyone can have and speculating that her fellow 'Wives are "making a list and checking it twice" (nice Christmas reference, Lu) to take her down. Plus, it's not her fault if the guy Ramona Singer was going on dates with ended up liking her better than the Singer Stinger. So there. Carole laments that that type of attitude is exactly what she and Bethenny are talking about, but the Countess refusing to see anything wrong with the way she chooses to live her life. Inevitably, Ramona gets dragged into the conversation as well, siding with Carole and Bethenny that Luann essentially swiped Tom D'Agostino right out from under her. Of course, the most hilarious part of this tense confrontation is that in the next room, Dorinda Medley and Jules Wainstein are blocking out all the drama with a classic game of Twister. Nothing like a good old-fashioned board game to drown out your friends screaming at each other just next door, right girls?

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Thankfully, there's a break in the arguing just long enough for Santa Claus to make a surprise appearance! Santa gives gifts to each of the 'Wives around the dining room table, which turn out to be personalized wine glasses for the women - Bethenny's is inscribed with "Skinnygirl," Luann's is "The Countess" and Dorinda even had "Madame Martini" etched in the one for herself. The best part about the glasses is that they actually fit an entire bottle of wine in them. Does Dorinda know this group or what? (Side note: it's amusing to me that Dorinda's sister was the one playing Santa - for obvious reasons, she seems to have chosen to keep boyfriend John Mahdessian out of the equation for the evening.) 

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Early the next morning, all the 'Wives are suffering from an argument hangover, except for Jules that is. Having stayed largely out of the line fire the night before, Jules declares to Dorinda that the getaway has been the best 24 hours of her life without any kids or a husband to take care of. In fact, the newbie literally forgot to call her kids the night before - that's how much she enjoyed being away. Bethenny and Carole feel much differently about the sleepover and hide in bed while they plot their escape from Dorinda's country estate. Putting their boots and coats on over their pajamas, the pair make a run for the car, but not before Luann notices their not-so-stealthy attempt at a getaway. Recognizing that the other 'Wives will start sensing a pattern following their abrupt exit from Jules's brunch in the Hamptons, Bethenny and Carole somewhat reluctantly go back in the house to say their goodbyes, making the excuse that they were just putting their things in the car. Still, after a quick round of hugs - including one incredibly awkward embrace between Carole and Luann - the two 'Wives hightail it out of there, wondering if they should avoid going to the Berkshires altogether in the future. 

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After getting back to the city, all the 'Wives take a couple of days to recoup from the drama before one final holiday party Ramona's throwing at Black Barn. Dressing up in the most festive outfits they can muster, the women warily converge on the restaurant in an attempt at a happy holiday. Ramona's rocking a white (faux?) fur stole, but the OG isn't so sure how she feels about the red lace jumpsuit Luann is wearing from her Countess Collection and wastes no time in offering her unfiltered opinion on it. Dear Ramona, never change. As Bethenny and Carole arrive with gifts in hand, Luann saunters over to the pair for a (hopefully) calmer chat. Bethenny's already over their earlier fight and expressed remorse for how she spoke to Lu in the Berkshires, but the Countess actually wants to speak more to Carole. Luann apologizes again for all the drama that went on between her and Writer Girl last year when Radzi started dating her former chef Adam Kenworthy. Luann explains that she misses having Carole in her life as a friend and the apology sounds more sincere than her attempt over text, but Radzi just isn't sure. Regardless of how bad Luann says she feels for calling her a pedophile and attacking her character, Carole's choosing to keep her former friend at a comfortable distance. 

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Next, Sonja Morgan arrives fashionably late, which is a cue for Bethenny to make her exit. In the wake all the over the Skinnygirl/Tipsy Girl fiasco, the Skinnygirl told Lady Morgan that she didn't want anything to do with her and she was serious. Apparently, while in the Berkshires both Ramona and Luann repeatedly texted Sonja regarding her issues with Bethenny, with each OG telling her bluntly to make up with the Skinnygirl. However, Sonja rather appropriately reads the room and when Bethenny bolts, she doesn't chase after - opting instead to take a seat at the couch and point out that she and Carole showed up in matching red pantsuits. Almost immediately, Ramona and the Countess question why Sonja didn't address Bethenny, and it puts Lady Morgan quickly on the defensive. Naturally, she's still hurt about being excluded from the Berkshires sleepover by Dorinda, but the latter stands by her decision as the best way to protect Sonja from being attacked. However, from Sonja's perspective she's simply being excluded and we all know that being shut out by the rest of the cast spells impending doom in the Housewives universe. An angry Sonja decides to stand up for herself and after accusing the other girls of constantly picking on her, she storms off to make a dramatic exit from the party. 

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Seeing that Sonja is on the verge of tears, Luann runs after her, but her friend doesn't seem to want a shoulder to cry on. When the Countess opines that maybe the party wasn't the right time to talk to Bethenny, Sonja lashes out that the right place would've been at Dorinda's - had she been invited. Sonja then storms into the stairwell, where she continues to vent (loudly) to Luann about being excluded from the group. As she stomps down the stairs, Sonja reminds the Countess that Carole just barely told her inside the party that Bethenny didn't have any hard feelings toward her. Well, if these aren't hard feelings then what are they? Soft-boiled? With that, Sonja leaves the party in a huff and we'll have to wait until the new year for the drama to heat up again...

What did you think of RHONY this week? Would you trust Luann or do you think she's cunning and crafty? Is it right for Sonja to be excluded from the group? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 9 - December: Berkshires County

Glenn Rowley

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The epic battle in the Berkshires continues this week on The Real Housewives of New York City! In one of the most iconic episodes in quite possibly the history of the franchise, the ladies duke it out over the secret life of the Countess, who's breaking the almighty girl code and who called who a pedophile. The episode comes across much like a one-act play (hence the title's play on August: Osage County by Tracy Letts), so I've structured this week's recap a little differently to follow along as the drama unfolds scene by scene. Read on and enjoy for my full breakdown and commentary of all the holiday insanity...

Scene 1 - From Slumber Party to Slaughter Party

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The scene in the Berkshires picks up right where we left off last week, with Bethenny Frankel and Luann de Lesseps getting into it over the dining room table at Blue Stone Manor. Just as the squabble dies down over who gets credit for coming up with the idea for Skinnygirl (for the record, it was 100% B), Luann tries asking about Bethenny's dating life - but B's not about to go there either. According to the Skinnygirl mogul, the Countess's questions always come with ill intent, so there's no way Luann gets to know anything about her personal life. However, an off-hand remark made by the Countess accusing Bethenny of copying her hairstyle is the insignificant straw (or hair) that breaks the camel's back and sends B into a rage. Seeing red, Bethenny rips into Luann for the double life she's been rumored to be living ever since the show started way back in Season 1 - from sleeping with married men and partying until 5 a.m. to starring in some twisted reimagining of Grey Gardens by moving into Sonja Morgan's townhouse. From B's perspective, Luann spends all her time hiding behind the arrogant Countess persona she's created, all the while lying about the way she really lives her life. 

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Luann tries to brush off the barrage of accusations by joking that she's apparently the Samantha Jones of the group, but Bethenny fires back that at least the Sex and the City character owned her promiscuous behavior. According to B, it's time for Luann to get called out on her hypocrisy and she's the only one willing to do the talking. Perhaps the most damning revelation of all is that Luann broke the holy "girl code" she preached about all last season by essentially stealing her boyfriend Tom D'Agostino out from under Ramona Singer. The Singer Stinger confirms this herself, explaining that she went on more than half a dozen dates with Tom before Luann swooped in and said "me next..." literally! Bethenny proceeds to let loose every bad thing she's thought about the Countess for the last eight years, calling her "a slut, a liar, a hypocrite and a snake" all in a single breath. Naturally, Carole Radziwill arrives right in the middle of the madness and hilariously assumes that Bethenny is arguing with a man. Well...it would be funnier if she hadn't already used that joke during the trip to Slutty Island in Season 5. 

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Following the confrontation, a furious Countess retreats to the house's patio for a smoke break with newbie Jules Wainstein. That's right, after eight years the producers have finally given us the gift of Luann de Lesseps smoking a cigarette on camera. I wonder if there's a chapter on the dangers of smoking in Class With the Countess... Poor Jules is in the midst of calling her father, who's in the hospital with pneumonia. Yet Luann doesn't seem to have a single ounce of empathy for the new girl, and turns the entire conversation into how horribly she's been slighted by Bethenny. As Jules says in her confessional, you're right Luann - being called a slut definitely trumps a sick dad, go right on ahead and talk about how hurt you are. Dorinda Medley comes out to check on the ladies and Luann promptly lays into the hostess for failing to step in and defend her against B. If she doesn't tell Bethenny to back off, the Countess threatens to leave. 

Scene 2 - Dorinda Made It Nice for You People!

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Here's where things take an even stranger turn. After hearing her threaten to leave, Ramona pulls Luann into the kitchen to try to talk her down. However, Lu continues to question why she's even in the Berkshires if she's going to be verbally attacked. And weren't the 'Wives supposed to be celebrating Dorinda's birthday with this sleepover? Luann points out the homemade cake Dorinda's mother made for her on the table as evidence of this theory, just as the hostess walks into the kitchen herself. Overhearing Luann poking fun at her mom's birthday cake, Dorinda loses her last shred of patience for this madness and epically flies off the handle at all of her guests. Dorinda put a lot of work into cooking, cleaning and decorating to make this Christmas sleepover nice, so if the rest of the 'Wives can't "BETAVE" themselves then they can just go home! Poor Dorinda. Every time the ladies come to her house in the Berkshires they seem to go berserk.

Scene 3 - Feeling Zings Now?

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Back in the Big Apple, Sonja Morgan is left to entertain herself after being uninvited from what she thinks is a fabulous time at Dorinda's house. So, while her friends are at each other's throats in the Berkshires, Lady Morgan is putting in time for some essential cosmetic maintenance. Since we're talking about Sonja, this is code for resurfacing her vagina. In the TMI moment of the episode, Sonja gets what's called a FemiLift, a new laser procedure that tightens the walls of her vajayjay. And it involves a gigantic probe being inserted into Lady Morgan's lady parts...Being a gold-star gay man, this is more than I ever really wanted to know about vaginal rejuvenation, but at least I'm learning it from the Housewives amiright? Thanks, Sonja!

Scene 4 - How Do You Spell "Pedophile?"

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After a glorious flashback of the early conflicts between Luann and Bethenny, the conflict turns to the ongoing cold war between the Countess and Carole. Up to this point, Writer Girl has spent the whole season avoiding Luann but now that they're stuck under the same roof, she vents to Ramona that she can't believe Lu had the audacity to invite her to an upcoming holiday party. In what world would she go to the Countess's party after being called a pedophile by her last year for dating Adam? When Ramona brings this up to Luann, Carole grabs Jules and bolts for the nearest closet so she can eavesdrop. The newbie, however, turns out to be a rather terrible spy as she's more interested in inspecting the wallpaper inside the closet than actually letting Radzi hear what Luann is saying about her. Hilarious. (According to Carole, a wallpapered closet is the mark of a truly wealthy person. Good to know for my future penthouse.) Back in the dining room, Ramona encourages Luann to end the animosity once and for all by dictating a carefully worded apology text to send to Carole. The text reads as follows: "Sorry I called you a pedophile, hope you can come to my next holiday party." I'm using that sentence from now on for every invitation I send to all my future parties.

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After that text goes out to Carole, Luann decides to keep the apology tour going by composing one to Bethenny. Out of everything they just sparred about, the Countess apologizes if Bethenny thought she was trying to take credit for coming up with the idea for Skinnygirl and maintains that she didn't mean it like that at all. However, to be honest I'm much more interested in the earlier texts we can see that Luann sent both of the women - the one to Carole references her making an appearance on WWHL with Andy Cohen (presumably last season) and the one to Bethenny asks her out to lunch with the promise of no cameras. Fascinating stuff, really, to get a tiny peek into what goes on behind the Bravo curtain between the 'Wives. Obviously, neither of these apologies via text make any kind of impression on either Carole or Bethenny since they both end up giggling about it in one of the bedrooms together just a few feet away from Luann. Nice try, Countess but you're going to have to do much more than that if you really want to fix things.

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Magically, Luann manages to change into her third top in as many hours as the women get ready for a festive dinner of Dorinda's famous lasagna. The hostess asks her what happened with Ramona, and Luann defensively explains her position in the argument over Tom. According to Luann, he just happens to like her better than Ramona, so sorry not sorry Singer. However, she still can't believe the blow-up with Bethenny and claims that the Skinnygirl seems to be on some sort of twisted mission to burn every bridge she can - first it was Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian, then it was Sonja, now it's Luann. Yet right in the middle of Lu's tirade to Dorinda, Bethenny walks into the conversation (in a onesie!) and demands to know whether this little monologue is supposed to be part of the apology text she received just moments before. As the two OGs ramp up for round 2 of their Berkshires battle, the moment is interrupted by another "To Be Continued..." and it looks like we'll have to wait until next week for the conclusion of the drama. 

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Luann? Should Dorinda ever invite these girls to the Berkshires again? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 8 - All the Countess's Men

Glenn Rowley

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It's Christmastime in the City! As The Real Housewives of New York City get into the holiday spirit, the fallout from last week's blow-out between Dorinda, John and Ramona lingers while Bethenny and Luann get into it in the Berkshires and Sonja finds herself on the outs. Read on for my complete breakdown of all the drama from the Big Apple...

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The morning after the major confrontation at her boyfriend John Mahdessian's Madame Paulette party, Dorinda Medley engages in some serious retail therapy at Jonathan Adler with Jules Wainstein. Dorinda has plenty to say about her fight with Ramona Singer, and since Jules ran away from the action, she gets to hear all about it. When it comes down to it, I'm still baffled that this blow-up was about some random ex-fling of Luann de Lesseps. (Hint: here's the first instance where the episode's title comes into play.) Why Ramona would insist on coming to the defense of her costar's creepy quasi-stalker is simply beyond me. The two 'Wives are also casually looking for presents to bring to Bethenny Frankel's upcoming Secret Santa holiday party. When Ramona spots a collection of jars with labels like "Uppers," "Quaaludes" and "Prozac," Dorinda suggests that Jules gets them for Ramona's gift. But don't worry Doris, Jules is already 90% done with her gag gift for the temperamental OG. 

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Speaking of Bethenny's holiday party, the Skinnygirl has her entire apartment decorated for the merry affair. She's even arranged  a giant spread of caviar to be served, although the Petrossian girl looks a bit more like Elsa from Frozen than a server at a holiday party. Before Dorinda shows up, Ramona rolls in with a bottle of pinot, ready to regale the room with the tale of her screaming match with Dorinda. However, as she lays out every salacious detail about Rey and reenacts John putting his hand in her face with the help of Carole Radziwill, Jules notes that Ramona conveniently leaves out any part of the fight that explains why Luann literally bolted from her deranged former paramour or makes her look bad. Just as Jules pipes up that there's another side to the story, Dorinda walks in and Ramotional promptly shuts down the entire conversation. 

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Thankfully, Bethenny manages to intercept Dorinda before she overhears and sits her down for an impromptu pep talk prior making her grand entrance. Still reeling from the night before, Dorinda is feeling particularly vulnerable and opens up to Bethenny about just how much all this drama between her boyfriend and her friends is affecting her. Tearfully, the usually tough Dorinda explains that she's feeling lost. This feud with Ramona triggered something inside her and has left her wondering if maybe she doesn't have her life as under control and put together as she thought. For the first time, she's acting out of fear and can't quite tell how to get a handle on it. Bethenny advises her to take some time alone to ensure that she's taking proper care of herself and putting Dorinda first. For once, it's not about John or Ramona or anyone else - Dorinda needs to take care of Dorinda. 

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The same night as the Secret Santa party, Luann de Lesseps and Sonja Morgan are out on the town, rehashing the dramatic events of the showdown on Second Avenue. (Neither of the 'Wives seem to have scored an invite to B's party.) According to the Countess, this guy Rey was just a summertime fling she happened to go on a trip to Ibiza with one time. She insists to Sonja that he wasn't ever her lover, but he wasn't exactly just a one-night stand either. Somewhere in between, I suppose. Nowadays, Luann has a rotating door of male paramours, though one man in particular seems to be winning the race for Luann's heart. And let it be known that this mystery man sure is less of a hot mess than poor Rey. However, she's keeping her lover's identity a secret for now, considering that both Ramona and Sonja happen to know him and she's not sure where exactly their relationship is going. 

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Conversation at the holiday party turns to the ladies' upcoming trip to Dorinda's house in the Hamptons. To mitigate the Tipsy Girl vs. Skinnygirl issue, Sonja won't be invited on the overnighter - though she doesn't know that yet. Carole remarks that she would rather not sleep under the same roof as Luann, but Dorinda insists that Blue Stone Manor is a big house and it should be easy for Writer Girl to avoid her nemesis over the course of the one-night trip. Carole may think she's over last season's drama with the Countess, but it's clear that she might not be. Ramona also takes a minute to apologize profusely to Dorinda for their latest fight, and quickly dismisses Doris's notion that maybe their relationship has changed. Ramona's not going anywhere and neither is Dorinda so forgiveness should be what's on the menu. The night ends on a positive note, as the women's Secret Santa gifts range from sentimental (Carole gives Dorinda a cute ornament for her tree) to downright hilarious (Bethenny's now the proud owner of a vibrating Thighmaster courtesy of Dorinda and Jules made Ramona an amusing kit to pregame with her wine.) Merry Christmas, and God bless us everyone?

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The next morning, Luann and Sonja go full Grey Gardens in Lady Morgan's townhouse, waltzing into the kitchen for breakfast literally draped in furs. Luann spent the evening at a sleepover with her mystery man, but before Sonja can get any details out of her the Countess shrieks that they're in the New York Post! Turns out that the paper's infamous gossip column has picked up the drama from the Madame Paulette party, though it quickly becomes clear that with John described as a "dry cleaning magnate" and painted as the hero for kicking Ramona out on the street that the mafioso boy toy most certainly leaked the story himself. 

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Later, Sonja meets Dorinda for a walk, and the latter breaks the news to Lady Morgan that she won't be joining the rest of the 'Wives on the trip to the Berkshires. Couching it in the excuse that the other women might gang up on Sonja, Dorinda explains that it's just not the right time for Sonja to go away with the rest of the Housewives. Instead, Dorinda proposes that the women are going to come up for one night and she'll invite Sonja up for some quality time one-on-one. Sonja is naturally confused and hurt by the dis-invitation. After all, wasn't Ramona the one Dorinda was screaming at the other night for making a giant scene at John's party? Plus, she argues that the other girls love having her around! She's the life of the party! The straw that stirs the drink! But her argument falls on entirely deaf ears - straw or no straw, Sonja is getting excluded from the weekend away.

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Before the rest of the 'Wives head to the Berkshires, Luann is hosting an intimate dinner at Empire Steak House to introduce her new man to some of her friends. In her confessional, Luann explains that out of everyone in the group, she's only invited Dorinda and Jules with their significant others because she knows they're the two 'Wives who won't judge her. Plus, Dorinda happens to be the one who set her up with her new love! As the Countess arrives, it's revealed that the new man in her life is Tom D'Agostino Jr., a dashingly handsome bald guy who happens to share a romantic history with both Ramona and Sonja. (It turns out that "knowing" the two veteran Housewives meant much more than just being socially acquainted.) Tom seems lovely as he enthralls the table with the story of how Dorinda introduced him to Luann and Dorinda opines in her confessional that the two newly minted lovebirds are absolutely perfect for each other. Score one for Dorinda's matchmaking prowess!

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The overnighter to the Berkshires is finally upon us and Dorinda has decorated her house top to bottom to be as festive as possible for the Christmas season. Ramona is the first to arrive, and Dorinda promptly reminds her that she wants this weekend getaway to be as calm and relaxing as possible - after all, Blue Stone Manor is her sanctuary away from the world. However, once Luann and Jules arrive, the Countess immediately begins chiding Dorinda for excluding Sonja - who's back in the city licking her wounds - from the trip. Dorinda's reasoning holds water for me, and technically as the hostess she's allowed to invite or not invite anyone she wants. Ramona agrees, arguing that Sonja shouldn't be around any drinking and really needs to take some time to work on herself, "spiritualation" included. Besides, it's just one night. How much drama can realistically happen? 

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The answer to that question turns out to be "a lot." Bethenny is the next to arrive, and as she joins the other women at the table, Luann happens to mention that she's temporarily living with Sonja and trying to mentor her. Bethenny finds the assertion that the Countess can mentor anyone, let alone Sonja, to be hysterical, and Luann bristles at her suggestion that it would be like "the blind leading the deaf." Is that really what Bethenny thinks of her? Luann doesn't find this sentiment to be amusing at all, but when she shoots back that Bethenny has issues with Sonja over the Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl controversy, B shoots her down. In fact, the Skinnygirl mogul found Sonja's latest business idea to be nothing more than a joke - she was just offended that Lady Morgan used her to stir up gossip about Tipsy Girl and drag her through the press.

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Bethenny argues that Sonja can't play smart one minute by claiming she has a major "international lifestyle brand" and then stupid the next by playing dumb to the fact that Tipsy Girl sounds an awful lot like Skinnygirl. According to Bethenny, Sonja should've named the new Prosecco line "Stupid Girl" or "Drunk Girl" to be more on brand. No one pulls one over on Bethenny Frankel, sweetheart. As Bethenny points out that more than one person (and Housewife) has copied her business model for Skinnygirl, she jokes that Luann still thinks it was her idea way back in Season 2. The Countess maintains that she and Bethenny tossed the idea around late one night and B decided to run with it and make it happen. However, before the brewing tension can escalate into a full-on argument, we're left with a "To Be Continued..." cliffhanger and have to wait until next week to watch what happens. 

What did you think of this week's RHONY? How does this season just keep getting better and better? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!