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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: dorinda vs. ramona

RHONY S9/Ep 10 Recap - Black Out and Get Out

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, the brewing feud between Bethenny and Ramona explodes yet again in the Berkshires while a familiar face pops up to stir the pot for the first time in five seasons. Read on for a full recap of this week's drama...

The episode picks up smack dab in the middle of Bethenny Frankel and Ramona Singer's argument in the Berkshires. Calm and collected, the B points out that Ramona hasn't exactly been a great friend over the course of their nearly decade-long relationship. (Need proof? Cut to their infamous walk across the Brooklyn Bridge in Season 3 or the Season 7 incident where the Singer Stinger stole two dresses from the set of Bethenny's now-defunct talk show.) Still, this accusation causes Ramona to lose her mind and she promptly launches into a vicious tirade - accusing Bethenny of sleeping her way to the top and screaming that her brand Skinnygirl is "done." 

And finally, the truth comes out when Ramona reveals in her confessional that she "wants to hurt Bethenny. The Singer Stinger unleashes nine seasons worth of resentment she's been harboring about Bethenny's success and character, accusing her of being an opportunist and using people while Ramona claims to be entirely self-made. Calling her frenemy "Bethenny the bitchy witch" Ramona retreats, leaving Bethenny absolutely stunned at the onslaught of pure vitriol she just endured. The fun weekend in the Berkshires is clearly over as Bethenny leaves for NYC with Carole Radziwill in tow, only stopping to ask the question "if a friend attacks every inch of your character and insults the core of your very being and nobody saw...did it really happen?"

Early the next morning, Dorinda Medley is filling Tinsley Mortimer in on the previous night's drama over Luann de Lesseps' famous eggs a la français when, suddenly, Sonja Morgan appears wearing a pair of Dorinda's pajamas. And not just any old pajamas - a velvet pair given to Dorinda by her late husband Richard that happened to be sealed in a zippered garment bag. Honestly, the audacity... and the disrespect doesn't stop there. Once the ladies leave, Dorinda walks into Ramona's room to find it completely trashed. Not only did the Singer Stinger leave the room a mess for her hostess, she inexplicably chose to rip lighting fixtures OFF OF THE WALL, stripping the paint and creating a huge amount of damage to Dorinda's beloved Blue Stone Manor. Of course, Ramona left without so much as an acknowledgement or apology for literally destroying part of Dorinda's home. If I were her, I would honestly never invite the 'Wives for as much as a visit ever again.

Back in NYC, Carole shows Tinsley an open apartment in her building (she's finally ready to escape the confines of Lady Morgan's townhouse), Luann and her fianceé Tom D'Agostino host a small pre-wedding luncheon at Philippe before heading to Palm Beach for their big day. Dorinda is the only 'Wife in attendance, but there's another pair of very familiar face at the table: OG Housewife Jill Zarin! Every true RHONY fan knows this cameo by Jill is epic - it's the first time we've seen her on the show since her messy firing following Season 4. Of course Jill and her husband Bobby scored an invite to Lu's wedding, considering that the pair have remained thick as thieves since Jill's departure from the show.

As Luann and Dorinda rehash the drama from the Berkshires for the table, Jill admits she "sometimes miss[es] the gossip" and has more than a few opinions about Ramona's recent bad behavior. Waving her hands like a true Jewish yenta, Jill promptly calls her legendary frenemy "so obnoxious" and posits that she must be deeply unhappy in her life to be constantly lashing out at the other women and digging up dirt on Tom's past (and current?) indiscretions. As the old adage goes, misery loves company. Unsurprisingly, she also wishes aloud that Luann had invited her former-BFF-turned-mortal-enemy Bethenny to the wedding just so she would have a chance to see her and say hello. Jill's appearance is just the jolt this season has so desperately needed and all of a sudden I'm wondering...am I ready for Jill Zarin to come back to RHONY as a full-time Housewife?

Quite honestly, the rest of the episode feels like a whole bunch of filler - including Bethenny and Ramona avoiding each other at an art show hosted by Carole, nude paintings with Carole's boobs on full display at said art show and Luann and Tom saying goodbye to NYC as they head to Palm Beach for their wedding. And next week, the Countess loses her title as she says "I do" to become Mrs. D'Agostino.

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Were you happy to see Jill back on the show, even if it was brief? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Ramona? Has the Singer Stinger finally lost it? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 7 - Airing Your Dirty Laundry

Glenn Rowley

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Wow. That may have just been the most entertaining episode we've seen in years on The Real Housewives of New York City. Possibly in the history of the entire Housewives franchise. As Bethenny clashes with Sonja over her "cheater" brand, Ramona, Dorinda and John get into an epic - and I mean EPIC - screaming match on the streets of the Big Apple. Read on for a complete recap of all the drama and chaos...

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The Countess is officially moving into Lady Morgan's townhouse! Luann de Lesseps arrives on the Upper East Side with her luggage in tow, anxious to rehash the events of Sonja Morgan's birthday party the night before. She was supportive yet surprised by the announcement of Tipsy Girl, Sonja's line of Prosecco and rosé, at the party and asks whether Lady Morgan has mentioned the new business venture to Bethenny Frankel yet. Sonja hasn't said a word yet to the Skinnygirl mogul. While Luann points out the obvious similarity between the names of the two brands, Sonja thinks it's just a happy coincidence that they both have "girl" in their names. Besides, she's convinced that as her unofficial business mentor, Bethenny is going to be excited about the fact that she's getting into the alcohol business and be nothing short of completely supportive. 

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However, word of the new business has already reached Bethenny courtesy of an article in Page Six about the similarities between Skinnygirl and Tipsy Girl. She meets Carole Radziwill and Ramona Singer for dinner at NoMo in the heart of Soho and Ramotional fills the other two 'Wives in on all the details from Sonja's birthday party. Bethenny finds being dragged into the press by the Page Six story to be an annoyance to say the least, and thinks Sonja's only using her to get publicity for her latest fake business. Ramona wonders aloud if Sonja really knows what she's doing, but both Bethenny and Carole believe Lady Morgan is precisely aware of the game she's playing. Bethenny calls the move "disgusting" and chalks it up to Sonja being narcissistic, then informs the other 'Wives that Sonja dropping by the Skinnygirl offices the next day. However, Bethenny's already hurt that Sonja would so blatantly attempt to rip off the brand she's spent years building, so Lady Morgan might not love the visit she's in for. Bethenny also declares that it's the last conversation Sonja's going to have with her - as Carole points out in her confessional, Sonja bumbling her way into this shady business deal may have just cost her a friendship.

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The next morning, Dorinda Medley invites Ramona to breakfast at iconic NYC eatery Sarabeth's Bakery. The restaurant holds lots of history for the longtime pals, and Dorinda's hoping that the setting will remind Ramona of the importance of their friendship, which is currently being strained by Ramotional's constant drama with her boyfriend John Mahdessian. Dorinda spends much of the meal advising Ramona over her floundering friendship with Sonja, but at the same time is trying to get the OG to see how her advice also applies to the two of them. Eventually, Dorinda comes right out and tells Ramona that, for the sake of their friendship, the constant John-bashing has to stop. She explains that she would always be supportive of the choices Ramona makes - especially when it comes to dating - and she's simply asking for the same thing in return. Even if Ramona has to fake it, she needs to be nicer to John. 

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Sonja arrives at the Skinnygirl office somehow under the impression that she's walking into some sort of business meeting with Bethenny. She's excited to tell her unofficial "mentor" all about Tipsy Girl, but Bethenny is ready to give her a cold, hard reality check. As soon as Sonja starts talking about her new Prosecco and all the distributors she and her partners are working with, Bethenny demands names. When the only thing Sonja can come up with is "all the distributors," B goes in on her hard, calling her a "fraud" who's managed to create smoke and mirrors around "six fake businesses." Bethenny calls B.S. on everything Sonja's done - from the toaster oven and the Caburlesque to the Gold and White Diamond Collection and the Nigerian football team that never was. The Skinnygirl educates Sonja on the fact that when someone deliberately rips off another person's successful business idea, it's called a "cheater brand" and accuses her of doing exactly that with Tipsy Girl. Sonja's defense is that she's merely trying to get back to where she was before filing for her chapter 11 bankruptcy. Sonja starts breaking down in tears as she tries to explain that she looks up to Bethenny and just thought that breaking into the alcohol industry would be a good way for her to get ahead too, but B isn't buying it. Once Sonja stops crying, Bethenny declares that she's done with the conversation and sends Sonja down the elevator in an entirely different type of walk of shame than she's used to taking. 

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We get a brief respite from the drama courtesy of Jules Wainstein, who's interviewing for a new nanny after her previous one up and left without so much as a goodbye to the kids. Within 10 seconds of the interview, I'm laughing out loud as Jules grills her prospective nanny on whether she's willing to stand in line for hours at the Bonpoint sample sale and if she can do blow-outs. The interview turns into an impromptu test when Jules asks the would-be nanny to hypothetically put together an outfit for two-year-old Rio and while the applicant passes with her outfit in shades of gray, she fails for not being able to speak Spanish fluently. Back to square one, Jules.

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Meanwhile, Carole's back in domestic bliss now that her hot boyfriend Adam Kenworthy has returned from Ethiopia. The couple has decided to combine their respective talents as a chef and a writer by penning a cookbook together, tentatively titled "The Reluctant Vegan." This is very interesting, but I'm too distracted by how amazing Adam's long mane of hair is to pay more attention to his actual vegan diet. As for the book of essays Writer Girl was supposed to be working on all last season? Yeah, she's decided writing a cookbook about her love of processed foods is more fun, so she and her editor mutually decided to part ways and revisit the other project at a later date. As it turns out, Carole didn't seem to be enjoying her process with that book last season anyway, and I'm fine with whatever allows for Writer Girl to pen her weekly blogs for Bravotv.com.

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That night, Luann meets Ramona and Sonja downtown for dinner at Sushi Roxx, which has been referred to by the New York Post as NYC's "most bizarre new theatrical dinner experience." It's the trio's first stop of the night, and Ramonja spend much of the meal breaking wine glasses and gossiping about Luann's revolving door of male paramours. (This is apparently happening off-camera.) In fact, the Singer Stinger can't resist but repeat a vulgar tidbit of information she learned from former Housewife Aviva Drescher's ex-husband Harry Dubin about the Countess's proclivities in bed. It's too forward to write in this recap, but feel free to go back and re-watch the episode if you're dying to find out. But as Ramotional would say, when it rains, it pours and when you're wet, you're wet. Changing the subject from this lively, salacious subject, Sonja fills Luann in on her terse exchange with Bethenny over Skinnygirl vs. Tipsy Girl. The Countess claims she can't believe Bethenny would be so aggressive, but earlier in the episode she specifically commented on how nonchalant Sonja was being over the similarities between the two brands. 

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Leaving Sushi Roxx, the three 'Wives head to Madame Paulette's, where Dorinda and John are throwing a party to showcase the designs of fashion designer Malan Breton. Dorinda is shocked to see Ramona show up - considering the event is at John's place of business, Dorinda specifically chose not to send the OG an invite to the party. However, Luann is even more stunned to see someone else at the party: some creepy guy named Rey whom she had a summer fling with in Ibiza. After a tense exchange where Luann questions whether her ex is sober and an obviously inebriated Rey claims he's having a mental breakdown upon seeing her at the party, Luann hightails it out of the event and hails a cab back to Sonja's. Seeing the Countess in such obvious distress, Ramona naturally invites Rey over to see if he has any dirt. He's very drunk and very obnoxious, as he drunkenly gets in Sonja's face, calls her a bitch and begs the pair of 'Wives not to tell Luann about his "super-hot" girlfriend. How exactly did this guy get into the party? Seeing Rey starting to cause a scene, John walks over with Dorinda to ask him to leave, and this is where things take a disturbing, chaotic turn. For some reason, Ramona decides that now is the appropriate time to insert herself into the confrontation by sticking up for Rey. The argument quickly escalates as Ramona takes a stand against Dorinda's boyfriend, and John decides to kick Ramona out of the party along with the creepy ex-boyfriend and puts his hand in her face to make his point.

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This sends Ramona into a rage as she screams at both Dorinda and John that she never wants to be in the presence of the mafioso dry cleaner ever again. However, even as Ramona storms out of the party with Rey on her heels, the fight isn't over. Continuing the screaming match out on Second Avenue, Dorinda can't believe Ramona had the audacity to ruin yet another of her parties, especially after she promised to be kinder to John just the day before. Ramona shrieks that she doesn't even know how the altercation happened and it's not her fault, at which point Dorinda redirects her rage towards a sloppy Rey. The entire situation devolves into chaos as Dorinda threatens to call the cops on Luann's creepy ex if he doesn't walk away, all while Ramona's still screaming about how everything was John's fault. Once she angrily forces Ramona to leave the event, Dorinda decides she's done too and hails a cab. As John begs her to stay (while at the same time calling Ramona "not even a woman"), Dorinda lashes out at him as well, slurring that he should know better than to put his hand in a woman's face. The episode ends with emotions all around at an all-time high and viewers left wondering what exactly what kind of brawl they just witnessed on the sidewalks of Midtown...

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Are you Team Skinnygirl or Team Tipsy Girl? Who's to blame for the blow-up at Madame Paulette's: Ramona, John, Dorinda, Rey or all of them put together? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 6 - Tipsying Point

Glenn Rowley

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Things are beginning to get tipsy on The Real Housewives of New York City! While drama once again boils over between some of the 'Wives at an ill-fated psychic reading, another celebrates her birthday with a surprising announcement that may put her in the crosshairs of a business empire. #businessbyBravo, right? Read on for my complete break down of this week's episode...

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Over on the Upper East Side, Sonja Morgan starts her morning with a typical facial made out of human stem cell from the infamously gossipy Satoko Yamazaki. The facialist laments no longer being able to get human placenta from the black market, which might seem like something you don't want to admit on national TV, but Satoko has never been known for her subtlety. (Just ask the Countess.) Always the queen of multi-tasking, Sonja's busy planning her upcoming birthday party while she's laying on the massage table. Satoko doesn't make the guest list for the party, but for some reason Sonja assumes that even though some of her cast mates have yet to RSVP to the affair, they'll still be there. I may need to dust off my etiquette books from when RHOP ended, but I'm pretty sure that's the exact opposite of what an RSVP actually means...

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Meanwhile, Carole Radziwill has invited most of the other 'Wives to her chic apartment in the West Village for a good, old-fashioned psychic reading. After last season's hauntingly successful trip to the Turkish coffee grounds reader, Dorinda Medley is particularly jazzed about this next encounter with the paranormal courtesy of famed psychic medium Kim Russo. Based on numerous past experiences, otherworldly figures seem to positively adore our Dorinda. Bethenny Frankel and Jules Wainstein, on the other hand, are more than a little skeptical about the activity - what with the former being the most natural cynic of the bunch and the newbie's devout Jewish faith putting psychic readings strictly on the no-no list. As the ladies gather in Carole's living room, Kim Russo starts with Jules, picking up energy that the newbie is connecting with her life's mission to be a role model for other women. Jules is touched by this, explaining in her confessional that she hopes opening up about her past eating disorder can help make a difference in other people's lives. 

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However, Kim Russo quickly moves on to Dorinda with news that someone named John is trying to contact her. Turns out that Dorinda has more than a couple Johns in her life - including her boyfriend John Mahdessian, her father, her brother AND her grandfather just to name a few. In an instance of hilariously perfect timing, Ramona Singer arrives late, barging in and interrupting the reading before any John can get his message delivered. At this point, a pair of brothers reach out to Kim Russo, and they turn out to be Dorinda's late husband Richard and his brother Robert. After a touching moment where the psychic validates a promise Richard made to Dorinda before his death, she asks whether the gangster 'Wife wants to know what Richard thinks of John. Kim Russo then proceeds to tell Dorinda that Richard thinks her current boyfriend is "good for now" but can't provide her with the safety and security she needs long-term. She also predicts that Dorinda will one day get married again, but it won't be to John. This revelation prompts a classic, unfiltered response from the Ramonacoaster, who lets slip a relieved "thank God."

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Naturally, this side comment sets Dorinda off, and she lets Ramona have it. Sick of hearing all the negativity about John, Dorinda points out that if Ramona was a good friend she would be supportive of their relationship, and tells her to keep her mouth shut. Furthermore, Dorinda informs Ramona that John isn't exactly her biggest fan either - in fact, he thinks she's nothing more than a "bitch." When will the Housewives learn their lesson? Do not say a bad word about John Mahdessian around Dorinda. It's really as simple as that. To drive the point home, Dorinda rather snidely hits below the belt, tauntingly reminding Ramona that Mario left her for a younger woman. Ouch. Kim Russo awkwardly moves on to Ramona, predicting that she'll also get married again and sending her a message from her late father, but the damage has been done and tensions remain high for the rest of the reading. Dorinda is clearly heartbroken by all the negativity and feels it's ruining her 20+-year friendship with Ramona.

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The next day, Carole visits Jules at her apartment in the Flatiron District to rehash all the surprising drama and revelations from the psychic reading. (Quick side note: apparently Jules doesn't know what an iPod is? Or how to make tea? Seriously?) Carole asks Jules if she understood what the medium was talking about when she said she'd be a role model to other women, and the newbie confides in Writer Girl about her past struggles with an eating disorder. In her confessional, Carole admits she isn't exactly surprised by this news - considering Jules's "unnaturally thin" frame and preoccupation with food. Even during this chat, she's set out an entire table's worth of food that the two of them couldn't possibly finish by themselves. Jules opens up to Carole that she hopes sharing her life experience can inspire the younger generation of girls who are struggling with their own eating disorders. Carole eloquently explains that everyone's mission in life essentially comes down to one thing: "to articulate your suffering in a way that emancipates you and empowers [others]." She then encourages Jules to think about how she wants to articulate her journey to others, whether that's through giving speeches, working with university students or even writing a book. And if she needs a good ghostwriter, Writer Girl might just be able to recommend one...

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Next, Dorinda meets John at Il Mulino Prime for a fancy dinner date. After being burned by the drama with Ramona at the psychic reading, Dorinda comes to the restaurant still feeling upset, and just wants John to be an empathetic ear she can vent to. However, as she opens up about what happened with Ramona, it quickly becomes clear that John's much more interested in making the drama all about him. As he repeatedly interrupts her story, Dorinda loses her patience and declares that she's officially done with the drama, storming out of the restaurant. As an unabashed fan of Dorinda, it's hard to watch her feel like no one is really on her side. In my recap of her very first episode as a Housewife, I specifically pointed out that she was empathetic and compassionate as she supported Ramona through her issues with Mario. She deserves the same type of respect and support back from the important people in her life.

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While Bethenny braves the rain to launch her new Skinnygirl Bars and Protein Shakes, the night of Sonja's birthday party arrives and all of the 'Wives show up other than B and Carole. (Because that's what it means when you don't RSVP.) As the party begins, Ramona gathers Sonja, Jules and Dorinda to regale them with the story of the re-gifted necklace Luann de Lesseps gave her on her birthday. Of course, the Countess manages to make her grand entrance just as the story is wrapping up and pulls Ramona aside with an entire different bone to pick with the Singer Stinger. Luann wants to know why Ramona's so opposed to the idea of her staying with Sonja, and Ramotional rather abruptly blurts out that the Countess moving in will turn Sonja's townhouse into a veritable brothel. Harsh, but true? An insulted Luann counters that her fellow OG is being hypocritical about her own Turtle Time, but I think Ramona has a point here. With the reputation Luann has developed as a major partier with a penchant for bringing random men home with her at all hours of the night - a la last season's trip to the Turks and Caicos - it's probably not the best environment for Sonja to bring into her home. However, the most hilarious part of this argument is Jules managing to eavesdrop on the conversation with the help of her husband.

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As the argument concludes, Dorinda asks Luann if it was about the necklace, at which point Ramona is forced to confront her over the gift in front of all the other girls. Luann can't believe what she's hearing, but Ramona thinks it was in awfully poor taste for her to present Bethenny with an engraved, monogrammed Carlos Falchi purse at the Ramonacoaster's own birthday party while she gave the actual birthday girl a necklace for the second time. In her confessional, the Countess amusingly points out that Ramona isn't even using the term "re-gift" correctly: it's actually when someone gives you a gift and you turn around and give it to someone else. But that's neither here nor there. Either way, Dorinda finds the conversation to be hilarious and so do I. Please never change, Ramona Singer. 

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At this point, John quiets the room for Sonja to make a birthday toast. However, Lady Morgan has more than just a speech up her sleeve. Raising her glass, Sonja announces that she's launching a new line of Prosecco as her latest business venture. She she says, anyone who knows her, knows she drinks an awful lot of the Italian sparkling wine. Oh, but that's not all! The name of the new Prosecco line is Tipsy Girl. Hmm...as Ramona and Jules are both quick to point out, Sonja's branding sounds an awful lot like Bethenny's Skinnygirl empire. And we all know how protective Bethenny is when it comes to the brand she's built. While Dorinda thinks there's room for everyone when it comes to starting companies and opines that Bethenny won't care, Jules asks Sonja point blank if she talked to the Skinnygirl before starting such a similar brand. I mean, Bethenny even has her own Prosecco! Sonja claims she can't wait to get the business maven's opinion and wishes she had come to the party, but we'll have to wait until next week to find out how Bethenny reacts to the news. (Hint: it's not going to be pretty.)

What did you think of this week's episode of RHONY? Do you believe in psychics or are you more skeptical? Do you side more with Luann or Ramona in the great re-gifting debate? How do you think Bethenny will feel about Sonja's new Tipsy Girl brand? Leave your thoughts and opinions below in the comments!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 5 - Birthday Bashing

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of New York City, it's one OG's annual birthday celebration while the rookie of the group opens up about a shocking personal secret from her past. Read on to find out what the newest Housewife on the block revealed while trying to bond with Bethenny Frankel...

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While Bethenny packs for a trip with her five-year-old daughter Bryn, Carole Radziwill meets Dorinda Medley at Tasca Chino for tapas. As Carole sits down, she asks Dorinda if they can get catty for a moment. (Hello, of course you can, this is Housewives!) Radzi jokes that she didn't quite understand Jules Wainstein's house in the Hamptons - the newbie said it had been under renovation for years, but there was no equipment or construction tools to be seen. More importantly though, the brunch Jules held for everyone was full of nothing but tension and awkwardness. Jules arrives late to the meal and Carole immediately brings up the brunch and apologizes for her mean girlish behavior. However, Jules quickly brushes off Carole's behavior, choosing instead to pin the disastrous morning on Bethenny. After just a select few interactions with her, Jules hasn't come away with a positive impression of the Skinnygirl, and proceeds to air her multitude of grievances to Carole and Dorinda. Carole promises that Bethenny is better once you get to know her, but for now the newbie's not buying it. However, she's willing to give B a second chance to make a good first impression and decides to invite her to lunch one-on-one later in the week. 

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Meanwhile, Ramona Singer drops by Sonja Morgan's townhouse on the Upper East Side with big news: her divorce from Mario is final and she has the papers to prove it. Regardless of how much she and Sonja butcher the word "solemnize," her marriage to Mario is officially over. However, Ramona has more on her mind than just her newly-christened single status. When Sonja makes the excuse that she missed Bethenny's birthday BBQ in the Hamptons because she was away with her daughter, Ramona corrects her by informing her that she simply wasn't invited. Ouch. According to Ramona, Bethenny didn't want Sonja at the party because she's embarrassed by how drunk she gets and didn't want Lady Morgan causing a scene.

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All of a sudden, Ramona is staging an impromptu intervention for her bestie, explaining that she's tried to distance herself from Sonja lately because her drinking has gotten so out of hand. Sonja, however, is having none of this talk, and hilariously thanks Ramona for "sharing" her feelings. Lady Morgan then deftly changes the subject by filling Ramotional in on Luann de Lesseps' housing situation - or lack thereof. Apparently Sonja has agreed to let the Countess move in with her on a sort of trial run to see how it goes. Ramona thinks this is a terrible idea and opines that Luann will be a terrible influence on the Frack to her Frick. Keeping up with the Countess's hard-partying ways is the last thing Sonja needs.

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A few days later, Jules and Bethenny finally meet one-on-one for lunch. Bethenny goes into the meal knowing she needs to apologize for the brunch in the Hamptons, and cops to feeling uncomfortable because of the lingering tension with Dorinda's boyfriend John Mahdessian. Now, I'm not sure if Jules is just nervous about the meeting or intimidated by Bethenny but the newbie stumbles over her words and struggles to even form a sentence as she tries to tell Bethenny how offended she was by the Skinnygirl's comments about her home. In fact, it reaches a point where Bethenny is essentially helping the rookie construct her own argument against her - in the case of Frankel v. Wainstein, Bethenny turns into the lead prosecutor!

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As the two 'Wives finally begin to bond, Jules opens up about the fact that she never graduated from college despite going for seven years. Naturally, Bethenny asks why and the rookie reveals that throughout her teens and early twenties, she struggled with an eating disorder. Jules fight with the disease was so bad that she eventually reached a meager eighty pounds and questioned whether she would ever be able to have children because of it. It's true that you're never cured from an eating disorder, but 13 years later she's happy and at a healthy weight. The newbie confides in Bethenny that she's very open about the eating disorder because it helps keep her accountable and not fall back into old behaviors. Having watched her estranged mother battle an eating disorder for most of her life, this topic is right in Bethenny's wheelhouse and she tearfully empathizes with Jules while applauding her bravery for opening up about her struggle. These two got off to a rocky start, but it finally feels like they've bonded over something real, deep and genuine in their lives. 

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The next day, Carole and Bethenny join Ramona for lunch at her apartment while Jules meets Dorinda for pedicures on the Upper East Side. Naturally, the topic of conversation in both groups is a rehash of the aforementioned lunch. Both Jules and Bethenny feel much better about developing a relationship with one another and came out of the meal with a newfound mutual respect. Jules alludes to the fact that she was very forthright and honest in their conversation, but Bethenny doesn't say a word about the eating disorder - explaining in her confessional that it's absolutely not her secret to tell. Ramona's also anxious to discuss her upcoming birthday lunch - the storied, annual event that shuts down a restaurant on the Upper East Side and brings together her 60 closest girlfriends. The OG wonders if Carole will be OK with seeing Luann there since it's such a large group, and Radzi insists she will be more than fine. Bethenny, on the other hand, isn't quite as sure where she stands with the Countess. It turns out that when she hosted Kyle Richards and the rest of the RHOBH ladies at her house in the Hamptons over the summer, Luann badgered her endlessly to get an invite to the dinner party and accused her of being "uncool" when she explained that it wasn't her party to invite people to. While the two OGs bonded upon Bethenny's return to the series last year, the Countess has slipped back into her old slithery ways and B wants to keep her at a safe distance. 

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At last, Ramona's yearly birthday luncheon is upon us and, much to her chagrin, many of the 'Wives show up in varying shades of her signature Ramona Red. As Ramotional's off-camera girlfriends fawn over her eight-month-old haircut, Bethenny makes the hilarious observation that it appears these Upper East Side ladies who lunch seem to have put themselves on ice for the last year. They literally look exactly the same as they did at Ramona's birthday lunch last season! Luann arrives bearing two separate gifts - one for the actual birthday girl and one for Bethenny, since her present apparently wasn't ready on the day of her party. This is less-than-ideal gifting etiquette to begin with (especially for a birthday diva like Ramona), but the situation gets worse when the two 'Wives open their gifts next to each other. The Countess decided to get Bethenny a monogrammed Carlos Falchi purse while regifting Ramona a necklace from her Countess Collection that she had to get fixed. I wonder what Class with the Countess has to say about this birthday faux pas...

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Pulling her aside, Luann tells Bethenny in her most heartfelt voice that she wanted to give her the handbag as a way of telling her how much she loves her and considers her family. Bethenny, however, is somewhat perplexed by the gift and points out that Luann has given her incredibly mixed signals as of late. One minute she's chewing the Skinnygirl out over text for not including her in filming with the RHOBH women and the next she's buttering her up with an expensive purse at another 'Wife's birthday party. Bethenny then pointedly accuses the Countess of constantly failing to own her behavior - in her on-camera life or otherwise. Luann seems blindsided by Bethenny's issues with her and argues that her fellow OG has had over four months to bring them up with her. Further, when it came to Kyle and the other Beverly Hills 'Wives coming to the Hamptons, Luann explains that she merely wanted to be included. After all, with her younger son Noel off to college, she's officially become an empty and it gets lonely. Even now, she doesn't have an apartment in the city and is living out of a suitcase. Eventually the pair manage to hug it out, but it seems that Bethenny isn't quite ready to buy into a renewed friendship with the Countess, engraved Carlos Falchi bag included.

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As the gaggle of women sit down for lunch, Sonja and Luann corner Dorinda for the details on her life. Remember how they haven't been involved with any of the season's drama yet? Dorinda briefly gives them the rundown on the drama between the other 'Wives and John, and throws out that her costars must be putting her boyfriend through the ringer because they're just jealous that she's in a happy, committed relationship. Hmm...based on Ramona and Bethenny's reactions to this comment, I'm not sure that assertion holds much water. Dorinda stands to address the roomful of Ramona's closest girlfriends and gives a heartfelt toast to the birthday girl that's chock full of subliminal messaging. As Ramona happily looks on, Dorinda toasts to friendships with women who support and uplift each other, and are there no matter what. Dorinda has made it clear in her confessionals and other scenes that her 20+ year friendship with Ramona has permanently changed because of the drama with John at the lingerie party. Maybe now the OG will get the message? Either way, cheers to the ladies who lunch!

What did you think of this week's episode? How does Jules's eating disorder revelation change your perception of her? Does the Countess need to take a page from her own book when it comes to gifting etiquette? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

RHONY Ssn 8/Ep 3 - The Biggest Boob

Glenn Rowley

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After the disastrous bra party was left in a cliffhanger last week, there was even more drama to come this week on The Real Housewives of New York City. The conflict between Ramona, Bethenny and Dorinda was already at a 10, but was pushed over the edge by Dorinda's boyfriend John jumping into the fray. Can friendships between these New York broads be repaired? Read on to find out...

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The episode picks up right where we left off last week in the middle of the chaos at Dorinda Medley's bra party. The hostess is outside the Gansevoort fuming about being ambushed by Ramona Singer and Bethenny Frankel over rumors of her boyfriend John Mahdessian's unbecoming behavior. Meanwhile Carole Radziwill and newbie Jules Wainstein are trying on bras and debating over which of them is more of a toothpick. In the other corner of the room, Bethenny is coaching Ramona on what exactly she needs to say to apologize to Dorinda. After offering a robotic apology to a stone-cold Doris for repeating what she heard John said about her, six hours and Viagra, Ramona makes a beeline out of the party with Carole close behind.

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Just as it seems the party may be winding down, things from bad to much, much worse. Dorinda calls John to find out if he's picking her up and somehow he's already caught wind of what the other 'Wives were saying about him. Who told John?? Was it the bra lady? Was it production?? Next thing we know, John saunters into the room, clearly inebriated and ready to brawl with Dorinda's friends. Bethenny points out that he seems to be a bit "lit up" with his machismo swagger and pink shirt. Once John sits down, he immediately starts lighting into Bethenny, drunkenly accusing her of ripping off the name of her Skinnygirl brand from the creator of Skinny Cow. B tries rather loudly to explain the difference between the two brands - she's a girl and John's a cow - but there's really no point in trying to argue with John while he's been drinking. Having just put out this fire, Dorinda is humiliated that John is picking a fight at her party and tries to leave, though she's slurring her words after two too many martinis. Fiercely defensive of the business empire she's built, Bethenny obviously doesn't take kindly about John's accusations, getting in his face and snidely asking if he'd like to "blow some lines and talk the story through." One thing every person on RHONY should know by now: do not mess with the Skinnygirl's business. He then switches tactics, nastily throwing out that Bethenny is just jealous of his relationship with Dorinda because she's alone and miserable and doesn't know what real love feels like. Ouch. Low blow John.

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A tipsy Dorinda tries to keep the argument from escalating further, telling both John and Bethenny that they've "broken [her] heart" and forcing John to wait outside in the hallway. After seeing John's drunken display of aggression, Bethenny feels vindicated in her argument with Dorinda, pointing out that John just proved everything B thought about him to be completely accurate. As the only calm person in the room, Jules tries her best to defuse the tension by simultaneously talking John down outside while trying to get Dorinda to let the whole thing go. The night ends up nothing short of a complete and total disaster, with Dorinda falling to pieces and sobbing in Bethenny's arms before storming out with a bra in her purse. In her confessional, Dorinda vows never to be with John again while also admitting that she has no desire to go forward in her friendships with the girls either. 

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The next day, Carole calls Bethenny while walking her dog Baby to get the scoop on what she missed after leaving the party. Still reeling from the nuclear-level fallout from the night before, Bethenny can't even put it into words yet and promises to fill Radzi in later. The more pressing issue for Carole is whether or not Luann de Lesseps will really be coming to B's birthday in the Hamptons that weekend. The Skinnygirl says Luann did RSVP but Carole can easily avoid her biggest frenemy in the group. Besides, after everything that happened at Dorinda's bra party, the tension between Carole and the Countess is hardly a blip on anyone's radar.

Speaking of the Countess, she's busy going apartment hunting with her old friend and realtor Ann Lenore, who happened to be Luann's very first roommate when she moved to NYC 30 years ago. Sonja Morgan's along for the ride too, and as the three scope out a pied-à-terre on the Upper East Side, Lu regales the other women with a story about bringing two random Italian men home when she first moved to Manhattan and almost finding herself in a threesome. Hmm I'm starting to sense a pattern here about stories involving Luann and Italian men...Also of note, for possibly the first time ever I actually like the pink draped jacket with black leather trim the Countess is wearing.

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Later that evening, Ramona heads over to the Skinnygirl office to rehash everything from the bra party with Bethenny. First she reads a string of emotional texts from Dorinda, who is still heartbroken by her betrayal and says Ramotional used to be her "safe place." Bethenny then reenacts the confrontation between her and John, leaving Ramona stunned that Dorinda's boyfriend would launch such a full-scale verbal attack against the Skinnygirl herself. To get more perspective on the issue, the pair of OGs call Jules, who seems overwhelmed that they are asking her to speak against John and Dorinda - the couple that brought her into the group. So far, the newbie doesn't seem to function too well in confrontation, and it appears she may be out of her depth with this group of broads. To fix their fractured friendship, Bethenny suggests that she, Ramona and Dorinda go to dinner alone that weekend in the Hamptons to hopefully smooth things over. Now if only B had used the gift certificate John gave her for free dry cleaning...

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Rather than stay with Ramona after their blowout, Dorinda and John decide to stay at Jules and Michael's house in Water Mill, which happens to be under massive amounts of construction. After a lightning-fast shabbat involving Hawaiian Punch and breadsticks, the Wainsteins welcome Dorinda and John with open arms as their guests for a weekend in the Hamptons. However, before the good times can begin, Dorinda has to go meet B and Ramona, a.k.a the "Witches of East Hampton," for their aforementioned summit dinner. Jules is quick to point out that Bethenny was the one who started the drama, but Dorinda still feels more betrayed by what Ramona said, since she was supposed to have been her dear friend of over 20 years. Depsite telling John at the bra party that she never wanted to see him again, Dorinda is committed to her man, and tells Jules and Michael that if the other women can't be nice to John, they won't be friends with her. 

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When the three 'Wives arrive for dinner, Dorinda is ready for round two with the OGs, while Bethenny and Ramona want to fix things and move forward. B starts the conversation by asking if the relationship between the other two women is OK, but Dorinda won't even make eye contact when talking to Ramona. She's still completely floored by everything that went down, particularly because she's so personal and private about anything to do with her love life. (She also insists that John wouldn't even want anyone to know he's on Viagra because he thinks he's "more virile than that," and I can't help but wonder what he thinks about millions of Housewives fans across the country knowing that little tidbit of information...) Dorinda demands to know why Ramona would say something like that in front of other people (as well as cameras), calling her behavior "low-class," "disgusting" and "despicable." 

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Bethenny hits the pause button on the conversation, telling Dorinda she needs to check herself. Dorinda obviously disagrees, but Bethenny came to the dinner thinking she was the one who deserved an apology for all the nasty things John said to her. B points out that John singlehandedly walked into the bra party and proved every shady thing she thought about him to be true and then some. She point blank says that Dorinda is in denial over her boyfriend, and Dorinda's response is to just let her be in denial then. The good news is that neither Bethenny nor Ramona have to be part of her relationship with John - Dorinda has run her life on her own for 50 years now and isn't going to start asking for anyone's approval about who she should date. If John really is as bad as the other 'Wives think he is, Dorinda has to be the one to figure that out herself. That being said, she does apologize to Bethenny for John's drunken verbal attack, conceding that he absolutely had no place being there. Eventually, Dorinda breaks down in tears, telling the other women she recognizes they were both just trying to look out for her, but has had enough negativity to last a lifetime and simply can't handle any more. She loves John. End of story. Apologies are made all around and by the end of the episode, the three are laughing and joking like old friends. Dorinda may be willing to move forward, but as she states in her confessional, the winds have officially changed and things are different now.