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Real Housewives

Filtering by Category: Recap

RHONY S9/Ep 11 Recap - A Countess No More

Glenn Rowley

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After two seasons of waiting, Countess Luann loses her title and finally walks down the aisle on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City. Plus, Sonja's relationship takes a serious turn, several familiar faces pop up in Palm Beach and the 'Wives gather for a celebration of the wedding they were never invited to! Read on for a full (short) recap of Lu and Tom's wedded bliss...

It's Christmastime in the city and Sonja Morgan has gotten herself into a bit of a love triangle. Things are getting unexpectedly serious with Edgar, her paramour a la francaise otherwise known as "Frenchie" - so much so that he's staying the night and making breakfast in the morning. This is great for Tinsley Mortimer because who doesn't love a free meal, but now Sonja's balancing one serious relationship with Frenchie and another with Rocco. The former even knows about the latter, but Lady Morgan has to break the news of the competition to her poor restauranteur kinda-boyfriend. Oh, and she may also want to mention the tiny detail that, in addition to making breakfast in the morning, FRENCHIE HAS MOVED INTO THE TOWNHOUSE. Between Tinsley, Sonja's new fling-turned-something serious and Connor the assistant, it's getting quite crowded inside the Grey Gardens of the Upper East Side.

In the spirit of the season, Bethenny Frankel is hosting her annual holiday party and all of the women are invited except Ramona Singer. Instead, to show just how much she doesn't care about being left out, the Singer Stinger takes daughter Avery and her bevy of 21-year-old pals out for drinks and dinner. Of course, Ramona proceeds to spend the entire night complaining about Bethenny and taking advice on how to handle the situation from a bunch of girls who are barely old enough to drink. In her confessional, Ramotional tries to position herself as a Regina George-level "cool mom" but let's face it: we all know the only reason these girls are out with their friend's mom on a weekend night is because they want to be on camera and comment on Bethenny Frankel's life. You can practically see the desperate schemes in their eyes as they cozy up to Ramona with dreams of being next season's newest Housewife. 

Down in Palm Beach, it's finally time for Luann de Lesseps' New Year's Eve wedding to Tom D'Agostino. Dorinda Medley is a bridesmaid while former NYC Housewives Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon are in the audience. (Inexplicably, Cynthia Bailey of RHOA and Marysol Patton of RHOM are also in attendance but their faces are blurred.) Bravo cameras weren't allowed at the event so after two seasons worth of drama surrounding the big day, all we get are a few minutes of home video footage. However, at the end of the day the Countess seems, if not satisfied, happy with her choice. She's proved all the haters and doubters and trolls wrong and is now officially Luann D'Agostino. 

Somewhere in a dank, dark basement back in New York, the rest of the 'Wives gather for a post-wedding party thrown by the the new Mr. and Mrs. D'Agostino. Sonja brings Frenchie out of the bedroom for the occasion, Tinsley arrives with Hot Chad on her arm, the gang's all here to celebrate a wedding that, ya know, none of them were actually invited to. The ladies politely ooh and ahh over details of Luann's romantic day, but Tom does himself no favors by jokingly revealing that he asked his new bride if he actually had to wear a ring. The comment reeks of a red flag waving over Luann's now-legal marriage but at this point what's done is done. The episode rather hilariously ends with Dorinda giving a sweet toast to make up for her drunken attempt of a speech during last season's engagement party. As she sums the evening up, cheers to the friends who weren't invited!

What did you think of this week's RHONY? Did Luann's fairytale wedding live up to expectations after building up to the moment for the last two seasons? Should Ramona be getting friendship advice from a bunch of 21-year-olds? And how disturbing was that chokehold kiss Tom gave Lu at the post-wedding party?? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

RHOP S2/Ep 10 Recap - Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac, the women head to Bermuda where Karen brokers a peace treaty between Gizelle and Monique while excluding the rest of the 'Wives from a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, the battle of who's hosting the trip continues as Charrisse butts heads with the grande dame, leading to a bombshell accusation off-camera. Read on for a full recap of the many battles in Bermuda...

The 'Wives are ready to jet off to Bermuda but before they leave, a few items of business are left to attend to. Gizelle Bryant is nervous to inform her mother that she's planning on breaking up with Kevin, her quasi-boyfriend. After making an effort to date, she simply doesn't know if she can get him out of the friend zone in her mind and, to Gizelle's surprise, her mom is supportive. Meanwhile, en route to the airport Karen reveals that she and the black Bill Gates are moving to a house she found in Great Falls, VA. That's right, the grande dame is leaving Potomac but she's not ready to tell the rest of the 'Wives just yet that she's vacating the posh 20854 zip code. 

The ladies land in Bermuda, and it quickly becomes apparent that the drama over who's hostessing the trip has followed them from Potomac when their driver appears at the airport holding a sign emblazoned with "Huger + Guests." Then, upon arriving at their fancy luxury resort, the women each receive a welcome basket with a note from Karen - and only Karen - attached. All of the 'Wives are utterly confused over who is hosting this trip and Charrisse Jackson Jordan certainly isn't pleased with being sidelined and given no credit by Karen. All I know is if Sha Sha got a condescending welcome basket, she's going to be ready to throw down with the grande dame. 

However, Karen isn't done quite yet. Next, she treats the ladies to a fancy welcome dinner, complete with an impromptu performance by traditional Bermudian Gombey dancers. During the meal, tension remains thick between the battling hostesses and conversation veers toward a number of controversial topics - from Robyn Dixon's "homework assignment" to go on a date with someone other than Juan to Gizelle not being invited to nemesis Monique Samuels' party last week. Finally, the topic of the Hugers' move comes up, leading Karen to cryptically share that her home sold thanks to a cash offer from overseas. Yet, when the women ask point blank where she and the black Bill Gates are moving, Karen clams up and refuses to answer. Hmm...that's not mysterious at all...

The following day, Charrisse, Robyn and Ashley Darby are ready to hit the beach, only to discover that Karen had yet another trick up her sleeve. The grande dame has secretly arranged a sailing excursion with Team Japan of the American Cup in an effort to get Gizelle and Monique to put their bad blood to rest and move forward. Naturally, finding out they weren't invited on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity leaves the other women feeling blindsided and left out. Wasn't Karen just barely preaching about how this trip is all about sisterhood and bonding at dinner the night before?

Both Gizelle and Monique are less than pleased to discover they're being forced to spend the day together - the look on Gizelle's face when Monique stepped onto the bus says it all. On the way to the marina, the OG and the new girl waste no time once again airing their grievances with each other, (reminder: Gizelle thinks Monique is insecure and Monique thinks Gizelle is jealous), but Karen is determined to force the two to get along despite Gizelle telling her nemesis point blank that she "wouldn't be here" without her husband and his bank account. However, Karen's grand plan works! Once the women get out on the sailboat, they are encouraging and kind to one another, and Gizelle helps Monique overcome her fear of being on the water. By the end of the excursion, the pair even share a hug! It's a Potomac miracle!

However, Karen still has to face the wrath of the other 'Wives when she returns from the sailing expedition. Charrisse has planned a sunset cruise for the evening, but before they set sail, Robyn decides to confront the grande dame in her hotel room for hanging herself, Ashley and Sha Sha out to dry. Karen tries to defend actions by claiming that she would've been in a lose-lose situation had she shared anything about the American Cup beforehand, but Robyn takes her to task by pointing out that excluding half the group only made the grande dame look like a hypocrite. Then, as Robyn storms out, a hot mic catches Karen dropping an off-camera bombshell. Just when she thinks the cameras are down, the grande dame unleashes a vitriolic tirade about Charrisse, whom she mistakenly blames for Robyn's ambush. Calling her frenemy "jealous," "evil" and a "New Jersey harlot," Karen spews out that she's not the one going around Potomac "screwing the fireman" and threatens to post a picture of the still-married Charrisse and the mysterious boyfriend who spawned the cease-and-desist letter to Gizelle as the season began if she comes for the grande dame one more time. And with that earth-shattering revelation, the episode ends with an ominous "To Be Continued..."

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Are you Team Karen or Team Charrisse? Can you believe Gizelle and Monique made up? Do Robyn, Ashley and Sha Sha have a right to be angry for being left out? Leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

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!

RHOP S2/Ep 9 Recap - A Host of Issues

Glenn Rowley

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This week on The Real Housewives of Potomac, Karen and Charrisse butt heads over which 'Wife is hosting the cast trip to Bermuda while Gizelle and Monique's attempt to put their issues to bed only deeps their feud. Plus, Ashley and Robyn reevaluate the future of their respective relationships. Read on for a full recap of the drama, confrontations and shade...

It's the morning after the critics' choice dinner at Oz and Ashley Darby is mustering up the courage to go through the comment cards left by the food bloggers, press and celebrity chefs who attended the event. With hot Chef Brad looking on, Ashley starts reading the reviews and to her surprise and relief, they're mostly positive! Whew! Her husband Michael is noticeably absent for the positive moment, only showing up afterwards with his tail between his legs. Pulling Ashley away from their employees, Michael makes the understatement of the week by pointing out that the couple's verbal assault on each other prior to the event was a "pretty bad" fight and tries to make Ashley promise that they'll never get that heated again. On the one hand, Michael seems remorseful for how he treated his wife, but on the other hand there's a definite undercurrent that he's once again trying to exercise control over her by dictating how she is to feel. Ashley visibly shuts down during the conversation, but thankfully refuses to back down in her confessional. 

Meanwhile, Karen Huger has talked Gizelle Bryant and Monique Samuels into a sit down at hip North Bethesda eatery Summer House Santa Monica to hash out their festering issues with one another. However, the grande dame, who insists on making it clear to the waiter that she is the person hosting this lunch, is less than pleased when Charrisse Jackson Jordan arrives as Monique's uninvited plus one. (Pay attention because Karen's disproportionate displays of pretentiousness and contempt for Charrisse will be important later...)

Gizelle and Monique immediately get into it, sparring back and forth over who wronged who first. The newbie claims Gizelle has been judgmental and hostile from the moment they met while the OG points out that Monique was the one who called her a "stuck up trick" behind her back after throwing Gizelle out of her home. According to Monique, the definition of trick is "childish" (it's not), but Gizelle thinks the language barrier here is that the new girl speaks "trick trash" and can't hold a mature conversation. Yeah, this isn't going well...The issue of Monique asking - or telling, depending on who you're asking - Gizelle for her number following the PAVE event then gets brought up and fingers start flying over a battle of semantics as the women snap at each other. (Note to Mrs. Samuels: telling someone you were going to apologize isn't the same as actually apologizing.) Ultimately nothing is resolved between the two, despite Charrisse's tearful urging that they get along for her sake.

Good news! Karen and the black Bill Gates have sold their home in Potomac! And not only that, they received a cash offer from overseas. (Apparently the nation of China is buying the Hunger mansion. Does this sound shady to anyone else?) The bad news? The Hugers have just a few weeks to find a new house and move. Thus far in their hunt, nothing has met the grande dame's sky-high expectations, though her top two choices are homes in Great Falls, Virginia. Note, this means they are not in the prime Potomac zip code of 20854...As Charrisse so epically pointed out in the first episode of the season, don't let the zip code fool you, baby!

Following her heart to heart with Dr. Jeff, Robyn Dixon is finally willing to talk to a therapist about her complicated relationship with Juan. The question of whether the former high school sweethearts will move forward or move apart remains large and looming in Robyn's mind, though she avoids forcing the conversation with Juan. At first, Robyn seems to have a difficult time answering the therapist's questions personally, but eventually is coaxed to admit that yes, she does want love in her life. However, she doesn't know if she's ready to start dating other people, so the therapist gives her a homework assignment to go on one date with someone other than Juan as a way to find out what her heart is looking for.

Over at the Jordan mansion, Karen drops by for a poolside chat with Charrisse. (Emphasis on pool-side since the grande dame refuses to hop on a pink flamingo pool toy.) Karen suggests that all the ladies are ready for a vacation and enlists Potomac's resident social director to help plan the trip. She wants to go somewhere with sandy beaches and blue water - Charrisse throws out Bermuda as an option and we have a winner! In her confessional, Karen is very clear about the fact that Charrisse is helping plan the trip while she's the one hosting it, but when the two run to tell the other women, they both start taking credit for the vacation. Hmm...something's telling me this is going to be a problem...

Monique is throwing a birthday party for one-year-old Milani at her 26-acre, 5500 sq. ft. lake house in far-off Newburg, Md. Complete with a carnival and petting zoo, the pool party is also serving as a dedication ceremony for Monique's daughter and all the ladies are invited with the obvious exception of Gizelle. As the women gather by the pool, everyone's talking about how excited they are for the trip to Bermuda, and that's when Karen and Charrisse start clashing over who's actually hosting the trip. Karen claims Bermuda was her "brainchild" while Charrisse fires back that the only events the grande dame has ever organized were last season's "gala" in her living room and sad-looking couples yacht party. As shade and side-eye goes flying across the table, the tension between these two is thick and it looks like the Battle of the Bermuda Hostesses is officially on.

The next day, Robyn and Gizelle meet to get their lashes done in preparation for Bermuda. Robyn has the unlucky job of informing her bestie that she wasn't invited to Monique's lake house party. Gizelle, however, is entirely unbothered at this news, claiming she wouldn't have gone to the "Gizelle-hater's" party even if she had been on the guest list. At the same time, Karen and Charrisse are going another round over the Bermuda trip at the Huger residence. Calling Sha Sha her "assistant," Karen eventually compromises by allowing Charrisse to put together the itinerary for one day of the trip - as long as the welcome dinner upon arriving on the island is solely in the grande dame's hands. Never have I ever seen a Housewife be this possessive over the cast trip...

The episode ends with Ashley and Michael attempting to put the spark back in their relationship by going to a couple's pottery class a la Ghost. As with earlier in the episode, Michael is bending over backwards to get back in Ashley's good graces, even bringing up having kids as a way of sucking up to his wife. However, Ashley still has a wall up in the wake of their big blow-up at Oz, and squashes any baby talk by admitting she's not thinking about having kids these days. What she's more concerned about is the status of her relationship with her husband - yes, the Darbys love each other, but are they still in love with each other? As she jets off to the middle of the Atlantic, it seems that Little Miss Ashley may be running away from the problems in her relationship. Either way, the girls' trip to Bermuda can't come fast enough.

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Are you Team Karen or Team Charrisse in the Battle of Bermuda? Will Gizelle and Monique ever get past their petty issues? Should Ashley stay with Michael or run for the hills? Leave your thoughts and opinion in the comments below!

RHONY S9/Ep 9 Recap - Two Weeks Notice

Glenn Rowley

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The craziness in the Berkshires continues on this week's episode of The Real Housewives of New York City as Bethenny breaks down to Luann before facing off with Ramona in a no-holds-barred battle royale. And all poor Dorinda wanted was a nice, quiet birthday celebration. In keeping with the tradition of last year's one-act play format, I present this year's trip to the Berkshires in four scenes...

Scene 1 - It'll Only Get Worse, Luann

One by one, the Housewives join Dorinda Medley in her last-minute intervention of Luann de Lesseps (soon-to-be-D'Agostino). As they wander into the conversation, Ramona Singer, Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill each take a turn expressing the piece of gossip they've heard about Lu's fiancé Tom - that he's forcing himself on ex-girlfriends, carrying on full-fledged affairs behind her back and that she's having serious second thoughts about tying the knot. Ramona particularly claims she's simply trying to protect Luann from getting hurt down the road like she did with Mario. After all, if a man begins married life as a serial cheater, the problem is only going to get worse. Up against the barrage, Luann smacks down allegation after allegation, repeatedly insisting that she trusts Tom, is excited to get married and can't wait to spend the rest of her life with the perennial bachelor about town. The wedding is two weeks away and she is untouchable, always circling back to her well-worn excuse that all the other women are just "jealous bitches" of her fairy-tale romance. However, it's telling that the Countess' last word on the matter is how happy she is with the lifestyle Tom has afforded her - the trips to Palm Beach, the penthouse apartment, the security of a man on her arm at all the UES parties. According to Bethenny, that's what this sham of a relationship is about, but if Luann knows what she's getting into and is happy with it, so be it.

Scene 2 - Burning Down the House and Breaking Down the B

While Carole lights a fire (in a non-working fireplace...using Dorinda's wooden door jams) and Tinsley Mortimer vents her frustrations about living with Sonja Morgan, Luann attempts to create a bonding moment with Bethenny over the latter's recently signed divorce papers. The Countess is all Hallmark card slogans and mantras, spouting out fortune cookie sayings about trusting your heart and embracing each chapter of life as it comes. However, the always no-nonsense B isn't having it, and points out that following her heart led her straight into the hellish torture chamber of a situation with her almost-ex-husband Jason Hoppy. Bethenny alludes that what's going on in her personal life is so bad that the ladies couldn't possibly understand. As Carole reveals to the group that it's worse now that it even was when Bethenny was going through her long, nasty, very public divorce, the Skinnygirl has a full-blown emotional meltdown, leaving the room and dissolving into tears.

Luann follows her out to apologize for upsetting her, which leads to a sobbing Bethenny admitting she thinks the Countess is making a huge mistake marrying Tom. B feels confident - in her heart, gut and soul - that Luann's husband-to-be is cheating on her and promises Lu that she doesn't have to go through with the wedding if she's not 100 percent sure. Of course, Luann claims that this emotional display is simply Bethenny projecting her own trust and marital issues onto the situation, but the Skinnygirl has every reason to be wary. As Carole explains to the other women, Bethenny's ex has been constantly harassing her for months - sending threatening emails, voice messages telling her she's a bad mother and, perhaps most creepily, calling her "Bernadette" (which fans know is the name of Bethenny's own estranged, absentee mom). Considering that her ex was arrested last January in the midst of filming for allegedly stalking Bethenny, the hell she's going through is no laughing matter.

Scene 3 - Manic Chocolate Santa Claus

The women convene to the dining room, where Dorinda serves a delicious-looking dinner of roasted chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and cranberry sauce. Out of nowhere, Ramona becomes astonishingly manic during the meal, practically falling over herself to gush compliments about the food (so moist! so succulent!) and squealing hysterically when she wins a giant chocolate Santa. Dorinda points out that Ramona seems extra jittery this evening and is intensifying every little thing. Without a doubt, the Singer Stinger has been - as Dorinda says - "emotionally heightened" so far this season but there's no way of telling what's really going on with her yet. But it's certainly something cuckoo, even Sonja describes her bestie's behavior at the table as "off the Richter scale crazy."

Of course, Ramona chooses the moment Dorinda's birthday cake is served to sidle up to Bethenny and deliver a boozy, whispered apology over the Skinnygirl's shoulder. Yet again, she's attempting to make amends for bringing up Bethenny's daughter Bryn in relation to the B's scandalous role in the recently unearthed B-movie Hollywood Hills, 90028. Equally unsurprising is the fact that this apology leaves Bethenny entirely unaffected. Instead of engaging, she hilariously sums for Tinsley all the reasons Dorinda is the only Housewife invited to Luann's wedding. Exhibit A: Carole's boyfriend used to be Luann's chef, who also happened to date her niece. I mean, watch Season 7. It would be weird. Exhibit B: Ramona dated Tom before Luann and is on a completely unsubtle mission to find every ounce of dirt possible on the guy. Exhibit C: Tom's diamond-shooting dick has literally been inside Sonja. Exhibit D: Last year in this very dining room, Bethenny unleashed a fury of epic rage on Luann, calling her a slut, a whore and every other nasty name in the book. Caught up, Tins?

Scene 4: Are You Kidding Me, Bethenny?

Frustrated that Bethenny won't accept her countless apologies, Ramona corners her frenemy in the living room to try apologizing one more time. Finally fed up, Bethenny agrees that it's time to put all the cards on the table, starting with the fact that - all things considered over their nearly decade-long history - Ramona has not been a good friend to her. As someone who takes her status as a friend very seriously, this is an unforgivable insult to Ramona, akin to character assassination. Unbridled rage lights up in the Singer Stinger's eyes as she belligerently stammers "are you kidding me, Bethenny?" over and over again. And just when the powder keg between the two OGs is about to ignite, the episode ends with a startling "To Be Continued..." 

What did you think of this week's RHONY? How does this year's trip to the Berkshires compare to last season's? Should Luann listen to the other 'Wives? Are you Team Bethenny or Team Ramona? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

RHOP S2/Ep 8 Recap - War of the Darbys

Glenn Rowley

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It's a battle for Oz this week on The Real Housewives of Potomac as Ashley and her husband face off over the future of their restaurant...and their marriage. Read on for a full recap of all the high-stakes relationship drama ahead...

"You've been yelling at me all f*cking day, you f*cking insane a**hole!" With that loving declaration we open smack dab in the middle of an all-out war between Ashley Darby and her husband Michael. She's threatening divorce, he's stomping around outside of their restaurant Oz while swatting at Bravo's cameras and it looks like complete curbside chaos for the couple. But how in the world did we get here?

Rewind to eight days earlier. With profits continuing to flatline and Michael refusing to budge, Ashley's decided to revamp Oz herself. With the help of her chef Brad and his glorious mane, she's bringing the struggling restaurant out of the 1980s and into the 21st century with an updated menu, a new marketing plan and a fresh approach. In an effort to capitalize on the changes, she's hosting a critics' choice dinner for prominent food bloggers, press and the other Housewives, where she'll be unveiling the new menu and other fruits of her labors. Something tells me Michael won't be too happy with his wife going rogue with all these unauthorized changes...

While Robyn Dixon and her ex-husband Juan work together at the first day of their youth basketball camp, Karen Huger has organized a day at Top Golf, sparsely attended by only Ashley and Monique Samuels. While the newest 'Wife is envisioning the golf ball as Gizelle Bryant's head, Little Miss Ashley is still reeling from her back-to-back confrontations with both Charrisse Jackson Jordan and the double team of Robyn and Gizelle. As the self-appointed grande dame of the group, Karen is determined to play peacemaker and wastes no time offering her unsolicited two cents on how each of the younger 'Wives should settle their conflicts with the other women. Specifically, she advises Ashley to check herself, which frankly is something the youngest OG has needed to hear all season long.

Next, Gizelle and her quasi-boyfriend Kevin go on a double date with the grande dame and the black Bill Gates. After racing go karts (Ray came in last place), Karen pulls Kevin aside for a private interrogation, leaving Gizelle to suffer through advice from Ray Huger on how to attract men "while she still can." Kevin admits to Karen that he has long-term commitment on his mind when it comes to Gizelle - his intentions are to end up married just like the Hugers. Hmm...how do we think Gizelle will feel about this information? 

Meanwhile, Ashley's filling her husband in on the restaurant's new menu and her plans for the critics' choice dinner. Michael is taken aback at his wife's initiative in making changes to Oz without his approval, and is more than a little skeptical that she'll be able to successfully pull of such a major event involving bloggers, press and the other Housewives in just a few days. However, Ashley now has something to prove, not only to the rest of the ladies but to her husband as well, and is determined to succeed at saving the land of Oz with or without the Wizard's permission.

The only thing worth mentioning about Karen's boudoir photoshoot for Ray is the perfection that was Gizelle's leopard-print catsuit. Next!

The day of the critics' choice dinner at Oz has arrived and with just one hour before the press arrives, tensions between Ashley and Michael are boiling over. Following an angry phone call Michael peels into the restaurant in an Australian rage, swatting Bravo's cameras away and Ashley is ready for a fight. The war of words between the couple starts in the parking lot: Michael wants to shut down the critics' choice dinner because he disagrees with the new menu but Ashley isn't backing down. She will not be "minimized" or "diminished" and threatens point blank that if Michael shuts down her event, he can kiss their marriage goodbye. And when he pulls the "well, it's my restaurant" card, Ashley storms off fuming. 

Round two begins just a few minutes later as Michael follows his wife into the restaurant and demands that the argument is not over just yet. What comes next is a frank, no-holds-barred conversation in front of the cameras about how Michael leverages his power over Ashley to treat her like a child rather than a partner. For some reason, Michael thinks he's the one who is owed an apology from his wife while following that up with yet another threat to shut down the event because he's the one in charge. As Ashley fights back tears in a supply closet, it's clearer than ever before that her husband holds all the power - not only at the restaurant but in their relationship as well.

However, the show must go on and, as guests and critics arrive for the event, Ashley has no choice but to put on a brave face. The rest of the Housewives show up as well, and Robyn's the first to admit that ambushing her meddling frenemy last week got ugly and she's come to show her support. The event begins and as comment cards get passed around with the new menu items, the drama shifts gears to the bad blood between 'Wives. Ashley attempts to apologize to Charrisse for their dust-up while shopping for dresses, (you know, the one where Sha Sha threatened that she was "'bout five seconds from f*cking [Ashley] up?"), but Charrisse holds her ground that the younger Housewife had no business sticking her nose into everyone else's relationships. 

Ashley calls out what she sees as the rest of the ladies' hypocrisy - specifically that Gizelle can blurt out the fireman rumor about Charrisse on WWHL but she can't spill the tea she heard about Juan dating other people. Fairly, Robyn points out that this isn't the first time Ashley's dug up dirt on her personal life (last season's "$25 in their bank account" Google gossip drama, anyone?) and questions how genuine Ashley's entire 'being a concerned friend' act is. However, when Karen steps in and asks what is going on in Ashley's personal life to make her behavior so messy, the pot stirrer finally caves and admits to all the issues going on with her marriage, the restaurant and her blow-up with Michael. Finally, Little Miss Ashley has a moment of self-awareness, recognizing that she's taking her personal turmoil out on the other women and everyone finally understands what's been going on. Ultimately, the episode still ends on a questionable note, with Ashley admitting in her confessional that if Michael continues to disrespect and diminish her, the relationship will still be over...

What did you think of this week's RHOP? Will Ashley and Michael's relationship survive owning a restaurant? Do Ashley's personal issues justify or excuse her meddling in the lives of her friends? Would you eat Australian food?? Let me know in the comments below!