We start off this week in the Hamptons at Bethenny’s house (who, by the way, has painted the entry gate and front door SkinnyGirlRed™) where she’s getting all set up for her birthday party. Bethenny talking heads that she feels more relaxed and centered in the Hamptons and really wants her party to be a fun and easy affair. HA.
Over at Jules’ construction site house, Dorinda and John get back from a morning walk and Dorinda has ordered John to apologize to Bethenny when they get to the party, which is the right thing to do. We’ve all seen the teaser trailer for this episode, so we know it’s not exactly going to go to plan, but the intentions seem to be there, at least at this stage.
Here’s the thing about a truly good apology- it completely disarms the person you’re fighting with. It’s actually the best weapon you can use in an argument because once you lay out a sincere (or sincere-sounding) “I’m really sorry”, if the other person keeps trying to fight, it makes them look bad. The best offense is a good defense, my friends…
Carole arrives with Baby (the dog) and I’m surprised to see that Bethenny’s dog Cookie, who is usually a hell-beast with people, seems to be pretty dog friendly. Bethenny has hired this giant mobile grill and second only to Patricia’s Flamingo Party, this is my favorite housewives party of this season as far as aesthetics go. It’s “football weather”, they are making Moscow mules, people are wearing sweaters and there’s a legit grill. Sign. Me. Up.
Bethenny says that she just feels bad for Dorinda now, and while she might also be losing respect for her friend, she just wants to wash her hands of it and is off the “break up with John” train. Bethenny says that she knows John will probably be coming today but he shouldn’t (and I agree- because coming to someone’s party right after you’ve fought with them and before you’ve bothered to apologize is ridiculous).
Carole is anxious to see Luann but plans to keep a “friendly distance”. Ramona shows up with a friend (gay friend, not boy-toy-friend) and her dog Coco, so it’s a regular puppy party. I had a puppy party once. A bunch of my friends had recently gotten dogs so we all went to my mom’s house out in the country drank beer and let our dogs run around. We made t-shirts. It was a good day. Anyhow.
Ramona has laser focus this season and only cares about one thing; and that is a thing that none of the ladies possess, so she will be heading back into the city tonight and skipping Jules’ brunch tomorrow because it’s “date night”. Just a reminder, this is the same Ramona who was slut-shaming Sonja earlier this season. Speaking of, MORE SONJA.
Dorinda, John, Jules, and Michael all show up and Bethenny is all Ice-Ice-Baby to John. She doesn’t acknowledge his presence, but is friendly with everyone else. Dorinda picks up on this and talking heads that Bethenny doesn’t seem “open to John”, but why would she be? Dorinda asks John if he’s nervous (he says he isn’t, but he should be) and also if she should be worried about him (he says “absolutely not” but I’d drop the “not”). Bethenny tells some other friends that she’s uncomfortable. But she knew this was coming, and if it was really going to be a problem, she should have asked that he not come- which is an excellent way to lose your Bravo bonus check, but Bethenny is loaded, so who cares?
Bethenny thinks that John and Dorinda must not really remember what happened the night of the Bra Party because if they did, Dorinda wouldn’t have brought John. That’s probably a fair statement. J&D were three sheets to the wind that night, so I would imagine their memory of it is more broad strokes than precise details.
Luann shows up, not with a dog, but with a hula hoop. True story- I used to kick ass at hula hooping and then one day I completely lost the ability. I have no idea what happened. It’s like that portion of my brain was surgically removed. It’s one of the odder phenomena of my life; that and the full body tic I have when children talk in fake accents (specifically British or Irish). Seriously, my entire body starts to shudder.
Anyhow, Luann is there with her hula hoop trying to prove that she is all cool and not at all uncool and she and Carole give a pleasant but cold greeting to one another. It’s a good thing they all have sweaters on because this is the chilliest BBQ ever.
My favorite recap site (other than this one, of course) Realitytea.com tweeted last night that this is the most awkward BBQ and it’s true. It’s also one of the few RHONY events where Ramona isn’t fighting with anyone which is probably why people are just avoiding each other. I think I’ve made it clear where I stand with Ramona, but I will say this for her- she knows how to ruin a party by insisting on airing her grievances right then and there. And isn’t that why we watch these shows? To see parties ruined?
Luann, who if you’ll remember said she has no issues with Carole and that wishes Carole and Adam well, balks that Carole thinks she has any right to be mad at Luann. Luann has clearly forgotten all of the vitriolic hatred she spewed on social media and is only focused on Carole’s actions, which ultimately weren’t bad or all that inappropriate. It’s not like Luann’s niece and Adam were still dating and Carole swooped in and stole him. Is it a weird situation? Yes, but ultimately Carole did nothing wrong.
Dorinda is panicking that the party is almost over and John hasn’t yet apologized to Bethenny, and Ramona has decided to leave because no one is confronting each other and causing a scene so she’s bored. John finally decides he’s buzzed enough to seize the moment and confront Bethenny who looks like she wants a sinkhole to open up below her and swallow her alive. No natural disaster arrives in time to save her, so Bethenny bolts away from John and demands that Carole come with her. It’s a little childish, frankly. Bethenny talking heads that she just wants John to leave her alone and he shouldn’t “follow the tiger around the cage”. Mostly, I just feel bad for Dorinda. She feels like John “tried” and is now mad at Bethenny for being rude to her guests and then Dorinda basically compares John to Hitler.
Luann is in her own world and cackles to Carole as she passes by that she “can’t avoid [Luann] forever!” To which Carole replies over her shoulder, “Actually, I can” and keeps walking. Luann tries to act cool and laugh it off but she’s pissed and mutters that she doesn’t have time for “people like that”.
Carole actually agrees with Dorinda on the whole John matter and thinks that while ultimately, Bethenny never should have invited John, or at least made it clear to Dorinda that he’s not to come, now that he’s here, Bethenny should throw Dorinda a bone and try to make nice. But that’s not the Skinny Girl way, so Bethenny flits around him offering drinks and smores to everyone but him, pretending he doesn’t exist. I get that she hates him but this is teetering into Very Rude Behavior territory.
Luann joins the group at the fire pit making smores and stares at Carole until she finally acknowledges her. Luann fakes nice and says “it’s so nice to see you it’s been a long time” to which Carole replies, “Yeah it’s been a long time because the last time we saw each other, we were screaming” cut to the flashback of the reunion where Luann implied that Adam was both “family”, as well as “the help”. Lu tries to get Carole to go talk to her away from the group, but Carole doesn’t care enough about the situation to uncross her legs and get up, so they will be staying right there, thank you very much.
Carole doesn’t understand why Luann feels they need to talk, since they aren’t friends and never will be. DAMN. Although, totally fair since Carole doesn’t subscribe to the RealHousewives formula where you keep hanging out with people you hate. Luann tries to pull the “we both said hurtful things” move to get themselves on an even playing field, but Carole isn’t buying that either and insists that Luann tell her what hurtful things Carole said to Luann, who just keeps repeating “I don’t want to go back there”. Finally Luann admits, “It’s not what you said” AH HA- so maybe we both DIDN’T say hurtful things. Carole reminds Luann that she called her a pedophile and lied about how the Adam/Carole relationship started, and Luann just keeps whining that she wants to move forward and not live in the past.
Ugh. Luann needs to go back to house hunting with Sonja because I am hating her in this. Carole is right that there is no way to move forward without acknowledging the past. Luann hasn’t even apologized for any of the things she said, and yet she expects Carole to just move on and let it go? Fuck. That. Finally the two ladies manage to agree that they will not be friends but will be nice to each other when they see each other. I’m guessing Carole’s version of nice is avoidance and Luann is going to take issue with that, but she ought to be thankful she’s in a fight with someone as calm and passive as Carole. And of course, Luann still didn’t apologize. Didn’t she write a book on etiquette? I miss the snooty Luann and could take or leave this new “hey man, be cool”, leather jacket wearing, feathered hair, wanna-be rocker chick Luann.
Jules is horrified witnessing all of this since she fucked up and invited Luann to brunch at her house before she knew about the Carole/Luann drama.
Back in the bar (I love that she built a legit bar at her house #LifeGoals), John has finally tracked Bethenny down and when he hears that this is her birthday party (how did he not know that?) he says “happy birthday!” to her, which leaves him wide open for Bethenny to tell him that no, today is not her birthday. Her birthday was the day that John screamed at her at Dorinda’s bra party. Oops. Bethenny is tired of John following her like a puppy all around the party and decides to allow him to speak with her for 5 minutes in an effort to put an end to that.
John starts to sputter out his rehearsed apology line and Miss B ain’t having it. She calls him out for attacking her business and calls his accusations “uneducated”. Here’s the thing about stupid people. They really REALLY don’t like being called stupid. (See: Teresa Guidice and a table that will never regain its structural integrity). So naturally John throws his apology out the window and whines that Bethenny says uneducated things all the time. Atta boy, John. The “No I’m not- YOU ARE” defense is a classic. John is clearly an alumnus of the School of Terrible Argumentation and received a masters in “I’m gonna say I know shitty stuff about you too, but will then say that I won’t gonna go there because I’m better than that, when really I have nothing and am bad at arguing” (other notable graduates include Kim Richards and Luann De Lesseps).
Bethenny tells him that he doesn’t even know what he’s apologizing for since he was so drunk that night and likely can’t remember it. John reiterates that he is sorry and says he apologizes for stepping over boundaries in defense of someone he loves. Yeah, he really doesn’t remember that night at all. Conversation over, nothing is resolved. Back in the bar, that again is awesomely located in her backyard, Bethenny says the women that it’s just an issue between her and John at this point, but Jules reminds her that in order to be close with Dorinda, she is going to have to try to make it work with John and then Jules talking heads that she think Bethenny is acting selfish. Eh….John was a raging dick to her. What ever happened to Dorinda’s excellent plan of keeping her friends and her boyfriend separate? I think that was a great idea…
Dorinda gets worked up and walks away which somehow manages to crack Bethennys touch exterior enough for her to recognize that she’s going to have to swallow her disgust of John for the sake of Dorinda and say that they are okay now. Bethenny storms over to John, basically shouts at him that they are fine now and walks away. John, to his credit, accepts this at face value and seems okay with it.
It’s the next morning and Jules and Michael are getting ready for the brunch. I like Michael. He has a real Michael Corleone- (before he joined the family business and was just a sweet military guy) vibe to him. In the war between Luann and Carole, my guess is that Jules is going to be an easy ally to Luann since she and Carole already have that weird “who is skinnier” beef that carries on every time they see each other.
Carole and Bethenny mean-girl a bit about how far out Jules’ house is and how you can get “more for your money” out here, which sounds like a compliment but never is. Their plan is to try to blend in and leave early. Why come at all? Bethenny gets immediately ticked off because John answers the door instead of Jules. Because it’s Jules responsibility to make sure she is the one to welcome Bethenny into her home and being busy preparing food or caring for her two small children is no excuse; oh no…respecting Bethenny’s feuds should always take precedence.
Bethenny, who can’t help herself but to have an opinion on everything, talking heads that she’s getting flashbacks of Alex & Simon’s house that was always under construction. It’s a catty comment, but what’s fun is we see an actual flashback and get to see Bethenny’s original face (for the show, not in general, because no one has that kind of jaw shape naturally). Bethenny waits about 4 minutes before realizing no one is going to ask her opinion of the house, so she launches into it herself, telling Michael that they need to get it together and offers a bunch of advice that wasn’t requested and isn’t appreciated. Jules and Michael are much too polite to say anything to Bethenny’s face but Jules gives a furious talking head about how if Michael wants to build an indoor rollercoaster, that’s his prerogative and Bethenny can butt out.
Speaking of Bethenny being rude as fuck, she starts talking to Carole about how Jules doesn’t eat anything RIGHT IN FRONT OF JULES. Sure, she’s lowered her voice a few notches below her usual level of shrill, but it’s still exceptionally rude. I’m not even saying that Bethenny is wrong, for all I know, Jules has a debilitating eating disorder that she’s struggled with for years (and as we end up seeing in the teaser for next week, she does admit to battling it when she was younger) but that’s her story to tell, not Gumshoe Bethenny’s hot scoop to uncover.
Luann shows up with her date Paul who looks like a cross between Peter Krause and the dad from 7th Heaven who admitted to molesting those girls. She and Carole nice-nice at each other but Carole is clearly done with this whole brunch business. Carole asks for a tour of the place but doesn’t really want one and loudly admits to Bethenny that she just wants to go. Can Bethenny and Carole please get a spinoff? Not because I want to see it, but because I want them to leave so that they will stop being so shitty to the other housewives, especially those that don’t deserve it. After getting a quick explanation of Michael’s plans for the indoor pool, the ladies turn-tail and run out to the car, peeling out of the gravel driveway.
Dorinda is embarrassed. I feel like that just been the theme of this whole season so far. Dorinda is embarrassed for John, Dorinda is embarrassed for her friends, Dorinda seems to have only two states of being; drunk or embarrassed. She is frustrated with Bethenny and Carole for leaving so abruptly and being so unkind to Jules while they were there. They just shouldn’t have come if that’s how they were going to behave. It would have been less insulting. And for the record, I don’t particularly care for Jules but Michael is a very sweet man of very small stature and I didn’t like it when those catty bitches made fun of his dream house. LEAVE MICHAEL ALONE!
Recap written by Liz
Bonus pics of Puppy Party ’09: