The Real Housewives of New York
“Reunion Part 3”
July 25, 2019
The third and final part of the reunion begins where we left off previously: Ramona accusing The Countess of still drinking, and yelling that she’s failed herself and her children, which WHOA. MAYBE TAKE IT DOWN A NOTCH, MISS SINGER.
Andy points out to The Countess that the women think it was a poor choice for her to leave rehab early, and she agrees that she can see how it was “misconstrued.” BITCH, NOTHING HAS BEEN MISCONSTRUED, YOU LEFT REHAB EARLY SO THAT YOU COULD PLAY CABARET DRESS-UP, the women yell over each other. Andy points out that she did slip up, so maybe she shouldn’t have left early, but she counters that she had been 8 months sober up to that point, so … something, I don’t even know.
Ramona asks if she’s going to start drinking again as soon as her probation is over, and The Countess replies that she’s going to take it “one day at a time.”
We are then given an editor’s note that reads: “Six days after taping this reunion, The Countess appeared in court to defend charges that she violated her probation. She was given further restrictions for the remainder of her probation.” But nothing that would interfere with her precious cabaret, so.
We then have a wacky travel montage where the women did wacky travel things! like eating food prepared by naked chefs and calling the paramedics.
Andy begins with Tinsley, noting that she seemed to let down her reserve in Miami, what with the dancing around and showing off her ass. What’s the deal, does she feel more comfortable with the women now or was she just drunk?
A viewer asks Dorinda why it’s taken this long for us to learn that she has a sister named “Melinda.”
The question is never actually answered.
Another viewer asks Sonja at what moment did she become consumed with anxiety while visiting the Morgan house? Dorinda laughs that it was when she manhandled the letters, or “letters.” Sonja doesn’t answer the question asked, and instead explains that if she didn’t have a daughter or hadn’t worked for 20 years on Morgan charities, she wouldn’t have been bothered by the tour. But once she was there, she was overwhelmed and reminded of the townhouse and all of its many burdens.
Andy wonders if it was a good idea for Dorinda to bring Sonja to the Morgan estate considering the whole Morgan thing had been a flashpoint between the two of them, what with the whole stupid Morgan crest shoe thing. But both Dorinda and Sonja insist that the tour was meant to be a nice gesture, it just … didn’t work out. SO NICE TRY AT STARTING A FIGHT, COHEN, BUT THEY’RE NOT TAKING YOUR BAIT THIS TIME.
Andy then asks Sonja about her assault of the poor Miami butler (was he a butler?) Tej, and Sonja announces he’s going to be her next intern. Let’s hope for Tej’s safety, this is not accurate.
Andy moves on to other concerns, namely that the women were worried, again, about Sonja’s drinking and possible pill-popping, noting that there were two instances in particular that worried them:
1. At the Bezerkshires when she threatened the life of Coco the Dog …
2. When she smacked her head on the table in Miami …
Which, you know, FAIR ENOUGH.
Sonja insists she was just being silly in the Bezerkshires, and as for Miami, she had five — AGAIN, THAT’S FIVE — welcome cocktails that were pretty much pure booze and, you know, things are going to happen.
Bethenny pipes in to say that when the paramedics were called, she grabbed Sonja’s purse, ran to a closet so as to not be filmed and searched it to make sure Sonja, in fact, did not have any pills in there that they needed to be worried about. Fortunately, all she found were a cache of some 7,000 different hormones. This sounds 100% accurate.
The Countess protests that she was never suggesting that Sonja was taking “acid” or something, just maybe a little Xanax …
… and Bethenny is like, “YEAH, I KNOW. THAT’S WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR AND IT WASN’T IN THERE WAS MY POINT.”
Andy then turns his attention to Ramona and her shit relationship with her father, remarking that the story of him cutting her from his will was particularly hard. Ramona gets a little choked up and agrees that going upstate was very intense and that it brought up some buried memories.
Dorinda expresses sympathy for both Ramona and Bethenny, and how it helped her realize why Ramona is the way she is … and in the middle of this very heartfelt conversation, The Countess asks Andy what time it is, she needs to do her breathalyzer thing. Even Andy Cohen is astonished by this, and points out that THEY ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A HEAVY CONVERSATION, before telling her the time.
BUT ALSO, COUNTESS …
When we return from the commercial break, an astonishingly bronzed Barbara is brought to the couch to sit through her montage and pay her final respects to the show that she is most definitely not going to be returning to.
The montage ends with the scene at the Christmas cabaret where Barbara told her guest that The Countess isn’t a particularly good singer. Andy begins with this point, asking Barbara if she’s back in the doghouse with The Countess over this, and Barbara turns the question to The Countess: Is she?
So Andy asks The Countess what she thought when she saw the episode, and The Countess huffs, “She’s at it again,” before pointing out that this isn’t the first time Barbara has been caught talking shit about her on camera — she was the one who badmouthed her plans to marry to Tom the Cheater to Princess Carole right before the wedding.
And it’s true! She did! But in either situation, I ask: where’s the lie?
But The Countess is FURIOUS that Barbara and the other women would dare be honest talk shit about her singing voice and triumphantly declares, “I want to tell all of you right now, that for someone who can’t sing, I just got cast in Chicago on Broadway. So take that and shove it up your ass.”
After confirming that this was specifically directed at her, Barbara protests that she has supported The Countess through everything, with bankers and lawyers and her ex-husband and children, she’s stopped her entire life to help The Countess. She’s been to EIGHT cabaret shows. EIGHT. Barbara thinks that The Countess is a great performer, she loves her show, but The Countess has to have some degree of self-awareness about her singing abilities … right?
“YOU CAN’T CARRY A TUNE!” Sonja blurts out, hilariously.
“Well, you have to admit, you’re not Adele,” Barbara more tactfully attempts.
Andy asks the other women what they think of The Countess’ singing abilities, and the closed-captioning reads, and I’m not making this up:
When they find their words, everyone insists that The Countess is a great performer, and Andy asks The Countess if SHE thinks she’s a good singer. WELL, SHE’S GOING TO BE IN CHICAGO, ANDY COHEN, SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Dorinda is like, “Yeah, we heard you the first time …”
Before we move on, while watching this, I was like, “wait, when was The Countess in Chicago? I remember the fabulous Erika Girardi from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills recently being in Chicago, but I have no memory of The Countess doing the show …”
And that, dear reader, is because she never did. The day after the reunion aired, her representatives put out a statement saying she’d spoken too soon: “Due to scheduling conflicts, between her [Bravo show], her jewelry line and her successful cabaret tour [with ‘The Countess and Friends’] Luann will not be joining the cast of ‘Chicago’ at this time.”
But the ladies at the reunion don’t have this particular weapon in their arsenal at this moment, and so they return to defending Barbara, pointing out that The Countess freezing Barbara out for saying something that is OBJECTIVELY TRUE is a punishment that hardly fits the crime. BARBARA WENT TO THE CABARET EIGHT TIMES FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. ISN’T THAT PUNISHMENT ENOUGH?
Bethenny then compares saying the true thing about The Countess’ singing — that it’s not great, Bob — to The Countess saying that Barbara is wearing way too much self-tanner right now. “You’re friends, you’d do that, right?” And to emphasize her point, Bethenny wipes Barbara’s chest down with a napkin. “I did think I was at a Real Housewives of Jersey reunion for a minute there,” that catty little Andy Cohen adds to my great delight.
A viewer asks The Countess if she understands that the appeal of her cabaret is its kitsch and value and that she’s no Liza Minelli.
The short answer: no.
Bethenny demands that The Countess give Barbara a “hall pass” for her comment about The Countess’ singing (which is not what a “hall pass” is but sure) and The Countess, if only to make this all end, finally agrees.
A viewer asks Ramona why she’s such a fucking bitch to Barbara all the time, and Ramona protests that she was nice to her in Miami, the viewers just didn’t see it. Andy Cohen reminds her that Ramona excluded Barbara when she and Tinsley went out that one night, and Barabara adds that it was rich that Ramona criticized her for not being “engaged” with the other women, but when she tried, she was disinvited. Andy points out that to be “disinvited” one must be invited in the first place, which she was not. And Ramona is all, “Well, whaddya gonna do?”
As for why Dorinda was such a bitch to Barbara in the Berkshires, Dorinda insists it was because Barbara was a bitch about her apartment first, and therefore she was entitled. Also, too, she was trying to make inroads with The Countess and Barbara was an obstacle to that. Dorinda then erases any goodwill she might have been able to wring out of this last point by comparing Barbara to a turnip.
Andy asks Barbara if she had any hesitation about discussing her relationships with women on the show, and the answer is yes and no. Also, the term is neither “gender-liquid,” nor “gender-fluid,” Sonja, it is “sexually-fluid.”
Bethenny then lectures Barbara that if she’s going to be on one of these shows, she has to open up more, reveal more of herself, and then for some reason gets up and hugs Barbara. This then sets off a chain hug reaction: The Countess hugs her, Sonja hugs her, Ramona hugs her, but Tinsley can’t be bothered and when Sonja asks Andy if he wants to hug her, he’s like, “thanks but no.”
No one bothers to ask Dorinda if she wants to hug Barbara for some reason.
And with that, we say goodbye to Barabara forever. Say hi to Cindy Barshop for us!
We have our final montage of the night, which, honestly, feels like the same GODDAMMNED MONTAGE FROM ALL THREE PARTS OF THIS GODDAMNED REUNION: “Hey, The Countess is Completely Out of Control With This Cabaret Nonsense and Acting Like a Fuckng Diva, Right?”
After they all watch the montage in which The Countess acts like a complete monster, Andy asks her if she thinks the other women are jealous of her, and she’s like, “I mean, what else am I supposed to think?”
Bethenny wonders what The Countess just watched, and she shrugs that she watched a lot of different things. She adds that every time she talks about something (cabaret) that she loves (cabaret) she’s attacked, which makes the other women collectively scream at her that THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT SUPPORT HER.
Andy asks the women if they are jealous of The Countess, and they respond with a resounding no, Ramona adding that it’s always about HER HER HER HER HER.
Then, BRILLIANTLY, Dorinda asks The Countess a simple question: Where is her friend and former roommate, Sonja’s, daughter going to college in the fall?
And this, dear reader, The Countess, she can not answer because The Countess never asked.
The Countess, realizing for the 150th time during this reunion that she’s fully and completely stepped in it, tries to claim that when she watched the season back, she realized she acted like an asshole. Which, great! She immediately undercuts this by adding that she was going through some things and trying to keep herself together and just didn’t have enough to give the other women and she felt ATTACKED if she ever deigned to speak about cabaret.
You know, which she did in every goddamned scene.
Bethenny points out that The Countess attacked her for no good reason, and when The Countess tries to claim it was after the big Miami dinner with Bethenny’s meltdown, Bethenny is like, NOPE. THIS LITTLE ROUTINE WAS LONG BEFORE THAT:
The Countess first tries to claim this wasn’t about Bethenny, but Bethenny is like, “THEN WHY IS MY NAME IN YOUR MOUTH?” The Countess, I’m afraid, has no good answer for this.
A viewer asks all of the women if The Countess hasn’t ALWAYS been an entitled asshole — which she absolutely has been — and if they are blaming cabaret for what has been a life-long character flaw. But the other women insist her assholery has actually become much more accute problem with the introduction of cabaret.
Bethenny explains that it was jarring how much The Countess reveled in her comeback and how she thrilled that she was “more famous than ever now” since the arrest, and The Countess is all, “AND WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT?”
A viewer astutely notes that they think what The Countess is perceiving as a lack of support is that she actually has a hard time feeling and showing gratitude, adding that gratitude is an essential tool to one’s recovery. The Countess concedes that she might have been in what is called the “pink cloud” — a feeling of euphoria in the early stages of sobriety — and this may have contributed to some of her obliviousness to others.
Or, you know, she’s just an asshole.
A viewer asks Bethenny which is it: does The Countess owe you nothing for helping her or should she call you the Lord Jesus Christ? Bethenny jokes that she would very much like to be called “The Lord Jesus Christ,” it’s a lovely title, before saying that her point was that The Countess was in NO POSITION to be calling her names and giving her the bras d’honneur.
The Countess pouts that Bethenny has called her a million different terrible names in the past and that calling her “Queen Bee” isn’t exactly “mean.”
THIS IS NOT HUMILITY, Bethenny rightfully protests. DENNIS WAS TRYING TO GET YOU SOMEWHERE BETWEEN $4.5 AND $6 MILLION DOLLARS. I PAID FOR YOUR REHAB. WE HELPED YOU WITH YOUR LEGAL ISSUES AND YOU’RE OVER HERE GIVING ME THE ITALIAN SALUTE?
The other women agree that The Countess should be kissing Bethenny’s ass, and to that end, Bethenny shimmies her way over to The Countess and presents herself, and The Countess air kisses it, something Andy Cohen claims he has never seen in the history of the 30,000 of these reunions he’s done in the past 12 years.
And he’s seen some shit.
Andy turns to Bethenny and her meltdown at the Miami dinner. She explains that she just hit a breaking point: Dennis had died only three weeks before filming started, they had just come back from The Countess’ intervention, she’s in a new relationship, she’s trying to nurture every moment with her daughter and she just hit a wall.
The Countess whines that it felt like it was all about her and that she had done something bad, and Bethenny is like, “Listen, don’t get it twisted, it was about you, too. You were the catalyst. That said, I didn’t want to freak out like that. I didn’t want to attack you and ruin the night for everyone else.”
Dorinda describes the whole thing as a champagne cork, and adds that all the women were feeling the same way about The Countess, Bethenny was just the one to pop off. Bethenny adds that she TRIED to tell The Countess she was acting like an asshole when they were at the Round House, but that the message was too gentle, it just didn’t penetrate. The Countess is a big girl, and it takes a big show to get through that thick skull of hers.
Andy asks Bethenny if she thinks The Countess will ever change and she’s like, “Probably not, but we’re rooting for her. We’re all rooting for her.”
Andy then turns to The Countess and asks if she feels supported, and she’s all, “WELL, FINALLY. But it was a long time there where I wondered where my girlfriends were, where my cheerleaders were. I guess I could have been a better friend, but I was really just trying to take care of myself, Andy. Now, can we go home?”
But the answer is NOPE, because they have some “final thoughts” to get through.
After everyone is handed a champagne glass of Fresca, Andy explains his plan: each women will say something they regret saying or doing over the course of the season.
Sonja: She would not have given Raj advice that way.
Andy: IT’S TEJ, NOT RAJ. ALSO, YOU WEREN’T GIVING HIM ADVICE, YOU WERE ASSAULTING HIM.
Ramona: Obviously, the comment about Dennis.
Dorinda: Not just going to the clambake and confronting The Countess then and there.
Tinsley: Sobbing at the circus in clown makeup like a goddamned lunatic.
Bethenny: Making a comment at the Miami art space that she didn’t need a free gift from that artist guy (like Tinsley received) because she had her daughter and that was gift enough. She didn’t mean it to be an insult to childless Tinsley but looking back, she didn’t like the way it sounded when it came out of her mouth. (I had missed this little piece of bullshittery when it happened but yikes.)
The Countess: Giving Bethenny the Iberian Slap.
With that, The Countess leads the group in a final and ironic toast: “Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other.” INDEED.
Cheers, ladies. See (most of) you soon.
The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.