‘The Real Housewives of New York City’: Cougar Town

The Real Housewives of New York
“Something’s Brewing”
June 4, 2020

H’OH BOY, THIS EPISODE HAS EVERYTHING: stupid hats, fire, a failed politician in shorts, a food fight, a scandalized martini drinker whose name we tragically never learn …

Because they threw a “TO BE CONTINUED” on the end of the last episode, we begin where we left off, with Ramona at some Newport bar shrugging over a Bloody Mary that maybe she doesn’t actually like Leah all that much, come to think of it. Leah asks the group if any of the rest of them were freaked out by her freak out the night before and everyone is like, “I mean, kinda?” But The Countess is also quick to add that they’ve all done crazy things. Truer words, Luann, truer words.

Leah insists that after a difficult week, her drunken outburst was cathartic for her and that she might not have been in the right headspace for this trip, come to think of it. That Elyse Woman, who had just been mothershaming Leah moments earlier, now declares that Leah is probably a firecracker in bed, and while she doesn’t necessarily swing that way, she is curious what sex would be like with Leah.

Before that conversation can go completely off the rails, Leah’s sister Sarah shows up to join them, and we spend 10 minutes introducing her to everyone and commenting on whether or not we think she and Leah look alike. (They do.) It’s difficult to tell, you see, because they have different hair colors. I swear, some of these women would be SO EASY to fool with a good wig.

When Sarah reveals that she lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn — which is one L train ride away from Manhattan for those of you not familiar with the city — Dorinda exclaims that she’s always wanted to visit, and in fact told her daughter that they needed to book a hotel and explore the neighborhood.

I can not express this strongly enough: Dorinda is maybe 6 subway stops away from Williamsburg:

The red circle is Dorinda’s neighborhood; the blue circle is Williamsburg.

They return to the hotel to get ready for dinner and Tinsley, hanging out with the McSweeney sisters, reveals that she and her sister have made out before, BUT IT WAS JUST A JOKE. You know, the way adult women joke with their sisters by kissing them on the mouth.

Elsewhere, Dorinda pops into The Countess’ room for a pre-dinner glass of wine and reveals that she’s been spending her hotel time drinking alone, not just a healthy choice but also a good one before filming. Dorinda then explains that she spoke to Fudgie the Whale and she has lots of feelings, mostly that she feels bad for dumping him. The Countess, who has really been the grownup on this trip — so far — talks her down off the ledge and reassures Dorinda that it’s OK to take care of herself before she takes care of other people. She’s right! It’s fine! Stay dumped, Fudgie!

Alright, so what unfolds next is, again, chaos, but I’m going to do my very best to untangle it. Tinsley has arranged for the ladies to have dinner at her friend’s restaurant, and their table is ready for them as soon as they walk in, denying Ramona, in particular, any shark time at the bar, looking for eligible men at which to throw herself.

This does not stop Ramona.

As Tinsley, Leah, Sarah, Dorinda, and Elyse take their places at the table, Ramona wanders off to scope out the bar scene, and soon finds a victim, a beshorted gentleman who is there with a friend Ramona is decidedly NOT interested in. As for Shorts, he explains that he is in town from D.C., where he works in “national security.” He also reveals that he is originally from Arkansas, which Ramona finds SHOCKING! as she’s never met anyone from Arkansas before because none of these women have been west of the Hudson River (or apparently to Brooklyn) in their lives.

Tinsley continues to try to encourage the women to sit down at the table, but this just seems to make Sonja and The Countess more intrigued by what Ramona is up to at the bar, and they wander off to harass Shorts along with her. They learn, to Ramona’s disappointment, that Shorts is engaged, but it doesn’t seem to slow her down in the least, and it certainly doesn’t encourage her to go to the table and have some Goddamned dinner.

Leah encourages Tinsley to tell the women that they are embarrassing her in her friends’ restaurant, and to Tinsley’s credit, she does her level best, begging Ramona, Sonja, and The Countess to go to the table so they can order dinner, and pointing out that SHORTS IS ENGAGED and that HE IS NOT GOING TO HOOK UP WITH ANY OF THEM. Tinsley tells the women they are being gross cougars who are gross and demands that Shorts lets her take her friends to their table. 

Shorts through this entire exchange:

Ugh, I just noticed his fingernails. Ugh ugh ugh.

Ramona simply refuses to even acknowledge Tinsley, doing that Ramona thing where she turns her back on her, and closing off any access to the man Ramona has set her sights on, and prompting Sonja and The Countess to complain that she’s a terrible wing woman.

Meanwhile, back at the table, this is happening:

Seeing as Tinsley has failed to herd the cougars, Leah and her sister Sarah make an attempt, sitting down next to Shorts, and explaining that they are trying to get their friends to go eat dinner and that they’re sure his fiancée wouldn’t like this situation. Shorts becomes irritated at the mention of his fiancée and snaps back that “this situation is [their] fucking problem,” before finally getting up and storming off in a huff.

And, with that, the women are no longer distracted and resignedly take their seats at the table.

But before we get to the rest of the dinner, we need to talk about who “Shorts” and his fiancée are, because it’s pretty incredible. “Shorts” is one Courtland Sykes, who, despite being from Arkansas, as he told Ramona, decided in 2018 to run for Senate in the great state of Missouri, despite only having lived there for ONE MONTH. Stephen Colbert did a whole segment on him, and surprise! He’s a sexist pig. An illiterate sexist pig at that.

Sykes didn’t win the Republican nomination, losing out to Josh Hawley, this seditionist piece of shit.

But I wonder if the Trump administration didn’t reward Sykes with a job, considering he told Ramona he worked in “national security.”

As for Sykes’ fiancée who receives so much mention in this episode, she is none other than Chanel Rion, the White House correspondent for One America News Network. She’s promoted QAnon theories; encouraged the use of terms like “China virus”; done interviews with Rudy Giuliani where they claimed George Soros was behind the Ukraine scandal; she shoved her way into the White House press briefing room when she wasn’t on the list, violating COVID protocols; and she was targeted by Borat, and makes an appearance in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm because she’s a fucking conspiracy-minded, racist, Trumpist idiot.

What I’m saying is that these two are meant for one another.

As for the actual show:

Ramona, Sonja, and The Countess finally take their seats at the table and Ramona and Sonja begin attacking Sarah, saying that she looks “demonic” and that she is “guilty by association” seeing as she’s Leah’s sister. Leah tells the women that they need to learn how to behave and could take a note from her sister, only to have Ramona become outraged after the way LEAH BEHAVED THE NIGHT BEFORE? SHE’S SO RUDE!

There’s much screaming, Ramona begins fake sobbing, and Sonja puts squash on her ears, the whole scene leading to the greatest reaction shot of all time:

I need to know who he is IMMEDIATELY.

Dorinda at some point just gets up and leaves because she’s too drunk for this mess. And Leah, Sarah, and Tinsley are not far behind — but not before Leah grabs a ravioli off of a plate and hurls it at Ramona who is so drunk she doesn’t even flinch when it splatters on her face. WELL, THAT’S FINE, Ramona declares, NONE OF THEM ARE INVITED TO HER BIRTHDAY PARTY.

The Countess decides it would be a good idea to set an ear of decorative dried corn on fire inside the restaurant to “clear the energy,” while outside, Leah kisses Tinsley, knocking them both over and into the bushes.


The next morning, Sarah tells her sister that she needs to work on her passive-aggression and dial the aggression-aggression down a notch or fifteen. Ramona pouts to Elyse and Sonja that she is OWED AN APOLOGY for having a ravioli thrown in her face. And The Countess and Dorinda decide they need to facilitate a way for Ramona and Leah to make nice. God bless and good luck!

As for Tinsley, don’t worry about Tinsley. Let Tinsley worry about where Tinsley is.

Back in New York, The Countess has a boring meeting with her producer about her cabaret show, where there is a lot of talk about giving Sonja a role, so I guess that will be a future plot point.

And Leah has lunch with her cute parents and tells her disapproving mother about getting shit-faced in Newport. This seems unnecessary. You don’t have to tell your parents everything. Your mom honestly doesn’t want to know. Keep it to yourself.

Finally, we’re having a tea party? Are these women three? SIGH. So, we’re having a tea party and everyone is wearing their dumb hats and eating scones and pretending they’re cool with being at an event where no alcohol is being served.

When Ramona arrives, she gives Leah a tight hello before taking her seat across the table from her. Leah musters up her courage, and, in front of everyone (except Sonja and Tinsley, neither of whom could be fucked to show up on time) offers an apology to Ramona for disrupting her weekend. Leah insists that she’s not apologizing for who she is — just how she behaved. Ramona tsks that if that is Leah’s “normal behavior,” it scares her. Leah demands to know when anyone has ever seen her behave like that before, and everyone is like, “Uhhh …. ”

And Leah has to be like, “I mean, OK, but besides that.”

The Countess helpfully reminds us that they’ve all had their moments. Indeed.

Soon, Leah is crying and Ramona is talking about how she has a soft spot for her, and I’m sure they will soon be best friends because that is exactly how all of these things go.

Sonja and Tinsley arrive soon after, and Dorinda asks to speak to Tinsley privately. There, Dorinda reveals that she knows for a fact that Tinsley went to Niagra Falls with Scott, and if Tinsley doesn’t tell the rest of the women, Dorinda will have no choice but to reveal it to them herself. Also, WHY ALL THE SECRECY? Why can’t Tinsley JUST ADMIT she and Scott are seeing each other again?

Tinsley protests that she is not obligated to share every detail of her private life with the other women and that Dorinda needs to butt out. But Dorinda does not butt out and when the two return to the table, Dorinda makes an announcement: Tinsley has something she needs to tell the rest of them. Tinsley sighs and explains that she met Scott in Toronto for a couple of days and they went to Niagra Falls for lunch and some busybody friend of Dorinda’s sent her a picture so now she guesses she’s telling them about it. They ask her how the trip went, and Tinsley begins crying: it was nice, but she is worried that it won’t end well because it never ends well. At the end of the day, she wants to be with Scott, she loves him, but she’s pretty sure it’s not going to work out. “Not with THAT attitude!” the other women tell her and end up encouraging her to take what she wants, get in there and call the shots with this guy: IMPREGNATE ME NOW OR LOSE ME FOREVER.

Which, you know, is one approach.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Real Housewives of New York airs on Bravo.

Leave a Reply