By Sheer Elegance, GTOG Special Guest Blogger

This is an episode where not much action happens, just a lot of meetings at restaurants and homes where various groups of housewives anticipate other upcoming meetings at restaurants and homes. Factions have formed, and the Housewives are trying to overcome the Great Toaster Oven Party Scandal, the Great Quogue debacle, and several more long ranging tribal wars that have developed over the past few seasons.

Jill is back from Australia, after a much needed Public Relations Vacation. She is really tan. She and Bawby had the most amazing time. It was a fresh start, she says, staying away from gossip and bad energy. She gives really cheesy little souvenir koalas to LuAnn, Sonja, and Kelly, who have all gathered for lunch to catch Jill up on the Quogue incident. LuAnn tells her about the cigars and Howie and Carol and Ramona’s bad judgment at Cindy’s birthday party. Jill says she doesn’t want to get involved in gossip and drama on the testimonial and then immediately starts dissing Ramona to the other ladies. Ramona leaves dead bodies all over town, she says. So much for staying out of it Jillsy!

Kelly faces down Ramona, and more, after the jump…
Sonja decides to coach Kelly because she is going to have a sit down with Ramona, something about a late night text Ramona sent to Kelly about her lack of support. Kelly has been living in fear of Ramona since they got back from their Caribbean nightmare vacation last season, so she is finally going to talk to Ramona because she’s concerned about her. But she’s also scared of her. Sonja has the episode’s best non sequitur when she questions Kelly’s feeling “threatened.” “A threat,” she opines, “is a horse head in your bed. Or working in a union restaurant where people can get away with murder sometimes.” Um, ok Sonja. Bravo editors, hello? Did you cut off a crucial part of what Sonja said? Sonja is hilarious impersonating Ramona. If things don’t work out with the show, those two can always take in on the road – do a ventriloquist act or something. Regardless, Kelly is now prepped for her summit with Ramona.

Quirky piano music plays as we travel over to Brooklyn. There’s a weird man tickling the ivories in the Silex house. “Who is that guy?” says their son Francois as they walk into their home. Yes, who is he? Seems Alex has bought a surprise birthday present for her kid that he doesn’t want. Wah wah. Francois takes piano lessons with a Julliard graduate. Alex has to drop that fact and the New York Foundation for the Arts casually into the conversation somehow, which she manages awkwardly, and then tells the kid not to get fingerprints on the piano. Uch, forcing these kids to perform on camera is never a good idea. It’s probably jarring for them to come into their home and have some random scary thing going on. They do not like being on camera and their parents should stop forcing it. It makes the kids seem maladjusted and it needs to stop. Its times like these when I’m impatient with Alex.

Ramona is at another restaurant to meet Kelly, with Sonja as their political adviser. Kelly can’t stand confrontation. Ramona doesn’t have a lot of patience for Kelly she says, but she seems, at the very least, sober. She’s sorry about the late night aggressive text she sent, admits she was childish and her feelings were hurt. I think this is about an event Ramona had that Kelly didn’t come to, or Ramona didn’t invite her to – I can’t keep track. But she apologizes. Kelly was concerned about her – code for saying she thinks she is a lush. She doesn’t think Ramona had her back on the trip to Scary Island. She won’t forget the bad things Ramona said to her. Good for Kelly! They are speaking VERY CAREFULLY. I feel like they are in couples therapy and Sonja is their therapist, dear Lord. So cute, they picked out outfits in response to each other – to level the playing field, if you will. Kelly dressed “uptown” in an oxford shirt and blazer, and Ramona “downtown” in her weird black leather pleated cheerleader skirt. Ramona is being adult and apologizing, seeming reasonable for once. Sonja lays down the groundwork for her fight with Cindy. Kelly looks relieved not to have bad stuff with scary Ramona anymore and lets out this genius quote: “You either fight to fight or fight to win and I’m not fighting at all.” Riiiight. Go Kells. You are lucky you are pretty.

Sonja has a houseman!!! He is a dancer/houseman. He answers the door of Sonja’s townhouse attached to a parking garage when Cindy arrives for tea and another lecture from Sonja about manners. Cindy awkwardly tries to flirt and cha-cha with the dancing houseboy and Sonja calls her out. Now maybe downtown it’s acceptable to dance with someone’s houseboy but uptown certainly not. The tone is set. Sonja takes out her boobs and settles down for tea, which soon turns into finger wagging and martinis to cope. The jist is this: Cindy needs to respect the pecking order. Sonja was ready to have a toaster oven party and broker peace in Housewifelandia and Cindy does not have the policy experience to get in the middle of Kelly and Ramona. Cindy is trying to defend herself but forgets that she can’t lie on camera because the editors will always find the footage that will contradict her. So she is busted for warning Kelly that she should not bring her kids to the toaster party. Whoops.

According to Sonja, Ramona is the queen and Cindy needs to give Ramona (and Sonja) their due and quit disrespectin.’ She should not have squashed Sonja’s plans to bring R and K together and she is not to be trusted. Sonja brings up the fact again that no one wanted to come to her party an hour out of their way, and again that Cindy didn’t have a Pinot Grigio drip ready for insertion upon Ramona’s arrival at the birthday party. For the love of Quogue! Oh yeah, it’s still a thing! Cindy can’t believe this bull—- but seriously honey, what did expect when you signed on for this?

God, I’m not gonna make it through this episode. I feel like Cindy is a stand-in for us, the viewers at home. How can these people behave this way? But will she too get sucked in? Last season I thought Sonja was normal.

On to another scene with LuAnn being a total hag. Ramona invites her to a jewelry party at a hotel lobby or something. We see immediately that this is another one of Ramona’s marketing opps and that she’s wearing her “businesswoman” attitude. LuAnn, who is soooo classy and has suuuuuch great taste in jewelry, rudely disses Ramona’s line of jewelry and is appalled at the fact that this is a money making, multi-level marketing scheme and that there are women there to sell the stuff and try and make a little scratch. Look at the Lu’s own earrings! They are heinous. Then LuAnn mocks Ramona’s Italian pronunciation and her knowledge of European wine growing regions. But she does put Ramona in her place by telling her she behaved really poorly at the Cindy party with the demand for Pinot and the hounding of the dead man’s cigar smoker. At least her patronizing tone can cut through Ramona’s mania at times. But still, she is insufferable.

Cindy meets up with Kelly in Central Park after her course in The Sonja School of Housewife Hierarchy and we see she’s wearing a snazzy downtown outfit herself, with shorts and thigh high boots. They walk and talk about what just happened at Sonja’s and OMG run right into Jill and Ginger. Yum, Jack and Ginger….. what? Sorry, just thinking about how I wish I had a cocktail right now. Kelly and Cindy pretend to be interested in Jill’s dog in that way people do with other people’s dogs and kids, and then they discuss Sonja’s pecking order diatribe with Jill, who thinks Ramona and Sonja have been spending too much time together and picking up each other’s bad habits.

Speaking of which, on to a mortifying clip of Sonja showing her ass in a slutty cheerleader outfit (pigtails! Spanx!) with a bunch of firemen calendar hotties (abs! waxed chests!) at a fundraiser for the ASCPA. Sonja is learning how to survive on this Housewife planet. She knows what she has to do to stay relevant and is doing it. But her quick trajectory from cool mellow interesting rich lady to this aggressively mean, cougar-y drag queen is so sharp it makes me wonder what her friends and family (daughter especially!) must think of all this.

Kelly heads off to Sonja’s finally for this much discussed toaster oven luncheon, with LuAnn now subbing for Ramona. Maybe Ramona is trying to develop her own line of faith based toaster oven jewelry and her lawyers have decided she can’t do it contractually, or else LuAnn jumped at more camera time to be snotty and judgmental with Sonja. After all that yapping about it, Sonja just makes some fish and asparagus in her hilariously ghetto toaster and her, Kelly and LuAnn eat it and its over. LuAnn’s not sold on the idea. Sonja makes a big deal about how there’s no clean up when you cook in the toaster oven and then we see her butler/houseboy doing the dishes in the background. Classic.
Cindy and Ramona meet at the Four Seasons for their confrontation. Ramona, in a power play, keeps her sunglasses on as Cindy approaches the table. Cindy tells us that Ramona apologized to her on the phone after the Quogue incident, but that she wanted to meet in person and “get her head around the apology.” I’m guessing the Bravo producers had something to do with this. They both discuss what happened between them in Quogue from their perspective, and then there is a stand off. Ramona acts innocent and confused (and possibly Xanaxed) and Cindy is flustered – she obviously wants an apology on camera from Ramona for ruining her birthday party and she is not going to get it.

Cut to Brooklyn, where Jill stands in stilettos on Alex’s stoop. Jill is here to make amends, and she climbs the stairs with a purpose. The guy playing the piano is not there anymore, which is good, I had expected him to stay on 24 hours a day until Francois got with the program. Alex is leery, weary, skeptical etc about anything Jill might say, and with good reason. Jill puts her foot in her mouth right away, trying to say something nice out about her hair, but she ends up insulting her. Jill admits to making mistakes and wanting to get back to being good together. Alex is unconvinced.

Back to Ramona and Cindy. Cindy brings up the wine incident at the party again, finally discovering too late that this is a talking point. Ramona is now in defensive mode and throws a bomb at Cindy: maybe if she had been married for 18 years she would know how to communicate or compromise. Silence. It is very awkward. Cindy gets out her phone — a very 2011 way to deal with the situation. Ramona leaves shortly after. I don’t even know what to say about this fight except that poor Cindy is not long for this Housewife basic training.

Ramona and Cindy’s aborted “discussion” is juxtaposed against Jill and Alex’s, who seem to be getting somewhere. Jill is initially defensive but Alex stays calm. Even if Jill is only making up with Alex this to improve her terrible image on the show, I like this scene between them because it feels real. Jill cops to being disrespectful to Alex with regards to her husband and kids, which was all Alex probably wanted to hear. Jill admits to being angry and hurt by Alex as well, which I don’t really believe, but Jill is winning me back a bit. Alex concedes that no one is perfect and says that this is the first time the two of them have had a two-way conversation. Then they go on to perform a teenage empowerment exercise Jill may have learned in Australia, where they write down an event they want to let go on a slip of paper, and then they burn it in Alex’s crappy Webber grill. Next Jill stands up on Johann’s picnic table, closes her eyes and falls backward into Alex’s arms trusting that she will catch her. Just kidding. But wouldn’t that be funny?

Next week, the Housewives have a sleepover bull session where everyone goes around and says something positive about each other, and then about themselves. Then they do a backrub chain and have a séance. I know Alex and Jill will be there, but we’ll have to see about getting the rest of the ladies to show up. Especially if it’s in Brooklyn.


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