Do you hear that? Like a cool country breeze, or Kristen’s rational nature, it could easily be taken for granted. Listen. It’s an odd silence, isn’t it? A sort of… less yelling-ness? That’s the sound of no Aviva.
Even though this episode had plenty of bonkers, narcissistic behavior unbefitting middle-aged women who are somebody’s mothers, for Christ’s sake, it was still strangely relaxing. Kind of like when Ramona went to Africa. Can we elect to either send Ramona or Aviva away for every episode? Having them on the same team has been terrible this season.
This episode was all about no good deed going unpunished, starting with Josh counseling Sonja on her many business ventures. We don’t really care for Josh, do we? Yet in many ways I think he is the best man for this job. He keeps stopping Sonja before she can start babbling about her department store deal and her yellow diamond deal and her French shirt deal to tell her that none of these deals matter if there’s still nothing with her name on it on the shelves. Josh tells her that she should hire someone to manage her brand (I never thought about it before but OF COURSE there’s someone managing Snooki’s slippers and tanning oil for her) and take concrete steps towards launching ONE product. It’s fantastic advice that Sonja is not at all interested in hearing.
Also, we find out that Josh and Kristen live in a rental, like real humans.
On the topic of real estate revelations, apparently Carole has a house in L.A.?! AND A DOG NAMED MARGARET?!?!?!?! I want to know everything about this dog! Who takes care of it when Carole’s in New York? How often does she even get to see it? Doesn’t it tear her up inside to be away from her pet so often? Why can’t she have her dog in New York? Her building is obviously pet-friendly since she dog-sat that one time. Carole has an Emmy and a Peabody and fucked George Clooney and she just like, hangs out with her dog when she happens to be on the West coast? What the fucking fuck?
Meanwhile, in New York, HollaHeather hollahosts an awkward “couples dinner” (ew) to invite the ladies to the Berkshires for the weekend. You can tell that Ramona is tense from the get-go. First, she brings a friend referred to on screen (but never by this blog) as her “Gay Husband,” clearly a cry for help. Mario shows up late and leaves early, his only contribution thanking HollaHeather too profusely for taking Ramona away for the weekend. Gross. On top of all that, Ramona is still feeling prickly towards Kristen after throwing wine in her face last episode. You can imagine how pleased she is to be invited to the Berkshires, a country retreat in the mountains.
I’ve vacationed in the Berkshires. It is lovely. I had a hilarious dinner at a steakhouse where the walls were covered in animal heads, and I got so drunk on stupidly-named cocktails that I left my credit card there. Something tells me that Ramona would not be able to appreciate a moment like that.
Yet somehow, she is down for aerial yoga! It’s official: the founders of this ridiculous fitness gimmick have bought some serious stock in the Housewives. I’ve seen this shit on Atlanta, Beverly Hills, and now New York, and I wouldn’t be surprised if all the other franchises were doing it, too. It’s just not that fun to watch people work out, Andy Cohen! Quit giving these trainers hope!
In this class, we get the first hint of this ridiculous excuse Ramona has concocted that the Berkshires remind her of where she grew up in upstate New York. Please. I’ve spent plenty of time in upstate New York, and in various parts, since that’s a super broad term. To me, the Berkshires have a solidly New England feel. And if you want to get real about it, Ramona’s precious Hamptons are technically “upstate,” non? I have a lot of sympathy for her difficult childhood, really I do, but I’m not buying that just going somewhere where there are trees is unleashing this massive wave of mems & feels, to the tune of being a huge bitch to Kristen. I think it has a lot more to do with whatever’s going on in her relationship with Mario.
I have no idea why Ramona didn’t just bail on this trip. She knew from the beginning that it wasn’t going to be her scene. Maybe she owed the producers one after missing so much filming to go to Africa. Or maybe she didn’t like how she was growing apart from Sonja and didn’t want her to bond with someone else. Or maybe she just wanted to get away from Mario.
Regardless, the Countess drives Ramona and Sonja up to HollaHeather’s house, terrifyingly. The Taconic is scary enough without tailgating and blinkerless lane-changing and speeding. Yikes. Ramona orders an air-conditioner to be delivered to HollaHeather’s house, because she’s fucking rude and thinks she can pull off Barbra Streisand-level diva behavior. She can’t. HollaHeather displays saintly patience and graciousness with how she handles Ramona. I think her trick is to always be in motion when she’s calling her out: “Actually, that’s a rude thing to say– can someone get the door?– and you know it, bitch– will you hand me that bottle opener?” Works like a charm.
HollaHeather, Carole, Kristen, and the Countess have a lovely afternoon: they play on a tree swing, relax in a hammock, walk the grounds, and take in the mountains. Meanwhile, Ramona and Sonja bitch and moan and struggle to install an air-conditioner with which they air out their vags. They’re doing this shit all wrong.
Somehow, HollaHeather gets everyone to go canoeing, and they even have to carry the canoes to the lake themselves. Can you imagine? HollaHeather, Kristen, and the Countess are in one canoe while Ramona, Sonja, and Carole are in the other. Poor Carole. She manages to catch a fish, but Ramona tells her to throw it back, her only likable moment in this episode. HollaHeather and Kristen jump out of their boat to swim in the lake, while Ramona and Sonja crack open the pinot and start gossiping.
Ramona tells Sonja that at HollaHeather’s couples dinner, Josh gave his meeting with Sonja a less-than-stellar review– and Kristen just sat there and said nothing! The noive! So, clearly Ramona was looking for something else to be mad at Kristen about, and now is trying to get Sonja on her side, too. I’ve never understood people who tell their friends the trash someone else is talking about them. Shut it down in the moment or shut up with your shit-stirring. HollaHeather and Kristen start eavesdropping on this conversation.
Then Kristen splashes Ramona and ruins her hair, for the second time in two episodes. That was pretty childish. But Ramona blows that out of the water by throwing a wine glass at Kristen’s face. A GLASS. IN HER FACE. WITH THE THROWING. What the fuck they were doing having stemmed glassware in canoes in the first place is beyond me, you guys. But Jesus Christ, you don’t throw a GLASSSSS at someone’s face!
The Countess (who I guess was a nurse at some point?) inspects Kristen’s face and sees that she has a cut lip. Carole leaps out of Ramonja’s boat and swims away, which is exactly right, and Ramona and Sonja row back to shore and drive off before the rest of the women can even process that a wine glass was just used as a weapon in a canoe fight.
Next week: Ramona doesn’t apologize, Ramona has an emotional response to trees, and Ramona ditches Sonja for the Hamptons. Until then, I’ll be like Carole: girl bye.