What happens in the Berkshires rarely ever stays in the Berkshires. In fact, it usually drives major storylines for the remainder of the season on the Real Housewives of New York. Is it something in the water? Is Dorinda Medley’s house built on a goddamn pet cemetery? Whatever the case may be, this year it’s Bethenny Frankel and Carole Radziwill who decide to celebrate their very own Festivus early by airing their grievances on the Berkshires annual trip. And they decide to do it in full costume because…it’s a murder mystery party, ya’ll! So, yeah – it’s nuts. Therefore, it’s incredible.
We begin with Dorinda making it nice. While she shops for quiches and cakes, Bethenny’s assistants pack her bags with pajamas
and pepper spray. Carole and Ramona Singer show up first – they’re staying an extra night to behold the Christmas wonderland that Dorinda has erected in literally every corner and crevice of Blue Stone Manor. While they sip cocktails next to a thousand stuffed Santas, Sonja Morgan is back in the city getting a facial and free gossip from her facialist. She’s also making claims about where her missing animals have recently gone. “I gave kitty away to a nice gay man,” sighs Sonja, who moves on to discussing how one must douche between same-day sexual partners. Tinsley Mortimer, take note: This is your future calling, and it’s bleak. Two roads diverged in the wood, and Sonja took the one to Bellevue. You in danger, girl!!
Dorinda takes Ramona and Carole to dinner. It’s important to note that Dorinda is now describing Ramona as “easy” company, which says a lot about how batsh*t CRAY the rest of the cast it. As a reminder, our girl Ramona was the nutcase who literally ripped lights off of walls last year in Dorinda’s home. But now Dorinda is spooked more by Sonja, who’s moved past stealing pajamas and is more concerned with lying about everyone.
Carole is wondering what her disconnect with Bethenny is? Dorinda brings up the Adam situation – he wanted to be paid for his photography services in Houston, which Bethenny found uncharitable. Carole had no idea Bethenny was irked by this, even though she did realize she’d asked Adam to go on the trip. Bethenny usually comes straight for you when she’s pissed, so why has she been avoiding this issue with Carole? Or…is this Adam nonsense really the issue? Hmm.
The next morning, Carole gives Dorinda a makeup turban and a Donald Trump chia pet, which is possibly the greatest gift combination any Housewife has ever received. Bethenny arrives in a great mood, cursing the trip by claiming that “nothing can possibly go wrong this year.”
Before Dorinda even utter, “Welcome to the Berksh—” Bethenny is already talking a mile a minute about life-size nutcrackers and displaying the Skinnygirl jeans she brought along. Carole and Bethenny seem fine at first, which cues Carole to let the issue drop for now. She’ll bring it up later once Bethenny has a bedazzled thong on her head.
Ramona unsuccessfully tries to conjure up the word for snowman + homie (“snow persons? snow people? snow…mees?”) Bethenny is donning on her sweater while Luann De Lesseps, Sonja, and Tinsley wander in next with bottles of wine. Party’s here! Luann is ready to get her drink on, so let’s start popping bottles. Who gives a sh*t if it’s 10 am?
The only thing Dorinda gives a rat’s ass about it that no one abuses her housekeeper, Len. Lest we forget – Len has been caught in the crossfire of more than one Housewives beatdown over the years. Also, Ramona doesn’t own any humans in this house, so she can pour her own wine and find her own TP, thankyouverymuch. Also, note to Sonja: Wear your own underthings, lady! And please do not rinse them out in the toilet.
Once house rules are established, Luann and Sonja immediately set about to decorating/destroying their room. So Sonja snaps photos of the room like she’s renting a Honda just in case damage is reported later. Soon, the ladies get all decked out in their best murder gear, circa 1920s Party City. Tammy Temperance (Dorinda) and Lady Bird (Ramona) greet the actors at the door, one of whom will play the owner of the house, “Mr. Feathersby.” Nell Neighbors (Tinsley) and Sylvia Treadway (Carole) get their feathers and rhinestones straightened before heading downstairs. Tinsley wonders if Carole will confront Bethenny tonight, but Carole doesn’t seem all that hopped up yet. YET.
Maria Antipasta (Sonja) immediately starts hitting on smug little paid-by-the-hour-actor Mr. Feathersby, because…of course she does. Melanie Wharton (Bethenny) comes down to greet the Feathersbys, et al, and to find her a fritter. She never met a fritter she didn’t like, so silk gloves be damned! A fritter she will have. When Jeanne Menage (Luann) traipses down bellowing French-lish, we see Luann’s cabaret future stretch out before is in perpetuity. This is the Countess’s element, and nobody will be putting her in a corner tonight – even if she is the murder victim.
Soon, Aidan – Mr. Feathersby’s friend who he claimed to hate – drops “dead” in their midst. OH LORDT. Full admission: I can barely watch this sort of staged murder mystery nightmare on TV without cringing, and would immediately drop dead of embarrassment if I were subjected to it in person. Bethenny apparently feels similarly, as she continues to double-fist fritters while Aidan-The-Actor gasps his last breaths.
Now we enter a series of “Who dunnit?” moments at the dining table that are less important than the mess that eventually goes down. Sonja is just pissed that there were only three dudes at this party to begin with, and now one croaked on the carpet. Dorinda needs the butler to stop trying to get his SAG card and bring her some damn wine. Just as Ramona is ordering her ice and tequila be measured exactly to her specifications, Mr. Feathersby drops dead at the table – but not before Ramona pounds him on the back like she just saw the ghost of Mario’s mistress. The butler turns out to be a “cop” who lamely explains the mystery – then allows the group to move on to the real stuff: Petty Housewives Drama.
Bethenny brings up Ramona’s claim that she called Carole a “puppet.” Ramona knows she doesn’t have a passing grasp over the English language, so she quickly bows out of the argument, gleeful that Carole is (for once) willing to take over when it comes to going head to head against Bethenny. “I feel our vibe is off a little bit,” says Carole. “Is there a reason for it?” Although Bethenny deflects at first, she does admit that Carole hasn’t seemed very interested in her charity work. But Carole claims she has been very supportive and is upset that Beth would throw Adam under the bus for being uncharitable as well.
Carole killed a Page Six story that claimed there was a “feud” between Bethenny and her, but now it seems like there is some truth to it. When Bethenny starts to dance around the semantics of whether she called/emailed/smoke screened Adam to go to Houston, Carole gets fed up. “If this is the vibe, I don’t like it,” she tells Bethenny, not okay with arguing over particulars of who-called-who when it’s really about the larger issue of calling someone cheap. “You don’t have to like it, Carole,” retorts Bethenny, who admits that this whole thing is freaking her out a little bit. Carole says the truth freaks Bethenny out, which practically makes Ramona stand up and cheer.
After seven rounds of “was it a Saturday or Sunday that Adam couldn’t go on the trip!?!??” Carole finally tells Bethenny she’s “kind of aggressive and dismissive” with her every time they’re together lately, and it’s tiring. Bethenny says that’s not the case. But she sort of proves Carole’s point when Carole calls her “honey” because she pounces on her. “Don’t call me ‘honey’ – that’s condescending,” she snaps. Both women accuse the other one of not letting them talk, which is like screaming into a canyon and arguing with your own echo. It’s going nowhere. And even though Carole says she loves Bethenny and wants to get to the root of their issue, the look on Bethenny’s face says she doesn’t quite believe it. And neither does anyone else at this table – except for maybe the murdered guy.
To be continued…
TELL US: WHAT IS THE REAL ISSUE BETWEEN BETHENNY AND CAROLE? CAN THEY COME BACK FROM THIS?
Photo Credit: Dave Kotinsky/Bravo