Real Housewives of New York Season 14, Episode 5 Recap: No Time for Fake Friends

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At the end of last week’s episode, the Real Housewives of New York were celebrating a Brynnsgiving in honor of Brynn Whitfield. Brynn was explaining why she doesn’t have any close family to spend the holidays with. The episode ended with Brynn saying that her parents went to prison, and she and her two siblings went into the foster care system.

“My grandma – my mom’s mom – came in, and she adopted us,” Brynn continued. But for a long time, Brynn worried about being taken away from her grandma.

“So at what point did things start looking better?” Sai De Silva asked. “Or did they?”

Brynn shared that as a first-grader, she drank a bottle of Dimetapp (children’s cold medicine), because “I wanted to sleep forever.”

The other women were heartbroken to hear about Brynn’s early years. “[Brynn’s] such a beautiful, vivacious, funny, warm, smart girl,” Jenna Lyons said. “To think of [those memories] living in her head just feels awful.”

“She went through a level of trauma,” Erin Lichy added, “that I don’t think anyone in this room can understand. I get why she doesn’t want to talk about it.”

When she was a senior in high school, Brynn got a call that her dad was in the hospital dying of liver cancer. She ended up having a “lovely relationship” with him and went to see him every weekend until he died. He apologized for abandoning her, “and I forgave him.”

Brynn’s dad passed away on November 12, 2003, right before Thanksgiving, which is why the holiday holds such sad meaning for her. All the ladies were in tears by this point in her story but assured Brynn that she turned out “pretty f*cking great” despite her early hardships.

All those designer gifts aren’t free

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Friendsgiving over, Sai was back at work at her Brooklyn Brownstone. As an Internet influencer, she gets a lot of cool gifts from major designers. “It’s like Christmas!” she said, opening boxes with her assistants. “When you get these gifts, nothing is free.” All of these designers expect Sai to feature their products on her social media, essentially advertising to her 482,000 Instagram followers alone.

But she doesn’t do it by herself. These days she has an accountant, an attorney, a brand manager and an editor helping her. “I have people who pull looks all the time to help me put things together,” Sai shared. “I pay everyone on payroll, [and] I offer health insurance.” Sai is Big Business.

“Brands usually come to me because they are already familiar with my content,” Sai continued. “In exchange, you do ‘deliverables.’ These can be anything from reels to Instagram photos to TikToks to full-on YouTube videos.” And she gets paid big bucks to do all of this.

Erin and Jessel’s coffee date doesn’t go well

Erin Lichy
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Jessel [Taank] and I are not in a place where we’re ‘going for coffee,'” Erin said, as she was meeting Jessel for coffee. “So, clearly, she wants to talk to me about something. Maybe Jessel realizes she was annoying AF in the Hamptons, and she’s coming to me to say, ‘Sorry for being such a pain in the ass at your house.'” Yeah, right. Keep dreaming, Erin.

If she came to Erin’s neighborhood to apologize, she wasn’t doing a very good job of it. While admiring Erin’s Tribeca stomping grounds, Jessel inadvertently stuck her foot in it (again) by saying the area is “really up and coming.”

“It’s not,” Erin objected. “It’s there!”

“Is it there?” Jessel questioned. “I mean, I feel like it still needs, like, the restaurant … I feel like there’s still a lot of potential.”

“Potential?” Erin pushed back. “It’s like the most expensive zip code. Not that I’m saying that for me … It’s already there.”

“I’m at a loss for words,” Erin interviewed. “As a real estate person, this is the most ridiculous comment I’ve ever heard in my entire life … What this tells me is that you know absolutely nothing about New York City, and you just got here yesterday.” Not going so well, Jessel.

Finally getting to the point, Jessel said that at Sai’s Friendsgiving, “I just felt like you were not your usual warm self,” Jessel continued. “I wanted to make sure everything was good, you know?”

“To be honest with you,” Erin responded, “I feel like we’re just very different people. Like, I don’t really understand the way you are sometimes. It almost makes me uncomfortable.”

Erin lays it out for Jessel

Jessel Taank, Erin Lichy, Sai De Silva
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Erin elaborated on how she and Jessel are so different. “You’re, like, smiling and happy, but then, like, you’re not. You seem like you’re being positive, but then you’re actually really upset about something.” Cue the footage of all the things Jessel complained about in the Hamptons: she hated the gift Jenna gave her, she was cold, she couldn’t connect to Erin’s WiFi.

“This is what I think,” Erin continued. “You can tell me if I’m wrong. I think you’re used to being maybe treated a certain way. Maybe I wasn’t catering to you, like, the way that you were expecting me to.”

“Okay, so I’m a princess?” Jessel asked. Hey, if the glass slipper fits, sweetheart…

“Maybe a little bit,” Erin admitted. “Is that bad? Are you?”

“A princess that doesn’t work, apparently?” So Jessel’s still upset about Erin misunderstanding that she’d gone back to work after giving birth to her twin boys.

“You told me that you weren’t really working right now,” Erin said, “since you had the twins.”

“I never said that,” Jessel clapped back. “Let me tell you – so we don’t have to repeat this – I launched my own consultancy. I’m starting to take on designers again. I’m working. I truly embrace women that are working.”

A tangled miscommunication

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“Now I don’t embrace women?” Erin said. “Yeah, watch that.” It’s like they’re not even speaking the same language.

“Mazel tov to you for starting your own business,” Erin said. “I didn’t know that you launched it, but don’t ever even try to say that I don’t build women up. Like, that’s not okay.”

“We need to support each other,” Jessel responded. “I just didn’t feel that from you.”

“This is why I have trouble with Jessel,” Erin interviewed. “I don’t know that she’s working again because she never told me, and now I don’t support women, which is incredibly insulting.”

Then Jessel rewound the conversation to revisit Erin calling her a princess. “I’ve never been called a princess before.” And yet, she totally is!

“I’m an immigrant to this country,” Jessel interviewed. “I came here, I had nothing, and I worked my way to the top. So being catered to? No, that’s extremely condescending.” So is acting like a princess.

Jessel agreed when Erin said they’re “not the same.”

“Yeah, definitely not on the same page,” Jessel said. “I don’t have time for fake friends. So, cheers to that.” That went well, don’t you think?

“If I can have an honest conversation with Jessel,” Erin interviewed, “I’ll move on. But it’s very hard for me to have a conversation with someone who just will not see their part in any situation.”

Even though Jessel had “the purest of intentions to connect with Erin,” their conversation “went south really quick.” I just don’t think Erin and Jessel are meant to be friends.

As Jessel left the coffee shop without even a goodbye, Erin muttered to herself, “So f*cking weird. She’s a lunatic.” She’s not far wrong.

Brynn and Sai are “real friend” goals

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In contrast to Erin and Jessel, Sai and Brynn really seem to like each other. They also met for coffee, greeting each other with hugs and kisses. I just sense a real friendship between these two.

“I got a very interesting phone call from Jessel,” Brynn told Sai. Hmm, I wonder what that could be about? Brynn said Jessel told her, “I’m so over the Hamptons.”

“What is there to be over?” Sai asked. “I don’t understand.”

“She’s like, ‘I met up with Erin and I just had to tell her, like, I just wanna move on from all this,'” Brynn continued. “Anyhow, so I called Erin. I was like, ‘If you’re gonna be in the area, just stop by.'”

Shortly afterward, Erin walked through the door. Again with the hugs and kisses.

“Go grab a coffee,” Sai told her. “And then let me know about some tea that’s going on.”

“Jessel and I had two different conversations,” Erin admitted. “It was like arguing with a chatbot. You enter information and out comes word salad. It’s nonsense.”

When Erin told them about Jessel saying that Tribeca’s “up and coming,” they both laughed out loud.

“I think that was when JFK Jr. and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy lived there,” Brynn said, may they both rest in peace. Exactly what I was thinking when Jessel said it! I live clear on the other side of the country, and even I know Tribeca’s cool.

You can’t move on without taking accountability

Brynn Whitfield
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Brynn told Erin, “I got a phone call this morning. She was like, ‘Everyone won’t stop talking about the Hamptons.'”

Erin relayed her conversation with Jessel, especially the “princess” comment, and that Jessel “welled up with tears.” (By the way, Erin never used the word “princess.” That was Jessel’s word.)

“I love the fact that she calls you a cackling hag,” Brynn laughed. “You call her a princess, and she’s the one who cries.”

“You can’t say anything to Jessel,” Erin summed up. “She’s gonna get offended. Everyone’s walking on eggshells with her.”

Brynn made a good point when she said that Jessel wants to “move on,” but she’s not “taking the steps to move on.”

“I’m also over talking about the Hamptons,” Sai confessed, “and everything she did, she’s never gonna own it. There is no accountability. That’s how she is.”

“You want me to let things go,” Brynn said, “but if you don’t take accountability, then I’ll just let you go.”

“The whole problem is that she doesn’t own anything that she does,” Sai added. “Jessel is sweet, and I don’t think she’s a malicious person, but she can’t take accountability for sh*t she says. Can you just say sorry so we can move on?”

Jessel launches “The Know”

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Jessel was very excited to be launching her new fashion consultancy “The Know.” She explained to us that it was short for “In the know,” like we’re all stupid or something. While the caterers were setting up for the party, Jessel’s husband Pavit was standing around in his sweats with a carrot in his champagne glass.

“That is not normal,” she chastised him. “What are you doing?”

“It’s healthier,” he joked.

“Can you not act like this in front of people, please?” she told him. Is it any wonder they’re not having sex when she talks to him like that? Wow.

Neither Ubah Hassan nor Jenna was able to attend Jessel’s event since they were both working. Except that Jenna wasn’t working. Cameras were at Jenna’s filming her decorating her Christmas tree with a group of friends. I guess that was more enjoyable for Jenna than spending time with Jessel. And there’s Popeye, Jenna’s adorable little dog. I love him!!! Also, Jenna has the same tree topper angel as I do. Does Jenna shop at Target, too?

Jenna explained that her son Beckett was only going to be with her for two weeks in December (she shares custody with his dad), and she didn’t have a lot of time with him to do the tree.

“Unfortunately, Beckett is going to usurp my Jessel visit,” Jenna said. “I can support her in other ways. It’s fine.” I totally agree with Jenna. I would rather spend time with my son, too, than go to a joyless event at Jessel’s.

Sai stirs the pot

Sai De Silva
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Sai arrived at Jessel’s, saying she was “exhausted” but still wanted to support Jessel’s event. “I heard that you and Erin got into a little thing,” she told Jessel. “I heard you got emotional.”

“No, I wasn’t emotional,” Jessel countered. “It was just awkward.”

“She called you a princess and you cried, didn’t you?” Sai pressed. Ouch. That was a little rough, Sai.

“I took offense to that because I’m like you,” Jessel responded. “I came here with no money, and I f*cking worked my ass off. Maybe I give off a certain vibe.”

“You seem like you do come from money,” Sai told her. “Seems like there’s some old money there. Maybe it’s the English accent.”

“At this point, they’re just making assumptions based off of how I sound and how I look,” Jessel argued. “Isn’t that illegal in America?” Where on earth did she get that idea? Americans judge people every day based on how they look and talk. It may not be right, but there’s no law against it.

“But don’t be offended,” Sai told her. “If somebody looked at me like old money, I’d be like, ‘Yes, dahling!'”

At that moment Ubah walked into Jessel’s. Yay, I love Ubah! She’s so sweet and down to earth. Both Jessel and Sai were thrilled to see her. She said she’d been working, but she was done at 5:30, so she came by.

Then Brynn arrived. Sai said she looked “pampered … like old money.”

“That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me!” Brynn responded. “I would love to be called a princess. Can I add that to my LinkedIn?”

Brynn goes gaga over the babies

Brynn Whitfield
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Just as the ladies were wondering where Erin and Jenna were, a commotion was heard as Jessel’s 18-month-old twin sons came running into the room, barefoot and in their pajamas. There’s nothing cuddlier than a baby fresh from the bath and in his/her pajamas. I can almost smell the baby shampoo. Brynn lost her mind over the cuteness of it all and squealed, “Babies! The boys are here! The boys are here!” They are cute.

Pavit greeted Brynn with a kiss on the cheek. “They really love you.” Because she jumps up and down and has so much energy when she sees them. Babies love big, happy reactions like that. “You got lipstick on your cheek, I got you!” she told one of the twins, who had a big, red imprint of a kiss on his face.

“I do not know how you guys do it,” Brynn told Pavit. They have nannies, Brynn. That’s how they do it.

Erin puts her feelings aside for charity

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When Erin finally walked through the door, Brynn announced, “Look what the cat dragged in!” I’m surprised she came, but then she did say she wanted to support Jessel’s event since she was raising money for CITTA, “a US-based non-profit organization working in India and Nepal to bring health, education and economic development of women to impoverished regions.” (I Googled it).

“Listen, before you even walk into the house,” Jessel told Erin, “my intention with that conversation was to, like, just kind of get over it. I’m sorry if I offended you in any way. That wasn’t my intention at all.”

“I’m trying to make an effort,” Erin told her. “That’s why I came … I wanted you to know that I support you and your new venture.”

“Thank you, that means a lot,” Jessel admitted.

“I’m done,” Erin interviewed. “I don’t hold grudges. Hopefully, we can move on and be, like, normal friends. I’m not forgetting how crazy you are, but we’re good right now.”

Real Housewives of New York continues Sundays at 9/8c on Bravo.