That. Dinner. Scene. This was no basic Housewives mess hall food fight. No. This was like they flew in Jane Campion to direct Oscar-winning wide-shot tableaus of women gesticulating wildly, desperate to be heard in the face of Remains-of-the-Day-level subtext.
We must start at that dinner scene because everything in this episode starts and ends there; sure, the table was a rectangle, but that dinner is the wheel from which every story spurs or comes to a head. It’s why Carole is leaving the franchise, but it’s also why she’s developed a taste for lacy garments that show off her underwear. This dinner is a metaphor for being on the show: It shall giveth (mmm paella and mocktails and opportunities to wear feather earrings); and it shall taketh away (friendships, privacy, sobriety).
Like any masterpiece scene, this one is broken into the meat, the potatoes and the parsley. If you’ve ever eaten with me, you know I start with the potatoes:
Our potatoes: Luann and Dorinda sit jollily at the opposite end of our entree (Bethenny and Carole) enjoying margaritas and mocktails. That is, until Luann delicately warns Dorinda that she’s “turning.” Now, from an outsider’s perspective, only a dear friend who’s witnessed the actual transformation from Jekyll to Hyde could ever use such gentle language to warn a friend of her impending belligerency. However, as Bethenny phrased it, “[Dorinda’s] got a secret to protect.” That secret is probably a messy ball made up of her drinking problem and her sadness over Richard. Dorinda’s like a mama grizzly bear when it comes to protecting her secret ball. Touch her ball, and she’ll rip your face off with the meanest, most pointed claws she can drag into your eyeballs, calling Lu a convict and an ex-countess—the latter strangely being the most offensive you can say to the, well, ex-Countess.
While the cameras did not catch the glass breaking (remember: They were just supposed to be enjoying themselves as Bethenny and Carole hashed it out)—or maybe it was just a glass that fell and they wanted to fool viewers—but Dorinda definitely slammed it against the table LeeAnne Locken style. This is the behavior of someone who probably has a drinking problem. Drunk Dorinda is how a stage actor would play drunk person to “reach the back of the house.” When Lu was drinking, did she fall into bushes? Yes. But she could hold her own. She did not lash out; she just got horny.
Yet, our peanut gallery protests that no one wants to be shamed by someone who’s been out of rehab all but three seconds. Is there something there? Sure. But hopefully Dorinda sees that Joker lipstick on her face while sipping her penultimate drink (I have to believe she takes another drink with her to bed) and has a come-to-Jesus moment.
Our meat: Bethenny and Carole go at it again. This is the sit-down Bethenny desperately wants, and Carole desperately wants to avoid. Just like how they tackle Dorinda’s Joker face later that night, Carole is perfectly fine convincing herself there’s most definitely not red lipstick smudged all over her friend’s face sitting all but three inches across from her while Bethenny enters the room and immediately wipes Dorinda’s face with a towel. Before this tête-à-tête, Carole bribed Bethenny’s new confidant, Sonja, with some earrings to get the lowdown on Bethenny. It’s here that Carole finally confesses: “[Our relationship] was a lot of Bethenny; it wasn’t a lot of Carole.” That’s it. Carole’s done. She’s bored with Bethenny’s games and won’t play into them. Bethenny only wants Carole to say “I love you the most.” Instead of saying it, Carole literally just quit the show (IRL, not on this ep, obv).
Our parsley: This is the part of the plate that’s not necessary, but pretty, and it brings it all together. It’s Sonja and Tinsley with a sprinkling of a quiet Ramona. They’re giggling, happy to be out of the action and ordering a mocktails with tequila. It’s everything we needed in the middle of these two fights and after learning that Tinsley’s sister’s name is Dabley and that Bethenny took home that weird light-up balloon—possibly the most shocking events of this episode chock-full of shocking events.
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‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 14
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 15