Perhaps it was when Tinsley’s colorist squealed like a stubby little devil at the thought of his client attempting to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Or maybe it was when Tinsley asked to borrow lotion in her own lotion-less home/hotel. Whatever the tell was, we know with certainty that Tinsley Mortimer, fallen heiress, is desperate. There is only one thing that could possibly save her from ordering a third room-service cheese plate on television: a deus ex machina, in the form of a boyfriend—as in boyfriend/girlfriend—appear
But before we get to that, let’s talk about the other ladies. Bethenny walks Sonja through her new ginormous apartment to which Sonja earnestly exclaims, “You are putting money into this!” The remark would be akin to somebody saying “The moon is far away!” I would not be surprised if Sonja took a CAT scan and all they found was the last remnants of vaudeville just can-can-ing away in her brain cavity. I say that as a compliment.
Back in 1986, Lu is dropping in on a $2.5M Riverside apartment with a real estate agent whose aura, hair and lack of cell phone (we all know she went to use a landline) can only be explained by time travel. Alas, it’s all for show. Lu is not going to buy. She wants to rent. And she wants it to be casual—this coming from the woman who refers to her driver as, well, Driver. If you were to ask me, “Hey, what’s the opposite of casual?” I would say, “Calling your driver, Driver.”
But the “big event” of this episode is Ramona’s charity-less Henri Bendel discount sale/party where women can come have a drink amid countless tacky makeup bags. Lu handles Missy like a pro, and Ramona handles Sonja like a jerk. Yes, Sonja has been totally unhinged before. But tonight she’s coming straight. She tells Ramona, “You’re leaving me while I’m in pain,” which is the most honest thing a person can say to another person. Unpack that statement and you get: I feel abandoned. I feel lonely. I’m hurting. I need you. Ramona’s response? “I’m closer to Carole now!” Ramona, you wicked little ageless weasel.
Where’s Tinsley? Well, with the help of enabler Carole, the man Tinsley has deemed her future husband surprises her at her hotel/apartment. It’s her deus ex machina. The hand-of-god solution to everything wrong in her life. But if you thought this would solve Tinsley’s problems, you’d be dead wrong.
From the get-go everything is just…off. The Coupon Cabin man is giving serious if-Memento-were-a-comedy vibes (as in, he goes to the bathroom and notices a tattoo on his arm reading “R-U-N,” but can’t put the pieces together just yet). If you noticed your glassware rattling during Tinsley’s damsel in distress act, it’s because it shook the entire planet with secondhand embarrassment.
And oh dear. The phone calls. They’re the calls you make when you get engaged or tell people you’re pregnant. But, “Mom! Coupon Cabin man surprised me after avoiding me for two months!” coming from the mouth of a 40-year-old Eloise at the Plaza is strikingly sad.
I’ll keep my notes on the flower hoarding as brief as the revelation that Tinsley saves her dead and dying bouquets until she gets engaged* (or something? not quite clear on that one), which is honestly out of the bleakest Flannery O’Conner short story ever.
Tinsley, prepare for those flowers to wither, mold over and turn to dust. From the look in Coupon Cabin’s eyes, he’s slowly remembering why he took a two-month sabbatical. Enjoy Chicago, you two lovebirds.