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‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 9: The White Elephant in the Room

We start back in the Berkshires with Bethenny and Carole’s argument in full swing. Not to therapize the situation…but, Bethenny clearly wants Carole to mother her, to hug her and tell her, “You’re doing an amazing thing for Puerto Rico. They need you.” That’s the only acceptable explanation for how Bethenny is acting—like a bratty teenager, pushing the limits of what she can say to her mother to see if she’ll still love her. “You seem more into your style and your hair color and Tinsley,” roughly translates to: “Tell me you love me!!!!” 

It’s all so sad and desperate that we almost don’t give Lu points for her sadness and desperation. She’s the jester of this dinner, chiming in left and right on Bethenny and Carole’s fight about Adam the Operator as if it has anything to do with her or as if she understands what Bethenny means by “operator.” “He operates my niece AND you,” Lu shouts from the nosebleeds. Oy. And then when Carole unnecessarily drops that Bethenny called Lu a loser—which Bethenny denies but admits is how she feels—Lu can not let it go. It’s funny in the moment, watching a delusional woman so offended by such a benign slight, but when Lu later humps a bunch of the women and piles them into a “lady salad,” we know something is wrong. Her vitals are off the charts, but no one’s taking heed. 

You see, as with any broken home, when the parents are fighting, so much falls by the wayside. Bethenny and Carole’s battle royale is no different. It’s the shiny object everyone at the murder mystery dinner party can’t help but pay attention to. And while mommy and mommy arguing takes center stage, they all lose site of the problem child, Luann, whose divorce wounds are festering beneath the surface. Once you remove all the layers—the Diana Ross wig, the spray tan, the turquoise statement piece, the penthouse, the ’90s real estate agent, the niece who dated Adam—you have a broken woman with a drinking problem bound for disaster in Palm Beach.  

The most unfortunate part of this Shakespearean tragedy is that the one person familiar with disaster relief is off her game. Usually, Bethenny would be able to spot this particular Luann hurricane from a mile away and tell her she’s drinking too much. But Bethenny’s full-tilt nutty right now, projecting onto Ramona and yelling something to Kevin, her driver, so appalling we dare not write it…but we will: “You get a Christmas bonus and you don’t help me with my bags anymore?” That’s just humiliating, and that’s what Bethenny does to people she believes wrongs them: She breathes just enough fire on her enemies, not to kill them, but to singe the clothes off, so that once she’s done, they’re shaking and naked. (If Bethenny’s not a Scorpio, we’ll be—OK, just Googled. She’s is 100 percent a Scorpio. Of course.) 

Back in the city, Sonja fixes a sink broken from a memorable carnal embrace circa 2008 (that’s ten years ago, people) and Bethenny hosts another holiday party, a New York holiday party mind you—for literally the same six people in the Berkshires. Bethenny deems herself a wonderful host, but watching her point to the sushi chef and say to Carole, “Isn’t this great?” doesn’t feel like a wonderful host thing to do. It feels more like a hostage situation.  

But we digress. While there was so much metallic and sparkle it was hard to focus our vision, we were able to make out a fun little game of white elephant replete with beauty blender cleaner (how…nice?), a leather wallet, some anti-aging serums not by Ramona and a box of Hanky Pankys. The pièce de résistance, of course, is not any of the white elephant gifts, but a life-size nutcracker for Bethenny’s daughter delivered by a random man who big salads Dorinda. 

There are so many things wrong with this scenario. For one, just because your kid says they want the life-size nutcracker doesn’t mean you get it for them. It’s creepy, as in, the thing of nightmares. And there’s no way Brynn’s going to give one hoot about it come morning. Also, how goddamn hard is it to find a big nutcracker? They take over every doorway in the country come Christmastime. And yes, we feel like we can speak on this matter because we have a family member (who would like to remain nameless) who used to collect high-end nutcrackers (there is such a thing) despite celebrating Hanukkah. We know from firsthand experience this is an interest Brynn will undoubtedly grow out of and will feel slightly ashamed about in the future. They should chop up the nutcracker to use as kindling for Bethenny’s sad fire instead. 

Overshadowed by a massive nutcracker and more Bethenny/Carole talk, the walking ulcer that is Luann goes mostly unnoticed. Sure, when Bethenny revealed that Tom had a new “busted and banged up” girlfriend, Lu responded with a beautiful soliloquy, “Lay low, dick!” But that was kind of it. The women reverted back to Bethenny telling them that Carole seemed “off” and “sad.” 

This will get back to Carole at Luann’s blood drive (which, comically, no one can give blood at for myriad reasons). For the Housewives, this congress of women—the malcontents of Bethenny—might be a historic moment akin to the Sons of Liberty planning the Boston Tea Party: They’re not going to take it anymore. Why do they allow Bethenny to talk to them that way? Why can Bethenny talk about her business but belittle Ramona for talking about hers? Why is Bethenny calling Carole sad and lonely when Bethenny is the one who’s sad and lonely? The ladies are unionizing. They want fair work conditions. No more Skinny Girl product placement without representation!!!! 

And in an episode that didn’t seem like it would end, we finally (or so we think) rest for a second in Luann’s new penthouse where she can breathe the crisp NYC air from her wrap-around balcony. But if anyone had been paying attention to the white elephant in the room, the signs were all there. There was no way Lu was going to Palm Beach, where Tom and his new busted and banged-up girlfriend were, without incident. And by incident we of course mean a disorderly conduct arrest.

‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 1
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 2
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 3
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 4
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 5
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 6
‘The Real Housewives of New York’ Season 10 Episode 7
The Real Housewives of New York Season 10 Episode 8

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