Where is there to really start with Real Housewives of New York? This show is such a terrific pile of insanity. We were in the Hamptons again, kicking up sand and divets as always.

The red, threadbare curtain was pulled back to reveal Chapter 1, the Surfing Lesson. Bethenny, Ramona, and Countess Gold Bond decided to take surfing lessons so the cameras could get them looking vacuum-sealed in their bathing costumes. Ramona was speaking backwards, as she tends to when surrounded by a preponderance of seagulls, and she said she didn't want to actually go out in the water. So she stayed ashore with Jill, who was dressed as Harvey Fierstein in his as-yet-unproduced new play, Palm Beach Sunday. They frolicked in the waves and clapped for the girls out there in the water. It was really satisfying to watch the Countess tumble ass-up into the water. More than it should have been, actually. Ramona then stamped her feet and winked her eyes in rapid succession and suddenly there was a bright light and we were being whisked away to somewhere else.

When the astral wind ceased, we were suddenly at the Chateau du Shitfarmer. Finally the Countess's devoted laundry slave Rosie was back from her selfish terrorist trip back home to the Philippines. The poor children were terribly excited to see her, as they'd had to endure a month of their horrid mother complaining about washing dishes and being confused about laundry. Which is such a sham. LuAnn, m'dear, forty years ago you were living on toaster cakes and rainwater, washing your single sad party dress in some crick down by your cinderblocked Airstream. You know how to do the damn laundry. You just don't want to. Don't pretend like you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. It was tin. And your Cousin Leroy immediately needed it back so he could run off down the general store and hawk it for cigruts and never come back. Anyway, it was sad to see how desperately glad the children were to have their true mother figure back in the house. Rosie gave them all presents, including a bracelet that shitty old LuAnn declared "Fun!!" Meaning "this is so bright and ethnic, and I think it's tacky, oh you're so dumb, get back to work." She then immediately escorted Rosie down to the laundry mines and left her Ramona in a cage, chirping softly. If Ramona keels over, it means the whites got mixed.

Next Jill, County, and Ramona all met for an Ugly Dresses luncheon, and the Countess spoke annoying French and Jill basically said "I don't understand classy talk!" and then Ramona popped out of a tea kettle and said, "I'm here!" LuAnn announced that her gross parental negligence three to five days a week just wasn't enough, so her daughter needed to be even more separated from her. So she was fleeing desperately to boarding school, where she would no longer have to endure her mother's stories, which are all plainly ripped off from the Charlene song "I've Never Been to Me." Oh, this reminds me, in an earlier scene her younger daughter Noel was shown to be on crutches. Apparently she'd hurt her leg and couldn't go to skateboarding camp. 1) Poor girl. Tried to get away, but cruel fate intervened. 2) Skateboarding camp? Terrific. Followed immediately by a Graffiti seminar and then a Breaking Shit clinic. Anyway, LuAnn doesn't really give a fuck that her daughter can't stand to be around her, because boarding school just seems really fancy. Plus, she told Ramona, it's a "family tradition." If by "boarding school" you mean the time you learned sex ed in the parking lot of a Dairy Queen two towns over, then yes, LuAnn, it is a tradition.

Ramona was horrified that LuAnn would send her children away, because she wants her daughter to be close by so she can love her and squeeze her and smother her and stuff her and prop her up in her bed with her beautiful glassy eyes and she can be pretty pretty pretty forever and ever and ever. Ramona told the cameras "That's why I had her, so she'd be around me." Which is sort of a creepy approximation of why one has a child. "Need...friends..." Like a zombie or a giant learning to love. Anyway! Then Jill told them about her arthritis benefit, and Ramona said she couldn't do it because she was just too busy! Then she remembered that her daughter had arthritis and yeah, maybe she could help.

Um, sigh. There was an exercise segment that took place at somewhere classy called Grey Goose Manor and Jill died from Pilates.

Meanwhile, in the land of wind and ghosts, Simon and Alex were wandering around their crumbling haunted shack, talking about spa treatments. Part of the "package" of renting their shitty, shambled hermitage was that a comically big-breasted psychic/masseuse/sauna-turner-on-er would come by the house and be quietly horrified by Simon's stork-like physique. Alex said she was just always too damn busy in the city to get proper spa treatments, but she probably owed this to herself as their Hamptons trip had been anything but relaxing! What with all the parties and the eerie howlings and demonic seances that the locals held in their dining room every night at the stroke of midnight and then Francois became possessed by the ghost of an old lady and started pooping in a chamber pot. Just the end-all!

So Tits O'Malley showed up and Simon was clad only in a towel. After she recovered from the stroke, Tits escorted them to a closet that someone had put a hibachi in. This was known as the Sauna at Hill House. Simon loved sitting in a dark room full of steam with his beautiful, jack-o-lantern bride. Then it was time for strange warm things to be wrapped around Simon's body while his wife was at the pool, unawares. No, I'm not talking about the lips of a young Latino rentboy! Not this time, at least. I'm talking about weird spa goop. As Simon lay there, he wanted to remind us that just because he simply adored spa treatments and got them all the time, it doesn't mean he's gay. He's right. It means he's gayer than Danny Kaye at a Kohl's half-off sale. Anyway, he said he could feel his warm bits tingling, and Alex got a card reading that said she was coming into property soon. She was thrilled. Had Simon been told that he'd be coming into property soon, he would have asked "Do you mean a Latino rentboy's mouth?"

The new girl, just a slip of skin cut off of a bat's wing, fell off a horse. I saw this same plotline done more compellingly on the series finale of Full House.

Next up the Countess Mayonnaise took her soon-to-be-departing daughter and all of her friends to a nice lunch. Oh how nice! LuAnn wants to wish her daughter bon voyage! Yay! And what does any girl who's about to leave everyone she knows behind to go to a strange school faraway want to do with her last hours in the Hamptons? Listen to her Sonic-Burger-assistant-manager-for-two-days-in-1973 mother prattle on about proper manners, as will be demonstrated in her NEW BOOK. So, yes, Countess Greasybits used her daughter's farewell luncheon to plug her new book while the poor fleeing girl's friends looked on in horror. LuAnn's reasoning for teaching a child manners? "It tells people a lot about where they're from." Oh! Ha ha! So it's about YOU!!!! It's about you, you magnificent Oklahoma science project of a creature feature. What an embarrassment you are, LuAnn. A straight up, windswept, middle of nowhere trainwreck. Congratulations. Happy graduation. Here's a flaming mortarboard and a diploma I made out of old Filet O' Fish wrappers.

Back at the Last House on the Left, Simon and Alex were packing up the dune buggy and puttering back to the dumpster in Cobble Hill where they live. Alex was so relieved to be leaving the swilly green Hamptons, because it's just not relaxing. Now they can prepare for their real vacation, in off-season "Sant Barrrrthsss," as they call it.

Bethenny, Jill, and Crapfactory went to a gay hoedown that was supposedly attended by a who's-who of New York's gay glitterati. Which, in Real Housewives-speak, translates to a bunch of old men wearing salmon-colored shirts and weeping. Crapfactory wore a big gay costume of large glasses and a turban, Jill got mad at her mincing gay friend who was dressed as a finally-out Ennis Del Mar at age 60, while Bethenny cut up a very expensive, designer rug with a bunch of gay dudes who she'd previously bellowed at. It was enlightening and enriching. There were hotdogs there!! Get it????? I do. It was a reference to LuAnn's childhood fantasies, right? She'd lie there on the oil-stained grass, dreaming of piles and piles of hotdogs.

Wilson's Leather was competing in another horse show and Ramona showed up. She spoke her Sparklespeak and got in a fight with some grass that was blowing softly in the wind. When Leather ignored her, Ramona got very upset and her eyes turned black obsidian and she began saying low on her breath "shanti shayni, shanti shayni, shanti shayni..." But Ramona actually doesn't know that kind of magic, so Leather didn't fall off this time and had a good horse ride, but somewhere in Thailand a little boy wet his pants and he didn't know why. Then Ramona hopped onto her dragonfly-drawn chariot and soared off into the purple evening sky.

She landed at a party that Russell Simmons was hosting for Arts and Kids and Things. She marveled at the trees and flowers that had suddenly grown large and were talking to her. Normally this would be just a regular Ramona day, but today everyone could see them! Ramona ran up to everyone and said "If you can see the flowers, does that mean you can also see the Whisperfolk and the Fantasticats??" She asked this of everyone, absolutely everyone. They all patted her head and sent her off on her little way. She got in a fight with Jill about tennis that made no sense. And then.... Oh lord. And then she bumbled up to Governor Patterson, who was at the party, and, to hear Jill tell it, got in an argument with him about who was blinder. Paterson, or Ramona with her glasses off. She walked up to him and immediately asked "Aren't you blind or something?" Unbelievable. This woman is really not a creature of this Earth. She's like Charo. Or a glowworm.

She then clicked her heels three times and the world spun blue and we were brought to the final chapter, They Shoot Counts, Don't They? There was a big horsey show for the fugitive daughter of the Countess Armandhammer and she wanted all of her friends to come. Unfortunately some of Ramona's wicked hexes must have had residual effects, because the LuAnnette shit the bed. Even worse, the Count didn't show up to watch. So LuAnn's feathers got publicly ruffled and Bethenny was bemused and everything was dusty and awful.

When LuAnn got home, she watched her daughter walk out onto the big lawn and stare off North, where she'd soon be living, soon be escaped. Not having the energy to fight more with the Count, LuAnn trundled upstairs and into her bedroom. And there, lying on the Rosie-made bed, was something LuAnn had not seen in years and thought she'd never see again. It was her Sonic Burger name tag. Resting there, on this fancy, faraway Hamptons bed. She snatched it up and ran to Rosie's room to ask her if she'd somehow put it there, but she was snoring peacefully on her little filthy cot beneath the stairs. So LuAnn just stood at the dining room window, with her distant, dreaming daughter bleeding into the horizon, fingering this fossil, this artifact from a tomb she'd thought forever closed. And she wondered. She wondered many things.

Outside and above them, above us all, Ramona's face was the moon. She winked three times. All of our mysteries hung in the air, like balloons or hummingbirds. The sound of crickets swelled up and everything, absolutely everything, was perfectly still.


(I'm sorry this is so stupidly long. It was just a really good episode. Man oh man. This show.)