Last night we finally saw all of the New York ghouls put back in their coffins and lowered into the earth, where they will hopefully stay for years and years and years. Well, until next season at least.
Ohh heavens. Remember last Friday when all six of you loyal readers were like "Hey, it's Friday, where is Richard's Real Housestinks of Fester Island reunion recap?" and it never came? Well, I'm sorry for that. To me the reunions aren't really part of the show. Or they weren't, I guess. Because I never watch them. They're too hideous! They're so shrieky and nasty and awful. So they're not part of the regular season, is what I thought, naively, all those seven days ago. The indefatigable Brian Moylan recapped Monday night's REUNION PART 2, so there was that. And now here I am, shivering in my underpants on the couch, Brian's off somewhere on Fire Island just taking a Friday off like he owns the place, and we're all stuck here with this pile of ladymuck that Andy Cohen has massaged like a heart into being. And you know what? I did watch it last night. And I didn't hate it. I mean I did hate it — blood tears are never fun — but I also found it oddly edifying, enlightening, satisfying. I did, I daresay, find closure. Isn't that funny? What a trick of the heart, a [hand fitz] of the brain. I guess I did care after all. In the end I guess this all meant something to me, all these snakes slithering on top of each other in a pile, leaving their mysterious snake droppings everywhere, the hot and merciless sun beating down on the tiny rock they've decided to call home. There's substance here. It's just the kind of substance that needs to be buried miles underground.
ANYHOO. There's no real narrative for me to tweak or invent from whole cloth, so let's just go character by character and see what part of the ditch they all ended up in.
I think I knew Sonja. I think during those two blissful years I spent at private school she was somebody's mother. That is basically what she is, isn't it? The drunken, purple eye-lidded, slushy rich lady who should never be driving that Volvo, but always does drive that Volvo, and you see her sometimes at the country club on Lamprey Island (this is a fake summer town that I've invented, it will be featured in my upcoming novel, Summer Sisters 2: Read It Before Judy Blume Gets It Pulled from the Shelves) and she's just swaying on the sprawling porch, silhouetted by dim-glowing light, and you think that maybe she is a mess, yes, but maybe she is the most content mess there is. Sonja is unimpeachable in her 'tude. What the fuck does Sonja care, ever? She has oodles of money and the wine's flowing like wine and that's all she needs. On last night's stab-a-thon she did a little standing up for herself where Kelly was concerned and she said a boneheaded thing about how brave and noble it was that Ramona "got up from her pedicure" to go talk to vacation-crashing Jill, but mostly she just kind of sat back and watched the waves roll in, the thin moon casting a cold silver shimmer over Lamprey Island, in the distance the sound of a Volvo careening off the road and into the trees, no explosion, just the sharp crunch of metal, and then deathly silence.
OH ALEX. Aren't we so happy for Alex? Just three short seasons after Andy Cohen exhumed her from that tomb in Egypt, she's finally shaken off her mummy awkwardness and blossomed into a real young woman. There she was mixing it up with all the other scrappy broads! I guess her little featured segment happened days or a week ago, so I can't really comment on her fully. But it is good to see that she has crawled into the litter box and has started pawing away with everyone else. Not that that's something for anyone to aspire to in real, sane life, but in the context of the show, Alex needed to mix it up — with the likes of Jill, with the undead corpse of a murdered 1920s aviatrix that is Kelly — in order to get some screen time on the show and hopefully secure a spot on next season's first string roster. Did she pull it off? I don't know. At the end of the episode, old Andy Cohen leveled his gray head and asked them all if they'd come back, as if it was their own choice. Andy Cohen will decide, thank you, but please humor him and feed into his private delight and say whether or not you would like to return. It's pleasing to him that you think you have your own choice in the matter. Alex said she would, definitely. Which was a little sad. I think Alex will not be returning. I think she will be fired. I don't think she quite pulled it off, though she tried as hard as she could. She was the understudy that stumbled on a few early notes and couldn't win us back by the end of the performance. I'm sorry Alex. Please turn in your gun and badge. You are no longer a Housewife. It's probably better for you in the end. Now you can return to your eternal rest, you can curl up next to your servants and cats, your organs in jars, the dizzy encroachment of Cairo threatening as always to consume you. I'll visit you when I get a chance.
Bethenny was just so over it, huh? She was sitting there in her ruffle dress and was just like "Oh my god guys, I have my own TV show and I'm married and have a kid now, so let's just get this shit done." I know it's a simple one-sided read of Bethenny to say "She is the best one. She is the smartest one. She is the sanest one." Because she's still on stupid reality shows and obviously she's a participant in the whole dramz. But at the same time? Bethenny is the best one. Bethenny is the smartest one. Bethenny is the sanest one. I know that's all relative compared to the rest of the world, but we're not talking about the rest of the world. We're talking about seven dust devils sitting on pink couches of pain (with the most enormous ottoman ever, what the frisky fuck was that thing?) and measuring their lives in episodes and seasons. And as far as that goes, Bethenny wins. She asked funny, pointed questions of sideshow dummy Kelly, she was gracious and apologetic to LuAnn, and she had her little emotional money shot with Jill. One thing that bugged me was that when Jill went over to hug her, Bethenny didn't stand up. Wasn't that kind of rude? It was such unnecessary roughness. Jill was just a stupid weepmonster at that point and stupid weepmonsters shouldn't be forced to bend down to hug someone for a TV show. Stupid weepmonsters don't know any better than to wiggle and weep. So just treat them kindly. You don't have to be best friends with them, but show them respect. They're creatures on this earth just like you are, Bethenny. Anyway. When Andy Sandy asked Bethenny if she would be back she still said "I don't know, I don't know," but it was a total no. Adios, Bethenny. See ya in the funny pages. And by "funny pages" I mean "I'm sorry but I don't watch shows about weddings, so have a nice life."
Jillzy. What can you say about Jillzy? Last night they rehashed the vacation crashing and Jill said "I don't know what I was thinking, I shouldn't have done it." Which was so big girl of her! Weren't you proud? Jill finally admitted that she made a mistake. I mean, she didn't FULLY admit to being a weirdo who showed up at a beach party unannounced. She still thinks that everyone should have been nice to her and she was snickering when Alex recounted her Hives of Horror and her trip to Hyperventilation Station, but in some small way, Jill seemed contrite. Which is not a bad look on her! I think she should try it on more often. But anyway. Fehhh. What else is there to say about how Jill fell down? So much e-ink has been spilled on her these past few months. What can you really do anymore? Jill was a perfectly nice person who ruined herself by going on a television show. She's very nice when she's not on camera, but she spends a lot of time on camera now, so she's mean and self-involved a lot. It's too bad. Oh well. Jill said that she isn't sure she could come back. The thing on Poison Island was the worst thing that ever happened in her life ever, apparently, and she isn't sure if she can handle something like that again. Maybe she and Bethenny will get lunch someday. Who knows. Maybe they will get iced teas and look out at Lexington Avenue and they will think about that show they were on, all them years ago. And by the time the salads arrive, the whole thing, the whole memory, will just be a tiny dot in the distance. So far away. So small you could pinch it with your fingers. What had they all been so upset about, they will wonder. And they will turn back to each other and they will smile and they will eat their salads and the afternoon will unfold like that, a quiet spring day, the blue and white buses groaning on by, the whisper of time rushing through the leaves.
Bing bong, Ramona calling. Can she sell you any of her facial scours? Here's a lovely cream that absorbs your face. What does that mean, "absorbs your face"? It means just that. It absorbs your face. Here's another one that is made from the mashed up brains of murderers. It's called Murderbrain by Ramona and it will likely take over your face and make you murder people, just like the hand did in that Devon Sawa documentary Idle Hands. Here's a lovely facial spray that is actually just bees. Press the spray button and bees come out and fly at your face. Don't let this opportunity pass, get all your True Renewal by Ramona™ products today. What do you mean you don't want any, GODDAMNIT???
Kelly Killoren Bensimon
CRAZY KELLY! Ohhhhhh lawd was she crazy last night. I was watching with my friend and I turned to her and said "It's like talking to a kaleidoscope." And I think I was pretty accurate! You ask her, "Hey Kelly, what's the weather like today?" and she replies "The thing about me is, like, I don't really, like, think in those terms, I just like, like, one thing when I like one thing and, like, sometimes the other will make me happy but, like, I don't really care. I am who I am. Like." And your eyes do twirls in your skull and you say "Come again?" and she launches into another bizarre Beadworks make-your-own-necklace string of a monologue. She's impenetrable! It's actually kind of a genius defense system. It's like squid ink. "No my weird beak mouth isn't going to hurt you, but if I shoot this black goo everywhere and confuse you for a while, I can swim away to safety." Except Kelly's beak mouth is the source of her power. I will pay someone five spacebucks if they can tell me what Kelly was trying to say about PETA and wearing fur. Could anyone out there follow what that dodo bird was trying to say? I don't think she could even follow it. She was all "I like chicken one day and the next I like beer, but there's also candy to be considered, and you shouldn't forget General MacArthur. Have I ever shown you my collection of gummi worms that doesn't exist? Look, a turtle. Oh no it's just Ramona dancing. I love animals in my belly and on mah skin. I hate it when people kill animals. Andy, why did you force me to go to the Bahamas with Nene and Vicki Gunvalson?" And by the end of it all everyone is so confused and upset that they're just like "OK, let's move on to a new topic." It's brilliant! Good work, Kelly. You should probably do less cocaine and maybe take some more brain pills, but other than that, you're doing just fine. Persecution complexes are totally in this season!
The Countess LuAnn Crackerjacks Cort DeLesseps
She came off really well last night, didn't she? Everyone was nice to her and she was mostly nice to everyone. I feel a little bad that she got stuck over on Crazy Couch with Kelly. I don't think that's really where she wanted to be. It was really funny when Kelly stormed off and Bethenny said something about talking to Humpty Dumpty (that didn't really make any sense) and Lu couldn't help but laugh to herself. It was awkward when Andy Cohen asked her about the Jew thing with the Count, but oh well... Mostly she did just fine. I liked when Andy asked her if she'd be back next season and she lit a Merit and looked him square in the eye and said "You know what, pixie dick? I probably would. I probably would come back to this fucked up rodeo. I'm a fighter, y'know? Mama holds on. You shoulda seen me back in my old days. Racing ostriches in New Mexico. Workin' bar-back at the Boot Scoot'n Saloon in Medina. Bein' an enforcer for the Swedish mafia out'n Walla Walla. I lived some life, y'know? But I always live it full, and I always do a thing 'til it's good'n over. Ostriches died. Boot Scoot closed down. Swedish mafia was just one dude named Sven who ran book outta his trailer and he pulled up stakes and got the hell out'n in the middle of the night. So I just moved on. Somethin's over, Lu DeLesseps is onto the next thing. But chickentits, this ain't over. I feel it in mah bones. We ain't down to the filter and I aim to enjoy this cigarette as long as there's somethin' to smoke, ya dig? As for these other broads, well hell. They're all prick-lickin' crazy. But we've all been crazy at some point, ain't we? Andy I bet you used to dress up in your mama's pearls, used to twirl around in her big ol' high heels and I bet you said it, out loud. You said it, didn't you Andy? 'Pretty pretty princess, pretty pretty princess.' I bet you did. And I bet that wasn't that long ago. Hell, I'll bet you're gonna do it again. That's OK. Ol' Lulu Fingers don't judge. You can do as you do. I feel the same about these ladies here. They can keep on keepin' on and I'll do the same. And you are a pretty princess, Angie. You're a pretty, pretty princess."
When it was all over he blinked and looked up and they were gone. They'd all scattered off, up into air ducts, through slamming doors, out into cars that zoomed them away, separate and alone. The strange, silent studio audience in a corner was gone too. The lights were off. He was all by himself. He had, as Kelly put it, turned down the volume. While they were yammering on about who knows what, he had left his body. He had soared up and out of the building and he had seen all of New York, smoky but sparkling. He had seen the two rivers, like arms in an embrace. The looming green of the East River, the cold deep blue of the Hudson. He had seen Broadway doing its sideways wander up through the island's body, had seen the bridges teasing Brooklyn. It was a good city, he had decided. And he wasn't sure why he was doing to it what he was doing to it. With these women. With these stories. Was there anything real, ever? Was any of this worth it? He had floated there for some time, thinking these big worrisome thoughts. And above him the clouds raced past, headed south, towards Washington. He turned that way, saw where they were going. His gray hair flashed bright white. An idea was born. The Earth muttered and groaned, shifted its weight, began to make room for the next great big whatever.