Real Housewives of New York: To Pieces in the Middle EastS

The final chapter of the Housewives jaunt to Morocco was like the third act of a farce, wasn't it? There were comical fights, mistaken identity, mental breakdowns, and just packs of characters marauding around a compound creating mischief. And just about everyone cried.

The first one to cry was Jill Zarin, who was still bawling over last week's fight with Ramona. She runs into the "brunette wing" of the compound and is desperately searching for Zombie Cindy, pounding on her door, but Cindy is nowhere to be found. The ensuing ruckus raises Kelly and the Countess who go to comfort Jill. Cindy shambles out of the darkness and greets the group. "Sorry, guys, I was just out for, um, a bit of a midnight snack," Cindy says.
"Cindy, what is that on your chin? It looks like...what is that? It looks like...bone!" Jill replied.
"Oh, yeah, probably. By the way, I just saw one of the servants pass out dead right over there by the wall. He must have had a stroke or something, but his brain just exploded and there's a big fat hole in his skull. It was the darndest thing," Cindy said, stifling a little belch.

They all took Jill into her room for a bit of a cry and a bitch about Ramona and how aggressive and awful she is. Meanwhile, Ramona got together with the "blondes" in another room of the riad. (Seriously, how are these ladies never in the same room twice? This thing must be the size of a small American city.) Alex is giving Ramona a shoulder to cry on, and considering the size of Ramona's eyes, Alex's whole right side was just sopping wet. Sonja is trying to distract her by giving jazz hands and telling sex jokes. That's just how Sonja is. The situation is getting worse and worse, and suddenly Alex turns into Dr. McCord, M.D. "I prescribe 50 CCs of Pinot Grigio, STAT!"

Then LuAnn saunters in with her face looking like a pair of panties in a bunch and is all, "I'm not taking sides, but, god Ramona, why do you always have to start problems?" That was seriously the wrong tack to take. She is obviously taking Jill's side and shows absolutely no interest in hearing Ramona's side of the story. As we all know from watching the Housewives, there are always three sides to every story: Housewife A's unreasonable take on a situation, Housewife B's unreasonable take on the situation, and decency, which is as rare in the Housewives universe as down comforters on Mars.

Then Kelly comes into the room and diffuses what is a brewing fight between Alex and Crackerjacks. "Hey guys," Kelly says, calmly, in her best "trying not to wake Mom at the sleepover" voice. "I'm not taking sides here, and I don't want to get into an argument, but can we put all this aside so that we can go to dinner and have a good vacation?" OK, what the fuck is wrong with Kelly Killoren Bensimon? How did she become the voice of reason? Did she take some time-activated medication several years ago and it just finally kicked in or something?

So, they all go off to this restaurant and they take up the biggest table in the joint. Sonja spies a table full of men across the room. One of the guys looks their way, and his eyes tell Sonja, "Hey, there's five of us guys and seven of you ladies. We should get together." Sonja puts her head on her hand and cocks one eye in his direction to say, "Well, most of these ladies are married or have boyfriends." He lowers his head a bit and then picks it back up, inching his chair toward her to say, "So?" And then Sonja puts her arms at her side and shoves her cleavage toward him to say, "Yeah, five guys and one Sonja. I like those odds!" And they did this all without a word.

But before they could consummate their relationship, the contestants of America's Next Top Model came down the stairs balancing tea pots and cups on trays on their head and Tyra is up in the balcony somewhere shouting, "Now bellydance!!" All the ladies at the table are trying not to seem too into it, they don't want people to think they're "too touristy." Oh please. That's like wearing Tevas to the Olive Garden in Times Square and trying not to look like a tourist.

I'm going to fast forward a little bit because there was just too much this episode to talk about. ZZzzzzzzzip...Here's Sonja flirting with the tourguide Mustafa, here's Jill Zarin asking a million questions on a tour of a palace, here's Ramona crying on the roof, here's Alex and Ramona deciding that Crackerjacks is evil, here's everyone getting henna tattoos, here's Alex bounding down the stairs. Oh, too far. Zzzzzzzzzzip.

OK, so Alex comes bounding down the stairs like someone just set her twat on fire and finds Crackerjacks and Kelly (and Zombie Cindy, who was still full from the servant's brains and in a bit of a food coma) getting henna tattoos. Alex says, "LuAnn, when you're done, I need a minute to talk to you." While her entrance reeked of Ramona Singer's favorite perfume, Histrionics, telling CJ that she wanted to speak to her when she was done was somewhat reasonable. But Cracksie Jacksie is having none of it and is insisting that Alex talk to her right then and there. Kelly, like an autistic child after one too many fizzy drinks, keeps blurting out, "Weird...Inauthentic...Weird...Inauthentic..." like they're new words that she learned but doesn't quite know what they mean.

Alex lets it spill: she thinks that Crackerjacks has been mean to Ramona since they arrived, which, I must say, is kind of a fair assessment. After Alex says this, then Crackerjacks is like, "You're wrong, and you can go now. You're dismissed." Oh please. She forces her to talk and then, when she doesn't like what she has to say, she flicks her off with a little brush of her outstretched hand. Infuriating! Alex continues to call out the Countess for reprimanding Ramona when she was just as upset as Jill, but Crackerjacks is not having it. Then comes the biggest, strangest insult of the evening: "Go back to the cabinet you crawled out of."

OK, what does that even mean? Does Crackerjacks think that Alex is a two-year-old can of waxed beans sitting in the cabinet? Does she think she is some kind of demonic Hummel figurine? Does she think she's an Indian who is brought to live with a magic key? Oh, sorry, that's a cupboard, Countess, not a cabinet. But really the best part of the whole insult was while walking away after delivering it, she turns over her shoulder and says, "from which..." correcting the grammar of her statement. HA! Classic cunty schoolmarm realness.

After Crackerjacks storms away, Kelly starts screaming at Alex, any trace of her old reasonableness completely gone. "Why have you gone and caused a casino in all this craziness? You ruined my tattoo. Who's going to fix it, Santa?" and she runs out of the room. No, Kelly, Santa won't be fixing anything in Morocco. They don't believe in him there and he's still in trouble there for kidnapping all their native elves and enslaving them to make Hot Wheels Trick Tracks Blast Launches up at the North Pole.

Kell-Kell and Alex then have the most comical fight in all of Housewives history. Check it out above. See, Alex's problem is that she's like a Democrat. She wants to be fierce and stand up for what she believes in, but she also believes in fighting fair. So, just like the Democrats who are constantly railroaded by their unreasonable shrieking enemies, she always ends up losing ground. Playing by the rules is great, but not if you're the only one following them. Just ask the midterm elections! While I love the new irascible Alex she needs to fight just as dirty as the other girls if she wants to win. As for Kelly, this is just insane, "Close your eyes. Open your eyes. You're not angry you're sad." She's just reaching into that Jonathan Taylor Thomas Trapper Keeper brain of hers and pulling out these crazy things to say that make no sense. They're about as appropriate to the situation as a light dusting of glitter, which is what Kelly would like to sprinkle over everything—and then give it a slap bracelet.

Then Jill comes screeching in like a Camaro at the end of a car chase, "Look what they did to my hair!" And they both stop and giggle at her Shirley Temple curls and the tension just evaporates.

Everyone disperses and the brunettes gather for dinner at 8, which Ramona, Sonja, and Alex get too hungry for, because those ladies are tramps. Crackerjacks is all pissed off because they asked for dinner in their rooms and won't be coming down. They sit at the table and talk shit about everyone, mostly Alex who Crackerjacks calls "petty" for wanting to talk to her about how mean she is to Ramona. Then Alex walks into the room. If I were a lesser person, I would say, "Awk-ward," but I'm better than that, so I'll say, "Ya burnt!" They have some sort of fight where Crackerjacks yells at Alex for not showing up to dinner on time and is being accommodating, but throwing what the gays would call major shade. "Oh, well, you missed dinner, but I guess I can get you a plate if the kitchen staff wasn't all sent home. Let me see if I can rip them away from their families so I can feed you." Shady.

They get in a fight, and Alex heads off to her room. Shortly after, Ramona and Sonja show up with wine in their bellies, mischief in their eyes, and giggles in their hearts. "What's for dinner?" Ramona asks. Oh, just watch yourself. It was awesome. Suddenly, LuAnn is snob number one, even worse than usual, getting her knotted-tampon-string face on and yelling at everyone for missing dinner and not telling her where they wanted to eat. Ramona, gets all impudent and tells Crackerjacks they weren't eating dinner, but just a snack. The best part is when Ramona goes upstairs and gets the plates from her snack to prove that's what she ate, like she's Perry Mason and she just slam dunked a witness and got an innocent man acquitted of murder.

While this is going on, Cindy asks, "Is this reality?" Yes, Cindy, it is reality. It is reality TV. This is what you signed up for: petty slights and vague grievances acted out by women behaving like they're at Marty Hoppenbaumer's Summer Camp for the Dramatic Arts. This is reality. And once you can adjust your zombie brain into accepting it, you're going to fit in just fine (or get kicked off the show like that Jennifer lady from last season who is now nothing but stain on the bottom of Crackerjack's boot).

After Kelly has another crazy conversation with Ramona and Ramona apologizes and Crackerjacks brings up the card reader again (don't beat that dead horse, lady) everyone goes to their rooms to sleep it off. In the middle of the night, a fairy comes and turns Ramona's head into that of a donkey and she and Sonja go off trying to steal dresses from some dress shop that's been set up just for them somewhere in their compound of doom. After falling in and out of love with all the other Housewives, they wake up in the morning on the floor of the forest and go off to marry some Greek men.

Then they all go to a cooking class and everyone is making some crazy meal in this clay pot thing. Everyone except Cindy. She explains, "I don't cook. I don't eat anything really. I'm not that into food. Wow, you have a really big head. Can I tell you something out in the hallway?" The ladies hear a few screams, but Cindy just tells them that the instructor fell down the stairs and had to go home. When they sit down to eat, all the ladies are chowing down, but Cindy barely touches her food. She's full.

After a long day of packing—and Jill and Ramona making up, which will last all of three seconds—it's time for them to wear their "Moroccan makeup" and put on their native dresses. The Stockholm Syndrome of the riad had finally set in. And as they sit their in their glittering creations, they all do a toast to "harmony," which is something no Housewife anyone on god's great earth knows a thing about. Kelly thinks she does, but that's only because she thinks she rode an invisible unicorn named Harmony to dinner.

Then Crackerjacks wants to go around the table and ask everyone what their favorite moment of the trip was. Sonja says her favorite part of the trip was Mustafa. The way he cornered her in the harem room of that palace he took them on a tour of, his whole white robe pitched into a tent. The way he pressed her body against the wall, raising both of their garments up and inserting himself inside her. "This is how kings do it," he huffed in her ear. Kelly said her favorite part was running, because for the first time ever she learned that she didn't have to run in traffic and when she got back to her room there was chocolate milk waiting for her and she watched Beverly Hills High on her iPad. It was amazing.

LuAnn adds that her favorite thing is saying "YaHabibi," which means "darling" in Arabic, but she only said that because her real favorite thing was being bitchy to Ramona, but she didn't want to say that out loud. Jill said her favorite part was the tent in the desert, and Zombie Cindy said, "My favorite part was the camel ride when I put a curse on that camel meant for Sonja but then Crackerjacks rode it instead and it almost killed her. Hahahahaha...Um, why isn't anyone else laughing?"

Everyone had gone, everyone had taken their turn except Alex. "What about you, Alex?" They all looked at her with anticipation and she dug down deep for a very personal answer. "Well, the last time I was in Morocco, I was a glowing new mother with a five-month-old son and I was looking at everything through this lens. And this time, I'm just so grateful that I could..."
"God, Alex, way to bring the party down," Crackerjacks said, picking up her wine glass and forcing a laugh, looking left and right to make sure everyone else agreed with her.
"I was just going to say that this time, It was so great to be with women that..."
"Oh come on, Alex," Sonja piped up. "Pick like the souk or the spa or the camel ride. Something we did."

"OK, then," Alex said, wanting to play by the rules, as always. "The souk, the souk. I pick the souk." But what she wanted to say, what she felt in her heart, was that she was so grateful to be with these women, to fight and grow with them, to argue and challenge each other and experience the world through Ramona's screaming id, through Sonja's hypersexual libido, through Jill's cutting skepticism, through Kelly's child-like joy. That's what she wanted to say, but she was cut down again, stopped up by one of these ladies.

When she looked down at her plate, silent as the cackles crowded around her, she thought of the last time she was in Morocco, when she and Simon were just starting out, just beginning their family. They were on a great adventure together, traveling through the souk, and seeing the sights. Taking their son to the desert and trying to offer him the world. She felt safe with Simon there, fey as he is. Someone bigger than her, a man to escort her through this sometimes backwards country. Someone whose love would protect her. Every time she looked into her son's eyes in Morocco she thought of when he would return to this exotic place, experimenting with the locals and learning about the world for himself. She was so excited for that. She wanted to go with him, when he was older, maybe helping to nurse his young children. That was the souk she loved, the one where everything was new, where every time was a first time.

But she came back with her friends, without the men, without the love, without the hope of the future shining in her eyes and hanging from her body as she carted it through the spice-scented market draped in rainbows of cloth. She realized she had stopped eating, wasn't even looking at anything and tried to gain focus again on the dinner, the table, the people around her.
"Are you OK?" Jill leaned over and asked her.
"Yeah," Alex said, clearing her throat and holding something back. "It's just that...I'm just...I'm ready to go home."