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Last night was the first time in recent memory that the Real Butthumblers of New York was about actual financial bankruptcy and not bankruptcy of the spiritual or moral variety. There was some of that too, but, you know, there was some real poverty too. Oh, and everyone had lots of nasty sex.

Before we can get to little matchstick girl Sonja, standing out in front of Port Authority in a tattered dress and sullied makeup trying to sell handies to tourists for $5 a pop ("And boy, can I make it pop!") we have to discuss some non-transactional sexual encounters. Since the ladies just got back from terrorizing northern Africa last week, they are all really, really horny to have sex with their husbands (but as Simon noticed, maybe a little cattily, but oh so accurately, that there "aren't a lot of husbands left"). So, Ramona is in her finest lingerie and sprinkling rose petals all over the bed and putting on her "Romance Mix" with lots of Sade and Anita Baker and popping open some champagne and pouring a little GHB in it, because Mario really likes to be completely incapacitated when they have sex. Yes, it's time for rip-roaring intercourse with her husband, with the cameras there to capture their very intimate moments.

Of course this is the moment when Ramona thinks to bring up her gypsy fortune teller from Morocco that said Mario was thinking about another women. He looks dead for a minute and you could see his inside voice going, "Fuck, fuck, think of an answer, fuck!" and then he said, "Well, um, maybe it was Avery. That must be it." That was the answer Ramona wanted to hear and all of her confidence in the strength of their bond returned, then Mario excused himself for a minute and went to the bathroom. He fired off a quick text to someone listed in his phone as "Good Non-Sexual Buddy Marion" that said, "She knows! Be careful..." and just as he was hitting send, the GHB started to kick in and his limbs got heavy and his knees buckled beneath him liked he'd just spent the last decade dancing continuously and he couldn't twitch one more muscle fiber. But he got himself together and stumbled for a chair. Ramona ripped his shirt off and started rubbing oil all over his body. She squeezed his neck and wrenched his limbs as they creaked and popped like a rusty ratchet. She cupped his chest in her hands, pumping the muscle in circles, plumping up the breast of the man she loved. "Oooh, those pecs!" she moaned, hiking up her nightie just a little bit and straddling his tented lap. As she leaned in to kiss his lips and rub her satiny surface over his oiled chest she looked at the camera and said, "What the fuck are you guys still doing here? You wanna make a sex tape or something?"

Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Alex and Simon are about to embark on some love making of their own. They start in the kitchen, with the kind of long kisses and ass slapping that long married couples often enjoy right before an evening of rutting. Things, as they often do on RealHousewivesPlatz, escalate quickly. Next thing you know they're eating oysters and Simon is popping that last dusty Cialis from the medicine cabinet that he's been saving for a special occasion. Then he says, "Oh, sweetie, I have a present for you!" It's a basket of panties. While buying frilly things for a loved one is always a nice gift, there's something about "basket" and "panties" that just doesn't sound right going together. Can't we call it a "bushel" of panties? A "parcel" of panties? Maybe a "pride?"

Alex embarks on putting on a half-naked fashion show for Simon, who enjoys nothing more than watching his wife model clothes (you should see the things he did to the mannequins when he worked at Harris Scarfe as a teenager in Australia). She comes out in this white lacy nightgown. "You know what I want to play now?" Alex nods yes with a naughty smile on her face and collapses on the floor. Simon walks by pretending he's finding her in the gutter.

"Oh, ma'am. What are you doing here collapsed on the heath? What is your name?"
"I, I...don't seem to remember."
"Alex, darling, that's not the line. You're supposed to say. 'Where am I? Who are you? What's happening to me?'"
"Simon, it's been so long since I've read the Woman in White, you can't expect me to remember how it goes verbatim."

Wow, those two are into some really kinky shit! After Alex takes care of Simon's wee Wilkie Collins, we see Zombie Cindy with the love of her life, Howie, her zombie brother. After they feast on her assistant's brains (she goes through assistants like Simon goes through tissues working his way through the lesser novels of Victorian literature), she shows him the pictures Jill sent her of Morocco. But there's one thing missing: Cindy. Is it because zombies, like vampires or the X-Men after they traveled through the Seige Perilous, don't show up on any sort of electronic media? No, it's because Sonja edited Cindy out of all the pictures to get back at her for their fight in the souk. Oh, Sonja, you are the love of my life.

But Sonja is having a tough time of it. We found out while she's at an appointment with her dermatologist, an older, wealthy man that Sonja met in her trampoline class. Of course Sonja takes a trampoline class. Actually, she has a very busy Tuesday. After kicking her "butler" out of bed early in the morning, she has to go to strip aerobics at the local Equinox, then for her knee sanding appointment to get rid of the callouses, then off for her bra and matching diaphragm fitting, and then it's time for trampoline class followed by a light dinner of three Tic-Tacs followed more buttling with the butler. The point is Sonja is a slut, but she is a poor slut.

Yes, Sonja is bankrupt and is $19 million dollars in debt. The whole thing is a strange affair that never gets completely explained by has something to do with John Travolta and a movie she made and a judgment placed upon her by a judge and some bad judgments she made by herself with her own head. But I feel bad for Sonja, I really do. It seems like she's fallen on some bad luck rather an running up some giant tab on an onyx mansion she could never afford like some of the other Housewives. If I sympathize with any of the Housewives its Sonja, with her gregarious, outgoing, and slutty nature that is all openness, but it's meant to hide how closed off and private she really is. Sonja will talk all about her dildo collection, but she would never dare open up about something as gouche as money, religion, or (ew!) feelings.

All the ladies know about it because there's a big newspaper article (I'm so glad that this franchise of the Housewives, unlike some of the others, realizes that these women are now celebrities that operate in a larger world and can speak to that existence rather than trying to hide it and make it seem like this is something that never happened or only happened on the show). Sonja, of course, just wants to make her little hand fitz and be like "Pshaw! It's nothing. It's some silly little thing that I'm going to get out of, and it's really no big deal. I don't even know what's happening, that's what the lawyers are for, ha ha ha. I'm so stupid!" Sonja may be a little silly, but she's not stupid. She knows exactly what's happening, she's probably been thinking about it day in and day out for weeks, crying about it in the shower so that no one will see her streaky face, and then getting out and putting on her makeup, solidifying her mask of whimsy to meet the world.

So, when she gets together with all the girls at Jill's Jill Zarin's Zarin Squeeze Couture for Real Women By Real Women Inc. (or JZZSCRWBRWI for short) bitch session, she doesn't want to deal with Jill and Cindy pressing her for details. Kelly couldn't even show up because when Jill interrupted her watching the second season of The Fairly OddParents on DVD with the news of Sonja's bankruptcy, Kelly couldn't handle the stress of real world matters and hung up on her and couldn't leave the house for three days until she had cleaned and reorganized her vast collection of Silly Bandz. Alex rightfully says that what Sonja really needs is a friend to get her drunk, cry with her, and tell her that the world sucks and everything is going to be OK. Not everyone needs advice or someone to fix things. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to you vent—a bitch there to listen to you bitch. That's more valuable than all the bad advice in the world.

But now Sonja is totally getting the Bag Lady Edit. There was a whole scene about how her clothes are all old and pinned together and she keeps the tags in so she can show everyone how she got them on sale (PS, world, 60% off a $5000 cashmere blazer is still like $2000). Then they show her trying to hit the cheese plate hard like it's the only meal she's going to eat in three days or something. Yes, Sonja's bankrupt, but stop trying to make her look like she's living a trailer and trying to pass it off as a Park Avenue apartment.

Everyone starts talking about Jill's new shapewear line called Spanx with Lace and Alex realizes that Ramona's not coming. Jill says she wasn't invited because she doesn't trust Ramona to do business. Alex points out that Ramona is just the person you want there for business. Damn, Alex, why do you have to keep being right?! But what makes her right isn't the reason she gave, its because Ramona, as we know, is an unrestrained id run rampant on the world. She's like a 13 year-old in a crash helmet streaking down the street screaming "Macaroni, macaroni, macaroni" while punching passersby and taking a dump right there on the sidewalk. Ramona will say whatever the fuck pops into her head at any moment. If you're starting a new company, that's just the kind of honesty you need. You don't need your friends oohing and aahing, you need some bitch to be like "Why is this so tight? This isn't going to work. No one wants this." That is Ramona. Basically, Ramona is your worst customer and if you can make a product to please her, you can please anyone.

Immediately Alex meets with Ramona and is like "Jill didn't invite you and was talking shit about you," and Ramona is like, "That's why I'm mad at Jill cause she talks shit." That was the point of that whole conversation.

Moving on, Alex has another fight to pick. She and Crackerjacks have their contractually-obligated "conflict resolution lunch" to rehash the fight that they had in Morocco when CJ called Alex a cabinet dwelling C.H.U.D. or something. It was a dumb fight (they're all dumb fights, aren't they?). Anyway, Crackerjacks shows up and is all "Well, Alex, I can't imagine what you possibly have to say to me! I mean, I am the Countess and you are Alex McCord, queen of the C.H.U.D.s who lives in a cabinet in Brooklyn next to Herman Munster." Alex is like, "Um, well, I wanted to talk to you about how you are always a haughty, condescending bitch just like you're being right now."

LuAnn's point was that Alex was trying to get up in her business where she didn't belong. A fair point, but Alex's argument was, even if Crackerjacks disagreed with Alex's behavior, she didn't have to talk to her like she was a snotty fifteen year old from Appalachia (which is now how everyone talks to Sonja, cause she po'). That is also a fair point. This right here is the problem/brilliance with the Housewives. They can continue making their valid points at each other ad nauseum and having this same old fight over and over and back and forth for entire seasons (as proof witness Tamra and Gretchen from the O.C. branch who have been having one argument for about 5 season, which is 7893 in Real Housewife years). Instead of confronting each other and saying, "Yes, I was wrong, and I'm sorry, but you were wrong too, we were both wrong, let's move past this." Housewives can not grasp the concept of "both wrong" which is something that the denizens of Jersey Shore have embraced (they call it "neutralizing," which is when one person treats you like shit so you treat them like shit in return and then you both call the whole thing even). How can Snooki grasp this but none of these other ladies can?

Since one of the Housewives always thinks she's right and the other party wrong, then they just continue this accusatory waltz, again and again, the same steps on a tired dance floor until the song runs out or they get kicked off the show for being too boring. But it's the waltz that's so much fun to watch. That's when you get bon mots like LuAnn cutting on Alex's shoes and her defending them and then LuAnn just dismissing Alex and storming out of the restaurant rather than taking time to actually listen to her and find some sort of common ground.

What is wrong with Alex? Why won't anyone listen to her? Kelly wouldn't in Morocco and now Crackerjacks whisks her off with a flick of her downturned hand like she's refusing a cucumber sandwich at a tea party. Poor Alex. After Crackerjacks storms off, Alex just stays in her seat, picks up her water glass and gives a little sip. The she sighs, just a little wisp of resignation escaping from her body. They'll never listen. They'll never take her seriously, she realizes. No matter how strong she gets, how outspoken, how right, the girls will always look down on her. Not in the same way they do on Sonja, who they see as a debutante roiling around in the filth of circumstance, but in a different way. Like she's an upstart, like she will never be good enough no matter what she do.

And she sighs again. That's all Alex can do these days is sigh. And think of Simon, sitting at home, rifling through her basket of panties, selecting just the right one for his fantasy tonight. He picks out something tattered and worn. Something a bankrupt person would wear. "Simon, I don't want to do Bleak House tonight," she says. But he holds the panties on his outstretched finger and makes that face that says, "Please, mommy. Please," and she just takes them with a little sigh and gets dressed and he rubs his hands over her bare shoulders. She can feel his warmth, from his hands, from his body, from his breath rasping on her neck, which she bends to one side as he goes in for a kiss, snatching her back against his slowly erecting body. And she spins around to meet them, her flesh becoming his flesh. She is everything he wants her to be. To him, she is everything that she isn't to the ladies: smart, beautiful, engaging, and, most of all, worthy. She kisses him long and deep and hard again, her emotion oozing out of her flesh, her sighs finally stifled.