Ramona Singer can be one of the most frustrating Bravo stars. The Real Housewives Of New York O.G. has a tendency to stick her foot directly in her mouth and then deny the fact there’s even a designer shoe hanging out of her lips. It’s infuriating to watch, especially when it happens repeatedly, like never-ending clockwork, for a decade of television. Yet, Wednesday night’s episode, “Arrest And Relaxation,” suggested the Ramona Non-Apology Cycle may finally be broken.
Last week’s “Every Mayflower Has Its Thorn” closed with Luann finding out Ramona had posted an Instagram photo of the cast, including a recently released from jail Luann, at dinner (which has since been deleted). The image shows there were a number of wine glasses on table, although it’s unclear if the goblets are holding wine or water. Usually, such a distinction wouldn’t matter for the RHONY crew; these are women often fueled by pinot grigio, or, on the rare tropical getaway, tequila. Yet, this evening wasn’t an average RHONY event. Instead, it was meant to serve as a stepping stone for Luann’s return to New York life following her disorderly intoxication arrest in Palm Beach. An arrest that led a Florida judge to specifically order Luann to stop drinking.
Of all the possible images Luann would have wanted to announce her exit from rehab, which had been a private secret until Ramona’s unauthorized Instagram upload, the visual of her literally surrounded by wine glasses would come very close to last. The nitty-gritty specifics of what’s in those glasses — H2O, vino, Skinnygirl tequila — likely wouldn't matter very much to an irritated Florida judge or the court of public opinion.
For much of “Mayflower,” and into “Arrest And Relaxation,” Ramona refused to see any of this logic or why the photo was harmful. “It’s a pretty picture, we all look good in this photo … and you know what, even if there was wine, she’s an adult” Ramona told voice of reason Carole Radziwill. Other defenses include: “We always post group shots,” “Whatever,” “I drink water out of wine glasses,” “I drink everything out of a stem glass,” “It is what it is now,” and “I didn’t get the fucking memo.”
Finally, mercifully, Bethenny Frankel pulled the shades from Ramona’s eyes and explained exactly why the controversial photo was so awful for Luann. Bethenny reminded her longtime co-star that the upload brought endless bad press and prying eyes back into a “dormant” Luann’s life after her arrest drama had already died down. After nearly 24 hours of trying to get this information into Ramona’s head, it clicked. “Oh shit! That’s fucked up!” a legitimately surprised Ramona yelled, her face falling and her hands going to her temples for a much-needed massage. “What can I do? Oh my God.”
Although Luann and Sonja Morgan were both suspicious of Ramona’s theatrics, it genuinely seems like the magnitude of her behavior hit her all at once. “By putting a picture out there… the press is going to pick it up, and it brings up all the shit in the press again. I understand,” Ramona said. “I made a huge mistake. It’s worse than a can of worms. It’s like the devil. This is bad. This was bad. What I did was bad.”
Usually this would be a flash-in-the-pan breakthrough that in no way influences Ramona’s thought process ever again. Just ask Bethenny Frankel, who has had countless baffling verbal tussles with Ramona, only for her to realize her mistakes... and make them all over again. But, when the cast returns to their spa hotel, Ramona continues to come to terms with her behavior.
Ramona tells Bethenny and Sonja that it actually is problematic she would rather defend herself than recognize the ways she hurts the people around her and simply apologize. “I have this problem, where when people start attacking me, or I feel attacked, even though they’re right to attack me,” she said. “I get defensive … It’s very immature” In a confessional, Ramona adds some context, explaining that her father was verbally abusive to both Ramona herself and her mom. So now, when she recognizes any form of “attack,” even when it's deserved, she doesn’t know how to “handle it.”
That is easily some of the most self-aware commentary Ramona has even given viewers over nearly 160 episodes of Real Housewives Of New York. It even leads to Ramona apologizing to Luann over text that evening and then accepting the fact that the Countess isn’t interested in chatting with her the next morning. As the midseason trailer confirms, these two will eventually patch things up, apparently whenever Luann is ready.
Is this what we call growth?
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