Where there's smoke, there's fire — especially if that smoke is rising from Bethenny Frankel's backyard. On the Wednesday, April 27, episode of The Real Housewives of New York City, the ladies gathered at the Skinnygirl founder's Hamptons abode to enjoy a tailgate-chic party in honor of her birthday. (For someone who isn't into her birthday, she sure celebrates it a lot.) Frankel described it as a casual, "anything goes" soiree where the whole point was just to "have fun" and relax. Spoiler alert: It wasn't that fun or relaxing.
Dorinda Badgers John to Apologize to Bethenny
The more she thought about what John Mahdessian did at her bra party, the more convinced Dorinda Medley became that her boyfriend needed to apologize to Bethenny.
"He's going to apologize," she promised Jules Wainstein — but John didn't seem fully convinced. "What are you talking about?" he immediately asked.
"What am I talking about?" Dorinda replied, wide-eyed. "You're kidding me, right?" She then turned to Jules (who was hosting the couple at her Hamptons house since they'd decided they no longer felt comfortable staying with Ramona Singer) and explained, "He doesn’t get it." Yeah, you can say that again. Dorinda reiterated that John needed to "humble his ass" and just apologize, and John sort of agreed.
Watching this play out, Jules commented that she didn't envy John because he clearly had "no hope" in this situation — and when they arrived at Bethenny's party, it appeared that Jules was right. Despite her desire for a reconciliation, Dorinda soon realized that Bethenny wasn't going to go out of her way to make peace with John. "I think it's her opportunity to watch him squirm, and on some level, she enjoys that," Dorinda explained.
For her part, Bethenny thought John never should have come and that Dorinda should have been smart enough to know that. Carole Radziwill agreed with Bethenny that John shouldn't be there, but felt now that he was, Bethenny should just "throw him a bone."
Bethenny and John Try to Make Up, But Fight Even More
Though Bethenny said she was going to "swallow" how she felt because she didn't want Dorinda to continue to be "tortured" over this, the mother of one couldn't quite bring herself to make peace. After repeatedly ignoring or running away from the dry cleaner, Bethenny finally agreed to chat.
Things started fine as he admitted, "I was a little rude, abrupt, and I said I said a few things that weren't nice. I just wanted to apologize." Instead of simply accepting the apology and moving on, however, Bethenny accused him of entering the bra party with every intention of taking her down. The conversation then spiraled into an argument about whether either of them ever say "uneducated" things, with Bethenny grilling John to figure out if he really understood what he was apologizing for, exactly.
It seemed like he didn't really know, so he just repeated that he was sorry. "Again, last time I'm going to say it," he began. "I apologize for stepping out of bounds."
Cue Dorinda's Tears
In what has become an episode staple, Dorinda then broke down in tears. "I don't want to talk about these things all the time," she sobbed ("all these things" being how pretty much no one likes her boyfriend). Jules thought Bethenny was being selfish for putting Dorinda through this, and Luann de Lesseps did her best to comfort the emotionally drained blonde.
"I'm trying to establish my relationship with Bethenny," Dorinda explained to the camera. "And I'm trying to keep my relationship with John."
For her part, Bethenny sighed, "My guests are crying in my house. This is really just a disaster." She then finally decided to "put aside being repulsed by [John] and just say, 'Fine, we're straight.'" That seemed like what she'd intended the first time around, but her second attempt proved more successful.
Bethenny marched up to John and said, "I think Dorinda's an amazing person. She's the one who's suffering the most in this." The Skinnygirl boss then compared Dorinda to a child caught between two parents getting a divorce. Bethenny took a breath and added, "It's fine. It's clean. The decks are clear." John said that was a great way to end the day, and Bethenny declared this the best birthday she ever had. (Though you'll remember, the bar for that is pretty low.)
Luann Tries to Make Up With Carole — and Fails
But Bethenny and John weren't the only ones at each other's throats. Luann seemed more determined than ever to make up with Carole. (ICYMI, they had a falling out when Carole began dating Adam, the chef who used to date Luann's niece.)
Knowing Lu would be there, Carole's initial plan was just to keep her distance, but the Countess wasn’t going to let her former friend get away with that and kept pressing for a chat. Though Luann did her best to greet Carole warmly, she was met with little more than an icy glare.
"It would be nice to clear the air with Carole … and bury the hatchet," Lu explained to the camera. "I buried the hatchet, but I think Carole is running after me carrying it."
Finally, Luann cornered Carole and expressed her sadness that they hadn't seen each other in so long. "Of course, you haven't seen me in so long," Carole snapped. Luann tried reasoning that they'd both said a lot of hurtful things to each other, but Carole insisted that was a one-way road. "You said a lot of hurtful things to me," Carole insisted before citing Lu calling her a "pedophile" and "making up" stories about her and Adam. "I have a nice life. I'm with Adam," Carole added to end the conversation.
After a few more unproductive and unremarkable back-and-forths, they agreed that they wouldn't be friends, but they would be nice to each other when they saw each other. Then Carole went to get a drink, and Luann told anyone who would listen that she didn't actually apologize because Carole didn't give her the chance.
Ramona, who's usually so embroiled in the drama, missed most of this because she left the soiree early to get back to the city for a date. Reflecting on her short time at the shindig, though, she said that she was "glad" to leave because it was one of the weirdest parties she'd ever attended.
Jules Hosts Brunch, Doesn't Eat a Thing
The next day, a bunch of the women gathered at Jules' construction project (a.k.a. her house) for a casual brunch. "I'd rather lay on a fire pit and have someone roast marshmallows on my t—–s than go to Jules' house for lunch," Bethenny said to the camera. Still, she went.
But when she got there, she was not impressed with the massive structure, and immediately set out to tell Jules that. After grilling Jules and her husband on how they kept their kids safe with all of the construction equipment lying around, Bethenny declared they would never "be able to sell this" because it is a "money pit." Bethenny then focused on whether Jules was eating any of the bagels and "schmear" she was forcing on her guests. Jules evidently wasn't.
Shortly after Luann arrived, Bethenny and Carole decided they'd had enough of watching Jules not eat and exploring a hard-hat zone, so they left. "Whatever, I have a 20,000 square-foot home," Jules said to the camera.
Tell Us: Did Bethenny's criticism of Jules go too far?
The Real Housewives of New York City airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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