Opinions seem to be running the gamut over who is right and who is wrong in this episode. To be honest, mine vacillated so much from scene to scene that I run the risk of making Ramona look positively decisive. So keeping in mind that life experience influences a lot of our impressions, I hope you’ll enjoy this recap even if you don’t agree with it.
Newport, RI is the girls’ trip destination and from listening to Tinsley it seems like there’s more than one Newport. I guess that falls along similar lines to there being a difference between Palm Beach and West Palm. Per Ramona it’s like Southhampton only “mini-er.” Her word, not mine. All of the ladies will be riding up together except for Dorinda who had some renovation work to oversee at Blue Stone Manor.
On the drive to Rhode Island, Leah is extra complimentary of Ramona and how youthful she looks. Flattery will usually get you pretty far with Ramona and Leah’s destination of choice is securing an invite for her sister to join them. Even without the ruler and pencil in hand harkening to images of a Mother Superior, anyone who knows Ramona realizes what a control freak she is. She rattles off a laundry list of excuses as to why it wouldn’t be a good idea, including that she organizes trips like a composer writes a symphony. Pretty sure production organizes the trip based on who’s currently cast on the show, but whatever.
I think that Leah is just looking for an emotional touchstone because she had her first blow-up with her new beau “Pita Chip.” She’d been trying to keep him from seeing her psycho side, but a delayed response to her text made her feel vulnerable. Apparently vulnerability engages some sort of attack mode in her, because she barraged him with a litany of insults and now feels bad about it.
Dorinda arrives at the hotel first, but the girls follow shortly after and they all sit together for a lunch of lobster rolls and oysters. The mother hen-ing starts early when Ramona tells Leah that she should eat more, likely because they were all greeted at the hotel with vodka cocktails. Leah stands her ground and says she isn’t that hungry, but continues to wear down Ramona’s defenses about Sarah coming for the second night. Ramona is no pushover, but when she’s outnumbered by the other women, she capitulates. Leah is ecstatic and grateful and she calls Sarah as soon as they get to their rooms.
The ladies admire the views from their suites and get freshened up for the clambake that evening. Ramona also uses the time to try to recruit Sonja into backing her play in rescinding Sarah’s invitation. She decides that to soften the blow, she’ll set up a Cocktails and Conversation get-together to get to know Sarah one on one. This is classic Ramona and one of my least favorite aspects of her character. It’s one thing to go back and forth in the moment, but once you’ve said “yes,” in my opinion it’s rude to renege.
It’s clambake time and while some spent the afternoon napping on fresh sheets, Leah appears at least two if not three sheets to the wind. Upon the first sip of her drink, she decides it’s not strong enough and wants the bartender to put two more shots of vodka in it. Dorinda agrees, but Dorinda is also part drunkfish and hasn’t been sober for 9 years. Ramona attempts to dissuade Leah and in essence control her drinking. That was Ramona’s first mistake. The second was to say out loud that Leah was a recovering alcoholic.
I’m going to be frank here, based on Leah’s mom’s reaction and also her ex’s to her drinking again, I kind of assumed she was a recovering alcoholic also. The difference between me and Ramona is that everything I think doesn’t shoot right out of my mouth. I feel like Ramona was out of line in saying it…period.
Things quickly devolve from here and I wish I had Ramona’s ability to block it out. Leah isn’t what I’d call a fun drunk. What I saw is a destructive, rage drunk and that is massively uncomfortable to watch. We’d already seen her go ham on the tiki torches and now we see her pulling at the drapes on the canopy, messing with the flower arrangements and picking up a chair. Then she goes into full on screaming, kicks at the cameraman, and then lays down on the ground and throws a fit. All because Ramona uninvited Sarah. For me, who suffers from massive second-hand embarrassment, it was way over the top.
Ramona excuses herself from the scene and then returns. Whether it was an attempt to calm Leah down or whether she sincerely had a change of heart, I don’t know, but in the end she re-invited Sarah and things did die down a bit.
Through all of this Tinsley and Dorinda were attempting to have a moment and squash their beef. For now they seem to be on the same page. Luann amidst all of it was on a high horse saying that she was never as bad as Leah. The editors were kind enough to only flashback to her drunken bushcapade in Mexico, and left out the video of her threatening to kill an officer. I am not so kind, as you can see below.
The next morning it’s split down the middle between who couldn’t care less about Leah’s behavior and who thinks apologies are in order. Conveniently enough, the separate parties wind up in different vans for the shopping trip downtown. Dorinda thinks it’s perfectly fine. I personally think Dorinda is okay with it, because she no longer looks like the craziest drunk. Elyse, on the other hand, makes the oddest pendulum swings between judging Leah, then later petting Leah’s arms and hugging her from behind in a shop, to ultimately invoking Leah’s daughter in her chastisement. Kids have always been off limits to me until they are adults. I can’t back Elyse on that move in any way shape or form.
The show wraps up with Ramona feeling like she deserves and apology and says so literally a foot away from Leah with her back to her. For clarification’s sake, it was Sonja who brought up Ramona’s childhood in the moment. Ramona expounded upon it in a confessional, but if she said it at the time, they didn’t show it. So Luann calling B.S. is in itself B.S., because Ramona wasn’t using it as an excuse, and Luann said everything about Leah that Ramona said and more. We’re left with a “To Be Continued” on whether Ramona can like Leah in all of her incarnations. Next week doesn’t seem any calmer from the previews though. I hope you’ll join me!