Carole is at a photo shoot for her author’s portrait and Heather is micromanaging it. She’s telling Carole how to hold her head, checking the camera angles and testing the patience of the photographer, Sigrid Estrada. Heather really didn’t need to butt in, Ms. Estrada knows a thing or two about photography. This is Carole’s portrait, from Estrada’s website, http://www.sigridestrada.com
Carole’s cell rings and it’s Aviva calling. She really doesn’t want talk to her, especially after the scene she created during Carole’s book shower, where she made a spectacle of herself and pretty much ruined the event. In her talking head, Carole says that Aviva is disrespectful, and she’s distancing herself from Aviva because she can’t take her craziness. Yes, Carole, we understand – we’ve seen it.
At Sonja’s house, she and Ramona are talking about Aviva, too. Ramona is considering being more polite to Aviva but wonders if she can do it. She also tells Sonja how sad she is that Avery is going to graduate from high school and go off to college. Sonja thinks she’s being too emotional and should walk her dog more or spend more time with Mario. Walking the dog sounds like a good idea. Sonja is talking about expanding her dating pool, by including everyone with a pulse, from Aviva’s ex, Harry Dubin, to college sophomores. Any guy twenty years old and up is alright with her. In Sonja-land, a girl should always explore every option available.
Heather is holding a birthday party for herself and the gang is invited. She’s also invited some of her friends from her days with P Diddy/Puffy/Puff Daddy/Sean John’s record company, Bad Boy Entertainment. Carole loves Heather because of this, telling us that Heather has street cred. Another of the company’s former employees is new girl, Kristen Taekman’s husband, Josh. New York City is a small world after all. Sonja brings her date, Ben, who has just started shaving, leaving Carole to wonder if Sonja is dating him or adopting him. Sonja is a wee bit jealous that Ben is talking to Kristen.
We’re treated to a little background about Kristen. She’s from Farmington, Connecticut (excuse me while I give a shout out to my friends in Farmington) and she’s been modeling since she was a teenager. She and Josh have been married for eight years and have two children – a son, Cash (money) and a daughter, Kingsley (Lindy Lu). Josh is one of the founders of EBoost, an energy supplement. She has a nanny because she works and her kids drive her crazy, especially when they throw up. Yeah, kids are like that. She says that she can get away with a lot because she’s pretty. She and Brandi were bridesmaids at each other’s weddings. This is getting better by the minute.
Now, back to the party. Aviva and Reid are on their way in a limo and they’re late. Aviva tells us that they can’t help it because they’re moving into a new apartment. I think she’s taking her time so the banner announcing her arrival will be ready. She’s afraid of Ramona and doesn’t know how she’s going to be received when they come face to face. Ramona’s already cornered Kristen and is browbeating her into vowing that she won’t be deceptive. Kristen describes Ramona and Sonja as a couple of her crazy, drunk aunts. Ramona sense that Aviva has entered the building because there’s a sudden cloud of black smoke. Carole just wants to keep a friendly distance from her.
Aviva decides to ease her way back into the group by going to Sonja first. Sonja’s a pretty safe choice – she’s good with broken women and if she can understand Kelly Bensimon, Aviva can probably fit under her wing, too. First they chat about Harry, and then Sonja tells Aviva that she was mean to Ramona. Having gained a bit of confidence, Aviva moves on to Carole. Big mistake. Huge mistake. Aviva wants to talk about Aviva and the memoir she’s writing. She blurts out, “Book. Book. And then I thought about you.” That’s not even a complete sentence, but I guess that never stopped any Housewife from becoming an author. Well, it seems that she didn’t exactly think about Carole, just what Carole can do for her, like editing her Book-Book. All that served to do was remind Carole why she wanted to distance herself from Aviva. Self-absorbed users can wear you out.
When Carole makes her escape from Aviva’s bony grip, she chats with Kristen who happens to love Elvis Presley. Kristen worships Elvis and wishes she had been one of those Southern belles who threw themselves, or at least threw their panties, at him. Carole tells us that Kristen is the hat trick of fun – tall, pretty and weird. Ramona and Mario are on the fringes of the party until Aviva pulls her away for a chat. Aviva wants to hug Ramona and tells her that she sincerely missed her. No, Ramona’s not ready for any hugging. Aviva, who just can’t help herself, follows up her apology by telling her that she’s old – older and wants Ramona to show her the way. The way to where isn’t clear but Ramona may have her own destinations in mind. Ramona tells her that apologizing is one thing – accepting Aviva as a person is different. Go ahead, Ramona – speak it. We’re listening. She tells Aviva that she’s mean-spirited and conned her. The original Truth Cannon has spoken and Aviva knows it. She just drifts away, hoping for another chance on another day.
Kristen and her husband are supposed to have a date night, but Josh is running late. She’s fuming, and tells us that he thinks his time and his work are more important than she is. He arrives and blames a shortage of taxis for his tardiness. She wants to know why he couldn’t text her. They then begin to lament what marriage has done to the romance. Work and kids have turned things from fabulous to humdrum. Josh has a gift for her – a pair of diamond earrings – really nice diamond earrings. Kristen is delighted and tells him that he’s going to get a blow job for them. More baubles for blow-jobs, courtesy of New York Housewives. He says he should have bought two pairs. The romance seems to be back on track for at least one more night.
Ramona has an interior designer in her apartment and they’re trying to figure out what to do with a room that’s become a poor excuse for a closet. Her clothes and shoes are all over the place, The phone rings and it’s Aviva. She wants to meet Ramona for drinks and to iron things out. Not quite ready to put aside her misgivings, Ramona says that she’ll think about it.
Before that can happen, Ramona has to go to Sonja’s for a tea party. Sonja is putting out a buffet of sandwiches, desserts and hors d’ouevres with the help of her interns. She has four of them, Tyler, Alyx and the two Rachels. She must have found them on Craigslist because they’re really not very good at whatever it is they’re supposed to do. There aren’t any plates on the table and no one answers the door when Kristen buzzes the intercom. Sonja has a new dog, Marley, who Sonja adopted after her beloved Millou died. His ashes are on the sideboard.
More guests arrive, including Robin Cofer, a friend of Sonja’s and a Minister in the Church of the Oprah Winfrey Network. While Marley samples the buffet, the ladies sit around and talk about Aviva. Sonja and Ramona start to bicker like an old married couple. Sonja’s still smarting over the perversity she was subjected to by Aviva’s father, but wants to rise above it. The Reverend Robin chimes in with something about relating to Aviva’s soul and how one’s character is revealed when the chips are down. Kristen, who is just learning about Aviva and past transgressions, suggests that Aviva may have turned over a new leaf. Ramona realizes that she’s outnumbered and decides to take Aviva up on her offer for a meeting.
When they get together, Aviva tells Ramona how amazing she looks, then says that she’s not saying that to get in her pants. Huh? They have a couple of tequila shots and Aviva, who’s not a big drinker – her mother’s problems probably had something to do with that – says that they weren’t as bad as she thought they’d be and that she’s swallowed worse. Huh? They have a few more drinks and Ramona wants to know why Aviva is making this effort now. Aviva says that nothing really ruffles her feathers. Big Huh? She thought that Reid was being attacked, but now realizes she was wrong. Ramona says that she’s actually enjoying herself. She tells Aviva she’s a class act. Aviva tells her she missed her. This has to be alcohol talking. It looks like a tenuous peace accord was reached but time will tell. Aviva’s phobias and neuroses lurk just beneath the surface and Ramona doesn’t strike me as a “fool me twice” kinda gal.