Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bravo
"Narcissism is a disease and it's contagious," says Heather Thomson during the season finale of The Real Housewives of New York City. (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET, on Bravo). Sure, she's stating the obvious here. This show is part of the Real Housewives franchise, after all. But the remark nicely sums up the antics of the self-involved women -- Aviva Drescher, Carole Radziwill, LuAnn de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, Sonja Morgan and Thomson herself -- that this particular season chronicled.
Amid the ironic slew of charitable initiatives and philanthropic work that takes up so much of the ladies' time, they always find opportunities for self-aggrandizement. Usually, it involves tearing one or more of the other women down. Also, a Housewives fundraising event wouldn't be interesting without an on-camera venom-spitting contest.
During the hellish trip to St. Barts a few episodes back, Aviva proved she could always be counted on to trip that live wire, Ramona. And in the finale, she does that several times. In one heated exchange during Carole's book release party, the two vehemently disagree over events that transpired at another gathering -- one of Ramona's charity events. The incident involved Aviva's elderly father. (Something of a live wire himself, this guy really ought to meet Elsa, Marysol Patton's attention-seeking momma on The Real Housewives of Miami.)
Aviva's dad showed up at the charity event and informed Ramona that she owed his daughter an apology for trying to weasel information about Aviva's phobias. (It's a long story.) Ramona refused, Aviva's dad grabbed her arm, and she summarily had him ejected. At the book release party, Aviva became shrill as she voiced the injustice of Ramona's behavior. But the "how could you" approach only made Ramona dig in further, defending herself. As did Aviva's attempt to gather the other ladies and gang up on her.
As usual on this show, the women line up to take sides. LuAnn, who's still smarting over the insinuation that she cheated on her boyfriend, wine CEO Jacques Azoulay, appears to side with Aviva, but only reluctantly. ("Do I have to?" she'd said, when Aviva pulled her into the fray.) Carole, too, would rather focus on her own professional goals than deal with these women, and frets that she doesn't want drama at her book release party. Generally, Sonja is squarely on Ramona's side, though she's also generally busy with her own concerns (like squeezing as much money out of her ex as possible).
"The group is definitely fractured and I don't know if all the king's horses and all the king's men can put us back together again," Carole says, with an unconcerned sigh.
Rumors have it that the reunion show, filmed a week and a half ago, heals some wounds but opens other, new ones. A cast member told The Huffington Post that each woman was asked to defend her behavior during season 5. "LuAnn tried to explain her night with the handsome man who was not her boyfriend, whom she invited back to the vacation house, but denied anything happened," says the unnamed source. "The best part of the day was when Sonja started barking like a dog when getting into the fact that her pup had died. Carole, who is usually witty, was stunned being called out by the women on the couch -- especially when Ramona accused her of smoking pot."
The informant also gave away the reunion's biggest stunner. When asked about designating Ramona and Sonja as "white trash" during the St. Barts trip, Aviva answered, "There was one person in St. Barts who was trashy and ungracious ... and that person was me!'" Now that must have left her cohorts speechless. Here's a promo clip of the first part of the reunion, which airs Monday, Oct. 8th at 9 p.m. ET.