Last time on The Real Housewives of New York City, it was election day. This week, Eboni K. Williams hosts a Harlem party to educate the ladies, but Ramona Singer may have had enough when she exclaims, “I don’t want to be educated.”
Just in case you were wondering, Eboni is not having surgery. T, the hair and makeup artist, is wearing a face mask, face shield, and full-body hazmat suit. Eboni is getting glammed for her Harlem party. She wants to push these women out of their five-block radius. Of course, everyone remembers Ramona being so put out to have to “travel to Brooklyn” to Simon and Alex’s house.
Everyone is checking in with each other on what to wear to Harlem. Ramona picks up her friend, Bershan Shaw. They are gathering at an old speakeasy, B2Harlem. Leah McSweeney shows up wearing silk pajamas. Luann de Lesseps, Sonja Morgan, Ramona, and Bershan arrive, all commenting on trying to navigate the steep entry stairs with their high heels. And, of course, Luann and Leah are trying to maintain sobriety in a speakeasy.
Eboni says that the point of her party is “a cultural infusion.” Eboni gives each of the ladies a gift of a candle. Leah’s sister, Sarah McSweeney, arrives late. Eboni assigns each of the women a historical figure to learn about because they “know zero about the true authentic black story.” Eboni lectures on each historical person’s life. Meanwhile, some of the ladies in their production interviews are wondering when the party starts. Ramona says that she wants an agenda, “Cocktails—1 hour, history class—1 hour, dinner—1 hour. Ok, we’ve had enough, can we just eat now.”
Bershan comes in loud and disrupts Eboni’s message. Bershan says, “We are one nation. I’m tired of this whole divided, we’re white girls from the upper east side, you’re black girls from Harlem. I can’t stand it at all. We’re Americans. We live in the United States of America. It pisses me off.” Eboni wants to confront the girl who she just called “queen” because now “queen” gave a wrong answer in class. Bershan says, “We’re all the same.” Eboni says, “I don’t know that we’re the same.” Eboni goes on to say, “These bitches already think we are all the same in all the wrong ways. What they need is a better understanding about our exceptionalism and our uniqueness. I really, in this moment, feel very undermined.”
Ramona is already talking about having somewhere else to go, so she might leave early. Then she demonstrates her vertigo for the group. And it kind of looks like her drunken look, so? Eboni is pouting over what Bershan said. Eboni says in her production interview, “Because she chose to express those ‘all lives matter’ vibes, I’m feeling very dismissed.”
Immediately after Ramona leaves, Bershan is talking about her best friend’s man’s small penis. Random.
At Ramona’s apartment, she puts on a face mask, and not a Covid mask, but a beauty mask. Leah and Eboni meet for lunch to talk about the Harlem Nights party. As they debrief about everyone’s reactions, Leah says that some were quiet because “white people are scared to” and Eboni completes her sentence, “get it wrong.”
Luann’s daughter, Victoria de Lesseps, comes over for a visit. Victoria says that without alcohol, her mom is more of her true self. Victoria expresses to her mom that she remembers the more present mom from her youth, and then remembers the time period where her mom was out of control. Luann realizes that she was living a parallel life of the path of addiction as her father. And Victoria just wants her mom back. Luann is talking, talking over Victoria, and cracks a joke, but perhaps Luann should just listen.
In Leah’s apartment, she and her daughter, Kier, are meeting with a high school admissions consultant, Whitney. Leah tells Whitney that she is arguing with her own mother about where Kier should go to high school. Kier leaves the room to go look at the list of project-based learning schools that Whitney picked out. Then it’s Whitney’s turn to be Leah’s therapist. Leah doesn’t want her daughter to be in school with a bunch of elitists. And Leah tells Whitney that she wants Kier’s father, Rob Cristofaro, to be mute during the interview process.
At Ramona’s house, Eboni stops by so that Ramona can try to get to know Eboni better. Eboni starts right off by asking Ramona what she thought about the Harlem Nights event. Ramona compliments Eboni about her attention to detail and the beautiful party. And then Eboni brings up the election. Ramona says, “Let’s just have a nice evening. I don’t want to talk politics.” Eboni thought they could have a middle ground on recognizing the milestone of a woman as a vice president and “how great it is to see women advance in American politics.” Eboni keeps talking about it. Ramona changes the subject and says that she looked up “microaggressions.” Ramona thinks she’s learning a lot. Then Eboni goes on to push the political talk more. Ramona says to Eboni. “I feel like you’re teaching me, you’re preaching me…” As Eboni interrupts again. Ramona walks away.
Ramona comes back from her bedroom and says she wants to be in a happy place. Then Eboni says, “I also want to be in an authentic place.” Eboni is laying out the terms for friendship with her, and Ramona just wants to have fun. Then Ramona brings up the other girls by saying, “The other girls aren’t feeling good about this. They feel like you are lecturing us.” Sonja, Luann, and Ramona just want Eboni to loosen up and talk about something else.
Then Ramona and Eboni disagree about whether or not they have the privilege to escape politics and have fun. Ramona wants Eboni to leave her apartment, but Eboni won’t leave until she tells Ramona what Sonja said on Election Night about Ramona’s Instagram photos. Neither gets too far into that discussion. They seem to agree as they talk and shout over each other and say things like—Vertigo. Teacher. Strong white woman. Strong black bitch. And then, just like that, they weirdly hug it out.
Next time, the ladies take a trip to Salem. We see some leather catsuits. And Leah becomes unhinged once more.
Kelli Bergheimer is an opinionated redhead, reality tv junkie, and freelance writer for All About the Tea.