The women have left Salem and are back in New York City, that is what’s left of it. Luann is having Ramona over to her tiny IKEA display apartment. It’s Ramona’s (64th) birthday, and over a delicious-looking slice of cheesecake with a candle in it, Luann informs Ramona that she’s throwing her (and Sonja) a birthday party. Keep in mind, because they are in the middle of a pandemic, Ramona is just going to have to settle on just five of her closest girlfriends (instead of the usual fifty).
Speaking of Sonja, Mona tells Lu that while she’s glad they confronted her on her drinking/drug problem, she’s very nervous that the séance triggered an avalanche of buried emotions in Sonja and herself. Just like Lu is worried that Sonja might end up in handcuffs after hooking up with a stranger in the wrong hotel room, Mona is fearful that Sonja is going down the same self-destructive (fatal) path as her brother, and feeling the same helplessness that she did when her brother eventually killed himself in a car accident. Sadly, Ramona’s (or at least Luann’s) fears are probably warranted.
Eboni and Sonja go for a workout with Martin, everyone’s favorite and really weird boxing/life coach. A spin-off for this guys is definitely in the works. Unfortunately for Martin, Eboni is the first to arrive. For lack of nothing better to talk about (and because she’s a socially awkward as hell), Ebony suddenly asks Martin if he is aware that “black don’t crack". Ebony clearly never saw Cicely Tyson in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Anyway, the poor hapless schlep simply answers “no”. Alrighty then.
Thankfully, Sonja arrives. She and Martin spar in the boxing ring, and therapy is in session ... apparently Sonja didn’t take the advice of Medium Marion who advised Sonja to seek “professional" help. “He was a fucking dick,” Martin says of Sonja’s father. “What your father thought about you has nothing to do with you at all, bur you needed that experience to get you ready for this experience now. What are you fighting now?”. I’m thinking “Oh Martin, have you not met this woman?”.
It turns out, Ebony has some daddy issues of her own. But unlike Sonja, she isn’t entirely sure who her daddy is. Typically, Ebony was raised by her mother and
mammy grammy. Now to be clear, there was a man named Kenneth who she thought might be her father, but she isn’t quite sure. Ebony is corresponding (via zoom of course) with some random chick named Ashley, whom she undoubtedly met on Ancestory.com. Apparently, Ashley also has ties to this Kenneth dude, so maybe they are sistas. At this point, I’m almost wishing Ebony would just stick with bloviating about racial injustice, because this is some boring sh*.
With a little help from Billy Stritch (Liza’s former arranger), Luann is preparing to record another single, this time an original Christmas song. I’m particularly stoked about this, especially after seeing what she did with Jingle Bells a few seasons ago. Luann plans on having all of her cast mates record a line or two on her new song, with all? of the proceed$ going to the Fortune Society, a charity which helps women after they leave prison.
It’s time to record. To no one’s surprise, Sonja can’t remember her lines, Ramona is completely tone deaf (some might say literally), and Ebony thinks she’s Whitney Houston. Then there is Leah. While she’s thrilled to be involved in such an important moment in musical history, she still has lingering questions about the legalities of it all (I forgot to mention earlier that Luann previously told Leah that they would get to those minor issues later). Leah asks the producers if she shouldn’t be signing some kind of release or something, and Luann tells her to mind her own business. Leah keeps bringing up the fact that she’s afraid of some kind of "copywrite" lawsuit, but what she’s really afraid of is getting ripped off on the deal, ala Kandi Burruss, when she produced Don’t Be Tardy For the Party for Kim Zolciak ... also “just for fun”.
The subject rears its ugly head again at Ramona and Sonja’s birthday party. Luann tells Ramona that Leah showed up and was like all “bah, humbug” about her song. I can already see the T-shirts “Be Happy, Don’t be like all Bah, Humbug”. But as usual, Luann takes the high road, and she and Leah hug out. Leah insists that she just wants to know how the song will make money, and exactly how much is going to charity. My guess is about 20%.
As the birthday party continues, it’s time for the cake. Probably out of fear of being sued, some bakery in NYC agreed to make a very life-like male and female genitalia cake for Leah, from the hairy balls to the woman’s labia. Because we all know how Ramona likes to talk about genitals right? Speaking of penises, Kurt the nude model from Luann’s art lesson luncheon is there, as is her
screaming gay friend Hank. Actually a bunch of guys show up, including Ramona’s sexy gigolo, um financial advisor, along with a couple of his buds with slicked back hairdos. There’s a male model whom Ramona met at an Oscar party, and of course the proverbial male strippers.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a party without some male flesh. Two male strippers arrive, looking more like Silicon Valley software engineers, wearing jeans, T-shirts, and vests. Luann, looking every bit the cougar in her gorgeous sparkly leopard print party dress, insists they are “burlesque dancers”. Sure Lu, whatever works. They eventually strip down, and the usual cheesy bumping and grinding commences, but oddly enough, they never take off their pants.
At the end of the night, all the fights were resolved, all the women were happy, but none more than Mona as we hear her whispering to William, “You still have my address right?”. While I know that a lot of the cougar shtick is probably just that, I don’t necessarily think the John walls at Beautique’ are lying. It’s very easy for me to believe that the three OG’s of RHONY are indeed getting it in with the array of hunks whom we’ve seen on the show for all these years.