Let me tell you something I’m reminded of every time a paying member of Love to hate pretty, funny and successful people. You’d think I’d toot my own horn (tout, tout, baby!), but that was only further proven in this week’s episode Real Housewives of New York. Sai and Erin have turned against Jessel, saying that she talks in circles and lies relentlessly, making it impossible to get in touch with her. And now that a third of the cast is against her, they are doubling down on the pressure by questioning the strength of her marriage with her husband Pavit.
I am fully aware that this is self-evident so far Real Housewives is worried. But in this case it feels particularly baseless and mean-spirited. Erin and Sai’s reasoning is unclear at best (although I have some of my own thoughts that I’d like to share with you briefly), and the only dirt they were able to produce is smeared eyeliner on Jessel’s face as she cries she told the story again during her interrogation at one of RHONYis the most annoying dinner in a minute. Episode 13 left a sour taste in my mouth so sharp that not even Jenna buying a pair of $700 sunglasses could completely erase it.
Our weekly opening montage gives us a look at Brynn’s well-decorated apartment, which to the New Yorker looks like a cozy yet spacious apartment somewhere in the West Village. We also catch up with Ubah, strike a few poses at a photoshoot, and ponder her lack of Valentine’s Day dates. Love should be in the air, but the only thing on these streets is hostility. We’re treated to a heavy dose of animosity as Erin and Sai hop on FaceTime to talk about Sai’s botched lunch with Jessel in last week’s episode.
“Lunch was at 11, [Jessel] “He showed up at 11:40 a.m. – didn’t even call me,” Sai tells Erin. “And then she brings up my damn mother! She says, ‘You brought up the situation with your mother, and you know I told you because my uncle is an alcoholic.'” First of all: wrong verb form, Sai; Jessel’s uncle Was an alcoholic who unfortunately died from the disease, a fact that she tried to use to develop a more intimate bond with Sai. Second: I understand Sai’s frustration; It is difficult for someone to address your late mother’s personal issues like this. But she softens the seriousness of what Jessel wanted to say to keep Erin on her side.
Meanwhile, Jessel repeats exactly that to Jenna at Jenna’s apartment, about 30 blocks away. “I thought if anyone would understand, it would be her,” Jessel says. Jenna tries to find a peaceful center and tells Jessel that it seems like she’s just trying to feel understood. “A lot of times people want things from people who don’t give,” Jenna adds in her confessional. “This happens a lot: the person who doesn’t give you what you want is the person you want the most.” I love seeing this vulnerable, motherly side of Jenna, who understands what Jessel is looking for want to achieve a reserved childhood. And from that experience, she also knows that Jessel’s way of making a connection was a little off. “I know her intentions were good, she was just trying to connect and create a relationship [to Sai’s story about her mother’s alcoholism]but your mother is your mother, and she is truly different than anyone else on the planet.”
Just as quickly as Jenna arrived in this episode, she headed off to Scotland, leaving Sai, Jessel, Erin, and Ubah alone for a very awkward couples date night. It doesn’t take long before the group drops their pleasantries as Sai and Jessel relive their tension from last week’s lunch. With the two women making no progress, Sai and Erin decide to start another fight with Jessel, this time over Pavit’s upcoming trip to Vietnam.
No one in the group, including the husbands, seems convinced that Pavit will fly to Vietnam, stay there for 24 hours and then fly back home just for a quick solo relax and a few air miles. And to be fair, that’s not the most common thing a human does. But Pavit is a quirky, funny guy. He doesn’t seem like the type to get on a plane just to cheat on his wife – as Erin and Sai imply – and Jessel isn’t the type to be overprotective or suspicious. And it’s Jessel’s trust in her husband that Sai and Erin can’t stand.
My theory is that Sai and Erin’s constant attacks on Jessel have an element of jealousy. They clung to death on the fact that she hadn’t had sex with Pavit in a year and a half, and that they had now missed the one core of the “dysfunction” (if you can even call it that) in Jessel’s marriage than Erin and Sai Having lost their fingers last week, they are facing their own lives. Maybe they have trust issues in their own marriages that they’re turning outwardly, or maybe they just can’t stand seeing two obviously happy people with the kind of loving indifference a couple should have when they’re comfortable in their marriage dynamic.
Jessel tries to defend herself, and when she does, Sai falls into the same tired trick she’s done all season when someone pushes back. “At the end of the day, I don’t care, Jessel,” says Sai. It has exactly the same energy as a child who wants to play a game of tag and then gives up the second he has to “be it.” Sai wanted to play, but now that she has competition, she throws up her hands. She obviously cares deeply about meddling in Jessel’s life throughout the season.
At the end of the episode, Jessel, Brynn and Jenna meet at Jessel’s house to take the group’s temperature. Jenna and Brynn have heard several different stories about what happened at the couple’s night out, and now they want to hear the story from the Queen’s mouth. Jessel explains everything that happened that night, and Brynn tells the group that Erin specifically mentioned that Pavit wasn’t wearing his wedding ring.
“Do I stir the pot?” Brynn asks in her confessional. “Yes. But this is a serious issue. Friends are the people you should turn to for help when you are having marital problems [you] through. We shouldn’t be trying to poke holes in people’s marriages – the only time you should poke holes is with condoms with really rich men.” The camera lingers on Brynn’s knowing smile, reminding us that even if she doesn’t appear in a major episode, one is RHONY MVP.
But thank God Brynn stirred that pot, because now Jessel has no doubt about what Erin and Sai wanted to say about their marriage. Jessel begins to cry and Pavit watches from the kitchen, biting his cheeks in annoyance as he listened to the things people implied about his wife and their relationship. I think this is best for Jessel; She has to get upset about it and defend herself. As she said in her confessional at the beginning of the episode: “[They haven’t] “I’ve seen that bitch before, I was very PC” Given that next week is the season finale, it seems like the perfect time for Jessel’s fighting spirit to rear its head and ditch this political correctness once and for all throw.