This is how the world ends, not with a bang but with two angled poodles dressed in pink tutus on the back of a van while their mother sits to them, “We’re moving to Chicago, babies!” Most fans of the show follow Daily mail on Instagram (admit it, that’s most of you!) knew that Tinsley would be leaving halfway through the season to get engaged to his boyfriend Scot the Koupon King. I didn’t expect it to play out like this.
Tinsley gets the whole seasonal treatment: a group scene, a tearful goodbye and a few lines of text on the screen that send her into the great abyss where there are no cameras. Usually the red lights on the cameras go out temporarily, but Tinz has decided to venture to the snowy tundra in Chicago, such a boring city that both Potomac and Salt Lake City have become Real Housewives franchises before it has. I mean, what’s in Chicago? Oprah? Hot Dogs? Strong blonde corn fed frat boys who will breathe down your collar while offering you a little beer at the bar? Wait. This suddenly doesn’t sound too bad.
The aging of Tinsley and the swift wrapping of her story in a pretty pink bow was a bit surprising to us by the Real Housewives Institute because there is very little precedent. The first housewife who left the midseason was the otherwise forgetful Peggy Tanous, who left Orange County 2011, some episodes in her second season and the show’s seventh. She just got a confession talk about leaving because of her anxiety problems and made some “friend to” appearances throughout the season.
The next is almost a decade later when Lisa Vanderpump took her toys and went home during the previous season of RHOBH. We know how it ended, with her being clearly absent from everything, including the reunion, other than filming some reactions to her fight with Kyle and brief information about her “cocktail garden” opening in Las Vegas. She seems to have really opened the door, because this year both Tinsley and Denise Richards dropped out RHOBH before the last inning. (Do I mix sports metaphors? Who cares?)
I don’t think Denise will receive the same treatment as Tinlsey. There was obviously a discussion between her and the producers that she decided to leave New York to move to Chicago and she did it on good terms. I have to admit that I question exactly how her last two scenes were filmed.
The story of Tinsley leaving begins when the women all go to Blood Manor, a haunted house that is probably a “New York institution” but in my 15 years in Gotham I’ve never even heard of it. It seems like a good time and I’m happy for the visit, if only for a zombie who scares the hell out of Sonja Tremont Morgan from Century 21 Flagship Store Morgans on the sidewalk and her proclamation for the women, “I should have worn a diaper!” Some of the women arrive in a suit, others do not. The Countess says she is dressed as a cougar, but her skintight cat costume is actually covered in leopard spots. We can’t really complain about the inconsistencies in her suit. At least this one doesn’t use blackface.
At dinner after the haunted house, all the women are upset about Tinsley who she posted about being in Chicago with Scot on Instagram without telling them about the trip. Then Leah announces that Tinsley will make it work with Scots and that even if he has not suggested, in principle it does. Tinsley tells them she will move to Chicago for the relationship.
The reaction is not the one who wishes her the best. The reaction is not that they ask more questions about how she came to this decision. The reaction is not even to lift a half-hearted glass of tequila to her decision. The reaction is that Dorinda spits down at the table a carve, “So that means you can move out of your hotel now!” When Tinsley tries to get attention for her announcement, Dorinda continues to be wicked, saying, “I have a turkey baster if you want to try to get pregnant,” which seems under the belt both figuratively and enlightened.
In a confession, Dorinda says Tinsley “makes an ass of us all, runs games.” But why does Dorinda care so much? Why? Why? Tell me, YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. During all my years of study here at the Real Housewives Institute, I have been slowly approaching a Unifying Theory of Housewifery. I’ve come to the conclusion that at Late Stage Reality Shows like this, all fights are actually about the show. The only reason I can figure out that Dorinda cares is that she thinks Tinsley doesn’t really live in New York and doesn’t share her real life on camera like the rest of them. She is angry because she feels she gives everything and Tinsley is not. That’s what she means when she says Tinz “pulls the wool over our eyes”, that she pretends to be from New York.
We also see this when Ramona pulls Sonja and Dorinda out to Bethpage on Long Island to talk about her party in a demented store full of chocolate-covered graham crackers. When Ramona talks about her shindig and doesn’t listen to the other women’s ideas, the social media intern for the event planner asks everyone to take a picture together. Dorinda is angry that she is used as props so that Ramona can get a good deal on her party. The exposure on the show was clearly barter and Dorinda, unknowingly for her, was used as a bargaining chip. She is angry that Ramona is not cutting her in the deal (we need to go through fight?!). This is a fight that is not about time or trouble, this is a fight about the show.
Back to dinner. Luann says Dorinda’s treatment of Tinsley is overwhelming and she is absolutely right. It was just awesome. But just as cruel is that none other than Leah and Elyse, a free bread basket when everyone at the table is Paleo, will defend her. Sonja, Ramona and Countess Crackerjacks just all fall in line with Dorinda, which essentially blocks the other three from the table and conversation. It wasn’t fun to watch.
The next scenes we see are of Ramona and Luann in a bar with Tinsley, and while Ramona says she felt bad at dinner and wanted to apologize, something about the timing seems strange, especially when Tinsley says: “I’m moving to Chicago tomorrow. “If she really only moved a few days after the haunted house, I’m surprised she didn’t say it at dinner, not that any of the women would listen.
While Ramona and Luann tell Tinsley all they want is her happiness and hope for the best, it’s really a sweet scene and a nice send off from OG to a new but respected player. However, Ramona couldn’t care less about clearing the calendar for this farewell. Her date, Ron or Rob or Mark or Jim or any other name for a middle-aged man in finance who has a house in the Hamptons, shows up early. Tinsley says she met him earlier, with Harry Dubin at Regency. Luann also knows him. Seriously, are there like six select men in the UES and they all know each other? New York is a city of 92 bajillion. These ladies all really share five guys with not enough hair and too many zip-up zip-up shirts with company logos on their chest?
The real reason I question the timeline for all this is when we see Tinz and her mom in her hotel room. Leah stops by and says, “I haven’t seen you in so long.” If Tinsley announced at dinner that she was moving and then told them at a drink a few days later that she was moving the next day, why has Leah not seen her for so long? Would she say it because she hadn’t seen her in a week? Or did Tinz go to Chicago, come back to film some pickup scenes to finish her departure so it would be nice and smooth, and then go back to Chicago for good? I mean, I don’t know, but I have my ideas. (And frankly, I don’t really care. But as Dorinda, I just want them to be honest with us.) Also, the absence of Dorinda is visible, but if she treated me like she treated Tinz all season, I would want to quit to go live with a modest tech millionaire as well.
I honestly got a bit foggy when Leah and Sonja had a little confab with Tinsley and Dale. “I thought she was crazy because she wanted to be the fairy tale and not the legend,” Leah says. “But now I wish I had a fraction of her optimism.” The only thing that could have made the toast better was if Martin, the boxing trainer, had turned up for a pep talk. Tinsley says she’s more of herself since she “was back in New York,” which she means back on the show. She is in fashion shows, she works with her brand, she gets recognized again. Well, sorry kiddo, but none of that will happen in Chicago. None of that will happen without the show.
But maybe that’s something good? Maybe it’s something romantic? When she and her mom unpack their hotel room, Tinsley says that if she doesn’t take this shot with Scots (Shot with Shot sounds like a New York Rangers podcast someone is producing in their garage in Merrick) that she will regret it for the rest of her life. She says she does it for herself and no one else. Dale gets tired because “everything changes.” What is she crying about? What are they both talking about? Is it about love? Is it about fame? Is it about going out on a limb and making a risky decision because you honestly feel that is the right thing? Is it about the huge gap of the Middle Ages and the opportunities for us? Maybe everything. Maybe none of that. Maybe it’s just about frilly outfits for small dogs. Maybe sometime in the future, Tinsley, as the aliens in Contact, will be able to send us a message from the opposite side of the obscure black hole and tell us.
At the same time, a red-haired man with roots goes down to his ears to the front door and opens it in an apartment in the East East today. She sees a woman walking down the corridor toward her unit in knee-high black boots and a shirt that is cut dangerously low. She has a large handbag swung over her shoulder and swung by someone who is at work. “Quickly fast. Come in. Before the neighbors see you,” the red-haired movements towards the woman, whose pace quickly goes to a gallop to enter the door.
“Thank you so much for coming,” Redhead says. “This is something I’ve really wanted to do for a long time and I know it’s going to be expensive and kind of risky, but totally worth it.”
“Absolutely,” the woman responds enthusiastically. She takes off the face mask she wore in the corridor and her words get a little louder. “So. Where do you want me?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never done this before. Maybe the bedroom? Right? Where do you usually do this?”
“The bedroom can work, but it can get a bit messy. We do not want to leave stains. “
“The bathroom? But then we would be really close to each other. The kitchen. I’ve never done that in the kitchen.”
“It works,” says the guest.
They walk toward the kitchen, and the redhead points to a pile of bills. “Your money is on the bench. I’ve already included a tip. “
“Thank you very much,” the guest says, approaching her. She pulls some things out of her bag and puts them on the counter before she says, “Shall we start?”
She quickly loosens a cape and the redhead sits in a chair. She leans her head back and waits for the unknown touch of these female hands, the first to graze her scalp in what seems like ages. The guest wraps her arms around her and asks her what she wants to do to her hair today.
“Well, first we’ll do my color, and then a trim and a blowout,” says Jill Zarin, almost erotic, willing to break the rules to be beautiful, willing to court danger so she can feel a little more like herself .