The eighth season of The Real Housewives of New York City had all the themes and emotions of one of Shakespeare's greatest works: love, friendship, betrayal, long party scenes, drunkenness, the Regency Hotel. Because it aired over a year ago, though, it might be helpful to recap RHONY Season 8, just so every last delicious detail is fresh in your mind when you sit down to watch the premiere of RHONY Season 9 on Apr. 5. The first place to start, is, of course, the cast: After Season 7, both Heather Thomson and Kristen Taekman decided to leave the series, and new cast member Jules Wainstain was cast in their place. But otherwise, the show was anchored by four longstanding cast members, Luann, Ramona, Sonja, and Bethenny, and more recent but well-liked additions Carole and Dorinda.
During the seventh season, Bethenny made her triumphant return, flipping between crying over her lack of an apartment and brashly setting everyone off, the whole cast was starting to get worried about Sonja's financial health and drinking, and Dorinda's boyfriend, John, got even less popular among the ladies, who was already shown getting handsy with Kristen in Season 7 (which Dorinda defended, by the way). Even though the RHONY cast often fights, bickers, and can't seem to get through a night out without shouting at one another, there is a camaraderie between them, largely founded on their familiarity with being reality stars — after all, the only new addition to Season 7 was Bethenny, who had been on four seasons of RHONY before. But all that changed once Season 8 got started. Here's the tale of woes, just in time for the new season premiere.
Episodes 1-3: Everybody Hates John
Jules has an awkward debut, because the lines are already drawn between the different camps — Dorinda and Bethenny, Sonja and Luann, Carole and her younger boyfriend, Luann's former chef and the cause for a major wedge between them. But the most despised of all is Dorinda's boyfriend, John, who gets thoroughly roasted by the rest of the cast at Dorinda's lingerie party.
Episodes 4-6: Bethenny, Ramona, & Sonja's B-Days
Bethenny's birthday party goes terribly, from the ongoing tensions between her and John, to Carole's lingering resentment of Luann, to Jules' offense when Bethenny makes an awkward comment about her home. Those two attempt to work it out, but Luann's unpopularity with everyone but Sonja continues to be highlighted at Ramona's birthday party. And when Sonja celebrates her birthday, it revolves around her flighty business ambitions, and whether or not LuAnn is indulging her delusions.
Episode 7: Tipsy Girl
Sonja's attempt to market a new brand, "Tipsy Girl," draws the ire of Bethenny, who senses it as crowding in on her "Skinny Girl" territory (even though Sonja insists that it's not). Another Dorinda party ends badly when John and Ramona start fighting, and she once again nearly comes to blows defending him.
Episodes 8-10: Return To The Berkshires Part II: The Dorinda-ing
Dorinda invites the women up to the Berkshires... except for Sonja, who is less than gracefully uninvited in order to placate Bethenny. But yet another birthday celebration goes horribly wrong, when Dorinda is so upset by her costars' constant bickering that she begins screaming, "I made it nice! I cooked!" It's the kind of moment that makes all of the other drama kind of fade away, and even prompts Bethenny and Jules to leave early.
Episodes 11-13: Sober Sonja
Sonja gives up alcohol in as much of a statement to the haters as a move for her health. Luann reveals that she's engaged to Tom D'Agostino, who has history with both Ramona and Sonja. Jules is struggling within her marriage, and to find a noteworthy storyline that isn't fighting with Bethenny.
Episodes 14-16: More Of The Same
Before the crew even make it to the casino they're visiting, endless conflicts break out: Luann wants an apology from Ramona, but won't accept it. Jules still has a problem with Bethenny, and vice versa. The only friends who manage to stay friends are Ramona and Sonja, who are back to their usual Ramonja antics, minus the drinking.
Episodes 17-20: Luann's Engagement Party
Luann's engagement party means the cast is in for an awkward evening. The ladies take a trip to Miami, where Dorinda once again begins to feel unappreciated — she makes plans, but only Carole and Luann are willing to get up in time to hang out. But really, I can't blame Bethenny for getting her beauty rest, though, because she is sitting on a bombshell: Tom allegedly kissed another woman while with Luann. Tom told RadarOnline that there may have been "bumps in the road" during their relationship and he had "regrets," but that he and LuAnn are still together, and the couple got married on New Year's Eve 2016, and are now are officially Mr. & Mrs. D'Agostino.
Did Luann break girl code? Sonja seems genuinely hurt by her relationship with Tom, but really, the person who gets a lot of attention in this reunion is Dorinda. Sonja even alleges that Dorinda has been using cocaine, which Dorinda immediately denies. Both women later told Entertainment Tonight that they stand by their respective claims on that subject.
That's where things were left at the end of Real Housewives of New York Season 8, so you should be prepared to jump into the new season.