Real Housewives of New York beefs explained: What did Bethenny Frankel do to Kelly Bensimon and why is Alex McCord so angry at Jill Zarin

"The Real Housewives Of New York City" Season 2 Premiere Party

If you’re watching Season Three of The Real Housewives of New York, you know all is not well in Housewives Land. Except for Ramona, Ramona is currently riding on some sort of peaceful cloud (sometimes enhanced by Pino Grigio). The newest “wife”, Sonja Morgan, also possesses a strange serenity not often found in Housewives. She’s also reasonable, fair-minded, and refrains from making judgmental cracks about the other girls.

The rest, though, are kind of a mess. On last night’s episode Kelly Bensimon was simply a wreck over being stuck on a yacht with Bethenny Frankel because of a laundry list of real or imagined personal slights. Bethenny is recovering from news that she’s pregnant, and seeing her estranged father right before he died and not feeling very happy about the way he left things. She’s also still in the middle of a spat with her former BFF Jill Zarin. Alex McCord, who famously delivered a “message” from Bethenny to Jill about how they are “done,” also has personal beef with Jill over several years of snide comments and slights.

Here’s a little bit about these little feuds and fights broken down:

Alex is mad as hell this season and she’s not gonna take it anymore! Why? Jill, and some of the other women, have always treated Alex as “less-than” because she lives in Brooklyn, doesn’t have more money than God, and is often quiet and non-assertive. This season, one of the matches that lit Alex’s fuse was when she got angry with Jill and Luann because they were badmouthing her children, and they treated her like a non-threat and kind of patted her on the head and sent her on her way.

Sooo, when another one of the New wives, party planner Jennifer Gilbert, throws an event, Alex has worked up her nerve to serve Jill a dose of her own medicine, but instead of shooting sideways barbs clothed in polite conversation, Alex gives it to her direct:

One of the classic lines of Housewives history: “You are a mean girl and you are in high school! And while you are in high school, I am in Brooklyn!”

Sometimes it’s good to just get things out there.

On to Bethenny and Kelly:

Just to keep things straight, here’s one of the very first meetings Bethenny and Kelly ever had when Kelly was introduced to the cast in Season Two. Kelly arranged a meeting with Bethenny because she felt she needed a “time out” after B. cracked a joke at Kelly’s expense at a charity meeting. She said, “Who are you, Madonna?” Kelly balked like that was the worst insult in the world, so I’m sure K. And Madonna won’t be BFFs soon.

Decide for yourself who was being attacked here:

And then a follow-up, where Bethenny tells Kelly she’s not coming from a place of yes:

Fast forward to Season Three, where Kelly explodes on a yacht:

And then on next week’s episode, still on the yacht, Kelly accuses Bethenny of trying to kill her:

It turns out that Kelly thinks Bethenny is trying to kill her because she has scary dreams about Bethenny. Apparently Bethenny’s humor is so intimidating to Kelly, it is literally killing her. She cries and moans on the bed, sniveling like child afraid of monsters:

And for bonus, here’s Kelly’s mini-explosion earlier that day where she reveals an interesting interpretation of making lemons out of lemonade (she also can’t take a joke about stomping on grapes to make them into wine: “No light humor! Its food you’re talking about!”):