Are we really here again? Thirteen seasons into The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and we’re back to the show’s main storyline being the War of the Gorgas. It’s not even Teresa versus Melissa; it’s Teresa and Joe, again, locked in their hamster wheel of love and jealous hatred.
We pick after last week’s boys’ night out. We watch the men all wake up (with cameras and lighting trained on them) with hangovers, and Luis tells his fiancée about what happened the night before. He encourages her to call Joe while he plays Cyrano to her Christian, silently scribbling on a notepad what she should say to her brother. He’s not really receptive, but if I were in his shoes, I wouldn’t be either. I hate it when someone calls me and then says “So what’s up?” I don’t know, you called me! So if Joe is mad already, and your call doesn’t smooth things over or make an olive branch, I don’t know why you’d expect Joe to commit to going to your housewarming, Tre.
Let’s also just take a moment to examine the hypocrisy, here. I don’t necessarily agree with Joe’s choices (we’ll get to that), but he’s right to stand by his wife. If Melissa and her family feel slighted that in addition to all the other grievances Teresa has caused for them, not being invited to the upcoming wedding is a big slight, that’s their right. It can’t be dismissed; not when Teresa’s anger supposedly stems from Joe’s behavior upsetting or insulting Luis. It has to go both ways. And Teresa’s retort that Luis’ extended family, who no one seems to have met, and certainly hasn’t been around for two decades, were not invited to Antonia’s sweet sixteen, an event primarily for the young girl and her friends, is predictably idiotic.
But Joe does the crappy thing and tells Melissa he doesn’t feel like going to the housewarming, forcing her to attend alone and continuing the brother-sister cold war. Melissa awkwardly talks to two of her nieces, who say they miss their cousins, but let’s be real – if they wanted to hang out with them, they’re old enough to pick up the phone. It gets worse when Teresa thanks her “chosen family” – a seeming dig at Joe’s absence and her hatred for Melissa. Now, I don’t think Tre knows that her choice of language at this event is as insulting as it was. But it does send Melissa home in tears, and I don’t think she is sorry for that.
That’s the main thread. In other, predictable news, the very interesting Jennifer Fessler and Rachel Fuda get together and swap stories about Jennifer Ayin calling each of them to poison them against Dolores and Margaret. Both, it turns out, have history with these women, and remain unswayed by Jennifer Aydin. I’m not sure what she thinks she’s doing her, asking them to turn on the friends who brought them onto the show. So this (of course) erupts at Teresa’s party and Jen Aydin (again) argues with Margaret and Rachel. It also looks like next week, Jennifer Aydin throws another grenade at Marge. Another old dog with no new tricks, eh Marge? Poor Marge. (I also wonder how, if Teresa ever did leave the show, someone like Jen Aydin would fare as a lone wolf without her.)
And poor Jackie. I know, I know, but I’ll always stan this icon. At Teresa’s party, Melissa mentions that she told Danielle about Jackie doubling down on her disheveled outfit. Jackie remains steadfast. Of course, Danielle is about two feet away when this conversation takes place, so, eager to gobble up as much screen time as she can right out of the gate, she comes over and fights with Jackie. “If you could just get your hands out of my face, thanks,” Jackie tells her. “You’re from Staten Island, you would know if my hands were in your face,” is Danielle’s best comeback. Well, she did know, because they are and she saw them and she told you to stop it. Jackie eventually just walks away. (I know most fans will cotton to Danielle’s lowbrow attempts to make a lot of noise; I’m just not one of them.)
In other news, four episodes in, we finally got the new taglines. So there’s that.
See you next week!