Oh, this episode hurt – and not for the reason you might think, the (ever)ongoing feud between Teresa and Joe and Melissa and now Luis. No, as a Jackie stan, this new thread about her, even though she is just in the friend zone this season, as a snob, really grinds my gears. But we’ll get to that.
Now we head back to our regularly scheduled A plot, the Gorga gang-up. Picking up where we left off at New Danielle’s mozzarella party, Melissa and Teresa are still fighting about the seating arrangements at the engagement party. True to her former tagline, Teresa then turns the tables. When Melissa tells Teresa that she is fine not being in Teresa’s wedding, Teresa says, “I would love for you to be a bridesmaid at my wedding.” This puts Melissa in a can’t-win situation. If she says no, she’s the villain. If she says yes, she’s stuck in Teresa’s punitive, passive-aggressive web until the wedding.
Melissa finds a loophole, saying that there is no need for her to be an afterthought, and they manage to find a way to hug it out, but as usual, Tre can’t back up her words. We then watch a scene I can only refer to as dirty pool, where Teresa and Luis (or I guess, Louie, as his name is now spelled), sit down with Gia and The Great Gabriella, in a rare on-camera dialogue scene. To badmouth Joe and Melissa and say they are lying, I guess to say that the two of them did not spend as much time with the four daughters when Teresa was at “camp” as they claimed? That they only ever saw them when it was to be filmed for the series? I was under the impression that they really did play a big role in being present for the family while both Joe and then Teresa were away. I can’t prove it; I wasn’t there and don’t know them, but it does feel like revisionist history to me.
Then again, they can’t and don’t have proof of this either. You can’t prove something that didn’t happen, because there was no event to not record. But this is now a trend with Teresa in her post-namaste years. Say something with no proof and then put it out there for people to believe with no ability to disprove. She did it with the Goldschneider rumor (excuse me, “ru-MORE”), and now she is again doing it with her brother and sister-in-law. And she’s brought her kids into it (I mean, to film this scene, their presence and their contribution had to be arranged in advance).
But still, you can’t play smart and stupid, and you can’t say that you place family above all else if you’re not inviting Melissa’s mother and sisters to the wedding. Not in an old-school Italian family, and not when you’ve invited the season’s newest housewives whom you’ve just met and when you’ve incited Chanel Ayan, a new cast member on a new show on a different continent. I wish more people could see through the hypocrisy. Or at least see that maybe the person who cries victim for years might really be a villain in plain sight. Not the only one, maybe, but an equal part of the problem.
As so often happens on this franchise, the big event takes place around the men: Evan, Bill, Frank, the two Joes, John, and Nate meet up (is it Rails?) and Joe tells them about Melissa’s family not being invited to the wedding. He is saying Louie is a piece of garbage, and who walks in? Louie! (I’m not saying this entrance was staged, but I am not saying that.)
Louie says that past history is why they didn’t invite the Marco clan. Joe B. speaks up and calls it a slap in the face. Louie retorts that the two older daughters are now saying that Joe and Melissa are liars to say that had more of a presence than they have said they did during Teresa’s jail term. Again, there’s no real way to prove or quantify this, but it seems like a random time for all of this to just…emerge, if true. Or is it?
But as usual, Joe overplays his part, especially on-camera. He screams, he starts to cry, he swears at Louie, who remains calm and says his words hurt Teresa. As though this wasn’t double-sided. He says they should all get together and talk it out.
Haven’t we been here for seasons? Conventional wisdom has it that Melissa’s time is done and she and Joe can go; I think that Teresa’s time has expired as well, and the show has passed both of them by.
Except, what else does it have? Jen and Marge? I love the latter and could watch her all day, but I can’t stand to watch the former constantly go low, and again, then cry victim. We even saw it again last week!
And I’m not sure Dolores works when front and center, with Frank and whoever her good guy boyfriend of the moment is. The problem there is that Frank, in all his tan, lisping, bodybuilding glory, is a control freak. That he has to buddy up to all of her boyfriends, living with David and showing up to talk with Paulie, is dangerous. That smells of stalker tendencies. That’s an ex who won’t let go. And its gross to see.
Are New Danielle or Rachel here for the long term? Hard to tell, though Danielle is dancing as fast as she can so far. And the first three episodes have really tripled down on introducing her. Now she tells Melissa that in her own family, she is the Teresa, and that she’s estranged from her brother since he started making fun of her Instagram account, and she, in turn, blocked him. Because that caused him to disinvite her from his wedding. What? Again, I don’t know them, and I can’t prove it, but I feel that this isn’t even half of the story.
Of course, New Danielle also tells Melissa that she thinks Jackie is snobby and judgy and made a face at her attire, which Melissa relays to Marge and Jackie at lunch. Jackie stands her ground, and says Danielle did look like a train wreck, and that she isn’t sorry. Between staying steadfast and being open about her battles with eating, she’s the rare truly confident housewife. I miss her as a full-timer.
I’m a bit more optimistic about Rachel, who we get a bit more of this week. She takes her daughter to a birthday party photoshoot and opens up about her own miscarriage and difficult journey with IVF. It’s a little melodramatic, but in the previews for next week, I see her holding her own with Jennifer, so for now, she’s a keeper.
See you next week!