You are currently viewing Shocking Times: “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” Season 14, Episode 4 recap

Shocking Times: “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” Season 14, Episode 4 recap

The episode starts with Dolores, the only person who has emerged unscathed from this constant infighting. She’s out to dinner with her kids and her ex, Frank, who is talking about how he’s going to propose to his girlfriend Brittany. He does this by practicing on Dolores, and the whole restaurant thinks it’s a real proposal and they have to bust everyone’s love bubble. It’s funny, but my real question is unrelated: Do you think Brittany hates all the women on the show? Do you think she wants to be on the show? Do you think she’s resentful that these Kayla and Tiffany people are supposed to be friends-of but haven’t said as much as a chatty waiter at Rails Steakhouse all season? We can’t keep including Frank on the show through Dolores, what’s wrong with Brittany that she’s not at least getting invited to some of these events?

We then have a little visit with Margaret, who is helping Marge Sr. convalesce after surgery on her too-small esophagus. We only invented Sutton Stracke Syndrome on the last season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and already it’s sweeping the Bravoverse like those CHA-NEL earrings that everyone wore three years ago. Marge is mad that Jackie didn’t call her on the anniversary of her ex-husband’s death, and I think that’s a bit of a reach. Marge says that if Jackie was texting her and checking up on her she would have known the date was approaching. I’m not sure.

Meanwhile, Teresa and Jen Aydin are getting facials at Bill’s new plastic surgery center and they decide to call Jackie and check in on her after she and Marge got in a stupid fight at the charity softball game. Jackie says she doesn’t want to get into it with Teresa and Jen, but she’s glad they called. Jackie is a funny one: She acknowledges that the only reason Dumb and Dumberererererer are calling her is to get ammo in their ongoing war with Marge, but she still takes the call.

Speaking of Jen, she and Melissa have an attrition lunch where they try to get over their nonsense. Melissa is upset that Jen spread rumors that she cheated on her husband last season and Jen says that Melissa is no saint. But can she give us one example of something equally shady that Melissa has done to her? I can’t think of any. This is an equivalency so false that even silicone breast implants don’t think it looks real.

Jen tells Melissa that she didn’t want the rumor to come out but the only way she could tell Danielle that Melissa already knew is if she also said that Luis talked to Joe Gorga about it. I don’t remember all the ins and outs of this particular plot point from last year, but I remember Jen telling Danielle in the first place and sort of saying she didn’t want her to tell Melissa, but also kinda seeming like she wanted her to confront Melissa about it on camera. Jen uses this same rationale later when Danielle asks about it, but why is it so bad to know that Luis met Joe to talk? Why couldn’t she bring that up? This whole thing makes no sense and I would rather both Teresa and Jen just admit that they were using Danielle to do their dirty work. You got caught, at least own it.

Melissa and Jen decide that they’re going to move on and Melissa promises that she won’t try to extend olive branches through Bill anymore, that she’ll try to work on her relationship with Jen herself. However, when she’s talking about their lunch to Marge and Messy Fessy she does an impersonation of Jen like Jen does (pretty good) impersonations of everyone else. “I can imitate her obnoxiousness all day long,” Melissa says, not really sounding like someone who wants to work on her friendship with Jen.

Finally, it’s time for Danielle’s Bougie Brunch to celebrate Bougie Kidz being in New York Fashion Week. Danielle says she just found out she’s closing the show. Wait, is she closing all of New York Fashion Week? Is she the final show? It’s not Marc Jacobs, it’s Bougie Kidz? Or is this some kind of all-kids fashion show and she’s just one of 10 people in it? I’m going to need a lot more details before I can be excited for Danielle, because this seems a little bit like when Danielle Staub’s daughter was in a presentation at New York Fashion Week and then passed out on stage and never modeled professionally again. (Man, season two was wild.)

The new “friends of,” Kayla and Tiffany, are at the brunch and I’m still unsure of their faces, their names, or what they’re doing there, but I am now sure that Brittany (soon to be) Catania fucking hates those bitches with all of her Aqua Netted soul. Danielle brings up that Jen had a party and she invited someone to talk shit about her at the party. Danielle is right, a real friend would have listened to Lina’s story about getting thrown out of the VIP section at one of Danielle’s events and said, “That doesn’t sound like our Danielle.” Instead, they invite her to the party to spill the details and do nothing to defend their girl. When Danielle finally hears the story she says, “Of course I did that. She shouldn’t be in the VIP. Who is she?” I may be biased, but I believe Danielle over this Lina character who is just trying to get some screen time and do Teresa and Jen’s bidding just like Danielle did last season.

Then Danielle shifts to the Melissa cheating rumors from last season and asks Jen and Teresa point blank if they set her up. Teresa says, “Are you fucking kidding me? Both of us?” Number this 1,963,455 of the reasons why I hate Teresa with the fire of a million billion suns: She uses Jen as a shield when we all know she’s just as guilty as her little henchperson. When Danielle tells them she wishes they said Melissa already knew about this rumor, Teresa says, “It’s about my family, I don’t want to hear it anymore.” Oh, now that she doesn’t want to get blamed her family is important to her, but it wasn’t that important to her when she was, I don’t know, spreading another rumor that her sister-in-law cheated on her brother. Ugh, reason 1,963,456 is this one.

Danielle then makes the fatal error of asking if Rachel and Teresa have had a chance to talk about their issues. Teresa goes to her and Luis’s newest standby, saying she’s not going to talk about things in the group. Yes, I understand that some conversations are best held one-on-one, like Jen and Melissa’s lunch, but talking about things in the group is sort of the point of this whole enterprise. Since Teresa and her husband — whose face is as red as a brick and whose skull is as solid as one — can’t win on the facts, they keep trying to win on procedural grounds. Label this reason 1,963,457.

First Rachel and Teresa fight about the semantics of whether Teresa said John Fuda “is” or “was” the biggest drug dealer in Bergen County. While I don’t like the way Rachel fights, she makes an excellent point, which is that if we’re going to start bringing up allegations by people’s exes then Teresa better be careful, because Luis has way more exes with way more damaging stories out there than John does.

Rachel then asks Teresa what her intention was bringing up those rumors, but that’s not even a question. We know what her intention was. It’s how Teresa always rolls. No one can talk about her or her family based on a litany of rules that Teresa sets and changes whenever it’s convenient for her, but as soon as she gets some ammo on someone else, no matter how sketchy, she’s firing with both barrels.

This is when things take a really interesting turn. Rachel accuses Teresa of being a bully, which is the most accurate thing that has been said on this show since Caroline Manzo told Danielle Staub that she’s a clown. (I’m telling you, season two!) Rachel says that Teresa went after Jackie’s marriage with a rumor about him cheating as well and Jackie somehow rushes to Teresa’s defense. Melissa says, “Come on, you know she went after your marriage and it hurt you.” Yes, we know too because we saw it. We saw how pissed Jackie was and how she didn’t think he would ever recover.

 

Jackie is saying that she doesn’t need to stay mad at Teresa and will be friends with whoever she wants. That’s fine, but she can’t rewrite history. Teresa spread a malicious rumor about Jackie to upset her and it worked. Even if she’s gotten over it, which is her right, Jackie can’t pretend like she didn’t care back when it happened. It’s like Teresa sliced her with a knife. Sure, the wound has healed by now, but Teresa still cut her. She still did that. It doesn’t go away because Jackie now wants to be on Team Teresa.

Unable to keep the heat off of her, Teresa picks up her goodie bag and exits the party early for her daughter’s volleyball game, which I’m sure is exactly as urgent as Luis’s last-minute meeting in Florida that kept him from attending a party earlier in the season. After she leaves, Dolo tells Rachel that it’s going to sink in after a couple of days, because that’s how long it takes Teresa’s Commodore 64 of a brain to process anything. But when she figures it out, she’s going to come for Rachel. So, yes, we’ve all gotten together now, but it’s not any better, it’s not any different. Everyone has latched into their sides, except Jackie who is flipping, but why would she want to be on the side of these women who have already hurt her, on the side of these women who are actively hanging Danielle out to dry, on the side of these women who care nothing about her and are only in it for the adoration and the goodie bags?