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The Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: Love Doesn’t Live There

The one inalienable fact we are left with today is that Lauren Manzo could probably write (or ghostwrite, at least) an absolutely gangbusters YA novel about the travails of not fitting in with her family, like a guido version of Matilda. But let's start at the very beginning, because sources say that's a very good place to start.

The team is getting fucked up on wine and plans to go surfing drunk, which is, naturally, a fantastic idea. Albie asks the surf shop guy about shark attacks, and he says not to sweat it because "it's like this mutual respect we [meaning he and the sharks] have." Which is insane, but whatever. As everyone proceeds to Get All Up on their Hawaii Eleventeen-0 episode, Jacqueline isn't into it: We learn, for the first-time-ish, that she has body image issues. She feels fat and awkward in a wetsuit. Meanwhile, Teresa and Juicy Joe surf in full wetsuits on the concrete because YOLO.

A bird, perched on a nearby rock, watches with a wise, jaded eye as these drunk and idiotic people face certain death. The men go first and it’s a splendiferous failure. "Your husband was up for a second!" Caroline caws to Jacqueline, no doubt something she's heard before. Kathy Wakile and Tre are braving the fierce waters of Napa, while Jacquie and Melissa sit out for opposite reasons (Says Melissa, "I'd rather sit here in my bedazzled bathing suit and keep it sexy").

"I'm pretty athletic," asserts Teresa as she braces herself to conquer the vast and bottomless sea. I was heretofore unaware that tanning and remaining in a loveless marriage were sports. When she at last attempts her onboard frolic in the ocean, unsuccessfully, she says, "I feel like my body's getting beat up but I kinda like it." The domestic abuse joke here is not only inappropriate but entirely too easy. Teresa hurts her foot in the ocean and MORE ON THAT LATER, YOU GUYS.

I will say this: This talking-head shot they keep coming back to where Teresa looks like Aileen Wuornos fucked an exotic bird is really freaking me the fuck out. You know which shot I'm referring to.

"Why do you dress that way?" says a spiteful, body-image-ashamed Jacqueline to the be-titted Melissa. Chris Manzo informs us how much he likes Jacqueline's body, which is a lot, since you were wondering.

You know how I said Tre hurt her foot earlier? She's currently whining and icing it with a sausage that Juicy Joe just pretended was his cock.

By the campfire, Juicy Joe questions the legitimacy of the Golden Gate Bridge ("What's so special about dat bridge?") and a shirtless Joe Gorga intimidates an RV neighbor into giving them his vegetables. In the middle of an important (for this show, anyway) Manzo family conversation, Tre lets loose a bansheelike wail about her foot injury and Mother Hen Lauren takes command, crouching down by Tre like a maidservant, giving her an Ace bandage and ice pack wrap. Oh, Lauren, you make my heart hurt so.

"It's not her ankle, but I know she's suffering in other areas of her life," Jacqueline observes passive aggressively. Eventually, Kathy orders Juicy Joe to carry Tre into the house ("F*cking heavy-ass," he grumbles as he does so).

The next morning, we learn the very important information that Jacqueline and Chris fucked the night before. Awesome.

With a single needy phone call, Professional Cheerleader blows up Albie's spot regarding living in sin, and you can see Caroline Manzo's dim gears turning. Albert realizes the full implication of the situation before she does and has the following response: "Whaaat thaaa frig." Mama Manzo seems to recover from the news pretty rapidly, but it only adds to Lauren's (correct, incidentally) notion that the boys basically just want to replace her with a hotter 2.0 version.

Everyone freaks the fuck out that they have no service on a spooky road ("This looks like Deliverance"). "I don't want a crazy psycho lunatic coming in our tent while were sleeping," says Teresa. That makes one of us! They are parking at a quaint little rural pit stop, at which ducks wander. ("Look at the swans!!!" says Teresa.) The men are sent to a local general store for provisions, and where they buy a mood ring and a Wiffleball bat and spices and that's … it, actually. Even sadder is the fact that Tre actually kisses Juicy Joe when he gives her the mood ring. When Richie shows Kathy the Wiffleball bat, on the other hand, she keeps it real and tells Richie to go play in traffic.

Amazingly, the women make something of this motley assortment of shit, no doubt primarily using the vegetables they jacked from that poor guy earlier. After the boys' teasing gets out of hand, and then they call her oversensitive for feeling her feelings, Lauren locks herself in the RV and refuses to come out. Mama Manzo, thinking face still on, reflects that maybe, perhaps, she has not done a fantastic job attending to Lauren, who now feels inferior in "many … many … so many ways." (Caroline makes sure to stress just how many ways Lauren should feel crappy.)

The following morning, the men are doing pull-ups on tree branches. They are going canoeing today. Why they continue to cheat death when good people die every day is a cosmic joke. "I would be the ultimate tour guide," notes Melissa, who then proceeds to … actually do a pretty good tour guide voice. She should have a Sex and the City–type bus tour that takes riders directly into her vagina.

There are river ticks in this river, they are informed by river personnel.

The Manzo elders have a nice canoe ride while the others have a water-fight war, and Melissa and Joe Gorga manage, somehow, to capsize. Melissa jumps on Joe Gorga's back, and then clambers up Juicy Joe with her mouth open wide in horror like the head-to-toe Caché-clad version of Edvard Munch's The Scream.

The Joes go to pee and talk about problems and dick-tip touching. JUST TOUCH DICK-TIPS ALREADY.

It seems important to note that while every other woman on this show is having a How Many Rhinestones Can I Have on My Person Without Falling Through the Floor competition, Kathy is dressed like an I-Don't-Give-a-Fuck Epcot tourist and her eye-rolls are worth more than my entire life.

The Manzo kids assert that their RVs are the nicest, and say of the others: "Love doesn't live there."

Cue the requisite Tre-Jacqueline fight recap. The only new information here is that Joe Gorga is on Jacqueline's side as she possesses a modicum more sanity. But she does lose points for crying all the damn time.

Teresa asks Jacqueline into the RV to grab dessert for the team, and they have the same fight as they always do except in an RV. Jacqueline says Tre is fake, Tre is like "I'm not fake," blah blah blah, meanwhile "WHERE IS THE DESSERT?" wonders everyone. 

I'm starting to think Teresa genuinely cares for Jacqueline, possibly more than any other person on this show, including Juicy Joe, which seems more like a Stockholm Syndrome type of care. When Jacqueline yells at her in this scene, it’s like yelling at a deaf, inbred dog that just wants to understand why you won't feed it anymore.

They cry and laugh together. It's kind of human, for once. Is this because they're on wheels?

"For us to both cry, that means we both care," Teresa says. So it's a truce, for now, even though Jacqueline seems apprehensive about getting her friendshipheart smashed again, everything is cool in the woods, until a madman comes and kills everyone. Deuces.

Photo: Bravo