What the hell is happening on The Real Housewives of New Jersey right now? Except for a couple of inconsequential excursions to meet Dolores's mother (who isn't as "good TV" as her grandmother) and broach the issue of Melissa's boutique manager smack-talking of Teresa, this week's entire episode is entrenched in the fallout from the Vermont trip.
Yes, Siggy and Dolores are still caught in the middle. Siggy can't deal with it — or rather, Siggy feels compelled to deal with it in the most open and straightforward way she knows how, which means sitting down with every single member of the cast to talk through all their feelings. It also means a particularly meme-worthy sequence cut together with a million short snippets of Siggy expressing her feelings. I must say, as a Jew, I really feel our people have been accurately captured on this program. Take Siggy, multiply her by 40, and you've got Passover at my mother's house.
Y'all know I love me some Sig, but I've got to call my girl out on this situation with Jacqueline. Siggy characterizes her issue with Jax as being her intuition that Jacqueline felt Siggy didn't have her back in the conflict with Teresa. If that were the only thing going on, I'd say Siggy was being paranoid and I'd question whether she's actually the one who's doubting her loyalty to Jacqueline. Projection much? But this is not the whole story, of course. Siggy is in fact angry (and hurt and several other emoji words she's been trained to use) that Jacqueline didn't return her texts after the big throw-down.
As Dolores keeps saying, Siggy didn't mean to come to this part of the zoo. Siggy meant to visit the petting zoo, but this here is the "no feed zone." Do you understand the metaphor? It's a bit fetch, Dolores, but on the other hand, I'm the one who compared them all to jungle animals. If the muzzle fits …
The fact is that Jacqueline is in the wrong, at least regarding Vermont. Siggy and Dolores know this and have essentially admitted as much, although they have not yet turned their backs on Jax. But Siggy can't leave it at that. It's like she wants Jacqueline to make her feel better about the awkward position she's stuck in. She needs Jacqueline to say, "Siggy, it's all good. I'm not mad at you," which Jacqueline does say, to her credit. But it's still not enough; Siggy can't roll with it. It's like Siggy's saying, "Jacqueline, I'll stay friends with you, but now it's on my terms and my terms only and you're gonna have to jump through hoops." I don't mean to criticize Siggy either. Being caught between two sparring friends is a difficult position to be in. And it's natural that Siggy wants them to help make it comfortable for her. Of course, we all know there's no way in hell Teresa is gonna do that: Just check out how she jumps on Siggy at their lunch about attending the Envy show. Tre will brook no "neutrality." So it falls upon Jacqueline to bear the entire burden and, to her credit, she graciously acquiesces. Well, graciously and pragmatically: Jacqueline knows her fish to fry are with Melissa and she will need all the allies she can get.
So Jacqueline comes across pretty well on this episode, but it's impossible to defend her behavior on the trip — particularly in regard to Melissa. Jacqueline's point that Melissa is rewriting history is absurd. Of course Melissa wants to avoid the topic of "strippergate." Melissa and Teresa are getting along — FINALLY! It would be risky and pointless to revisit that old wound. Also, why would Melissa want to reminisce about that time she was called a gold-digging whore? Is that rewriting history? Maybe, but come on! Now Jacqueline thinks Melissa is trying to keep Teresa all to herself? No way! Does Jax really, truly believe this? I just don't buy it. I think it may be one of those moments on Real Housewives where the ladies are fighting about something real that happened off-camera, but they're not allowed to talk about, so they have to pretend it's about something nonsensical. I mean, there is no way Jacqueline really faults Melissa for shutting her down in Vermont. She came at her screaming like a banshee, hurling insults, getting up in her face. It would have been insane for Melissa to be like, "Yup, four nose jobs. I guess it's obvious. And as far as Teresa is concerned, yeah, you told me she started the stripper rumor that day at the salon. At least, that's how I remember it. How 'bout you, Tre? Sorry, Siggy and Dolores, I just assumed you watched season five. We'll find the clips online after dinner to catch you up. Waiter, I'd like another glass of red wine. Make it a double."
Anyway, you have to give it to Siggy for trying hard. She initially says she won't attend either fashion show — Melissa's or Kim D.'s, although eventually changes her mind about Melissa's. Kim D., though, really? How can anyone on this show admit to fraternizing with Kim D. without acknowledging they're evil? This has been true for years. I don't care if you're Dina, Caroline, Danielle, Teresa, Melissa, Kathy, whoever. Kim D. is horrible. That's beyond questioning. It's so over the top, it seems fake. When Kim D. grins that evil grin, insinuating that Joe cheats on Teresa, it's like a cartoon villain or the mustache-twirler in a melodrama. Seriously, am I supposed to accept that Jacqueline is just innocently hanging out with her? Dolores at least acknowledges the sludge that's in Kim D.'s D.N.A., but she still shows up at the lunch. WAIT. That's not just a lunch, that's the Posche fashion show! It seems like an afterthought.
Of course, Kim D. seems far more interested in talking about Teresa than in anything going on with her boutique. It's all worth it just to hear her introduced on the loudspeaker as "Kim D.!" I always assumed that was just what we called her, originally to distinguish her from Kim G., the Wicked Witch of the East, but apparently that's how she's known everywhere. BECAUSE OF THE SHOW. It's all about show business. Each of these women is a brand and it all comes back to that at the end of the day. Jacqueline may be acting crazy, but her suicide mission to regain relevance is working. She has certainly commandeered the plot — and that is much more than I expected back when the season started. Oh, and Ashlee's having a baby. So, mazel tov.