The Real Housewives of New Jersey
From Boca to Milan back to Franklin Lakes, we’ve finally made it to the RHONJ season finale. Siggy recently announced that she won’t return to the show next year. After enduring her exhausting villain edit this season, I, for one, am relieved to know that I won’t have to spend another 12-plus hours of my life watching her get offended, again and again, by Margaret. I can only imagine how the Sig feels.
While they’re out shopping for a prom tux, Joshua reveals to Siggy that he’s decided on Penn State by selecting a navy-blue tie. She is over the moon, threatening to visit every weekend. (Sidebar: Penn State people are obsessed with Penn State. My dad is one of them. In my parents’ house, you will find Penn State blankets, Penn State mugs, a sign that says “Happy Valley,” at least one illustrated map of State College, and zero difficult conversations about Jerry Sandusky.) Siggy tells the camera that she’s come to accept that college won’t end her relationship with her son.
To celebrate Teresa’s birthday, Melissa, Joe, and their kids come over with wine and a zebra-print fondant cake. They jump out and shout “surprise!” at her when she arrives home. Not to be a literal party pooper (literal in that we’re talking about a party, not in that I’m pooping), but in what world is this a surprise? The Gorgas parked their massive SUV directly in front of the house. Teresa plans to visit Joe at the prison that weekend, for the first time in seven or eight months — since before her mother passed away. Joe Gorga posits in a confessional that “she’s afraid to show Joe how angry she is.”
A few days later, she loads up two of her non-Gia daughters (I don’t know which two, and I’m not necessarily sure she does, either) for the drive to Fort Dix. She wants the girls to hear that their father is sorry for letting them all down. Obviously, no cameras were allowed inside; this isn’t Into the Abyss. Meanwhile, Melissa and Joe go décor shopping at Jonathan Adler, which is where Margaret requested all her gifts for her Studio 54–themed 50th birthday party be purchased. (How have I made it this far into this recap without mentioning Margaret’s Studio 54–themed 50th birthday party?) As they wait for Teresa to join them, Joe and Melissa speculate as to whether their brother-in-law apologized. “She sounds like she’s going to walk,” Melissa says of the tenuous state of their union. Teresa finally arrives. Lo and behold, Joe did apologize, out loud, and everyone cried. “I’ll never let anything happen like this again,” he promised. All is well, and their marriage is in every way fixed forever. Congrats!
Not to be, again, a literal party pooper (don’t worry, still not pooping), but wouldn’t Studio 54 have been an even better theme for a 54th birthday party? The numerical disparity doesn’t seem to faze Margaret, glammed out for the occasion in a bright white halter mermaid gown, glitter eye shadow, and floor-sweeping fake lashes. In her backyard, she has installed a “graveyard of disco balls,” a concept that everyone accepts as if it were a thing, although I am pretty sure is not. The long-awaited ballroom renovation isn’t done done in time for the party (looking at you, Super Joe), but her party planner nevertheless mocks it up in fine fashion, with dramatic black-and-white striped flooring and, most importantly, four enormous portraits of Margaret lining the walls. That’s just seven short of the number of Siggy photos hanging inside the entryway to her place in Boca!
Margaret isn’t going to disinvite Siggy, even though she obviously doesn’t want her there. Siggy isn’t going to turn down Margaret’s invite, even though she obviously doesn’t want to be there. But come party time, Siggy is nowhere to be seen, which is to say the evening gets off to a wonderful start, in a whirl of sequins and jumpsuits. Margaret makes a grand entrance on a (fake) horse that requires eight people to drag inside. It’s not long before a rumor makes its way through the grapevine: Siggy is in the hospital. Hearing this, Danielle rolls her eyes up at the jeweled triangle currently decorating her forehead. Apparently, she fell on her way to the party. “She has a swollen, almost a broken ankle,” says Dolores, not exactly helping to up the pity-winning drama factor. Melissa, too, is a little skeptical that Siggy just happened to injure herself on the way to an event she is undoubtedly dreading. But soon enough, Siggy is liveblogging her various X-rays and CT scans in texts to everyone but Margaret.
Cut to Siggy and Michael Campanella leaving the emergency room. Her heel missed a step, she explains, and she fell down a total of 18 stairs. (Cut to flashback footage of her miserably groaning at the bottom of said stairs, which strikes me as a little unnecessary.) Now, she has a sprained ankle and a badly bruised arm in a sling. Siggy insists she has no choice but to take the party by storm, given the reports of shit-talking she’s heard from Dolores. And so with one foot in a furry slipper, the other in medical walking boot, Siggy defiantly arrives at Studio 50. Fake horse, shmake horse — that’s an entrance. Teresa optimistically interprets Siggy’s better-late-than-never appearance as proof that she’s willing to work on her relationship with Margaret, when in fact this is simply proof that Siggy will never, ever admit defeat.
In front of her host, Siggy declares that didn’t want to come to the party at all. Margaret takes exception to this, and brings up her snubbing of Marge Sr. “I don’t want to be friends!” is Siggy’s thoughtful, measured response. “I came here to be with Teresa and Melissa.” Margaret suggests she “fucking leave,” which seems appropriate. Even Dolores acknowledges that Siggy is, well, “not in the right frame of mind” for this event. She and Teresa escort their banged-up, loopy friend home.
And so this is the way season eight ends: Not with a bang, but a sprained ankle.