I’ll be honest: Not much happens in this episode. All we learned last night is that the road to Napa never did run smooth and is, in fact, paved with propane and tiffs over nothing that infinitely run in a Möbius strip of dumbassery and Teresa’s bowel movements. Choice.
Preparations for the ill-advised trip are made as Hurricane Irene looms ominously overhead. Gia side-eyes the camera as Tre displays two recent purchases: leopard-print PJs and something that looks like a dress that The Little Mermaid’s Ariel would wear once her marriage went south and she began to hit the sauce. She and Jacqueline miss each other and both hope for a reconciliation but decide it’s highly unlikely. “The things they’re fighting about make no sense at all,” says Chris Laurita, in case we were unaware. Joe Giudice, meanwhile, continues to be the worst husband on the Eastern seaboard.
Jacqueline says “artinerary” instead of itinerary.
Over in ‘Boken, Professional Cheerleader is proving to be needy. Along with the fearful passive-aggressive girlquestions (“I’m not excited for you to go. Are you excited to go?”), she is having undisclosed problems with her living situation, and Albie, Chris, and Greg offer to let her live with them. “There’s only room for one bitch in this apartment,” jokes Greg. Cut to Deloris Van Cartier derping on the floor. Albie admits he has no idea how to tell Caroline that he will henceforth be living in sin.
The Manzo kids are calling the journey the Ashley Holmes trip, since it covers all of the places that Ashley was shipped off to in the hopes of making her a real person and not just a scraggly lil’ Kes$halet. Hopes have obviously since been dashed.
As they escape the Garden State after a quick fast-food run, there is a brief intercut of weather news and HOLY SHIT CHRIS CHRISTIE. As I am from New Jersey myself, seeing my home state’s much-maligned governor on this program just gave me Toxic Shock Syndrome. I always forget how huge he is. The man basically sweats mayonnaise.
So Chris Christie, who just wants his darling Kermie to treat him like the princess he is, affirms that Hurricane Irene is a thing. Once the crew touches down in San Francisco, it appears that Tre has been laboring under the misapprehension that they are going to a Native American reservation. And then they see cows.
Greg: Do cows, like, eff each other?
Jacqueline: Let’s Google it.
Everyone looks at a video of cows mating and screams in horror except Teresa, who is clearly nonplussed because it is akin to coitus with Juicy Joe, who we have known for a long time now is more cow than human.
Everyone stops at Camping World to buy 75 grills and some hats. Melissa Gorga picks up a little raccoon toy and cracks, “Someone called me one of these once.” (It was Joe Gorga, who called Melissa a “raccoon face,” which is both hilarious and kind of a compliment? In a turn-of-the-century study, the common raccoon was found able to open eleven of thirteen complex locks in fewer than ten tries and had no problems repeating the action when the locks were rearranged or turned upside-down.) Joe Giudice steals the Wakiles’ and Manzos’ rations. He’s such a jackass. There’s literally nothing redeeming about him that I can think of.
Back in the RV, Tre takes a fancy dump before they hit the road. As she plaintively calls for help in the bathroom, Melissa yells back, “My husband says women don’t poop.” Of course he does.
Finally, they hit the road. It should surprise none of you that every person on this show is a godawful fucking driver. As they careen over mountain ridges, Greg reestablishes his gayness (“I’m Sandra Bullock in Speed right now!”) and a sausage that Juicy Joe is attempting to cut rolls right off the board. Penis metaphor?
When they end up in the RV park, everyone (especially Teresa and Richie) seems surprised that it’s, y’know, a park for RVs. Or, as one of the Manzo boys points out, “That’s not camping, that’s homeless.” As a coping mechanism (or as “Tuesday”), they all begin drinking immediately, and Teresa swaddles herself in a blanket like the baby Jesus. The polite conversation she and Melissa attempt to have with their mobile-home neighbors is a bust, because Tre keeps telling them how lame she thinks it is as Melissa winces. Smooth.
Joes Gorga and Giudice are have a hard time pitching the tent — I wonder what that therapist would say about this one — and when Juicy Joe is handed the directions, he pretends he just needs glasses and isn’t illiterate, which is, like, soooo touching and Jordan Catalano in a way? Melissa, in a burst of unexpected (but welcome) bitchiness, busts Richie’s balls for never having seen him break a sweat, and Teresa comes to his aid. Unexpected alliances are the name of the game this episode.
Finally, thanks to Richie’s coordination, Kathy and Tre hash it out over the book signing and Tre’s being overly defensive (of course) about Kathy mentioning that some of the desserts were her mom’s recipes. Boring, boring, I want a pizzelle, don’t care. Once that’s over, we also get a lil’ recap of the Tre-Jacquie feud, which is still going on, if you care. Whether or not she works it out with Jacqueline, says Tre, she has a husband and four healthy children, and they’re good people, and God is smiling at them. Or whatever.
These close quarters are not convenient for the Wakiles, because Kathy, as Richie says, “is a screamer.” “Once a day isn’t enough,” she adds. I’d be grossed out by this if it were any other couple on the show, but I support Kathy Wakile and her still-active sex life with Richie’s glasses.
During the first night in the RVs, Joe Giudice turns up the heat, and the Gorgas and Giudices wake up boiling. (See above, where I said he was a shitty dumbass and have no idea why anyone would marry him.) Tre and Melissa grab each other’s boobs, and Joe Gorga decides to one-up them by showing Greg his penis. Oh, sorry, “Tarzan.” Typing that made me so uncomfortable. And then — it is sort of unclear to me what this part was — but I think Richie walked around with his morning wood out. Someone want to help me out on that?
Where is Dr. Melfi when you need her?
Kathy fucks up some muffins, but the rest of the breakfast looks awesome. Bacon fat is literally poured on eggs. If you’re not onboard with that, I don’t even know. And then Kathy encourages Jacqueline and Caroline to reconcile with Tre, but Caroline is like, “Don’t get my shit involved with your shit,” which is actually pretty valid even though Kathy means well, clearly.
The fact that Tre and Melissa are all chummy now is kind of weird. As they walk on the beach together, finally, FINALLY, Tre bristles when Melissa suggests that she might want to “take a good, hard look at herself” and figure out why everyone fights with her all the time. Teresa doesn’t want to do it.
Are we in Napa yet?