The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Now that the women are back from Boca, Margaret is preparing to throw a boardwalk-themed party for her new line of summer cosmetic bags. The only problem is that her house is still very much under construction, in large part because her contractor husband Joe (did you know that every woman in New Jersey is legally required to marry a man named Joe?) won’t allow another contractor to set foot in the house. Maybe that’s because the last time Margaret hired one, she left her then-husband to marry him. Hey, Joe.
But the Sigtuation remains unresolved. When she went to invite Siggy to her party, Margaret discovered she’d blocked her on social media. How juvenile! Adults soft-block one another, thank you very much. So Margaret — who is making an effort here, I have to say — calls up Siggy to invite her. She “respectfully” declines because she’s not ready to move on from the offense Margaret caused her in Boca. “And then on top of it, you calling me Soggy Flicker. I didn’t appreciate it. Have a great life,” she says, hanging up. Jesus, Mary, and Joe Giudice. I wish I could tell you this was the last you’d ever hear of “Soggy Flicker,” a truly stupid insult that required three quarters of a brain cell to come up with, but I lost count of all the times it’s mentioned throughout this episode.
One-sided though it may be, Siggy and Margaret’s fight stems in theory from Siggy feeling insulted that Margaret has shown no loyalty to her, despite being the person who brought her into the group. But as best I can tell, it’s just as much a power struggle for status within the show. Siggy simply doesn’t enjoy being upstaged, particularly not in Boca.
Teresa and Siggy sit down for drinks to work through their own tension. Siggy ends up sounding decidedly apologetic, even though it was Teresa who threw the cake and Teresa who stormed out of dinner, for which Sexz Chef and I will never forgive her. But Margaret? Siggy detests Margaret, as she is more than happy to tell Teresa. What was at one point a conversation between two people devolves into a evening of hatred-fueled spoken-word poetry with a single subject, which no one wanted and no one understands: “I want to take her and pull on those pigtails until they come out of her head […] Beware, no soul, pigtails, can’t stand, stay away.”
Anyway, Joe Gorga bought a restaurant. What? I know. I gave you just as much of a heads-up about that development as Joe did his wife. He takes her out to lunch at a generic little Italian bistro, only to reveal that he’s the owner. Surprise! He’s an “entrepreneur,” so it’s fine, and we all know the restaurant industry is famously stable and universally lucrative. Melissa knows her husband is torn up about the loss of his mom — and he thinks the restaurant could be good for his still-grieving father — but come on, dude. This, after the hell you put Melissa through when she was opening Envy? At least, thanks to her efforts, the good people of New Jersey can finally buy a pre-distressed denim jacket emblazoned with the message “Will Work for Champagne.” Show some respect, pal.
Thanks to Margaret’s comically huge front door, which is three times the height of a human being, just entering her house makes guests look like they took a bite of the wrong mushroom in Wonderland. The party is filled with bright, swirling psychedelic colors, cotton candy martinis, glittering Henna tattoos, and confetti (intentionally?) strewn all over the floor. I know Margaret said her aesthetic was Lilly Pulitzer on crack, but this feels more like a Kate Spade x John Wayne Gacy collab. Meanwhile, Siggy hosts Dolores, who RSVP’d no to Margaret out of solidarity, for a two-gal slumber party. The dress code is matching pajamas and pigtails because “Margaret and her pigtails can go fuck themselves.” Imitation, the sincerest form of … hatred? Dolores brings a picture of the two of them together, which Siggy jams into a frame in front of a family photo.
Back at the party, Teresa — who, let’s be real, is not nearly as loyal to Siggy as Siggy would like to be believe — tells Margaret what Siggy said about her. (She doesn’t reenact the whole one-woman show, just the “I hate that fucking bitch” part.) This inspires Margaret to try for a reconciliation again, sending Siggy the following text: “Weird you’re not here especially with the girls you introduced me to. Let’s try to put this past us and meet in person. Let me know. Xo Margaret.” Well, that was actually nice. Surely no one could be offended by — I’m sorry, what was that, Dolores? “That was the most insincere fucking text I ever heard,” she fumes to Siggy. “That text made me more mad than the act itself.”
But Siggy accepts Marge’s invitation. The next day, they meet on neutral territory at a diner, New Jersey’s all-chrome answer to Switzerland. As their discussion gets more and more heated, the editing makes it look like other patrons are glancing over, displeased by the noise, but I would bet you an order of cheese fries that they weren’t even the loudest booth in there.
Margaret doesn’t understand the “depth” of Siggy’s anger toward her, specifically when it comes to “Soggy Flicker.” Margaret says she takes herself too seriously; Siggy criticizes her “timing.” There is simply nothing I could say or do to make the exchange that follows any funnier than the way it unrolled naturally, so … I now present a one-act play, I Know Joan Rivers.
MARGARET: My timing is fucking perfect. I’m like fucking Joan Rivers.
SIGGY: I think I’m more like Joan Rivers.
MARGARET: “Soggy Flicker” is a Joan Rivers line. Bring it.
SIGGY: This is where Joan Rivers is. [She raises her hand above her head.] This is where you are. [She drops her hand toward the floor.] This is where I am. [She lifts her hand to the level of the table.]
MARGARET: I know Joan Rivers. Do you know Joan Rivers? Because I’ve been to a million parties at her house. Before she passed away.
SIGGY: Honey, I did meet her. Three times. But that’s okay.
MARGARET: I’ve been to a million parties at Joan’s house and believe me…
SIGGY: Margaret. Margaret. Margaret. You know Joan Rivers better, okay?
MARGARET: Yeah. So I’m just saying: no Joan Rivers.
Feel free to stage a production at your local high school or senior center!
When Siggy learns that Margaret and the other women talked about her at the party, she begins to cry. That melts “ice queen” Margaret’s heart, which, thanks to an incredible anatomical anomaly, is located inside one of her pigtails. (She won’t tell you which one, though.) “I’m a fucking wiseass,” she says. “But I never would want to hurt your feelings.” Margaret offers a “true apology,” which Siggy accepts, ready to move their relationship forward by “baby steps.”
Why do I have a sinking feeling that the proverbial baby will be kneecapped by season’s end?