Wanna feel old? Gia Giudice can drive! She chauffeurs the other two oldest non-incarcerated residents of her household to the nail salon: manis for her and Teresa, a pedi for Nono. Teresa expresses her frustration at her brother for failing to visit their lonely dad, despite living in same town. But she’s nervous to say anything, because this is exactly the sort of issue that has, historically, driven the siblings into bitter, years-long feuds. Surely nothing will go wrong.
Margaret is off to visit her close, personal friend Danielle Staub for some sushi and “positive energy” tea, which hopefully isn’t the kind that makes you poop yourself. But when she learns that Marge is going to Dolores’s hatchet-throwing party, Bergen County’s prodigal daughter decides to see if she can fill the Inappropriate Emotional Extremes Void left in all our hearts by Siggy Flicker. “It really bothers me that you’re going,” Danielle declares, before suggesting that the only possible thing that Margaret and Dolores could have in common is that Margaret is a cheater and Dolores a cheatee. She leaves Margaret alone in her kitchen, crying. To be clear: Danielle is crying, Margaret is just confused.
Anyone who follows my Jersey Shore Family Vacation recaps knows I have a tragic weakness for extremely messy and self-destructive returning cast members — but recalibrate, Danielle. This is literally the second episode; you need to treat the season as a marathon, not a sprint. By the way, are you this mad at your yoga buddy Teresa over her lifelong friendship with Dolores?
From what I can tell, hatchet throwing is like running with scissors, except so much worse, and in so many ways, including that everyone is drinking. Margaret needs to take a business trip to Oklahoma because she’s designing a children’s hospital-gown line, which is 50 percent a very nice thing to do, 50 percent unintelligible Housewives Mad Libs. All of the hatchet-throwing gals are invited to come along, including our two new additions: The, uh, blonde one and the brunette one, who have not yet proved compelling enough for me to memorize their names. Hold on.
Okay, I did a Google. Jackie is a parenting columnist with two sets of twins. She is also the only person who manages a hatchet bull’s-eye — actually, I’m pretty sure she’s literally the only person we witness getting the hatchet to bury itself into the wood and not just bounce off it, and that includes the on-staff throwing coach. So, keep an eye on her.
Jennifer has five kids (suck it, Jackie) and a house with nine bedrooms and 16 bathrooms, so that, I’m assuming, she can go a full week without shitting in any one of those toilets twice. Luxury! Her conservative husband Nabil, a.k.a. Bill, is displeased that Jennifer agreed to go to Oklahoma, which will be her first-ever weekend away from him and the kids. (I’ll have to consult Real Housewives Institute founder Brian Moylan as to whether the Eileen Davidson Accord extends to new cast members’ spouses, but in the meantime, let’s grant Bill temporary diplomatic immunity.)
To my untrained eye, Teresa looks like she’s in amazing shape in her sparkly-boobs competition bikini. Fortunately, coach Tracey is on hand to clarify that her client, in fact, is a “pile of shit” who must lose four pounds in the next three weeks. Please consult your doctor before embarking on this or any body dysmorphia-fueled fitness program.
Speaking of dysmorphia: Marge Sr. is getting a face-lift, which makes Marge Jr. want one of her own, at least until she watches her mother’s plastic surgeon draw all over her face with a marker until she looks like she’s going as a Lichtenstein painting for Halloween. With Margaret away in Oklahoma, Joe will be looking after his mother-in-law solo while she recovers, arguably an even greater show of commitment than the wedding-date ring-finger tattoo we were forced to watch him get earlier this episode.
When better to resurrect a family feud we thought was dead than on Easter Sunday? Giacinto is healthy wine-drunk because that’s what Jesus Christ, through him with him in him in the unity of the Holy Spirit etc. etc., would want.
Joe and Melissa bring their kids over to Teresa’s house to celebrate, which presents Nono with a perfect opportunity to repeatedly yell “Shame!” at his son and daughter-in-law for not coming to see him enough. (Honestly, this is more or less how I remember my childhood Easters with the Sicilian half of my family. Love you, Dad!) After Nono downs some more wine, and cries over his late wife at the table, Teresa asks Joe, “Are you going to be around more, for this one? He wants you around more.”
“What the fuck?” Joe responds. Melissa, too, is annoyed that Tre should start such a “super sensitive” conversation on a holiday, in front of their children, and when their patriarch is already both sad and wasted.
I’m sympathetic to Teresa’s purported motive — her own guilt over missing out on time with their mom when she was in prison — but she’s a shit-stirring dick for bringing this up when she did. But, but: I find it hard to believe that even if Joe is indeed putting in “15 hours” of “hard work” a day he can’t devote an odd three minutes to the occasional phone call. “At least just try, in a week, like, one designated day for Nono,” suggests Teresa’s oldest daughter.
Wanna feel old? Gia is the most reasonable adult on The Real Housewives of New Jersey.