The Real Housewives of New Jersey
I would like to begin by observing that Dolores’s boyfriend is in her phone as “Dr. David Principe,” whereas her ex-husband is in her phone as “Big Frank C.” Please discuss among yourselves; I’ll be right here waiting when you’ve finished.
Come morning, Dolores insists she is “over” her tension with Jackie, but Jackie is all the angrier after she learns from Melissa that D specifically cast aspersions on the way she was “raised.” It’s easy to imagine the Caribbean-leveling nuclear blast that would have occurred if Jackie dared to make any sort of value judgment on Dolores’s unimpeachable old-school Italian upbringing. And to think, we wouldn’t have this story line at all if not for, as Melissa puts it, Jennifer’s “diarrhea of the mouth.”
Margaret, Jackie, and Jennifer are off to ride horses in the ocean, an excursion that truly embodies the familiar old saying, You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him stop pooping. And poop these majestic creatures do. Not long into their ride, Jennifer — who has never ridden a horse before, so hey, why not start with riding a horse who also happens to be submerged neck-deep in aquatic feces? — reports that her crotch has gone numb, then falls off (who among us), her jaws regrettably open to the poop-water. Jen’s diarrhea of the mouth, made literal.
By comparison, the piña coladas on a white-sand beach afternoon that Dolores, Melissa, and Teresa have opted for seems awfully appealing. But over lunch, DMT engages in some shit-talking of their own. Dolores is angry with Jackie for being angry with her. And as Joe Gorga predicted over the phone to Melissa, his sister takes 12 hours to process any wrongs done to her: Only now does Teresa voice her grievances about Margaret’s 21-year-old-rum joke. (Do we think a producer had to explain it to her?) Tre, cannily homing in on this episode’s unofficial scatalogical theme, likens Margaret to a “clogged toilet with all her fucking bullshit,” an image I especially appreciate in that it implies bulls use toilets.
In case you thought only these women were being ridiculous, back in the Garden State, their husbands have gathered in Bill’s infamous pool house for a poker game, where they do more than their part to embarrass themselves by:
Calling each other “baby,” in a Swingers-y way that none of them are remotely capable of pulling off
Doing an objectively unnecessary number of shots
Discussing how often they are biologically compelled to have sex
Doing that aggro bang-on-the-other-person’s-back hug that constitutes legal proof of heterosexuality
This is all we shall speak of that.
Birthday girl Jennifer would like to remind you that It Is Her Birthday, birthday birthday birthday, and so the women are off to celebrate with a birthday dinner, for her birthday. The restaurant’s décor is very Live, Laugh, Love, because wine moms are a global movement. Teresa retrieves a sign that reads “Any Woman Can Have the Body of a 21-Year-Old As Long As She Buys Him a Few Drinks First” off a wall and brandishes it at Margaret. (This sign is so apropos to their conflict that I went on a deep dive of Miss T’s Kitchen’s TripAdvisor photos to confirm that it can genuinely be found there and was not just conveniently planted 15 minutes before shooting.) Marge apologizes, insisting once again she didn’t intend any offense, and Teresa more or less accepts that — whether Tre truly forgives her, I think, will depend on how soon she decides that she’s mad at Jackie again.
Then it is time to introduce Jamaica to the official state sport of New Jersey: yelling in restaurants. (Actually, Jersey doesn’t yet have an official state sport — can we make this happen?) Dolores confronts Jackie for, essentially, not confronting her. Jackie acknowledges that yes, things can get on her nerves, and okay, she can’t necessarily move past everything instantly — but she still hardly ranks among the Olympic grudge-holding champions that are this cast.
Dolores doubles down that they are simply “cut from a different cloth,” and for that reason, she wouldn’t want to be “much closer” than they are. Dolores fancies herself, to borrow Tony Soprano’s language, the strong, silent type, and Jackie is more the woo-woo feelings type. I am a card-carrying woo-woo feelings type (the card has a crying emoji printed on it), but I’d rather hang out with Dolores — who is far from obligated to be friends with anyone, for any reason — than Jackie any day. Nevertheless, I feel terrible for Jackie, who is currently doggy-paddling through emotional shit-water.
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Jackie announces unconvincingly.
“I don’t want to be yours either, really, to be honest with you,” Dolores responds.
“I don’t consider it a loss, Dolores,” shouts Jackie, who without a doubt considers it a loss.
The group may accuse her of being “insecure,” but who wouldn’t feel insecure to discover that someone they believed to be a friend actually wants nothing to do with them?