The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Dolores wakes up with an anger hangover after being — I’m sorry, D — very mean to Jackie last night. Feelings are dehydrating. She promptly channels her irritation into fighting via FaceTime with David, 2,000 miles away, because he isn’t paying enough attention to their video call despite actively driving a car at the time.
Fortunately, the kind of mood swing that usually requires the assistance of a controlled substance is in store for Dolores when the women gather for a La Grunta Hotel and Resort–style swimming-with-dolphins encounter. RHONJ’s foremost animal lover introduces herself to the dolphins as “Aunt Dolores.” Assuming she brought a large enough carry-on to Jamaica, it won’t surprise me when we see Dolores pushing a dolphin in a stroller beside Dog the Chihuahua down the sidewalks of Wayne.
In fact, all the ladies are on their best behavior this morning. Imagine how much less explosive the Real Housewives media empire would be as a whole if every would-have-been fight took place in the presence of emotional-support animals. Teresa is the group’s lone skeptic when it comes to accepting dolphin kisses, though even she eventually comes around. “I’m not a fan of animals I don’t know,” Tre explains. “And I don’t know this dolphin.” I would pay a not-insignificant amount of money to read 1,000 words by Teresa describing, in detail, what it would take for her to feel she knew a dolphin, and I will tack on a bonus if she includes a portrait of her dolphin friend, preferably rendered in crayon.
“I feel like we’re in that movie with the shark,” says Jennifer (I assume she means Jaws, but I would also accept Deep Blue Sea, Shark Tale, The Meg, The Shallows, 47 Meters Down, or any of the Sharknados one through six) before promptly toppling off her dolphin-pushed boogie board — meaning, yes, she has been knocked into the water by a large mammal for the second consecutive day.
In Jersey, Big Frank C has dinner with Dr. David Principe, nominally to ask him about the house-in-progress but really to ask if he and Dolores are getting engaged or what. “We’ll just take it step by step,” answers Dr. David, non-non-noncommittally. “You never know.” Dolores, who has approximately the same attitude about expressing her emotions as an on-duty Buckingham Palace guard, may insist she’s “content” (or, in fact, “very, very content, I really am”) with the Schrödinger’s engagement ring her boyfriend may or may not one day offer her,
but Frank — who, lest we forget, knows a thing or two about disappointing Dolores himself — worries she’s not being honest with herself.
At dinner, Teresa reveals that her BFF LYLAS HAGS 2SWEET2B4GOTTEN, Danielle, despite being engaged to, like, a duke or whatever, slept with Marty. Margaret — who, after iconically pushing Marty into a pool in last season’s finale, is apparently once again on chummy enough terms with Danielle’s no-longer husband to address him as “Sweetcake” — is absolutely horrified at the suggestion that the two exes, who still live together, would have sex. The women egg Margaret into calling Marty to investigate the matter further. His immediate reaction: “What?” “I didn’t hear a definite no,” rules Judge Jennifer Aydin. Everyone (including me, for the record) except a scandalized Margaret agrees that, yes, sure, they very well may have slept together! People who are supposedly broken up bang each other all the time, particularly mid-breakup! And as Dolores elegantly puts it, “A stiff dick has no conscience.”
Moments later, Teresa gets a call from a very unhappy Danielle, whose full-screen contact photo on Tre’s iPhone is, hilariously, a step-and-repeat press shot that looks like it was plucked off Google Images. Danielle can barely wait for Tre to pick up in order to hang up on her. It is not lost on me that our current story lines are anemic enough that we’ve devoted, like, ten minutes of this episode to dolphins and have had to bring in Danielle ($2.99 for the first minute, 99 cents for each additional minute) to literally phone in drama from afar.
Jennifer seizes this opportunity to launch into her impressions of her castmates, tipsily stumbling around in superhigh heels just a few feet in front of the stairs. Amazingly, our budding comedian manages not to fall to her death and, even more amazingly, not to enrage anyone.
Honestly? Jennifer’s impressions are genuinely pretty good, especially her take on Margaret’s “By the way, by the way, by the way!” and Teresa’s “I want my ass to be tight.” My only complaint is that her version of Jackie repurposes what is in fact a Kelly Killoren Bensimon line: “I am up here, and you are down here.” For shame. Dolores, pleasantly surprised that Jackie reacted to her impression with a high-five and nary a murmur of “cyberbullying,” apologizes for having been “harsh.”
To end the meal, Teresa throws not one but two glasses over her shoulder, for no reason but that we might hit our quota of smashing drinkware abroad.
Back home, the Giudices get bad news: Joe’s appeal was denied and “very aggressively” at that, per James, the family’s lawyer. The odds are overwhelmingly stacked, now more than ever, against Joe Giudice’s coming home. Joe Gorga gently suggests that, due to the financial burden of continuing a court battle alone, it might be time to “move on.”
“Immigration is the hottest topic on the planet,” offers James, a sentence I believe was directly plagiarized from one of the current-events presentations I was forced to do in sixth grade.