The Real Housewives of New Jersey
In the aftermath of the hair pull that left every human being in the New York metropolitan area clutching their scalp in phantom pain, Margaret is, obviously, rattled. As Jennifer, Melissa, Dolores, and Jackie do their best to comfort her, Teresa decamps with Danielle to hide out in front of a nearby crêpes place and FaceTime Marty. After blowing good-bye kisses to Marge’s assailant, Teresa returns to the store and spends approximately four milliseconds (try slowing down your TV’s playback; this can be hard for the human eye to perceive) commiserating before suggesting that this whole thing is Margaret’s fault for throwing that water. And what about that time she threw red wine in Cabo? Why can’t she see this from Danielle’s point of view?
Well, for one thing, because it’s hard to get a good angle on one’s own ponytail while it’s being dragged across the room, at least without a well-placed mirror. For once, refreshingly, Teresa is held accountable by her castmates. Everyone screams at her for her baffling lack of sympathy in a scene with strong “arms-crossed, smirking Trump vs. Angela Merkel and all the other world leaders in that G7 photo” energy.
Margaret rage-quits this particular filming obligation, and who can blame her? Teresa half-heartedly follows her outside, only for Marge to issue an ultimatum as she climbs into a car: It’s either her or “evil” Danielle. From the back seat, she calls Joe. “I’m not going to cry,” Marge insists. Then, in the cutest moment I’ve seen on TV in recent memory, her chin quivers, and her voice cracks, “Maybe I’ll cry.”
“That Teresa thinks this behavior’s okay is weirdo shit to me,” Margaret says, better than I ever could have. The next morning, swaddled in extensively monogrammed M&J bedding (here’s hoping it’s a new set since when she was married to Jan, also a J), she’s far more upset by Teresa’s refusal to disavow Danielle than she is about her newly diagnosed case of whiplash (again, I am calling OSHA).
But even as the rest of the cast — including Dolores, her fellow (self-identified) hotheaded “old-school Italian” — condemns both Danielle’s attack and Teresa’s implicit support thereof, Tre, like the cheese, stands alone. In fact, she has decided that it is her right to be angry with Margaret for telling her who she can be friends with, how dare she. Even Joe Gorga, who, in addition to being hot, has really emerged as an unlikely beacon of wisdom on this television program — remember a few weeks back when he gently counseled Gia that the time might soon come to let her father go? A real tear escaped from my desiccated ducts — attempts to intercede on Margaret’s behalf.
“Are you going to wait till [Danielle] does something to you before you realize the type of woman she is?,” he asks. “Yes,” answers his sister, with zero hesitation. (Remember Hitler-gate? The fundamental ethical question at the heart of RHONJ was and remains: Do you judge others by how they treat you or how they treat everyone?) “What kind of philosophy is this?,” Joe muses in an interview. I know the answer: It’s weirdo shit.
Melissa is hosting a fashion show to celebrate Envy’s menswear launch, and as anyone who has ever heard “Piece Of Shit, Coke whore, Homewrecker Everyday” whispered on the wind can attest, RHONJ fashion shows tend to becoming crime scenes, oddly enough, hair-centric crime scenes. Exhibit A: You already know. Exhibit B: Teresa threatening to grab Kim D. (short for Donotlookintohereyesnomatterwhatyoudo) by the back of her head just two seasons ago (during a fight when, for the record, Marge leaped to Teresa’s defense).
Everyone is in attendance except Dr. David, who is surely off somewhere delivering babies. I’m sorry, what’s that? He’s at … “sniper school”? Cool, chill, normal, we love it. Marge is a fashion show in and of herself in a truly glorious pink jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and a brown, gray, and, why not, pink fur stole. It seems this betrayal has finally exhausted her patience: She has no intention of initiating a conversation with Teresa, whom she calls an “embarrassment.”
The other women take Teresa aside to instruct her to take Margaret aside, but Tre refuses to take a side. (Say that five times fast.) Dolores, feeling the kind of ache in her joints that lets a RHONJ veteran know a storm is approaching, disengages to check on Little Frankie, who’s walking in the show. But Jennifer, poor Jennifer, senses no such disturbance in the Force and continues to push Teresa to make amends with Margaret. Teresa is offended both by this and by Jennifer’s insistence that Marge throwing water on Danielle wasn’t a big deal. So Tre dumps a glass of water on Jen’s skirt as, like, a rhetorical device? Weirdo shit, indeed.
Rest assured that, after only a brief hiatus, we have returned to our kissing-Teresa’s-tight-ass status quo. Jen looks momentarily aghast and calls her a “crazy biotch” but has already seemingly forgiven and forgotten by the time Tre mutters a “sorry” — at least, I think that’s what I heard, the same way I thought the EVPs on Ghost Hunters were saying whatever Grant and Jason told me.
Anyway, the fashion show goes great, even if the male models are shirtless almost without exception, so in effect what they’re (quite compellingly!) selling is the absence of clothing. Confident and clearly in her element, Melissa has come a long way from the slow-burning panic attack she appeared to be suffering throughout the entire inaugural Envy fashion show back in season seven. And we get to overhear Gia saying how hot Frankie is, so look forward to that story line playing out on RHONJ: The Next Generation.