The Real Housewives of New Jersey
God bless and keep our sweet, sweet angel Gia Giudice safe from harm. She summed up the whole situation with her mother and Jackie in about three sentences and figured out what Teresa should do and how she should do it. When Teresa calls her eldest daughter, who’s away at Rutgers, and tells her Jackie said she “does coke in the bathroom at parties,” Gia says to her mother, “She said something mean about me because you said something mean about her marriage, and if you went about it in a shitty way and you feel bad about it, you should apologize because I’m sure you weren’t happy when she was talking about rumors about you and dad. If you upset her, say sorry.”
That’s it. Gia gets it, and she’s the one this “rumor” Jackie spread is about. She knows it’s not true, and she doesn’t care about it. She knows what her mother did was awful and knows she needs to make amends. In fact, everyone on the cast knows this but Teresa, whose excuses for why Jackie deserved what she did went back and forth more times over the course of this episode than Ted Cruz did on his aborted vacation to Mexico.
The worst part for Teresa, though, is that everyone in the cast knows she’s entirely stupid, and they’re all trying to find ways around her inability to grasp the basic concepts of oral debate. “Jackie clearly doesn’t understand her audience,” Margaret says. “There are two rules in this friend group: Don’t use analogies, because no one understands them, and don’t bring up kids in an argument.” When she says no one understands them, she means Teresa. Later, while at dinner on Lake George, Margaret says it’s terrifying watching Teresa take in information and have it spin around in the cobwebs of her brain and come out more mutilated than a panini on a railroad track.
When Melissa hears about the altercation from Teresa, she plays at being shocked but says she knows Teresa is obviously misinterpreting what happened. When she talks to Jackie, who explains that it was an analogy, Melissa says, “Teresa doesn’t understand it’s an analogy.” And later on, when Margaret says to Melissa that she wishes Teresa would understand what she did wrong and do better, Melissa asks, “What do you think I’ve been trying to do for ten years? Do you want pigs to fly, too?”
I loved when Melissa explained to us that, earlier in their relationship, she had just wanted Teresa to understand her, to use logic and appreciate what she was saying, but she eventually realized Teresa would never get the point. This is my problem with putting Teresa at the center of this show. She may bring the drama, but it’s always at the expense of any intelligence. Since she’s the queen bee, you have everyone knowing what she did was wrong but also protecting her from the fallout of her actions. What they should all do is what the ladies of Atlanta did to NeNe, which was freeze her out, forcing her to go on an apology tour and finally make amends.
Jackie skipped out on going on the trip, which I think is best for everyone. Teresa was going on about how she was going to annihilate Jackie for what she said, while everyone was trying to tell Teresa that was a bad idea and she should apologize. I would have wanted to crawl up my own asshole, drop myself into a lobster tank and then burn down the Greek diner around the tank if I had to listen to a whole episode of Teresa heckling Jackie with her inept verbal barbs.
When the crew arrives in Lake George without Jackie but with Lexi, an accent in search of a body to be her forever home, Teresa brings up Jackie again and says she didn’t like it when Jackie discussed the rumors about her dating other guys. Margaret reminds Teresa that there were photos and that Jackie didn’t bring it up. Then Teresa reminds Margaret that she made up rumors about Jen’s husband’s infidelity. Margaret reminds Teresa that five minutes later she said it was a lie and apologized. Then we get to the real whopper: Teresa says she was spreading the rumor because she was drunk, so it’s really Jackie’s own fault for inviting her to a party and giving her tequila. As Melissa says, you would like to think she’s joking with these lines of reasoning, but she’s more serious than the lines of cocaine Gia is not snorting in a bathroom.
Enough about Teresa. I could castigate her for as long as a can of Pringles remains viable on a gas-station shelf. There are a few other fascinating families I want to talk about, so let us start with Jennifer Aydin and her mother, who seems to be starting a Turkish bakery on the incredibly large kitchen island in her New Jersey home. Jennifer says she and her daughter Olivia were in the neighborhood, so she thought they would stop by, even though there were already cameras in the house when they got there.
Last episode, we learned Jen’s parents were fighting so much that Jen moved her father into her home so one of them wouldn’t be murdered in their sleep, possibly by poisoned cookies like this is some fucked-up remake of Flowers in the Attic. When Jen arrives, her mother, Josephine, says she won’t call her new grandson, John, by his first name because it’s the same as her husband’s. Instead, she calls him Brian, which is the baby’s middle name and as strong and commanding an Irish name as there could possibly be, and everyone who has it is intelligent and incredibly well hung.
But seriously, that is messed up. Josephine says no one has any idea of the hateful things her husband says about her behind closed doors, but Jen says she sees no evidence of this. She tells us in a confessional that she never saw much love between her parents but that she has never seen her father raise his voice and he never speaks ill of his wife to Jen or her family. So what exactly is going on here? Is John playing some insane con on his wife to turn her children and the world against her, or is Josephine a hateful woman who drove her frail husband out of the house with her hectoring? I would like at least a three-part Netflix documentary about this family and maybe a few Reddit internet sleuths to get on the case like they did with that asshole who was killing the cats and became a serial killer.
Even more fascinating is whatever’s going on with Dolores, Frank, and David, which I thought was a Bermuda triangle of good sense but is possibly the smartest and most dynamic relationship currently on television now that Big Love has been canceled. When Dolores visits her mother, she tells us that when her father became chief of police in Paterson, New Jersey, her mother didn’t want to move, so her parents lived separately for many years, though they remained married and fully committed to each other. That explains why Dolores is so open to what I like to call a modern arrangement.
I love anyone in a modern arrangement because it shows that they’ve really thought about their relationship and what’s going to be right for them. That’s the thing about relationships; the only right way is what works for the people in them. So even if you think it’s weird, just let them figure it out, and if everyone is happy, then good for them.
I say this because it dawned on me that Dolores is clearly in a throuple. Yes, there has always been a weird dynamic between her, Frank, and David, but in this episode, it became shockingly clear to me that they’re in a polyamorous triumvirate. When Dolores is packing for Lake George, she talks to Frank about the troubles between her and David, and she tells Frank the messages about her happiness that she would like him to convey to David.
When Dolores is out of town, the guys go to the impossibly named Reloaderz NJ, a shooting range, and Frank wears a vest with many pockets that makes him look like the G.I. Joe action figure you discover in your backyard after the spring thaw. These macho men shoot their pistols together, a metaphor so perfect that if it were in a novel, it would make you roll your eyes. Everything really goes down in the VIP room after they shoot. (Holy cannoli, can you believe that firing-range VIP room, complete with a deadly step and repeat? If Rachel Zoe were here, I would say, “I die,” but that is probably the wrong reaction with so many gun nuts around.)
We find out that Frank injured himself on a job site and was living with David because he has a ground-floor bedroom with a bathroom and Frank couldn’t walk upstairs. Not only that, David had to haul a naked Frank into the shower because he couldn’t walk. “It’s one thing to throw me in the shower; it’s another thing to wash my balls,” Frank jokes. “I broke my legs, not my hands.” What was Dolores doing while all this happened? Taking a video, of course. Probably for their OnlyFans account, JackedJerzDotCom.
The whole scene is ridiculous but touching. Frank tells David he loves both of them and wants it to work and relays Dolores’s message that she wants more commitment. “Sometimes you’re like a jerk-off,” Frank tells David. “You’re a great doctor, but you’re a mediocre boyfriend.”
“Maybe you have more of a commitment problem than I do?” David asks.
“Yeah, but I’m not the one dating Dolores.” But Frank doesn’t have a commitment problem. He may not be in a sexual relationship with her anymore, but they are committed life partners, and you know as sure as Frank could house three hoagies in one sitting that he will always be there for her. But he’s committed to David, too, and to the three of them as a unit, their love revolving around and around in a daisy chain, getting bigger as it passes from one to the next, growing in an ever-widening array until it consumes everything else in their lives.