Previously, on The Real Housewives of New Jersey – peace was declared! And some other boring things happened. Personally, I’ve been focused on the Guidice bankruptcy – I’m sorry , THE BANKRUPTCY – but let’s catch up before this week’s return to the drama.
Melissa can’t wait to tell us that since the retreat, life is back to normal for them. Midge is busy finishing his third building, Mel’s pecking away at her bestseller, you know, the usual. But the really big news is Midge has gotten the call from his strip mall modeling agent – and he totally booked the tanning salon billboard! It’s a gig that even the students at the strip mall model school attached to the agency would probably turn down, but clearly Midge is having a moment.
“We have a great opportunity to be on a billboard on a highway,” he informs us. Mel is invited too, but since Queen Ter has previously shilled for Sizzle Tan, Mel doesn’t want it to appear that she’s copying. Side note – Sizzle Tan? Is the imagery of your skin actually sizzling under the nuclear rays of a tanning bed really the best way to brand a business?
At the Guidices, they are planning a dinner party. Soul sisters Milania and Antonia are ready to reunite. Ter asks Milania if she’s planning on cooking for her husband when she’s married. ”No, he can cook for me,” replies the future Queen of the Universe.
Time to catch Jacquee up on the retreat. Mel and Caro are dutifully reporting back that everyone has made up, and they are back to Sunday dinners and isn’t that great? So what was the root of the problem, Jacquee wants to know.
Jacquee is informed that everyone has made up, hugs have been exchanged…and then of Caro’s deal with Ter that they have to make up.
So Jaquee is not onboard with the reconciliation, but Caro drags Baby Nick into it for some reason, and Jacquee reluctantly agrees to take Ter’s call when it happens.
And then it’s time for Sunday dinner at the Guidices. It’s a nice reunion. Midge tells us that he’s not as close to Gia as he wants, but now he wants to take her out for her birthday. Mel, in the interest of keeping the peace, tells Ter to “keep being a good girl and we can all be friends!”.
Then Mel informs Ter that she has to make good on the Jacquee reconciliation. All Ter can do is continue to parrot that Jacquee and Caro don’t talk to Dina. But even I can admit this argument’s getting old. Danielle is brought into it too. Foreshadowing? Well, now that a truce has been declared in Gorga-Land, anything’s possible.
And what’s new with the latest Manzos and the Little Town restaurant? Well, the latest intrepid idea is to serve ice cream sundaes in plastic beach pails, with actual shovels as spoons.
They’re working toward opening. ”We’re in a 30 day window,” says the guy who looks like a contractor. Actually, I don’t know if he’s the contractor of not but that’s totally the kind of thing a contractor would say, right before he hits you with a bill and then drags out the construction for another four months.
Next up in the Tour de Jersey are the Wakiles. Kat is randomly worried that her relationship with Rosie will suffer one day when Rosie gets a girlfriend. On account of Kat hating Rosie’s last girlfriend. It’s an opportunity for Rosie to tell us how lonely she is. Apparently, recurring status on Bravo is cold comfort.
Back to the Manzos. Did everyone know that Al Manzo hates the Hoboken apartment? Caro makes several more excuses for him. The she gives a speech about how driven her kids are. Albie breaks the news that he’s “not ready to be happy”. I say this with love, but I think perhaps Albie needs to be medicated. Al concurs that his kid is “batshit crazy”. Then Al yells at Caro for yelling at Albie for being motivated.
Meanwhile, Manzos #2 and #3 look on with acute interest.
Then it’s Melissa telling us that it’s a “moment” – and good Lord, she’s right. It’s the shooting of her book cover! Sequins and wind machine, you’re on deck! And naturally, what would a cover shoot be without world renowned makeup artist George Miguel?
Mel flexes her creative vision with a request for a white shirt. Over at Sizzle Tans, Midge is modeling as well. It’s Modeling Day for the Gorgas! Midge accessorizes his Crisco’d chest with a pair of sunglasses. Everyone knows it’s important to wear trendy shades in the tanning booth so the cancerous rays think you’re cool. Melissa just keeps asking for more wind out of the wind machine.
Then Midge gets another accessory – an equally fake baked girl with a goofy smile. Midge compares Mel to filet mignon, and this chick to a hot dog. Mel prattles on about what a model marriage she has, while Midge gleefully does push-ups with the hot dog perched on his back.
I wish this hot dog was Joe Giudice. Sigh.
Did you remember that Jacquee had another kid besides Baby Nick and Moonface Ashley? Well, she does. CJ seems like a nice, well adjusted boy and he and Jacquee are in some toy store together when THE CALL comes from Teresa. Jacquee heads over to the stuffed animal trinket key chain section for privacy.
Jacquee says she’s bad at “letting go”, even though all we hear from her is how she’s let the whole Ter thing go, but whatever – now she’s saying she just wants the hate to stop. Ter says she wants to be civil with Jacquee so that she doesn’t stir up any more trouble. Jacquee invites Ter over, but after THE AMBUSH, complete with Caro’s drop-in with coffee cup, Ter is leery of this locale. They agree to meet a restaurant, and Jacquee seals it with a very businesslike “thank you for your time”.
It’s lesbian bar time! Everyone accompanies Rosie out and Kat is convinced this is the night that Rosie will meet someone special. Everyone gets a wristband saying what they’re looking for. There are “DTF” bracelets. It’s like the modern day gay version of a key party.
Melissa of course wastes no time jumping in and getting to know the crowd. In no time, she has met and happily acquainted herself with some swingers.
Then it’s Lebanese Dilbert’s turn. He has found a couple of girls who look like the happy hour types. And he scores! Rosie likes one of them. Then Rosie starts chatting her up.
Dilbert says that Rosie is getting drunk because she’s nervous. She tells the new girl that she’s “smitten”, and then calls herself “chunky”, which is totally adorable. She tells us she put her toes in the water a little bit, and at least she’s in the game.
Manzo time. Albie is moping, for a change. He’s upset about the dinner when everyone was fighting about work. So he brings it up again. He says he feels pressure to work hardest of all the Manzo kids. Uh, that’s not such a big mountain to climb.
Then Albie says that he’s worried that his parents aren’t getting along. Caro acknowledges that there are “bumps”, and her marriage is none of his business. That means she wants a divorce.
And while her life is none of anyone’s business, it’s time to get involved with Jacquee’s. Caro heads to the Lauritas, and tells Jacquee that she should be open to speaking with Teresa and making some kind of peace. She too mentions Dina. Caro says that the “Dina thing is a hump”. So your relationship with your husband is a bump, and with your sister is a hump? Keep doling out that advice, lady.
In the Guidice, car, the Brown Smurf is accusing Gia of wearing too much lipgloss. Ter defends her, saying it’s not that much.
But maybe just a tad much for puberty. Either way, it sparks a car wide discussion of Gia’s love life, with Milania informing us that Gia kisses boys and it’s gross because there’s spit involved. Also, gobs of lipgloss.
Ter is telling the Brown Smurf how happy she is that she and Jacquee will be having a sit down. Then they drive by Midge’s Sizzle Tan billboard. The girls are grossed out. Ter reminds us that she already shot a commercial for them.
In the Gorga car, they are doing a billboard viewing as well. Midge thinks they’re lucky to have him, and if they had called the Brown Smurf first, they’d have a meatball commercial. But everyone’s super cool with each other.
And then it’s time for the final SITDOWN of this series of SITDOWNS. The Guidices and the Lauritas meet at a restaurant. Chris and the Brown Smurf head out of the line of fire, and Ter and Jacquee sit in a private room.
Ter starts with Napa, and how when they made up, she meant it. Jacquee says that she overheard Ter saying that she hated the sight of Jacquee’s face. They talk about the setup at THE FASHION SHOW. Ter tells Jacquee that she had no problems whatsoever with Midge and Mel until Jacquee and her secret texts.
Jacquee complains that Ter won’t take accountability. Ter touches on Jacquee’s accusations of the Brown Smurf’s alleged cheating. In the bar area, the Brown Smurf is summing up the entire bloodfeud as “shit happens”. Okay, then. Moving on.
In the private room, Jacquee is telling Ter she is a sociopath. Ter is accusing Jacquee of being in an abusive relationship with Twitter. Then she calls Jacquee an “evil person”, which Jacquee is really offended about.
Ter says that Jacquee wants to take you down after she’s done being friends with you. That sounds a little extreme. Ter accuses Jacquee of hitting below the belt, and then asks what she ever did to hurt Jacquee.
Jacquee looks confused for a moment, then tells Ter that she was there for her, but it was never acknowledged. Then she cries. Downstairs the men are discussing Baby Nick and the Brown Smurf is predictably ignorant, but also empathetic.
Back upstairs, Ter is taking advantage of Jacquee’s sobbing to tell her that they were friends for a long time, and now they should at least be civil to one another. Jacquee agrees, and everyone goes downstairs and drinks huge glasses of wine.
Over at BLK headquarters, we see why no one’s drawing a salary.
Albie and Chris have come to the offices to meet with Chris. They tease him about having his friend the Brown Smurf back, and then update him on their latest earth shattering deal – BLK water at one of those spinning gyms. Cause what’s more refreshing after an exhilarating workout than dirty water?
Because ignorance is bliss, Albie tells us how happy he is that they have dumped all the Manzo money into these new offices because he was sick of working out of his Grandma’s craft room, AKA Uncle Pat’s Farm.
Everyone mentions “the brand” about 100 times, so we know what astute businessmen they are. Chris expresses concern that the Manzo boys will continue to make BLK their priority over the Little Town restaurant that Al and Caro have dumped all their money into.
At the Guidices, Gia is getting ready in the bathroom with a small army of pink sweatshirt clad preteens.
It turns out she is getting ready for a little date with her Uncle Midge. One of her little minions recites a line about how Gia’s mother and uncle were in a big fight. Feeding lines to twelve year olds? This is a new low. Meanwhile, Ter and the rest of the clan run around the house with Nerf guns.
Ter is thrilled that Midge has reached out to Gia to spend quality time together. Gia tells us that she used to have a crush on her uncle, which is creepy, but also creepily normal for these people.
Then it’s off for shopping time with Jacquee and Kat. Jacquee informs Kat that she will be traveling to Los Angeles for a tummy tuck and a neck lift. Jacquee says that she wants the surgery as a way of doing something for herself. And that plastic surgery is somehow related to her shedding baggage.
Back at the Giudices, Midge has arrived to pick up Gia for their go-kart date. He admits that he hasn’t been there for little Gia, but he’s anxious to make up for lost time. He and Gia take off, and one of the other kids shoots the chandelier down with the Nerf gun.
Hey, you know who hasn’t made an appearance this season? Sidekick Greg! But here he is, shuffling through the house in an old sweatshirt.
It’s Greg’s last weekend in Jersey! What? He’s found a new job in San Francisco, and he’s leaving the Mazno bosom. Greg wants to know if they’re going to have a “cancer hang”, which is when everyone wants to hang out with you because you have cancer and it’s the last chance. I had no idea moving to San Francisco was on par with cancer.
At the go-kart track, Gia and Midge are having fun on their creepy date. Midge tells us that the right thing to do as an uncle is to let the kid win, but he’s not doing that. He tells Gia over lunch that these are the moments she will remember for life. Gia says that before Melissa came along, things were “different”.
Then she calls him out for feuding with Ter, and how it affected all the cousins. Midge brushes it off with a “things happen”. Gia says that she knew what was going on, and that Ter had cried to her. It frustrated her to see her Mom upset. To which Midge says that there are two sides to every story and not to side with her mother. Nice.
And then Gia brings up my favorite topic ever, THE CHRISTENING. Midge decides that everyone was wrong, and again, “things happen”. She is really laying it on thick, telling Midge that everything that happened hurt Nono, and all the kids. Oh, now she’s had problems with kids at school saying shit about her uncle.
Then we flashback to another great moment in time, THE SONG. ”Waking up in the morning, just hoping things would get better” – unfortunately, they cut off the flashback before she gets to the bridge about how Milania likes to do gymnastics, but I am delighted at the stroll down memory lane. In song. All in all, a good lunch.
Hey, it’s party bus time! Everyone’s doing Zumba for charity. Ter is organizing. Milania doesn’t remember who Kat and Lebanese Dilbert are, but she does when she sees them.
While Victoria is bucking for a starring role in the next Sizzle Tan ad.
Everyone oohs and ahhs over how big all the kids have gotten. Kat muses that the kids not seeing each other in a while mirrors what happened to her, Ter and Rosie growing up, when their parents were bloodfueding. Then we see some of the most awesome pictures ever.
Everyone is slurping wine before Zumba. I don’t judge. Zumba is insufferable, wine can’t hurt. Midge says that no matter what happens with Ter, he needs to keep his relationship with his nieces. Jacquee shows up and it’s a little awkward. Remember the sore loser book she force read to Gia? ”It was toorrrrrrrttuuuuure,” cried poor little Gia. It was a real award winning moment for her.
They take a ton of cold cuts with them to the Zumba class, because what says fitness quite like prosciutto? The party bus arrives to pick everyone up, and as soon as they get on, Ter is accusing Jacquee of accusing her of being a sociopath. This leads to a deep discussion of name calling.
The Brown Smurf lightens the mood by asking Mel to “do the pole” for them. She refuses, because she was never, ever a stripper – dancer? whatever – but Milania jumps up on the pole in her place.
They get to the event, and everybody Zumbas.
Well, everyone except Jacquee. Maybe after her tummy tuck/face lift, she’ll feel confident enough to dance in a huge group for charity. Everyone comments on how amazing it is that everyone is getting along and dancing for a good cause.
Ter sits down with Jacquee and they chat a bit. Kat says it’s a “ray of hope” that things can get back to where they were. Jacquee says they’re all in a better place, but she still doesn’t totally trust Ter.
And then we’re at the Brownstone for Sidekick Greg’s going away party. Oh, I’m sad! And all the Manzos are too. Caro is decked out in a two-toned black and white dress. Lebanese Dilbert tells her she looks like a cookie.
Caro sobs her head off saying farewell to Sidekick, but she does buy him a very sweet going away gift. She says he’s like a third son to her. Everyone queries where the Guidices are, but Sidekick brushes off the question. This is the Sidekick’s moment in the spotlight.
Jacquee shows up at the party, and everyone discusses her upcoming plastic surgery. Chris will be home with the boys, and doesn’t seem too happy about his wife being molded into rubber cement, but is nonetheless supportive.
It’s plastic surgery time! We catch up with old Moonface and one of Jacuqee’s friends. More flashbacks, this time to one of their many showdowns, with Jacquee calling Moony a spoiled brat. She calls home, where CJ is busy working on multiplying decimals. In LA, Moony tells us, she is making a living “blogging full time”.
We have to literally step into the surgeons office, and see Jacquee’s belly fat all squished up together. Jacquee is delighted to have this time to herself, even if she has to cut herself open to do it. Jacquee sits in the office, and tries to get the doctor to do every procedure on earth. He holds firm on the tummy tuck and neck lift.
Back in Jersey, Chris is juggling both boys and work and he’s telling us it’s not easy. Little CJ is not feeling so hot. Luckily, Mama Manzo is there to help because Jacquee is off in LA eating taco salad and tequila, despite doctor’s orders to not eat or drink anything. Meanwhile, Moonface Ash is sticking to…water?
At home, Caro is diagnosing CJ with strep throat. In LA, everyone is telling Jacquee she doesn’t need plastic surgery. But she’s already eaten the pre-surgery taco salad and tequila, so I’d say this ship has sailed.
Does anyone want to see the plastic surgery? Like, the actual triangular pieces of skin being cut out of Jacquee? Well TOO BAD because some misogynist editor is going to torture us with it.
And we’re all caught up! Tonight, the cheating rumors are baaaaaaack…and so am I to tell you all about it! ’Til then – xo CB