Recap: 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' - 'Uncivil Union'
This week's episode was neatly divided into two halves, each dealing with a gay sibling of one of the housewives. Caroline's brother Jamie plans to marry his partner Rich (why do all the men have the same names on this show??), and Kathy's sister Rosie comes out to her niece and nephew.
Meanwhile, tensions between Caroline and Teresa remained on simmer, but Caroline declared herself a ticking time bomb...
KATHY AND MELISSA
Kathy got a pretty significant amount of screen time this week, but as usual she wasn't the driving force of her own storyline. Instead, we spent a lot of time with Kathy's lovable lesbian sister Rosie.
Rosie decided it was finally time to come out to Kathy's kids (these two seem like smart kids, we're supposed to believe they had no idea?) and Kathy has some tearful moments talking to the camera about how much better her relationship with her sister became after Rosie started being honest about her sexuality.
Melissa gets shoehorned into this half of the show because she's invited to a party at Kathy's house. That's where things get really weird when Rosie's lust for Kathy's friend Heather Robinson (a spectacularly curvy celebrity "event planner" married to former NBA all star Cliff Robinson) goes into overdrive, and Heather plays along by practically giving Rosie a lap dance in Kathy's hot tub.
Kathy just wants Rosie to find a nice girl. It's obviously not basketball wife Heather.
TERESA, CAROLINE AND JACQUELINE
When the episode opens, Teresa is fretting about how much Gia has been acting out lately. Something must really be worrying the little girl (could it be that her parents are Teresa and Joe?).
Teresa is convinced the problem is explosive family dynamics, not at home but among her extended family. She wants to reassure Gia that everything will be OK between her and her relatives... (Let's just hope Teresa doesn't let Gia watch the show, but I somehow doubt that.)
Teresa immediately gets a chance to show how serious she is when she receives a text from her brother Joe asking if she'd be willing to go to therapy to work on their relationship. Teresa has never heard of a brother and sister going to therapy to work things out. Whether or not that's common or rare, the real problem is these two are probably beyond therapy. Teresa is so thrown by the suggestion she doesn't even reply. (That'll really help.)
Most of the episode involves preparation for Jamie and Rich's wedding, as Caroline, Jacqueline, Teresa and their families head to Chicago for the big event. Caroline is worried about the dress code: she has to wear a hat -- royal wedding style -- and Caroline doesn't do hats. But Jamie calls her up with something important to ask: he wants her to speak at the wedding.
There's also concern over how crazy Joe Giudice is going to behave. Can he contain his homophobic comments and all around obnoxious behavior at a gay wedding?
And Jacqueline is worried about conflict cropping up between Teresa and Caroline. Teresa is playing it cool, like there's nothing wrong, but Caroline is obviously uncomfortable whenever they're around each other. Jacqueline's hopeful outlook: "There's no need to be catty with each other and fight. They're just going to coexist."
Once they're all together at Jamie's house, Joe tells a characteristically charming story about the time he and a buddy engaged in a penis measuring contest in a swimming pool. Later on, in a bus that's shuttling all the guests around Chicago, he makes a joke about recurring cast member Greg (a friend of Caroline's sons, who happens to be gay) that could be interpreted as a gay slur, or just Joe being his usual jerky self.
Caroline sums it up best, describing Joe as the "shell of a man" she used to know and calling him a "very unhappy, troubled man who may very well have a drinking problem."
Is there any doubt?
What did you think of Joe's behavior this week? And Rosie's flirtation with Heather? And the way Caroline is handling Teresa?