'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: 'The Sniff Test'
Man, you cannot turn your back on Teresa for one week. Not because she'd stab you between your shoulder blades (which, actually, I wouldn't rule out), but because her loyalties flip flop faster than a politician's during an election year. This week, Jacqueline and Caroline are out, Melissa (yes, Melissa, her much-loathed sister-in-law) and Kathy are in. Well, let's just say Kathy has a toe in the water. Unlike Melissa, she is wary of Teresa and her tabloid-ready outbursts, so she's proceeding with caution. Melissa, though, is hopeful. Things might actually be better! Teresa and her brother Joe might actually get along for ten minutes! They're all going to go to Napa and have a blast! Oh, Melissa.
Anyway, Melissa is planning a sixth birthday party for her daughter, Antonia. Husband Joe rightly points out that Melissa is too expensive. "I am not!" she howls as HER MAKE-UP ARTIST FIXES HER FACE. Because you must be camera ready for a kid's birthday party. Truthfully, the kid's birthday party doesn't seem that over-the-top. After seeing the shindigs Taylor Armstrong put on for her kid on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," Melissa's party planning looks positively budget-friendly. The next thing you know, we'll be seeing outings to Chuck E. Cheese, coupon clipping gatherings and canned food drives. Except everyone in attendance will have Fendi purses. It is the "Real Housewives" franchise, after all.
Teresa is feeling sick to her stomach thinking about her therapy session with her brother. The horror of talking to a professional about your incredibly messed up relationship! What fresh hell is this! She don't need no stinkin' therapy! Milania, Teresa's daughter, is in the dark about therapy (though she won't be for long -- I see many, many sessions in this kid's future) but she knows how she feels about Joe. Sort of. Something about him not seeing his kids, which makes Teresa and Joe blink like blinded lab rats. Milania decides instead to call her dad (the other Joe G.) Big Poop. I wouldn't call the guy a big poop, honestly, because he looks like he looks like a tubby mound of muscle. Amazingly, he doesn't haul off and smack Milania, but the more I see Teresa and Joe's kids, the more I think they all would benefit from discipline. Or some therapy. Or SOMETHING. As much as Teresa blabbers about how much she loves her children, they don't seem to like her very much, and I just have to wonder what goes on when there isn't a camera crew to document things.
As much as Teresa hated therapy, I'm surprised to find that her brother hated it just as much. This stoopid therapy guy was trying to tell him to think before he speaks! How DARE he! Teresa and Joe agree they don't need professionals. They're just going to love each other and their relationship will work, naturally. You know, the way semiconductors and nuclear power plants work by scientists and engineers crossing their fingers and thinking good thoughts. Naturally! Joe will never go to therapy again! At least Teresa and Joe can agree that they both feel victimized by the nightmare of THERAPY. I'd hate to hear what they feel about root canals or colonoscopies.
Caroline's daughter Lauren shows her mom the retail space she'd like to snap up for her new beauty-oriented business, as her last beauty-oriented business belly flopped. Caroline asks Lauren why she likes the space, and Lauren gives her the very business-like answer that "it can hold a lot of stuff."
Excuse me while I bang my head against a wall. Be right back!
Okay, I'm done. Sore and sad, but done. Anyway, Lauren is sharing more of her insights into business. "We have to, like, think marketing," she says. Carolie seems, shockingly, unimpressed. Lauren wants Mommy to be nicer to her! Like, more than giving her start-up money for her OWN BUSINESS. Man, this show is making me type-yell a lot. Oh, and Lauren doesn't like the name of the store, which apparently required some effort to procure. She hates Caface! It makes her angry! Caroline does not tell Lauren to shut up and tolerate disappointment, but you can tell she's thinking it.
Finally, it's time for Antonia's birthday party. People come bearing gifts for the golden child, who grabs them and shrieks "GIMME!" while Melissa asks her if she's said "thank you." I'm guessing not. But hey, Antonia still looks like an angel compared to Teresa's kids.
Speaking of Teresa, Melissa invites her over for Sunday dinner. Teresa seems about as excited about this as her fake smile allows her to be, but Melissa hopes she's learned something from the therapist. How about that she hates therapy? Oh yeah, Sunday dinners are gonna be FUN.
Jacqueline is also at the party, and she and Teresa are surprisingly cordial to one another. It's almost a little disappointing. No hair pulling? No F-bombs? Geez. Melissa clearly scrimped on the bad behavior-inducing booze. Doesn't she know kiddie parties need lots of beer to warrant Bravo carting out the camera crew?
Kids, want paint-on tattoos? Gotta wait. Joe Gorga wants his first. I don't think Joe understands this is supposed to be a party for, you know, kids. Or if he does, he doesn't care. Not sure which is worse, honestly.
After the party, super connected music dude Corte asks Melssa if she wants to play Beatstock. He can make it happen. And it's a BIG deal. Melissa is nervous! But excited! She needs choreography! Enter Cris Judd, who was once married to J-Lo, but that's a pretty large group of menfolk so it doesn't mean much. Still, he choreographed for Michael Jackson, so you know he's good.
Someone else who's also going to be at Beatstock? Gia, Teresa's bratty little kid, will be dancing there. Following an audition for the gig, Teresa is so proud of her little girl! Who seems to hate her. Teresa asks for a hug! And Gia reluctantly gives it to her, then pushes her way with what I can only describe as disgust. But Teresa wanted to be there to show her support. She always tries to show her daughter a happy face so that she never worries. I don't think this is working very well. Maybe Teresa should show her support by getting in the car and driving home without Gia. Just a thought.
Kathy has a family dinner so that Rosie can bring over her new girlfriend, Brianne. Brianne is a mushball who didn't pursue a career as a pediatric cardiac surgeon because she'd cry too much, so now she manages a restaurant. Huh. Because that's a natural next step. Anyway, if Brianne is the sensitive type, she has picked the wrooooong family. Rich can't believe she's so hot! Score one for Ro! To Rich's credit, he doesn't high five Ro and talk about muff diving (which he does in the one-on-one interview) in front of Brianne, but you know he wants to.
In other meet-the-family news, Albie introduces his cheerleader girlfriend Lindsey to Caroline and Lauren. Lauren is glad she's not a New Jersey whore, because the state is, in fact, crawling with them. It makes me envision New Jersey as wall-to-wall prostitutes, possibly littered all over the freeway off-ramps obstructing traffic, but hey, way to show love for your state, Lauren. Anyway, Caroline thinks she's sweet but doesn't think Albie has time for silly girls when he has a business to run. I foresee a storyline in the works!
This family meeting is taking place at a gay bar, which is, of course, where you do such things. Everyone is gathered to celebrate Greg's birthday, and Joe Gorga seems REALLY excited to be at a gay bar. He rips off his shirt and invites Greg to take shots off his chest. You know, just to be supportive. Meanwhile, Melissa gives Linds some wifey tips. Fold laundry! Vacuum! Order fruit baskets! Because this is what WIVES do. I have never actually ordered a fruit basket, so I may need to check my marriage certificate. Maybe it's been invalidated or something.
Melissa is having a great time with Caroline and Jacqueline, and she's thrilled that Teresa isn't unsettled by her traitorous friendships with her enemies at all! She hopes the upcoming trip to Napa, which Jacqueline and her husband Chris are still hoping Teresa will beg off on (not on your life!), goes well! I expect bloodshed, but who knows? By the time they actually get on the RV, Teresa may be friends with Jacqueline again, or Caroline, or nobody. That Teresa!
Do you think Teresa and Jacqueline will make up? What did you think of Lindsey and Brianne? Do you think Albie and Rosie have found love?