Last night Real Housewives Of New Jersey lost one of its greatest assets when Joe Giudice left for prison. Just think – all it took for the Gorgadices to mend their family feud was for Juicy to get incarcerated!
The episode begins counting down the days before Joe goes “away” for 41 months. No one feels it as deeply as Teresa Giudice, who tries to make each moment count with special activities for the girls to bond with their dad. First is a little Magnolia Bakery plug to decorate cupcakes for the birthdays Joe will miss while locked up. Also, there was glitter and we know Teresa has never been able to turn her back on an errant piece of glitter.
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Teresa says Milania will miss Juicy them most – she has “a special bond” with the old troll. And that she does. Milania shoves a cupcake in Juicy’s face to show her love. Poor Gia, on the other hand, seems wise beyond her years as yet again she assumes the responsibility to help care for both Teresa and her sisters.
While the Giudices are dealing with that milestone, Jacqueline Laurita‘s family is dealing with another. Ashlee is pregnant, but Jacqueline is somehow making Ashlee’s pregnancy all about how sad it is she can’t share this momentous news with her sister, her BFF, the woman she hates above all others: Teresa!
While looking at baby stuff, Ashlee reveals that Melissa Gorga texted congratulations and Jacqueline bursts into tears. She wishes she hadn’t over-reacted in Vermont, screaming “fake, phony bitch!” like a banshee in heat, thus losing all her friends. Ashlee helpfully reminds us that Teresa has a lot going on her in life presently, but “all bad stuff.”
Ashlee reveals she’s planning on having a natural birth. Jacqueline decides to help Ashlee prepare by buying some plastic babies and smears some pudding in their diapers. You know, a baby shower game. Except Ashlee is like 3 minutes pregnant and this ain’t now baby shower, just Jacqueline sitting around with Dolores Catania and Siggy Flicker filling diapers with fake shit while Jacqueline spews fake bullshit over losing Teresa – again – and now she’s lost Juicy too! Oh, also, Mommy Ashlee was nowhere in sight.
Poor Jacqueline – everything is about her! She is the emotional tornado that engulfs everything in her unstable path, demanding more, more, more, more!
So, Siggy is crying again! This time she may have a legit reason. Maybe. The experiences in Vermont have inspired Siggy to focus on what’s actually important: no, not Jacqueline and Teresa screaming at each other; no, not Kim D‘s drama; no, not how toxic people wreak havoc on a facelift, but connecting with her family and history.
Siggy invites her parents, sister, and children over for an intervention about how they don’t spend enough time together when Siggy’s mother reveals Siggy and Iris don’t spend enough with her either – so ha! Siggy bursts into tears, as Josh calls her a “hypocrite.”
For many years Siggy had no relationship with her family and it has made her self-obsessed. As a junior in college Siggy fled Israel to avoid serving time in the army and returned to the states where she lived with family friends. Her mom took to the Tel Aviv airport, but she never said good-bye to her father and then didn’t see them for 8 years?!
Siggy confides to Dolores that her mother’s admission made her realize where her own neediness stems from. Even worse – Siggy’s been so busy crying over Jacqueline and micro-analyzing everyone else’s relationships she’s neglected the most important ones. She has a daughter who thinks she’s gonna marry a Backstreet Boy, and a son who confuses Google with his parents. Dolores, RHONJ’s real relationship expert, explains that “everyone is very nice in small doses” but dealing with the emotional mayhem of Housewives should be no one’s full-time investment.
Siggy takes her children and parents to the Holocaust Memorial in Brooklyn to hear their grandfather’s story of how his family escaped Nazi persecution in WWII by fleeing the native Belgium for France, then going into hiding for years until a Catholic priest finally helped them escape to Switzerland. There he was separated from his parents as a very young boy for 2-years.
Even Josh is shocked. How had he never heard that story before?! He’s 17!
Siggy is not the only survivor – Teresa and Joe will also survive his incarceration.
As they prepare for Juicy’s going-away party Melissa realizes what a difference a year makes – last year when Teresa left, she and Poison weren’t even speaking, so they never said good-bye. This year, Teresa is leaning on Poison and Melissa for support and their relationship is strong.
She has no energy for Jacqueline’s drama. Melissa isn’t sure if Jacqueline is attending the ENVY fashion show and doesn’t care – Melissa is over caring because what really matters is her family being there for Teresa, Joe, and the girls. Well, this is a refreshingly NON-Housewives attitude! Melissa better mind her Ps & Qs – Bravo won’t like this non-drama.
There are no Bravo cameras at Juicy’s party, just home videos (aka one lone Bravo camera man to free-hand film). Teresa didn’t want to have a party initially, but being there, surrounded by friends and family – people who truly care about them – seeing Joe interact with everyone, riding a mechanical bull with her honey, seeing Juicy hug his nephews, changed her mind. Everyone is there – all the Housewives, plus plenty of ‘non-Bravo people’ except Jacqueline and Chris. Instead, Chris has skipped the party to go bowling with the ostracized cancerous people, Kathy, Rosie, and Richie.
Rosie no longer cares about Juicy. She dismisses loving him, ’cause she has a new girlfriend and that’s what matters now! So putting the family back together no longer matters? Chris explains that he didn’t go to Juicy’s party because inevitably someone would say something about Jacqueline. Cause OF COURSE all things are about Jacqueline, including a going away party for a man who was headed to prison for 3-years!
Then Richie makes gross jokes about having a four-way with Kathy, Rosie, and Rosie’s hot girlfriend. Bravo enough with these people! Can’t Poison fire up his truck and take out the trash?
The day before Joe leaves, he and Teresa canoodle by the firepit, watching kids zoom around on 4-wheelers.
Joe is ready to pay his debt to society and emerge from prison a better man, just like Teresa before him. And Teresa is prepared to be without Juicy for the first time in her life. They share strawberries and kisses – it was a sweet and earnest moment between two people who realize they must put the past behind them, moving away from it one foot in front of the other, one step at a time, and decide they will get through this, together, but apart.
The next morning Teresa sobs as she hugs Joe goodbye. He acknowledges no one is prepared for going “in,” but this is the situation he’s faced with so he’s making the best of it. Teresa encourages him to attend all the religious ceremonies – even Ramadan-dan until he’s Ramadan-done!
Juicy gets into the SUV to self-surrender to prison, while Joe and Melissa look on. The kids remain in the house but the paparazzi line up and down the street. Later Teresa holds it together when Siggy calls to check in, but later, once her mother has come and gone, she falls apart when Joe and Melissa call. They make plans with her even though she seems hesitant because she’s too distraught, but they are not going to let her flounder, they will prop her until she can once again balance unassisted in 5″ heels.
Teresa texted Melissa “I love you” and this has warmed Melissa’s heart. It has turned a grasping, On Display desperate J. Faux wannabe, “fake, phony bitch” with enough skeletons in her famewhoring closet social media investigators consider her a serial killer of her own past phoniness, into a real, live girl. Finally being accepted by Teresa has thawed all that.
Instead Melissa is icing Jacqueline out, and she’s floated down to the ground, looked around and discovered ME-lissa isn’t the most important thing in the world. Although she still hasn’t gotten a handle on Poison’s inappropriate mouth. Yuck!
Of course Jacqueline is still living in the Plastic People Palace. Holding a plastic baby with fake poop in it’s pants, the nu-fake, phony bitch cries – YES, CRIES – that she can’t be there for her favorite criminal in need. Last week Teresa was a liar, sic’ing her soldiers on Jacqueline intent to destroy her, and Jacqueline was shrieking “criminal!” in her face then vowing to never speak to her again cause their friendship was officially “DEAD,” but this week, sitting on the infamous back deck where friendships are tortured and bound and gagged, Jacqueline is crying over photos of Teresa hugging Juicy good-bye and wondering if she should reach out.
I don’t think Jacqueline has PMS. I think she caught Famewhore-itis from Melissa – a raging case of it! Or maybe not – I think she’s crazy with or without cameras, but they certainly exacerbate her cry-on-command; crazy-on-command behavior! Sadly, instead of calling her out on her BS, Dolores and Siggy just watch-on, confused, bouncing fake babies on their laps while Jacqueline tries to squeeze fake tears from her fake face.
If Jacqueline really wanted to be there for Teresa she wouldn’t have invited her over for diner, then turned the conversation all about Teresa’s crimes. She wouldn’t have started crap in Vermont because she wasn’t getting enough attention from Teresa, then played victim and lashed-out. If Jacqueline claims she cares, but her non-caring words and non-caring actions are speaking VERY, VERY loudly. If Jacqueline truly cared, she would realize that, right now, at this moment in Teresa’s life, Jacqueline cannot come first – except Jacqueline doesn’t care about Teresa, she cares about using Teresa to get camera-time. Unfortunately Teresa is in remission from cancerous people.
Jacqueline is the girl who cried ‘I care’ – and we no longer believe her, and neither does Teresa!
Teresa’s daughters must come first As 4 of the 5 Giudice girls huddle in bed on their first night without Joe, they say a prayer for daddy in prison and cry for the gulf of missing that washes over them. Then Gabriella walks to the massive doorway to switch off the light, and Teresa is left in the dark wondering just how and why she was so stupid to get caught up in the wrong things.
Oh, man as unpopular as it is, I love Juicy! He’s a hot mess but a squishable one!
TELL US – WILL YOU MISS JOE? WILL HE CHANGE FOR THE BETTER IN PRISON? WERE JACQUELINE’S TEARS FOR TERESA REAL?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]