Season 7 of Real Housewives Of New Jersey continues to center around the transformation of Teresa Giudice. Flashbacks to the season 4 reunion feature an enraged Teresa, morphed into TreHulk – bright green dress and all! – screaming into Kathy Wakile‘s face, contrasted with a post-prison Teresa, calmly explaining that she’s just “not ready” to deal with the emotional weight of rebuilding her relationships with her cousins. Instead, it is Rosie screaming in frustration.
It exemplifies a point that no one on Real Housewives of New Jersey seems to understand until it is way too late: no matter how much you want it so, no matter how much you regret your actions – from the person you married, to the words you said, to all the money you shouldn’t have spent – you can’t erase the past. In the immortal words of Cher, “If I could turn back time/If I could find a way/ I’d take back those words that hurt you…”
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That entire song can serve as one big metaphor for this cast. And Cher, hopping around in a lycra merkin, which I am POSITIVE would be included in a Teresa-of-yore bikini fashion show, is the perfect person to explain that words can be like a weapon. But of course, actions are also like a weapon. When you reach for someone else’s stars, to try and pull them down to shroud your own ego with, it doesn’t usually end well.
So regret is like a vast endless universe, and you’re left forever staring up at those stars, wondering which one became the comet that crashed and burned.
Ever since Kathy and Rosie begged for Teresa’s forgiveness at her book signing, Jacqueline Laurita and Siggy Flicker have made it their mission to reunify the family; Jacqueline because she’s friends with both Teresa and Kathy, and Siggy because she’s officially become Bravo’s version of Dr. Phil and has a million corny advice-filled parables to dispense. Just so you know, if you don’t put gas in your cow, it won’t moo milk into marble, which is where love is built right on the edge of greatness in diamonds… yeah – gobbledygook (sort of like my Cher metaphor above).
Rosie sniffles into her whiskey that she needs Teresa to give her another chance. Jacqueline and Siggy decide to beseech Teresa to at least have lunch with Kathy and Rosie, just to hear them out, specially because of Victoria’s health and their parents getting older. But Teresa has bigger worries…
Juicy is one month away from prison and drinking every night just to fall asleep. Teresa and Melissa Gorga take a momerscize walk (walking the neighborhood once the kids leave for school), and Teresa opens up about Juicy being in denial. While Teresa just powered through, pretending it wasn’t reality until the cell slammed shut, Juicy is wallowing, drunkenly. Since this season is all about the girls doing it for themselves, Teresa and Melissa agree that women are stronger and more capable than men. Which is why Teresa has become a more open, honest, and realistic person while Juicy turned into a drunk.
Melissa is delighted by her peaceful relationship with this new Teresa. Once the mighty fall, it’s Melissa’s for the taking! Or maybe The Nu-Teresa has just finally realized she doesn’t have to wall herself off in marble, on the island of the proud where sequins serve as the phony starlight.
Across town, Ashlee is walking along the Jersey riverfront wearing ill-advised ankle booties (but thankfully no slouch hat), when her (now) fiance drops down on one knee to propose. Jacqueline is overjoyed because now Ashlee can have the wedding Jacqueline never did – which will take a year or two to plan (?!). Congrats!
Jacqueline immediately skips over to Dolores Catania‘s gym, where Dolores has actually shown up! All the employees wonder why this bossy woman in leggings is lecturing them, but when Jac arrives looking for Dolores, and asks them to store a Quarter Pounder with cheese (while wearing a quarter pound of makeup), they assume Dolores is just batshit crazy and humor her out of fear.
Proving she is truly crazy, Jacqueline meets Teresa and Siggy to try and cajole Teresa into meeting with her cousins. Teresa is immediately annoyed, but instead of being shrieky about it, she just insists she’s not ready and tells Jacqueline to stay the f–k out of her family. Seriously – does Jac ever learn? I mean, Teresa has asked her about 3 zillion times to keep her surgically altered nose out of Teresa’s family matters, yet Jacqueline, like a hound dog sniffing for drugs at the airport, cannot resist! She noses in then has a meltdown when Teresa doesn’t want to be her friend anymore!
I personally thought Teresa handled this maturely. She gets blindsided at lunch, but instead of overreacting, she basically was like ‘nope – too much other emotional stuff going on in my life right now which takes precedence, can’t deal with my cousins drama – especially when they hurt me and were basically using my legal situation to get camera time.’
Teresa says her peace, then bails out, with barely a sip of wine, leaving Jacqueline and Siggy stupefied. And with the check.
Did anyone else notice that every single lunch, dinner, drink scene on last night’s episode took place at the same restaurant?
Melissa, however, takes Siggy’s advice about investing in her marriage, so she drags Poison to get Botox in what looked like a kitchen from 1992. Was that golden oak cabinetry?! The Botox injections are a necessity if Poison hopes to inject his somethin-somethin into Melissa, because his hotness will be “on fire” once he no longer has lines on his forehead. What about if he gets hair – will he spontaneously combust?
While waiting for the doctor, they discuss the matter of Teresa and her cousins. Shockingly, Poison is on Teresa’s side; he feels she’s justified in being angry over Kathy and Rosie’s comments.
Melissa decides Teresa needs a break from the stress in her life, and since soon she won’t be spending enough time away from Juicy, proposes a trip to Vermont. Siggy laments the freezing location until Melissa tactfully reminds her that Teresa is on parole and can’t go too far. In fact, Melissa planned to also invite the husbands, but Juicy can’t leave Jersey.
Teresa is resistant to go, because she doesn’t want to leave Juicy … but then she remembers she sort of needs the money and can’t afford to skip, so she’s cajoled into strapping on her snow boots for the freezing Vermont. After all how icy can it get?! (Ugh – after the super disappointing Real Housewives Of New York trip in which Fibroids McGee ‘couldn’t travel and no one is allowed to leave New York without her’, not looking forward to another bummer of a cast trip. Couldn’t Teresa just stay back in Jersey while the other ladies go somewhere fabulous?! Bravo needs to up their game, and we need to see amazing scenery!)
Later, Kathy has Melissa, Rosie, Jacqueline, Siggy, and Poison over for drinks where naturally the ONLY topic of conversation is Tre! Of course! Do these people anything else in common besides Teresa and prosciutto?!
Dr. Siggy has her head in her hands, wiping away her tears, when she realizes just how deep the layers of dysfunction go. Hence why Dolores probably declined her invite – she knows. Once you burn a bridge in Jersey, you’re stranded on the Hudson for life!
While Kathy vents that Teresa has made just as many hurtful comments, Melissa and Poison find themselves trapped between a rock and a hard place and want to change the subject. Jacqueline is quick to remind them that for many many years Kathy, Richie, and Rosie sat listening to Melissa and Joe vent and wrench about Teresa, so now it’s their turn. “Why are you more upset than she is?!” Melissa snaps to Jacqueline, indicating to Kathy. TOUCHE!!!!!
After working so hard on her relationship with Teresa, Melissa yells that she won’t get involved. But Richie can and will! He implies the problem is that Juicy doesn’t love Teresa, plus her fambly is a mess. Unlike his own, which is perfect and full of love, and to illustrate, he grabs Kathy in a headlock and forces a kiss on her.
Poison yells at Richie that his tongue has no bones, but it can still break a heart – which isn’t even from Siggy’s advice. It’s a real expression, and I’m pretty sure that’s what it feels like when Richie kisses Kathy.
Richie’s inference-laden jabs are why Teresa isn’t in the mood to forgive – all those comments, and despite Richie playing dumb that he’s never meant to hurt Teresa, Poison calls him out. “Everyone knows what Richie meant,” intones Captian Obvi-ista Melissa in the confessional.
Then Rosie flips out about how no one loves Kathy enough, so no one is good for cannoli anymore.
Poison makes a decision right then and there: He is Team Tre. Maybe he doesn’t believe Kathy and Rosie are sincere about wanting to rebuild their family? Whatever his reasons, decides the fambly feud will rage on, Teresa must make the defensive strike using her tongue to tell Kathy and Rosie they’re out.
Apparently, Poison has been doing too much women stuff lately – cause picking up kids at the bus and burning microwave popcorn is women’s work – and he’s turned into a total shit-stirring gossip! (I’m not complaining…)
Poison meets Teresa at the gym to impart the latest revelation from Richie’s mouth. Teresa admits Richie’s negativity is one of the major reasons she wants to keep her distance from Kathy and Rosie, and announces she’s done thinking about them altogether. Poison convinces her that she has meet them for lunch so they can hear it directly that she’s not interested in a relationship with them. She refuses, until Poison hints that then she’ll be the coward… Ain’t nobody calls Teresa a coward! She’s in – if Poison comes with her for moral support. (I do think it was good that the didn’t go to this meeting alone).
I like Teresa and Joe getting along. The last time they were at the gym together a huge fight erupted and Teresa threw water in her brother’s face. One thing I love about RHONJ is that, for the most part, the emotions and conversations are real because these people really are invested in each other.
Before Teresa and Joe arrive for lunch, Kathy and Rosie rehearse the game plan of focusing on what matters: rebuilding the family for their parents and their children. They envision a utopian future where their fambly swings on branches from cannoli trees and sips wine from the river of fruitful forgiveness, and in the midst is the new family matriarch, Kathy, bestowing pingoli cookies to all who heed her advice.
Unfortunately, Teresa calls them cancer and says she wants to cut them out of her life since they basically only started reaching out to her again when the RHONJ cameras turned back on. Then they all hug and kiss, and promise to K.I.T, as if it was the last day of junior year and they’ll be back once summer ends.
After Teresa and Poison depart, no food eaten or ordered, Kathy and Rosie sit there in quietude, lost in their thoughts. Or maybe they were shocked Teresa didn’t flip the table or stab them with some biscotti? She didn’t even yell! She was all composed and articulate, while explaining that she was too hurt presently. She started to get jabby by reminding Kathy that Richie threw her cookbook away, but Poison, on guard, redirected her to focus – chemo of the fambly.
In the parking lot and in the car, Teresa starts to cry. She flaps her hands in front of her face to avoid smudging her makeup, her shield in the form of 14 layers of FeatherLash on top false eyelashes. Or maybe she was flapping her hands hoping to fly away to somewhere sunny and warm and free of frigid dramas? Instead she’ll have to settle for Vermont. But at least she has Poison’s warm hand steering the wheel, handing her a tissue. At least Melissa is too busy with Envy to f–k up the cookies, which leaves Teresa in charge. At least she has that.
And in Kathy’s white Range Rover, “If I Could Turn Back Time” comes on the radio, reminding us that you can’t always find a way…
TELL US – SHOULD TERESA HAVE GIVEN KATHY AND ROSIE ANOTHER CHANCE? DOES JACQUELINE NEED TO STAY OUT OF IT?
[Photo Credits: Bravo]