The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

Last night on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Giacinto Gorga broke my heart yet again when he and Teresa Giudice shared more tears over the loss of her mother, Antonia. While Teresa took her family to Puerto Rico, Joe and Melissa Gorga stayed home with theirs to attempt disciplining their emerging tween. Hormones weren’t just affecting the young, as we saw when Siggy Flicker dragged cameras to her doctor appointment to discuss the finer points of hormone replacement therapy. And Dolores Catania faced off with Margaret Josephs, proving her undying delusional loyalty to Siggy by justifying her wack-job behavior at the Gorga’s tasting party!

As Teresa packs for Puerto Rico, she tells Milania that they’ll email Joe Giudice in prison while they’re gone. Without Joe, Tre is glad she has her father to lean on. “He is my rock right now,” she admits. Meanwhile, Dolores is joining Siggy at the doctor’s office to discuss hormone treatments. In her butt. Siggy doesn’t want to be known as “Soggy” anymore, and is hoping getting her hormones balanced out will help shed her new, obnoxious image. Well, that and not sticking your tongue out at other middle-aged women, maybe? But hey – it’s a start.

Dolores is still peeved about Danielle Staub questioning her strange living arrangement with Frank, and the validity of her new “boyfriend.” But instead of focusing her rage on Danielle, Dolores attacks Teresa, whose locked-up husband is a bigger piece of work than all the Frank Sr.’s of the world put together. Siggy cautions Dolores about turning on Tre because she knows how Bravo contracts work. But Dolores feels betrayed by Teresa for her possibly believing Danielle’s accusations, so she’s not backing down.

As Marge Jr. and Marge Sr. meet in the garden to compare pigtails and dangly earrings, they discuss Siggy’s unhinged behavior at the tasting. Margaret can’t handle this so-called “motivational speaker” in her life anymore, and is pretty much done with trying to play nice with crazy people. She does, however, still hold out hope for Dolores, who seems slightly less psycho that the Sigmeister. So Margaret calls her to set up dinner, which Dolores agrees to fairly quickly. They don’t really have their own beef if you take Siggy out of the equation, but something tells me that Dolores won’t be willing to dislodge herself from Siggy’s hormone-injected derrière long enough to see the truth in this.

In PR, Teresa, her girls, and Giacinto are hanging by the pool and – in a shocking twist! – are actually using sunscreen. There’s hope for the Giudice girls’ future skin yet! Giacinto, however, is as red as a fire hydrant. OMG. Spray him down, woman!!! On the phone, Danielle updates Teresa on the drama with Dolores, which was ratcheted up after Danielle poked the bear at the tasting. Teresa is one hundred percent #TeamDanielle at this point, accusing Dolores of not being a good friend in general. So, it’s clear where her alliances are.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

In the Gorga kitchen, Joe and Melissa prep dinner while their they ask little Joey about his multiple girlfriends. Little Joey looks to be all of 8 years old, incidentally. Twelve-year old Antonia is the one they’re really worried about – or, rather, who Joe is worried about. He doesn’t want her to sleep over at anyone’s house anymore because she’s at “a certain age.” No one will be getting pregnant on his watch! Melissa ponders how strange it is that Joe and Teresa grew up in the same house, considering the differences in their parenting styles and prison tendencies.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

In the car, Dolores talks to Siggy, who is not pleased to hear her bestie is meeting with Margaret. She is glad not to be along, though, as she has absolutely no impulse control these days. (Please see episodes 1-5 as courtroom evidence.) At dinner, Margaret opens the conversation by asking why Dolores is upset with her? Bottom line: Dolores thinks it was unkind of Marge to call Siggy “Soggy” and to call her an “a$$kisser.”

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

Margaret writes off her comments about Siggy as humor, but admits that seeing her behavior recently has been…more than a little bit disturbing. At the tasting party “You don’t think she acted over the top?” asks Margaret. As if she has been lobotomized and had her brain replaced with a Stepford Siggy, Dolores says (with a straight face) that she sees “no fault” in Siggy’s behavior. It’s totally normal, people!!! Alrighty then. Duly noted.

Realizing that Dolores is drinking the Siggy flavored Kool Aid, Margaret finally gives up trying to talk sense. Instead, she tries to relate to her on a personal level. She understands Dolores’ situation with Frank might be unconventional, but she’s fine with that. Her own relationship was/is unconventional too, and has caused a fracture within her family. Two of her own children, in fact, haven’t spoken to her for six years, which Margaret says “is devastating.”

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

Now having her own Soggy moment, Marge breaks down in tears as she talks about her estrangement from her kids. Instantly, Dolores softens toward Margaret, agreeing that they can move past their surface issues in the name of peace. Dolores has a new understanding of Marge, and Marge even agrees she’ll try to keep her sarcastic comments to herself (about Siggy, at least) in the future. Hmm – maybe there’s hope for these two?

Back in PR, Teresa tries to entertain the kids, knowing they miss Joe. Milania tests her patience at lunch by waving fries in her face, behavior which Tre chalks up to the pain of missing her dad and grandmother. When Tre says she misses her mom too, Milania spits some real truth: “I know how it is missing your mom. You were gone too.” Wow. Instead of using this moment to connect with Milania’s feelings by admitting her own part in the painful situation, Teresa just asks if she misses her dad now too? Um, OF COURSE she does! He. Is. In. Prison.

You know, the very shallow emotional pool Teresa wades in still sometimes comes as a shock to me – and I’m not sure why? Waiting for her to admit fault or take responsibility is much like waiting for your dog to suddenly look up and start speaking English to you. It just ain’t gonna happen.

Out shopping together back in NJ, Melissa and Antonia try to choose clothes that won’t make Joe lose his mind. Melissa wonders if Antonia has crushes on any boys? She wants her daughter to open up to her more, and wants to be in on any tween-age secrets going on in her world. But Antonia is no fool! She knows Melissa will go straight back to daddy with any intel, even though Melissa swears she knows how to “manage” him. This, from the woman who can’t even manage to get information from her husband about buying restaurants. <side eye>

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

As we get virtual whiplash from the jigsaw editing of this episode, it’s back to PR we go! Teresa has arranged a family photo shoot, which, having done one of my own at at a resort, I can attest to being much like a family torture exercise. In the sun. For hours. With really bad beach hair and flop sweat. So – fun times! The girls are grumpy, which gives Teresa a lightbulb moment during the photo session: Melissa may be a wee bit on point with her discipline advice. “These girls are out of control,” she sighs.

In an effort to bond with Antonia, Joe takes her to one of those jump-gyms where he can show off his mad gymnast skills (that don’t even come close to Juicy Joe’s drunken splits, by the way!). After a little roughhousing, Joe takes Antonia aside to remind her he loves her more than anything in the world, and he doesn’t want her to keep secrets from them just because he’s strict. Antonia complains that he’s too strict though! Joe understands that Antonia wants to spread her wings, but his job is to protect her. Even if that includes locking her in the house. In leg irons.

Joe promises that he’ll try to loosen the reins as long as Antonia promises to be open and honest. She agrees, telling her dad she loves him more than infinity, and they seal their pact with a kiss. Aww! I am kind of crushing on these two and their super sweet daddy-daughter moment. Say what you will about Joe, but he does seem like a good father (evidenced by his kids’ love and obvious respect for him).

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

The freshly-pelleted a$$ of Siggy Flicker is ready to make its public debut, people! She, Michael, Dolores, and Frank meet for dinner. And I must channel my inner Danielle Staub here and ask once again: WHERE IS THIS NEW BOYFRIEND?!?!? Why is Frank acting as Dolores’ Plus One at every event – even a double date? I’m sorry, but this is either 1) totally staged, or 2) suuuuuuuper f**ked up. This makes zero sense.

Siggy is not concerned about Frank, however. She’s just wants everyone present to know how “sexual” she’s feeling these days! She’s got her groove back, and doesn’t mind sharing the good news with the entire restaurant as they all toast to hormones. When Dolores tells Siggy about her dinner conversation with Margaret, Siggy initially has no sympathy. She sees Marge as a hypocrite for showing her emotional side to Dolores, yet calling her “too emotional.”

It’s a false equivalency comparing Margaret’s tears over her estranged children to Siggy’s month-long meltdown over a smashed cake, but whatever. Finally, she does reluctantly agree that Margaret may deserve a second chance. We’ll see how willing she is to give it to her when push comes to shove, though. (Wait – Does this mean the pellets are working? It’s an early Christmas miracle, kids!)

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

We end the episode in PR, where Teresa and Giacinto are talking on the beach about how to raise kids. Giacinto gets honest with his daughter about parenting: She’s too easy on her girls, and it needs to stop before they are irreversibly spoiled. Teresa admits that yes, she does give into them out of guilt, knowing the pain they’ve been through over the last few years in losing their grandfather, mother, father, and finally, their grandmother, in rapid succession.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

Man. Hearing it all laid out like that does make my heart ache for these kids, who are innocent in their parents’ shady schemes. It’s actually a wonder they function at all, considering their pain is broadcast across TV screens to boot. 🙁

As they both cry over missing Antonia Sr., Teresa and her father comfort each other as best they can. Tre resents losing time with her mom while she was in prison. And seeing her dad cry breaks her heart even more. She also resents Joe for not “being on top of things” more with their businesses, essentially blaming him for their crimes. “He better be a changed man,” warns Tre of her jailbird hubby.

The Real Housewives Of New Jersey Recap: Growing Up Jersey

Well, as of yesterday, he’s at least a “transferred” man. Joe is apparently moving to another prison (in PA) so he can re-enter alcohol counseling, a promising move for his health and, possibly, his early release. Now, as for that little matter of deportation…


Photo Credit: Bravo