Our apologies, Italy. Please don’t judge us based on The Real Housewives Of New Jersey visiting your fair country! As the ladies storm into Milan, breaking glasses and acting like a$$es, Danielle Staub finally goes, well…Danielle Staub on everyone. Having no more stale cake to metaphorically drag around, Siggy Flicker decides it’s time to up the ante by calling out Margaret Josephs on her Hitler remarks. Dolores Catania tries to ride the very sharp fence of loyalty to Teresa Giudice and Siggy, while Melissa Gorga pretends to be an entrepreneur as she scours the fashion houses of Milan for feather boas and plunging necklines. Envy needs some sh*t on its shelves, after all.
After packing montages where everyone discusses what an epic disaster the trip is bound to be, we cut to the ladies landing in Italy in one piece. Marge is just glad no one has breathed a word about the Posche fashion show, but Melissa thinks it’s nuts that no one’s discussing the elephant – or in Kim DePaola’s case, the leathery lizard – in the room. In the van on the way to their hotel, Dolores asks what the agenda is? Ladies, it’s time to channel your inner Beyonce and get in Formation! The teams shall be: Siggy/Dolores, Margaret/Melissa, and Teresa/Danielle. It will be a six-women-enter-five-women-leave situation, a la Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. (Except set in a swag hotel rather than a dusty mosh pit.)
Because Ramona Singer isn’t along, the women choose rooms without drawing blood, then split into pairs for the day. While Danielle and Tre visit the majestic Duomo Di Milano, Siggy and Dolores shop, and Melissa and Marge go see her fashion connection to check out the wares for Envy. Let’s hope they’re piping in On Display! On Display! On Display! to make Mel feel more at home among all of this fancy-pantsness.
Unless this showroom (which, as it turns out, is waaaaaay too upscale for a mere Gorga) has camo-miniskirts with bedazzled Sky Tops, I’m not too sure Melissa will come home with much inventory. Hmm. Maybe Mel should just go ahead and buy back all that crap from Posche that her business partner sold? #LightbulbMoment
Margaret, who apparently left her pigtails back in Jersey for this trip, is looking disco fabulous as she introduces Melissa to her friend who runs the showroom. The ladies peruse the beautiful wares while Melissa shops for her own closet, completely forgetting that she’s here to buy merchandise for a real, actual store. Marge hopes she remembers to pick a little something up for her business, but a gal can only do so much for her new
fake entrepreneurial friend!
As Dolores and Siggy shop, Tre and Danielle get spritzers at a cafe with a view of the Duomo, which Teresa remembers from the last time she was here with her family ten years ago. She feels wistful about missing her mom, and about the time in her life before everyone was either in prison or gone for good. But Danielle has other topics to discuss – like Dolores, who she calls “a vicious, rabid dog” for getting up in Melissa’s face at Kim’s event. Teresa agrees that it doesn’t compute. Why isn’t Dolores more loyal to her? This will be Teresa’s refrain from now until the end of time, it seems. Let’s just hit record and play it back for the next six weeks.
Meanwhile, Melissa is across town complaining to Marge about the same issue. Margaret doesn’t understand why anyone wants to be associated with Kim D – like, in any capacity. But that’s probably because she runs a real business, not a storefront that shills prom dresses to grown women. (Hi, Posche! Waving from Milan!)
Dolores doesn’t seem that bothered as she peruses the shops of Milan, her ears likely burning. But when she and Siggy discuss it, she gets a bit riled. She thinks Danielle is as fake as they come, and her attacks are all about getting back into Teresa’s good graces. She and Siggy also think Margaret is just trying to be on the “cool girls” team at any cost. Because cakegate is over (RIP cardboard platform), Siggy now needs a fresh bone to pick with Margaret: Enter, the Hitler comment. Siggy is incensed that Marge invoked the “H” word (in making an analogy to Kim D) in front of her – a “Super Jew!” She plans on confronting Margaret about it later that night because, until then, SHE JUST CAN’T ENJOY ITALY!!! Really? Okay, Sig.
As the ladies prepare for dinner back at the hotel, RHONJ editors class the joint up a bit with their sleek montages of women-who-primp. It’s making me feel like maybe the Italians got in on the action this week, setting a finer tone on this scene for the sake of their national pride? In fact, the entire episode seems more polished – no? Is it just the scenery? These women could use a better backdrop now and then, so good on them! Strip malls and Marriott Courtyard ballrooms can only take your swag so far.
After Margaret struggles valiantly with a champagne cork, Danielle comes by for a quick boob check and to talk some pre-dinner smack. She thinks Dolores needs to be called out, and tonight’s the night. Margaret agrees.
Tre stops by Melissa’s room to describe the Duomo, which goes something like this: “I saw the Duomo!” “The DUH-what?” “It’s like a cathedral!” “Aren’t those in Rome?” “You’re in Milan!” “Huh? “Yeah – Italy!” “Oh. I am obviously too stupid to live!” Okay, I added that last part. But I imagine it got left on the cutting room floor anyway. Because, MY GOD LADIES! Education…it matters.
At dinner later, the group assembles ready for battle. The Milanese restaurant owners/patrons/waitstaff have, we assume, been summarily warned. The evening begins with cheerful toasts and sex jokes, but the mood sours quickly when Teresa reads an email from Joe Giudice in prison who (perhaps jokingly, but probably not) calls her a “cheater.” So Siggy brings up the issue: Loyalty. She wants Tre to know she defended her against Kim D, but Danielle doesn’t buy it.
Melissa doesn’t buy this “loyalty” claim that Siggy and Dolores are both making either. So she transports them all back to Siggy’s retreat-from-hell-role-play to show how awful it was when Dolores screamed in her face. Shockingly quiet, Dolores just takes the scene in, then apologizes. “I felt very bad when that was over,” she admits. Melissa is placated for the moment, but more proud of her plan working. It’s an improv miracle!
Since Siggy hasn’t gotten her chance to attack Margaret yet, she weirdly segues into the Hitler comment. “Deflect much?” thinks Marge, defending her analogy. “Unless we’re discussing the Holocaust, Hitler’s name shouldn’t be mentioned!” rails Siggy, who invokes her father, a Holocaust survivor, to strengthen her point. Margaret (whose children are also Jewish) tries to defend her reasoning – she was comparing Kim D to another evil person. But Siggy is not backing down, wanting to make this a personal slight against her no matter if it’s reasonable or not. And gaaaaaawwwwd – can we just get another cake to throw around here? Make. It. Stop.
“You are anti-Semitic!” Siggy finally shouts at Margaret, who sits in disbelief that this chick is taking it to this level. As the patrons openly gawk at the ugly Americans, Margaret shakes and cries, screaming “HOW DARE YOU!” at Siggy for her accusations. But just as she calms down, Siggy keeps on freaking the frack out, now getting into it with Danielle. What comes next is the moment Danielle’s been gearing up for…
“I’m f**ked up?” she shrieks at Siggy. “You B*TCH! You’re a hypocrite and a f**king LIAR!” Then she breaks as many glasses as she can and nearly breaks through Teresa physically restraining her before they’re all tossed out of the restaurant/country/planet. Bouncers and camera crew and restaurant staff all rally to shoo the messy zoo creatures out of the joint before whatever Italy’s version of Yelp destroys this poor establishment in a single night!!! Omg.
Out on the street
where they obviously belong the group continues to brawl. Dolores tries to calm Siggy down, knowing it’s not worth it to get into a fight with Danielle out in open spaces. Margaret is in shock at how low Siggy has gone with this character assassination, and she’s done playing nice. It’s an all out war now.
The next morning, Danielle, Tre, Melissa, and Margaret debrief. They see Siggy deflecting with her anti-Semitic tirade, plain and simple. In Siggy’s room, Dolores comes over to listen to Siggy defend her actions. Dolores doesn’t agree that Margaret is an anti-Semite, but of course she’s not about to tell Siggy that. GOD FORBID SIGGY’S MANY SPECIAL FEELINGS GET HURT! Question: Is this woman not exhausted with herself yet? Because I really, really am.
In any case, Siggy and Danielle are currently at an impasse, so they both decide to talk through their issues rather than go on the group outing for the day. Dolores, who apologizes again to Melissa for yelling at her at Kim’s show, wants to make peace with the group. She’s sick of the teams and the drink throwing and the anti-Semitic crap. Which is why this is the perfect time to usher in Emanuele, my new boyfriend
if I wasn’t married dammit!. Emanuele is very easy on the eyes, and ready with the smile and charm that these ladies – not to mention we – need after the roughhousing in restaurants. He also has ALL of his hair. *Sigh*
After a quick cutaway to Jersey, where Joe Gorga
who does not have all of his hair is enjoying a guys night out with Frank, Contractor Joe, and Danielle’s alleged fiance Marty, we get back to the important stuff. Emanuele. My new screensaver. #OneGoogleSearchAwayFromStalkingHim
Melissa jumps up on the railing, inanely shouting “good morning!” at passersby in Italian, then shooting off some Spanish phrases to boot, thereby embarrassing everyone in the vicinity. The only vocabulary she envies is her own.
As they stroll down the canal, it’s Teresa’s turn to charm Emanuele with her fluent Italian, which he’s impressed with. Melissa jokes that Tre is sexually frustrated, so she needs to get her flirt on. And I wholeheartedly support this side piece! Can Teresa please start something with this dude instead of her alleged Jersey boyfriend so we can see more of him on our screen? Asking for a friend.
The group is loving the vibe of the day. No craziness, do drama. Just cutie pie Emanuele and sweatshirt-selfies! It’s the perfect day.
Back at the hotel, Siggy apologizes to Danielle for dismissing her the night before, which Danielle appreciates. But she’s been hurt by Siggy for more than last night’s throwdown. Siggy changes the subject to Margaret, who she’s still mad at for calling her “Soggy.” Um…wasn’t that what the
super janky healing retreat was all about? WHY?! Why do we have to circle back to this again. I think I might actually start sobbing. (WHERE IS EMANUELE!?!?!)
Danielle is not about to side with Siggy on this, defending Margaret’s statements and character. “I’m gonna have her back no matter what,” claims Danielle, who’s willing to at least hug Siggy in the name of a temporary truce. But she ain’t switchin’ teams. Nope. The Flicker Fan Club will not be gaining a new member today.
After Emanuele drops the ladies off for lunch by the canal, they sink back into discussion about Siggy. Dolores wishes she were there. Melissa claims that she wants the whole group to get along, so she suggests Dolores talk to Sig. Dolores turns her attention to Margaret, saying, “I do not think you’re anti-Semitic. I do think you’re anti-Siggy though.” Marge is like, YEAH, I am NOW! She would have no problem apologizing to Siggy about hurting her feelings, but being called anti-Semitic is an entirely different matter altogether. Word.
Dolores thinks Margaret drew first blood, and that she has been inserting herself in drama that doesn’t concern her. Marge doesn’t think Dolores speaks for herself; she only speaks for Siggy. Teresa basically thinks the same, but Dolores disagrees. Marge isn’t convinced that Dolores will ever be okay with her if Siggy isn’t. They’re a package deal, period. “They’re like oil and vinegar,” chirps Teresa, invoking Ramona’s phrase to Bethenny in homage to mangled Housewives similes everywhere!
Back at the hotel, Siggy calls Michael, who confirms Tre’s theory (or, her almost-theory). Bottom line: Margaret and Siggy just don’t like each other. So why not leave it at that? “You should start taking your own advice and walk away from a toxic situation,” he counsels. Siggy agrees. Uh – except there’s this little matter of being on the same show to contend with. No biggie! But will Siggy actually leave the cast trip early to prove a point? We’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
Writer’s Note: Check out my NEW podcast, Pink Shade With Erin Martin, for more Reality TV talk (Housewives, 90 Day Fiance & more!) – plus a deep dive into cults & the supernatural. Now available on Podbean, Stitcher, and iTunes!
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF SIGGY’S ACCUSATION ABOUT MARGARET? WHAT IS DANIELLE’S PLACE IN ALL OF THIS? CAN WE START A GOFUNDME TO BRING EMANUELE OVER HERE? (!!!)
Photo Credit: Bravo