It’s been a minute since we’ve checked in with The Real Housewives Of New Jersey on Bravo, but oh boy, have things heated up behind the scenes! Since Siggy Flicker’s announcement that she’s leaving the show, social media and news outlets have been abuzz with what went down at the reunion – and what portion of that drama we’ll actually see. (Crossing fingers that a rogue editor somehow splices in the juicy stuff at the last minute!) Until then, we must travel back in time to the ladies’ post-Milan lives, which are just as much of a mess as they were pre-Milan.
Margaret Josephs and Siggy are now in open war after Siggy’s accusation that Marge was anti-Semitic. Siggy’s half-hearted (and delayed) response to Marge’s apology did nothing to cool the flames. Melissa Gorga is back in the strip mall trying to make Envy happen, despite the wishes of Joe Gorga. He apparently needs a waitress at the new pizza joint, and his only remaining name tag says “Melissa.” Teresa Giudice is living like it’s 2009 all over again as she turns up at Danielle Staub’s home to offer a
contractually obligatory apology to her dorters. Except one of the dorters doesn’t even want to see her! She’s like, Namaste away, crazy lady! Tre has trouble counting to two anyway, so she likely thinks all Staub offspring are present for the blessed event.
We begin at Envy, where Melissa is happy about her first package arriving from Italy – and no, I don’t mean her husband. Although he does show up to hassle her about never being at the restaurant. She’s a BIZNISS woman, dontchaknow? Joe is not happy about Melissa’s love for fashion. He’d rather she love serving spaghetti – or washing dishes – or at least helping Teresa fix her hairline for photo ops. But Melissa is not about that waitress life, so she tells Joe that she’s backing off his business. She’ll be at the store if he needs her. Guarding her inventory.
Over at Margaret’s, she’s doing actual business with her Macbeth team – and filling them in on the anti-Semitic nonsense. She has no time to focus on the many emotions of Siggy these days, for there is a birthday bash to throw! One hitch: Joe the Contractor will need to clean this joint up before Marge’s Studio 45 party gets going. He’s up for the job.
Elsewhere, Teresa is getting her hair and makeup done for her book cover shoot, and Siggy stops by to provide emotional
instability support. She claims that moving on with Margaret is her new mantra, but something tells me that if we look up “moving on” in the dictionary, we will NOT see Sig’s picture. Teresa wonders how her new book will be received, given how much she’s “opened up” in it – especially about her resentment toward Joe Giudice. Tre hasn’t seen Joe in months, but plans to do a prison drop-in soon so she can throw him under the bus in person! Cue the divorce announcement within the next year. I’d put my money on 6 months, actually. (Want to start a betting pool, guys? Over/under odds on Joe’s deportation? Anyone?)
Frank Jr. must have finally sent his college applications in because Dolores Catania and Frank Sr. are taking him on a college tour at Sacred Heart. Frank Jr. seems to think he has options about where to go to school, therefore Dolores and Frank Sr. can play the proud parents today. Their tour is actually very sweet, and their strange little family unit is obviously working for them – so good on ya, Catanias! Dolores tears up when she sees a dorm room, thinking about the empty nest in which she’ll live. Except she’ll be living there with her ex-husband, whom she comes home to after dates with her current boyfriend. So…
Speaking of ex-husband’s, Margaret’s stops by for a visit – with bagels! She and Jan are better friends than they were romantic partners, but their divorce (precipitated by Margaret’s cheating with Joe) has fractured the family. Jan’s children, who Marge raised with him since they were young, refuse to speak to her now. As they drink coffee and catch up, Marge asks Jan if there’s a chance the kids will ever let her back into their lives? Jan says there’s always a chance, but there’s nothing he can do. “For a long time you were a great mother to my kids,” he tells Marge, “but you chose a different life.”
In tears, Margaret takes responsibility for hurting Jan and his children with her actions. She can understand their pain and resentment, but wants to find a way back to them – somehow. She asks Jan to tell the kids she loves and misses them, and he promises he will. He’s optimistic that things will change one day. They’re bound to.
Things never seem to change in Dolores’s life, however, because she’s still roping Frank Sr. into power-walking the dog with her around the neighborhood. Frank likes living with Dolores again, but is wondering what’s up with them? Dolores doesn’t get much time with her
imaginary boyfriend, David, since he’s busy doctor-ing. Allegedly. Frank wonders if they could have done things differently in their marriage? Dolores doesn’t take the bait, claiming she wants to spend the second half of her life with a man who’s really there for her. Um – like the dude who’s walking your dog, changing your lightbulbs, paying your bills, and going on college visits with your son? That would be Frank Catania, First Of His Name.
It’s the day of reckoning for the Giudices and Staubs! Teresa will be ambassador, armed only with a rosary hanging from her rearview mirror and an English-to-Tre dictionary. As if she’s meticulously planned this all out with her discount acting coach, Danielle has her lines and props fully locked and loaded. This is the day she’s dreamed of, people! Serving up literal hot tea, she tells Teresa that her eldest daughter, Christine (23), is not willing to sit down with her, but her youngest, Jillian (19), is.
Tre is speechless as she listens to Danielle explain how the Prostitution Wh*re! moment “destroyed” her family. But she sits down with Jillan anyway. She confesses that she’s nervous, but is glad Jillian’s willing to meet with her. It was a long time ago, and Teresa claims she’s had a lot of time to think
in lockup since then. Jillian admits that she flipped out when she first heard her mother was getting chummy with Teresa this year, especially since she was bullied throughout her life for being the daughter of a “prostitution wh*re” – which Teresa’s table flipping moment made infamous.
Teresa just says, “wow” when Danielle tells her that she moved her daughters out of their neighborhood because the bullying got so intense. “I would never want to hurt you in any way,” says Teresa, not actually apologizing. But for Tre, this is the best that we’ll get. Oh wait – she does finally say the words “I’m truly sorry.” Good for her! Jillian accepts her apology, which makes Danielle’s little black heart grow thrice the size. Teresa sits in stunned reflection about actually having apologized to someone.
At Joe’s restaurant, he’s stressing out about opening day. Melissa and Teresa aren’t there yet, which will come back to haunt them later. But first, we cut to Marge Jr. razzing Marge Sr. about her style. They’re hopeful that Margaret’s 50th birthday party will be a hit and that the tenuous peace between Siggy and Marge will last until then. But first, they’ve got to get through the Gorga’s restaurant opening. Somebody better slip a shiv in Marge Sr.’s Jimmy Choo just in case.
Over at Siggy’s, she and her father are eating al fresco in the backyard. She discusses Milan with him, but more to the point, she brings up the Margaret’s Hitler reference, the comment that launched ten thousand tweets. Siggy’s father is taken aback, but not flustered by the story. He just thinks Siggy should stay away from Margaret if they don’t get along. And, wise man that he is, advises her not to give this thing more life by “philosophizing about it” endlessly.
He agrees that Margaret’s comment is inappropriate, but immediately calls Siggy out on wrongly accusing her of being anti-Semitic. He’s like, whoa! whoa! Slow your roll, girl. Sure, Siggy may deserve an apology (which she got), but Marge certainly doesn’t deserve a full-blown character assassination at the hands of a temporary RHONJ cast mate. Two snaps in a circle for Sig’s papa.
Back at the restaurant, Teresa has arrived to talk smack with Joe about Melissa’s absence. Where is she? There are pizzas to be cut here, and Tre’s strong suit is not dividing large circles into equal parts!!! #MathIsHard
When Melissa does show up, Teresa confronts her immediately about not wanting to be part of the business. “This is a family restaurant, so you need to take it serious!” hilariously quips Tre. Melissa is not here for the Gorga gang-up. She’s here for the wine. So she basically tells them both to back-that-sh*t-up-and-back-it-up-quick (hi, Dorinda!) as she saunters off to find a glass.
Tempers cool by the time everyone arrives, and the vibe continues to be lighthearted with all of the kissing and hello’ing and Tre feeling up Frank Sr.’s biceps. Marges, both senior and junior, hold their tongues as Siggy enters the room screaming about everyone there being her BEST FRIEND!!! Siggy will definitely need a friend in this room because she’s avoiding Margaret like it’s her job. She even rudely changes topics when Dolores says she met Marge Sr., which is off-putting to even her most loyal soldier. Obviously, she’s over nothing. And never will be.
After Joe offers a sweet toast in honor of his late mother, Teresa and Melissa stand by in mutual support. Melissa will help with the restaurant when she can, and Tre even says she’ll help with Envy in any capacity needed. They have no real beef with each other, and it’s actually a nice change of pace to see this family getting along.
As Margaret quickly comes to the realization that Siggy is definitely icing her out, she sends Danielle to ask Siggy if she’ll come over and meet her mother. Siggy promptly and rudely refuses to do so, which shocks Margaret. Didn’t Siggy just text her a nice RSVP to her 50th birthday party? Why can’t this woman cope with a simple “hello” in public? GAWD.
“The Sig ain’t stupid!” Siggy reflects in her interview. Okay. But she’s sure looking that way this season. Next week: The finale of RHONJ, Margaret’s 50th birthday party, Tre goes to jail (no jumpsuit this time), and a Dolores versus Danielle disco death match is on the way! There will be glitter.
Writer’s Note: Check out my podcast, Pink Shade With Erin Martin, for more Reality TV talk (Housewives, Vanderpump Rules & more!) – plus a deep dive into cults & the supernatural. Available on Podbean, Stitcher, and iTunes!
TELL US: WILL SIGGY SHOW UP AT MARGARET’S PARTY? WAS TERESA’S APOLOGY TO JILLIAN GENUINE? PREDICTIONS FOR THE FINALE – AND THE REUNION?
Photo Credit: Bravo