Is it just me or is the Real Housewives of New Jersey starting to feel like a merry-go-round? I get that the show centers around Teresa Giudice and her never-ending drama with Melissa Gorga and Joe Gorga. But at some point, the show starts being a repeat of itself. The latest episode of Season 13 centers all around Dolores Catania’s charity baseball game. It was a cute event, but it doesn’t make for the most riveting TV.
Yet again, Jennifer Aydin saves the day during this week’s episode. Jennifer is an expert at serving us entertainment one way or another on RHONJ. This episode forces her to get even more serious about her marriage with Bill Aydin and it’s pretty raw. Here are five of the main takeaways from the latest RHONJ episode “All Bats Are Off.”
Tre And Joe Gorga Trigger One Another
Tre keeps pleasantly surprising me this season. Luis Ruelas really does have a namaste effect on her and I’m totally not hating it. She visits her therapist during the episode to talk about all of the drama with her brother. She discusses how her therapist helps her be a better communicator and control her outbursts — two qualities that Tre would greatly benefit from. Tre gets honest about Joey’s anger and how it scares her. Joe’s temper reminds Tre of the way her father would act when she was young. She unpacks a lot of issues from her childhood, including the fact that her parents never said “I love you” until she taught Gia Giudice to say it to them first. Tre is wrong so much, but you have to admit she’s trying, especially given all of the circumstances here.
It’s not to say that Tarzan and MelGo aren’t triggered by Tre either. Melissa spends what little airtime she has in this episode talking about Luis being manipulative. She believes that Luis made Tre make peace with Margaret Josephs so that Marge would stop digging up dirt about him. And, so what? It got them to stop fighting, unlike Marge and Jennifer Aydin. At the game, the Gorgas avoid Tre like the plague. Joe claims he wants to keep his distance to protect everyone’s sanity. “Teresa can switch from 0 to 100 instantly and then I just have to defend myself and then it becomes ugly,” Joe explains. Sure, if you want to explain these insane sibling fights in such simple terms, that’s correct. Tre’s therapist has the quote of the night by saying the two either need to stop the toxicity or Tre needs to move on. It’s eerie knowing what’s to come at Tre and Luis’ explosive wedding, but not surprising.
Marge’s Motives Aren’t So Clear
Marge’s motives this season just aren’t making sense. She’s calling Jennifer a “disheveled drug addict” one minute while playing the same recruitment games as her with the newbies the next. It’s weird how these two can’t just agree to be amicable acquaintances and would rather continue the fight. In one scene, Jennifer reads Marge like a book and it starts making sense to me. None of the other RHONJ stars stand up for Jennifer when she’s fighting with Marge. Jennifer believes it’s because they don’t want Marge digging up dirt on them like she did to Jennifer. It may be far-fetched, but we’ve seen Pigtails play in the mud like this before.
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There’s also a lot of talk in this episode about Marge telling MelGo to date a ballplayer. First of all, we, as an audience, need more context as to why MelGo was struggling in her marriage so hard. Sure, we saw her and Joe fight, but nothing this extreme. Secondly, there seems to be more to the story than this harmless joke MelGo and Marge are trying to play off. Danielle Cabral also seems to think this scenario is fishy. She claims she wouldn’t be flattered if her friend told her to abandon her marriage to date an athlete. Danielle explains during her confessional that Marge is a puzzle to her that she has no interest in solving. She’s seen Marge play dirty, especially from the stories Tre and Jennifer have told her. Danielle is keeping her distance to protect herself, which might be smart considering the way Marge plays the Real Housewives game.
Frank Starts Crying In Baseball
Frank Catania and Dolores continue to have their growing pains. Dolo’s ex just doesn’t want the terms of their relationship to change, even though she’s super serious with Paul Connell. Most of the people in Dolo’s circle, like her dad, agree that setting boundaries with Frank is good. However, her other friends seem to be living in the Dolo, and Frank, love fantasy.
Frank and Dolo come face-to-face at the game and MelGo brings up their issues. The Gorgas- always stirring up nonsense. Frank tells Dolo that he misses their close relationship and starts crying on the field. Dolo tries to explain that Paul’s feelings matter in the situation now so it’s natural to have some distance. In a confessional, she feels like Frank is making her feel guilty for being in a relationship that she deserves after all of these years. “Frank doesn’t like change, and not one thing in our life when we got divorced changed,” she adds. Team Dolo — live your life, girl. Frank has his new boo Brittany Mattessich to take up his time now. Dolo shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what she wants for once.
Am I Watching Sports Or Reality TV?
There is absolutely way too much time dedicated to actual sports being played in this episode. Sure, the game is a cute way to raise money for charity, but we don’t need a play-by-play of the entire game. I was tickled at watching Dolo say, “Let’s play ball!” and I could’ve been satisfied with this scene.
It was only funny to watch the game last year because Jennifer Aydin fell on her freshly manicured face. I don’t need to see the families make mediocre baseball plays — this is not the MLB network. PSA to Bravo — we don’t turn on this channel to watch sports. It’s cute in moderation, but this episode is just not giving as a result of too much low-stakes action.
Jennifer And Bill Have Work To Do
Jennifer and Bill’s relationship has been on the rocks since Marge revealed the affair last season. During last week’s episode, Olivia Aydin heartbreakingly told Rachel Fuda that she wanted to be a “love therapist” to fix people’s relationships. Rachel breaks this news to Jennifer at the game, who has never heard her daughter say those words. Her face is just gut-wrenching to watch in real time. Jennifer’s a hopeless mom trying to protect her kids from the world and unfortunately, it’s a reality a lot of moms can probably relate to.
Jennifer and Bill end the episode by going to a therapist. Bill can’t help but give up his anti-therapy stance after hearing the news about Olivia. The therapist breaks down the cheating and the public fallout from it, and it’s extremely emotional. Jennifer gets real about feeling alone in her marriage and how she feels subordinate to her husband. “I need my partner to meet me halfway,” Jennifer cries. Again, it’s another sad reality so many people probably feel. The two plan on continuing couples’ therapy but if Jennifer doesn’t see changes, she’s ready to make some of her own. As she should.
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE LATEST RHONJ EPISODE? DID YOU AGREE THAT THERE WERE WAY TOO MANY BASEBALL SHOTS? WILL JENNIFER AND BILL’S MARRIAGE SURVIVE?
[Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman/Bravo]