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'Real Housewives of New Jersey' recap: Engage and then suggest

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Image Credit: BravoThough Bravo did its best to hype up last night’s ONE HOUSEWIFE WILL LEAVE FOR GOOD episode, it was clear from Franklin Lakes all the way to Atlantic City that Dina was headed for the door. She’s been professing the need for closure and trying to eliminate negativity in her life, plus neither her husband nor daughter appear on the show. She’s been resigned to filming solo shots around her house, becoming the crazy cat lady in a sea of mini Buddhas. Whereas Danielle and most of the other ladies seem to need the drama of the Housewives for personal validation or self promotion, Dina never seemed incredibly enthralled by the idea, and she generally looked sad this season. Some may think Dina’s too self-righteous, or that she thinks she’s better than the rest of the ladies (Danielle sure agrees), but I must give her credit for actually leaving the show before it had a chance to wreak havoc on her personal life (a la Jill Zarin). Unless of course I typed too soon and she shows up as a “special guest” on the finale. Ugh.

But before we say goodbye, we must continue where we left off: Chakra and the Danielle vs. Dina “I’m more over this than you are…bitch” confrontation. Their bickering quickly escalated to obscene levels, leading the classy Dina to exclaim, “It was embarrassing, people were trying to eat.” Danielle reaffirmed she’s not crazy, a statement Dina simply had to walk away from to keep from laughing. “You’re as fake as the hair on your head!” Danielle said as parting words, which obviously set Dina off (she’s a patron of The Chateau, after all. If she had extensions they would never be that obvious!), leaving her cursing to herself all the lonely way home. Danielle was “shaken up” from what had gone down, but luckily her personal security detail was just a few feet away…here’s Danny!

In slightly-less-crazytown, Jacqueline, Teresa, and Caroline’s families were getting ready to celebrate New Jersey’s great agricultural system. Taking the kids to the farm for a chance to climb haystacks and perhaps notice that not everyone grows up in houses the size of small villages didn’t prevent Jacqueline from slipping in an insult about Danielle, equating her to a pig. (For a family who continuously makes a point of declaring themselves officially done with Danielle, they certainly find a lot of ways to talk about her.) Lovebirds Ashley and Derek engaged in a little PDA in front of an obviously uncomfortable Chris, who Jacqueline just thinks needs to loosen up and get to know his daughter’s boyfriend. Maybe he’s actually trying to be a parent? Maybe he’s not okay with the fact that his 18-year-old stepdaughter has moved out on her own, and possibly in with her 22-year-old boyfriend? (Albie confessed there was much speculation to the latter.) But in an attempt to bond with Derek, Chris invited him to his guy’s poker night, to the delight of Albie and Joe who just couldn’t wait to think of was to initiate him. “Bring a lot of money,” they told him. “Monopoly money okay?” he joked. Joe did not look pleased: Fake money won’t help him save his house!

Meanwhile, Danielle went out to dinner with her “real” friends, Sue, Kathy, Anna Maria, and the confusing Kim G. (whose side is she on?). The scene was almost like a darker, more upsetting Mean Girls, where social outcasts send in a spy to report back on the activities of the “popular” girls. Danielle couldn’t wait to talk about her confrontation with Dina and show these ladies (how much do they know about the Manzos? What do they really care?) the e-mail message (“Subject: Closure”) Dina sent her the next day. “Yeah, you can’t make this stuff up!” Danielle exclaimed. How did she respond (because come on, she obviously was going to)? “LOL. Whatever.” And the saga continues.

Danielle’s circle of girlfriends stroked her ego and told her that she’s too hot to be single: “Your arms are better than Michelle Obama’s!” She playfully tried on lingerie in front of them and awkwardly enough, other store patrons, while they sat, buttoned up to their chins. Perhaps they’re living their closeted fantasies of being wild and crazy through Danielle? She explained her recent sex tape drama (remember Steve, the “young” guy she dated from last season?) which has made her feel uncomfortable about being sexy. Here are words I’ll have to burn from my memory: “I’m not calm in the boudoir.” Scarred. For. Life. To continue celebrating Danielle’s hotness and engage in a little female empowerment, the ladies went to a pole dancing class at Squeeze Lounge, organized by…Danny? Clad in teeny tiny short shorts, they tried various positions and tricks (things didn’t come naturally for poor Kim G.) before Danielle the “burlesque dancer” showed them how it’s really done. (“Burlesque dancer, seriously do you think we’re going to believe that, I didn’t know we were living in 1936!”) In the ’80s, she was getting $20, $50, an $100 dollar bills thrown at her, people! Don’t even think about a measly little single. It’s all about the Benjamins!

Over at guy’s poker night, Chris, Albie, and Joe let the women fix up the $543 worth of meats, bread, and cheese for their six-person card game. (Paid for in cash! This is the kind of conspicuous consumption I want to see more of.). “No hot plates?” Joe complained. Do you know where the kitchen is? Fix your own food! And whaddya know, Sex Tape Steve was joining the guys night (anyone else not believe he’s 26?), which made Jacqueline uncomfortable. “I’m a little disgusted by him so I didn’t want my husband hanging out with him,” she explained. “He’s 26, that’s what young boys do…” Teresa replied. What?! No. Jacqueline told Sex Tape Steve he’s gross, who then explained that Danielle sent him tapes of herself doing “crazy things.” I’m not really inclined to trust Danielle or Sex Tape Steve, so it looks like we’ll never know what really happened. Ashley and Derek arrived fashionably late, but just in time for the boys to get silly and serve the unsuspecting boyfriend some really bad wine. Funny! The ladies looked on via video baby monitor (don’t they have other things to do?). Jacqueline told Ashley she looked like her grandmother for a second, which in Ashley’s mind basically meant she was obese and disgusting. She threw a huge temper tantrum, and sought refuge in the basement before Jacqueline finally acted like a mom and kicked her out of the house. It’s about time.

Best wishes for Dina as she’s rides off into the abyss. Perhaps the ladies threw her a goodbye party at The Brownstone.

Next week: Double agent Kim G. gets confronted for her two-timing ways? And in potentially serious drama: Caroline’s son Albie has a problem which brings her to tears!

Will you miss Dina, PopWatchers? Are you happy that Jacqueline finally stood up to her spoiled brat of a daughter? And what was more frightening — the ladies pole dancing class or guys poker (and red wine) night?

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