“The Importance of Being Family” is an episode focused on the emotional journey for the Giudice family. Although there isn’t the typical housewives drama, it does feel longer than most episodes with emotion driving each scene. It was nice to have a few fun moments, just to add some levity to a sad week. With that said, let’s head into Joe’s final days with his family before heading to prison for 41 months.
Teresa, Joe, and their girls head to Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan to decorate some tiny cakes and soak up the last few days of Joe’s freedom. That’s such a dark concept in such a bright and delicious environment, no? An unnamed woman helps them basically do every step of the process, leaving the girls to just plop the icing on top. Thankfully, it’s a calm and loving moment for the family, with Milania even settling down a bit. She heads over to Joe to give him an early birthday gift. Then, feeling the pressure from their sister’s act of kindness, the rest of the daughters give Joe their cupcakes, too.
Meanwhile, Jacqueline and Ashlee head to a baby store, where they talk graphically about baby births and Vermont. Jacqueline believes that she is still correct in cutting Teresa and Melissa loose, but she wishes that she had stood her ground more, not only to save face but to show her strength also. Overall, she just feels badly for the hard times Teresa is going through and almost feels guilty that her own family is succeeding now. Ashlee agrees, but makes a surprisingly profound and wonderful point that Teresa and Joe got themselves into this position and are now paying the price. Thank you, sage Ashlee, for finally echoing the viewers’ point of view!
Melissa did reach out to Ashlee upon hearing the baby news because she has never had a problem with Jacqueline’s daughter and will continue to be happy for her despite her mother’s “craziness,” she says. Melissa, Joe, and their kids head out to have a final hurrah with Joe Giudice — while Jacqueline, Chris, Kathy and Rich go bowling instead. It’s not that they’re purposely avoiding the Giudice shindig, it’s that they just weren’t invited. Chris actually was offered a coveted seat at the table, but he declined because his wife was forbidden from stepping foot into the party. As sad as that all is, they do seem to have a great time bowling, and we get a glimpse at Rosie’s new girlfriend, Laura. (They both look extremely happy.) Rich, being his off-kilter self, manages to take this moment and make it icky by constantly asking Rosie for a four-way.
Over at the “real” party at BluHouse, a huge crowd is ready to celebrate Joe Giudice. I’m still not sure what type of restaurant this is as it looks like a swanky bar and grill… but it has a giant mechanical bull by the bathrooms. Gia hops on and is surprisingly great at staying focused in spite of dozens of Italians screaming at her from the sidelines. Joe and Teresa decide to double up on the bull and make it for about 20 seconds before falling off. After almost crushing his wife, Joe goes to each of his daughters, nieces, and nephews to give each of them a kiss and a hug. As Siggy points out, in spite of whether or not Joe deserves his sentence, it is hard to see a man leave his four young daughters behind.
Siggy is having her own family issues yet again. Shocker! These issues involve her children. The relationship expert calls for a family meeting with her kids, sister, and parents, so they can all discuss ways to become a stronger family. Siggy feels extremely disconnected from her son and daughter, as they spend most of their time on their phones. During this intervention of sorts, Siggy’s mom comes in with a surprise defense for the kids when she reveals that Siggy and her sister don’t offer enough time to grandma and grandpa when they’re around. Holy twist, Batman! However, while Joshua looks smug that his mom is in trouble for the very thing he’s accused of, Siggy immediately apologizes to her mom, acknowledges her feelings, and makes a change; your move, Joshua.
If this episode wasn’t heavy enough, Siggy and the entire family head to a Holocaust memorial site to form a deeper connection. Grandpa gives his harrowing tale of leaving France during the war and living through the most difficult years of his life. Despite sitting on a memorial rock, Joshua does show his gratitude and promises to make more of an effort to learn something from his family, instead of just Googling everything.
NEXT: Joe uses his final day for an emotional goodbye.