Amber and Rino go in for medical checkups while Teresa begins her "normal" post-trial life.

By Jake Perlman
Updated September 15, 2014 at 01:00 AM EDT
Credit: Bravo
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Housewives have a talent for making simple situations way more dramatic than necessary. But they are just the players in the Bravo game. Nine episodes into the season, and the episode title creators have already given us “One Flew Over the Chicken’s Nest” and now “There Will Be Bloodwork,” both nods to Academy Award winning films. Which causes me to think… Amber is already doing her best Daniel Day-Lewis in the way she tries to convince everyone she is their friend, enemy, and victim all at the same time. (Talk about a triple threat.) But what if Daniel Day-Lewis was playing a housewife instead?

If RHONJ were an Oscar-caliber film, Day-Lewis would likely prefer the complex challenge of playing Teresa Giudice. As a character, Teresa’s backstory is a rich history that gives the only real clues into what’s going on inside her mind. The morning after she and husband Joe made their plea deal, she continues her morning routine with her family as if everything is normal. Of course, that is how she should treat the situation for the sake of her four daughters (no matter how much they yell or have bad breath in the morning). Eldest Gia is smart enough to see that it’s all just an act, but she’s still proud of her mom for how she is handling the situation: “If you would be a hot mess, it would affect the whole family.” Though a hot mess would make a great award-worthy performance, it doesn’t make a great mom.

Or maybe instead Day-Lewis would want to take on the return of Dina Manzo. Soon to be an empty nester with daughter Lexi going to college, Dina is already very emotionally vulnerable and doesn’t do well being alone, so it doesn’t help that Dina’s longtime assistant Luke is leaving to move back to his native Ireland. “I’m better at taking in strays then letting them go,” Dina says in confessional, essentially making fun of her own crazy cat lady stigma. In one moment, Dina is the solid foundation planning getaway weekends and the next, she’s the emotional wreck who can’t remember any of her passwords. It’s clear that the move back overseas is the right thing for Luke, especially since in the surrounding Jersey area is “the saddest thing in the world.” (Does that really surprise anyone?) But Dina’s problems may be too small and predictable for an actor like Day-Lewis.

For Oscar #3, he could always take the Armie Hammer/Lindsay Lohan route of twinning it and take on both roles of Teresa and Nicole. It would take a true thespian to be able to mispronounce prostate and have a man swing his personal parrot beak (nice underwear Rino!) while keeping a straight face. And since Day-Lewis is practically the Michelangelo of Acting, playing the Michelangelo of New Jersey Joe Gorga would almost be too easy for him.

NEXT: There Will Be Tears

So maybe Amber is in fact the bast part for someone like Day-Lewis to play. Amber seems more in the vein of Jack Nicholson’s character in Cuckoo’s Nest… can’t imagine why. She has brought a ton of “new girl” drama this season, but in tonight’s episode, Amber was so focused on the past and the future that she had no idea what was really going on in the present. What an interesting state of mind to try and tackle. Why does Amber think it’s appropriate to leave church on Ash Wednesday to call Teresa the day after her trial and once again ask countless inappropriate questions? And what about her cancer does she find similar to bank and mortgage fraud? At least Amber herself was aware after the fact that she has a problem with keeping her mouth shut, but she should try to be more aware in the future. “As you get older, you learn boundaries and you know when to stop.” I’m sorry—did Teresa actually just give some good, mature advice? Bravo to that performance.

Most of Amber’s sporadic mind was trying to focus on her upcoming five-year checkup with her oncologist. It’s getting very difficult to watch Amber talk about her medical past because it’s difficult to understand what she’s even saying under all her unnecessary tears. When her blood work comes back as inconclusive, Amber assumes the worst while husband Jim sincerely tried to calm her overactive thoughts. Because of this, Amber decides she can’t go on the Florida getaway that Dina and Melissa had planned to cheer up Teresa. This news will be a welcome surprise for Joe Gorga, who was not looking forward to spending time with Jimmy Wiesel James, a.k.a. Jim, anyway.

To go along thematically with the episode, Rino had a colonoscopy done, and he graciously explained that the intrusive procedure involved a “camera up the poop shoot!” Only on Bravo could make a colonoscopy look so fun. (Remember, this is the network that brought us Kathy Griffin’s public pap smear.) The night before the procedure, Dina and Lexi go over to Teresa and Rino’s house for a big family dinner cooked by the man who can’t even eat it. Dina is upset about the “vultures all around Teresa” Giudice, a.k.a. Amber. Dina and the twins all conclude that the less they know about Teresa’s legal situation, the better.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t gossip about other things instead! In an oddly hypocritical move on both parts, Dina and Teresa later meet at the Giudice home for some scrapbooking and dirt digging. First, Teresa tells Dina she can’t go on the trip that was planned for her because her head isn’t in the right place and she wants to be at home with her kids. Smart move. Asking for Vitamin D as a souvenir, not so smart. (Tre, you totally could have guilted something bigger than that!) Although Amber has tried to keep her mouth actually shut about it, Teresa can’t keep the Victoria Gotti rumor inside any more and tells Dina about the accusation that Rino and Santa—who was just at the family dinner—had slept together. Immediately, Dina doesn’t believe it, citing Rino’s playful way of words as the reason for the misinterpretation. Clearly fed up with all the BS in her life, Teresa responses with “but who jokes like that?” Seriously—whether or not the story is true, the fact the rumor even exists is creepy enough to get upset. And therefore Daniel Day-Lewis’ next role must be starring as Rino Aprea in The Last of the Mother-in-Laws.

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