Real Housewives of New Jersey recap: 'Not Over It'
The title of this week’s episode gives me little hope that we’ll be moving on from #cakegate. Sure, there’s that faint glimmer of promise that “Not Over It” is a reference to the 2001 Kirsten Dunst rom-com co-starring Ben Foster and “Thong Song” impresario Sisqó; alas, I’m *pretty* sure it’s a reminder that Siggy is not over the Cake Throwing Incident of 2017. (Le sigh.) Though…I suppose it could mean that Teresa’s not over Melissa trying to give her parenting advice. Or Dolores isn’t over Danielle’s accusation that she’s been bad-mouthing Teresa. Okay, I guess it could be anything. (Fingers still crossed for Sisqó!)
We start at Margaret’s, and the shoe queen has just flown in from Vegas. As in just, like, she still smells from the plane and must IMMEDIATELY wash her “pits and p—,” which is one of the grossest combinations of words I’ve ever heard, and now you’ve heard it too. (I can’t shoulder the burden myself, you guys.) Some tangential business person we’ll never see again comes over with the express purpose of telling Margaret about the party at Siggy’s. Remember, Margaret missed Siggy’s epic, loony, out-of-line public humiliation of Melissa, which is actually sort of a shame: If there’s anyone who would have had the confidence to call Siggy out in her own home in front of her own friends, I believe it’s Margaret. I have mixed feelings about the Pigtailed One, but I do not think she suffers fools or wilts easily.
The Gorgas’ new restaurant is just about ready to open, and it’s strewn with family photos, which are lovely. Well, Teresa doesn’t think so, because they show off Melissa too much. Remember, Melissa recently critiqued Teresa’s parenting skills, telling her she’s too lenient with her kids, and Teresa’s mind is like a trap when it comes to cataloguing those who have wronged her. She will not rest until she feels she has evened the score. Though… honestly? Teresa’s compulsive need to start trouble when there is none is beginning to feel pathological, and I wonder if it’s less about being a vindictive human and more about self-sabotage. Everybody’s finally getting along and suddenly Teresa’s all, “You’re only a Gorga by marriage — if my brother divorces you, you’re not going to be a Gorga anymore.” On its face, it seems like Teresa’s just a bit of a snake, but I’m liking my self-sabotage theory more and more, if I do say so myself. If I were Tre’s therapist, I would tell her she deserves to be loved and ask her why she insists on pushing people away before they can do it to her. (That’ll be $175, please!)
While shopping for a trip to Puerto Rico, font of wisdom Gia lays some truth down on her mom. (Speaking of Puerto Rico, people there still need help: Here’s are links to UNICEF, Foundation for Puerto Rico, and United for Puerto Rico.) First of all, Gia does not want a bikini that shows off her ass. (Teresa thinks Gia should show off her ass, as it is a nice one.) Gia also thinks that Aunt Melissa is right, that Milania does work her mom and needs some better boundaries. “You don’t discipline us that much,” she tells Teresa, “because you’re scared we’re gonna hate you.” Gia, you are wise beyond your years. (And such a good kid!)
Ugh, now we’re with Siggy. I sort of willed myself to forget her, and listen, it pains me to say that. (Well, it pains me a little bit. Honestly, I’m okay with it.) I was a fan of the Sigster’s last season. She was fun! She was straightforward! She wasn’t weirdly obsessed with cake! And listen, girl, I get being obsessed with cake, but not in the way that you are. Siggy’s having dinner with her parents, who, by the way, seem wonderful, and OH MY GOD SIGGY’S TALKING ABOUT HER SON GOING AWAY TO COLLEGE AND NOT CAKE HALLELUJAH WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.
Something must be in the air in Jersey (maybe another maple syrup incident), because pigs continue to fly over at Teresa’s. (Was that a mixed metaphor? Anyway, you get me.) Joe G. and Melissa bring the kids over to play with their cousins at the Giudice home, and Teresa, completely unprompted, apologizes to Melissa. In fact, she even admits that she was acting out because Melissa criticized her parenting (self-aware Teresa scares me), and Melissa, instead of just accepting this rare gem of an apology, antagonizes her further, iterating that Teresa is in fact too lenient with the kids.
Melissa. MELISSA. You have just experienced the equivalent of an aural unicorn. Teresa Giudice does not apologize unless under extreme duress, and she just offered up an olive branch fully of her own volition. I’m not saying her past bad behavior should make you more lenient with her (see what I did?), but you know what? I don’t think I would like it if you critiqued my parenting skills either! The closest I have to kids are Isabel Marant dresses I like a lot, so in order to fully empathize I’m envisioning Melissa telling me that she thinks my dresses are ugly and that I should get new dresses, which makes me very angry with Melissa. So Team Teresa forever. Melissa tells us in her confessional that she thinks Teresa’s apology was kind of inadequate but that she’s going to let it go, which we know means she will not let it go and we will definitely be hearing about this again.
Because all Siggy is allowed to do this episode is eat dinner, we next see her at Il Mulino with her husband Michael Campanella celebrating their anniversary. (I feel I am legally obligated to say both of his names because Siggy always does.) It’s the same old thing: He wants her working less so they can see each other more. Siggy is not ready to just “sit back and meet [her] friends for lunch every day.” Related question: Does that mean there is a position open for someone to sit back and meet Siggy’s friends for lunch every day as their job? Because consider this my official application.
Siggy wants to work more, holding overnight retreats to inspire women. This sounds horrible. You know what sounds even more horrible? Trying out the retreat idea on friends and family, which is what Siggy plans to do. You know, “friends” and family. Store this in the back of your brain in the same place you’re keeping Melissa’s vow to let it go: We’ll soon be in a cabin with all the women getting “inspired,” which I predict will include lots of talk about cake, lots of talk about pigtails, lots of references to “Soggy Flicker,” and lots of Melissa definitely not letting it go and living to regret it. (Recap continues on page 2)
It’s tasting night at Gorga’s Homemade Pasta & Pizza, and Melissa has made the mistake of inviting everyone. But look, sheath dresses were not meant to languish in closets, and these gals have a lot of sheath dresses, so out they come. And thank god for that, because if the women hadn’t shown up, we may have never heard Teresa and Joe’s dad talk about the fact that Margaret is “blond on the top.” “Blond all over!” she quips back. Oh, these crazy kids talking about people’s vaginas over pasta. Does the fun ever stop?
The whole gang assembles, including Danielle Staub, who I legitimately forgot was on this show. Honestly, if we’re going by screen time, Margaret’s mother, Marge Sr., is more deserving of her own tagline in the opening credits. I imagine it would be something along the lines of, “My daughter has pigtails, but I get a lot of tail.” Is tail unisex? And is it a butt? Marge has a lot of sex with men is what I’m saying. She’s a national treasure. She deserves a better tagline. I’ll work on it.
First order of business: trash-talk Dolores (your fault for being the last one there, D!) about her unconventional home situation. Her ex-husband just moved back in, even though the two of them have respective significant others, which seems like a good thing to gossip about. You know, two grown-ups living in a way that they enjoy and that works for them and hurts precisely no one. The good news is, the women quickly move on from critiquing Dolores’ living arrangement to critiquing Dolores’ supposed bad-mouthing of Teresa, and discussing whether Danielle is lying. Melissa says, “Danielle is the most misunderstood human alive,” to which I say, “PAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” And to which Siggy says, “I am so much more misunderstood than Danielle in this group.” And there it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: when Siggy turns everything back to herself and (I bet you all my Isabel Marant dresses) the cake.
The room is divided into two tables: one with Dolores and Siggy telling their tale of woe to Melissa and Joe, the other with Danielle and Margaret (whom D has taken to calling Elly May Clampett, which is pretty funny), who hear all of it because the restaurant is the size of a New York City studio and also because this is reality TV and they are meant to clash over bowls of delicious-looking tagliatelle cooked up by Giacinto Gorga himself.
But guess what, I was mistaken: The object of Siggy’s ire is not in fact the cake, it’s the seaside memorial that Margaret planned for Teresa and neglected to invite Siggy and Dolores to. That is what Siggy is (suddenly) not over, even though she and Margaret made up over omelets just last week. In fact, she is so not over it, she goes after Margaret’s line of clothing (for being made in China? Or for being ugly? Honestly, I’m losing the thread here), and now it’s just a below-the-belt brawl. Margaret trashes Dolores’ implants and Siggy’s hair extensions, and Danielle Staub for some reason starts with Dolores about her boyfriend, which is (a) none of Danielle’s business, (b) a stupid thing to attack somebody about, and (c) not smart because Dolores is legit the most undercover badass on the show. “Pasta makes people happy,” Melissa pleads. “What is happening here?”
This week was exhausting — in a good old-school RHONJ way, with nary a mention of cake. (Okay, there was one mention, but I’ll allow it.) Things get X-rated next week, as we hear Siggy say she’s feeling sexual and see Margaret sans pigtails, which in my mind is like seeing her naked. Strap in, you guys!