There's no use crying over spilled — or thrown — wine.
Real Housewives of New Jersey
Credit: Bravo

I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving, though if you’re like me, you found it hard to concentrate on showing gratitude and stuffing yourself silly when you knew that part two of the Great Sigtails Showdown was looming. (Okay, I’m lying — I did not have any trouble concentrating on stuffing myself silly.) When we left off, Margaret was imitating Siggy in an unflattering, crocodile-tearsy sendup FOR THERAPEUTIC REASONS. The women cringed and giggled and recoiled in a way that suggested Siggy would not be pleased, but honestly, I’m not sure. The entire point of this completely not pointless activity is to imitate one another. Regardless of whether she ends up irate (or crying), the question remains: “And we’re solving things how like this?” That’s Melissa, quickly becoming the season’s voice of reason.

Except…the women make up. First Siggy and Margaret, then Siggy and Melissa. Everything’s great, everbody’s hugging. WHAT. I officially don’t know anything anymore and will be hiring Vikki the divorce lawyer as my personal therapist.

Oh wait, spoke too soon. It’s Danielle’s turn to go after someone. I mean…it’s Danielle’s turn to therapeutically try to mend fences with…Teresa?!? Hold the phone: Dolores has been her target all season, and now Danielle wants to talk to Teresa? “We’re in a really good place,” Danielle says through tears, “but I have a wound that’s really open still, and it’s really open for my kids.” Teresa’s offense? Calling Danielle a “prostitution whore” back in 2009. Danielle reminds us that her kids — then ages 13 and 11 — were present when Teresa lobbed the accusations at their mom and eventually flipped a table at her. I had forgotten this. Well played, Danielle! Because now I am feeling incredibly sympathetic toward her…and not so hot on Teresa. Dolores is not with me, though, and still doesn’t trust Danielle. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that Dolores is usually right, so…we’ll see.

But the retreat’s not over! The women are all dolled up for Empowerment: Sequins Edition. In this highly therapeutic nighttime installment of the retreat, Siggy asks the women to share something the other gals may not know about them. Margaret talks about the pain of not seeing her kids (we knew that already, but it’s sad), and Teresa admits that she has resentment toward Joe (we knew that, too, but she hasn’t really ever admitted it before). Dolores has the biggest admission, and no amount of preparation or sequins could have steadied me enough to receive it: Dolores, it turns out, is having a fair for animals over the weekend. I repeat, Dolores is having an animal fair. Do not adjust your screens. Do not email me to check on my well-being. None of this is a typo. This is Dolores’ big emotional outpouring. The message is clear: She does not want to share anything meaningful with this group of women, and you know what? Who can blame her. Animal fair it is!

The retreat is over (THANK YOU GOD), and over at Siggy’s, Teresa’s opening up about her complicated feelings about Joe, and Siggy encourages her to let herself be angry and to be sad. That’s all great, truly, but can we just pause for one second to talk about all these Chanel-inspired signs Siggy has all over her house? There’s one at the entrance that says “No. 1 Family,” and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen other ones inside that say “No. 1 Campanella” or something like that and what in the name of fashion is the deal with those? Why would a person have these? Sorry, I got distracted. TIME FOR THE DOG FAIR!!!

When is a dog fair not a dog fair? When it’s really just a way to gather the women together to throw more shade…this time in the sun! At a dog fair! With#cakegate finally (hopefully?) quashed, we need a new drama, and Danielle Staub is here to provide, via Melissa: Turns out Danielle thinks Siggy and Margaret’s quick reconciliation at the retreat was orchestrated by Siggy to make herself look better to her clients: “She needed to make sure she fixed her relationship so she can say to everybody, ‘I fixed my problems. See how good I am at what I do?’” Honestly? Not implausible. The question is why Melissa would bring it up… (Recap continues on page 2)

Who cares, now it’s time for the Posche fashion show! (Boy, this episode is a whirlwind.) Siggy and Dolores are walking in it — it’s for charity this year, in memory of Kim D.’s son’s friends who died in a truly horrific way — and Teresa and Melissa are not pleased. You’ll remember that Kim D. insinuated that Joe was cheating on Teresa, and also (with Teresa’s help) perpetuated the rumor about Melissa being a stripper. Siggy, for what it’s worth, doesn’t believe that Joe is cheating because she hasn’t seen pictures of “the wee wee entering the cookie.” (Gonna just leave that there.) And anyway, it doesn’t matter because the bigger bombshell (which we knew was coming the second we heard the words “Kim D.”) is that it’s Teresa who’s been rekindling old flames lately. Dolores and the Sigster defend Teresa, with Siggy going so far as to dramatically proclaim that she has to get out of there right now. (That “dramatically” was unnecessary, right? Siggy doesn’t really do anything not dramatically.) Dolores is a bit more measured: “Some people ask how I could be in the same room with her,” Dolores says about Kim D. “And some people ask how I could be friends with Teresa Giudice.” They’re meant to be shrugs, a tacit “I do what I want, nobody else is the boss of me,” but honestly, those are really good questions. Why is she friends with these people?

The women meet for dinner — honestly, this episode feels even more than usual like all they’re doing is going from place to place and talking — and the entire gang decides to tag along on a trip to Milan that Margaret and Teresa are taking so Marge can teach Mel about the fashion business. And they are elated! For exactly one minute! Then Siggy and Dolores break the news about the fact that not only are they walking in Kim D.’s show but that Kim is spreading rumors about Teresa and that’s a wrap on all the happiness.

Melissa and Teresa are upset that Siggy and Dolores would be friends with Kim D. Siggy and Dolores defend themselves by saying that (a) they stood up for Teresa in the face of the cheating allegations but that also (b) Kim D. has never personally done anything bad to them, so they can’t judge her. I gotta say, Dolores’ whole “I stay neutral” thing actually feels sort of weak in this instance. She’s incredibly loyal, but it’s beginning to feel like she’s equally loyal to everyone, which means she’s sort of not loyal? It’s like how when you’re reading a book for a class and you start highlighting meaningful passages, but then before you know it the entire page is highlighted, which is pretty much the same as the entire page not being highlighted. Ya dig? Anyway, I’d be mad if I were Teresa, too, though I’m not sure I would have gone so far as to throw a wine glass against the wall, which, BTW, is what she eventually does. This causes Dolores to jump up and all but launch herself across the table at Teresa. And while this is all happening, Danielle Staub is standing by, trying incredibly hard not to make her obvious delight too obvious, suppressing a smile because her ultimate plan to wreak havoc among the ladies has finally been realized. “The line in the sand has been drawn,” she declares triumphantly as Siggy and Dolores storm out. “Have a nice time, ladies.”

Right now (and I can’t believe I’m going to say this) I sort of wish we were back at Siggy’s retreat so Melissa could get back into that ring of stones again and call Teresa out for her hypocrisy — Teresa’s mad on her own behalf but ostensibly also on Melissa’s, for what Kim D. did to her. But let’s not forget that what Kim D. did to Melissa is also what Teresa did to Melissa, and in the end, the only one Teresa really cares about is herself. That’s not going to happen, but what is going to happen is that Teresa, Melissa, Danielle, and Margaret are going to the Posche fashion show — which, I repeat, is a fund-raiser in memory of two dead people — to confront Kim D. OY. This episode was 75 percent nothing (you remember the part about the No. 1 Family signs, right?), with 25 percent of OH MY GOD WHAT IS HAPPENING thrown in at the very end. Mostly it was a scene setter for next week, when Teresa may or may not rip Kim D.’s extensions out with her bare hands. Squeeeee!

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The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Jersey housewives and extended clans keep the Garden State interesting.
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