‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: GO SCRATCH, Part Two: The Scratchening

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Gym Rats”
June 23, 2013

Over a post-flu pancake breakfast, Melissa tells Folletto all about his beloved niece’s birthday party that he was too sick/bitter to attend. Melissa whines that The Hated Kim D confronted her about not visiting Teresa and Folletto’s father in the hospital, which she did! Totalmente! Sure, it might have taken her a day or two to get to the hospital, but she thought she might be coming down with strep throat (she was not) and also, who’s counting? Dai!

Meatball is who is counting, on his short stubby little fingers:

And he’s determined that, in fact, it took quattro whole days for Melissa to go visit their padre-in-law in the hospital. Meatball suggests Teresa should have smushed Melissa’s face into Gabagool’s fighetta cake, which, while I’m sure would have been gratifying, doesn’t seem like much of a solution to the problem.  

Meanwhile, Kathy, Rosie and their mother — who, remember, is Teresa and Folletto’s padre’s sorella, and with whom Teresa and Folletto’s padre is not speaking for reasons that are unclear (because their aunt raised her as her own? I do not know!) — have some pasta and scotch and lament that the Gorga side of their familia is so pazzo. Ay! So, so pazzo! Now how about some molto scotch?

Fair enough.

As for the Manzos, Albie and Christopher are embarking on a new business venture after no one was interested in drinking what appeared to be squid ink but was labelled unconvincingly as “water,” and have chosen to go into the never-fail, can’t-lose, 110%-return-rate restaurant business. Their restaurant will be (actually, is — che sorpresa! it opened last week, which I’m sure was just fortunato timing with the beginning of the new season) called “Little Town NJ.” The restaurant will serve what they are describing as “New Jersey” cuisine which apparently consists of shrimp fritters and something called “root beer barbecue sauce.” No grazie, per favore. The elder Manzos swing by the unbuilt restaurant, meet the chef, taste a fritter and announce that the boys should add crustless grilled cheese sandwiches to the menu. Only if they come with some of that delicious root beer barbecue sauce!

However, instead of grilled cheese sandwiches, Caroline teaches the chef her meatball recipe. So if you ever wanted a taste of Caroline’s coglione and happen to be in Hoboken, you’re in luck.

Melissa is writing a book on marriage. Or, if I know the celebrity book industry (and I do), Melissa is more than likely slapping her name on a book that some ghost author has written on her behalf based on a collection of interviews and half-literate notes of thoughts on why she and Folletto have a “sexy” marriage. But ghost authors don’t sell books, so to create the illusion that somehow Melissa actually has something to do with this project, Melissa and Folletto meet with her publisher, editor and publicist to discuss what will actually be in said book once she “writes” it — something that would have been in the book proposal in the first place and most certainly, absolutely, definitely already have been negotiated before the contract was signed. But contracts don’t make good television, so in keeping with this entire farce, Melissa sits in an office surrounded by a bunch of publishing types while a publicist psychoanalyzes her relationship with her father. Melissa tells this roomful of book people and cameramen and television producers that her padre would often “go out for milk” and not return for days which gave her trust issues, but she just doesn’t know that she’s ready to share such personal information with the world.

Later, Melissa is shown “writing” at home, which mostly consists of her yelling at Folletto and Stugats, going through old familia photos, and crying at Folletto about her father’s incessant cheating. It’s all so private! It’s not her story to tell! How can she possibly be expected share such intimate secrets and expose her madre and sorelle that way?


Jacqueline, whom we learned in the previous episode does not like to work out in public and therefore won’t even deign to put on workout clothes when she is supposed to be meeting her friends for an exercise class because what’s the point? has Jolene the Trainer come to her casa to help her not exercise. While poor Jolene the Trainer pleads with Jac to do just one measly squat, Jacqueline blathers on and on and on and on and on about: Teresa, Melissa’s book, sociopaths and other non-exercise related things. Jolene the Trainer fantasizes about when she can go climb into a closet and drink all of her sweet, sweet purse wine.

To be a good daughter-in-law, and not merely to try to score points against Melissa in the never-ending Who’s A Better Figlia-in-Law contest, Teresa takes Meatball’s madre, Nonna Meatball, for a mani/pedi. Moments after advising Teresa to make peace with her sorella-in-law for her padre’s sake, Nonnaball calls Melissa a puttana for the way she dresses. Good talk, ma! Way to smooth over those tensions! You should discuss with Caroline how to get your own advice show on the radio (not that she knows how to keep one, but still)!

Jeff Goldblum Jr. and Victoria share a birthday, which certainly helps cut Kathy’s party-planning duties, as she can just hire a party bus and reserve a lounge for the both of them and call it a day. And so she does, and everyone but il Meatballs are invited. Everyone is having a grand time until Melissa, Caroline and Kathy talk about Caroline’s head-to-threehead with Teresa. Caroline explains that she thinks both Melissa and Teresa are harboring too much anger to be able to fix their relationship at this time, and informs Kathy that while she advocated on her behalf, Teresa still wants nothing to do with her cousin. Kathy is shocked! and outraged! at this, genuinely having believed that once she apologized to Teresa for calling her padre a coward, Teresa’s acceptance of it meant that she no longer had any hard feelings. Because apparently Kathy has never watched the show, spent time with her cousin.

A scotched-up Rosie finds Kathy upset and discussing these developments with Jeff Goldblum Jr., and begins to slowly and loudly lose her merda, as the rest of the partygoers look on in a combination of terror and embarrassment. Happy birthday, Jeff Goldblum, Jr. and Victoria! Hope you wanted a raging lesbian for the entertainment at your party!


Finally, Teresa is at the gym, doing squats and kicking her trainer in the head, when in walks Folletto, completely independently and not because The Producers ordered him to, why do you people have to be so suspicious all of the time? So Teresa decides to confront her fratello, deciding that even though they haven’t spoken in over a year, it would break her padre’s already damaged heart if he knew his bambini had been in the same room and not acknowledged one another. Teresa approaches Folletto as he is lifting weights, all giggles and acting like nothing in the world is wrong, and she offers to spot him, a favor of which Folletto is deservedly suspicious. After comparing muscle tone, which isn’t weird or creepy at all, Folletto explains that he works out to help him deal with stress and then breaks into an unprovoked YELL about how he CRIES LIKE A BAMBINO! EVERY! NIGHT! BECAUSE OF THIS SITUATION WITH THEIR GENITORI! Teresa dismisses this as all Melissa’s fault for not visiting the hospital for four days, which, nice try, Tre, but no ma’am. You and Folletto have not been estranged for a year because Melissa took longer than you would have liked to visit your padre in the hospital last week. That’s not how time works.

When Folletto accuses Teresa of being obsessed with his wife, Teresa yells back at her fratello that Melissa “twittered” something about Teresa’s bankruptcy and rented purses, thereby illustrating Folletto’s point. Teresa then accuses Folletto of being figa-whipped because Melissa wants to move their familia away from il Meatballs. Folletto points out that Melissa’s concerns that Teresa is poisoning her bambini against il Follettos was proven by Gabagool saying that Melissa lip-synchs. But everyone knows Melissa lip-synchs! Teresa protests. Truth is a defense!

O RLY? replies Folletto. Like how everyone knows you don’t cook? Teresa, she looks stunned that Folletto would say such a thing in front of the cameras and declares this particular blow, “uncalled for.” Folletto points out that the things that have been said about his wife — that she’s a puttana, a stripper, a sgualdrina — these are also uncalled for, and Teresa argues that she never said them. True, but Meatball did, Folletto responds. Folletto then explains that he is a man who treats his wife with respect, unlike some people who call their wives fiche. Teresa attempts to argue that technically, Meatball didn’t call her una fiche to her face, which somehow makes it acceptable. When this fails to convince Folletto that his fratello-in-law is, in fact, a good husband or father, Teresa throws the water from her bottle at him, invites him to, “GO SCRATCH,” and storms out of the gym, concerned that she might need a new place to work out. Mayhaps, Tre. Mayhaps.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sunday nights at 7 p.m. on Bravo.

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