‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: SFONDAMENTO (maybe)

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Scum One, Scum All”
July 21, 2013
ICYMI: Last week’s episode:


Which is also where we begin with this episode: Meatball and Folletto rolling around in a ‘roided out, greasy heap, screaming obscenities at one another; Melissa, Kathy, Jeff Goldblum Jr. and Rosie attempting to pull them apart; Teresa running for the lake and The Opies wondering in gape-mouthed astonishment what kind of goombah mess they’ve gotten themselves into. Oh, Opies.

Meatball screams that Folletto is biting his coglioni, and it should be noted over the course of the episode that Meatball repeats this claim and Folletto never contests it. Creative fighting points to Folletto! The security guys eventually help pull the fratello-in-laws apart just in time for Teresa to return from wherever she disappeared to when the problema started and take credit for stopping the fight. Grazie, Teresa! Well done, Teresa! Meatball yells that the next time there will be “one shot: you hit me and you’re going down,” which is technically two shots and is also not how that quote goes, Cacasentenze. Meatball lunges for Folletto again, but Teresa begs him to walk away for the sake of their figlie. 

As il Meatballs make their way back to their room, they wonder what the black merda is all over their clothes and hands, and speculate that it must be Melissa’s makeup.

kathy rhonj incredulous what.gif

Meanwhile, downstairs, Melissa is also wondering what this black shoe polish is all over their clothes. “Yeah! Gross!” adds Folletto, as he puts his hat back on and takes his shirt off because balding guido.

Back in their room, Melissa announces that she is DONE! BASTANTE! while Folletto blames Meatball for ruining his relationship with his genitori. Melissa notes that 1. their three kids are hers, too and 2. Saddam Hussein was someone’s brother once. Good points! I’m not sure what your argument is, exactly, but these are both verifiable facts, so truth is definitely on your side! Folletto begins weeping piteously at the disastro completo his famiglia has become, while Melissa pats him on the head.


In Il Meatballs’ room, Meatball continues to complain that Folletto went for his coglioni, while Teresa whines that her fratello called her garbage (which is not nice), scum (which is also not nice), and noted that Meatball once called her una fica (well, just an objective observation). HOW DARE HE? WHAT DID SHE EVER DO TO HIM EXCEPT CALL BE AMICI WITH PEOPLE WHO CALL HIS WIFE A CHEATING STRIPPER? Teresa is ready to leave, but only after making the point that this whole weekend was her effort to make peace with her fratello, and that when her padre hears what Folletto called her, it’s going to spezzare il cuore.

Meanwhile, in the Goldblum Jrs’ room, Kathy stresses about the important things: her nose job. Jeff Goldblum Jr. decides that he’s going to be the one to straighten Teresa out once and for all. To this end, Jeff Goldblum Jr., storms into la room de Il Meatballs, Kathy and Rosie trailing behind, and dares Teresa to go to Folletto’s room and tell her fratello that she loves him. And because Teresa has serious ego issues, she’s the type of person who has never met a dare she couldn’t pass up.

So Kathy accompanies Teresa to Il Folletto’s room, where Folletto can’t even bring himself to look at his sorella. Teresa asks to speak to him alone, and Melissa is all, NOPE.

And so Teresa and Kathy march back to Il Meatballs’ room, and Teresa is OUTRAGED! that Melissa wouldn’t let her speak to her fratello alone. RABBIOSO!

Which, fair enough! Perhaps Melissa shouldn’t be speaking on Folletto’s behalf and interjecting herself between Teresa and Folletto and giving Teresa yet one more thing to blame her for.

On the other hand, if Opie is to be believed when he gathers enough courage to poke his head into Il Folletto’s room, perhaps the siblings need a cooling off period and shouldn’t be communicating anyway. At least not today.

So everyone retires to their separate corners for the evening. Il Follettos join the Goldblum Jrs. downstairs for dinner, and to wonder at what the black merda was that was smeared all over everything during the course of the fight. Hilariously, and to his immense credit, Folletto admits that it is hair paint to cover up his baldness, I suppose as backup to his ubiquitous ski cap. A+++ baldness hiding, Folletto!

Meanwhile, upstairs …

Ugh, you guys, I don’t know if I can do this. DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS, Y’ALL.

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The next morning, Teresa declares that she is pleased with herself for staying the night, that perhaps this Dr. V Bravolebrity will be able to help their famiglia. But just in case, Teresa calls Caroline (!!) for backup, and pleads with her to come to Lake George. Caroline promises that if she can, she will, and what is even happening here? Later, Caroline tells Lauren that she’s headed to Lake George and Lauren is like, The Hell? Because, the Hell? 

Meanwhile, in the dining room downstairs, the Goldblum Jrs. and Il Follettos have breakfast while Melissa talks merda about Teresa’s endorsement deals. For some reason.

While Melissa besmirches Fabulini’s quality, Dr. V arrives at the hotel, bless her heart. Teresa greets her at the door, and the two compare their respective Italianess, with Dr. V telling Teresa that her Italianess lay in her vagina, and adding in what my sorella described as some “alpha cagna merda,” Dr. V assuring Teresa that it’s OK, Teresa can look at it.

Teresa brings Dr. V inside and over a cup of tea explains the situation according to Teresa: there were some things that happened at the fashion show and now her brother thinks that she said his wife was a stripper and is demanding a confession from her. Because THIS IS A REALITY SHOW and Dr. V HAS CLEARLY SEEN THE EVENTS THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT, SHE IS NOT COMING INTO THE SITUATION FROM A VACUUM, Dr. V quickly grabs control of the narrative: “It sounds like what you have told people has been misinterpreted, and that this is an ongoing problem with you.” Dr. V goes on to suggest that Teresa’s problems with Folletto and Melissa stem from her role as his older sorella, and her urge to protect him from his own choices. “Well, he had been engaged twice before,” Teresa agrees, not understanding Dr. V’s point which is that FOLLETTO IS A GROWN-CULO MAN WHO CAN MAKE HIS OWN DECISIONS AND OH BY THE WAY HAS BEEN MARRIED TO THIS WOMAN FOR 9 YEARS NOW, SO, YOU KNOW.

Dr. V meets the Goldblum Jrs. and Il Follettos who regard her famiglia-fixing superpowers with skepticism because come on. While Teresa goes upstairs to fetch Meatball, Melissa begins to tell Dr. V the story of how Teresa spread rumors about her being a stripper, which would have been bad enough in and of itself, but was actually just the icing on a decade-old cake of insults and hate.

When Teresa returns to the table, Melissa shuts down, and both Teresa and Dr. V urge her to continue, that’s what they’re here for, after all. Melissa mentions the meatball fight from the day before, and Teresa declares that it wasn’t her fault. When Jeff Goldblum Jr. argues that it was, that she didn’t have to drag Meatball into her fight with Folletto, Teresa points out that Folletto was the one who charged at her husband. Which he did! Folletto most certainly did do that! But when Melissa suggests that Teresa doesn’t know what happened because Teresa wasn’t in the room, TERESA ORDERS MELISSA –WHOM SHE JUST ENCOURAGED TO SPEAK HER PIECE — TO STAY OUT OF IT. And that, signore e signori, is the problem in a nutshell: Melissa is wrong on the facts — often, in fact! But instead of pointing this out, Teresa chooses to try to shut Melissa down altogether, WHICH IS NOT A WAY TO WIN AN ARGUMENT. In a formal debate, each side states their position and then refutes the other side’s points with facts and logic because that’s how it works. A debate with Teresa, however, would go something like this:

Melissa: “Climate change does not exist because X, Y and Z.”


When Teresa snaps that Folletto has called her terrible names, which he has, Melissa counters that Teresa has said her share of awfulness, including the charge that Folletto is figa-whipped, all the while pretending that she’s Madre Teresa. “Well, I’m not the one saying ‘THANK YOUS, JESUS,’ all the time,” Teresa replies before declaring that Melissa is the entire problema.

“Yeah, that’s not going to solve anything,” Dr. V announces, realizing her errore in inviting these pazzos to air their grievances in front of one another. “How about you and I talk alone, Folletto?” GOOD IDEA, FINALLY, DR. V. So Dr. V and Folletto escape upstairs where Folletto tells her about the cheating rumors, and Dr. V explains her hypothesis that Teresa is a controlling pazza doesn’t trust him to make important life decisions and has decided to hate Melissa because she doesn’t believe his wife can ever love and care for him as well as she can, because that’s PERFECTLY NORMAL AND HEALTHY. Dr. V asks Folletto if he wants to make it work, and when he’s like NOPE, she goes to fetch Teresa so that he can tell his sorella himself that he’s not just ready to thumb wrestle or stand on anymore pieces of construction paper with her.

So Dr. V brings Teresa upstairs (after accepting a compliment from Rosie on her nice legs), and forces the fratelli to sit next to each other on the couch. There Folletto explains that he came to Lake George not to make Teresa to admit that she had started the Melissa rumors, but to just get her to stop. Which sounds reasonable! Except, if you stretch the logic out a bit, by agreeing to stop spreading the rumors about Melissa, Teresa would implicitly be admitting to spreading them in the first place. And despite her role in spreading the rumors — either explicitly or by merely being Kim D’s conduit to a camera crew and national audience — Teresa’s fixed little rodent brain refuses to admit or apologize for even the slightest part in the rumor mongering that has undeniably happened. “Fine,” Folletto calmly says, “then yous know what? I’m done here.”

Meanwhile, Caroline arrives, and adds nothing to the rest of the episode except some incredulous looks, eye rolls and a good laugh at the Opies. Oh, Opies.

Back upstairs, Teresa says she’s saddened that Folletto isn’t willing to stick around and work it out for the sake of their genitori WHO ARE DYING and their bambini WHO ARE GROWING UP. Dr. V asks Folletto his feelings about that, and he admits that its hard on him to be disconnected from his genitori, and how he wants to go hug random elderly women in the supermarkets. (Jeff Goldblum Jr., meanwhile, joins this chorus downstairs, talking about how Folletto wants to “sit in his madre’s bosom,” and that is ENOUGH OUT OF YOU, JEFF GOLDBLUM JR. NO MORE TALK OF BOSOMS FROM YOU, SIR.) Folletto adds that he doesn’t want to hate Teresa, and she replies that she doesn’t hate — she’s upset, she’s sad, but she’s never hated him.

Dr. V notes that when they are together, they seem capable of sharing their feelings, and that she is uplifted by the two of them. Slow your roll, there, Dr. V, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here, lady. She goes on to discourage Folletto from leaving — a plan she was all for just a moment ago — and urges them to spend more time together alone: no Melissas, no Meatballs. Teresa begins crying at the idea of being alone with her fratello: she wants that, but she doesn’t think that he wants to be away from Melissa. She notes in that high-pitched hamster voice that they aren’t in the 20s anymore, that they both have famiglias. And this, for some reason, maybe it’s the crying, maybe it’s the hamster voice, maybe it’s the acknowledgment FINALLY that their relationship has changed, that they have grown older and somewhat apart BECAUSE THAT IS THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS, but something softens Folletto, and he kisses his sister and hugs her and they cry together and OH MIO DIO, DID WE JUST HAVE A SFONDAMENTO? Maybe! But I bet it doesn’t last long!

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central on Bravo.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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