The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Zen Things I Hate About You”
September 8, 2013
In your weekly Goombahs Go to Jail Update: Il Meatballs’ federal trial has been pushed back to February to accommodate Meatball’s other trial which begins next month. Too many trials, not enough time.
We begin the episode at a dinner in il Follettos’ suite, and at first we’re all like, “Oh, this must be from the dinner in the last episode, moments after Jacqueline cleaned Teresa’s hoof!” Everyone is molto happy, toasting the trip, praising themselves for not killing one another over the weekend. But then. Caroline decides that everyone is troppo happy, and decides to ruin everything by demanding that if anyone is holding anything back that they speak now or forever hold their pace. Folletto immediately announces that he’s not happy because the Melissa cheating rumors are still popping up on the twitterz, and some of the things being said include personal details that none of these strangers posting them would know. *cough* I know it was yous, Teresa *cough* Teresa is outraged that Folletto would think that she would share secrets about him with anyone, so Folletto throws his champagne glass against the wall because of course he does. Hot-headed Italians should never be trusted with nice glassware.
And that’s when we get the “12 Hours Earlier” title card, and we come to understand that this is some sort of crazy flash-forward.
Melissa awakens on her birthday morning to all sorts of treats: Folletto waggling his wee folletto in her face, and her sorella-in-law barging into her bedroom with a gift: lace peace panties. Buon compleanno, Melissa! Hope you like inappropriate gestures!
The Goldblum Jrs. and Rosie march through the desert together for a while as Kathy tells Rosie that she doesn’t need her sorella jumping to her defense all the time. After Jeff Goldblum Jr. runs off to the pool, because no thank you to emotional lady talk!, Rosie gets all worked up about how she wants a speciale person in her life like Kathy has. And Kathy and I are both all, who, him? Rosie gets so worked up about her lonelys that she throws her and her sorella’s water bottles at a fire hydrant because of course she does. Hot-headed Italians should not be trusted with water bottles.
Il Manzos sensibly choose to spend their last morning at the spa getting a couple’s massage rather than waste it hanging out with the other pazzi. There, they talk about Albert’s revelation that he had been abused, how the men on the trip have been “telling their truth,” how Melissa and Teresa need to address their issues, how worried they are about the Manzini and their not great business decisionzzzzzzzzzzz…..
Meanwhile, the other men hang out at the pool, drinking the drinks and ruining the other guests’ vacations. Folletto toasts his fratello-in-law, and notes that while he did hate Meatball at a moment in his life, he knows Meatball is a good guy, and then he calls Meatball a horse, non lo so.
While the men are doing shots and cannonballs, the women play “zennis tennis” which is exactly like regular tennis but with a smug, self-important instructor demanding that you scopare shame and check your ego. Thanks, Siddhartha. Rosie and Melissa team up against Kathy and Teresa in a doubles match where no one checks their egos and no one scopas their shame, and Melissa and Rosie beat Teresa and Kathy, to Teresa’s profound, but ultimately unenlightening irritation.
Next up for the goombahs: a high-wire ropes course. Connor, the chirpy, up-beat hike leader, greets them and orders them to harness up, which they all do with the exception of Melissa who is wearing a fringey halter top and stupido hat which is just a reasonable outfit for any occasion, but most especially while doing outdoor adventure challenges in the desert. Connor explains that to get across the tightropes, they will go up in pairs and have to balance themselves by leaning on their partner. METAPHOR.
Teresa and Folletto volunteer to go first. After much whining and shaking and panicking and “Folletto Folleto Folletto Folletto FOLLETTO FOLLETTO FOLLETTO!” on Teresa’s part, Teresa eventually grabs Folletto’s hands and the two of them manage to slide across about two entire feet of tightrope before tumbling off. Yay, them.
The Goldblum Jrs. go next, who cares. Laurita and Albert go next, WHO CARES. Rosie and Folletto go next, ohmydio who cares.
Finally, someone challenges Melissa to strap a harness over her tube top, replace that stupido hat with a helmet and get on the tightrope, and she agrees to do it with Teresa as her partner. On the tightrope, Teresa is genuinely encouraging to her sorella-in-law, urging her to lean on her and focus and promising that after doing this they will never argue again. Meanwhile, Folletto, instead of watching and rooting on his wife and sorella, decides that now would be a good time to check the twitterz, and discovers that Penny person has been twittering some illiterate nonsense:
@melissagorga she did wt! Really mel u want to go there? How did U meet Joe? Bitch
I mean, who even knows. Overhead, the two women make it across about two entire feet before tumbling off — exactly as far as anyone else did. But because that does not fit the narrative of “Melissa and Teresa still haven’t really dealt with their merda, not really,” Connor yammers at them about how they needed to lean into each other more or something, while Caroline shakes her head disappointedly.
That evening, il Follettos prepare for Melissa’s birthday dinner by ironing pink dress shirts and slathering on molto layers of smudge gray eyeshadow, all the while jabbering at each other about what a good weekend it has been, but how disappointed Folletto, in particular, is that Teresa still hasn’t admitted her role with the rumors. Melissa, however, would rather just move beyond the whole rumor business, and pretend that it is in the past and no longer an issue.
Because Dio knows if it were to be resolved, then she would no longer have the moral high ground over her sorella-in-law and would probably be forced to spend molto time with her husband’s famiglia — something that the rumor nonsense gives her good reason to currently avoid.
And so everyone arrives at il Follettos’ suite, admires the floral arrangements which they mistake for cakes and wait for Melissa to make her grand entrance which she does wearing a ridicolo bespangled romper. Dinner is friendly and joking and Laurita teases Melissa that he got her a session with Wyatt for her birthday, and there is lots of talk about horse cazzo because it’s always about cazzi with these goombahs, and then Meatball shares with the table a charming story about his father’s crooked, stroked-out cazzo, and everyone appears to be bemused instead of covering their ears and shrieking at him “INAPPROPRIATE, MEATBALL. GESÙ.”
Folletto brings out Melissa’s cake and for her birthday wish, she asks that whoever is behind the rumors would stop, JUST STOP. Melissa raises her glass to Jacqueline and Caroline, new friends who are now older friends; to Kathy, whom she appreciates; to Jeff Goldblum Jr., who could be a better husband but who is so good with kids; to Meatball and Folletto, who have bonded on the trip; and finally, most especially, to … Rosie, with whom everyone fell more in love with than they were already. Teresa looks pouty while Caroline shakes her head disappointedly.
After dinner, Rosie demands that Melissa sing one of her songs, but Melissa protests that her throat is just too sore, as if it’s an actual instrument or something.
Folletto pops some champagne and everyone cheers their growth over the weekend, but then Caroline, as seen in the opening scene, goes and ruins everything by being like, “Yous all think yous happy, but yous aren’t happy.” And then Folletto is like, “Yous know what? I’m not happy,” before going on about how the entire cheating rumor is still floating around out there — in fact it was on the twitterz just this afternoon (although not really? from the broken English in Penny’s tweet, I took it to be more about the stripper rumors? but whatever), and there are things being said that these random people would never know.
Teresa is outraged at the accusation, but Folletto promises that he is not about to take her on a fishing trip on Lake Tahoe — in fact, he forgives her! It’s cool! He just wants Teresa to admit her role in it. Because all he knows is that the night he and Melissa spoke to Penny, it seemed like Penny had something more to say … maybe something about Teresa’s role in all of this. And if Teresa isn’t involved with this, then why won’t she demand these people stop? Teresa replies that the reason she doesn’t do anything is because she doesn’t want to give Penny any more attention, which 1. is not a very buono answer and 2. causes Folletto to throw his champagne glass across the room and stomp away while everybody wrings their hands that all the progress that has been made over the weekend is slipping away.
Melissa follows Folletto into the bedroom to tell him to quit acting so pazzo, while Caroline urges Teresa to prove to her fratello that she’s on his side by presenting a united front against the rumor mongers. This, of course, is a no-brainer … if Teresa indeed has nothing to do with the rumors. All I’m saying is Teresa’s reluctance to do anything constructive about the rumors, other than wave her hands frantically while yelling that she doesn’t even know Penny, RIGHT, PENNY, RIGHT? suggests otherwise. Ma chi lo sa.
Folletto returns to the living room where everyone yells at Teresa and Folletto to stop fighting each other and send the message to the Pennys and Jans and Kim Ds to stay the cazzo out of their famiglia. Folletto and Meatball hug it out while Teresa explains in an interview that she doesn’t want to clear this up with Penny because she’s not involved, but she’ll do it anyway. STILL, her fratello should just trust that she wouldn’t do anything to hurt him, so.
And either Teresa is molto molto stupido and/or stubborn or molto molto guilty, I can not tell. Because, AGAIN! how hard is it to tell people, “Hey! Sta ‘zitto about my sorella-in-law, ya mooks!” If you’re not guilty of being one of the people involved with the rumors, it’s not that hard! UNLESS, unless — and here’s why I’m not completely convinced that Teresa is guilty — unless yous is a fiercely stubborn cagna with a wide sociopathic streak who feels like yous is always right, and should never give un inch, even if it will make everything all better for yous entire famiglia. In that case, I can see how you might wrongly and stupidly believe that you have no obligation to do the one right thing for once in your life.
But in the end everyone yells in agreement to create a united front while Albert yells at everyone to confront the spazzatura. Cincin!
So, can we go back to Jersey now? Great, thanks.
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.