Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 4, Episode 6 of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."
This week's episode starts with my favorite walking advertisement for birth control (Gia) texting away on her bed. Little sister Milania accuses her of chatting up her booooyfriend, and, like any chick trying to prove that she's not a total liar, she makes a scene that proves she's a total liar. Cue big scary demon spawn eyes and monster mash voice.
Teresa explains that Gia's bad mood and field day antics came as quite a surprise because she truly loves her uncle. The meltdown showed that something was -- and is -- really bothering her darling eldest brat. 'Cause, like, Gia's always been a ray of Jersey sunshine who doesn't have a history of acting like a hell hound.
At breakfast, Teresa presses Gia about what she and her uncle talked about. "We were just (massive eye roll) talking about how you and him are going to make things better." Teresa tells Gia that despite everything she sees, mama really is trying to make things right with her brother. She asks Gia if she thinks there's something she could be doing better. Gia responds by blowing her nose. In an off-camera interview, Teresa explains why this conversation is so important, and she actually makes an intelligent comment. "I want her to see me trying. I want her to see that, because if she sees that I don't care, eventually one day, she won't care with her sisters." Then, some pigs fly and Satan has to buy a North Face jacket because it's friggin' cold down there all of a sudden.
Then, from the witches to the Wakiles' we go. Kathy explains that she and her sister have never been particularly close because Rosie always "put a distance" between them. Then, the '80s-hair-photos-you-don't-intend-anyone-besides-your-prom-date-to-see montage begins. "Now that she's more comfortable with who she is, we can really tell each other everything," Kathy hints.
Who Rosie is? What do you mean "who she is," Kath? Is there perhaps a totally obvious, yet completely unaddressed storyline around the corner?
They move into the backyard, and Kathy says, "I'm just so happy. I felt after you came out to me, there was a connection, like sharing. Like I always felt it, but I was never going to ask you." Rosie explains that she "went through a 10-year struggle," and Kathy gets emotional because she wishes Rosie had shared her private life earlier. Ever the stoic sister, Rosie -- the one who actually suffered -- ends up comforting Kathy. "I have no tears left, you know that. I cried enough," Rosie says without a whimper. Their embrace is bittersweet. While it's lovely that they're close now, Rosie's years of pain will remain an indelible wedge. Try as she might, Kathy cannot erase her sister's hurt.
Kathy explains that coming out in a traditional Italian family was no bed of, well, roses. Rosie hid her sexuality until she was well into her 30s, and one day, she just exploded. "I don't fit in," she told Kathy, "because I'm gay." Kathy chokes back tears as she tells us her response: "You should never be afraid to be who you are. And never be afraid that your family's not going to love you." For a show that gets off on venomous words and, at times, physical violence, it's a refreshing, almost startling moment.
Back outside, Kathy asks why Rosie hasn't opened up to her niece and nephew yet. For a woman who isn't always eloquent, Rosie nails her response: "They don't even know about sex ... how are they going to understand sexuality?" She's adamant about telling them herself, and she's sure they'll take the news incredibly well, because they don't see "gay" or "straight"-- they just see love.
(SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT: In an interview last week, Rosie opened up to me about her decision to come out, and the "breakdown" that years of keeping a secret led to.)
Now it's time to see what the Gorgas have been up to. They pull up to a building that looks an awful lot like a haunted mansion/the place where Gia will one day summon demons to do her biding. Melissa loves going to watch Joe at work (he flips property) because, she explains, his "kahunas are THIS big." One assumes she meant to say "cojones," but the Hawaiian word for "priest, sorcerer, magician or minister" makes total sense, too. You can tell from looking at the guy that he has some of the biggest wizards living in his pants.
Joe is still really upset about Gia, and he fears all the fighting is going to do some permanent damage. He admits that if he has to go see a therapist, he will. Melissa doesn't see how it could hurt, so Joe decides to text Teresa. I'm sure he crafts something truly brilliant. It's probably 160 characters that would make Maya Angelou weep. But alas, we must go see what Teresa's doing first.
Since Teresa doesn't have real pals anymore, she has to dig Kim D. up from whatever grave she sleeps in when it gets too bright out. Teresa describes Kim. D not as one of her closest friends, but as "one of her biggest fans. She agrees with me all the time." They head on over to the community pool and pop some champs, but as soon as they fill cups emblazoned with the word "Diva," Teresa's cell phone buzzes. Hope they've got an extra glass, 'cause a dramatic text is about to join the party. Producers do some fancy cutting, so the text is read by a mix of Melissa and Teresa. It is as follows: "I've been thinking about our discussion at Kathy's house and how i don't want us to fight anymore. I feel like we need help in moving forward and getting over what's happened in the past, I want us to go see a therapist so we can work things out and become brother and sister again, let me know if you're game."
At the pool, Not So Lil' Kim D. wonders if perhaps there's some "underlying things" Teresa doesn't even know about. They fixate on how Joe's been engaged three times and almost didn't marry Melissa. Meanwhile, Melissa comforts Joe and assures him that it was the right step -- but in bikini town, Teresa scoffs at therapy. Crypt keeper Kim D. thinks this is all a "cry for help"
that proves Joe's the one who really needs some time on the couch. "Nobody's got their shit together more than you," Kim D. cheers. Then, she applies a fresh coat of lipstick and tries to "50 Shades of Grey" Teresa's ass.
"People go to therapy for marriage counseling," Teresa explains. "I've never heard of a brother and sister going. We're old-school Italians. We don't believe in therapy." It's an unfortunate reaction -- but one that comes as no surprise. Her pride will tear that family apart.
Over at the Manzos, Lauren and Caroline are trying to pack for a wedding. After 13 years, Caroline's brother Jaime is marrying his partner Rich, and the dress code is "pastels and hats." Caroline's not too psyched about the mandatory accessory, but Lauren's looking forward to channeling her inner Princess Beatrice. They give Jaime a call, and the conversation quickly takes an intense turn. "Caroline, I want to ask you something," he says. Since Caroline's the only sister who is coming, he wants her to do a special reading.
Caroline explains that she's one of 11 children, and you "can't expect harmony" in such a big brood. The only family Jaime will have at his wedding is Caroline, Chris and his mother. Caroline chalks it up to bad timing and too little notice, but their absences still feel unforgivable. Interestingly enough though, we find out later that the main reason Dina's not coming isn't her brother ... it's actually her bitter (and unresolved) fight with Caroline.
Since Jamie is Jacqueline's brother-in-law and Teresa's friend, they're both going. While they try to pick out an outfit for She Who Never Looks Classy (I realize this applies to both of them, but I'm referring specifically to Mrs. Giudice), Teresa explains that she isn't worried about going to Chicago with the Manzos because she feels her invite is proof that they've all moved forward. And plus, nothing dramatic ever happens around gay guys!
With her outfit selected, Teresa's ready to discuss another hot mess: her non-relationship with her bro. She tells Jacqueline that Joe asked her to go to a "physical therapist" so they could be brother and sister again. Well, they do help improve your ability to function ...
Teresa says she knows how to make it better: just moving forward. Jacqueline tries to explain that they need to get to the root of the issue and quit shoving things under their gaudy rugs, but Teresa's adamant. Later, we learn that she never returned the message. She wants to "accept him and move on."
Speaking of acceptance, Rosie is ready to come out to her niece and nephew. The whole family goes out for pizza, but Rich "the Lebanese Jeff Goldblum" Wakile leaves the table so Rosie can hold court. "So, you maybe have an idea, but let me just tell you the story," she starts. "After papa [her dad] died, it hit me. One night he said to me 'I'm really worried. You're never going to get married, right?' And I said. 'You know what, Dad? Probably not.' And he goes, 'Well, I'm worried,' because he didn't want me to be alone." Then, the tears she thought she didn't have start welling up. Victoria's a puddle and Joey looks heartbroken for his aunt.
Now, Rosie can barely speak. "After that, I felt really guilty. It was all built up and finally I was like yelling. I finally just came out with it. I went through it all by myself, all through my 20s and some of my 30s. It's not something I woke up and said, 'I'm gonna do this because it's cool!' No, it's something you're born with. God made me this way. That's it. Anyway, that's how I came out." Then, she asks them if they have any questions. Nervously, Joey wonders if people who are homosexual have 'gaydar.'' Rosie explains she doesn't have any little antennas, and their jokes break the spell of sadness.
Unfortunately, not everyone on "Housewives" has the right attitude. Joe Giudice doesn't have a good track record; remember when he called Rosie "Butchie Boy" in a fit of rage a few weeks ago? If the outfit he's selected (flip-flops, shorts and a blazer with nothing under it) is any indication, he's not taking the marriage very seriously. "Despite what people think, Joe's not anti-gay," Teresa says. "We love the gays." (Cut to a montage of Joe's previous slurs that stand in total opposition to that statement.) Still, Teresa and Joe must like Jaime a little bit, 'cause they're not bringing the children of the corn to his wedding. Sometimes, the best gifts aren't on the registry.
While the other families ship off to Chi town, the Wakiles head to their beach rental. As they're unpacking, Rosie the Riveting shows up in a bright red fancy car. (I think it's something pretty impressive but I don't know anything about cars except that one time I drove mine into a building and it was frowned upon by the insurance agency. That's a true story.) The weight of her secret has been lifted, and she actually looks lighter. Her speech has changed, too. She calls her car a "magnet," and she's willing to comment on how cute some caterer ladies (cadies?) are.
Meanwhile, the Windy City has a whole lot of Jersey in it. The Manzos, Giudices and Lauritas load into a huge bus headed to the rehearsal dinner. Teresa's trying to cuddle up to Caroline ... but Caroline has no patience (or makeup). The awkward exchange isn't a good indication of what's to come. They finally arrive at Rich and Jaime's incredibly amazing pad. It looks like a mini-golf course and a gingerbread house fell in love and had a baby. I really mean that in a complimentary way.
Inside, things are not so cute. Teresa's faking her way around the room, kiss-kissing everyone. She even has a necklace on that says "Love." She loves a lot of things that day. She loves the dogs (until they come near her) and she loves "the tree ... what's it called? That big tree. He's a big tree? The tree TRUNK" that's inside the home. It is sad that whoever handed out brains did not love her. :(
Joe Giudice is also trying to get along with everyone. He decides to share the "gayest thing" he ever did. It is a very special story that does not completely offend and/or horrify everyone in the room. "When I was a kid, me and my friend were hanging out in my pool, and we're talking about whose got a bigger penis. We end up somehow taking our penis' out and seeing whose got a bigger penis! So now we're both lying next to each other, we both have our penises out like two gays, and he probably beat me like by an inch. Actually the kid's name was Jaime!" I'll give you a moment to re-hinge your jaw.
Back in Jersey, the Gorgas come over to the Wakiles' for a fiesta. Now that Rosie's sexual orientation is no secret, she's ready to find the lady of her dreams. So she puts on her best Kangol hat and a crisp white shirt and hits the party.
Then, the doorbell rings. Who could it be? If you guessed "a busty woman who is soaking wet because she got caught in the rain and didn't check the weather report or acquire an umbrella even though she knew she was going to be filmed," then you're right! Joe Francis would be proud of you, Mrs. Older-girl-gone-wild!
Rosie's obviously got her eye on this cougar, and she's extremely subtle. If she hadn't stopped in her tracks, licked her lips and exclaimed "Wow! Who's that?" we would never have known she was interested. While Rosie does Roger Rabbit eyes at Jessica Jersey, we learn that her real name is Heather, and she's accompanied by her husband Cliff, who used to be an NBA star. Heather plops on the couch and Melissa and Kathy goad Rosie to come over and sit down, too. Joe Gorga announces that he always wanted to know "Rosie's type." Off-camera, Kathy smirks and says she's glad she brought air mattresses. Wait -- if Rosie's sexuality is so like, "la de da no big deal," why is it the center of attention?
Until now, we've never seen Rosie act on any sort of attraction. While I'm glad she's comfortable, the whole evening feels off and forced. Everyone's attempts to point out how extremely normal this scenario is sort of makes me wonder if it's actually all that natural. Obviously this woman is married, so what's with the spectacle? Everyone's pretty hammered and happy though, so I might be making a mountain out of a mojito.
They all jump in the hot tub, and while most people have their clothes on, Heather's in a saucy swimsuit that she probably borrowed from Gia. She flings herself on top of Rosie and rubs her shoulders like some sexually-confused masseuse. All in all, it's a very successful party and I hope that someone sprays down anything Heather touched.
A less fabulous moment? The bus trip from the rehearsal to the rest of the gang's hotel. It's an hour-long ride, and Joe Giudice seems totally spent from his afternoon of acting like he's not a raging homophobe. There's a certain ... odor in the bus that many attribute to a lethal emission of gas. Who dealt it? Joe Giudice thinks it's probably Albie/Chris' roomie Greg because he "has the loosest butt hole here." It's no secret that Greg is gay, so the comment is hateful and disgusting on many levels.
The only thing 'loose' on that bus is Joe's lips -- and it's time someone stitched them up.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs at 10 p.m. ET on Sundays on Bravo.
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