Hilariously lifting from the Marion Barry school of poetic pronouncements, this week's Real Housewives of New Jersey Season Finale went all outraged on us and swapped out a crack pipe for a stripper's pole. Because the whole flap that had played out at LAST season's RHONJ reunion episode was the subject of this week's show. At that lucious scream-fest marshmallow soft Jacquine had taken the vapors and was unable to show up to the reunion taping at all' Instead she relied on Caroline "I shave my face every morning and my husband loves it" (she actually said that in an earlier season EP) to deliver her regrets and explain to cross-eyed Andy exactly why she was unable to be there. And now we know why. Namely that all the housewives and two of the husbands are now convinced that Thereser set up hated sis-in-law Melissa to be outed and subsequently shamed into divorce proceedings from Joey "The Ape" Gorga her supposedly hoodwinked brotha. Thereser at her table-flipping craziest, albeit in the world of internecine mind games rather than the world of macha brute-force intimidation.
We join the housewives and, annoyingly, Lauren "Meg Griffin" Manzo across the river from the Garden State, in New Yahk at some surely mob-owned (judging from the number of no-neck, gigantic black-clad guidos sheparding folks out of the place when the shit went down) eatery/club called Son Cubano. Son Cubano, which a quick Google search reveals as being in "West New York". Um...what?
Anyhoo, we entered the EP already suspicious of Thereser since we saw her in last week's EP being introduced to a friend of frenemy Kim D whose name was Angelo. Angelo needs dental work stat and his bald head gives him a seriously creepy Howie-Mandel-as-a-meth-head vibe. Thereser and Kim D are getting their hair and make-up done presumably for the upcoming Posche fashion show when Angelo lets the polecat out of the bag and tells Thereser that he knows Melissa and that, in fact, she worked at his bar as a dancer. Oh, wait, what I think he said is "she danced for me". Now needing to take a shower after hearing that particular turn of phrase, I watch as the camera pans to Kim D who has a look on her face that says: "I eat puppies, kittens and babies for breakfast". Clearly something is cookin' and I'm totally PSYCHED to find out what.
At the fashion show in West New York (again, what?), the gals are enjoying their dranks and salads at Son Cubano when who should stroll up on cue but Meth Head Howie and with his shit-eating grin he's clearly up to something. What I want to know is how much Thereser had to pay him to provide this service to her. Considering she and Guido Joe are in receivership on everything except their children, I'm guessing it was a lap dance or an "end of year special" coupon for the local Franklin Lakes dental practice. Because, as we learned last season, Thereser has lots of Jewish friends. Not that I'm saying that all dentists are Jewish but...well...that's exactly what I'm saying.
So Meth Head Howie saunters up and says "hello" to everyone but shines a special, icky-teeth-baring smile directly at Melissa, asking her if she remembers him. Melissa, presumably still in the dark about this plan of Thereser's offers him a big, bright smile and says, well, not too much. But she does nod her head in agreement as if to say: "let me pretend to know who this asshat is and maybe he'll just go away." For the record, Kathy Wakile thought he was hitting on Melissa. Poor Kathy. A few minutes later she actually acknowledges how outside of the loop she is concerning why all of her dinner partners are furiously texting each other. "I'll just eat my salad", says poor, un-looped-in Kathy, "its a good salad."
Meth Head Howie has now done his dirty deed, by giving Thereser entree into whisking Melissa to the ladies room, ("Dames" is written on the door which is, for some unfathomable reason of great interest to the camera operator, who keeps returning to the framed shot of the "Dames" door). In the unoccupied ladies room, well, unoccupied save for the lighting guy, the camera man, the sound man, Thereser and Melissa, Thereser proceeds to tell Melissa that her heart is "going 500" again. Even makes Melissa put her hand on her chest to hear the fluttering 500 heart. Melissa, being the good sport, puts her hand on Thereser's chest and then agrees that, yes, she can feel Thereser's heart pounding. Anything to get her to stop with the "my heart's pounding can you feel it? Can you? CAN YOU?".
I gotta be honest with you, here's where the show lost me a little bit. I can't tell if Thereser is just trying to get a rise out of Melissa or if she's trying to get Melissa to actually admit out loud that she was a pole dancer at Meth Head Howie's "gentlemen's club" (his words not mine...ick). Either way, Melissa is having none of it and denies 110% that she ever danced anywhere, least of all at scuzzy Meth Head Howie's strip club. She did cop to being a "bar tender for like a week" and that it wasn't a strip club it was a "bikini bar" where "you serve old men drinks and they give you $100." Um......OK? And anyway, Melissa says, she just doesn't care what this fucker thinks. Thereser keeps pushing, insisting that Melissa HAS TO CARE, that in fact, Melissa has to CONFRONT Meth Head Howie since he's spreading such horrible lies about her. I mean, Thereser is OUTRAGED that this goon is going around telling everyone that Melissa is a putana. Which, oddly, is EXACTLY what Thereser has made her life's work for at least the last two seasons of RHONJ. As Melissa says in her talking head moment: "Something's not adding up." Christ, who writes this drek for these ladies?
Now Melissa is beginning to get really annoyed with Thereser and is waking up to the notion that, well, maybe Thereser herself was a part of this whole "let's expose Melissa for the little ho bag that she is so I can finally rid my life of her copycat, whorish ways once and for all." So what does she do? She calls Joey "The Ape" and whines to him about how some jackass is harassing her and that she doesn't really feel comfortable confronting him since her husband's not with her. OMG, Melissa...really? Now, I realize that none of the ladies on this show, hell none of the PEOPLE on this show are Rhodes scholars but sakes alive Melissa, your husband engaged in a fist fight with a family member at his own kid's christening! Should you really be inciting him to head on down to a BAR to confront some guy who you've just told him is going around calling his wife a stripper? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, our little pole dancer The Divine Mrs G. She recovers quickly, though, because when Joey "The Ape" announces over the phone that "he's coming right over there", our little stripper has a change of heart as, presumably, she realizes that this might not be the best plan. To no avail she tries mightily to stuff that genie back into that little bottle, but Joey "The Ape" don't hear NOTHIN' when his wife's rep is being drug tru da mud! "You won't even dance for ME!" we hear Joey "The Ape" exclaim.
Well, Thereser gets wind of this development and FREAKS OUT! Holy shit, my crazy-ass roid-case of a brotha is heading over here with the intent to break in half one Meth Head Howie and probably get sent to JAIL...does she finally realize the folly of her meddling ways? Hells to the NO, folks! This is Thereser we're talking about here, she, of course MAKES IT MELISSA'S FAULT! I told her not to call my brotha! She's going to get him sent to JAIL FOR SURE! What a stitch she is, our little simian-browed cookbook magnate. Meanwhile, while all this has been going down in the "Dames" room, the table full of NJ housewives and Lauren "Meg Griffin" have been furiously texting each other and the snitch friend of Jacqueline's who is the anonymous source for all of this drama fuel, having overheard the entire conversation between Meth Head Howie and, um, some other person, about how he's been tagged to "bring Melissa down". Kathy is still blissfully eating her "good salad".
Following the break we find that the action has moved to the street outside of Son Cubano where, lo and behold, who should come down to crash the Posche party but Joey "The Ape" and Kathy's Lebanese husband, who is sporting the biggest, doucheiest Ralph Lauren logo on the front of his polo shirt, that I have ever seen. In so doing he has cemented his place as the number one tool in the veritable sea of tools that populate this show. Joey "The Ape" is wearing a knit cap over his unusually tiny head and is sportin' his guns exposed by the tightest, blackest T-shirt available for purchase in whatever guido/wigger clothing store he clearly frequents. Joey "The Ape" wades into the crowd bellowing to whoever will acknowledge him that he's looking for whatever guy disrespected his wife. Awwww...that's sweet Joey "The Ape", your'e here to beat someone to a bloody pulp just to prove how much you love your wife. Unfortunately Angelo has flown the coop, which Melissa tells her husband as soon as she catches up to him. Yeah, I'm thinking spending a few weeks in traction in the local NJ general hospital wasn't covered by the hit money (again, or lap dance) that Thereser paid him to lower the boom on her arch enemy.
Not that easily thwarted, Joey "The Ape" demands that some guy standing at the entrance to Son Cubano text Meth Head Howie. To do what, exactly, Joey "The Ape"? Alert him that you insist he return to the club so that he can face your righteous, guido anger fueled by the 'roids that you're pumping day and night? Yeah, I'm not seeing that happening. Inexplicably what I AM seeing happening is the cameras returning to Son Cubano's interior so that we can watch Thereser having drinks with her brother-in-law and apparent doppelganger for his brother Joe "Snaggletooth" Guidice. Huh? Bravo: this is connected to tonight's story thread how? They even do a split screen comparison of what appears to be the side shot that's taken as part of a series of angles for your typical mug shot. Long story short, Bravo shows us arrest photos of the Guidice boys to prove that they look exactly alike. Um, not so much. And again, what are we doing back inside Son Cubano when the action is clearly outside?
Once he realized that Meth Head Howie wasn't coming back, Joey "The Ape" just started cussing out people, staring with Kim D, calling her a "drunk fucking whore" and telling her to just "go snort another line". Suddenly the street was filled with people, including the po-po, Thereser was frantically spinning the story to deflect the blame from herself and at one point, actually uttered these words to Jacqueline: "have you ever considered that someone is SETTING ME UP? Maybe it's YOU!" Jacqueline at this point looks like she can no longer recall her own name. Her face is an empty blank and she spends alot of time staring into space. It's actully much like the ploy she tried when Thereser and Caroline were throwing down on the California trip. There she pretended to be asleep with her head in Melissa's lap, (didn't fool anyone ya whiny-ass bitch) but since she's standing on a busy street this time she assumes the demeanor of someone who has been hypnotized to believe that they are a blank sheet of paper.
Names are called! Threats are issued! From the darkened safety of the passenger seat in her husband's giant, black SUV, Melissa coaches Joey "The Ape" on how best to shout out the window and diss his sister as they drive away. For the record it's "say SHAME ON YOU! SHAME!" Uh, OK. We actually hear Caroline announce, from off camera, that she's about to have a heart attack. Miss "life is short I have no time for drama" has inserted herself directly in the middle of this Guidice/Gorga extravaganza of I HATE YOU/I HATE YOU MORE and now appears to be ready to pay for it with an MI. Go home, Caroline, you have more on your plate than this wacko-on-wacko craziness: your daughter is a hopeless loser, your older son can't hold a job (but luckily he CAN hold a man), and your youngest is a full-blown idiot.
The EP ends, as all Housewives season finales do, with a few epilogue style recaps on what's up with the cast. Thereser has published another wildly popular cookbook and everyone hates her; Caroline has not spoken to Thereser since the Son Cubano debacle but on the bright side Lauren "Meg Griffin" has lost 35 pounds thanks to LAP BAND surgery (nice original spin on the product placement, Bravo, you're actually getting paid to shill for a surgical procedure!) and her store "Cafface" is doing well, Albie has broken up with the mute cheerleader (ya think?), and Christopher is...actually not mentioned. Probably for the best; I can't imagine that Chris is doing much of anything other than diddling himself and speaking in tongues. Kathy Wakile's daughter, as predicted in this blog, has decided to stay at Mom and Dad's and attend some kind of "school" in NJ, Kathy achieved her "dream" and is now selling her cannollis at some retail emporium (way to keep the life expectations nice and low, Kath) and Kathy has recently begun to communicate again with Thereser, via text message. Joey "The Ape" and Melissa are trying to sell their house for $3.2M to enable them to move and get away from Thereser, Melissa's song which is called...actually who gives a fuck what it's called, made it to number four on iTunes. Finally, Jacqueline's relationship with Ashley has never been better, likely because Ash lives in LA and they only communicate through text and Skype, also, Jacqueline's still crying on camera, so, yeah, nothing new with her.
Well, that's it for this recap. There will be another one next week after, actually what looks to be a fucking kick-ass RHONJ reunion! The clips show Thereser looking like her head is actually about to spin around and she calls someone (my money's on Caroline) an "old hag"! YEAH! That's the dealy-o, folks; come on back next week for more RHONJ fun, fun, fun!