The episode opens at Melissa's house, where she is putting together outfits with her stylist. The stylist must be very good at her job, because she has convinced Melissa to walk around her house in leather pants with corsets in the back. Melissa is also wearing Barbara Eden's top from her I Dream of Jeannie days. I don't think it fits her, because during the scene she plays with her boobs constantly. Let's get back to Melissa's leather corset pants. She's like New Jersey's Scarlett O'Hara. I like to imagine Hattie McDaniel pulling her into them and Melissa yelling, "Tighter! Tighter! Ashley Wilkes is coming over!" Melissa also says that she's scared that her boob might pop out. Um, Melissa, there's a new product on the market and it's called a bra.
The phone rings and it's Teresa. Melissa and Teresa both have bedazzled phones, and as it turns out, they also have the same stylist. This becomes a bit of controversy, because the stylist tells Melissa that Teresa has forbidden her from working with Melissa. It seems that working with Melissa and Teresa at the same time would be the world's easiest stylist job. They essentially dress the same. No matter what the occasion or how much prep time they are given, they both always leave the house dressed like a gypsy. A fun Clubhouse game would be to match the face to the outfits.
Editor's Note: Speaking of Clubhouse fun, enjoy Melissa's new music video:
Over at Jacqueline's house, Chris' brother Jaime comes over from out of town for a visit. Jaime looks like Chris if Chris got put in a blender with Jessie James. Jaime decides on this visit that he is going to have a talk with Ashley. Ashley surprises Chris and her mother by unveiling a new tattoo. I know I am supposed to be angry at the way Ashley is behaving, but I really don't care at all. Somehow Ashley has jumped her own shark. While watching the show, I didn't care about Ashley's tattoo. I didn't care about Ashley's potential move to Los Angeles (I thought she already left). Sadly, I didn't even care about Chris and Jacqueline as long as Ashley was on the screen. Ashley has become a giant black hole of, "Who Cares?" The Real Housewives of New Jersey is one of my favorite television shows, but when Ashley is on the screen, it all just becomes white noise. In a medium that is based on controversy and excitement, Ashley has committed the cardinal sin. Whenever she is on screen, I feel complete indifference.
After the photo shoot, the Gorga/Giudice tribes sit down for an amazing looking meal. Joe Giudice gives a toast where he makes a joke that his mother-in-law has had a lot of plastic surgery. Mother-in-law jokes? What is this a 1979 episode of The Tonight Show? Joey Gorga also gave a toast. I don't want to say that Joey Gorga's toast was too long, but at one point they cut to little Joey combing his hair with bread…and that was his third slice!
In the final act of our beloved show, the recipes hit the fan. Teresa's cookbook comes out, and it causes a ton of trouble. You would have thought Kitty Kelly put out a book about the Scientologists. How bad could it be? What could Teresa have written that is so bad? It's a cookbook. Is she naming ingredientzes and putting poison in the cumin? As I kept watching, I got quite a surprise. Leave it to Teresa to somehow insult people in a freaking cookbook. Last time I checked, cookbooks are filled with recipes, right? Usually when you write a cookbook, there isn't a lot of room left over to take pot shots at friends and loved ones. I don't recall Sandra Lee ever printing the recipe for pumpkin scones and then putting an extra part about how Andrew Cuomo farts when he pees. But Teresa thought ahead. She knew that there wouldn't be room for insults in between all of those Fabulicious recipes. That's why she put the insults in the introduction. Yeah!
It's so bad that Melissa won't even show it to Joey. If Melissa and her sisters don't want your kind of trouble, you must be cookin' up a whole new level of trouble. Melissa says in her interview that she doesn't want to be in the middle of the triangle between Teresa and her brother. Melissa, that's not a triangle. When it's just two people it's a straight line. Then Melissa says she has "seed" her way out of it. I swear to you, I rewound the show like fifty times. The woman that brought us "wench like me" has now shown us how to "seed" out of situations.
In the cookbook, Teresa says some pretty petty (and pretty stupid) things about Melissa and Caroline and even sweet little Christopher! Teresa says that Caroline is 1/16th Italian. When Jacqueline asks her if she thinks Big Chris is 1/16th Italian, Teresa says she wasn't talking about Jacqueline's husband, she was talking about Caroline. Jacqueline briefly tries to explain that Caroline and Chris are brother and sister, which would make both of them the same fraction of Italian, but Teresa interrupts her and asks if anyone can take a joke. Caroline says in her interview, "There's no legitimate reason why she would take a shot at my son…not my kids." Momma Manzo says this very calmly and coldly into the camera. I then realized that Teresa had just cookbooked herself out of the circle.
On a side note, what recipe would require her to mention Christopher? Was she making stripper carwash flambé? This is very disturbing behavior from Teresa. Go back and read my blogs from a couple of months ago. I wrote that I thought Teresa was coming undone. It turns out I was right. Not only has Teresa come undone, but it looks like entering Season 4 she has become unwanted. By taking shots at people in her cookbook, she has alienated herself from Caroline, Albert, Albie, Christopher, Lauren, (Greg?), Jacqueline, Chris, Melissa, and eventually her brother. That's ten people that just turned against you on a show with a cast of twelve. That's tough sledding.
How amazing is it that with four minutes left to go in the season, Teresa swoops in and snatches the title of villain? I was totally surprised. In her final interview, Teresa says, "Everyone thinks how funny I am, like I'm Lucille Ball." No one, NO ONE thinks you are like Lucille Ball. The season has finally ended and you have shown the viewers that you are a wrecking ball.
With the season over I find myself blue. I feel like a man without a country. Now what? No more bickering. No more Gorga chapeaux. No more family dinners. No more Greg. No more SOULDIGGAZ. No more piggies in a blanket. And the most sad thing of all, no more Joe Giudice slowly, and ever so surely, doing the splits.
Thank you to Bravo for letting me be a part of this. Thank you to the readers for reading these silly blogs. Thank you to the cast for being good sports. Don't forget to watch what happens. Goodbye.
Jay Mohr, Real Househusband of Santa Monica Adjacent