Ten o’clock already, I was just in the middle of a dream...
Actually it was the inaugural Italy episode of RHONJ Season 8. The ladies are in Milan under the guise of a business trip for Marge who is mentoring Melissa, and tonight we’re granted another epic restaurant scene. In it, the women address the elephant in the room, all the drama and dissension surrounding the explosive Posche fashion show.
Was it traitorous to Tre to walk the runway for Kim D? Or can we chalk it all up to CHARITY? These questions are being explored by the masses - well, RHONJ fans - on social media in the aftermath of Siggy and Dolores’s Posche participation (last week’s episode). The multitude of minion accounts cheering Siggy certainly seem to have a say. WARNING: Stay off Twitter. You will fall down a rabbit hole if you examine things closely....
A more major matter casts a dark cloud over tonight’s episode: Hitler.
I personally did NOT feel that Margaret meant her comment (from episode 808) the way Siggy says she received it. At the same time, I respect Siggy’s sensitivities. When Margaret made the remark, Siggy was either too stunned to react in the moment, or understood Margaret’s statement contextually (an analogy rather than a direct comparison) and subsequently reprocessed it. She may have stewed upon it , re-analyzing and re-framing Margaret’s words, and ascribed ill-intent. All of the drama just reinforces for me that although long deceased, Hitler remains dangerous and divisive today.While there are greater, more intellectual examples to cite for this resolution, “Housewives historians” need only see Twitter and Instagram under #RHONJ.
Margaret tries to clarify things when Siggy brings it up at dinner. However, it is to Marge’s detriment that Siggy and Danielle have a blowup. Danielle’s reaction stunts the conversation between Siggy and Marge, preventing any potential closure that might have resulted from mature discourse (although let’s be real: We’re not watching Real Housewives of New Jersey for “mature discourse”). Either way, Siggy is resolute by nature and anything pertaining to the Holocaust can easily derail a dinner discussion. So, what have we learned, ladies and gentlemen? Let’s eradicate “Hitler” from our vernacular...to be on the safe side!
Teresa tries to come to Margaret’s defense by saying “Margaret’s family is Jewish.” To Tre’s point alone and NOT to channel Kayla Moore, here is what we know: Margaret was once married to a Jewish man, belonged to a synagogue and raised their biological son together with religious traditions, including a bar mitzvah. Tre will pronounce the term as “antisismetic” til she gets it right, but she wants to convey that Marge does not have the ingredientses to be anti-Semitic.
The way most astute viewers understood things when episode 808 aired: Siggy said Kim D. has always been good to her (Siggy), and Margaret’s response expressed: Is someone “good” just because they’re good to YOU?
Siggy is the only Jewish woman in the cast. I thought Margaret’s comment was thoughtless, but not anti-Semitic. - Amy Feinstein, Journalist
Context is everything. As Siggy later explains to Danielle, there are too many things irking her about Margaret overall. The two of them already have a turbulent history - albeit a very short one - that boils down to not “getting” one another.
- Melissa packs in front of Joe, professing that this trip is for business. She takes out a “Lovers” jacket and says Italy is meant for amore. Little Joey prances in and does a hilarious Melissa impersonation.
- Classic Marge gives us lines like “There’s no business like shoe business” and “The higher the heel, the better you feel.” Lest you forget, we’re in Milan tonight for her Macbeth Collection shoe line. Not because we want to see a clashing group of women, who easily go from 0 to 60, while stranded together in a foreign country!
- MICHAEL CAMPANELLA!! hates packing. More importantly, he hates that his wife is on this show. She tells him she’s going to call out Marge for the Hitler comment, but in the same breath utters that she’s going to Milan for Tre and Melissa and she’ll avoid Marge. MICHAEL CAMPANELLA! will later tell her to jump ship and come home (AKA quit the goddamned show altogether!).
-I mean, thinks MICHAEL CAMPANELLA!!, Siggy habitually cuts out toxic people like a malignant mole and should take her own advice.
- Disconcertingly, I find MICHAEL CAMPANELLA!! rather attractive.
- Tre’s dad is prepared to be driven mad by her 4 daughters who he’ll be watching while their mom’s in Italy. “I charge 300 dollar a day” he tells her.
- During the plane ride, the ladies hair and makeup is more intact than mine (or any traveler’s) ever is...or ever should be on a transcontinental flight.
- Marge is amazed no one has mentioned Posche (yet). In a testimonial, she says: ”Maybe things will go smoother than expected.” She’s practically winking at the camera man, knowing she’ll eat those words later.
- If you’re looking to book an exquisite trip, document that the Housewives stay at the Carlton Hotel Baglioni.
- Danielle spends a lot of time with Margaret this trip. Marge even tries to uncork champagne with finesse for Danielle. This move is a flop and results in a yelp. #ClassicMarge. She doesn’t drink.
-Tre and Danielle visit the Duomo (church). Tre has brought rosary beads with her mom’s picture on them. I’m pretty sure we get an abridged version of this scene because before you know it Danielle is all Whew, what a hard, emotional day! This calls for a drink.
-Once seated with alcoholic beverages in hand, Danielle stirs the pot as she’s prone to do. She insinuates that despite Siggy’s recent apology to Tre, Siggy didn’t have Tre’s back at the Posche fashion show.
- Marge and Melissa visit an Italian showroom with a large unicorn sculpture at its center while Siggy and Dolores are off shopping. Melissa is buying more furry and fringey sweaters for herself than she’s buying for Envy Boutique.
- Siggy emphasizes to Dolores that Tre is a good friend and only Danielle and Margaret are deserving of their wrath.
-Siggy also explains that the more she thinks of the Hitler comment, the worse it gets. This is the problem.
- Melissa may not know that the Duomo is located in Milan or what the term “hangry” means, she may attempt to interact with locals in Span-talian, but she CAN accurately predict the following about the group: “There’s a ticking time bomb that surrounds us.”
- At dinner, Danielle teaches the ladies about a sexual technique involving lipstick called “the rainbow”: “There’s a little deep throat involved,” she explains, using a bottle to demonstrate. Melissa makes sure to let us know she’d be gagging due to Joe Gorga’s girth.
- Tre reads a message her Joe has sent her from prison: “I love you. How’s the weather? Where are you staying? Cheater.”
- As the esteemed Relationship Expert of the group, Siggy is the obvious choice to address the unstated tension. She quickly comes to blows with Danielle who bluntly states her contention that Siggy didn’t stick up for Teresa against Kim D’s accusations. “How dare you!” Siggy shouts at her.
-Siggy quickly dismisses Danielle as someone who wasn’t even friends with Teresa until recently. Then she awkwardly segues to Marge’s Hitler remark. It gets out of hand when she actually calls Margaret an “anti-Semite” as in:
I know many people who married Jews and can’t stand Jews. You’re an anti-Semite.”
- Marge is shaken, visibly pale and appalled by the shocking accusation. I foresee at least 5 apologies/attempts to rectify things with Siggy in the next 2-3 episodes (not including those that take place off camera). We just need Danielle to refrain from interrupting.
-Glasses make a crashing sound and a table is slammed as Danielle stands up. She’s clearly livid about what Siggy is saying. For her, it is akin to Siggy’s “trashy trashy trashy” taunt of weeks ago.
- Danielle says that things are fucked up, to which Siggy responds “You’re fucked up!” Oy gevalt. Do they teach this type of talk in Relationship Expert courses?
-“Tell the bitch to sit down” Siggy says about Margaret. This dinner marks the first time we see Margaret irate with Siggy. She isn’t joking around or being snarky in Classic Marge fashion. This is a serious accusation and Marge doesn’t mince words when she calls it “character assassination.”
- As Margaret and Danielle leave the dinner, Margaret says it was “an epic ending, need we say more?” The women may have actually been kicked out of this restaurant because Frank Catania will allude to this later on when the men get together.
-During the morning-after recap of events among the ladies, there’s a Danielle montage consisting of all the times she was dismissed during previous RHONJ seasons. Bottom line: DANIELLE HATES BEING DISMISSED.
-Siggy tells Melissa she regrets taking her anger out on Danielle. She calls Danielle asking if they can meet and resolve things.
- Danielle and Siggy sit down to talk. Through the conversation, it’s clear that Danielle has Margaret’s back. She does accept Siggy’s apology and offers her a hug, while letting her know she needs time to fully get over what transpired. “Baby steps,” says Danielle. Translation: Danielle will be civil with Siggy for the duration of taping this show. There’s no way in hell these two are hanging out off-camera socially.
-While Siggy and Danielle stay behind, the other ladies embark on a canal tour with the adorable guide Emanuel. Teresa can’t help but flirt because Joe is away and she’s feeling horny. “You can look but you can’t touch,” sing-songs Melissa in her testimonial.
- Tre ruffles Emanuel’s hair innocently and the other ladies are visibly ooing and ahing at the thick locks that adorn his head once his fedora’s removed. Emanuel is basking in all of this attention.
- Back in Jersey, the Housewives’ men meet at Sofia restaurant for a jovial meal. MICHAEL CAMPANELLA!! has silently sent out his own message through his notable absence.
- Even Danielle’s 20th fiance Marty is in attendance.
- Joe Gorga talks about wanting to keep his daughter Antonia locked in a cage and away from boys. The other men, all fathers of daughters, commiserate. “As long as they know how you feel, they’ll think twice about crossing that line. Then you just keep your fingers crossed for years,” Marty advises.
- Dolores, Teresa, Melissa and Margaret have enjoyed their canal tour and are now at a restaurant for lunch. The Siggy and Margaret situation comes up in discussion. Melissa appeals to Dolores to try to broker a peace treaty between the two ladies since Dolores is the one Siggy respects and listens to.
- Dolores lets Marge know she thought the Hitler remark was “in poor taste” and that she would have given her an even harder time than Siggy is giving her. Margaret tells Dolores she doesn’t buy that. Dolores channels the correction officer she once was and says Marge is agitating her. In the same breath, she states that she likes Margaret and that she fights her own battles (and makes her own enemies, which I thought was a very Jersey statement).
- At the end of the day, Dolores doesn’t think things will ever be rectified between Siggy and Margaret. While this type of definitive statement scares Melissa (who is particularly concerned about the rest of this ill-fated trip) Dolores is 100 percent correct. There will never be peace between Margaret and Siggy.
- MICHAEL CAMPANELLA! is on the phone with Siggy that night. “Come back home!” is the audio captured on camera.
- What you don’t see is MICHAEL CAMPANELLA!!’s text that actually reads And there’s no way in hell you’re signing a contract for Season 9!!
Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Wednesday nights at 9 PM EST on Bravo.