I haven’t been this excited for a Sunday night since CBS debuted Circus of the Stars. There was just something about seeing Nell Carter on a trapeze that really made me feel connected to life again. Either way, if it’s one thing I like about RHONJ it’s when oily slaps get thrown on the regular and, well, this one is no disappointment. The only thing missing was if Teresa threw in the Cop Without a Badge book. We’ll get there in a minute.
The whole gang is busy packing and figuring out what they should wear to the retreat. I think it’s important to pick out clothes that’ll really pop on camera during your mug shot session…but that’s just me and my strategy. Perhaps you have a different strategy, which is ok. All the kids in both the Gorga and Guidice family look partially psyched that their parents aren’t taking them with them this weekend in hopes that their letters to Santa will finally be answered and DSS will come and rescue them from future foreclosure and, most likely, upcoming seasons of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Tre’s husband, Barney Rubble, is busy “playing monster” for his kids, which is ironically the game he’ll most likely be playing in the prison shower room. Allegedly/future prediction. Tre and Barney got a driver in an SUV to take them to “the castle” but the rest of the troops hired some form of a bus that seems to have a stripper pole in it placed directly in front of Melissa. You could almost see her thighs twitching with excitement the entire time. I have to say, for people who are going on a retreat to help “heal da fam-i-ly” they sure like to talk some smack about each other during the entire ride there. And apparently Melissa forgot she was on a television show and mic’d up when she whispered that Joe Guidice/Barney Rubble is a “cheater and an a**hole.” I for one am glad that they’re editing Melissa to be the great trash heap this season instead of just Teresa. It really makes me feel like we’re meeting a new character, with new hair, and possibly a filed down chin. I mean, I’m not expert on filing things down (like teeth and chins) but I have watched over 5 seasons of The Hills and witnessed Audrina Patridge morph from an actual cartoon beaver to a real live girl. It was like Pinocchio 2: Electric Beaveroo (buy it now Blue Ray).
Meanwhile, Caroline is on this episode and, well, she crossed a bridge with her husband. Literally. And that’s about all. Oh, and Jacqueline is on this episode as well. I believe she mentioned she Tweeted something so, you know, that’s cool. It’s good to learn social media type stuff and, um, ok that’s it.
Back to the task at hand. Everyone arrives to the great castle in the sky. It’s snowy, icy, and slick with gels, oils and freshly sliced capicola. Tre answers the door and within about 5 seconds she’s talking smack about Jacqueline tweeting that she was a moron. Let’s call a spade a club and suggest that anyone who says something like, “Did you hear what she twittered” is pretty much a pile of bricks, but I don’t judge. I jest. Of course I judge. Melissa, Kathie, Kathie’s new nose, Richie, Richie’s red Sally Jesse Raphael glasses, and Doozer are all giving the major side-eye over the Jacqueline comments. No one really seems to care, but this isn’t the last we’ll hear of Jacqueline during this episode even though she pretty much isn’t even on this show anymore. Everyone “retreats” to their rooms to freshen up. See what I did there? I know, right? Also “freshening up” must also be known as “talk some shiz on the regular” because that’s what they’re all doing Things take a sharp left turn when Barney Rubble starts commenting on Jacqueline and insinuating that she uses her son all the time for attention and that his “disease is not that bad.” He also mentions that he knows plenty of autistic people who are scientists. In her one on one interview Tre tries to explain that away, but I’m pretty sure Barney is correct. As you know there are all different levels of autism on the spectrum and many go on to do great things. I’m just shocked that Barney knew this. I’m even more shocked that I’m starting to kinda understand his point. I must be more I-talian than I thought. Ole! Yous-sons-a-b*tches!
Later everyone meets for lunch, which is…Italian food. Shocker! Way to branch out! Lunch is awkward and Bravo is sparing no expense with the sound effects. We are hearing lots of high-volume fork and knife banging and glass clinking. Luckily everyone is boozing it up because at the end of the day nothing says, “Let’s take this seriously” quite like getting hammered in the middle of the day on top of a mountain in a castle with a camera crew after a year and a half of not speaking to each other. At one point, Barney starts talking about eating eggs and farting and Rosie is ba da ba ba ba, she’s lovin’ it. I love a girl who likes a nice fart joke and that is right up Rosie’s alley. She’s laughing and snorting and really having a good old time. And through it all she simply won’t take off that hat. She’s committed to the character so good for her. Suddenly it’s a knock at the door and, no, it’s not the FBI looking for 2/3rds of the room. It’s Steve and Stephanie the “Team Builders.” Yeah I’m pretty sure they’re just Bravo PAs, but I’ll let that slide this time around. I don’t give them more than 2 minutes before they hang themselves with that circle rope they’re laying down on the “ballroom” floor.
The team building exercises were as horrific (meaning: a less than terrific whore) as you could have imagined. They’re tossing down different color squares on the floor and seeing who can help the other person get in the circle…or out of the circle…who knows? At one point I’m pretty sure they were playing Melissa’s leg like it was a guitar and I slapped myself in the junk to make sure this wasn’t a dream sequence for me. It wasn’t and ouch! The “fun” lasts for a few minutes and suddenly it turns into a shouting match about Jacqueline of all things! Yawn. I barely cared then, how could I possible care now? Fine, I do a little. Fine, I cared back then too. Next thing you know, Melissa is on her knees praying to Teresa to please stop hurting her family. She’s still down there screaming, “I’ve got no pride, girl, I’ve got no pride. Let me kiss your ring. You’re the queen. I’ve got no pride.” Ironically, I’m also certain this is the same exact way Melissa got cast for her first season of Real Housewives. Literally. Word. For. Word. Kathie and Kathie’s new nose looks like she’s crying so she and Richie take one giant step back.
So it’s really the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Pretty much everything else in this episode was like sitting through the “Best Sound in a Motion Picture” category. You know what I’m talking about. Folks, it’s time to place the blindfold and earplugs on your Furby so it doesn’t pick up bad habits (and you might as well take the battery pack out of your Teddy Ruxpin too) because it’s Round 1 of the fight. Now, full disclosure, of course Bravo gave us the shaft and saved the best parts for the last 4 minutes. But I’ll be recapping it from that and the online extended preview they showed at Bravo.com (you’re welcome). Anyway, if you ever wanted to see what it would look like if Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman were in heat and eventually mating, well, this is it. After Teresa is telling Doozer to stick with his blood, he ends up calling Tre “scum.” Well that must be the Peewee Herman “Secret Word of the Day!” because Tre bags out of the “retreat” to go tell Barney Rubble what just happened. Barney is up in awkwardly short arms and starts to run towards the door saying, “I’m gonna tell him to ‘pologize.” I think he meant “apologize” but I’ll cut him some slack because if you’re a short Italian ready to throw down and have to run towards your opponent, you need to save all the energy you can and, well, that usually starts with shortening words. For real. Look it up in your World Book Encyclopedia. It says it. Wait, it doesn’t. Barney enters the room demanding that Doozer apologize to his wife and suddenly Doozer just charges Barney. It was like watching “carni folk” wrestle at the county fair. Of course there were high-pitched screams from the women and, most likely, Richie. Even Melissa got thrown into the wall, but mustered up enough energy to scream, “Teresa help your brother!” That was an interesting statement and almost like they both know something we don’t. Truth be told, how would you even be able to determine who was who in that fight? It was like trying to put out a grease fire. Kathie should have started throwing salt at them. Or is that how you get slugs off your front porch? Either way, it would have brought good luck I’m sure.
And then the best thing, for me, happened. As the fight is going on Teresa just books it out the front door and starts running. It was like that time on Full House when Papouli died and they had to tell Michelle and in a fit of rage poor little Michelle just smashed her own popsicle stick bird house on the floor and then ran out of the room. For a blogger like me, this is what I like to call a “full circle moment.” If Tre’s brother or husband dies I wonder who will teach her a great dance? Fingers crossed we never have to know the answer to that question. Meanwhile, everyone now has a hand in the brawl. Kathie, Richie, Melissa, and our beloved Rosie is trying to pull Mario and Luigi apart. If one of them could have got the flower and started shooting fireballs this could have ended in seconds. You know, my friends, what we are actually witnessing here is not a legit brawl, it’s just the classic Italian version of the American game, “Twister.” They just edited out Milania yelling, “Left Hand, Nuts.” Speaking of which, once the “game” ends Barney is yelling for Doozer to “suck it” and then says, “Uh, what, uh this guy is, uh, biting my nuts.” Something tells me if Barney does end up going to jail for his upcoming court case he’ll be substituting the word “biting” for “licking” in that sentence. In terms of who won the fight, I’d have to say I think Barney came out on top. I mean, he basically body-slammed Doozer into the ground within the first 5 seconds. It wasn’t even enough time for Melissa to press play on her “On Display” CD so this fight could be put to an upbeat tempo. The only other thing really missing from this fight was a couple of “Why I oughta’s” and of course, “Oh, a wise-guy, eh?” What I really want to know is if Rosie was the stunt double for Doozer in this little cat-scratch-tickle-fight?
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