Sure, there were plenty of things that happened in the second episode of Season 5 of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” (which we’ll get to just a little later), but when it comes down to it, “A Manzo of Her Word” was about one thing: The much-anticipated showdown between Caroline Manzo and Teresa Giudice.
(This recap will be told with the aid of GIFs, so consider yourself warned.)
The clash of the titans
True to this week’s episode title, Caroline kept her word with Joe Gorga after promising him, last week, that she’d reach out to Teresa to try and help kick-start a reconciliation with his sister. While spending some time with hubby Al (wherein we also learned that her sister Fran has been living in the Manzo manse since her divorce), Caroline admitted that she was once again stepping into the Gorga-Giudice fray, to the dismay of her husband. She also admitted of the drama, “It makes my brain hurt.” You and me both, sister.
Teresa received a text from Caroline asking to meet up while leaving a visit with her dad in the hospital (who’d gone in to receive a pacemaker) — and with Kim D. in tow. You remember Kim D.? She of the Posche fashion show? No? Here, let me remind you:
A true gem of a woman. Anywho, she’s present when Teresa is asked by Caroline to meet, which means we won’t be spared her desperate plays for camera time this season, with Teresa spouting some nonsense about how Kim was there for her when no one else was. Yeah, Teresa, because she knew it would get her on TV. Duh.
The day of the big sit-down, Caroline has daughter Lauren do her make-up, revealing her plans to meet Teresa. Lauren sympathizes with Joe and Melissa‘s desire to move away from Teresa, saying that she wouldn’t want her kids around kids who were raised by wolves, which is pretty accurate when Milania is considered.
As Teresa stumbles into Juicy Joe’s office to tell him about her plans, he’s using a tiny magnifying glass to read papers, which is just about the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. As they discuss the meeting, Teresa rattles some truly insane talk about how Italian men don’t like to drink wine with women on their periods because they think the women put some of their, well, you know, into the wine and put them under a spell. She says she thinks Melissa did this to her brother during oral sex.
For the big meeting, Caroline’s arranged for a private room in a restaurant that looks pretty empty throughout. Perhaps production was worried about some table flipping and bought out the location for the day? When Teresa arrives, the two act cordial — that is until Caroline reveals that Joe asked her to come speak to his sister and Teresa replies, “He’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel.”
Teresa makes some valid points that Caroline doesn’t really have any business inserting herself in this drama when she’s got her own family issues to deal with (she’s still not speaking to sister and former cast member Dina, though why, we don’t know). Caroline acknowledges that and says that it’s because of her own situation that it hurts her to see it happen to others. That and her contractual obligations.
After saying how much Joe’s hurt her by remaining friends with, and apologizing to, everyone else who he’s once fought with but her, Teresa says that she’s willing to meet half way if he will just come to her. It doesn’t hurt that Caroline lays it all on the line regarding Teresa’s father’s health: “Listen to me: Your father is old. You don’t want that man to die and not see his kids together.”
So, we’re left with Caroline begging for a drink as Teresa leaves, having earned Mama Manzo’s promise that she’ll take her half of the compromise to Joe. Caroline continuing to play messenger is silly. Who is she, Henry Kissinger?
– Joe and Melissa try to sell their house, to no avail. They want $3.8 million, but an open house reveals that the house isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. (Seriously though, who holds an open house knowing the sink in the master bath has no water?!)
– Kathy‘s scenes were limited to her and Rich teaching Joseph how to drive (at 17, which seems a little late) and visiting Victoria at college. In both vignettes, Rich can’t stop making jokes, something Kathy’s growing tired of. I’m worried with all this foreshadowing: Are the Wakiles heading for splitsville?
– We continued to learn more about Jacqueline and Chris’ struggles with little Nicholas’ autism. Jacqueline goes to the offices of Parenting Magazine to share her story in a video blog, while Chris reveals that he’s been secretly working with Nick and the therapist to get his son to say “I love you” again to his mom. At a get-together with the Manzo boys, the Gorgas, the Wakiles and Rosie, he surprises Jacqueline and it’s truly moving.
– Caroline’s had it with Lauren living at home still: “Ever since she lost her weight, she’s been a rip-roaring b****.”
– Rosie’s a boob woman. You’re welcome.
Until next week, “RHONJ” fans.