Another day, another Jersey mcmansion echoing with the cries of battles past. Teresa brings her kids over to see their cousins because they are not yet old enough to despise each other. Soon the herd of screaming brunette children are roaming about the place like wild cats, clawing up overwrought lighting fixtures with chaotic glee. Teresa is creating a hair care line and Melissa is “supportive, which is nice and refreshing” because the woman cannot simply say “Nice.” Melissa shows Teresa a mock up of her book cover and Teresa sort of chokes out “Aw yeah.”
Oy. Teresa can and will be offended by anything. Literally anything. A paper towel could offend Teresa. A candle could offend Teresa. A puppy. A cupcake. A fish. Anything. Melissa then brings up the rumors of cheating, which rather sketchily emerged once Melissa began writing a book about her successful marriage strategies. Life and Style even published a cover emblazoned with “Melissa Cheated on Joe!” Teresa tells Melissa to ignore it. However, Teresa did have dinner on national television with women claiming Melissa cheated on Joe, so ya know. She hasn’t said it, but she hasn’t in any way contradicted the accusation.
Jacqueline is coming back from CALI CALI with her new neck and stomach. Yay! Her boys and husband are super happy to have mom back.
Kathy and her used prophylactic of a husband are scouting the local cannolis. That was a weird sentence to type. When Kathy tries to ask the bakery staff questions about their selection of Italian desserts, Rich keeps butting in because he knows everything and therefore should be in charge. Like many assholes of his ilk, Rich is convinced of his own superior intelligence and would happily tell anyone, anywhere, how better to do what they do. Rich might not have any discernible career but he sure as hell knows how to run everyone else’s.
Like the gentlemen they clearly are, NJ housewife hubbies like to let it all hang out vis-a-vid hard liqour and stogies. Rich is all, “What are we doing in a cigar bar? I thought that was code for a strip club” because he must constantly bring up sexxxx to prove how cool he is. Rich, you are not cool. You have never, and will never be cool. Accept it.
Aw. What a sweet sentiment. Joe Gorga wants to do something special for Melissa’s birthday so Chris suggests he take her on a spa vacation. Joe G decides the whole group should go. They debate inviting the Giudices but Joe G decides he’s forgiven his sister and the entire crew should take another opportunity to bond.
The Manzos debate rug placement until Albert and Caroline get locked into a passive aggressive married person power struggle. Caroline is getting annoyed with Albert always getting to call the shots.
Less flashy Manzo child Lauren dines with her boyfriend of three years, Vito, who looks exactly like the other men on this show. Vito is older than Lauren and wants to get married, but now that Lauren has her own business she’s not so gung ho about settling down.
Damn, girl just dropped some major truths. You see, before getting into the fast-paced world of hair and makeup, young Lauren had been eager to marry Vito. Now, three years in, she’s still young but he’s getting older and wants to know why Lauren’s feelings on the subject of marriage have so drastically changed. Like Caroline, Lauren has discovered the joys of a life not totally centered around your man. And like Caroline, Lauren isn’t trying to go back in time. Vito used to be first on Lauren’s priority list. Now he’s second, and less than thrilled. “When I wasn’t working, I had a ring picked out,” Lauren says, “Now I really don’t care.”
Everyone except Chris (who is staying home with the kids) come out to smoke a little hookah and talk a little shit. Joe G tells Melissa about taking her to a spa in Arizona for her birthday with all of their friends. And Teresa. Melissa is annoyed at the idea of spending her birthday with her (supposed) tormenter, but Joe G is insistent. Everyone congratulates Jacquline on the debut of her new and improved stomach and face, then begin eagerly sucking down smoke. Rich makes a phallic joke about the hookah because Rich has all the sophistication and wit of a boy at his Bar Mitzvah.
When Joe Gorga asks everyone (including lesbian spinster RoRo, yay) on vacation, the gang eagerly agrees. “Everyone gets along on vacation,” Joe Gorga says happily. But I kinda feel like if there’s anything the RH franchise has proved, it’s that people DO NOT always get along on vacation. Vacations actually start mad shit.