Will she or won't she?!?
A nation held its breath going into last night's edition of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, wondering if Dina Manzo was truly exiting the show for good. We won't leave you in suspense over the development. Let's get right to a recap, Real Housewives correspondent!
Note to readers: I am currently visiting my sister and had to write this review from the couch in her apartment. She sat with me as I worked and shouted random comments in my general direction. She has never seen this show before and knows nothing about the women or the plotlines but, despite this complete and total lack of RHONJ knowledge, I found many of her insights quite relevant. I have included some of the better ones.
Dry your tears, everyone! Miss Dina is done with being a Housewife in Crazy Town! I think I will miss her because she is sort of the voice of reason, while she also delivers pretty funny one-liners. But we found this devastating, life-changing information out at the end of the show, so I am getting a bit ahead of myself.
The episode started with the conclusion of the Dina-Danielle strip mall restaurant “conversation” from last week, otherwise known as a "catfight." In case you forgot, when we last left this little bru-ha-ha there was serious shushing going on and all the shushing was leading Dina and Danielle down a dark path of no return.
“You know more than anybody else, I was on your team,” Dina says to Danielle. Both women are talking, but neither is listening. When one opens her mouth, the other only hears, “Blah, blah, blah, you bitch!” Their voices are steadily rising until they are shouting. People in the restaurant are staring at the hot messes over in the banquette booth. “It was embarrassing. I mean, people are trying to eat,” Dina reflects later.
Dina then repeats for the ten millionth time that she wants to cut Danielle out of her life. We at home scratch our heads in confusion because isn’t Dina the one who initiated this meeting? Danielle yells, “It’s not about me. It’s not about cutting me out of your life. It’s about not being able to face what you’ve done.” Dina rolls her eyes, shouts a few more insults, and speeds off in her Mercedes.
My sister then pipes up, “Are they always this mean to each other? Jesus. This is not nice.”
Honestly, the rest of the episode was pretty much fluff and filler between the big Dina-Danielle fight and the anticlimactic Dina exit. Here’s what happened, in a nutshell:Teresa, Shirtless Joe, Jacqueline, Chris, Caroline, and assorted kiddies went to a pumpkin patch. The adults made jokes about enormous pig testicles in front of the children. Jacqueline made a joke about Danielle being a farm animal, but then told her son that it’s not nice to talk trash.
Later Caroline, Jacqueline, and Dina talked trash about Danielle some more. You know, because they really just want her out of their lives! “Let me tell you something,” Dina tells the girls. “That is one crazy-ass bitch.” Everyone glugs from goblets of red wine and nods in sympathetic agreement.
That two-faced Kim G. went from a dinner with Danielle to visiting Jacqueline. She brought up the Dina versus Danielle Dinner From Hell. They then discussed Danielle, of course. Because this is how you remove someone from your life! Various scenes from past episodes were spliced with more current scenes to remind the viewers what a backstabber Kim is. No reminder was necessary. We’ve only seen this woman in a few episodes and I think it’s safe to say that everyone already hates her.
The meathead men have a poker game in the basement of Jacqueline’s manor home. Enormous trays of meat and other poker-appropriate food is prepared and served by the womenfolk. The meatheads attempt to haze Ashley’s boyfriend Derek while they chug red wine and gorge on antipasto. It’s all very unfunny and boring.
Jacqueline confronts an ex-boyfriend of Danielle’s about a sex tape they supposedly made together. No one cares. Jacqueline and Ashley fight and Jacqueline orders Ashley out of the manor home. Still, no one cares. Shirtless Joe’s face gets increasingly red as the night goes on.
The episode picks back up when Danielle starts confiding in us that she doesn’t feel hot anymore and she’s just been hiding her body for the longest time because of mean ol' men. But this lady is ready to get back out on the market!
“My friends talked me into buying lingerie,” says Danielle. “It’s gonna take a lot for me to feel like it’s okay that I’m single and wanna be sexy.” The women cheer and scream as she models lingerie and flashes them her ass crack and black thong. It’s so heartbreaking to watch a woman so insecure about her body!
After purchasing some much-needed lingerie, Danielle and her friends go to a classy looking joint called “The Squeeze Lounge.” Danielle really needs to hit the stripper pole to regain confidence as a woman. I know a good swing on a stripper pole always gets me back up when I’m feeling blue. Ex-Con and resident weirdo Danny is there, having little else to fill his days.
“Now even Danny has joined the crusade to try to get me back into the dating scene,” says Danielle. Danny and his friends ogle the dancers and slap each other on the back as various women gyrate on stage.
When Kim G. awkwardly mounts the pole. my sister, almost asleep during the boring parts of the episode, perks right back up. “Oh god, she’s going to hurt herself!” she yells in my ear. “Why are they doing this? That woman is like 70!” Kim G’s too-tiny panties are sagging a bit and her thong is on display for all to see. It’s all so magical and classy.
After watching the amateurs struggle, Danielle decides it’s her turn to take the stage. She is ready to reclaim her womanhood! She starts gyrating on the pole and bending over in front of Danny and crew to give them a better view of her entire ass. As the piece de resistance, she flings her legs wide open and sits spread-eagle on the floor.
The other women are very impressed and envious of her skills as a pole dancer. Danny and friends fling one-dollar bills at the woman, which Danielle stuffs into her panties. “Eww!” my sister moans, covering her eyes at the sight of Danielle’s dollar-bill stuffed underwear.
“Yeah, I feel pretty good about today. I like me. I’m back!” Danielle tells us triumphantly. We cheer for her! Yay, Danielle! You go, girl.
Finally, the episode ends at Dina’s house. Dina is cuddling with her cats and reflecting on the Dinner From Hell a bit more. Let’s remind ourselves that Dina has two cats: a normal fluffy one whose name we don’t really know and a hairless freak cat named Grandma Wrinkle who is the breakout star of this show.
Upon seeing Grandma Wrinkle my sister screams, “Eww! But it doesn’t have fur! Why doesn’t it have fur?! That’s like nightmarish! It looks like a prehistoric dinosaur fetus!” She is very worked up and has a look of true terror in her eyes.
We find out that Dina is done with the show but I don’t even have time to grieve for the loss of this Housewife because I am too busy rubbing my sister’s back, trying to help her forget the sight of Grandma Wrinkle.
We’ll miss you, Dina.