If The Real Housewives of New Jersey were a family-style meal, last night’s episode was the pot of water coming to full boil. There were the usual tantalizing appetizers: Teresa (after being foiled by her car’s GPS during a trip through the Holland Tunnel) brought her precocious 7-year-old daughter Gia to Manhattan to meet with a Wilhelmina modeling agent, who turned her nose up at Gia’s trussed-up pageant portraits. Dina, meanwhile, went furniture shopping with her somewhat manic, pleather couch-loving celebrity chef/stylist brother Jamie (Imagine Dina, bald and on steroids; Do we smell a spin-off?). But the meat of the episode lay with Danielle.
The divorc e brought the drama, from an at-home Botox party during which viewers, her fellow Housewives and her 14-year-old daughter were subjected to the sight of her gums being stuffed full of cosmetic injectibles, to an awkward dinner with Teresa, Jacqueline and their husbands, where she embarrassingly slung insults at her shiny, 26-year-old boy toy Steve.
Like Steve, the husbands sat in befuddlement, remaining–in contrast to their New York counterparts–their wives’ silent partners. Later, angry that Dina was refusing to own up to having had plastic surgery herself, and that she made snarky, R-rated comments about Danielle’s love life, Danielle re-declared war on her blonde frenemy (behind her back to the stuck-in-the-middle Jacqueline, natch). Once she got started, Danielle was like an insult tornado, calling Dina a “condenscending sic” excuse for a human being who had gained 30 pounds (where? In her bubbies?), while drinking Mike’s Hard Lemonade poolside. With a suspicious Caroline rumbling like a freight train in the distance (if she told us once, she told us a million times–nobody messes with her family), Danielle continued to make enemies.
She invited herself over to Jacqueline’s house to rant about Steve, causing fellow guest Teresa to complain, “She ruined our playdate.” There were the requisite slices of fluff, like when Caroline’s cosmetology school-bound daughter Lauren refused to ever wax a client’s “chuckie” (whatever that is), but we were quickly treated to seconds from Danielle’s smorgasbord of dysfunction. The teaser for next week’s episode promised even more revelations. Is Danielle an ex-stripper? A husband-stealer? A criminal whose mug shot appeared in a book called Cop Without a Badge? One thing’s for sure: When Caroline–her “head blown” after Danielle’s spa party–mused, “This is crazy times ten,” somebody had finally gotten Danielle’s number. –Suzanne Zuckerman
Tell us: Is Danielle as bad as the other Housewives thinks she is? Are you Team Danielle or Team Dina?