The honeymoon period is officially over on RHONJ—no, not between Teresa Giudice and Louie Ruelas (as they announce approximately 62 times in this week’s episode, their wedding is still four weeks away), but between Danielle Cabral and Rachel Fuda. Yes, our newest housewives are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed no longer, already jaded not only from drama with the larger group but, sadly, with each other.
Picking up the morning after Melissa Gorga’s culturally inappropriate “luau”—during which Danielle stomped out of the shindig early after hearing the women gossip about her estrangement from her brother—new allegiance lines have been drawn. “I really like Danielle, I enjoy her company, she’s funny, she’s light, she’s airy...but it feels like there’s a link in the chain missing here,” Rachel says, siding with Margaret Josephs and Dolores Catania in not fully buying Danielle’s brother-rift backstory.
For her part, Danielle is doing the rundown at the Aydins’ house with Jennifer, Bill, Teresa, and Louie: “I had painted a totally different picture of Rachel in my head. I saw her as a new friend. Now I’m being painted out to be the only one conversating [sic], the only one talking shit,” angry that Rach had relayed the contents of what Danielle thought was a private conversation to Margaret.
When Danielle grabs Marge to talk things out while at Rachel’s backyard “brunch”—which, in an apparent checkmate to the absurdity of Melissa’s get-together the night prior, included bone-marrow shots and a by-the-hour mermaid posing in a life-size clamshell—she quickly pulls in her fellow RHONJ rookie. “Why does it seem like the conversation we had was me attacking Margaret? That’s kind of throwing me under the bus to stir up shit between us,” Danielle tells Rachel. But the latter doesn’t back down. “What did I say? Repeat it. Nothing.” They hit an impasse, but Rachel’s “are we good?” peace offering is met with Danielle’s avoidance.
However, later, when Danielle stomps out of yet another party once the bro-breakup conversation is again breached, Rach is the only one remotely concerned. “It’s wild to me that Danielle literally walked out of the door five seconds ago and just like that they’re talking about themselves,” Rachel says of the other, oblivious housewives. So maybe there’s hope for these two soul sisters yet?
Now onto the second “sibling” smackdown of the week: Of course, it’s Teresa Giudice and Joe Gorga, because only the Roy brood has more incessant hostility between sisters and brothers. This week, at least, we got a little explanation on some of the more recent animosity between them: Gorga had pitched a pizza-oven collaboration with his sister, which Louie helped to finance. Her side of things? “There was a business dealing and my fiancé lost a quarter of a million dollars.” His side? “Louie screwed me in the pizza business, and [Teresa] jumped ship and went to his side.”
The pizza hits the fan at Rachel’s barbecue, when Louie initially tries to make peace with his soon-to-be in-laws regarding Melissa Gorga’s mother being excluded from their wedding-guest list. It’s all hand-holding and healing talk until Teresa barges in. “You’re coming over here and ruining a moment between me and Melissa; you’re really not respecting our space,” Louie therapizes his fiancée, who busies herself for 40 seconds by yelling at Jackie before she jumps right back into the ring. Joe is mad that Melissa isn’t a bridesmaid; Teresa is mad that Melissa didn’t support Louie during Marge’s smear campaign last season; and Louie–like the rest of us–is mad that he has to listen to this crap for the billionth time.
“I can’t take it anymore…you and your brother have the same exact problem,” he yells at the lot of them. “You guys are playing ping-pong with bullshit.” The question is: Will the game ever end?
- Jenn Fessler is truly the housewife of the people. She, too, does not understand “the extras at the party”: “Teresa’s got the woman in the bubble, Rachel’s got the mermaid holding the bubble...I don’t know why they’re all looking for Disney characters at their parties.”
- Danielle may not have a great command of the English language (“I can’t even fucking spell arsenal!”) but she is a master of the dying New Yawkese dialect. When she tells Margaret that she was just “conversating,” Marge informs her: “Conversating is not a word.” “Fine, coffee tawk! You know coffee tawk? We were fucking coffee tawking at the boutique.”
- But when it comes to phrases and idioms, no one does it quite like Teresa Giudice, who offered up this gem this week: “He’s making a mountain into a mole hall!” A hall. Of moles.
- There was not nearly enough of a reaction from Joe Gorga to Louie’s very strange admission made during their sitdown: “I live with your four nieces; I wear your father’s pajamas at night to make them feel safe.” Um—and we mean this with all due respect—what? You’re snoozing in the PJs of a deceased elderly man that, timeline-wise, we’re not even sure you met? (Teresa and Joe Gorga’s late father, Giacinto, died in April 2020; Teresa and Louie reportedly started dating in July of that year.) Namaste away from our grandpas, Louie.