Can we collectively agree that we are willing to endure the occasional appearances of Rich and Kathy Wakile and their ever-present tray of cannolis if it means we get more Cousin Rosie as a result? Especially when she's gloriously giddy and in love!
Like a sorbet between your fifth and sixth pasta course, the introduction of Rosie and new girlfriend Ellen's romance provided a much-needed respite from the horrors of Teresa and Juicy's legal problems, and Amber and Nicole's dumb feud, and anything having to do with Rino. Joe Giudice speaks for us all when he says to Rosie's girlfriend, Ellen, "I'm glad you made her happy." Awwwww!
And can you believe that Ellen is that lady that Rosie awkwardly hit on last season in a bar? It is a great testament to Rosie's innate charm that she was able to get the girl with both that introduction AND plentiful video footage of her extended family with their fisticuffs and spray-on-hair and general idiocy. Everybody seems very happy for the couple, though you KNOW they now think that all lesbians are named Ellen.
A whole bunch of other disjointed things happened in this episode, none of which, sadly, included video footage of Rosie and Ellen dancing in the kitchen.
He Blinded Her with Science: So, remember how Joe Gorga has gotten into the environmentally-friendly high-tech garbage shredding business? Well, it turns out that Melissa has been a valuable professional partner to Joe throughout the years, and also he thinks that potential clients will be so transfixed by her boobs that they'll just throw money at the company. Thus, Melissa is the new brand ambassador.
In an effort to get her to learn the business, Joe and Melissa first meet with their car dealer to discuss a paint job for the shredding truck. Melissa wants to emphasize the environmentally-friendly component of the business by using the slogan, "Going green gives you wings," and then actually putting wings on the truck.
The dealer, who clearly thinks she is a moron, asks, "Who wants wings?" and then completely busts her commitment to going green by saying, "You drive a Bentley! It's 12 cylinders!...You get 8 miles to the gallon!" Later, Joe and Melissa go to the "facility" where they get a tour from chief technology consultant Edgar, who is the first scientist that Melissa has ever met. He is very impressed by her huge stiletto heels, less so by her grasp of incineration technology.
In the end, Joe notes that if Melissa spends as much time learning the business as she does shopping, they'll be a 20 million dollar company. And then maybe then they'll be able to make cheesy commercials like Jim and Amber!
M is for Mom and Mortgage: While we're on the subject, Amber and Jim have a screening party for the new Mortgage NOW commercial. Amber and the kids make mortgage-themed sugar cookies (I KNOW!!!!!!), and we learn that their son Corbin is under the faulty notion that his dad makes money to help the poor, like the Robin Hood of Colt's Neck. In response, Amber actually laughs in the kid's face.
Good ol' pencil-dick Jim introduces the commercial, noting that it's his son Michael's directing debut. Soon, it shall be known as Michael's Ishtar. In fairness, though, he did have a thin pool of talent from which to work. Sure, Amber and Jim's kids are cute, but let's just say they're not going to be talking about their process on Inside the Actor's Studio anytime soon.
Gia Is Freaking Thirteen: We take a break from learning about the professional lives of the ladies to celebrate Gia's thirteenth birthday. Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that Teresa was throwing her a lavish party using money she and Juicy had gotten through unsavory and likely illegal means?
Teresa has learned through necessity that it's not necessary to go all-out and spend gobs of money for your kid's birthday, since they'll be happy with anything. Like a big old inherited diamond ring, which Teresa gives to a skeptical Gia. The Juicy Giudice redemption tour continues apace with a tender moment in which he gently grills his oldest daughter about what she does with her friends. He asks in his signature parlance, "Do yous kiss?" When Gia admits to having kissed a boy once, Juicy vows to kick that kid's ass. So if I were that kid I'd have fingers crossed that deportation is part of Juicy's sentencing.
Spawn of Rino, The Restaurant: We haven't seen all that much of Twin-Teresa this season, since Nicole has been by far the outstanding sibling in terms of drama, hair-pulling, and Dunkin Donuts references. But in this episode we learn that she's going to have a key role in the development of the family's new restaurant, which is being built as a legacy for her and Rino's son, Giovanni. We also learn that Twin-Teresa has a lot of furs, including this one that I think comes from some sort of fluffy speckled goat.
Teresa tells us what a love and a gentleman Giovanni is, and then we see footage of him calling her fucking annoying. Strong work, editor friends. Giovanni and Teresa meet up with Rino in his Brooklyn restaurant, where he dispenses quality advice including: 1) Don't curse at your mother; 2) Being a high school dropout is perhaps the best road to success; 3) "Success leads to money. Money leads to any frickin' woman in the word that you want!" 4) You may get knocked down but don't knock anybody up; 5) Pursuant to #4, don't double bag it, triple bag it.
I Keep My Visions to Myself: Dina pops into the episode just to dispense some woo-woo that may be helpful to Teresa. She has invited Tre over to make a vision board, particularly focusing on the outcome of her legal case. Teresa is used to relying on the vision board in her head, and I would actually buy that there is a layer of cork, some pushpins, and magazine clippings rattling around in that skull of hers.
Teresa wisely features the word "freedom" in very big font, and also a quote saying, "Happy girls are prettiest," since she believes that bad energy gives you wrinkles. And since she brought it up, Teresa always looks like she's just coming fresh from a crying bender this season, no? Teresa is apparently looking to move, and says she's not afraid of downsizing. As long as you have love, she says, you can make a home anywhere. And once their German shepherds kill the current round of chickens, there will be a vacancy in the backyard coop that is most likely rent-controlled.
Shakespearean Tragedies: During this episode we learn that Nicole, too, has a job. She's a jet broker, making travel arrangements for CEOs who fly private. She is VERY professional, she tells us, just before having a bitchy phone call with Amber on speaker phone, to the dismay/delight of the co-workers in her very small office.
Eventually, Amber and Nicole meet at a casual bakery, since as Amber says, "I don't feel like being in a nice restaurant and having her try to pull out more of my hair." Amber lets us know that she thinks Nicole is nice, but has a lot of bad around her, and notes that Jim calls her a Shakespearean tragedy. Even when he's not there he's being bitchier than Amber herself!
Their conversation basically starts with Nicole saying she's hurt that Amber spread gossip regarding her having an affair, and Amber saying that she heard from many people that Nicole DID have an affair, and Nicole saying that's a horrific lie, and Amber rationalizing that she only spread the rumor to Melissa (and an entire camera crew).
In the end, Amber apologizes. This is mostly motivated by the fact that Amber is utterly friendless amongst this cast, but Nicole accepts regardless. The two also talk a bit about Bobby, who Amber says is a gigolo and playing Nicole for a fool. And whether it's Amber's influence or other signs, Nicole herself expresses doubts that she and Bobby can go the distance. To that I say, what Dunkin Donuts hath joined together let no woman put asunder!
Next week: The Giudices are on the down and outs, and Victoria Gotti (????? though sure, why not) shows up with news about Rino's affair.