It's Christmas in Jersey, and the Giudice girls get a fluffy puppy. Now, who is going to take care of that dog if (when) Juicy and Tre get sent to the clink? (Dina, probably.) Meanwhile, in Christmas miracles, we get a Cousin Rosie sighting!
Yes, all of the Gorga cousins get together for a pre-Christmas dinner out, and we see not only skinny Rosie but Kathy and Rich Wakile! Happily, Rich stays mostly silent. Everyone has constant low-level concern for the Giudices, and Rosie tells us that when she thinks of their situation, she automatically thinks of the children and just prays that everything works out. Because really, who is going to be able to handle fostering Milania?
Their concern doesn't ruin the cousins' gag-gift exchange, the highlights of which are: Joe Gorga receiving a fruitcake ("From one fruit to another," says Rosie), Kathy getting horny goat weed and looking confused, and Rosie receiving a sex toy, which Melissa possibly grabs and puts in her own bag. Kathy also gives a dictionary to Teresa, because SHADE.
Christmas at the Giudice house is the chaos that you'd expect. As they put up their tree, Juicy is forced to tell Milania to put her shoes on and act a little normal for once. "I am normal!" Milania lies in turn. She also uses the fact that she's a girl and Juicy is a boy to get out of helping with the tree, and eventually says, "Your favorite ornament broke," which presumably means that she broke his favorite ornament.
Juicy continues his streak of feeling sentimental, either because times of crisis make a man evaluate his life and what's really important OR because he's playing to the cameras for sympathy and possibly a reduced sentence. He half-willingly accepts kisses from Teresa as Milania openly mocks them, and dismisses the gossip of the Franklin Lakes harridans (e.g., attendees of Amber's harvest party) with the following toast: "To the haters and to the ones that love us…Who cares?" Though not featuring the word "yous," I found that to be a fairly eloquent philosophical statement.
On actual Christmas day, you think you've seen the apex of excitement when Milania gets an Easy Bake oven, until we hear barking coming from another room. And no, it's not Joe Gorga being grossly sexual. It's an actual fluffy dog! And boy, is that poor guy terrified when all the girls run at him at once. Maybe he is as confused as we are about that one Giudice child who looks nothing like the rest of them?
Juicy delivers a card to Teresa, telling her, "I know you used to like when I got you cards. So read the card." A true romantic, that one! Teresa is very moved by the words of some random Hallmark writer, and she and Juicy talk about how they need to get through their "little issues." He's glad he has such a strong wife, and when Teresa says that sometimes she cries herself to sleep Juicy tells her that they're only human, and though they have a good team, nothing's guaranteed in life. In fact, says Juicy, life isn't guaranteed. And wouldn't it have been magical if an anvil fell on his head at that very moment? Like a smile from the universe!
And then, in an amazing display of how no one on this show will actually say the word "jail," Juicy talks about what would happen "If for whatever reason things were to turn out to the worst and I, you know, whatever. Would have to go, whatever. You know, on vacation let's just say. Or to college, you say." TO COLLEGE, YOU SAY!!!! Like, oh great, Juicy's doing fine, he's just finishing up his degree…IN AN ITALIAN PRISON. Maybe he'll go for his Master's degree at Riker's University! Tre tells him that they need him to be around, because the family can't function without him. To which I ask…do they really function with him?
Christmas at the Gorga household is a bit less dramatic, except for Antonia yelling about their rental, "I don't like this small, disgusting house." That kid has been spending too much time around Milania, methinks.
The rental is so small and disgusting that their tree won't even fit inside of it, and to make everyone feel better Melissa and Joe take us to the lot in Franklin Lakes where they'll build their new home. Teresa and Dina stop by just after Melissa suggests that Joe should pee on the property to mark it. It is said that the capacity for reason is what separates man from beast, but if anything calls that distinction into question it is this fucking show. Meanwhile, Teresa tells Joe about how some lady at Costco is praying for her. Great story, right?
Joe is all squirrelly around Teresa, presumably because he wants to help with their "little issues" but there's really nothing that anyone other than a team of highly-paid lawyers can do. Perhaps it is this grief that later causes him to attempt to dispel the myth of what happens when you stick your tongue on a frozen pole. And subsequently get his tongue stuck on a frozen pole. And boy, if an anvil had fallen on Juicy and Joe Gorga had to get his tongue removed, this episode certainly would have been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
For her part, Dina gifts us with a fantastic new tag line: "I'm back to bring the Zen. Namaste, bitches." She's the only New Jersey housewife with a real tree, though she has to have it outside because hairless cat Botox will rip it down. Dina, her sister Fran, her mother Nettie, and her daughter Lexi all string up some critter foods for decoration, and everyone is a little disappointed when Fran points out that the string will likely encircle squirrels' intestines and kill them. Or maybe just maim them, so Dina can add to her fucked-up pet collection. Lexi announces that she got accepted to Salve Regina University, though she really wants to go to NYU, and Dina makes her throw a rock in the water for some mystical reason. In other news, the armless Chihuahua wears a sweater! Dina hates Christmas, and tells us that what she's getting this year is a bundle of divorce therapy sessions and hopefully a couple Percosets. Her bird dies and she also has brunch with Nicole, which I find equally depressing.
Amber does basically nothing this episode (her kids screaming while building a gingerbread house and conducting a fire drill doesn't count) but we DO get a whole bunch of twins Teresa and Nicole. We also get to meet their parents, Santa and Sal. And yes, as if having two Joes and two Teresas on this show isn't confusing enough, we are introduced to a character named Santa during the Christmas episode!
Twin-Teresa's son, Giovanni, wants to go into the restaurant business with his dad Rino, mostly to avoid having to go to college. Well, now that Juicy has explained to us what "college" really means, I can't say that I blame him! Upon hearing this news, Sal delivers the following magical soliloquy: "Tradition! Keeps! Society! Alive! Do you know the only two continuing traditions and people are the Hebrews and Chinese? They never changed anything! You are Italian! That is a tradition! Never let anyone downgrade or insult a tradition." Sal knows a lot about history and cultures and yelling for emphasis. He also apparently likes cigarettes a lot.
While twin-Teresa drinks out of a garish wine glass that has the word "diva" painted on it and looks at tiles for the new restaurant that they will be opening, Rino takes Giovanni to work and challenges him to prepare pasta with white clam sauce. He tosses out the following helpful cooking tip: "Pick up the pasta, underneath. It's like a woman! The flavor comes from underneath!" So everyone's predictions that Rino is the new and possibly grosser (a thing that previously seemed impossible!) Rich Wakile seem to be on target.
The twins also have a lobster dinner with their parents, and we learn that twin-Nicole moved back in with her parents after her divorce. And WHAT is the deal with her divorce that she is so cryptic about? She says to Dina, "Do I have exact details what happened? No." What does that MEAN? In any case, Sal and Santa mock how long she's been there, but then Santa says that she'll have separation anxiety when Nicole leaves and "of course I'll cry and get an attack of IBS." Santa is insane, I think. But she gets 10,000 points for not wasting a second when, upon Nicole's lunk of a boyfriend, Bobby, giving her a stiletto-shoe shaped wine bottle holder for Christmas:
…Santa holds her pointy-faced dog on her lap and comes back with, "I think you went to Colt's Neck pharmacy for this. I've seen it there."
And poor lunky Bobby, because what do you say to a crusty old lady who just read you to filth AND whose name literally translates to "Saint?"
Next week: The Gorgas are in the garbage business, and Amber accuses Nicole of being a homewrecker!