Now that Real Housewives of New York City is getting ready to grind to a rather anticlimactic halt, it’s time for the broads of Real Housewives of New Jersey to step up their game and act like the table-flipping, prostitution-whoring, thick-as-thieves hot messes that we all know they can be. Despite a trip to fashion week and the addition of another tiny guidette, the first four episodes of the season have been a bit anticlimactic.

Last night’s episode wasn’t great, but it was pretty darn good for a fifth episode, which is usually where most seasons start getting a little boring before their eventual march to bigger drama in later weeks. This wasn’t the weave-ripping, knife-pulling good time that was featured in the pre-season clips, but it was a disaster of Danielle proportions nonetheless.

First, let’s deal with the more pleasant aspects of the episode. Teresa was released from the hospital with her baby and enough flowers to cover a Macy’s float on Thanksgiving Day, all of them pink, of course. Part of me wonders why no one was able to find leopard-print flowers for her, because I’m sure that she’s paid some poor florist enough money to figure out how to make them in the past. On the car ride back to their conference center/airport/house, Teresa told her husband that she wants him to have a vasectomy because four kids is enough. Naturally, he refused and talked about his penis like it was the third person in the car. At least he didn’t call it “he.”

Over at the Manzos’, Caroline dealt with some awkwardness. Her son Chris has a best friend withs a rich, bored, easily lead mother that would like her moment of reality TV fame, and she is Danielle’s latest temporary friend acquisition. They’re going together to the baby cancer benefit at the Brownstone, which obviously puts the Manzos in kind of a weird spot. In order to lighten the awkward mood, one of the kids tried to instigate a round of the Ham Game, but Caroline puts that kibosh on that, much to Chris’s chagrin. They all sat down to have a serious conversation about the kid’s mom’s friendship with Danielle, and I know that the kids are adults, but why bring the kids into all of this? Chris asked his mom not to “eff” up their friendship, and it should have been left at that to begin with.

In other Manzo news, Caroline’s other kids decided to take Jacqueline’s daughter and her boyfriend to dinner to grill him about why he’s being creepy and dating an 18-year-old that’s couch-surfing and still deciding if she wants to be a marine biologist or a fashion designer. (Well, is 18 and 23 creepy? I dated a guy that age when I was 18. It might have been creepy. I try to block that relationship out.) He mostly stayed quiet, which was probably the best course of action, while Albie and Lauren asked if they planned on getting married and other mortifying questions. They said yes, which I think most insecure 18-year-old girls say in that situation. I give ’em a couple of months.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline got together with Derek’s mom to discuss the responsibility and maturity of their children and then proceeded to get slap-happy drunk. Derek’s mom assured her that she doesn’t allow Ashley to get slap-happy drunk in her house, which apparently Derek still lives in. Maybe they’re more appropriate for each other than I had originally thought? Let me get this straight: Derek is 23. He lives at home, works at Blockbuster (that’s what they said in a previous episode, right?), and is dating an 18-year-old that has no job and no education. Why in the world did he let himself be on this show and an object of ridicule? Another good life decision, Derek and Ashley.

Speaking of children and questionable decision-making, Teresa, freshly post-pregnancy, hosted a party for about a zillion 9-year-old girls that involved a pink stretch limo and the presentation of her daughter’s birthday present. What would be appropriate for a third grader from a rich family? Honestly, I have no earthly idea, but what she got was a bright red kid-sized ATV. Because ATVs are so safe for 9-year-olds. Just for extra safety, she strapped one of the smaller kids on back.

Then all 84 of the girls got into the limo and screamed in unison, and for the second week in a row, my reproductive organs packed themselves up and left my apartment. The limo docked at some place that does little girls’ birthday parties and they proceeded to have the little girl equivalent of a spa party. Then, for reasons unknown, they all jumped around. Actually, it looked kind of fun. I want to go to a party like that, but for girls that are in their mid-20s. With cocktails.

Now, finally, it’s time for the real meat of the show: Danielle and the Brownstone baby cancer event. The Manzos have decided that Danielle is a welcome participant as long as she’s a paying customer like everyone else, which actually seemed like a rather mature, businesslike attitude to take about the whole ordeal. I mean, considering that Danielle is a crazy stalker that’s obsessed with their family, after all. They were more diplomatic about it than I would have been. Of course, my approach would have involved a rooftop sniper, so being more diplomatic than I am really isn’t all that difficult.

In advance of the event, Kim G. (Danielle’s latest rich friend) arrived to her house in a Bentley piloted by a man identified as her “driver,” only to soon be joined by Danny the sleeveless ex-con from the previous episode, who managed to put on sleeves for the event but not a pair of dress pants. Kim G. was amused by him until she found out that Danny was still on parole (for what, we’re not sure, but use your imagination), but she settled into the idea rather quickly. He’s not a real criminal, after all, he’s a mob guy…so perhaps that’s somewhat permissible in her part of town. Although if he really is a wiseguy, I’m pretty sure he’s going to get in trouble with his boss for acting like one on a reality show. Although maybe he doesn’t have a boss. Maybe he’s a freelance wiseguy.

As it turns out, the this particular benefit is stocked with weapons! Convenient. Some kind of hunting club is sponsoring it, and if Sleeveless Danny is on parole, shouldn’t he not be around firearms? Or just in possession of one? I’m confused about the legal details on that one, having never been on parole myself. In addition to his own sketchy presence, Danny had also called the Hell’s Angels, complete with their fancy leather jackets, to escort Danielle into the building. When they got inside, they all expected to be seated and fed, but none of the extra people had actually RSVP’d or paid, so they didn’t have a table for them.

In a response befitting their level of maturity and intelligence, Danielle’s ex-con friends made an enormous scene at the fundraiser for a cancer-stricken baby, swearing and yelling and confronting random people that didn’t have any idea what was going on. Danielle wanted to make sure that everyone was looking at and talking about her instead of the family that was actually supposed to be the recipient of the evening’s attention, so she faked being kicked out in the slowest way possible, wandering around the event and the lobby to make sure that everyone knew she was being kicked out, even though she was objectively not being kicked out at all. They set up an extra table for the group, but it wasn’t nice enough. That’s how they kicked her out.

They kept going on and on about how Chris told Kim G. that they were in for a surprise, but he was pretty clearly talking about their outfits and Bentleys in relation to the camo-painted shotguns and jeans that were going on upstairs. Because Danielle has a very dangerous combination of idiocy and insanity going on, she became convinced that the Brownstone had conspired to leave her unannounced guests off of the seating chart, despite the fact that they key word in that statement is “unannounced.” As Dina aptly pointed out, the Brownstone doesn’t make the seating charts anyway – they just set up the tables. They don’t know or decide who will sit where, since the Manzos weren’t throwing the event, but merely hosting it.

Perhaps the worst part of the entire display, however, was how determined Danielle was to make the event about her. There appeared to be hundreds of people present to help out an extremely sick child and Danielle was just another invited guest, but she swanned around the event like it was in her honor, telling anyone that slowed down too long how she couldn’t believe that she would be treated so poorly. She even pulled the obviously exhausted and grief-stricken mother aside to tell her that she was being kicked out, a development about which the woman (rightly) didn’t seem at all concerned. She was likely glad to be rid of her – if only we were all so lucky.

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