I have unfortunate news to report. Since we last convened, the Real Housewives of New Jersey‘s boat didn’t sink. No, the cruise ship stayed afloat and no one fell overboard (and no one was tossed overboard, which was probably just as likely). And back in Jersey, Danielle was still…Danielle. She doesn’t really do things, does she? She just danielles around town.

In this penultimate (YAY ALMOST DONE) episode of the season, we saw the conclusion of the Great Italian Adventure and Danielle’s birth-mom storyline. Word on the street is that she won’t be on the show next season, so I guess it doesn’t matter who she does or doesn’t find. It certainly doesn’t matter to me – she can love-and-light her way straight out of pop culture, for all I care.

The episode opened with the cruise ship docking in Naples and Caroline very much wanting to scramble off the boat and away from her entire extended family. Teresa, on the other hand, didn’t so much scramble as crawl off the ship because she and Joe have four kids and approximately 8,489 pieces of luggage. Unrelated: Teresa thinks Mount Vesuvius may have erupted about sixty years ago. Or maybe several hundred years? Teresa’s grasp of history is…not strong. Nor is her grasp of language: “bidet” is apparently a difficult word. Joe said it’s like a douche. SOMETHING in their hotel room is a douche, but I’m not so sure that it’s the bidet. I think it’s the grown man in the Ed Hardy shirts and hair gel.

Speaking douches, Danielle was still in New Jersey and wanted to have a serious conversation with her kids, but they wanted to smack their gum and text because not only are they teenagers, but they’re poorly parented teenagers who have to deal with her every day. Danielle informed them that she was looking for her birth mother, which I honestly thought was something we had already been over. She spent roughly half the conversation talking about her mom and the other half explaining to them what a good mom she is, which probably goes under the, “If I say it enough, I shall make it so,” theory of parenting. It’s not a great theory.

Back in Italy, things were actually a little heart-warming for a second. Caroline and Jacqueline’s husband got together with their parents for a moment and spoke about how special it was to be back in Italy and think about where their family came from, and it was clear that the whole trip would have been kind of nice if Teresa’s Psycho Circus had been left at home. I don’t dislike Teresa or her family in most situations, but the thought of being on vacation and in close quarters with them makes me want to fling myself out of a window. Even a free vacation, which this likely was.

While the entire group was dining on some admittedly fabulous-looking pizza in Naples, we were reminded that the point of this trip was to go to Teresa’s and Joe’s family reunion in some tiny town outside of the city. Joe helpfully mentioned that everyone was going to have to hike up a giant hill to do so, and when Jacqueline pointed out that doing that with a bunch of strollers and old people (but thankfully not old people in strollers) might be a problem, Teresa got a little huffy and eye-rolly for my taste. Just because she can sprint up a cobblestone hill in high-heeled boots doesn’t mean that it’s easy for the grandparents in the group. On the other hand, props to her for handling her heels so well.

As the group prepared to leave Naples and travel to the family reunion, all the Giudices chose to fill the drive by complaining loudly and profanely about minibar charges and tour bus air conditioning. Somehow, I don’t doubt for a second that the family managed to eat, drink and destroy an extra 600 euros worth of food and property. Joe thought it was exorbitant, though, so he sat in he back of the bus like a spoiled fifth grader and yelled for the entire bus trip about crappy ham sandwiches, cognac, and above all, the need to be CIVILIZED. I really wish that more of the people on this show were capable of understanding irony, because sometimes it’s just so beautiful.

I’m not sure how many stairs it took for the entire clan to get from the bus stop up to Teresa’s and Joe’s grandparents’ houses, but it seemed like an unreasonably long period of time. Jacqueline sat down in the middle of the street when they got to the top, but pretty soon afterward we were in for another reasonably cute family moment: Joe’s grandmom looked overjoyed to see the family and meet some of her new great-grandkids. Aww. So Joe and Teresa are humans after all, and not just guido robots. Well isn’t that nice.

Speaking of familial heritage, Danielle finally met with the people who were going to help her find her birth mom. According to Danielle, all the information she has to go on for the search is her birthdate, place, and “ethniticity,” which isn’t going to get her very far. I’m not without sympathy for Danielle’s situation, but trying to add a sympathetic storyline about Danielle to the show seems to be entirely beside the point. The producers have spent two years trying to make us hate her, and congrats, they succeeded spectacularly. As a result, I’m significantly more interested in the story behind Teresa’s wonky hair line than I am about Danielle’s complex inner life.

In Italy, Teresa’s and Joe’s patience with each other was wearing thin, as was Jacqueline’s and Caroline’s ability to keep up with which relative corresponded with which Italian name. Thankfully the producers managed to intersperse the insanity with a few cute stories about where Joe’s birth and Christopher’s parents’ wedding, and it was almost odd to think of the people on this show as real people, complete with families, histories and ancestors far beyond the scope of Real Housewives. In fact, being forced to confront the cast members’ humanity was probably the most interesting moment of the season thus far for me, which might say something about the entertainment value of this show.

Speaking of family histories, Danielle finally got some word from her PI about finding her birth mother. She hadn’t been found yet, but the PI had located some files about the adoption and needed the court to take action on them. I started to feel for Danielle a little bit more at this point, but then I reminded myself that sociopaths understand emotions on an intellectual level and are able to fake them at will. Danielle’s scenes are far more interesting when I use all of the armchair psychology I’ve learned from repeated viewing of Criminal Minds to profile her.

In stark contrast to the nasty realities of life going on in New Jersey, the actual family reunion happened in Italy (wait, that part before with all the pasta and the strangers wasn’t the family reunion?) and Teresa’s daughters showed up in hoop skirts. Not to be funny or silly, but because Teresa thought they would all look great in pink-and-brown, satin-poly, custom-made matching dresses with hoop skirts. Thankfully, the infant didn’t have a hoop skirt but she DID have an extra-giant pink and brown bow on her bald head. I wonder if she could get cell reception on that thing.

Finally, after all of the little girls were unstrapped from their horrific dresses (there were pantaloons, people) and everything was stuffed back into the suitcases, the family returned home and went back to their respective suburban McMansions to recover from the jet lag and pick up the drama where they all left off. And drama it shall be: it looks like the finale is comprised mainly of a Caroline-Danielle showdown, although knowing our producers, the actual confrontation probably lasts for two and a half minutes at the end of the show and is what we saw in the commercials. Pessimistic? Me? Never.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • Kiwishopper

    I actually quite enjoyed the show last night. These women seemed more “normal” when they are just with their family. You can tell Danielle was picked to create “drama” becuase the others are just one big giant happy Italian family. I enjoyed watching the destinations they traveled in Italy!~ And the Joe’s grandmother’s so cute lol

  • suz

    Yawn……and we wonder why Europeans hold American tourists in such low regard. Pretty embarrassing……

    • Whenever the Real Housewives leave the country, it’s always hellaciously embarrassing to be an American.

      • PhotoGirl

        So true, Amanda. The next time someone asks why people who do not live in the States “hate us” they should be directed to any of the RH road trip episodes. So mortifying.

  • Pam

    If you were Danielle’s birth mother, would you want to be found?

    • Paty

      No. I’d get into a witness protection program.

      • jamiez


  • Nee

    i don’t even watch this show anymore….


    I agree with Amanda and KiwiShopper. I found last night’s episode to be the most interesting of the season. I say get rid of all the other Housewives and just give Caroline and Albert and their kids a show. Oh wait…a show about a family that loves eachother and gets along and is well behaved…that will never happen…so much “smarter” to spin off a series about a dangerous, dilusional, egomanic like Danielle.

    • suz

      If it comes back next season…which it probably won’t because it wasn’t chaotic or dysfunctional enough…..try “9 by Design”….a large, happy family that actually made or did something in each episode. Very charming…..

      • Manuela

        I agree that “9 by Design” was a great show and such a breath of fresh air to watch, like “Bethanny Getting Married?”! I hope, hope, hope Bravo has the sense to bring it back!

        My husband is European and as soon as he saw Joe raising hell on the bus he pointed at the screen and said, “It’s Americans like that that give the rest a bad name in Europe. And it’s the Ugly Americans that outnumber the good that we get to meet, so it’s really too bad”.

        So thanks Joe for making me hear that for the fifty-second time! Lol, just kidding, Babe.

        We both LOAO when Joe kicked the baby seat out of the elevator on the boat, though. Joe may enjoy his whiskey a *leetle too much* but that was damned funny, I don’t care who you are!

  • Diva Style

    The little girls and their dresses…like looking at a renaissance painting of the Spanish crown Infantas. Teresa’s fashion choices for herself and her daughters… Also, I can only imagine the cost of trip and can’t help but wonder if they were bankrupt at that point

  • Lisa in Oregon

    I think the fact that they were already bankrupt contributed to Joe’s awful attitude. I think he was well into the meltdown that began on the day of the Christening…

  • Carla

    Um, Danielle wants to find her mother unless she’s drug addicted….or homeless? Homeless? Really? “In that case don’t bother giving her my name! Please find me a well adjusted, rich biomom or just scrap the whole idea altogether!”.

    • Relli

      Really she said that?!?! I am very concerned that she was told a spin of lies that one feeds a child to make them feel better about thier situation. You know, “my real mom is/was an Italian princess involved with a star crossed lover and the family could not handle their love.” i have read some of her blogs that suggest just that, she even believes that she has different taste in food and lifestyle because of her birth mother.

      I am inclined to believe that her real mother was a relative of her adoptive family who was either too young, incompetent or Beverly/Danielle was a circumstance of of rape. I do not care for this woman based her TV persona, but i am afraid to see what could happen to her (and others) if she found out the truth surrounding her birth mother.

      • She basically said that. She doesn’t want to know about or meet her mom if she is dealing with any sort of hardship.

        Lovely woman, that Danielle.

  • adrienne

    I was hoping you’d use the title “Every Five Minutes, you can hear a Pig Scream”. That would have been appropriate too! I was hearing one scream entire Italian trip.

  • Brie

    Love your recap (as always) T’s girls looked like a bunch of pinatas – truly my favorite moment of the evening. That and the Santa or Sala Chuckalina line – classic!

  • Matthew


  • Amy

    I read online that Danielle has been fired from Bravo. The real question after all this mess of a season 2, would i really want to sit down and watch any of these ladies again?

  • JenG

    Thanks Amanda!

  • Handbag Lover

    Good Recap, girl the best thing last night is that the show is ending soon. It was sooo boring. I hope Joe looks at these shows and see how bad Theresa has their kids looking and put his foot down. They don’t need to bring this show back at all, they need to start with a new franchise somewhere else.

  • adrienne

    what’s going to be interesting without danielle in the picture? she provided all of the drama! even though nobody likes her, what’s the show without all of her chaos??

    • It’s an interesting question for sure, but hopefully they get rid of her, pick 2-3 new housewives to replace her and Dina (and maybe an extra one just for variety) and take the show in a completely new direction. She’s preventing the show from changing and has ceased to be entertaining as part of the cast, so I think they have to get rid of her in order to have any chance that the series might ever be entertaining again.

      • La Reina

        … please just not Kim G!! I won’t watch if she gets added!! …

  • NCGal

    When are the RHNJ reunion shows scheduled to air? Now that’s gonna be some freakin’ drama!

    • Now that you mention it, I don’t actually know. I know it’ll be two parts, but I don’t know if it’ll run in the show’s normal timeslot or not. Since RHDC runs at 9 instead of 10, I could see Bravo running one segment after RHDC instead of stretching it out for two extra weeks. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  • Paty

    I DVR’d this episode. Am I the only one fast forwarding through all the Danielle parts?

  • Amy

    according to the nydailynews.com, its suppose to air Aug 30th and Sept 6.

  • Danielle

    @Paty, no you are not the only one fast forwarding through the disaster that is Danielle. BTW I am embarrassed that she shares my name. My teenage daughter and I watch it and we are both in silent agreement that we will not watch any scene with Danielle and her poor pitiful daughters are in. Honestly where is their father? Why on earth is he allowing his children to be subjected to this dog and pony horror show is just beyond me.

  • Cee

    Your grasp of history must not be too strong either. Yes, the most famous eruption at Vesuvius was 79 AD. It has erupted maaaany times since then, the last being in 1944 and is still considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes…Teresa and Joe weren’t too far off…