Let’s be clear about one thing: Teresa Giudice, the flashy table-flipping virago of Franklin Lakes, is one scary bitch. And we mean that in the best of ways.
When we left you, dear readers, Teresa was still spouting fragmentary pleasantries in the foyer of the North Jersey Country Club.
But we could see her simultaneously spinning a deadly cobweb, waiting for the first false move from the object of her theater of cruelty, Danielle Staub. Seconds later, Teresa was all battle cries.
“Did you forget I’m from Patterson?” she warns before the teenage fashion show fell into a deep sea of pandemonium.
We’ve been waiting all season for this encounter, and by now we’ve accepted Bravo’s gratuitous love of woman-on-woman violence. Was it necessary for her to scurry after Danielle? Yes, if you want to keep your title as Queen Bee of The Real Housewives of any location.
We thought Teresa would pull off one of her own heels and stab a bitch in the eye. But instead, it was Danielle who had to lumber along like a one-legged pirate, exclaiming to the crowd, “I broke my f*cking heel!” before taking emergency shelter in an outdoor corner of the club to hyperventilate and weep. “Harry, put her in the car!” shrieked Kim G. to her imposing chauffeur, as if Danielle were stuffed, trussed, and headed for the oven on Easter.
Watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey Monday night, we were filled with a sense of déjà vu. Haven’t we seen most of this before? As Jacqueline’s sultry-yet-spitfire daughter Ashley grabbed a hunk of Danielle’s extensions in her hungry fist, we thought immediately of the last season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, when even the classy Sheree Whitfield nearly yanked off Kim Zolciak’s broke-down blonde wig.
It’s a scene that never fails to satisfy, ever since Neely O’Hara snatched Helen Lawson’s wig in the legendary 1967 film Valley of the Dolls.
We’ll never forget Neely's riposte: “It’s a wig! Her hair’s as fake as she is!” Of course, the problem of authenticity haunts the rest of this episode as well. “That was my real hair, not my extensions!” Danielle cries out.
And later, as a little tug of the wig becomes terroristic trauma in Danielle’s shaky mind. She claims, “They pulled handfuls of hair out of my head!” And then even later: “There’s a small bald spot in the back of my head.”
However, between hysterical sobbing fits, Danielle mustered the preternatural poise of a paralegal to speak with the police: “My hair was pulled and they accosted me.” Ashley laid down her own law: “Technically, I didn’t pull her hair. I pulled her extensions, which isn’t really part of her.”
Forget Elena Kagan. Ashley’s our nominee for the Supreme Court.
Of course, Danielle’s already poisoning the jury pool with intimations of a lawsuit. No doubt many people suffer from a sore neck and twitching eyes after a little hair pull. But that, Danielle tells us, is what the law was designed to do: Protect people like her. I guess that makes her ex-con buddy Danny and the Hell’s Angels deputized sheriffs.
Later, as she processes the event, Danielle pulls to the side of a busy road in her gas-guzzling SUV. And by the way, thank goodness for four-way flashers. How else is a poor girl to call her Energist? “I have tapped into my psychic side with regards to this matter,” Sarai, the Energist, confides.
Really, Sarai? Did you need your massive psychic powers to realize that violence is bad?
Hey wait a minute: Didn’t Dina have an Energist first? Remember what she said about Danielle in the first season? “That girl’s obsessed with me. I don’t know if she wants to be me, or skin me and wear me like last year’s Versace.”
And there was yet another energist session as Sarai tried to “pull negative energy” out of Jacqueline — through a telephone — at Danielle’s request. Jacqueline plays along, trying to prevent daughter Ashley from being brought up on charges. But really she plays games on her mobile as Sarai mutters mumbo-jumbo on national television. Is New Jersey a breeding ground for energists or is the American Energist Association bankrolling Bravo?
For the moment, Jacqueline’s willing to play along with Danielle’s reindeer games. And she and ever-crasser husband Chris (wearing a rosary around his neck) attempt to bully poor Ashley as she lounges, serene, in black-and-white tiger print pajamas. When a single glance from their erstwhile vixen says, “Keep your laws off my body,” mom and dad’s sad attempt to foil a women’s wig war with idle threats is just another waste of time.
Ashley’s not impressed: “I can do anything I want to her.” Oh Bravo, when does Ashley get her own show?