I’ll just get this out of the way. There were only two truths in last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey: 1) the big encounter at the Brownstone, while awkward, resulted in nothing, and 2) Danielle is officially psycho. Pay attention, puh-leez!
Yes, after weeks of hype, we finally came upon the highly anticipated Danielle-goes-to-the-Brownstone episode, and it certainly had all the cringeworthy moments we could have expected. Mix that in with some disingenuous concerns about a baby and a hilarious yet ridiculous misunderstanding over a “surprise,” and we finally had something truly entertaining on this show. Pretty much the only thing missing was any explosive action, which was a bit of a letdown considering that Bravo made it look like a full-on gunfight might break out. I suppose that’s par for the course. If anyone knows how to mislead with promos, it’s Bravo.
Nevertheless, there was much fun to be had. The whole Brownstone saga was a tangled mess of ego and misunderstandings, which, to be fair, is at the heart of almost all Housewives fights. As you may remember, Danielle agreed to go to a fundraiser at The Brownstone, a.k.a. the Manzo family business. This was the equivalent of stepping into enemy territory, and so as a result, Danielle decided to invite a goon named Danny to “protect” her. And as we all know, there’s nothing more dangerous than a fundraiser for baby cancer.
Why Danielle felt the need to bring a bodyguard was beyond me. Did she really think she’d be attacked by the Manzo clan? Was she expecting an errant busboy to take her captive with a butter knife and a water pitcher? Probably not. Instead, she just wanted to put on a show, make herself look tough in the face of what she perceived to be the Goliath to her David. What Danielle didn’t realize was that no one really cared. And so she continued with this charade, not only inviting Danny along but also the head of the Hells Angels as well as several other shifty, thug types.
Also in her entourage was her friend Kim G (not to be confused with that other Kim who pretended to be her friend before talking smack about her behind her back). Kim G, you see, is a very wealthy resident of Franklin Lakes — perhaps even the wealthiest, based on the reverence with which Danielle spoke about her. Danielle wanted to roll with Kim for ostensibly philanthropic reasons (ie. in order to bring about a hefty donation to the family in need), but let’s be honest. She just wanted please to see that she rolls with the rich girls. I mean, Danielle practically said it herself. It all goes back to her chip-on-the-shoulder mentality, which seems to be all that fuels her these days.
Well, in a fun little twist of fate, Kim G happens to be the mother of Christopher Manzo’s bestest friend ever. When she and Danielle rolled up at the Brownstone, Kim shared a few pleasant words with Christopher (who was working the valet stand), and before she departed for the event, he told her “You’re in for a big surprise.” We soon learned this was in reference to the fact that Danielle and Kim were dressed to the nines for a beer-swilling event whose fanciest attendee was most likely sporting a Jets jersey.
And that’s when things started to get out of hand.
Kim told Danielle that there was a big surprised waiting for them in the event, and of course Danielle interpreted that in the worst possible way. I don’t know what she was expecting — a bucket of blood to be dropped on her head? A bazooka aimed at her face? A raging lion she’d have to defeat in classic gladiator style? Either way, her guard was up.
Making matters worse was that once Kim and Danielle arrived in the reception hall, there didn’t seem to be a seat for them. We couldn’t tell if it was because there had been an administrative error or if perhaps Danielle had a spot for herself but none for of her entourage. Whatever it was, she and Danny began pitching a fit, and while the Brownstone tried to accommodate them, the organizers of the event soon got fed up and kicked the whole crew out. Danielle immediately suspected this was the work of the Manzos (me shaking my fist: “MANZOS!!!”), and so she began to pace and mutter and complain, acting like a victim to the world’s largest crime when in fact all that had happened was that she didn’t have a few extra seats for her goons (who hadn’t paid to enter and were not given advance clearance).
Most hilarious of all though was how every so often, Danielle would turn this entire scenario on its head, acting as if the Manzos had committed an affront to the baby. “How could they do this to a baby! A BABY!” she said (I may be paraphrasing as I’m working off my memory). It was a bit ridiculous — almost as ridiculous as the reaction of Danny, who was just aching to get into a fight. But alas, with only six days left of parole, he wasn’t about to risk going back to jail for a silly donnybrook. Instead, he merely stood around and cursed out the entire facility, repeatedly calling the Manzos and anyone working at the Brownstone “fucking faggots.” Curiously, Danielle, voice of the downtrodden and beleaguered, seemed to have no problem with her friend Danny using the word “faggots” when it was just a year ago that she chewed out Teresa’s husband Joe for using the same term.
Of course, we shouldn’t be so surprised. Danielle is hardly the paragon of class and etiquette. The one nice thing she did all episode — sharing some kind words with Christopher at the valet stand — turned out to be totally fake. She revealed to us that she wasn’t being gracious to take the high road. She was merely trying to give him a big “F U” by rubbing it in his face that she was entering the Manzo home, metaphorically speaking. Yes, the Danielle pendulum swings to and fro each episode — sometimes we think she’s unfairly ganged up upon. And then sometimes, like last night, we remember that’s she totally, certifiably insane.
Elsewhere in the episode, Teresa threw a birthday party for her daughter that made me want to vomit. She paid to have a whole gaggle of girls hop in a bright pink limo and then go off for a kiddie spa day somewhere in NJ. Granted, it probably was awesome to all the kiddies, but for me, it kind of was the antithesis of everything I like in life. The only amusing part was watching the cutaways to Gia’s sisters, who continue to be somewhat hilarious. The middle one is always on the verge of tears, and the youngest (or formerly youngest) is without exception raising hell (this week she was taking a set of scissors to the flat screen TV and later on scaling a tall staircase from the outside of the bannister).
Amusingly, given how girly Gia’s party was, her birthday gift was anything but. Teresa and Joe gave her an ATV. This was a bit surprising because a) they’re notoriously dangerous for adults, let alone nine year old girls, but b) what sort of aspiring pageant queen zips around on an ATV? Seemed a bit discordant with her lifestyle.
Meanwhile, over in Manzo land, nothing too terribly exciting happened outside of the Brownstone incident. The kids all played the ham game again, which caused me to smile like a cheeseball (it’s nice to see affable people on TV once in a while), and then later Albie grilled Ashley’s BF about their future at dinner. It was all rather endearing. Also entertaining was Jacqueline (stop the presses!!!) who paid a visit to Ashley’s boyfriend’s mom. The woman was surprisingly WASPy and uppercrust, especially given her son, and while I thought these two ladies would mesh like oil and water, it turns out that with the help of some booze, they were fast friends indeed. Watching them get drunk and feed each other grapes was surprisingly enjoyable. So I guess that’ll be Jacqueline’s one fun moment this season.
“We’re going home, Audriana! And then in an hour, it’s time for your first pageant!!”
“Al and Tipper Gore getting divorced? I mean what’s that about? And who are they anyway? Do they go to CHATEAU: The Art of Beauty?”
“Cheers to you, Ashley. May your life be full of silly knitted hats.”
“Greetings, girls. The worst limo EVER is here!”
“Mommy! Mommy! Aren’t I too young to be driving this?”
“It’s totally safe, Gia! And if you’re good, next year we’ll get you a chainsaw!”
“OMG! Now I can look just like mommy. You know, like an alien! With big hair!!”
“Thank you for bringing over the wine, Jacqueline. I don’t know how else I’d be able to tolerate your company otherwise!”
“Whaddya think, Teresa?”
“It’s classy, Joe!”
“I taut so too.”
“Don’t worry, Danielle. We’re here to cover your back. Because as we all know, the most dangerous people are caterers and valets.”
“Hello, Christopher. Thank you for having me. Question: have you ever slept with an older woman before? Would you like to?”
“I don’t see no cocktail weenies anywhere. I swear to God I’m gonna punch someone in the face, Danielle. I swear to God.”
Danielle: “Well, I certainly showed them who’s a hot shot. I bet no one expected me to roll in here with you, CINDY MCCAIN.”
“I just want you to know that tonight is about you and your baby. That’s why I plan to cause as much chaos as possible.”
“I swear to God, those fuckin’ spanikopitas are fuckin’ delicious. If we don’t get another one soon, I’m gonna have to make some noise. Some reeeeeal loud spanikopita noise.”
Danielle: “Excuse me, but I think Mrs. McCain here deserves a whole lot more respect, and frankly so do I. And to think you’re doing this all TO A BABY!!”
“They can take away my table, but they can’t take away my dignity. And nothing says dignity like an entourage of ex-cons and Hells Angels members.”
What did you think about the episode? What are your thoughts on Danielle?