Love—or something like it—is in the Jersey air. As Valentine’s Day rolls around, the wives and their families have varying opinions about the Hallmark holiday. Let’s take a look at the Jersey housewives’ love statuses.
Melissa and Joe Gorga: These two always get the most-passionate award. Joe has been working a lot more, and him spending 12 hours a day out of the house makes Melissa nervous that he won’t be around for their kids, something her late father struggled with. But it seems lack of hair on Joe’s part and Melissa’s gift of arguably the most delicious dessert menu (a.k.a. a sexy personal photo album she made) can easily reignite the flame. “I would get up and kiss you, but I can’t—there’s a fiesta going on down there.” You have to respect a couple that embraces their foot fetish on national TV.
Teresa and Joe Giudice: Of all the couples on the show, we have known the Giudices the longest, but they can still surprise us. Joe has shown some vulnerable moments this season, and the gravitas of their situation in court has made the strength of their relationship seem a lot stronger on TV. But they have never been great at communication, like Joe not telling Teresa everything he’s working on for her brand (he’s the brawn—duh). And for the sake of their family, honesty needs to be a priority.
Teresa and Rino Aprea: Any couple that remarries after they get divorced must have a passionate relationship, and Rino is definitely not short of any passion. In turns out, Teresa and Rino first got divorced when they were 28 but then married again because they always loved each other. There was “never an issue despite what people might say.” Wait—what do people say? Before tonight, the Apreas seemed to have the strongest marriage on the show. Quickly it has become one of the strangest in Housewives franchise history.
Nicole Napolitano and Bobby Ciasulli: Why is everyone so hard on these two? Who cares if Bobby is a “confirmed” bachelor or not? Who even really knows what that means? Valentine’s Day is close to Nicole and Bobby’s one year anniversary, and the twins’ mother, Santa, is getting a little impatient about whether or not Bobby will commit. But once Bobby opens up about his lack of ability to open up in confessional and tells a sweet story about Nicole and kissing frogs (finding her prince metaphor and all), he shows that a man can change his life when it’s most important to him. Fingers crossed, maybe we will get a season 7 wedding.
Amber and Jim Marchese: Our gift from Bravo tonight was no Jim. The reference to him later in the episode—when Amber separates her own thoughts and feelings from his and reaches out to Teresa Giudice at her book signing—is more than enough. The beginning of this season has been about the universal hatred building for this couple, but Amber starts to show some levels of sanity tonight and got along with everyone. She and Jim definitely have a strong relationship with a foundation of love but absolutely no balance of reason, and Amber is starting to realize that.
Dina: What better way to spend the day celebrating love than a visit to your divorce attorney? (Who also happens to have her own Bravo show… #synergy.) Dina has an emotional visit with Untying the Knot’s Vikki Ziegler to begin, yes begin her divorce process against her ex Tommy. Even though things aren’t perfect on paper, she still loves him and is in mourning her loss. With her daughter about to go to college, she can lean on her assistant Luke, the gay son she always wanted, to FaceTime while eating Lexi’s chocolates and giving herself a SkyMall spa treatment. If that’s not love, what is?Beyond romantic relationships, tonight’s episode also shows the wives trying to maintain and manage new and old friendships. Amber was really proactive about this and first visits Melissa, whose aunt had died, to bring some chicken soup for her soul. For once, Amber uses her cancer survival as a genuine and respectful way to connect with Melissa.
Over wine and autographing cookbooks, Melissa and Teresa have a date night of their own. There seems to be some honest “No B.S.” policy going on with these two; after “apologizing” many times in the past (cue playback!), they both admit what they have now is different and enjoy a movie night watching The Godfather together so they can learn about family—hopefully just family and not some of the other themes in that film.
Before we all make a complete 180 and admit to actually liking Amber a little bit now, this lady needs new ways of getting her information. First it was the infamous grapevine that told her about Nicole’s alleged infidelity and it was a Facebook post that told her about Melissa’s aunt’s death. Now it’s the radio, where she hears about Teresa’s Fabellini wine bottle signing. She figures it will be a great time to go and reach out as a friend… without her husband of course. Well, great minds think alike and I guess average ones do too because Victoria Gotti has the same idea to surprise her friend Teresa as well. They have known each other for years, but they have a special bond too (no, it’s not that they both appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice). Victoria has dealt with her fair share of legal troubles in her family and invites the two ladies over to her house for a drink (cue Amber freaking out about what Jim would think). Once she grabs her bulletproof vest, Amber agrees to go. She was joking… right? Glad she wasn’t invited to The Godfather movie night.
No shots were fired at Victoria’s house, but dish was most definitely served. After Victoria found out that Amber lived in Colt’s Neck near Teresa and Rino, she immediately questioned how well she knew them, especially Rino. She shared a bizarre story about the first time she met Rino at his restaurant in Brooklyn before he married Teresa. Two weeks after meeting, she had surgery, and he had come to the ICU with a diamond Rolex watch. She didn’t take the watch, but she took a friendship. Cut to years later when Rino opened up to Victoria about why he and Teresa got divorced in the first place because he had cheated on her. But it wasn’t just the what in the situation, it was the who that really mattered. Amber was thinking what we all were in that Rino probably cheated with Nicole, a classic twin identity mistake excuse perhaps?
Ho, ho, no. Rino told Victoria that he had cheated on Teresa with… her mother! That’s right, Santa! Amber and Teresa G.’s mouths pretty much drop straight to the floor with this news. “How could he? How could she?” Amber asks in confessional. If this is true, this is one of the craziest bombshells to ever be dropped in Jersey—no matter what that book actually says about Danielle Staub. Earlier in the episode, Santa was seen giving Nicole advice on love as her husband, Sal, sat across the table on one side and Rino on the other. There is no doubt more information will come out of this revelation later in the season, but for now Santa is definitely going on Jersey’s naughty list.