[Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers about the Dec. 13 episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.]
Sure, it's all fun, games and broken glassware until someone mentions Hitler. How did it come to this? One day, Siggy Flicker is verklempt over some abused fondant. Then she's sobbing over being called Soggy. And now suddenly she's accusing fellow housewife Margaret Josephs of being an anti-Semite.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that's what this season of Real Housewives of New Jersey is — so desperate for any drama to stick they're willing to make Hitler a plot point. Mazel tov.
Yes, it seems Siggy has taken great offense to Margaret's Hitler comment from two weeks ago. You'll recall Siggy defended walking in Kim D.'s fashion show by saying she only judges people by how they treat her, not how they treat other people. And Margaret pointed out that Hitler wouldn't have killed her, because she's not Jewish, but that doesn't make him an okay guy. And as the ladies are packing up for their trip to Milan, Siggy is already grinding her ax in Margaret's direction over the analogy, gathering her ammo for the inevitable Melee in Milan.
They land in Italy, and no one brings up the Posche fashion show incident initially, thought it's clearly casting a pall over the trip. The women split up: Margaret and Melissa Gorga head off to a fashion showroom, while Dolores Catania and Siggy take off in one direction and Teresa Giudice and Danielle Staub in the other, presumably to see the sights but, more crucially, to stir the pot.
Danielle tells Teresa that Dolores got in Melissa's face "like a vicious rabid dog" at the fashion show, and Teresa wonders why Dolores and Siggy, who claimed to have defended Teresa's virtue earlier to Kim D., didn't do it when they were all gathered there. Meanwhile, Dolores questions Danielle's motives and Siggy gets herself even more worked up over Margaret's Hitler comment.
The ladies meet up for dinner in a private dining room — clearly someone at the restaurant has seen an episode or two of RHONJ and is looking out for their insurance premiums. As an appetizer, Danielle demonstrates a certain sexual technique that prompts Siggy to gag and Melissa to share with millions of viewers the approximate dimensions of her husband's member.
Keep it classy, Jersey.
Teresa shares a joking email from her incarcerated husband: "Love you. How's the weather? Where are you staying? Cheater." He's referencing Kim D.'s rumors about Teresa's alleged lover, and everyone laughs, but Siggy decides the time is right to air out the Posche debacle. (How does she know the time is right? Oh, right. There are items on the table waiting to be thrown.) Siggy reiterates to Teresa that she and Dolores defended Teresa, but Danielle snips, "I didn't see you defending them, so I don't know that happened."
Teresa Giudice turns the tables on provocateur Kim D. on tonight's 'Real Housewives of New Jersey,' but a battle brews between Dolores Catania and Melissa Gorga.
Melissa says she didn't deserve to be attacked by Dolores after questioning why Siggy and Dolores would still walk in Kim D.'s fashion show — questioning, not ordering them not to, as Dolores claimed when she immediately went ballistic on Melissa. "I felt very bad when that was over," Dolores now tells Melissa. Melissa: "This is the first time you're telling me that." To us, Melissa says she can't believe this is what it takes to get an apology from Dolores.
But Dolores is sorry/not sorry. She accuses Melissa and Teresa of ganging up with Margaret and Danielle against her and Siggy, which Teresa and Melissa immediately deny.
And then Siggy drops the Hitler bomb. First she simply tells Margaret that making the Hitler comparison was inappropriate, to which Margaret, surprised, points out that she wasn't comparing anyone to Hitler per se. Then Margaret, in her confessional, somewhat undercuts her own argument by comparing Kim D. to Hitler: "Kim D.'s only goal in life is to destroy Teresa and Melissa. She's f**king evil. How are you supposed to make an analogy to evil people if you can't use evil people's names?"
Margaret and Teresa both point out that Margaret's stepchildren are Jewish, to which Siggy retorts, "I know many people who marry Jews who can't stand Jews." Margaret: "How dare you say I can't stand Jews?" Siggy: "How dare me? You're anti-Semitic."
Whoa. In this day and age, when there are real and vile acts of anti-Semitism being committed in our country, for Siggy to casually toss out that accusation solely based on an insensitive (yet accurate) analogy is appalling and cheapening.
Margaret gets up to protest, and Dolores, sitting between Margaret and Siggy, also stands to play defense for Siggy, who says, "Tell the bitch to sit down."
Except for Dolores, everyone else is shocked by Siggy's accusation. When Danielle attempts to defend Margaret, Siggy snaps: "Stop it, Danielle. You know her for six seconds. I don't need her to get it and I don't need you to get it. You don't matter."
Danielle: "That's f**ked up."
Siggy: "You're f**ked up."
And then Hurricane Danielle makes landfall. She starts flipping glasses and throwing drinks, yelling, "You're a bitch. You're a f*cking bitch and you're a f**king hypocrite and a f**king liar." Teresa, of all people, wrestles Danielle out of the room while Melissa blocks Dolores from going after Danielle and then, when Siggy continues to rant ("Who acts like that? Act like a lady!"), literally puts her hand over Siggy's mouth and begs her, "Please shut that mouth, please."
As everyone walks out/is thrown out of the restaurant, Siggy is still adamant: "I'm not apologizing. You guys have to stick up for me for the Hitler thing."
The Hitler thing.
But Siggy isn't done: She says she is "beyond shocked" that Teresa and Melissa would not take her side in the Hitler analogy debacle.
And of course Teresa can't pronounce anti-Semitic ("anti-Semesti ...").
The next morning, Siggy and Danielle stay behind at the hotel while Melissa, Teresa, Dolores and Margaret go sightseeing. In the light of day, Siggy seems to be backpedaling a bit on the whole Hitler thing. Today it's just, "The fact that she couldn't say, 'Maybe it was in poor taste ...' That's why I said what I said. It triggered something in me."
Siggy calls Danielle and asks her to come by her room. She immediately apologizes for dismissing Danielle the previous evening, saying it was "uncalled for." And then she starts tearing down Margaret, whom she claims has done nothing but attack her since the moment she introduced her to the group. She brings up Soggy Flicker, for which Margaret has genuinely apologized — twice. The Hitler comment, she says, "hit a nerve in me."
I feel like Ross from Friends here: "IT WAS AN ANALOGY!"
Siggy again apologizes to Danielle, and again complains about Margaret. "With this girl, for some reason, the energy doesn't work." Danielle: "I think she feels the same."
Danielle accepts the apology but tells Siggy that she is still hurt. She is willing, however, to take baby steps to rebuilding their relationship. Utterly insincere hugs ensue.
Meanwhile, tensions are rising at lunch between Dolores and Margaret. Dolores admits that she doesn't think Margaret is anti-Semitic, but she does think Margaret is "anti-Siggy," and says that Margaret as a newbie shouldn't stick her nose into situations where she's not sure of the dynamics.
Margaret continues to deny doing anything of the sort, and Dolores isn't having it, telling her flatly: "You're pushing the limit with me, and I'm getting annoyed." Margaret is taken aback and turns to Teresa, and Dolores snaps, "Why are you looking at her?"
Teresa defends Margaret, saying Dolores never gave her a chance: "You're like oil and vinegar."
Tension broken! Melissa bursts out laughing: "Oil and water," she corrects smugly. "Oil and vinegar actually go very well together."
Back at the hotel, Siggy calls up her husband Michael for sympathy, and he advises her to walk away from such a toxic situation. "Cut the cancer out of your life," he tells her. "You should come home, and if you're not going to put a stop to this, I have to."
Siggy, you're not doing your empowerment brand any favors here.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Wednesdays, 9/8c, Bravo