Carey: The noon sun was pale and dim, barely hanging above the lake covered by snow, and the black hills covered by forest. The castle retreat was still in full swing, the castle's cold stone cast in the shadow of the sun. Everything seemed to be sighing; not of relief, but maybe in resignation for something that hadn't come quite yet. Kim D the crow perched herself on a wood post on one far corner of the castle lawn, silencing some cawing crows that had followed her there. She looked up at one of the windows on the top floor of the castle, lit by an orange glow, against the rows of gray silent rooms around it. 'Yes,' she thought. 'Yes'. Inside, DR. V continued her assault on Teresuh and brudda Joe's feud. Teresuh did her best impression of a wet paper bag with a smiley face drawn on it and cried, cried, cried. V told her it was GOOD to cry, and soon enough, Brudda Joe got in on the cry-face action and squeezed his big sister hard. V sort of watched, panting, repeating over and over, "You two need some alone time." Ok, V, thanks. While the doctor continues making valid and very sane points to the estranged sibz, she also continues to be a tremendous hypocrite, and suggests bringing in Teresuh and Brudda's spouses. Isn't spouse the most terrible word? It sounds so sterile. Like shoes scuffing on a hospital floor, or that awful, quiet drone after you turn on the florescent lamps of an empty classroom. Anyway, Melissa and Juicy Joe come on in for some teeeeeerapy. V gets Melissa and "Tre" to make up and hug. The first hug is brutally uncomfortable, so Docta gets them to hug FOR REALZ. Teresa wraps her arms around her sister-in-law's waist and lifts her up. She looks like a child squeezing a dog or cat to test out their resistance for when they will inevitably suffocate it. Joe and Joe fake hug each other, too. They come downstairs to the others: Kathy, Creepy Rich, Sister Rosie, Goody Caroline, all waiting at the dining table where lunch has been occurring for the past 15 hours. Kathy gets super upset because V is like "payce" and gets in her black SUV to head back to LA and doesn't even bother trying to mediate Kathy and Teresa, because as Kathy says "I guess I'm not that important," and everyone's kind of like, "yeah that's true," and Teresa is like, "Ok, sorry I said that, Kath," and Kathy is like "Ok, I'm sorry, too." Done! BUT THE REAL STORY IS V GOING BACK TO LA!!!!! Back to LA, you go, V! Yay! LA! Away from these people and dead woods and hills and Kim D the crow and that horrible noise -- the sound of flies and glass rolling in with the coming woods and getting louder and louder each moment. Bye, V! Have fun in LA!
Eli: There really isn't too much to say about the beginning of this episode simply because it's the closest to real life we've gotten on the show. Dr. V administers some very reasonable and appropriate, if perky, therapy to the KREW, while Rich, Rosie, and Kathy play in the snow outside in what looks like a very pleasant little day. Sort of like a Norman Rockwell painting if Norman Rockwell was really into knockoff Versace. During the snowball fight, I even found myself grinning out of endearment, which I can assure you has not happened with this show before. And then Dr. V and her fur vest Lisa (she's never said that she named her fur vest, or that it's named Lisa, but I think we can all extrapolate that) head off to get on the flying choo-choo to El Lah. And the fuse begins. How long can they continue the pleasantries before the claws come out again? I would also like it to be noted how disappointed I am in myself for using the phrase "the claws come out." Let's pretend I used it ironically. (I didn't.) After all, I'm still waiting for this show to end in a cannibalistic death-match, and I feel my odds are good.
Carey: The uneasy family truce is a strange one. The men (and Rosie) head out to the frozen lake to go ice fishing with some gangly old local while the ladies stay behind to cook and get BUZZZZZZZED. Key word tonight: BUZZZED. Melissa, Tre, and Kath start cookin' up a storm. When I say Melissa is cookin', I mean Melissa supplies the cocktails.
Eli: Apparently Melissa was unaware that cooking utilizes fire. When the kitchen becomes hot (from the fire) and then she burns her eyelashes (from the fire) she abandons ship and retreats to the comfort of glassware, ice, and juices that are more her speed. I will say, whatever my opinions are of the women on this show -- Teresa's not doing so well in my book -- they can cook like a motherfucker. These ladies are COOKING in a way that suggests there's a hostage involved. It made me hungry, but that may be because all I've had to eat today is Pedialyte.
Carey: "We gonna get drunk tonight?" She asked. "I'm buzzed." She says. "You buzzed?" she asks Teresa later. That's what I used to say the first time I pretended to be drunk when I was 14 in the woods by this old pond in my hometown with a bunch of classmates who were probably wondering why I was even there to begin with. I drank maybe half a beer before I pulled a friend aside and said, "Hey...I'm definitely buzzed."
Eli: My first alcohol time was at the after-party for the Woodrow Wilson Senior High School One-Acts, a collection of one-act plays. It was at Rosa Kelly's house, and someone drove me there in their trunk. It was straight scotch, followed by straight gin, which is a diet usually reserved for someone who fought in the Civil War and lost.
Carey: Melissa is BUZZED, though. Out on the ice, Joe and Joe begin to bicker a liiiiittle bit, but thankfully Creepy Rich and Sister Rosie diffuse the cro-magnon turf war by talking about Rosie's pubic hair. The dinner is remarkably light, albeit the minor air of tension. Caroline says she's not going to get Melissa-buzzed in case this tower of pleasant falls fast and she needs to get the eff out via her big fat SUV. Kim D the crow flaps her wings by the window, peering in at the slightly unified family. The crew even sways an uncharacteristically (drunk) sensitive Juicy Joe to suggest to Teresa that make up with Jacqueline and Chris, tears welling up in his puffy, wine-hangover eyes. 'All this talk,' Kim D thinks, 'it has to end'.
Eli: Meanwhile, Jacqueline and Chris dine at "Bon Giovanni." Pretty uneventful, except that Jacqueline brings up the scenario in which Joe Gorga and Teresa's WEIRD WEIRD relationship stems from the fact that they've had incestual relations, a.k.a. boned. This is a favorite theory of Carey's so I'm sure he's glad that's now part of the conversation. Anyway, my curiosity finally overcame me, and I had to look up these restaurants to see if they even exist or if this whole show is taking place in an alternate universe which is one block of Italian restaurants. What follows are my favorite excerpts from the Yelp Reviews of Bon Giovanni, at 61 E Main St, Ramsey, NJ. Albert A., from Wanaque says they have "Excellent bread." Roman from Paramus thought that the "Buffalo mozzarella special was quite good although eggplant it came with was too salty" (2 stars). Michael of Bergen County calls it a "Decent local restaurant for a quick meal w/ a bottle of vino" (3 stars). Arissa from Saddle River went there for a "mini" graduation party, was given a beautiful watch by her parents, and then got pasta with a wad of black curly hair in it (1 star).
Carey: The family and Goody Caroline fell into a peaceful slight, their heads filling up fast with hot blood as they lay their heads down, drunk on wine, excitedly remembering vacations and dinners and cooking with each other and dancing and music and the muted glow of a far off-jetty on the beach at night. Outside, the night was in its deepest point, the one or two hours before pre-dawn when most things are sleeping and anything else awake, shouldn't be. Kim D the crow was awake, though. She doesn't sleep. Atop the highest chimney of the castle, she looked out across the white lake, illuminating beneath the mauve opaque above. She thought of this peace, both inside and outside the castle, and for the first time, she was worried. But the glow of a new dawn could be seen behind the farthest valley across the way. It was a pale red, not emerging for at least another hour. A sickly red, bringing with it that sweet, familiar dread Kim D loved so much, moving across the snow and ice, dragging only the tips of its toes, pressing against the cold window pane that kept in the warmth of the castle rooms and their inhabitants. She couldn't wait for the light.