The argument between Danielle and Jen could mean the end of the show
The argument between Danielle and Jen could mean the end of the show

The Real Housewives of New Jersey is falling apart right before our eyes – and it’s almost beautiful. Friendships have broken apart, alliances have never been more aimless and strategic, and the facade of a core group with a rich inner life has all but dissolved. And just when you think it can’t get any more corrupt, Jennifer Aydin comes along with a bag of hammers and starts banging.

After months of blog-driven rumors of a World War III-level fight, a cast suspension for Jennifer and Danielle Cabral, and a last-minute panel change at BravoCon to keep the feuding duo apart, we’ve finally arrived at the headline brawl of the season. It’s the latest in a string of physical alterations on Bravo, and perhaps the most ridiculous yet.

Thankfully, there’s no need for endless discourse in this episode, but rest assured that the Twitter warriors will try their best to create one anyway. At Teresa’s Tulum party (does that count as a cast trip? Bravo might say yes, since there’s no official out-of-state travel this season), Danielle longs to settle her reignited feud with Jennifer.

This argument, in case you’re confused, is simple… in a way. Jennifer was upset because Danielle wouldn’t let her get all glam in the VIP area of ​​her “Party Like a Housewife” charity event and also failed to put the Aydins’ company logo on the step and repeat, even though the Aydins donated nothing but their time. Worst of all, according to Jen, Danielle used some of the money raised from the event to pay the vendors. Disgusting. If only she could be more like Dr. Sheree Whitfield and stop paying people. Nobody has class anymore these days.

The fight is already ugly, as Jen drops a nuclear bomb on that active bomb, spinning an even more tangled web. Now, Danielle has apparently betrayed another member of her glam crew, as she texted Jennifer forewarning that Danielle’s hairdresser wanted Jen to do a promotion for her, which could upset Jen’s own hairdressers. Some may argue that Danielle was being nice. I’m a different person. I’ll dispute that.

But Jennifer, being the deeply delusional (complimentary) woman that she is, grabs one of her handy hammers and hits Danielle, claiming it was underhanded and a betrayal of her hairdresser, who Jen apparently has a deep loyalty to despite not knowing her. And then things reach the point of no return. Danielle starts screaming and getting closer and closer to Jen as Jen pushes Danielle away, to which Danielle immediately responds by throwing her drink in Jen’s face and threatening her with a gun.

Who was in the wrong? Well, by the logic of “screw it, figure it out,” I’d say Jennifer actually did. You can’t just shove angry New Jersey women and expect a hug in return. That’s just not the nature of New Jersey, God bless them. But at the end of the day, no one was physically hurt and we all have things to talk about that have nothing to do with Teresa or Melissa – so maybe it was all just for the good of the show. Jennifer is a philanthropist. She begins Charities, Meghan. In some ways, it’s so wrong it’s right, simply by making a chaotic fight so entertaining that it almost justifies the aimlessness of the season. Isn’t that the ethos of the Real Housewives?

It is a certain relief to know that we are not having a reunion, which means Andy does not have to give a forced speech about how Bravo does not tolerate violence, despite RHONJis a well-documented history of violence. After all, nothing is more brutal than three seasons full of scenes featuring Richie Wakile.

It’s also a relief to see this show completely unravel after half a decade of cast stagnation and more than 10 years of Teresa vs. Melissa. This is a production that is reaping what it has sown through years of incompetence. And yet it is also the most entertaining RHONJ season in a few years simply because we can enjoy the burning of the building, knowing that it was destroyed beyond repair a long time ago. I’m all for the restoration of historic buildings, but this is a demolition.

There’s no hope for a future with this cast and no reason to renegotiate Teresa vs. Melissa or any of these new feuds because the obvious truth is that this is a messy, unscripted epilogue to this era and there’s no going back. Everyone turns on everyone else. Friendships don’t exist at all anymore, they’ve been completely replaced by loyalties so thinly veiled the fourth wall might as well disappear, and storylines don’t exist at all.

So it’s nice to see RHONJ This fight gives them new momentum, as if it could change the forces of the movement. For the first time all season, it’s fun to see a development in the show that isn’t about the women fighting over the show itself. And it’s nice that this all took place at Teresa’s cheesy Tulum party, where Buddha heads were everywhere, promising a peace and serenity that Housewives just isn’t known for.

And while she wasn’t involved in the physical altercation, it was perhaps Jackie who took the worst beating, as she suffered a series of beatings this week that were so embarrassing that her only option is to really lean into her Teddi Mellen campification and just admit that nobody likes her. She’s already got the podcast!

It almost seems unbelievable that Danielle came onto the show just a year ago as Teresa and Jen’s sidekick, considering how she’s been tarred and feathered at every turn by her supposed friend since this season’s premiere. And even more bizarre is that Jackie and Marge’s years-long friendship crumbled so abruptly, causing a ripple effect that allowed Dolores to land one final blow to Jackie, leaving the entire cast dynamic in tatters.

This show is not feel-good. It is not ambitious. And it is hardly a Real Housewives franchise. But I prefer that any day to a season that is as boring as RHONJ Season 5 was the last time the show hit a dead end, as the cast stagnated and then there were reshuffles.

A photo of Danielle Cabral, Jennifer Aydin, Dolores Catania and Jennifer Fessler on a red carpet

Danielle Cabral, Jennifer Aydin, Dolores Catania and Jennifer Fessler

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Food Bank for New York City

As we try to pick up the pieces of this senseless fight next week, we can only hope RHONJ continues to go downhill and destroy whatever is left, because we are well past the point of no return. Hopefully Team Danielle and Team Jen can mourn together in a few months when they both get laid off, although I can imagine a future where Danielle survives the inevitable culling simply because she brings less baggage with her.

It is the end of The Real Housewives of New Jersey as we know it, so if you’re one of those fans who wants to see a real friend group having fun, get out ASAP. This season is for fans of the depraved only. Soon we’ll all be able to take a cold shower and wash ourselves clean of this sordid pleasure. For now, we have no choice but to continue on into the unknown and watch what happens (live!) when a reality show passes its expiration date and refuses to die peacefully, almost a bizarre version of what we’re currently watching on Vanderpump Rules.

There are rumors that there will be another fight between the two in the finale – there’s even rumored to be a glass mug thrown – so rest assured, it’s only going to get uglier. I’m afraid no one will edit that out in the remix.

By Seren