“In the blink of an eye, this man that I gave my whole entire life to has taken everything from me and my son,” Renee says at the beginning of this week’s Mob Wives. But by the end of the episode, it doesn’t matter, because Renee has vowed that she is her own, new person. Out with the old, in with the new.
“Everybody’s calling everyone,” Karen says now that the word is out and the newspapers and the Internet are abuzz with the new that Junior turned. I’ve gotten used to the mantra of this show that if there’s gossip about someone, “all of Staten Island” will be talking about it, but in this case, it’s true. Even Arizona is talking, after all, that’s where Karen’s mother is and she’s been in Renee’s situation (in a way; she does say that it’s not the same when you really break it down), so she calls Karen to reassure her that eventually, everyone will come out stronger from this.
It’s easy to forget that before the whole Junior debacle, Renee was upset with Drita and that whole Poconos disaster happened. Drita hasn’t quite forgotten it though, she’s kept Renee at arm’s length because she knows Renee has been upset with her, but to Drita’s credit, she heads to Renee’s house to check on her in spite of the bad feelings. “I can’t do anything for her but be there for her, and I’m going to be,” Drita says, knocking on Renee’s front door.
“Drita coming to my house at a time like this proves to be that I was really wrong about her loyalty to me,” Renee says. This is just like season one, after Junior was first arrested in the mob bust, when Karen showed up to Renee’s, isn’t it? These women forgive one another without ever having to say it, just by showing up and being there for one another.
Renee fills Drita (and us) in on some of the details surrounding Junior’s story, like the fact that he was cooperating for months, before he even moved back in with Renee. “Junior used me. To spy. To get closer. Just to put my father in prison,” Renee explains.
“Oh my God, Renee. This is so f—ed up,” Drita says, and really, she’s saying what we’re all feeling right now.
“Where was I that I didn’t even see this coming?” Renee asks. “I would have killed myself if I were him, I would have hung myself before I put my son out to dry.” Renee is tearing herself up over the entire situation, questioning whether or not Junior ever loved her. “Where do I stand?” she asks. “Was this just a lie?” Drita tries to tell her it wasn’t, but she herself is crying for Renee, and it’s a question that no one but Junior can answer, and he’s not coming back to tell her.
Big Ang also comes by Renee’s to comfort her because now people are starting to talk even more, making cracks, accusing Renee of knowing what Junior was up to, pretty much the complete nightmare. “I want to save my son from people who are just like me when Karen came home,” Renee says. I’m pretty sure she’ll never forgive herself deep down for doing that to Karen, but she’ll also never have more of a bond with Karen now that she’s in this situation.
When Karen shows up to help Renee move out some of Junior’s belongings, Renee does apologize again, and she apologizes to Karen’s parents for judging them too. Karen is so worried for Renee and, like everyone else, begs her to pull it together for AJ’s sake. “Renee Graziano is part of a world that she doesn’t want to be a part of anymore,” Renee says, marking a shift away from self-pity and loyalty to this life (she’ll always be loyal to her family, but this is about self-preservation, and this lifestyle has taken too much away from her, for her own sanity she has to move on).
Drita’a trainer pops by for a session because after all these months of boxing, she actually has a match coming up. The tough physical exertion is noting new to Drita though, she’s been working out since she could walk. “You played with dolls, and I ran up mountains in snow up to my motherf—ing eyes with weights on my ankles,” she says. Drita has mentioned that her dad would train her, but I mean, train her for what? The Israeli army? What kid is running up mountains with weights strapped to them?
Drita is a little nervous about her upcoming match, because not only is she a novice at this, but she’s also been doing well with modeling, so one jab to the face could mess that up. But, she says, “At the same time, I got a rocket. I was born with a weapon. It’s my right hook.”
Carla, all of a sudden the most straight-shooting cast member out there, has yet to weigh in on the Renee situation or show up at Renee’s door to offer advice and words of encouragement. That’s because Carla’s about the tough love. She and Karen get together and Carla tells her that, as harsh as this might sound, she thinks that this whole experience will be the best thing for Renee.
She goes on to say that a few people had been wondering what Junior was up to, even before the truth came out about him, and she tells Karen “I think she knew something was coming.” This isn’t sitting well with Karen, because it sounds like Carla is saying that Renee might have known what Junior was up to, or at least that she should have seen something coming. Karen warns that she better “pick and choose her words wisely” because what Carla’s saying right now is not going to sit well with Renee or those loyal to her. Guess what? Renee hears this and it doesn’t sit well.
Renee tells her friend Nikole that someone told her Carla’s been saying something to the effect of “Renee knows what her husband’s been doing.” Nikole’s reaction: “The balls.”
“If Carla said this, I don’t just have an issue, I got the biggest issue I’d probably ever have with her in my life,” Renee says.
When Carla, Big Ang, and Drita meet at the nail salon, Carla takes the Renee-criticism to new heights. Because even though she told Karen that people have been talking about Renee, Carla herself was not implying that she thought Renee was complicit in Junior’s deception. But now she’s pissed at Renee anyway because Renee seems to believe she said that.
“Renee is up to her psycho ways again, you know, f—ing having her delusions again, thinking that I said something about her with Junior, which is f—ing totally wrong,” Carla says. Easy, Carla! The woman is going through a rough time.
“Right now is the time everybody has to get together and support Renee with what she’s going through,” Big Ang says. See? I knew we were on the same wavelength. “But naturally, no, it’s all about f—ing drama.”
“Renee is not a true friend,” Carla continues, explaining that if the tables were turned, Renee would be doing plenty of s— -talking behind people’s backs. But still, Ang and Drita aren’t in full agreement, judging from their reactions to what Carla’s saying.
“She’s like a f—ing puppet,” Carla continues. “You know a puppet, when they pull the strings? That’s Renee.” Well technically, that’s a marionette, but whatever. Continue, Carla.
“I’m done being nice, how much more can I be nice? We’re friends, we’re not friends, we’re friends, my God. Go f—ing be friends with someone else.” Shit.
After all her training and running up mountains in weighted vests or whatever, Drita comes to the conclusion that she should pull out of the boxing match she was supposed to have. She realized that boxing in a ring is just a way of “sugar-coating her fighting” and the point of boxing is to get her aggression out safely while not pummeling someone’s face in.
As a mother, she says, it’s the best choice she can make.
After all the house visits that everyone has made to Renee’s, telling her to be strong for AJ, we finally see him having dinner with Renee, who tells him that Christmas will be rough this year without her father or Junior. But AJ is the one keeping everything together. He offers her the best advice of all, saying “What is done is done. If you choose not to talk to [Junior] anymore, that is your choice. Do what you think is better. It’s your father, that’s your family. You stick with your family.”
“End of story.”