The third episode of Jersey Belle finds a group of friends in different stages in life. One’s celebrating her third wedding, about to head into the skies on a chopper, while another’s hoping to meet a new man. One’s gunning for a fourth child, while friend is still trying for her first. This week’s drama comes less from the characters and more from their situations. In other words, expect crying.
Let’s start with the happy news. Arden’s third wedding goes off (mostly) without a hitch. Her mother-in-law shows up late, but that doesn’t dampen the ceremony (neither, it seems, does the rain that caused so much worry last episode). Jaime, though late, makes it to the reception as the life of the party. For once, no one can find a problem with her behavior, though there are comments regarding the Fonzi jacket she wears to “look better than the bride” (“Just kidding,” she assures us, three times). Arden offers the show’s best one-liner when she says Jaime in her leather jacket looks like My Cousin Vinnie’s sister. Even Luci, who spent last episode vacillating between being wide-eyed and teary-eyed, finds an extremely willing dance partner for the night.
William and Arden’s helicopter takes more with it than just the bride and groom–it also snatched up all the carefree feelings from the wedding. After all, there are children to be sought. Jaime wants her fourth, a desire her husband, Michael, doesn’t quite share. Danielle is still trying for her first. Their approaches are extremely different. Jaime needs Michael to reverse his vasectomy—one she pushed for, according to Michael. Danielle, on the other hand, turns to acupuncture to solve her fertility problems.
Over lunch, Danielle admits she thinks she may have a cyst, and Jaime offers an incredibly human moment, crying for her friend (and for feeling selfish for talking about wanting to have a fourth while her friend can’t have a first).
The episode comes to a head with a jab-jab-knockout combo. First is Jaime and Michael’s uncomfortable dinner date centered around breadsticks and vasectomies. Then it’s a Skype session with Mama Jersey, who agrees with Michael that Jaime shouldn’t be having a fourth.
The knockout is far more powerful. As Danielle and husband prepare for exploratory surgery (seeking to find and destroy remnants of endometriosis), the show reaches a new emotional height. In many ways, Danielle is the most likable character—kind, selfless, and brave—and watching her nervously kiss her husband before submitting to anesthesia and a goateed OBGYN is an honest moment in a landscape of sarcasm and asides. [Note: Jaime also shows some vulnerability when she admits to not knowing how to make the marinara sauce she’s giving to Danielle as a get-well gift.]
That truth is also seen in Jaime’s kids, who run throughout the episode, stringing together the subplots. We need to see more of these munchkins, especially her daughter who doesn’t want “sparkly” nail polish. No, she wants good old gray. The color complements the temporary skull and crossbones tattoo dressing her arm.
But said truth is most prescient when Danielle is wheeled out of surgery to find out that the surgery worked, and the best treatment to fight further endometriosis is to get pregnant. Her and her husband have some work to do, but I don’t think they’re complaining.
- Doing the worm in a tuxedo at your wedding is apparently considered charming in Mountain Brook. Noted.
- Highway 31 shout-out! Love the moments when we get a sense of place.