Monday, May 2, 2011

Mob Wives: Recap Ep 103 Mob Bust

Before the recap, a little background on the news. On January 20, 2011, the biggest FBI mob bust in the history of New York took place, with over 100 suspected mobsters (reports go as high as 127) arrested for a variety of Federal charges which include illegal gambling, drug trafficking, extortion, and murder. The suspects include members from all five New York families and one New Jersey Family. Many high ranking mafia men were involved. Of course, the main significance for VH1’s Mob Wives is that Hector “Junior” Pagan, Renee Graziano’s ex-husband, was among those arrested. If you have never read an indictment, here is Count 57, page 116, of the indictment located at the following link  which reads as follows:

(Illegal Gambling – Sports Betting)
250. In or about September 2010, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, the defendants JOSEPH SAVARESE and HECTOR PAGAN, also known as “Junior,” together with others, did knowingly and intentionally conduct, finance, manage, supervise, direct and own all or part of an illegal gambling business, to wit: a gambling business involving bookmaking, which operated in violation of the laws of New York State, to wit: New York Penal Law Sections 225.05 and 20.00, which involved five or more persons who conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned all or part of such business and which remained in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of thirty days and had a gross revenue of at least $2,000 in any single day.

So now you have seen the official reason why Renee is hysterical about the “Mob Bust.” Now on to the episode three’s recap!
Drita visit’s the Secret Gardens Spa with her friend, Michelle, for a pedicure. She is ranting about Lee, she talks about her past, at age 24, when she lost everything the day he was taken to prison. She has moved 11 times in 13 years, like a gypsy. And now he tells her he may be in prison another 2 or 3 years like it’s nothing! She says is so used to being along that maybe she wants to be alone now. I would agree with her, and maybe if the show remains successful, she can go it alone.

Back at Karen’s apartment, Karen is talking to her writing coach, Carmela, who gives her two assignments. First, she has to write about her feelings in a journal and second she needs to visit her old home, her father’s old office, and try to recapture her feelings from the past. Karen tells Carmela that being in that lifestyle taught her that being bad equals respect. So, after her father became an informant, she became gangster and got involved with his ecstasy trafficking ring in Arizona. She dodged a “bullet” that time because she only got probation.

Renee is stressed out so she decides to go fur shopping. She is mad at “Junior” for not doing his share of the parenting. She mentions her first fur, a white fox, that she got when she was seven years old. She tries on several furs, one of which costs $5,995. She doesn’t bat an eye at the price. She leaves the store with a new fur…furs make her feel “womanly.” Personally, I never knew a woman who was able to buy herself a fur coat because she was frustrated, especially a struggling, single mom. Remember what Jenn said at the start of the series? Jenn Graziano : “I want everyone to know that these women are just like anyone else, like any other single mom out there. The show to me is really about the struggles, trials and tribulations these women go through and hopefully conquer throughout the season.” Maybe they should leave fur shopping out?

Karen goes to visit Sammy “The Bull’s” office in Brooklyn. She needs to put herself back in that mind frame. Seeing her father’s old construction office brings her back to 1985 all over again. She reveals half the men who worked there are dead or in prison. Karen’s old house is in Staten Island. She tells a story of how she was trying to sneak out one night, from the bathroom window, and her father was there ready to shoot her in the head, thinking someone was breaking in. Sammy bought the house purposely near a highway so the Feds could not do any type of surveillance near the property. Good thinking!

Renee is at her house peeling an orange. She says she separated from “Junior” when AJ was four and divorced when he was six. She tells AJ his father wasn’t there for him. Renee seems more upset about it than AJ does. She is going on and on about it. She feels AJ is hiding his feelings and anything that hurts him, kills her. He tells his mother he is sixteen and has it under control. She wants to protect him. AJ seems to reluctantly give his mom a hug to “shut her up;” my kids do that too.

Aleeya and Drita are making a scrapbook for Lee. Aleeya thinks her father may be coming home soon. Drita doesn’t have the heart to tell her it may be years before he is released. They talk about going to visit Lee at prison. Aleeya says she doesn’t want to drive the six hours, but Drita thinks it’s just an excuse because it upsets her to go there. Aleeya sheds a few tears which causes Drita to shed a few too. Seeing that her daughter is hurt is more than she can bare. I didn’t think the prison visit was a good idea myself. In my opinion, Drita needs to tell her daughter the truth, especially with the show airing details of their personal lives. I would want my kids to hear things from me, not friends, neighbors, the internet or television.

MOB BUST! The largest single mob bust in the history of the FBI takes place. More than 100 organized crime members are arrested. Renee yells at AJ to turn on the news. Renee learns of it when her phone rang at 5:30 am and Junior’s girlfriend tells her about his arrest and how the FBI ransacked the house. Renee starts asking the girlfriend questions, she needs the information to pass on to the lawyer. Renee is afraid Junior will not be able to get out because he was still on probation. Renee is emotional and freaking out. She doesn’t know what to do so she calls her dear friend, Carla. She tells Carla what happened and how no one had a heads up about it. Renee expects Carla to come over. Carla tells her to call the lawyer and that she is going to the gym. Renee is disappointed to say the least.

Drita talks to Renee, she is concerned and wants to see if Renee is okay. But, Drita is not concerned enough to go running over there to support her. Instead she answers her door and Carla is there. Carla left the gym and went straight to Drita’s. Somehow my skepticism radar is up, especially by what happens next.

Renee’s doorbell rings. OMG it’s Karen Gravano! She came to see Renee after hearing about Junior’s arrest. She wants to put what was said at the party aside for now. This is about being there for Renee, mother to mother. Renee is shocked, but softens up towards Karen. Of all her friends, Karen is the one who showed up. Renee thanks her for coming. I was surprised too. I am getting the feeling that Carla and Drita were told to stay home and Karen was told to show up for dramatic effect. As Renee says, it’s all about loyalty and if it was her, she would have been at their houses immediately.

Drita and Carla talk about going over to Renee’s, so they call. Renee says she is mentally exhausted, but she is actually mad at both of them for not going to see her when they heard the news. She tells them Karen was just there to show her “complete support.” Every Italian knows that was a “guilt bomb” she dropped right there! It must have gotten Drita thinking that they should have been the ones to be there supporting Renee all morning. Gee ya think? Drita gets the prize for picking up on Renee’s passive-aggressive dig.

Karen calls her brother Gerard to ask about her daughter, Karina. She has started writing her book and wants to bounce a few ideas off him. So far, from what she read aloud, I have to give her kudos because what she has written sounds pretty good. She says that between visiting her old haunts and the FBI bust, she feels like she is back in 1990. I almost feel sorry for her at times, but the feeling passes in a few seconds.

Renee laments that her friends aren’t there for her, AJ is not there for her, Junior is not there either, so she heads over to her therapist to talk and cry. She cries because AJ’s world is shattered again and she crumbles. At first she wanted AJ to follow in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps in the mob, but now she is thinking about leaving this lifestyle. She feels like a lost child who never grew up and has no identity. “You were told who you are.” She explains she was playing the role of a mafia princess who could never be touched.

Basically, the episode was uneventful except for the FBI bust. They showed footage of the news of the day. I think they owe the FBI a few dollars for unexpectedly spicing up their series with a real, newsworthy, mafia story and adding a little excitement. If you are interested, and haven’t seen the news footage, you can find it online. That’s my take on things! I’d be interested to know yours.

P.S. I hear, from Jenn herself, that she has just finished editing episode six and it’s going to be a good one. I hope so, the last two didn’t really get me excited.


jnettemarie said...

Ms Soprano, I felt very bad for Renee last night when that happens is very frightening, I don't care how tough you are. I've liked Karen since day one, and for her to show up to support Renee proves her loyality. I can't speak for Drita and Carla but if I was them I would of been there for Renee regardless of what some producer said, even if I had to sneak over. I do what's right in MY heart PERIOD.

I'm at work, Ill talk more later.

CAIO!!! My Lovies!

Chiara Soprano said...

Jnettemarie, I understand what you are saying, but I am much more cynical than you. Renee has gone though this before, it's part of her way of life. And, the fact that the "show must go on" and make the most of this mob bust, makes me think a lot of what we saw was orchestrated to make good television. For all we know, Drita and Carla were there early and then later they decided to tape it like they hadn't gone, just to create controversey. We will have to ask Ms. Mob Mistress what her take is.

Again, thank you for your interest and comments!

Mob Mistress said...

I don't think it's necessarily scripted. I think situations are manuevered. Somethings don't make sense unless production is editing out of time sequence. I'd go visit Renee if I wanted to appear likeable on national television.

I do like Karen. It's just doesn't add up after Carla Birthday Party confrontation for Karen to be going to Renee's home (which is a very nice home by the way).

If it was authentic to show Renee support kudos to Karen. They actually may have a foundation for a true friendship beyond ratings & $$$.

Love said...

I liked this show until it was so evident that Carla and Drita will get the Renee "anger" for not being there for her, although, she should of simply said, "I need you, get over here!"
I feel like parts of it is very maneuvered, but I still love it.
I'm hooked. I wonder if A.J. comes off so bad b/c he's NOT used to seeing his mom act like this. In the second show he even pointed out his mom's cursing. Seems like Renee and AJ would have discussed how they want to look - their relationship on camera. To me, he acts like a real little jerk twit.
Like it or not, that's your moma, show respect!

Love said...

Also, Drita is on facebook, and is very cool, she opens up and talks on "chats" at times to anyone that wants to ask her a question. I haven't, but find her refreshingly "real" on there VS ones who are overly thinking what they are going to say.

jnettemarie said...

The producers hit reality show gold with the bust. I've read that producers do set up situations, tape the reactions, and edit the footage to meet thier needs. My question is how prepared they could've been with taping something so unforseen?

I'm thinking they rushed to film what they could and set up the rest. Renee's reaction was real IMO. I've been in this same senario, and just because you've been thru it before it's very emotional, almost like a loss and fear of what's to come.

Ms Soprano, I agree the girls had to be set up and Carla and Drita were told to stay away. I guess we'll never know if they did anyway. After all it's a docu-drama, not a documentary.

Have a nice afternoon Ladies!

Mob Mistress said...

Hello Jeanette and L<3ve!

I don't believe the women are taped 24/7. So if the bust happens Renee would naturally call her sister or the other way around. Considering it was huge news on the east coast. A film crew could get to all the ladies homes to film.

I am not writing it happened in that manner. It is a possibility. So that would be a prepared, set up situation. There may not be a script involved. Yet, the women could be given a situation and told to go for it or play nice.

As Jeanette mentioned it is a docu-soap.

Love I've read Drita's facebook page. I agree with you 100%. She is very interactive with those who comment.

Chiara Soprano said...

I wasn't aware of Drita's active FB page, I will have to check it out. I think they may have tape the news about the bust and filled in the rest later. It was unexpected and the timing was perfect for the show to exploit it. All reality shows are manipulated to some extent, that's my opinion.