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 http://www.justice.gov/opa/documents/1-20-2011-russo.pdf which reads as follows:
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.