Mob Wives Season One, Episode One recap:
First of all, the art and photography is engaging, beautiful, and borrows heavily from the cinematography of America’s rich history of mob films and FBI-surveillance style footage.
Renee Graziano – is seen wearing furs, buying furs, riding in cars, and enjoying a luxurious life. “My father didn’t work a 9-to-5, he worked a 5-to-9. I was always getting these extra gifts.”
Has a sense of strength and power, and she loves walking into a restaurant and getting her ass kissed because of who she is.
Code of ethics is taken very seriously. Rats are completely shunned and cut off.
“Loyalty is everything.”
Karen Gravano – “Father always taught me ‘don’t be a tattle-tale,’ so when he cooperated, I didn’t understand why he was doing it, so I was devastated.”
Renee Graziano “I’ve known Karen Gravano since like forever, and our fathers were very cool with each other. As soon as word came down that her father had cooperated I can remember my dad saying, ‘End all friendships, phone calls, everything. Over. Finished.’”
Karen’s best friend is her 11-year-old daughter Karina. Is now going back to Staten Island to write a book.
Carla Facciolo (filmed shopping) – married, soon to be divorced from Joseph Ferrragamo. “Being around street guys my whole life . . . I’ve seen a lot of shit gone down, a lot of fights.
Soon-to-be ex is now in jail for stock fra-ud, which I don’t think of it like “Oh, that’s bad crime.”
Renee is cool with her.
“My father had gone away, my brothers had gone away, so when Joe went away I thought ‘Oh there goes another one.’”
Lavish lifestyle changed when Joe “went away.” They have two kids, and she tells them that their dad had to go away to work.
Drita D’Avanzo is one tough cookie, and a fabulous name. Husband Lee D’Avanzo is serving time for robbing a bank. Second time in jail. They have two kids.
“Don’t f— with my kids.”
100% Albanian, “legit, straight, no illegal activities.” “When I married Lee, I was completely disowned, and I was devastated.”
“If someone’s going ‘Drita this, Drita that,’ they’re telling my fighting stories. Why? Because I beat up a lot of people.”
“If I come after you, I’m never gonna stop until I get you. Hospitalized, broken faces, light ambulance ‘whoot’ all the time. It’s not like tuggin,’ pullin’ hair. Like I hurt you.” In other words, “I ain’t no Danielle Staub.”
Lee calls Drita five days a week putting in his huge food order for meat, cheese, olives, and Vanilla Coke.
Lee’s food order is so intense, Drita barely has time to take care of her appearance!
Driva and Carla are working out, talking about their jailed spouses.
Joe’s coming home, and Carla doesn’t want to be with him anymore. The girls talk about how much harder their relationship gets when the men go away to jail.
“You’re lucky I’m not a hoe, because if I was . . . I would have done that already. 20 times over.”
Karen calls her brother Gerard Gravano. Is preparing to go back to Staten Island. Gerard just talked to Sammy, and he says he loves and supports Karen, who is actually leaving her daughter Karina in Arizona because she doesn’t know if NY is safe.
Renee, Carla and Drita: Girls’ dinner to talk about prison stories. Drita got her nails done, something she couldn’t do back when she kicking everyone’s ass everyday.
They discuss how much they’d like to date, and Drita jokes about going on an online dating site, but notes that no one will believe Carla’s likes and dislikes. Example “I like A-K 47s.”
Renee explains that she likes visiting prison, sending prison mail. In voiceover she explains “They ask me why I don’t date. Because all the good guys are in jail!” An interesting perspective.
She explains that she doesn’t see the men in jail as bad guys because they don’t hurt their own family.
Meanwhile, Karen is talking about writing her book about her life. She’s telling a bunch of blond chicks (and brunettes!) from Arizona how so many people in Staten Island are still deeply connected to the mafia. Her friends are worried about her safety, but she uses the old excuse smokers use to keep smoking. It’s a rationalization that makes no sense: “Somethings gonna kill me somehow, so I might as well do the dangerous thing.” To directly quote Karen, “I can walk outside of my house and get hit by a car, or I can go back to Staten Island and get shot in the head.” I’d rather take my chances with the car in Phoenix.
Back to Renee, who still doesn’t trust Karen because she’s still tight with her dad Sammy the Bull. Renee explains that her dad has given orders to shun Karen, so that’s what she’s gonna do. Drita doesn’t have that perspective because her dad is a college coach. What the two can agree on is that Karen has a huge set of balls.
Drita also hates the rats who helped put her husband in jail (one reason people hate rats is that they get off easier by suppling information about other people, so it’s taking the easy way out,) but Drita knows Karen, and doesn’t want to judge her for what her father did (just like Drita doesn’t want her children to be judged because their father is a bank robber.)
The girls decide that there needs to be some kind of “sit down,” when Karen comes back, and Renee is pumped and ready.
Karen and her big balls are ready too! Back in Phoenix, she cries out “Anybody who has a problem with me for what my father did. I have one thing to say to you. F— Sammy the Bull, F— John Gotti, I’m gangster, and I’m comin’ home.”
Drita (the bruiser with the perfectly bruised voice) gets a call from Karen, and is excited to get together later. They go way back because Drita married Karen’s ex-boyfriend.
Renee comes over to Carla’s house for some cawfee. Carla’s excited about making a guest list for her birthday party. Renee seems nervous because she doesn’t like all of Carla’s friends, including, I don’t know . . . Karen “Sammy the Bull’s Daughter” Gravano! Most people that they know are pissed at Karen, because not only did her father help put away John Gotti, but also a lot of people.
Drita meets Karen at Lee’s Tavern, and she’s a little nervous. They’ve never talked about Drita’s marriage to Karen’s ex Lee, but Karen’s ready to reconnect with her. Karen’s a little pissed that Drita played down Karen’s relationship with Lee (they lived together for seven years.) Drita also adds the jab “You wouldn’t date my exes because you wouldn’t get along with them.” Despite these little catty remarks, they seem to be willing and ready allies, even against formidable Renee.
Drita then calls Carla and tells her “Hey, I want to bring Karen to your birthday party.” Carla says, you know what, “I’ll call Karen myself and invite her.”
It’s now time for Carla’s party, so Karen comes over to Drita’s house to prep. While there she notices a picture on the wall that she remembers because “it was sitting on my wall when I used to ride your husband.”
They discuss Renee being a “mob groupie” until the tan specialist, Jacqui Phillips, shows up. Karen tells her to call her K-Jizzle. Jacqui’s the odd girl out because she can’t relate to having a boyfriend in prison.
Drita, who is a make-up artist, preps Carla for her party, and they discuss the fact that Renee doesn’t know that K-Jizzle is going to come.
The party happens, Renee is gettin’ buzzed on Patron, and she feels so good, she starts tawkin’ even to people she doesn’t like. The other girls tried to get Renee drunk because it makes her all warm and fuzzy in her relations with others. She doesn’t stay that way when Karen Gravano shows up, and she feels set up. They get into it about the various ways that mob life can destroy families. Karen refuses to leave when Renee orders her, and the battle of power begins.