‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ recap: ‘Temporary Shrinkage’

07.02.12 5 years ago

Andrei Jackamets/Bravo

The moment that never seemed like it would happen, finally happened: Teresa and Joe went to therapy.

No, not her husband Joe (that would be too traumatic, even for Bravo), her brother Joe. Of course, the Gorgas need help too and good luck to the therapist who gets that job.

Meanwhile, Jacqueline is still upset over her fight with Teresa and Kathy decides she needs to help Rosie get a girlfriend. It’s just another week in New Jersey…


She’s still in “family first” mode and now she’s got to make good on her promise to go to therapy with her brother. Since all she can get out of her husband is a “So what? Who cares?” she must at least secretly be looking forward to discussing her problems with somebody.

But before she makes it to therapy, Teresa has a surprise visit from Rosie who shows up to defend her sister Kathy’s honor from some of the more malicious tabloid stories she’s read. Teresa argues you can’t take the tabloids seriously, but Rosie wants to take the opportunity to squash all family feuds. Teresa’s answer: “I don’t have a computer in my head. I don’t store things in my brain.” (File that one away for the reunion show.) Teresa tells Rosie she has no problems with Kathy, and then Teresa tells the camera that Kathy freaked out when she realized Rosie was gay, and was never supportive of her. Teresa can’t help it, this stuff just comes out of her.

Joe Gorga’s take on the topic: “I think it’s extremely hard for Teresa to be a good friend, a loyal friend. She can’t even be loyal to her own family. That’s why I’m going to therapy, to make her understand what she does wrong.”

Teresa tells her daughters she’s going to lunch with her brother because they’re too young to understand therapy and she’s embarrassed anyway. Melissa calls Joe to give him some support before the therapy session. She’s hopeful that if Teresa is actually forced to listen to Joe, good things might happen. And then it’s time for therapy…

Teresa and Joe greet each other in the waiting room in a weirdly flirty fashion. She tells him he smells good, he says she looks good: “you’re wearing red, that’s a sexy color.” And the therapist comes out to explain he’ll talk to them one at a time and then all together as a group.

He starts with Teresa, who claims that she doesn’t hold grudges, but ever since Melissa came into the picture things haven’t been the same. The therapist advises her to walk away from confrontations and not walk into situations with an attitude that she’s “damned if she do, damned if she don’t” because that’s psychologically setting herself up to feel insulted.

When it’s his turn, Joe explains that he felt like Teresa didn’t show her love for his first child, and even though he always put up with Teresa’s Joe, she never showed Melissa the same courtesy. Once they’re all together, the therapist optimistically notes, “You both told me how much family mattered to you.” His advice: “All grievances get you revved up, please avoid that. You need some occasion for your families to get together. It’s easier to be nice to each other going forward if you’re getting along a bit better.”

Teresa’s big idea: they should all share a RV together on the way to Napa. The therapist immediately explains that’s a bad idea (road trip + wine + confined spaces = inevitable disaster) but that only seems to make Teresa want to try it more.

After the session Teresa encourages Joe to tell her if anything else is bothering him, so they don’t build up more animosity. Joe decides to talk about their parents’ financial situation and whether or not they’re going to live with Teresa. Joe is upset about a tabloid article that claimed Teresa and Joe Giudice are building an apartment over the garage. Teresa explains it’s not true but Joe basically accuses her of planting the story. She says she has no idea who the story came from, maybe it was Jacqueline, and they pretty quickly resolve to not be mad at each other for awhile.


Jacqueline doesn’t want Chris to uninvite the Giudices from their Napa trip, but she doesn’t want to have anything to do with them if they go. Chris thinks it’ll still be OK as planned, he’s willing to have fun with anybody.

Still seeking opinions on what to do, Jacqueline visits her dad for some fatherly advice. He explains that not everyone is going to be like Jacqueline, and from what he’s seen Teresa is responsible for her family’s financial well being at the moment. She’s going to do what she has to do to provide for them. Jacqueline argues that it shouldn’t involve climbing over her friends to get to the top, but her father reasons that some people will do anything. He asks, “Did she ever ask you how things are with you, with Ashlee?” Jacqueline’s answer: “She did once.”


Kathy decides she wants to go to a gay bar with Rosie. She wants to help Rosie get back into the dating scene. Rosie says it’s fine if Kathy comes along, so they meet up later and Kathy brings her friend Heather. Once they’re there it only takes a couple drinks before both Rosie and Kathy are pretty much wasted, and nothing much gets accomplished.

Also, in the middle of the episode, Kathy’s mother tells a story about how she was abandoned by her own mother to be raised by an aunt. Apparently another family member had promised this childless aunt could raise Kathy’s mother as her own daughter. It’s a surreal tangent that the show somehow uses to connect back to Teresa: Even though Kathy’s mother went through a nightmare for a child — getting separated from her mother with no explanation — she never held a grudge and remained close with her biological siblings later in life.

The message for Teresa: forgive and forget. But don’t bet on that sinking in…

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