Oh how the tables have turned on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.”
The aftermath of last week’s massive showdown between Jacqueline and Teresa sees Jacqueline in tears, Teresa looking to her husband for solace (wise move, that one), Caroline acting vindicated, Kathy wishing for the best in a new Teresa and Melissa hoping everyone will pay attention to her single.
As the episode opens, Jacqueline is so upset she won’t even get out of bed. Her husband Chris has to speak for her, reminding Caroline’s kids that everyone was scheduled to take a trip to Napa soon and now he may have to uninvite Joe and Teresa because things would be too uncomfortable.
Teresa apparently shared her side of the story with Caroline’s sister Dina, but since Dina won’t appear on the show anymore, we only see Teresa trying to talk to her husband. Joe’s various takes on the drama include: the other women need to “mind their business”; “Tell Jacqueline to shut up and worry about her own problems”; “[Jacqueline] is like a dodo bird”; “Find a new friend”; “You got me, we’ll move on.”
When Teresa reminds Joe they’re supposed to go to Melissa’s song release party later and she wants his help in reconciling with her brother, he says, “I always support you with that knucklehead.”
Teresa isn’t done talking, but Joe’s done listening: “I don’t care. I already told you what to do, just move on.” What a charmer.
Teresa has her own strategy. If she can’t have friends, she’s going to get her family back. So Kathy receives a random phone call from Teresa asking if she can meet for breakfast or lunch. Kathy wants to believe it’s a sign of something positive, but she’s wondering if Teresa has “ulterior motives.” And as soon as Kathy arrives for the breakfast, she learns the truth. Teresa fills her in on the fight she had with Jacqueline and Caroline and Kathy immediately feels uncomfortable. She wants to be real friends with Teresa again, but she doesn’t want to be a pawn in a battle against the other women. (Which makes plenty of sense, unless you’re co-starring on a reality franchise known for crazy overblown feuds.)
Teresa also decides it’s finally time to mend fences with her brother. Even though it goes against her “family values” Teresa feels like she has to go to therapy to work out her relationship with Joe Gorga. But when she tells Joe Giudice about this, he’s as “supportive” as ever. “Does your father know you’re going to therapy?” he asks. “I think he’d bury his head in the sand like an ostrich.” Teresa tells the camera that she did tell her dad… and he volunteered to be the therapist. But she explains “it wouldn’t be a good idea” and would only lead to a lot of yelling and screaming. Joe Giudice’s final thought on the matter: Teresa can do whatever she wants but, “As far as I’m concerned [Joe] is not your brother anymore, he’s your sister.”
Meanwhile, Melissa’s single “On Display” is getting its official radio debut on Ryan Seacrest’s show. She puts on makeup for her phone interview (!) with Seacrest, who can barely hide his lack of interest during the call. “I don’t necessarily think Ryan likes my song,” Melissa tells the camera. “But you know what? I don’t care. I care what the world thinks.”
The world pretty much agrees with Seacrest. Melissa is frustrated by the reactions she’s reading on Twitter about her song. It’s a predictable situation but does inspire this genuine bit of Joe Gorga wisdom about Twitter “haters”: “You have to be some loser who just sits there all day and just says negative s— about someone on the Internet. I don’t know if you have a job, if you’re not getting laid, I mean get a life and move on.”
No matter what, Joe is proud of Melissa. And he’s throwing her a party to prove it. Everyone’s invited, which means it’s the first time Teresa, Jacqueline and Caroline will be together since their blowout.
Teresa arrives at the party with a laser focus on her strategy of family first, friends never. She greets Kathy without acknowledging Jacqueline sitting right next to her, and makes a beeline for her brother. Jacqueline is offended — even though she told Teresa their friendship is over, she still wants to work things out.
Teresa delivers the news to Joe that she’s willing to work on their relationship. He looks so happy he could cry. I might too, if only because there may finally be something on this show I’m interested in watching. I can’t even imagine what will happen in therapy between Joe and Teresa, but the preview for next week promises we’ll see it.
As the party continues, Jacqueline works up the courage to talk to Teresa. Of course it’s a complete disaster. Teresa explains that she felt attacked, and Jacqueline hopes she’ll understand it wasn’t meant to be an “ambush,” it was supposed to be an “awakening.”
The general thrust of their conversation is this:
Teresa: “I’m really hurt and disappointed.”
Jacqueline: “So am I.”
Teresa: “No, Jacqueline, I really am.”
Jacqueline: “So am I!”
Teresa: “No, like, I really am!”
And no, I’m not paraphrasing. As Jacqueline masochistically tries to salvage their relationship, Teresa tells the camera Jacqueline deserves a punch in the face. Teresa won’t do it — she’s not that kind of person — but Jacqueline deserves it. I’m not sure what Jacqueline actually deserves — to be rescued from this horrible show? a zillion dollars from Bravo for enduring this nonsense? — but I wouldn’t trust Teresa to tell me.
Melissa realizes the party’s attention has shifted away from her and over to Teresa and Jacqueline’s showdown, so she goes over to see if they’ll quit fighting. Teresa is glad to see Melissa because now she can set the record straight about Danielle’s tweet. Danielle said Melissa was talking trash about Teresa. When Jacqueline interjects to point out this was two years ago, Teresa snaps that it doesn’t matter. Frustrated, Jacqueline bows out of the conversation to let Teresa go off on Melissa. Teresa tells Jacqueline to go away and Jacqueline responds with a middle finger and a “F— you!”
Jacqueline sits down with her husband to vent. She’s over the “fake fake fake!” Teresa. Jacqueline realizes now through the way Teresa treats her family that she’s not even a nice person. Jacqueline may be angry, but she’s finally seeing things clearly.
Melissa and Teresa hash it out over Danielle’s tweet. Melissa can’t even believe that Jacqueline and Teresa were fighting over this, but eventually she confesses that yes she did send Danielle some nasty information in the past. She blames it on feeling “hormonal” from her pregnancy at the time, and she and Teresa were in a very bad place. Teresa is shocked — shocked! — that Melissa ever would’ve thought that. But now it’s out in the open. Think Teresa will bring this into therapy with Joe? She vows to the camera she’ll forgive Melissa for the sake of peace with her brother. We’ll see…
The episode closes with Jacqueline doing shots with Kathy’s crazy friend Heather (who drunkenly urges Jacqueline to stop taking on other people’s problems and learn to say “F— it!”), while Teresa awkwardly tries to fit in with her family. What an ugly mess this is.
Do you feel bad for Jacqueline, or does she deserve whatever she gets for staying on this show?