This week is all about getting Teresa and Melissa to their respective breaking points. Meanwhile Caroline continues to torture Lauren about her weight, and Joe Giudice makes a mild verbal swipe at Rich to make up for the black eye he got last week.
But the only thing that mattered was Teresa vs. Melissa, so let’s stick with that…
The episode opens with Teresa updating Jacqueline on what’s been going on, including Teresa’s uncomfortable feelings over the In Touch article (which — remember — Teresa participated in) and the comments Teresa made to Joe Gorga about Melissa (she only loves him for his money).
The situation escalates when Jacqueline, Melissa, Kathy and their husbands take a boat ride with Teresa and Joe. Rich makes a crack about someone coming to repo the boat (because of Joe Giudice’s financial issues). Teresa specifically requests that no one mention jail during the trip. But, as Kathy tells the camera, Teresa is the one taking to magazines about what might happen if Joe goes to jail.
As the ladies chat, Melissa explains to the camera that she likes Jacqueline as a person but Melissa keeps Jacqueline at arm’s length because Jacqueline is Teresa’s friend.
Jacqueline lets it slip to everyone that Caroline may be going through menopause. Teresa: “Caroline’s going through menopause? That explains why she’s been such a bitch lately!” While the women are still talking about Caroline (Teresa thinks she’s extra sensitive, while Jacqueline allows that Caroline may make things a little more “intensified” than they should be), Joe Giudice brings up getting a black eye from his fight with Rich.
Jacqueline wants to change the subject. Good luck. Rich says either one of them could’ve had a black eye and Teresa says it should’ve been him then instead of her husband. Kathy suggests Teresa give Rich a black eye so everything is even. Joe Gorga believes Teresa is extra upset because Joe Giudice has been “brainwashing” her into thinking he’s invincible, and now Rich proved that wrong with one little rumble.
Jacqueline invites everyone to a solstice party with her psychic Tia. Before the party, Jacqueline fills Caroline in on what Teresa said about Melissa. At the party, cousin Rosie approaches Teresa about what’s been going on, as the ladies watch apprehensively. Rosie gets fed up but tries to let it go. Jacqueline wants to play peacemaker but Teresa forces Jacqueline to tell her whether Melissa has been telling everyone about the conversation Teresa had with Joe Gorga.
Sick of it, Jacqueline tells Melissa to go talk to Teresa. But as soon as Melissa mentions jail, Teresa storms out of the party. Melissa runs back to Jacqueline to whine that Teresa is too sensitive, and Jacqueline again tries to keep the peace by tracking down Teresa. Jacqueline apologizes and says she didn’t expect or want Teresa and Melissa’s talk to go bad, she just wanted them to work it out. Teresa explains she wasn’t comfortable with what Melissa started talking about and needed to leave.
Melissa is still complaining to Caroline and Kathy about Teresa storming out. Melissa doesn’t understand the difference between saying Joe “went away” or “went to jail,” and Kathy tries to explain that it’s an old school “Jersey thing,” a point of pride.
Jacqueline cries to Teresa that she feels stuck in the middle. Jacqueline feels like a bad friend if she doesn’t tell Teresa everything Melissa said, but also feels like a bad friend if she does tell and causes friction between Melissa and Teresa. Teresa tells the camera that Jacqueline feels stuck in the middle because she puts herself in the middle and references Jacqueline staying friends with Danielle even when Caroline and Dina didn’t.
Rosie tells Caroline that she wants to check on Teresa and Jacqueline, but Caroline tells her that’s a bad idea. Caroline tells the camera that she feels Jacqueline is going to “feel the burn of Teresa.”
Teresa sends Jacqueline to fetch Melissa so that Teresa can explain herself. Jacqueline asks Melissa to go talk to Teresa and avoid bringing up anything about legal issues because it’s a “very sensitive subject right now.” Caroline’s prediction: “This is gonna turn into a battle.”
Teresa vows to the camera that she’s not going to apologize to Melissa. Melissa tells the camera that if Teresa really wants to do this then Melissa is going to vent about everything that’s really bothering her.
Teresa runs through the gamut of excuses for calling Melissa a golddigger: Other people planted the idea in her head (if Melissa’s singing career takes off then she’ll start going to clubs, meeting other people…), it was only a “what if” to warn her brother, people get divorced all the time so nothing is impossible.
Eventually Teresa seems to get around to the real issue: Joe Gorga was texting Joe Giudice saying that he knew Big Joe was cheating on Teresa. Teresa saw this and wasn’t happy, so she flipped the scenario around to say Melissa could be cheating on Little Joe (with no evidence).
Melissa tries to make Teresa understand how crazy this seems. That Teresa shouldn’t be so concerned with her brother’s marriage, and that Joe Gorga was legitimately upset about the accusations not because he believed Melissa might be cheating but because Teresa is his only sister and she’s treating his wife like crap.
Back inside, Kathy and Caroline are lamenting the sad state of Teresa. Every time she seems to make progress, she takes a step back. And Caroline is ready to end the friendship for good.
Outside Melissa is explaining to Teresa that she feels lucky to be with Little Joe and Teresa is responding that Melissa better feel lucky. Melissa adds that Joe is just as lucky to have her because she’s a “good wife, excellent mother and everything he’s ever wanted.” Melissa asks if Teresa wants to wreck their marriage. She claims she doesn’t.
They continue to argue in circles about who Joe Gorga should trust: his wife or his sister; who’s a better person; who’s more materialistic; yadda yadda yadda. Teresa says talking to Melissa is like talking to a brick wall, which is also how it feels to watch this show.
Once Melissa has had enough and walks away, she tells the other women that she feels good, while Teresa complains that the only reason the fight even happened was because of her brother. (Apparently it’s all his fault for telling his wife the horrible things his sister was saying about her for no good reason. Teresa sees it as a betrayal of sibling confidence.)
As Teresa drives away, the other women — especially Caroline — rally around Melissa and lament that talking to Teresa is like talking to a brick wall. And for once, everyone is right.
Is there any reason to take sides in Teresa’s fight with Melissa? How can anyone care about Caroline when she’s so terrible to her own daughter (by constantly pestering her to lose weight)? Are any of these women worth watching at this point?