‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’: Do you think Melissa cheated?

In theory, all should be calm among the New Jersey housewives. Teresa has pitched almost everyone on the idea of going on some sort of healing retreat so she and her brother Joe can stop throwing things at one another, so now is the time for Bikram yoga and soothing herbal teas and meditation, right? Stop laughing! Come on, I can’t hear myself think over all that cackling. 

Anyway, even the process of getting everyone to embrace the retreat idea isn’t entirely a smooth one, as it involves Teresa. As we all know, any situation that involves Teresa, whether it’s buying cookies at the supermarket or teaching her children to hate her, becomes a screeching mess almost immediately. While she’s able to sell Joe on the idea, she hits a speed bump when she calls Kathy to discuss the details.

Kathy has her phone on speaker, and gosh darn it if the topic of Jacqueline doesn’t come up. Unfortunately, Kathy is in a boutique with Jacqueline at that very moment. Cue howler monkey-like screeching! Jacqueline snatches the phone from Kathy, and she seems wild-eyed and a little crazy as she screams at her former friend. Given that she cannot seem to get off the topic of Teresa throughout this episode, I’m not sure Kathy is wrong when she suggests the girl might benefit from a visit to a loony bin. It’s not that Jacqueline is wrong about Teresa, mind you. The issue is that she’s clearly still obsessed with Teresa and, more than that, she’s still so, so angry. Jacqueline has other things to deal with, more important things (you know, like a kid with autism), and if she’s really as “done with” Teresa as she claims, she needs to find a way to make peace with what’s happened. Because if she doesn’t, honestly, the girl’s gonna stroke out. I swear she’s developed an eye twitch and everything.

Okay, that was a little too Zen even for me, so let’s get on to the heart of the episode, which was all about evil backstabbing. Melissa goes to lunch with her dearest friends in the world, Maria and Jan, so she can tell them all about her fabulous book deal. Melissa natters on and on, so entranced with her own good fortune she doesn’t seem to notice that her pals are rolling their eyes. Maybe Melissa doesn’t realize that she hasn’t done a very good job of maintaining her friendships lately, because Jan promptly trots off to an evening hang with Teresa and Kim D. to entertain them with stories about how Melissa has cheated on her husband. Teresa pretends to be horrified by Jane’s betrayal and says nothing while being secretly thrilled that she has so many people available to do the dirty work of slamming her sister-in-law for her. 

But payback’s a bitch, as Jen (who was also at Teresa’s little get-together) has lunch with Melissa to tell her about Jan’s betrayal and Kim D.’s general nastiness. Jen’s agenda (or a-Jen-da, I guess) is to get Melissa to be so grateful to have this unpleasantness vomited into her lap she gives Jen her house listing. Melissa, oddly enough, isn’t that grateful. Still, this gives Melissa, Joe, Kathy, Rich, Jacqueline and Chris an opportunity to go out together, drink, complain about Teresa, then spot Kim D. at the far end of the room and confront her. 

Barking at Kim D. is not as satisfying as, say, throwing Teresa against a wall (I guess that happens next week), but Melissa and Joe enjoy tongue kissing one another to prove to Kim D. that they truly love one another. Now Kim D. knows she can simply stop spreading horrible rumors about Melissa now! As we know, an ability to kiss in public renders your marriage bullet proof. It’s one of the lesser-known superpowers. 

Next week everyone heads off to the “healing” retreat, which the promo suggests results in fisticuffs and head butting between the two Joes (Teresa’s husband and her brother), with musical accompaniment provided by Teresa’s high-pitched squealing. Maybe this is how the fellas blow off steam, or it’s a little family ritual that’s performed just before everyone holds hands and drinks a shot, but I doubt it. It seems Melissa and Teresa will never get along, and thus Joe and Teresa will never get along, and this show wil keep beating the same dead horse for another season. No wonder Jacqueline’s acting crazy. 

Do you think any good will come of the retreat? Do you think Kathy and Rich are on the rocks? And do you see problems between Caroline and Al?