‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ recap: ‘Reunion Pt. 2’

So, this season of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” comes to an end, and, as usual, there’s fighting, tears, and more fighting. Some things never change, do they? Even though Teresa and Joe Giudice are facing prison and everyone (except Teresa and Joe) seems terribly upset about this, that doesn’t mean they behave themselves or that anyone else does. No, even the prospect of jail time doesn’t inspire anyone to pull a punch. Hey, it’s the Italian way! According to this very small subset of Italian-Americans who are by no means representative of an entire national identity!

First, everyone is asked if they regret anything they’ve said this season. Rosie regrets saying “Teresa, take it up the bleep!” Joe Giudice has a laundry list of things he wants to take back. Melissa takes back everything she’s said about Teresa, possibly good and bad. Basically, she wishes she’d never said anything about her sister-in-law, ever. Teresa regrets nothing she said all season except calling Jacqueline evil. So… Teresa is either very forgetful or, in fact, evil herself. 

The topic of Joe Giudice calling his wife the C-word comes up, and Joe denies ever having done it… except for that one time while the cameras were running. But he had NEVER said such a terrible thing before that point! Why am I not convinced?

In happier news, Rosie had a life-changing experience in Arizona, where she learned to love herself, stop smoking and lift weights. I’m glad someone got something out of Arizona, because God knows it hasn’t resulted in a lasting truce between the two Joes, Teresa, and Melissa. 

Why do I say that? Because Joe Giudice decides to label Joe and Melissa “a couple of jackasses” who keep gunning for Teresa, repeating the same tired complaints, and who stupidly listen to people like Penny. 

While I thought, ironically, this would turn into another tired argument about the rumors about Teresa and the rumors about Melissa (yawn), suddenly everything takes a left turn. “You came onto the show to make me the villain!” Teresa shrieks at Melissa and Joe Gorga. She blames them for making their family drama public, as would never have been filmed otherwise. Teresa is still pissed with them for joining the show? Well, this is breaking the fourth wall, isn’t it? 

Joe Gorga, who claims he never wanted to be famous (and, weirdly, goes on a rant about how he went to schools that had metal detectors growing up, so he “knows what’s what,”), then blames Teresa for poisoning “Mommy and Daddy” against him. “Mommy and Daddy won’t film with me!” Wait, did I walk into a Jackson family counseling session? 

Things get dramatically weirder when Andy decides to bring up the mysterious death of Caroline’s father-in-law. This isn’t recent news, by the way. The New York Daily News says that Tiny Manzo (the fact he was named Tiny suggests mob affiliation to me) was found bound and gagged in the trunk of a car in 1983. So… was he involved with the Mafia? Caroline is deeply offended by that comment! Her husband has worked like a dog since he was 18 years old! Um… so yes? 

I guess Caroline’s affiliation with known felons (we also hear about another ex-con pal) is supposed to warm us up to talk about Teresa and Joe Giudice’s legal problems. Guess what? Even though Melissa cries, Joe Gorga talks about his deep psychic pain, Caroline sniffles, and Jacqueline is practically rending her clothes and collapsing on the floor, Teresa and Joe sit there like lumps and basically act like, hey, no biggie, 39 counts, shmuty-nine counts. “I don’t know why this came to us,” Teresa says, blinking like a sheep in very, very thick eye make-up. Hey, I have an idea! Because you tried to get away with fraud!

So, Teresa talks about being strong for her family, which is the least she can do since she clearly can’t be smart for them. Melissa and Joe Gorga even say that, if asked, they would take care of the Giudice brats, which is saying something after Joe Giudice basically said that he’d rather his kids stay with vagrants or a family of gutter rats. Caroline sort of infers that Joe Giudice stole money to make Teresa happy, which pisses off Teresa, but these two are only getting started.

Though we can chalk this up to creative editing (God knows “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”) can’t stand to end on a serious note, we see Teresa and Caroline get into it. Teresa is still angry about Caroline calling her superficial, and Caroline feels she absolutely threw her under the bus because of it. Caroline dismisses Teresa as someone she used to know, as she can’t be bothered with crazy at her advanced age, and even when Teresa practically begs her to say she has a good heart, Caroline refuses. For once someone isn’t going to go along with Teresa and her “I love, love, love” crap. 

As Caroline said earlier in the show, people tend to dump you when you’re sent to jail, but a few loyal friends will emerge to pick you up when you need a ride. Given that Teresa declares at the end of the show that only Jacqueline has been a good friend to her, I hope Jacqueline’s prepared to do a lot of driving. Even when she should be trying to solidify relationships (hey, she might need character witnesses), she has no problem burning bridges — even the ones that everyone on the show seemed to be working so hard to rebuild this season. 

Will you watch Caroline’s spin-off? Do you think Teresa and Joe Giudice are going to jail? What did you think of the reunion this season?