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Teresa and Melissa

Last night the Christmas spirt came to Real Housewives Of New Jersey, and also a New Year brought a new attitude, and Teresa Giudice was giving out her forgiveness wrapped in tissue-filled boxes and tied with a prison-issued bow. Too bad that forgiveness felt as natural as an ingrown toenail. 

Of course, in the land that Teresa built on fraud and false promises, it is not Jesus’ birthday we’re celebrating, but the day she came back to life by being released from prison. Jacqueline Laurita, who sooooo does not care about Teresa AT ALL, is watching the news coverage with tears in her eyes. Jacqueline apparently needed Dolores Catania and a bouquet of flowers to deal with these emotions. Jacqueline’s tears turned sour at the paparazzi snaps of Teresa being rewarded for surviving prison with a BRAND NEW LEXUS (said in Bob Barker’s voice)! Is there a bumper sticker that says, “Mommy went to prison and all we got was this luxury SUV.”  

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“Get out of prison, get a brand new car. Same old Teresa,” snarks Jacqueline, snidely. Which is almost like, “Get out of foreclosure, get a brand new face. Same old Jacqueline.” We see you Jacqueline, but can you see how your mirror has two faces and one of them is Jacqueline Wildensteen. (Who knew she became the new Housewife, right?!)

Joe and Melissa Gorga are also carefully monitoring the post-prison footage, anxiously worrying that all the peace on Earth and good will to men is about to end when the bell tolls and Teresa is holding the gong. (A Hemingway reference in the same sentence as Teresa Giudice is probably literary blasphemy and I will be cursed by never getting a book deal, right?). 

Of course, Siggy Flicker was still nursing her swollen face, so we didn’t see her or get her reaction.

Teresa’s no longer physically away, but she’s away in spirit – the ghosts of her Christmas’ pasts haunt her as she is forced to sell her family Christmas photo to People to pay bills. Life is tough out there. The paps are clogging her driveway and she’s still on house arrest, and the judge denied her request to have her electronic ankle bracelet bedazzled with a rhinestone cross, and come equipped with interchangeable cuffs so she could have it match her outfits. She was planning for fur, and leopard-print, and like some suuuuwper cute pleather fringe… 

Teresa is also super broke because all her businesses went belly-up while she was doing hard time in the prison salon. How she’ll provide college funds for her four beautiful dawters? And with Juicy gone, all the earning falls on her shoulder pads! Restitution is a bitch, but so, apparently, is DOWNSIZING. Seriously – why a Lexus?! Why not sell some crap and live more modestly? Long live the delusion of a New Jersey housewife!

Teresa is so bored she waxes Milania’s eyebrows, because their Christmas photo is gonna be in magazines – duh! Not two seconds later, Teresa lectures Audriana about how Christmas isn’t about the superficial… 

So Teresa is sort of like Cinderella – she’s in her house all day, cleansing the past, and keeping Milania’s eyebrows tidy until it’s time to don her bustier and go to the party at Melissa’s. She has to be home by 11:30 because at midnight she turns into a pumpkin, and all her sequins and shinery will transform back into a prison-issued orange jumpsuit. Luckily, Teresa has Poison to be her coachman, charioting her to the ball where miraculously ALL of Melissa’s glass slippers fit right on Teresa’s feet. That makes them Teresa’s, right?!

At Beaver Manor, Melissa is fluttering around nervously, hoping Teresa isn’t going to demand a pound of her flesh to season with a heaping does of spite, and finished off with a salt rub. Just in case Melissa wore white – the color of surrender and innocence – and black – the color of malevolence and mystery. Since she hasn’t spoken to Teresa in a year, Melissa has good reason to be worried – after all, Teresa didn’t put her on the prison visiting list!

When Poison sees Teresa, he is overjoyed, but she acts as if they saw each other last week. Then Juicy is all “Let’s go – put a bag over youse head and lets get Horsey Face’s dinner over with. Whaddywe celebrating again? Jesus came back to life, or somethin.” Teresa also hasn’t seen her father in a year since he didn’t want to visit her in prison. Dinner is emotional, but everyone is in good spirits, and while cleaning up the dishes Melissa and Teresa debate over where their relationship stands. 

rhonj-melissa-teresa

Teresa appears very proud of herself for extending the olive branch she made in prison arts and crafts at the Martha Stewart Makers Space, which she coated in glitter and decorated with gold star stickers. She expects Melissa to be overjoyed that Teresa has decided to finally love her, but Melissa is not gonna let her get away with that Little Miss Innocent act. I believe, the expression is “The Jig Is Up,” and Teresa was dancing to On Display, anyway.  If the glass slipper fits… 

Looking into Melissa’s impractical mirrored table, which she usually leaves covered, both ladies reflect and wonder ‘Who’s the most unfairest of them all?’ The answer: it doesn’t matter. They both poisoned each other’s apple. The past is behind them, winding dark as a Fairy Tale forest, and the witch tried to shove them both into a Fabulicious oven. The future, however, is a trail of cookie sprinkles, and it twinkles before them; representing a glimmer of hope.  

Melissa

They are BOTH responsible for their feud – not just Melissa, and not just Teresa. Teresa admits she didn’t trust Melissa, and Melissa asserts that Teresa put up walls and wouldn’t let her in. They both agree that if they’re gonna be together in the pit of hell that is RHONJ, they are better as allies than foes. If Jesus can turn water into wine, he can turn Melissa and Teresa into sisters! It’s a Christmas Miracle, y’all!

Teresa and Melissa make amends

Poison was worried that the sounds from the kitchen would be dishes breaking, screeching, and possibly the flipping of a mirrored table which would mean 7 more years of bad luck. But, instead the ladies hugged it out, and there is only the sound of laughter as they take photos of all the cousins. Has Peace finally come to the Kingdom of Gorgadice? 

Now that things are squared away with Teresa, Melissa is focusing on Envy. Unfortunately, Poison, who is charge of construction, is behind schedule! Apparently he doesn’t have time to do his job, since he’s doing Melissa’s rightful job, which is in the home. Playing Mr. Mom does not agree with him because his moobs are leaking! Uhhhh… I think that’s only the secretion of self-tanner and self-loathing. 

Joe doesn't want Melissa working

To prove his point, Joe shows up, unannounced, to Envy with the kids, and berates Melissa in front of her staff for being a “part-time wife” by neglecting his needs. He is outraged that he’s forced to actually barely care for his children while she works! Melissa promises that once the business is opened she’ll be home more. Let’s hope she at least manages to schedule time to meet with a divorce attorney. #LoveItalianStyle

Um, Joe, the year is 2016. A woman may become president in the next few months. A woman’s rightful job is anywhere she wants it to be. SHUT UP. Also, imagine a spinoff where Teresa and Melissa move into one of their mansions, sans The Joews, with all the kids. Bravo… 

Dolores needs counseling because all the men in her life cheat on her and she has no idea why she’s such a push over. After an hour of therapy, she realizes she’s nobody if somebody doesn’t need her! I hear Poison is being neglected, maybe Dolores can volunteer her services over at Casa de Beaver?

Since karma is getting a brand-new Lexus but not having permission to drive, Dolores, Teresa’s old friend from Patterson, picks her up for manicures. Teresa, who was looking lovely and fresh in her post-prison days, has now resorted to doing her old makeup. I swear she either puts on with Crayons or purchases from the clown store. Or maybe she got Kylie’s Lip Kit for Christmas? Whatever, but the super heavy eyeliner and the over-lined lips make her look awful and frightening. 

Teresa declares that things were rough in prison – really rough! Hard labor included cutting her own toenails. She got an ingrown toenail and it hurt worse than labor. That, ladies and gentleman, is egregious. I am contacting the ACLU right now. So after that horror Teresa definitely deserves a mani. 

It’s Dolores‘ birthday and she’s planning a party. She’s inviting Jacqueline too, so she and Teresa can reconnect. At that news Teresa looked a bit sickish. 

Over at Jacqueline’s, Ashlee has officially completed her transformation into Mommy Jr. Their putty-puffy faces look the same, they have the same hair, and they’re wearing the same shirt. Ashlee wants to move in with her boyfriend and leave the comfy, cushy life of listening to Jacques and Chris loudly make love in the next bedroom. She wants to make some loud nookie of her own. Well, mission accomplished! Jacqueline does not approve. I do not approve of Ashlee’s ridiculous Cougar wardrobe. 

Since Teresa can’t leave the house, she expects people to come to her and throws a New Year’s Eve party. There is drama with Gia, though. Gia wants to ditch her parents to go out with he friends. Juicy informs his “fat head” dawter that she’s stayin’ home. Teresa, using the astute powers of observation she gleaned from her hard-time, notes that there is tension between Juicy and Gia. 

Kathy is not on Teresa's list!

Teresa invited close friends and family to the party – family which does not include Kathy Wakile or Rosie. Friends does not include Jacqueline. The rejects are forced to have their own half-hearted gathering at Jacqueline’s house, where she is wearing a Sandy from Grease costume. Dolores was invited to both parties and that apparently called for breaking out her Snooki BumpIt! Kit. 

Gia argues and tantrums about going out with friends. Juicy instructs Teresa to tell Gia she’s not going anywhere, but instead Teresa, who feels bad after the hard year Gia had, relents. Despite Juicy bellowing that Gia is gonna get it, Teresa forces Poison to drive her to a friend’s house, while Melissa looks on warily. Oh my… OH. MY. Setting up some seriously dangerous precedents (not to be confused with PRESENTS) there, Tre. Dolores explains that Teresa’s Achilles Heel is not the IRS, but her daughters. 

Shockingly, the only ‘parent’ in this situation is Melissa. She questions what Gia, aged 14, is wearing – a skintight mini skirt paired with gold crop-top (thankfully she changes before going out). 

At Jacqueline’s, she is pissy and complaining that Teresa – the friend she doesn’t want, doesn’t trust, and hasn’t spoken to – didn’t invite her to her NYE party. Rosie admits that she’s hurt that Juicy dropped her like a hot potato the moment Teresa came home. Maybe he’ll put her on his ‘list’? 

Teresa calls Jacqueline

Before Dolores leaves Teresa’s, Teresa decides to call Jacqueline. She should have begged for advice on how to avoid Gia turning into an ‘Ashlee‘, but instead they have an awkward and stilted conversation about “new beginnings” and “fambly.” Teresa reveals she invited 36 family and friends to her party, so Jacqueline huffs that Teresa’s ‘family’ – Rosie and Kathy – are here. Teresa bristles. After all, she knows who her family are and they’re all assembled in her living room presently – Melissa included!

Jacqueline

When Dolores gets to Jacqueline’s, Jacqueline immediately accosts her to whine about how cold and distant Teresa was on the phone. Dolores believes that Jacqueline just always wants to talk about feelings and wears her heart on her twitter, whereas Teresa, the good little Italian girl from Patterson, was raised to always keep a stiff and waxed upper lip. 

Dolores + BumpIt

Teresa too felt her conversation with Jacqueline was awkward and cold. When Gia comes home at 12:30, only a little late, Juicy, suddenly, is in better spirits. He hugs her tight, realizing that soon he won’t get to at all. The mood turns somber for a minute as Gia hugs Joe’s mom, all of them reflecting that in a few short months this spell will be broken and Juicy will now be away, but for now it’s time to toast to a year of new beginnings. 

TELL US – WAS MELISSA AND TERESA’S TRUCE SINCERE? SHOULD TERESA HAVE INVITED KATHY, ROSIE, AND JACQUELINE TO HER PARTY? 

[Photo Credits: Bravo]