Oklahoma can finally breathe a much-deserved sigh of relief because the Real Housewives of New Jersey have finally retreated back to the Garden State. The festering animosity between sisters-in-law Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice is boiling barely beneath the surface. Newbie Jackie Goldschneider is seemingly choosing sides. Margaret Josephs is glad to give her friend and OK hostess a break after invading her home with rude, spray-tanned banshees. Of course, she cannot wait to tour Jennifer Aydin’s gauche Paramus Palace of Potties. SIXTEEN BATHROOMS (screamed in my best Dana “TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND!” voice)…
At home, Teresa is back to the grind, taking a cardio trampoline class with Jennifer. The newbie wants to get into an exercise routine while Tre is focused on her upcoming body-building competition. Teresa is in hysterics as Jennifer struggles through the workout. Bravo has clearly cast Jennifer to be Tre’s latest sidekick. The ladies rehash Jennifer’s poor performance in Oklahoma. Teresa blames Jennifer’s negative reception on Margaret being fiercely loyal to her friend and not getting Jennifer’s sense of humor. Jennifer can’t wait to prove to the ladies that she’s a cool girl by hosting them at the house she can’t stop talking about. She questions whether Tre thinks Melissa filled in Joe Gorga on the Gorga girls Midwestern mini-meltdown.
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We’re introduced to Jackie’s husband Evan Goldschneider, best friend, confidante, and sounding board. Snore. She shares that she and the ladies are taking the kids to Jennifer’s house. Jackie had a blast in Oklahoma bonding with Melissa. It’s like they are besties…well, second besties. No one takes the place of her hubby! She fills in her husband on the growing rift between Melissa and Teresa. She’s clearly Team Melissa. Again, brilliant casting by Bravo to create a champion for Melissa since both Gorga women have burned so many bridges with past cast mates!
Speaking of Melissa, she and husband Joe Gorga are discussing the possibility of Melissa’s secret sister. Of course, the conversation morphs into how horrible Joe’s actual sister is. The sisters Melissa knows exist join her for dinner. They wonder why they’ve been summoned to this madhouse. Is this what we’re passing as a storyline these days? Melissa delves into her meeting with the psychic, announcing that the three girls may have a fourth sister. The girls all know that their father may have had some side pieces in his day. It’s not completely insane to think that he may have also had a child with one of his mistresses. The sisters are curious, but they also don’t want to upset their mother with this news. Melissa agrees…she’ll only tell her mom the whole story (and what is that, exactly?) if it seems she wouldn’t be bothered by this scandal.
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Marge Senior is recovering nicely from her recent facelift. She reveals to daughter Margaret that Danielle Staub brought her a smoothie when she wasn’t able to chew real food. Things are still tense between Margaret and Danielle due to Margaret’s recent truce with Dolores Catania. Margaret is willing to work on a resolution. Danielle is still holding a grudge for being left out of her nemesis Dolores’ ax-throwing afternoon. Danielle admits that when she’s hurt she goes for the jugular, but Margaret isn’t here for the sixth grade cattiness. She’s willing to (hesitantly) move forward. Danielle point blank asks where Margaret’s loyalties will lie if Dolores ever insults her. She further threatens bodily harm if she ever sees and Insta post containing Margaret and Dolores all buddy-buddy. She’s a good friend, isn’t she?
On the heels of cataracts surgery, all Giacinto Gorga aka Nonno want to do is take a shot with his long, lost, never around, always preoccupied with work and his wife, son Joey. Teresa isn’t keen on making nice with her brother, but hopefully, this interaction will give her more ammunition to use against Melissa. Joe pops in for a quick swig of liquor before announcing he has to leave for work. Nonno is disappointed and Teresa is passive aggressive. Joe takes the opportunity to confront his sister about her behavior in Oklahoma. Teresa holds true to her belief that Joe will only hang out with their father when his wife is away. Joe blames a busy life on his absence. Teresa claims Melissa plays the victim to keep her husband close. Joe explodes at his sister’s accusations, cussing and spitting his way out of the garage.
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To make up for her first girls’ weekend in over a decade, Jennifer lavishes her children with expensive gifts. Her husband Bill Aydin looks on with disapproval. Shouldn’t only special occasions warrant such presents? Her son disagrees. It is a special occasion. She was gone and now she owes them. When the kids retreat, her husband chastises her for being constantly manipulated by her kids. She isn’t a fan of his criticism, but he prefers to think of his comments as helpful suggestions. Ha!
Dolores is hosting a cooking party at her home for her mother and Teresa. Little does her treat-craving mom know that Tre’s diet consists of broccoli and air. I have a hunch she’ll be disappointed in the final meal. Across town, Joe is livid as he relays his disagreement with Teresa to Melissa. Likewise, Tre is telling her side of the story to Dolores. Dolores is less than thrilled to hear Teresa brought her into the fray by mentioning her statement that Joe and Melissa vacationed on the one year anniversary of his mother’s death.
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In Paramus, Jennifer’s army of helpers is hard at work to create authentic Turkish dishes for her guests as her children gorge on chicken fingers. It’s probably easier to keep an eye on all of her staff in one room. Here’s hoping there won’t be any random bag checks on this episode! One by one, the ladies arrive with their respective broods. Margaret is hopeful she’ll be able to find something redeeming about Jennifer. She can’t just be a braggart with a Taj Mahal replica, right? Jennifer has to have more substance as she complains about how long it takes to walk from her foyer to the front door.
Teresa is the last to arrive. She greets Melissa with an icy air kiss. This feud is getting so old! The ladies tour the house of thrones and thrones. Like, seriously, it’s just toilets and giant chairs. There is even a room designated to be the place in which future suitors will ask for her daughter’s hand in marriage…in about fifteen years, give or take. Most of Jennifer’s decor was accrued during a trip to China. She originally went to Chinatown, but the furniture there was too expensive. Being the practical woman she is, she had to hop on a plane to actual China in order to save money.
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Melissa sees a bit of her old self in Jennifer–someone obsessed with brands and logos. However, when Jennifer takes them down the hallway that allows staff to walk freely without entering the living quarters, Melissa draws the line in her comparison. Hurry along now, ladies! You don’t want to miss the indoor basketball court and the bouncy house. How much do plastic surgeons make?? As the children play, the women feast. It turns out one of the ladies I thought was a home employee is really Jennifer’s mom. Margaret marvels at how Jennifer doesn’t lose her kids in this monstrosity of a mansion. Duh! That’s why she has an intercom system.
Jackie and Melissa peel away to check on the kiddos and chatter about Teresa. In the kitchen, Dolores and Margaret are catching an earful from Teresa. Dolores is still peeved that her vacation comment has made its way into the fray. After all, Tre is the one who brought it up to her first. When Melissa and Jackie rejoin the group, Dolores asks Melissa point blank if Joe is upset with her. Melissa swears she just wants to stay out of the drama surrounding her husband and his sister. She even stated that Joe also erupted on her. Instead of commiserating about them both being on the receiving end of a Joe Gorga tantrum, Tre accuses her sister-in-law of riling up her brother.
RELATED: Real Housewives of New Jersey Star Melissa Gorga Says Joe Giudice’s Daughters Are “Suffering Without Their Father”
Dolores questions whether Melissa tries to diffuse the situation with Joe. Teresa wonders why Melissa mentioned their disagreement to Joe in the first place. Melissa can’t win. In Oklahoma, Tre scolded Melissa for not doing more to fix the sibling dynamic. Now, she’s in trouble for talking to him about it. Jackie comes to Melissa’s defense which further infuriates Teresa. She warns Jackie to mind her own beeswax (that’s what she said in my head!). Jackie counters that Teresa is airing their dirty laundry in a public conversation.
Jennifer sits stoically. Didn’t her guests want to see the eleventh bathroom? Dolores and Jennifer chime in about the wife’s ability to control her husband. Dolores cites that Jackie doesn’t get that old school mentality. Melissa looks like she’s watching Wimbledon as the women scream their opinions about whether she can control her husband.
Then, Jackie goes there. If Melissa is expected to be able to control Joe Gorga, shouldn’t Tre have been able to control Joe Giudice and saved them both from jail time? Thankfully Milania Giudice interrupts the madness. Jennifer ends the fete with a formal announcement over her loudspeaker. Honestly, that made me like her more!
TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF LAST NIGHT’S REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY EPISODE? IS MELISSA TO BLAME FOR JOE’S OUTBURST WITH TERESA?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]