This week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the fragile peace between Teresa and Jacqueline gets blown to pieces in a single, ill-fated dinner, while Melissa cheers her kids on at New York Fashion Week. Plus, Siggy deals with parenting problems and Dolores continues her reinvention by opening a new gym! Read on for my full recap of the drama that went down...
As always on RHONJ, it's family first and this week is no different. Melissa Gorga's three kids have been asked to walk in a show at New York Fashion Week, so she and Joe Gorga have brought the kids into the city for their fittings. As Antonia, Joey and Gino try on the clothing and practice their walks, Joe asks Melissa how things are going with Teresa Giudice. Melissa says that her relationship with her sister-in-law remains copacetic since they agreed to move forward following Tre's release from prison. Melissa explains, though, that she won't actually feel close to Teresa until she can tell the OG she disagrees with her. (Hmm...any bets on how long that could take?) She did, however, invite Teresa to come to the kids' fashion show and the two sisters-in-law will be sitting side-by-side on the front row. So that's some kind of progress, right?
Meanwhile, Jacqueline Laurita visits her husband Chris at the offices for The Little Kernel, which is the Lauritas' latest snack food startup. While she's basking in her relationship with daughter Ashlee coming full circle, Jac remains cautiously optimistic about her renewed friendship with Teresa. In fact, she and Chris have invited the Giudices over for dinner and both couples seem to want to get back on track with each other. Ever the pragmatist, Chris advises his wife to go easy on Teresa and Joe when they come over, gently reminding her that no matter what Tre may say, they're still going through an incredibly difficult time. The start of Joe's 41-month sentence is looming ever closer and Chris urges Jacqueline to forget everything that's happened in the past and move forward - really and truly this time.
In a hilarious scene, Siggy Flicker is dealing with some major parenting problems. Picking up her daughter Sophie from detention, The Sig is ready to lay down the law. This is the second time Sophie's gotten in trouble for using her phone at school, so the obvious solution to Siggy is to take the phone away. However, this punishment barely phases Sophie, who interrupts her mom's lecture to ask if they can make a stop at Dunkin' Donuts. This request floors Siggy, but Sophie amusingly points out that she doesn't see what getting donuts has to do with her phone being taken away, so why not? In her confessional, Siggy admits that she may be a relationship expert, but she doesn't have the best track record for following through on her threats to her kids. Looks like it's time for Siggy the Supermom to step up to the plate and stop being a such a softie!
The day of the Gorga kids' big fashion show arrives and Teresa brings Milania along to support her cousins. This is another big step in the right direction for the Giudice and Gorga clan and it's honestly really nice to see Teresa and Melissa together on the front row cheering the little models on. Antonia, Gino and Joey all positively rock the runway, and afterwards the whole family goes out to dinner in the Big Apple to celebrate. Melissa explains in her confessional that, while they've supposedly made up many times in seasons past, this time is different between her and Tre. This time, they're both going out of their way to genuinely support and be there for each other and their families...and it's great. At exactly the perfect time, little Joey interrupts the dinner conversation to sweetly express how much he loves everyone at the table. For the first time in their five seasons together on the show, it seems like everything is great between the Giudices and the Gorgas.
While Dolores Catania meets with her business partner at her newly-opened gym and Siggy has a major communication breakthrough with her kids, Teresa and Joe head to the Laurita home for dinner. Keep in mind that this is the first time Tre has been to her former BFF's house ever since their blow-out fight on Jac's deck way back in Season 4. After the initial awkward small talk, everything seems light and breezy between the two couples as Teresa and Joe fawn over CJ and little Nicholas. However, once the men retreat to the den with their prosciutto, the air grows thick with unresolved tension between Jac and Teresa. Tre explains that all she wants is peace in her life, so any and all toxic people need to stay away. Neither 'Wife wants to rehash the past, but the conversation takes its first turn south, though, when she reiterates how alone she felt when Jacqueline, Melissa, Caroline Manzo and Kathy Wakile were all against her during the dark days of Seasons 4-5.
Jacqueline rather snidely shoots back that Teresa was the one who isolated herself from the rest of the 'Wives due to her various issues with each of them, but the OG still sees it as a big gang-up against her. This is not going well. Teresa points out that the last time she came to Jac's house, she got ambushed on the back deck over tabloid gossip, and flashbacks of that fateful night show lots of finger pointing and yelling between the two BFFs before matriarch Carolineunexpectedly shows up to take sister-in-law Jacqueline's side. Is this ringing a bell? Jacqueline, however, insists that she merely wanted to know the truth out of concern for Teresa and all of a sudden, we're back to arguing about the tabloid stories of Season 4. How are we still fighting about this?
In her confessional, Jacqueline opines that Teresa clearly hasn't changed, but when Tre brings up her brother's advice that their true friends wouldn't turn against her, it quickly becomes clear that Jac's the one who's stuck in old behaviors. Teresa assumed at the time that that comment from Joe was a warning not to trust Jacqueline, but Jac fires back that he was actually telling her not to trust his sister. Then, to settle the issue, Jacqueline inexplicably decides to pick up her phone and call Joe herself. Teresa is (rightfully) floored that her frenemy would have the audacity to pull her brother into this quickly-escalating argument, but Jac seems to revel in stirring the pot between the siblings. (Of course, Joe denies ever saying anything about trust to either of the 'Wives and besides, aren't things all good now? Let's keep the peace.) In the words of Teresa's confessional, "who the hell does something like this?"
The tabloid fight continues to intensify, with Jacqueline claiming ignorance and Teresa not understanding how her then-bestie couldn't know better than to believe every word written in an issue of InTouch Weekly. However, Teresa's larger point is that she feels Jacqueline shouldn't have asked about the gossip rags and legal drama in the first place. After all, the Lauritas were going through their own issues with the Signature Apparel bankruptcy at the same time, and Teresa never questioned Jacqueline about it. But Jac shoots back that she and Chris didn't file a fraudulent bankruptcy like the Guidices did, and argues that Tre can't compare her criminal case to their bankruptcy. This low blow, my dear readers, is the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Feeling that her former bestie has hit below the belt, Teresa's ready to leave but Jacqueline's not done fighting. Teresa reiterates that all she wants is peace, but Jac accuses the OG of not taking accountability for her actions - opting instead to blame her criminal case and prison sentence on everyone else. Huh? How exactly is Teresa not owning her mistakes? Hello, the woman went to prison for eleven and a half months! Who is she blaming her legal issues on? Jacqueline's claim just doesn't make sense. With that, Teresa storms out of the house with Joe in tow, leaving Jacqueline proudly standing in the rubble of the "rebuilt" friendship once again. And the worst part of it all is that no one even got to eat dinner!
What did you think of this week's RHONJ? Are you Team Teresa or Team Jacqueline? Who is at fault? Who hit below the belt? Give me all your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!