Real Housewives of New Jersey – Reunion 3.1

This should sum everything up from the night.

Andy Cohen waxes philosophic about Greek tragedies and the inner mind of man, and the women wonder if he’s actually using English or if this is just something he says in his own language to warm up. 

Because he’s the most fabulous moderator ever (let’s put him in charge of political debates, I’m just saying. They’d be fun and fabulous, and he’d be able to call people on their shit and then make them laugh, disarming them for a potential catty slam. Andy? I adore you.) he’s able to get the ladies talking right away.

Sort of.

The women are currently filming Season 4, nearing the end, actually, and something went down the night before the reunion taping. Something big enough to convince Jacqueline Laurita that she’s done, she’s not showing up for the reunion, and she’s not coming back for Season 5. (She claims Teresa set up Melissa by trying to make it look like Melissa was a stripper back in the day, when she wasn’t.)

Teresa is a stupider version of Danielle now, is what I’m saying.

Caroline sums up Jacqueline’s position, which pisses Teresa off. “You shouldn’t speak for her.”

Caroline keeps her cool, “She asked me to.”

Teresa drops her first “Bring it on, bitch!” of the night after Caroline says they can discuss the why’s and where to’s tonight. And then Teresa says that they can’t talk about it, because they’re filming Season 4, and why would anyone turn in to watch if they knew what to expect?

Time to pull out Teresa’s cookbook (that is not doing as well as she’d like) and discuss all of the slams against her friends. Cut to shots of them all reading the insults written about them, the 1/16th Italian, the Olive Garden, the copying everything I do bits.

Andy starts, “Your cookbook pissed people off. Mel?”

Teresa jumps in, “Did I say your name [Mel?] Did I actually name you?”

The two other sisters-in-law of Teresa watching at home roll up their sleeves, waiting for her to say it wasn’t Melissa she slammed. Caroline butts in pointing out that Melissa’s assumption was correct, wasn’t it? Teresa turns to Andy and explains that Caroline started it on the Rachel Ray show when she teased her and her much more authentical meatballs by saying who the hell cares. Also, Teresa would have laughed if anyone called her 1/16th Italian. Because we all know how light-hearted and carefree Teresa is, right?

Well then, what about the dig at Caroline’s son Christuhphuh and his didn’t happen stripper car wash idea?

“I was just saying that for my daughters I wouldn’t want that for them.”

I am shocked that no one pointed out to her that this is exactly what Kathy tried to say in Punta Cana about working out of the home. It’s just like Kathy, Teresa, you three-head. (She doesn’t have a forehead, you see.)

Teresa would just like to take a minute to reiterate that she was friends with everyone and meant everything as a joke, because look at all of the nice pictures she put in there! You don’t put pictures of people in books that you’re not friends with, you know.

Caroline sniffs, “Go ahead and take my picture out, please. But leave the words, it tells people who you really are.” DAMN. Things fell out hard between these two!

Caroline then takes a minute to say that she was loyal to Tre, believed it when Tre said that Kathy and Melissa were torturing her back before filming, and admits that she was “abominable” to Kathy and Mel as a result. And for that, she’s sorry. Balls, Manzo. You have balls. Wait, no, in the words of Betty White, balls are weak things. You have a vagina, which we all know can take a beating.

Tre rolls her eyes and Caroline lets more slip out, about how Teresa told her she couldn’t compliment Mel or be nice before the season started filming. Oh, but she’s lying, Teresa would never say that, even though we’ve seen her all season be petty, and random workers say the same thing (stylists, hair dressers, make up artists, forehead shavers, children wranglers.)

Teresa does admit that she was pissed that the two of “youse” [Kathy and Melissa] came on the show without her ever knowing it was happening. Oh really. Caroline tells her that she told the American public that her own family was a bunch of assholes (it’s true) and now she’s paying for it.

We flashback to the Christening, to Bro Joe’s hysterical, “You’re my father! You’re my father!” and the PiP of Teresa shows her crying a little. She’s crying, she says, because her father is in bad health, and they’ve never seen this, because if her father saw Joe calling her a piece of garbage… things would get bad.

Worse than they are now?

Mel just feels disgust, what with that being a holy day for her baby and all. Leading up to it, Mel says, they weren’t even speaking to Teresa, really. Teresa had a big 900 people party that Joe wasn’t invited to, but, Teresa says, it’s because Mel had just had a baby, so why bother? And moreover, Mel should have called Teresa and wrangled an invitation for Joe. What, she was just lying in bed nursing a week old baby, what else did she have to do?

Andy asks Teresa if Gia, who garnered a lot of sympathy from viewers, has watched any of the Christening footage. Tre says that she doesn’t need to see it, she remembers it. Which isn’t an answer.

Caroline mentions that Teresa and Gia watched it at Christuhphuh’s house in his basement! “What, did Jacqueline show it to her?” Teresa asks. Damn, she is a bitch! But Caroline Manzo is more than up to the task. “You did. You were watching it and commenting and asking [axing] us questions. With Gia there. And you called your brother an asshole.”

BOOM. Of course Tre calls her a liar, but I gotta say, there’s no reason for Ms. Manzo to lie, Three-head, and all the reason in the world for you to.

Andy lightens the mood by showing a montage of Jesus Spice in all her religious fervor. Five straight minutes of “Thank you, Jesus!” He asks Mel about her dad, and she starts to cry. Man, how long does it take this woman to let the fresh hurt go? …says the woman who still has her father and will probably fall to pieces when he dies, so let’s just move past that with my apologies.

Caroline and Kathy mother her a bit as she cries, thinking about her papa. They are two sides of the same coin, Caroline and Kathy. I like it.

Andy mentions that Teresa referred to Melissa as a gold digger, which obviously offends Melissa. Mel asks Tre about that, and how can she think that, when she knows how much she loves Bro Joe? She finishes with “Shame on you.” Mel, you are strong and in charge tonight, it’s official, I dig Melissa Gorga.

Tre calls her a devil, and she’s in red, too, how convenient. She throws out another, “You like that, bitch?”

Andy butts in, “HEY, SO, SPRAY TANS. Don’t they come off on your sheets?” Ahaha, I love you, Andy. They explain that you don’t scrub it off in the shower for 24 hours, and you’re good. Andy likes to be old fashioned. Laying out in the sun? Nope, tanning bulbs. O….kay.

But we finally get to the good, Juicy gossip, literally. The bankruptcy. This is when Andy is helped by his education (and business smarts – you know he’s the VP of the whole network, right? He does these reunions and the talk show for funsies? I love him.) But first he needs to butter her up.

“You really stepped it up to provide for your family!” Well, Teresa wants to show her daughters that they don’t need a man to fix things for them, right, Joe? Riiiiiight?

Andy brings up the comment she made about how her Jewish friends said they would have divorced Joe, and that’s not how Italians see family. Does she realize she just stereotyped Jews as disloyal/not into marriage? No, she doesn’t. They try to explain in several ways.

“Say we commented on how your skeevy husband was clearly a low-level mobster because of the way he talks, the way he acts, and because he’s Italian.”

“Yeah? And?”

“…next question. So let’s talk about all of the guilty verdicts in Joe’s life. He’s clearly done things wrong, he’s clearly guilty of committing crimes. Did the fact that you pulled out of claiming bankruptcy, which was fraudulent on a Federal level, keep you out of jail?”


Andy presses on, “Hmm. Okay, so you realize you were charged with bankruptcy fraud?”

“No, we weren’t.”

Andy looks at the legal docs in his hand with “BANKRUPTCY FRAUD” written on it. “Okay, then. So how long will it take you to pay off what you owe, then?”

“I dunno.”

“You should…,” he blinks a few times, glances at the other ladies to make sure he’s not getting punked, “look into that. How does Juicy even make money?”

“He flips houses like my brother, except my brother learned from my husband, because Juicy’s got smarts. He’s so smart he keeps getting busted for screwing up. Oh, and Rich learned from Juicy, too.”

And she was completely serious. Kathy finally speaks up, “Uh, no, no he didn’t. Stop. Don’t go there, or you’re going to find out stuff you don’t want to know.”

OoooOooh. My guess? Juicy has borrowed money all over town, hasn’t paid anyone, has done some even shadier things, and Teresa is too stupid to know about it (or happily ignorant, a la Carmela Soprano, to keep her out of trouble, too.)

Teresa ignores her cousin and explains to Andy that her Joe is just so smart, just so good with businesses that everyone comes to him for advice and contacts. He’s the “Go To” of Franklin Heights, apparently.

Mel laughs at this and says that Teresa believes everything good in everyone else’s life is somehow a direct result of Teresa and Joe. Mel? You’re awesome tonight.

Enough of this dilly-dallying, Andy dives into some good stuff. Juicy was arrested in March for fraudulently obtaining a driver’s license – “No, he didn’t” – and Andy has the legal documents there, so whatever, Teresa. He was put in jail with a $50,000 bond, holy shit, for a license? There is a lot more going on here, come on. If convicted, he could go to prison anywhere from 18 months to 10 years. How does she feel about that?

“He’s not guilty. Plus he’s already paid the $260,000 that we tried to claim in bankruptcy court, that proved to be fraudulent. I don’t even know what I’m saying. Also, I’ve been advised to not discuss this because it’s legal matters and I don’t understand law, or numbers, or how to shut my yap. Call my lawyer.”

Andy notices Caroline’s squinty eyes. “Is this what you know, Caroline?”

“It’s…puzzling. I’m confused but…hmm, I don’t know their issues.” She saying that she has trouble with all of this, but because she’s not versed in the matter, she’s not going to comment. But Teresa, who’s back has been up since she sat down, misunderstands these very simple words and assumes Caroline is putting her nose where it doesn’t belong. She really is an idiot.

They banter and bicker until Caroline snipes, “I feel like I’m getting dumber as minutes go on. I’m in a whirlwind of stupid.”

This is now my new favorite phrase.

She continues, “Nothing makes sense. Two years ago I said I needed to get you out of my life, and I wish I took that advice.”

Oh, but then there wouldn’t be a show, Miss Caroline.

And of course they give us all of the lame bickering in the beginning to stretch it out to two episodes. Oy. So we’ll be back next week to get all of the REAL dish, including insight into Dina and Caroline’s possible estrangement? And maybe Kathy will actually pipe up.