The season finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey is here and I doubt anything can top the episode that started it all … the christening. But we can hope. It’s all been leading to this (and the reunion!). Now, long after the last family gathering gone wrong, the Gorga family is trying to get together for a family portrait.

Whoa, check out Chris and Caroline’s brother, Jamie! This guy is a lot of look. He has come to talk to Ashley. Some day, Ashley, you too can look this “LA” and like a total douchebag. Way to make a blow job joke to your neice, Jamie. Ashley got so many secret bird tattoos! They ask Ashley how moving to California will change everything, and she stomps off crying. Go get a tattoo about it, girl.

RHONJ_LAdouche.jpgIn this episode of “Caroline Rules,” Caroline tells us that life is not a rehearsal! Follow your dreams! God, she’s so full of straight talk. Chris and Lauren visit Caroline at the show, and they make things difficult and embarrassing for Caroline by laughing at everyone who calls in. No matter what, you go, Caroline! You really blossomed this season.

Speaking of blossoming, Kathy’s daughter, Victoria is going to prom! Right? Is that what it is? We would all be so lucky to have kids like Kathy’s! Victoria’s date is named Paulie, which is not a great sign, but this is New Jersey. Paulie, who is just a friend, tells Rich that they’re just going to “hang out” until 5 am. Rich shows Paulie a very metaphorical nut cracker.

Joe Gorga and his father need to reconcile in time for the photo shoot. It’s hard to read this father character, but it seems like he’s willing to let it be. It’s more important to see what Teresa’s kids are wearing. While putting the finishing touches on the youngest’s muppet costume, Teresa and Melissa make up for good (or for now).

The photographer makes the kids smile by making a lot of jokes at Grandpa Gorga’s expense. Hasn’t he been through enough? All that matters is that she got the shot, and we are reminded that family is very important to these people. And no one remembers why they were ever fighting (I know, I know! It’s Joe Giudice!)

OK, whatever this thing Victoria is going to, I don’t think it’s prom. I have no idea what is going on in this giant photo tent with all the kids and parents. After seeing them off in the limo, Kathy and Rich agree that they did a good job raising their children. I agree.

And then the cookbook happened. Teresa’s second cookbook (“Fabulicious”) has entered the periphery, and Lauren mentions that in the opening, Teresa says something negative about Caroline. Like, right away, she says that Caroline’s food is bad and she’s as Italian as the Olive Garden. For whatever reason, she bashes Chris and his stripper/car wash idea. It has nothing to do with cooking! Caroline has recognized that “the tides are changing,” meaning she knows that Teresa is basically awful and not a good ally.

Is that worse than not even being in the cookbook when you’re a real chef, though? Kathy and Rich don’t get any thanks, but Teresa does say she wishes her cousin would stop making lame jokes about her. WTF kind of cookbook is this, Teresa? Rich puts the cookbook in the garbage. I love him.

Then, to Melissa! Teresa said that Melissa copies everything she does from her shoes to her chairs (you do not rip off a bitch’s chairs!). Melissa is annoyed, but lets it slide because she’s tired of fighting.

At Teresa’s house, everything is coming up roses. Wilted roses, but roses just the same. The family portrait is in and the book sold “like, a ton of copies.” Jacqueline comes over to help unveil the portrait and chat with Teresa about how bad Ashley is for her nerves. Hey hey, ho ho, lazy Ashley’s got to go!

Jacqueline brings up the nasty cookbook comments to Teresa, who claims, “it’s a joke? Ha ha?” She refused to listen or understand, and I think the line in the sand has been drawn. Teresa tells Jacqueline that she’s being too sensitive, and now she’s getting mad.

“If you nitpick every little thing, you’re never going to have any friends in life,” Teresa says defensively. And that’s that! So rarely does a season of The Real Housewives end with no one getting along! Everything is poised for an interesting reunion.

Jacqueline is still trying to keep the peace (but not showing up to the reunion, apparently), and Ashley has legally changed her name to “Ashlee.” Ohhhhh my god, Ashlee. And she still lives at home.

Teresa’s “Fabulicious” spent one week on the NY best seller list, Joe was accused of fraud so he couldn’t file for bankruptcy. Fun stuff.

Kathy is starting her own dessert business. Melissa’s single is doing well and Teresa didn’t go to Gino’s 1st birthday party.

Caroline is done being there for Teresa. Friendship terminated!

Are you excited for the reunion?

(images courtesy of Bravo)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).