On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, a family brawl threatens the possibility of reconciliation. Teresa turns to a surprising person for help with her family crisis. The family starts relationship counseling in spite of Melissa and Joe Gorga’s reservations. And Teresa and her brother make a breakthrough.

RHONJ: Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice Analyze How Things Got So Out of Control >>>

Fight Club

At the conclusion of last week’s episode, a tense day of “family bonding” resulted in an all-out brawl between Joe Gorga and Joe Giudice. This week’s episode picks right up where things left off. The rest of the family struggles to pull the two apart, with the exception of Teresa, who leaves under the guise of supposedly calling the police but returns almost immediately with no reinforcements. Eventually, with the aid of what looks like a crew member, the physical fight is broken up.

Teresa, still irate at being called scum by her own brother, gathers her and Joe’s belongings and tells him they are leaving. Melissa can’t believe that Teresa left the scene. She asks why Teresa didn’t help her brother and calls her a disgusting pig. Teresa’s only response is to tell her sister-in-law to shut up. Joe Giudice isn’t about to wave the white flag. He tells everyone to let them fight it out. Teresa coaxes him out by saying “for your kids.” Teresa blames the entire thing on her brother, equating the event to what happened during the Gorgas’ youngest son’s christening. She says maybe her brother likes all this drama and that she doesn’t even know who he is anymore.

Everybody retreats to their respective rooms, but cooler heads still fail to prevail. Joe Gorga believes Joe Giudice ruined the family and drove a wedge between him and his father. Joe Gorga says if his father were to die tomorrow, he would hold his own funeral. Melissa declares there will be no more attempts at fixing things.

Kathy says she has never had to break up a fight before, and she was concerned someone was going to get hurt. It turns out her deepest fear was someone accidentally clocking her in the face and damaging her nose job. Kathy says they went to the retreat knowing things could get ugly, but she never expected this.

Joe Gorga starts to regret his behavior. The couple, who minutes earlier were packing up and on their way out the door, have lost the urgency to vacate the premises. Joe says his sisterĀ  caused him to behave like trash.

Teresa wants to leave, but her husband says they drove four hours, the couple is there now and he’s not going anywhere. He says that the Gorgas can be the ones to leave. Teresa says that the whole point of the retreat was to make peace. Joe Giudice says Joe Gorga is a lowlife, and the fact that Teresa keeps saying she wants to make up with him makes her an idiot.

Kathy asks Rich and Rosie where they go from here. Rich says he doesn’t want to leave, and he would like to talk to Joe Giudice and ask him if he’s happy with what he did. Rich and Rosie strongly believe Joe Giudice didn’t want this to happen. Rosie doesn’t regret helping Teresa organize the retreat. Her biggest fear is that everyone will give up and go home. Rich tells Rosie that Teresa is evil, and he decides to tell her she’s wrong on a multitude of levels.

Kathy, Rich and Rosie sit down with Teresa and Joe. Rich agrees with Teresa that it was wrong of her brother to call her scum. He does question her motives when it comes to the fact that she walked outside and immediately shared that information with her husband. Teresa tells Rich notĀ to even try to turn the situation around on her. Rich insists she shouldn’t have dragged her husband into it. Teresa once again deflects the attention away from herself by pointing out how often Melissa runs and tells Joe about incidents that occur between them. Rich challenges her to just go grab her brother, hug him and tell him she loves him. Kathy feels if the family leaves now, nothing has been accomplished. She thinks they need to stick it out and make it work.

Rosie convinces Teresa to go talk to her brother. Joe Gorga is completely unreceptive. Teresa asks Melissa to leave the room, and she refuses. Rosie tells Melissa to let them talk. When Melissa stands firm, Teresa retreats. Melissa says she doesn’t trust Teresa or her brother to be alone together, and she thinks it’s time to go home.

Teresa returns to her room and tells her husband and Kathy that Melissa refuses to leave the room and give her and her brother privacy. Kathy suggests that maybe Melissa just doesn’t want to abandon her husband when he’s upset. Teresa is incredulous at this statement because she feels she’s the one who’s on the outs. Of course, nobody else is allowed to have a thought or a reaction that doesn’t jibe with Teresa’s. I’m not sure why Kathy bothers because all she is to Teresa is a punching bag. Teresa tells Kathy that if the situation were reversed, Joe Giudice would leave when asked.

Joe Gorga is having a complete emotional breakdown when Steven and Stephanie, the team building professionals, re-emerge after a prolonged absence. Steve tells Joe that the family has a tremendous amount of passion. He points out that this might be their Achilles’ heel, but it will probably also be what pulls them through. Joe Gorga says he hates his sister, and Steve tells him not to let the hate consume him. Rich asks if they should leave, and Stephanie, Steve’s wife, points out that in spite of the fight, everybody is still there. This means they are all looking for some kind of resolution. Steve suggests that nobody try to engage each other again until the next day.

RHONJ: Kathy Wakile Reacts to the Battle Between the Joes >>>

A Cry for Help

The following morning, Rosie awakens with renewed feelings of hope. She feels things can only improve from here. It’s definitely hard to argue with that logic. She thinks something has got to explode before you can rebuild.

Teresa calls Caroline for help. She fills Caroline in on the the previous day’s events and says her brother now refuses to speak to anyone but Melissa. She’s hoping that since her brother has reached out to Caroline in the past, the Manzo matriarch might be able to smooth things over. Caroline tells Teresa she doesn’t know what she can do from New Jersey, and Teresa asks her to come to Lake George. Caroline realizes that if Teresa is asking for her help, things must be bad, and Teresa must be scared.

In spite of her reservations, Caroline decides to acquiesce to Teresa’s request. I get the distinct impression that Caroline is trying to turn around the negative impression she left on a lot of viewers last season. She came off as a bully, and this magnanimous gesture goes a long way in rebuilding her image. Is there any particular reason she can’t just call Joe? If Jacqueline makes an appearance at this circus, I’m really going to be suspicious at just how staged this whole family intervention is. Melissa’s feelings about Teresa, and her desire to remove her and Joe from the situation has not changed. Joe is a bit more conflicted. He feels certain if he leaves, he’ll lose his sister and his parents. On the other hand, he doesn’t want to live this way anymore.

The infamous “Dr. V” shows up, and one can only hope she has more luck than poor Stephanie and Steve. Teresa feels that since Dr. V is Italian, she understands more how Italians are. Dr. V doesn’t waste any time trying to get a handle on the whole situation. She has roughly at least three years, possibly more, of BS to figure out. Dr. V approaches Melissa to hear her side of things, but Melissa clams up when Teresa enters the room. She’s reluctant to take place in this whole farce anyway. But Teresa, Rich, Kathy and Dr. V all encourage her to speak freely. Within minutes, everybody is bickering. Dr. V says nothing will be solved if the family thinks one person is the problem. She decides to take everybody aside individually to get an idea of how he/she is each feeling.

Dr. V asks Joe Gorga if he has any desire to make things work, and he says no. Not only that, he says Teresa has become one of his worst enemies. The doctor suggests that she bring Teresa in, and Joe can tell his sister that he’s just not ready. Joe tells his sister he doesn’t trust her, and he needs time. Dr. V says she feels Joe’s solution might be a good one. However, after the two spend time talking just one on one, the doctor is encouraged by the exchange of emotion and ideas. She feels the siblings need to be together without anybody else around.

Can Dr. V accomplish what nobody else has been able to do, or is this family doomed?

The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 8pm on Bravo.

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Jennifer Lind-Westbrook

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Jennifer has worked as a freelance writer in the entertainment field since 2012. In addition to currently writing feature articles for Screen Rant, Jennifer has contributed content ranging from recaps to listicles to reviews for BuddyTV, PopMatters, TVRage, TVOvermind, and Tell-Tale TV. Links to some of Jennifer’s reviews can be found on Rotten Tomatoes.