On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the Gorgas, Wakiles and Giudices head to upstate New York. Jacqueline’s absence frustrates Teresa. What is supposed to be a reconciliation turns into an intervention. And two family members come to blows.

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Not in a New York State of Mind

As the Gorgas, Wakiles and Guidices prepare to undergo some intense family counseling in upstate New York, the attitude among the participants overall is not positive. Melissa and Joe just want Teresa to stop spreading false rumors and allegations about Melissa. Melissa isĀ  convinced that Teresa is delusional and that “she plots her little schemes and then turn around and says, ‘Melissa, you broke my family. You’re keeping this family apart.'” Joe is resigned to the fact that his sister will never like or respect his wife. He has no plans to speak to the other Joe, and he just wants peace, not reconciliation.

Rich doesn’t understand why he and Kathy are even going, and she tells them they should try to act as a calming force. Kathy is tired of having issues with Teresa, and she thinks this retreat is exactly what the family needs, saying, “Nobody’s gonna leave until we get this resolved, or we die trying.” Rich says he has never heard Teresa admit to anything she’s done wrong.

It does appear as if they are embarking on this endeavor with the wrong attitude. I genuinely believe, if nothing else, Teresa wants to make amends with her brother. I don’t think she could give a s**t about anyone else, but her intentions regarding her brother seem genuine.

Rosie, Kathy, Rich, Melissa and Joe all ride up to Lake George, NY, together. There is a ton of trash talk about Teresa going on during the trip. Rosie informs the group that Teresa knows a relationship expert named “Dr. V.” Joe says he’s tried therapy with his sister, and they are wasting their time. Rosie is visibly frustrated at everyone’s negative attitudes. She says it hurts her to hear her family ridicule and make fun of this retreat, saying, “Everybody needs to open up their mind and most of all, open up their heart.”

Bitter on Twitter

Both Caroline and Jacqueline opt out of the retreat. I can’t say that’s a big surprise. Caroline wants to keep her distance, and Jacqueline is full of anger and resentment that Teresa is holding her accountable for breaking up her family. Jacqueline admits to her husband Chris that after she and Teresa fought over the phone, she sent out a tweet saying that when you argue with a moron, you become a moron. Chris reminds her she’s wasting her time and energy on something that means nothing.

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Harder

Teresa and her husband arrive at the inn first and greet the others graciously once they arrive. Teresa asks if Caroline and Jacqueline are driving up separately, and Kathy informs her neither woman is coming. When Kathy tells Teresa that Jacqueline has been having issues with her son Nick, Teresa starts going off about the tweet that Jacqueline sent out about her. Kathy tries to suffocate that ember so that it doesn’t turn into a full-blown fire. She does think it wasn’t a smart move on Jacqueline’s part, but she doesn’t want to get into the middle of it. Teresa is frustrated she’s not going to be able to confront Jacqueline face to face, and she turns to her family for information. Nobody is forthcoming, and Melissa says they need to keep the focus on the people who are actually present.

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Is There a Doctor in the House?

The group sits down to a very awkward and silent lunch. Kathy is counting the minutes until the relationship expert arrives and starts the process of helping them all reconnect. Rich asks what activities are planned for the weekend, and Rosie says they’ll be doing a lot of team-building exercises to help break the ice. “Dr. V” isn’t due to arrive until the following day.

Rosie gets the ball rolling by saying that she knows she can be irrational or a hothead, but she’s able to take a step back and realize that isn’t the best way to act. Teresa’s brother says that Rosie will call and apologize in order to put an end to a conflict. Teresa asks her brother why he doesn’t stay out of the issues she has with Melissa and let them work things out amongst themselves. Melissa responds that Teresa fights with her brother more than with her. Teresa says she and her brother never fight; he gets involved because she and Melissa don’t get along.

Melissa quickly reminds Teresa of her recent squabble with Joe at the gym during which she dumped a bottle of water on him. Teresa’s response is that things have gotten to this point with her brother because of Melissa. Joe immediately disagrees. Rosie suggests they wait for the team builders, so Rich and Joe Gorga excuse themselves from the table to go have a drink. What a fantastic idea. Everybody is ready to explode, and they decide to go light the fuse.

Here Come the Reinforcements

The team builders arrive, a husband and wife couple named Stephanie and Steve. Melissa takes one look at the duo and decides they are not up to the task, saying, “Are you kidding me? I don’t think Opie and Little Miss Sunshine are equipped for this group. I mean, what are they gonna fix us with, butterflies and sweet dreams?” Kathy says the couple seem so sweet and nice and that they are in for a rude awakening.

The group reluctantly gathers in a ballroom and Steve gets things going. He explains that conflict itself is not a bad thing. He says it leads to better ideas and better solutions. The point is to learn how to use conflict for good as opposed to going down a destructive path. This whole thing seems better suited to dealing with co-workers than a temperamental family of reality stars. Surprisingly, the group completes the first task successfully and in good spirits. Of course, that could have more to do with the booze.

Fun and games aside, Steve quickly hits on a sensitive issue when he asks Teresa and Joe if there is still loyalty between them as brother and sister. Teresa claims she will always be loyal to her brother, no matter what he does to her. Joe says he’s there for her to prove her loyalty by cutting out the bitterness and “evilness” because they aren’t enemies.

Same S**t, Scenic Location

Teresa once again brings up Jacqueline. Instead of taking responsibility for her own actions, she’d rather have Jacqueline be present to take the fall. Joe isn’t having any part of it, and he wants to keep things between them. Teresa is convinced that if Jacqueline hadn’t accused Teresa of setting up Melissa at the fashion show last season, she and her brother would be speaking. Melissa says the reason Joe isn’t speaking to her is because he’s never been this angry with her before. Teresa basically tells Melissa to butt out.

Joe says Teresa keeps going on and on about Jacqueline, but he’s more concerned about his own blood. Kathy points out that Teresa is trying to blame everything on Jacqueline, but the family had problems before Jacqueline’s involvement. Teresa and Melissa have both said in as early as season 3 that their relationship has been deteriorating for years along with their husbands’.

Poor Steve and Stephanie have lost control of the lunatics who are now running the asylum. It all comes back to the same accusations and denials that viewers have heard over and over and over again. Melissa winds up on her knees begging Teresa to stop hurting her family. Teresa keeps yelling about proving her wrong. Melissa says she has no pride and bows at Teresa’s feet. From what I can tell, this particular argument is about all the rumors circulating about Melissa, and Teresa’s stance that she has nothing to do with any of it.

Joe Gorga thanks Steve and Stephanie for their help but that, at this point, this whole thing is an exercise in futility. Teresa tells him he’s disappointing their family, and he should stick with his sister. She accuses him of believing strangers over his own blood. She tells him to man up, and he calls her scum. Teresa storms out and runs into her husband and Rosie, who are standing outside. As soon as Teresa tells him what her brother said, he heads in to confront his brother-in-law, and the two immediately collide into a violent physical fight.

Let’s hope this family has finally hit rock bottom, and next week the healing can really begin.

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

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(Image courtesy of Bravo)

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.