On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Dr. V gets Melissa and Teresa to clear the air. Teresa finally admits something her brother has been waiting a long time to hear. The boys and Rosie try ice fishing. And Caroline calls Teresa out.

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Hugs Not Thugs

This season’s group getaway, the family bonding retreat from hell, continues. The group lost two team building professionals, but picked up Caroline Manzo and therapist Dr. V. Even with Dr. V’s arrival, Joe and Melissa were ready to bail. But since Dr. V appears to be the mental health equivalent of Anne Sullivan, it looks like everybody is going to stay on lock-down until there is some resolution.

Joe tells his sister she needs to put her dukes down, open up and change her ways. Dr. V feels one way for the siblings to resolve their issues is to spend more quality time together alone. Surprisingly, Teresa says she loves Melissa and doesn’t want to shut her sister-in-law out. This is the perfect segue for Dr. V to bring Melissa into the conversation. Teresa says from the beginning she wanted Melissa to be her sister, and that Melissa rejected her. Melissa sees the situation from a completely different perspective. She doesn’t think Teresa has ever accepted her as Joe’s wife. What follows are snippets of the session, so thankfully all we get are the highlights, instead of having to listen to all of the same BS all over again.

Dr. V tells Melissa to acknowledge the things that have been said about her (adulteress, stripper) she doesn’t like that Teresa has been complicit in. She explains to Teresa that her brother feels as if he has to choose between his sister and his wife. Teresa says if Melissa thinks Kim D’s the problem, she’ll stop hanging out with her as long as Melissa stops hanging out with Jacqueline. Teresa says she’s never intentionally meant to hurt her brother and sister-in-law, but Melissa points out how Teresa calls Joe a p***y because he’s good to her. Melissa tells the doctor how Teresa told her brother that Melissa would leave him if a richer man came along.

Other examples of slanderous gossip about Melissa are brought up, and Teresa denies being the source. Melissa is frustrated that Teresa is always sitting at the right hand of Kim D or whoever happens to be spreading malicious gossip. Dr. V tells Teresa that her complacency in those types of situations makes her a dumb ass and demands that she take responsibility.

Teresa says she thinks things are being interpreted the wrong way. I think viewers would agree the things being said about Melissa are pretty clear. These women don’t shy away when it comes to spreading rumors, they nurse them like newborn babies. Dr. V tells them those other women don’t matter, and she and Teresa need to remain a united front.

Dr. V gets Teresa to admit, despite her usual attempts to deflect, that she has done things to hurt her brother and Melissa. Joe derives satisfaction from the fact that his sister finally takes some of the blame.

Dr. V asks what Melissa’s plan is for the future. She says what she’s going to do, and what she thinks she’s going to be asked to do, is to forgive and move on. Dr. V tells Melissa that she can’t do anything because she feels obligated; she has to do it because it’s what she wants to do. Melissa says she’s capable of doing that and agrees to meet Teresa halfway. Teresa hugs Melissa and tells her she loves her.

Dr. V says there is one last piece of the puzzle: Joe Giudice. The doctor asks where Teresa’s husband is in all of this. Teresa fetches Joe, and almost like a mother bribes a child with candy, she tells him the doctor is hot to coax him into the room. Dr. V questions him about the fight the day before. Joe Giudice tells her he thinks his brother-in-law felt intimated by him and that’s why he charged him. From the look on Joe Gorga’s face, it’s easy to see he disagrees, but he keeps his mouth shut regardless.

Dr. V questions Joe Giudice, but he’s not especially forthcoming. Dr. V says the other three have made progress and wants to know how they can all do a better job of sticking together as a family. Joe says they’ll have to see in time, but Dr. V asks him to play along because she needs his help. He makes an ambivalent apology followed by several awkward hugs and then asks if they can leave.

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Kissing Cousins

The session ends, and Dr. V takes her leave. Kathy is surprised and disappointed by her exit because she has her own issues she needs to work out with Teresa. Kathy takes this as an indicator that she just isn’t that important. A fact that Teresa definitely reinforces every chance she gets. Kathy says just because she’s nice enough to give people a pass, she shouldn’t be passed over. Kathy confronts Teresa on her own. She apologizes for the things she said about her aunt and then makes it clear that the things Teresa said about Kathy and Rosie’s now deceased father were unacceptable. Teresa immediately apologizes. Nobody appears to be drinking any Kool-Aid, so maybe there’s something in the tea or coffee instead. Kathy is shocked by the apology and thinks it shows a lot of growth on Teresa’s part.

Ice Ice Baby

Rich, Rose and the two Joes go ice fishing. Joe Gorga thinks the worst is over. He says the anger is out, it feels good and he’s happy. Rich, always the s**t-stirrer, asks Joe Giudice and Joe Gorga who they think won the fight. Joe Giudice claims to have whooped his brother-in-law’s ass. Joe Gorga says Joe Giudice has a small you-know-what. Joe Giudice asks if Joe Gorga is going to start crying again. Rosie starts to get nervous because even though the two men are in a better place, she’s afraid if somebody strikes a nerve, they could go off all over again. Richie starts making fun of Rosie’s lady parts, and that seems to squash any tension.

The Jacqueline Not in the Room

The whole group unwinds with numerous cocktails and and a large dinner. Chris and Jacqueline come up when Joe Giudice mentions he brought a bottle of wine for his old friend. Caroline tries to convey just how hard it is for the couple dealing with a child with autism. Even though Jacqueline chose not to physically come, she’s been there the entire time.

The drunken group decides to engage in some trust exercises. Teresa says she wants Caroline to fall back into her arms, and Caroline says she’ll do it, but only if one day she gets to see Teresa and Jacqueline do the same exercise. Caroline catches Teresa off guard and sees the hurt lingering from Teresa’s severed relationship with Jacqueline. Caroline thinks that if Teresa is hell-bent on healing and forgiveness, then she needs to do so with her old friend in addition to her family.

Even though Jacqueline says the friendship is over, Caroline is convinced that Jacqueline misses her friend. Caroline says what she doesn’t miss is the conflict and the hurt. Teresa says you have to forgive family because they’re not going anywhere, but a friendship is different.

Will Jacqueline and Teresa be able to make amends? Unlikely, without a mental health professional in the mix.

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.