On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the Gorgas and the Giudices are finally in a good place, for now. Albie is starting to crumble under the pressure of his professional life. Caroline and Albert seem at odds over their future. And the Giudices and the Lauritas get together with mixed results.

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Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

Life has returned to “normal” for the Gorgas since they returned home from their cathartic family retreat. Joe is hard at work in construction and has the opportunity to flaunt his Jerseylicious bod on a highway billboard for a company called Sizzle Tans. Even though the offer has been extended to Melissa as well, she’s planning to keep her fake tan under wraps. It turns out Teresa has served as a spokesperson for the company, and Melissa doesn’t want to be accused of trying to steal any of her sister-in-law’s limelight. Melissa would rather focus on her book because it isn’t like Teresa’s already written a few of those herself.

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Caroline fills Jacqueline in on the Lake George retreat. She admits she heeded Teresa’s call strictly to make sure nobody got killed. Melissa drops by and tells Jacqueline she wouldn’t have been able to handle the retreat, especially since Teresa was mad about her tweet. Jacqueline doesn’t understand why Teresa blames her for everything, or why she can’t just let it go. Melissa isn’t able to offer Jacqueline any insight, but she does feel obligated to tell her that the family is mending, and they’ve even reinstated weekly dinners.

The ladies talk a bit more about the retreat and then — wait for it — Caroline tells her sister-in-law she told Teresa she had to make amends with Jacqueline. When Jacqueline finds out she might receive a call from her former bestie, her response is, “Oh no, that’s not necessary.” Caroline feels Jacqueline is a time bomb when it comes to Teresa and feels, for Jacqueline’s own sanity, she needs closure. While Melissa hopes for everyone to be on good terms, Caroline would settle for civility. Jacqueline says that if Teresa is ready to let go of the hate and be genuinely sincere, she’s open for a discussion. Jacqueline feels she was already fooled by Teresa once, but Caroline urges her to go with it if Teresa reaches out.

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Breaking Bread

The Gorga and Giudice families merge for a family dinner. The kids are all ecstatic, and Teresa has made an oath to let things roll off her back in order to keep the peace. Now she’s able to turn all of her anger towards Jacqueline. Melissa tells Teresa that both she and Caroline told Teresa’s former BFF about Teresa’s promise to get in touch. Even Joe Giudice has made it clear he thinks it’s time to move on. But like a car stuck in the mud without four wheel drive, Teresa’s wheels just keep uselessly spinning.

Parental Guidance Suggested

Caroline and Albert are still splitting their time between their spacious mansion and the tiny Hoboken apartment. Albert isn’t a fan of the downsized lifestyle while Caroline remains in limbo. Albie, Chris and Lauren come for dinner and the boys fill their parents in on their multiple projects. They are in the midst of trying to open their restaurant and still promote blk. Caroline worries the boys, particularly Albie, are too much like their father and are so driven to succeed professionally, they’ll wind up neglecting their personal lives. Albert tells his wife she can’t tell his son to slow down any more than she could tell him 20 years earlier. He tells her to shut the eff up in front of their children.

Albie sits down with his mom a few days later and expresses frustration at the fact that his parents are putting pressure on him to work hard, and he feels they both have high expectations regarding his future. This feeling seems to stem more from Albert because Caroline has said on multiple occasions that she wants him to enjoy life more. She doesn’t want him to end up a workaholic like his father.

Albie also tells his mother he’s worried about her and his dad. She assures him things are fine, but Albie questions if they really even know each other. She doesn’t claim to have the perfect marriage but makes it clear that what goes on between her and Albert as a couple is none of Albie’s business.

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The Blame Game

Teresa calls Jacqueline so the two can talk. Both women bring their husbands for back-up. The men make a beeline for the bar, and the ladies get down to business. Teresa says she wishes Jacqueline would have come to her at the fashion show before telling Joe Gorga Teresa was an orchestrator of “Strippergate.” Teresa tells Jacqueline she would feel guilty if she came between a brother and sister, but Jacqueline responds she doesn’t feel like she did. Jacqueline says they had issues before, which they did. Fans of the show know the bad blood between both Teresa and Melissa and the two Joes goes way back and was first brought to light in the third season. Teresa denies Jacqueline’s allegation, saying everything was fine between them. It always seems to come down to Teresa’s inability to shoulder any blame.

Next, she scolds Jacqueline for saying that Joe was a cheater. This came out during the season 4 reunion. Teresa says there’s no proof to support Jacqueline’s claim. Jacqueline suggests they change the subject, but Teresa tells her, in no uncertain terms, that she should apologize. Jacqueline tells Teresa she thinks she’s a sociopath, and Teresa tells Jacqueline she’s evil. So much for civility. Jacqueline says she’s done everything she can to help Teresa, but Teresa claims Jacqueline’s good intentions are a sham. She accuses her of coming off one way in front of everyone but acting differently “behind the scenes.”

It doesn’t look like any teary-eyed reconciliations are in the immediate future between Jacqueline and Teresa. At least Chris and Joe Giudice are able to enjoy a nice glass of wine and start fresh.

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.