On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Teresa makes a last ditch effort to reconcile with her brother by inviting him on a getaway. And one of Melissa’s oldest friends cozies up to Kim D. and Teresa.

Retreat RSVP

Kathy is making use of her test kitchen not only to try out recipes, but to avoid the marital strife at home. Jacqueline and Caroline stop by to check out Kathy’s new digs. Kathy complains that she’s having difficulty working some ot the equipment, but Caroline tells Kathy she needs to take that next step because she’s grown beyond baking for friends and family at home. Rosie shows up and fills the other ladies in on her meeting with Teresa. Rosie admits that things got heated, even to the point where she physically injured her hand slamming it on a table.

Rosie takes it upon herself to invite the Laurita and Manzo families on Teresa’s retreat. Rosie did approach Teresa with the idea of including the other women on this trip after she finagled herself and Kathy and Rich into the mix. Teresa’s less than enthused to include her cousins, but with a drunken, volatile Rosie calling the shots, she’s not left with much choice. But not at one point during their meeting does she indicate that she wants Caroline or Jacqueline to attend. Both women make it clear they don’t want to get dragged into whatever cathartic family bonding experience Teresa is trying to organize.

Teresa calls her brother and invites him to a place in upstate New York where they’ll have the opportunity to engage in activities designed to help them re-establish trust, talk and just generally reconnect. Joe G. tells her to send him all the pertinent info, and he’ll discuss it with Melissa. Joe, who is with Rich at a driving range, says that as much as he wants to say no, he’ll give it a shot. Joe, like Teresa, is motivated to try and mend fences strictly for the sake of their parents.

Teresa tells her husband about her idea of a getaway with her brother. She explains that they’ll be engaging in activities like yoga and meditation. She is particularly obsessed with the trust exercise where you allow yourself to fall backwards, relying on your partner to catch you so you don’t crack your head open. Joe Giudice, being the open-minded guy he is, refuses to even participate in Teresa’s demonstration in their kitchen at home. He’s convinced he’ll hit the floor which could cause injury and cast a pall on a day of making sausage. Teresa tells him that his lack of trust in her is exactly why he should come along.

Hot and Cold Lunch

Melissa meets her friends Maria and Jan for lunch. She tells them about her book deal and how Teresa sent her a text message congratulating Melissa on her success. Melissa tells her friends how she can’t figure Teresa out because she can go from being hot to cold in an instant. Melissa seems certain that Teresa suffers from mental instability of some sort and calls her sister-in-law a pathological liar. Jan and Maria suggest Teresa could be jealous since Melissa’s book is a totally different accomplishment than a cookbook. But Teresa is becoming a brand, whereas we know Melissa is not going to be the next John Grisham. Multiple Housewives cast members have released songs, books, fashion lines, et cetera, as a way to cash in on their fame. But aside from Bethenny Frankel, none have managed to achieve any success more notable than their identities as cast members of their respective shows.

Cell Phone Showdown

Kathy and Jacqueline are shopping when Kathy receives a call from Teresa inviting her on the retreat. Kathy, who decides to put the phone on speaker, tells Teresa that Rosie mentioned she wanted Jacqueline and Caroline to come along as well. Teresa admits that she doesn’t speak to Jacqueline, but Kathy is welcome to invite her along. Kathy is encouraged by Teresa’s determination to try and work things out. I don’t hear Teresa expressing a whole lot of interest in dealing with current and/or past strife she’s had with anyone else. In fact, she tells Kathy she’s kind of in this mess with her brother because of Jacqueline. At this point, Jacqueline grabs the phone.

Jacqueline tells Teresa that she thinks it’s great she’s trying to reconcile with her family, but that she needs to stop blaming her for her family issues. Teresa responds that Jacqueline should have kept her mouth shut instead of telling her brother that she set up Melissa that fateful night at the fashion show. The word ‘bitch’ gets thrown around pretty quickly, and the two start going at each other like two strays in an alley. Basically, all the same accusations and denials that were flying at the season 4 reunion. Kathy is flustered, but she’s the one who lit the fuse that led to this blow-up. Kathy finally pries the phone from Jacqueline’s hand, and Teresa warns her that she better control her friend. Kathy lectures Jacqueline that nothing is going to get resolved that way.

Gossip Girls

Teresa’s having a girls’ night out with Kim D., Melissa’s friend Jan and some other lovely Jersey ladies. Take a good look at their faces because they are probably all vying for a coveted position as the next housewife for face time on a Teresa spin-off. Jan, who just saw Melissa, tells Teresa that Melissa had ditched her and moved on to bigger and better things, and the two are no longer friends. Jan, along with a woman named Penny, tells Teresa that Melissa had an affair with an ex. This isn’t news to Teresa, who has heard the rumor before and confronted Melissa about it years earlier. Since the state of Teresa’s marriage has been under such scrutiny, she seems sympathetic (almost) to Melissa’s plight.

A Brunch of Regrets

Melissa and Joe have Caroline, Albert, Jacqueline, Chris, Rosie, Kathy and Rich over for brunch. Jacqueline expresses to Kathy some regret about her phone call with Teresa. Joe asks the group how they feel about the retreat. Rosie is really encouraging everybody to participate. Joe questions Teresa’s motivations regarding the trip, but he says in order to move on with his sister, he needs to hear her apologize. When Rich offers up his opinion that Jacqueline should go, she is quick to tell the group that even though she wants the family to work it out, she doesn’t want to be involved. She has no interest or motivation to resolve her issues with Teresa.

She Said, She Said

Melissa has lunch with Jennifer, a friend of Teresa’s, who was at the girls’ night out. She suggests that Melissa have a chat with Jan and tells Melissa the woman is not her friend. She relays to Melissa the accusations that were flying regarding Melissa’s fidelity to Joe. Melissa is blown away and can’t figure out why Jan would stab her in the back. My guess is to curry favor with Teresa or just to get some time in front of the camera. Melissa questions Jennifer about Teresa’s role in the whole thing, and Jennifer tells her that Teresa did not instigate anything. Jennifer tells her that Kim D. has it out for her. Melissa feels like Teresa is building a clique whose sole purpose is to make her life miserable.

Cocktails and Confrontation

Later that night, Melissa and Joe meet up with the Wakiles and the Lauritas for drinks. Melissa tells them how her “friend” Jan said she cheated on Joe with her ex-boyfriend. Joe points out that, once again, his sister is involved in negative allegations against his wife. As the group absorbs this latest nasty tidbit, Kim D. shows up. Rich calls her over to their table and invites her to sit down. Melissa immediately confronts Kim D., telling her that she knows everything that went on the other night thanks to Jennifer. Melissa asks how one of her closest friends ends up getting cozy with Kim D. and Teresa talking BS about her marriage. Kim says that Jan no longer likes Melissa, and it’s not her fault if someone else says something bad about Melissa. Obviously outnumbered, Kim D. makes a fast getaway.

Looks like Teresa’s going to get more than she bargained for on this upcoming retreat.

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.