On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, the gang is back from their touchy feely, New Agey retreat from Arizona, and the only thing we know for certain is that Joe Giudice’s father has a crooked you-know-what. Now it’s time to get back to the “real” world, or what passes for humdrum everyday life for these women and their families.
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Going back home means getting back to work. This includes more shameless self-promotion. A few weeks ago, Teresa launched Milania haircare products. Now it’s time for a Skinny Italian food line. Teresa and Joe take their mothers to see Teresa’s new showroom, where grocery store buyers go to see the samples. Teresa takes a brief respite from building her empire to assure her mother that the Arizona trip helped reunite her and her brother. To prove it, she wants to get the whole family together for lunch.
Joe Gorga takes his sons to the Lauritas’ home for a play date. He “conveniently” asks Chris how Blk is doing, and it just so happens the company is getting ready to launch three new flavors. Blk is also sponsoring a basketball event called “BLK Knockout Autism,” and Jacqueline is scheduled to make a speech. It appears Chris’ motives are being questioned by the public because he mentions that people have stated this charitable event is really just a way to publicize and sell his product. Gee, wonder why they’d think that?
A Chance to Shine
Rich and Kathy meet with an event producer to discuss Kathy doing an in-store demonstration of her cannoli kits at Dylan’s Candy Bar, a high-profile store in NYC. The event planner stresses that they cannot have an empty venue, and Kathy tells her that she will rally her family and friends to come to the event.
Make Room for Daddy
Joe, Teresa, Joe Giudice and Melissa get together with Joe and Teresa’s mom for lunch. Joe’s disappointed to see his father isn’t in attendance due to kidney stones. Even though papa isn’t present, mama is pleased to see her babies getting along. The good feelings seem to be contagious. Melissa worries because she’s been teased by good vacations before only to have things fall apart. She doesn’t want the camaraderie to end this time. Teresa’s mom says if her husband was present, he might cry or faint, presumably because his kids are finally playing nice. Teresa tells her mother that she and her brother made a pact while they were away that nothing is going to get between them anymore.
Teresa goes to Jacqueline’s house for the first time since the tabloid incident during season 4. Jacqueline says that Teresa hasn’t been around Nicholas since he was very young, and it will take some time for her to see and understand the challenges that her family faces. Jacqueline tells Teresa she wants to be an advocate for autism, but she’s terrified to speak in public. If there’s one thing Teresa Giudice is not, it’s shy. She offers to help Jacqueline with her speech and give her some tips to alleviate her anxiety. Teresa’s no wordsmith, but her heart is in the right place.
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Nobody Puts Kathy in the Corner
It’s Kathy’s big day, and she’s acting like a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She heaps most of her abuse on Rich, who can’t seem to do anything right. Once the Wakiles get to Dylan’s, Kathy notices that her extended nearest and dearest have yet to arrive. She tells Rich she’s always present and on time for everybody else’s stuff and cheering them on, but they don’t extend her the same courtesy.
Caroline has a valid medical excuse; she’s suffering from a crippling migraine. I hope she has procured a doctor’s note. The Lauritas show up, better late than never, and Jacqueline wastes no time diving into some samples. Jacqueline even notices the anemic amount of family and friends and somewhat jokingly tells Kathy that nobody cares what she does. Eventually, Melissa and Teresa, with their kids in tow, and Rosie arrive. Teresa is as happy for someone else as she can be. She gives Kathy credit for her cannolis being “edible.”
Everybody emerges from their diabetic stupors in time to attend the Blk event and hear Jacqueline’s speech. She worries she’ll say the wrong thing or people will judge her as a mother. I wonder if she has these same concerns when it comes to filming a reality show? As the time for her speech grows nearer, Jacqueline starts to fall apart. Chris reminds her that she’s doing this for Nick and all the other kids like him who need support. She overcomes her stage fright and delivers a heartfelt speech. Jacqueline says she just wants to share her journey with others and hopes they find it helpful.
Melissa and Joe go out for dinner, and out of all the restaurants in New Jersey, Penny is sitting in the bar at their eatery. Melissa excuses herself and approaches Penny, in spite of the recent pact she made with her husband and Teresa to approach “haters” together. Melissa still can’t shake the feeling that the last time she saw Penny, the woman was holding back. Joe joins the conversation and gets right to the point. He wants to know the origin of the cheating rumors. Melissa tells her everyone is pointing at her, and asks where Penny is pointing.
It doesn’t take much prodding to get Penny to rat out Teresa. Penny claims Teresa was lying at the Milania party. She also reveals that Teresa is in contact with her husband, John, who has been giving Melissa sound tweet beatings on a regular basis. Melissa and Joe finally feel like they have some answers, but are they the right ones?
The Real Housewives of New Jersey airs Sundays at 8pm on Bravo.
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(Image courtesy of Bravo)