On this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Kathy throws a party for Rich and Victoria, but an absent Teresa spoils the mood. Albie and Chris get ready to embark on a new business venture. Melissa deals with some daddy issues. And Teresa and her brother have a nasty confrontation.

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An Emotional Hangover

The day after Gia’s birthday party, Melissa tells her husband how Teresa made a big accusation of whether or not Melissa visited her father-in-law in the hospital. That isn’t 100% accurate. Teresa said it took Melissa four days to make it to the hospital during her father’s latest stay, while Melissa tried to smudge the numbers to make herself look better. She tells Joe about Kim D.’s involvement, and he isn’t the least bit surprised. He calls Kim D. Teresa’s “foot soldier.” Melissa just thinks that Teresa doesn’t know what goes on in Melissa’s household and should therefore mind her own business.

Uncomfortably close by, Teresa tells her husband that she doesn’t feel like Melissa gives Teresa’s parents the respect they deserve. Teresa is convinced that Melissa intentionally lied about when she visited, and she feels Melissa’s alleged fib is a big deal. Who knows for sure if Melissa got her dates confused or whether she was really lying. Saint Teresa says if her father-in-law was in the hospital, she would run there.

It’s back and forth between the two houses about this insignificant matter. Teresa’s husband actually counts on his fingers to prove it took Melissa a full four days to show her face at the hospital. The Giudice/Gorga feud made The Real Housewives of New Jersey riveting television for the past two seasons. But all this nitpicking over inconsequential things is tiresome to watch. It has gotten to the point where I dread what happens next. Teresa is using her father’s failing health as an excuse to make Melissa look bad. Not only does she accuse Melissa of lying about the visit, but says her sister-in-law lies about everything and makes herself look like the victim. Given Teresa’s relentless attacks, Melissa is always the victim.

La Familia

At a saner family’s home, Kathy and Rosie have dinner with their mother Maria. Kathy has a lot weighing on her mind. She wants to throw a joint birthday party for her husband Rich and daughter Victoria. She also feels bad that her mother and brother, who is Teresa and Joe’s dad, aren’t speaking. Kathy didn’t feel comfortable going to see him in the hospital, but she did send her kids. She says now that he’s out, she really wants to visit him, but she doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Rosie is upset that her uncle refuses to have anything to do with any of them.

Going to “Town”

Budding entrepreneurs Albie and Chris Manzo are partnering with a group of guys to open a restaurant in Hoboken. Albie says all the dishes are locally inspired. He says they’re prepared to do whatever they have to — washing dishes, bartending, washing dishes, etc. — to make the place work. According to Caroline, the boys have spent the last two years trying to get blk. water off the ground but haven’t seen the revenue to pay themselves. Caroline is concerned that the restaurant, called Little Town, NJ, will suck them in just like The Brownstone became such a pervasive part of her husband’s life.

Author, Author

Melissa is writing a book about how to achieve a marriage that is both traditional and modern. She’s going to offer advice to women on how to keep their men interested. Melissa says her book isn’t comparable to Teresa’s in any way because it isn’t a cookbook, it’s an advice book. She meets with members of her publishing team for some brainstorming. Melissa reveals that her father was a philanderer, which has caused her to have trust issues with men. She’s unsure how much information she wants to divulge about her less than picture perfect childhood. Joe G. urges her to write about her father and the mistakes he made. Melissa isn’t sure that it is her story to tell as much as it is her mother’s.

Party Pooper

Just about everybody, with two notable exceptions, gets together to celebrate Rich’s 49th birthday, and his and Kathy’s daughter Victoria’s 19th birthday. Victoria thanks everyone for coming and says she’s happy to share this day with the first man she ever loved. Melissa tells Kathy, Jacqueline and Caroline that she hopes this birthday party goes better than Gia’s. Apparently, nobody else is allowed to have a moment without either a Giudice or a Gorga bringing it back around to them and their endless feuding.

Melissa asks the three women what they think she should do. Caroline believes the two have moved way past the ability to even just sit together and be civil. Caroline says they’re both harboring too much anger, but Melissa gets very defensive and tells her she’s wrong. Caroline admits that she might not know the real Melissa. After asking for advice, Melissa gets an attitude when Caroline doesn’t tell her what she wants to hear. Melissa isn’t taking accountability for her part in the obliteration of her relationship with Teresa.

Caroline tells Kathy that Teresa still harbors a grudge against her because of a comment she made at the reunion calling Teresa’s mother a liar. Kathy says that she apologized and Teresa accepted, so that means things are supposed to be done and forgotten. Caroline advises that Kathy and Rich just stay away. When Kathy tells Rosie that Teresa doesn’t want to have anything to do with them, a drunken Rosie goes off. It seems she’s a bit fed up with Teresa calling all the shots. Rosie makes a scene and insists she’s going to speak her mind. Victoria says she doesn’t want to talk about it at her party, and Kathy realizes that even though her cousin isn’t at the party, she is still managing to put a damper on it.

Teresa and her brother run into each other at the gym. Teresa, realizing how much it would upset their father to know his kids were in the same room together and didn’t speak, approaches her brother.¬† In her defense, Teresa tries to keep things light, but Joe goes right for her jugular. He tells Teresa that she’s obsessed with his wife. Teresa tells him that Melissa does things he doesn’t know about. The s**t really hits the fan when Joe G. says that Teresa doesn’t really cook. This is in retaliation to Teresa’s accusation that Melissa lip-syncs. Joe G. says that even though Teresa might not call Melissa a stripper or a whore directly, she lets others do her talking for her (Kim D.). The blows get lower and lower. Finally, Teresa tells her brother she’s done with him and throws her bottled water all over him. He warns Teresa to stop talking about his wife.

I’m not sure how many more of these blow-ups we’re going to be forced to witness. This season, this franchise, has passed its prime. I hope Bravo has some new cast members on standby because the RHONJ¬†that we used to know and love is gone.

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.