Bravo has managed to squeeze the last vestiges of entertainment value out of a sometimes tedious Real Housewives of New Jersey season. This season-ending epilogue explores Lauren Manzo’s continued physical transformation as well as her relationship with her boyfriend. Viewers see more uncomfortable run-ins and arguments between the Wakiles, Gorgas and Giudices. On this family’s Richter scale, these squabbles barely make a rumble compared to what fans witnessed during the bulk of the season.
There’s a lot of focus on the housewives’ kids. Video clips demonstrate the trials and tribulations that Teresa faces when it comes to raising four “spirited” girls. This includes a pre-teen Gia and the cheeky Milania.
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The Odd Couple
Chris and Albie Manzo, who are so close you might mistake them for Siamese twins, have a throwdown about their living situation. With their third roommate, the comedic and charming Greg, off in San Francisco, Albie wants to ditch the Hoboken apartment and move to mommy and daddy’s in order to save some green. Chris would rather pay the extra rent than return to the loving bosom of Caroline or have to deal with his sister, Lauren. Chris is open to advertising for a new roomie using social media, while Albie worries they’ll wind up sharing a bathroom with some sort of deviant.
Two weeks later, Chris has assembled a group of possible contenders for a coveted slot in the apartment. He has them come by the boys’ restaurant, Little Town, for their interviews. One particular standout is a young man who, once he finds out Chris and Albie are in the bottled water business, makes an incredibly inappropriate joke about the availability of a product laced with some sort of roofie. He says he’s kidding, but he’s just creepy enough about the whole thing to make you wonder.
Lauren’s Love Life and Deflating Boobs
The Manzo boys don’t get all the attention. The current status of Lauren and longtime boyfriend Vito’s relationship is revisited. This season, viewers learned that Lauren is no longer in marriage mode, while Vito can’t wait to walk down that aisle. Could Lauren’s new, sleeker look have something to do with it? Not according to Caroline, and the other ladies all rush to praise the portly Vito. Even though Lauren says she’d step back if a ring was presented, Caroline isn’t buying it.
Lauren’s boobs got as much attention behind the scenes as the Gorga/Giudice feud got throughout the season. After losing roughly 40 pounds with lap band surgery, Lauren still felt the need to take off more weight, and her area of focus was her breasts. She felt a breast reduction would help her reach her goals in terms of both her weight and general appearance. Once the doctor told her that her breasts weren’t the same size, this only furthered her resolve. Vito must not have noticed the difference or cared, because he tried desperately to convince Lauren to keep it natural and stick with what God gave her.
At a party celebrating the one-year anniversary of her beauty bar Cafface, Lauren takes her new boobs out for a spin. Melissa Gorga can’t wait to get a look and a touch. Jacqueline, who’s had the most surgery of all the women, doesn’t think Lauren needed the surgery but understands why she wanted it. She herself has had two reductions and a lift, and she says they still grew back. You can’t fight mother nature.
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Charity Begins at Home
It’s hard to believe after this season that any fights failed to air, but this two-part special reveals there’s so much conflict surrounding these women, Bravo can’t produce enough regular-season episodes to accommodate all the bickering.
At a benefit for victims of Hurricane Sandy, Kathy Wakile and Teresa Giudice see each other for the first time since a nasty blow-up during the season 4 reunion when the two started taking jabs at each other’s parents and Kathy called Teresa’s dad a coward. A wound that still hasn’t mended.
Kathy tries to take the high road, stating that even dogs stop and take a sniff at each other. She inquires after Teresa’s father, and Teresa almost immediately brings up Kathy’s insult. Kathy tells Teresa she apologized and was sincere in her apology, which her cousin doubts. Kathy states that people say things out of anger, but Teresa refutes that claim. This was back when she was still in her deep, deep denial of anything being her fault phase.
Rich, who warns his wife not to interact with Teresa, is so (bleeping) mad when he hears Teresa’s (bleeping) response that he goes on a (bleeping tirade). At the reunion, a viewer questions whether the unresolved issues between her mom and Teresa’s dad affect the mending process between the two women. Kathy, almost always the optimist, is convinced that once their respective parents see a repetition of good times and healing, then they’ll feel more comfortable in their relationship and move forward. Too bad the good times are still not really rolling.
The family is thrown together again at a party for Kim D.’s line of cuffs. Why do people keep going to this woman’s parties? This time, the war of the words is between Teresa and her brother, Joe. Melissa warns him that they are on Teresa’s turf, but he throws caution to the wind. Before he can say a word, Kim D.’s assistant, Maria, tells Joe he has to make peace with his sister. Joe dismisses the woman with some choice profanities.
Joe tells Teresa their relationship, in his mind anyway, is over. He warns her to stop digging into him and Melissa’s life. Teresa states that if his wife has enemies, don’t blame it on her. Joe says he wants to be civil, but then immediately accuses his sister of disrespecting their parents because of the way she treats Melissa. This argument is indicative of all of their fights throughout the season, so it’s easy to see why it didn’t air until now.
Teresa takes off, and this girl Maria decides she’s going to make Joe apologize to Teresa. Yet another woman trying to garner some time in front of the camera. Caroline senses a storm brewing and says she wants to leave. Her instincts are correct, but the group can’t get out the door fast enough. Maria winds up lashing out at Rosie, who never backs down when it comes to defending her family. She calls Rosie a “fat grandma” when she, rightfully so, questions who this woman is. Thanks to Caroline’s damage control, the group exits sans a brawl.
This won’t be the last we hear of the Jersey housewives, especially with Joe and Teresa’s upcoming legal battles. But it’s time to shift our attention on Sunday nights to the ladies of Atlanta. The new season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta premieres November 3 at 8pm on Bravo.
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(Image courtesy of Bravo)
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.