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'The Real Housewives of New Jersey' reunion recap, part two: Danielle takes a bow

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Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/BravoWhat did you ever give me this season Real Housewives of New Jersey, except for agita? A scarring mental image of Kim G. on the stripper pole?  An unwanted look at Danielle’s square breast? An explanation of the ham game? After a cringe-worthy season that was definitely not short on drama, we had one of the most explosive reunion episodes in Housewives history last week. But could anything top pushing Andy Cohen?

Danielle Staub rode off into the sunset last night, headed for a future of pole dancing work out DVDs and international fame on the gay club circuit thanks to the “Real Close (Dance Remix).” On Monday, Bravo officially confirmed that Staub will not be returning for season three, so last night’s final moments are presumably the last the women will share together (on camera). Were hugs and tears part of the ending you were hoping for? Here are the most confusing moments from the conclusion of last night’s exhaustive yet entertaining reunion:

Danielle storms off set…again. Feeling outnumbered after accusations that she  slept with married men and parks her car outside of Caroline Manzo’s house, Danielle decided she needed yet another pep talk from her hair-stylists-turned-emotional-gurus (sadly we didn’t get to hear the repetition of “amazing things, new beginnings,” but you know, feel free to try that one at home). Andy did his best to keep everyone on the couch again, although it was Jacqueline who needed to be held back this time.

-Danielle’s show and tell. In order to demonstrate how much force it really takes to rip out one’s fake hair, Danielle brought in a creepy mannequin head with hair extensions sewn into the scalp (so much for there being a human head in that mysterious bag).We learned that it takes a long time to secure 80 beads into one’s head, and each individual bead has “teeth” in it. Andy was given the pleasure of examining Danielle’s hair extensions “real close” up, and was asked to do his best to pull them out. He struggled a bit at first, and after seeing Teresa knock him down last week… maybe he’s just not that strong?

The presence of Kim G. From the get-go it was clear that there was something missing from the explanations of a lot of of the drama last night. Danielle wouldn’t take responsibility for Danny’s use of gay slurs at the Brownstone, and referenced Kim G.’s role in the fight that broke out as well. Caroline was dissatisfied with this. “I need me a little Kim,” she said. Don’t we all need a Lil’ Kim? Well ask Andy Cohen and you shall receive, ladies. Later on Kim surprised the women on the couch, dressed as if she had mistaken the Borgata for the Franklin Lakes High School prom. Her high school mentality continued, and right away she came at Danielle like a member of the popular clique just trying to assert her authority over those “losers.” She compared Danny to a “gardener or a pizza delivery guy,” and tried to rub her Roman shopping spree in Teresa’s bankrupt face.  She is the biggest snob of all the women (she claimed Danielle used her for her driver), which does bring the focus of the show back to the frivolous spending and materialism of these women and away from prostitution whore discussion — yet Kim G. is also the least classy of them all. She, more than anyone else, blatantly wormed her way onto the show, using any and all opportunities (pole dancing class, FTW) to get her elderly mug on camera. Let’s hope Bravo is smart enough not to ask her back next season.

The never-ending Twitter conversation. Don’t you long for the reality shows of yore? Where there were no after shows hosted by overly peppy Australians or well dressed gay men with an affinity for Maker’s Mark (just kidding on the latter; love you, Andy!). But seriously, 10 minutes of this reunion was devoted to each of the women exploring the tense breakdowns of “tweet.” Do you think the inventors of Twitter ever imagined their baby would be the center of a hot Housewives debate on sex tapes and coke rumors?

Teresa offers to fight Danielle for money. We know Teresa’s fallen on hard times but I didn’t expect her to be so shameless about her need for some quick cash. Teresa basically offered up some original programming that may be more appropriate for Spike TV rather than Bravo, yet nonetheless would probably be watched by a large audience. “Pay me $100,000 and I’ll get in the ring with her,” she told Andy eagerly. Looks like Danielle was not the only one to take boxing lessons.

Danielle’s sudden change of heart. “I’m nailed to the cross, I’m done,” she told her former friend Jacqueline. Teresa was in disbelief after Square Boob Staub abruptly left her seat to cross over the Great Andy Cohen Divide and embrace the Giudice animal she had spent so much time and energy despising. Sure it was brief, but it was actual human contact! Meanwhile her hug with Jacqueline was awkwardly long, and included strange whispers like “I love you and I don’t care who believes it,” making everyone a little bit uncomfortable.

Overall, the mood swung so much last night it felt like we were all in the midst of one giant hot flash. The inconsistencies with Danielle’s arguments continued; she still considers herself a “gay advocate” yet would not take responsibility for Danny’s use of “f—–” at the Brownstone (although she said she no longer speaks to him as a result). Danielle did apologize for any kind of Twitter comments that may have seemed like she was wishing death upon Ashley, and denied having anything to do with rumors about her alleged coke use. Jacqueline also left Crazytown en route to Seriousville with her sudden epiphany that this is all pointless.  Teresa even joined in, telling Danielle that they should all focus on their own families and futures. Was this sudden maturity the sign of real growth or just in time for Danielle’s final episode?

Caroline still won’t go to lunch with Kim G., whereas Jacqueline isn’t bothered by her (so much for getting the ladies to agree on something). Danielle finally answered questions about her rumored relationship with “lesbian superstar Lori Michaels.” So in Andy’s words, is she “swimming in the lady pond?”: “Lori can tell you I definitely don’t sleep with men,” she said to no one in particular, while backstage during self-imposed break two. Take that as you will, but is this all another act?

What do you think about Jacqueline’s sudden decision to wash her hands of all the drama? Will she stick to it? Do you think that the women are acting for the cameras or do you believe it’s all real? Will you miss Danielle on The Real Housewives of New Jersey? Who should — or shouldn’t — replace her next season? Let us know.