We have to call this out right from the start: Not only do actual interesting things happen during this episode, but I think tonight’s installment of RHONJ might even be the best of season 7 so far. Let’s get into it.
“The door is open” seems to be the operative phase this season. Remember last week, when Teresa gave that non-answer to her cousins’ request for reconnection? Well, we begin this week with a replay of events that make it clear Teresa was on the fence about showing any genuine love toward her extended family.
While Teresa and Joe speed away in tears after the lunch, Kathy and Rosie jump on a three-way call with Jacqueline, who has Siggy and Dolores by her side to hear how the meeting went down. “I said my door is open,” revealed Rosie of her back-and-forth with Teresa. “She said, ‘My door is open, too.’” The three ladies at the Laurita house seem shocked by this news, almost to the point of confusion. So Teresa wants a relationship? As a viewer, what’s more frustrating is the fact that there’s a perfectly good bag of open popcorn on the table from which nobody eats. Isn’t that one of life’s simple pleasures? Hearing juicy gossip while stuffing your face?
Joe makes it home to Melissa, where packing for the upcoming trip to Vermont has everyone in a tizzy. Little Joey is running around kicking everything in sight, while Melissa attempts to pull all the luggage together. Joe does manage to explain how his view of Teresa at lunch was that she’s pulling away completely from her cousins. Uh oh, we already have dueling stories. On top of it, Melissa says she believes Jacqueline has a hidden agenda to keep Teresa away from her. So all in all, this Vermont trip seems like the best idea — if the goal is to have everyone get in a huge fight, that is.
Before anyone can look forward to a trip full of syrup (Vermont has a lot, right?), the ladies need some new looks to show off. Jacqueline heads over to Posche, apparently the only boutique and clothing store in Franklin Lakes. If that name doesn’t send shivers down your spine, this must be your first season with us. Anyway, the flibbertigibbet owner, Kim D., greets Jacqueline at the door, making sure to look busy but surprised as the cameras follow her inside. She casually mentions that another Posche fashion show is coming up, to which Jacqueline responds with, “Those scare me.” Thank you, Jacqueline. We couldn’t agree more.
While Kim D. is known for stirring the pot, she does come with a wealth of inside information. In one of the most tantalizing and random twists this season, a new plot mystery — “Who sold the tape of Teresa selling her books for cash?” — is introduced. (I know, I had no idea how much I needed to know about this either.) According to Kim, the young man who runs Melissa’s boutique, Derek, was bragging at the last Posche fashion show about how he sold said tape. This got Teresa in trouble, as it looked bad for her to be seeking cash-only transactions during her initial legal troubles. There’s no clear answer as to what to do with little Derek, but Jacqueline seems intrigued to get to the bottom of it all.
With that juicy news now on the table, it’s time to head to Vermont! Everyone gathers at Teresa’s house to take a party bus to the neighboring state. Along for the ride with the main cast members are a couple of random chicks, which is never fun. Chris and Joe Gorga have also managed to snag a spot on this girlfriends’ trip, creating a strange combination of people we either don’t know, don’t care about, or just want to see get along. Of course, at just an hour into the car ride, Siggy brings up her sadness over Teresa not getting along with Rosie and Kathy. Jacqueline jumps in, explaining she feels sorry for the cousins since they believe there’s a chance for reconciliation. Think back to when Teresa said, “The door is open,” and now put it out of your mind — because now, she literally says “The door is closed.” Where this door is, we’ll never know, but it’s been getting a lot of attention.
NEXT: One of Teresa’s “soldiers” throws a wrench into the mix