By Sheridan Watson
Updated December 11, 2016 at 03:50 PM EST
Credit: Patrick Harbron/Bravo
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The real name of the latest RHONJ episode is “When Joes Collide,” yet I couldn’t help but feel that it should have promptly been renamed to something along the lines of “When Yellers Collide” or “When Really Annoying People Collide” or “When People Who Wear Way Too Much Make-Up Collide.” No matter what you want to call it, at least it featured a bit more action than last week’s snorefest. The real housewives and their househusbands left the comfort of the Garden State for a retreat to mend all of their wounds (organized by Teresa — what could go wrong?) near Lake George. Who knew that a retreat could be so stressful? Let’s break it down:


Al wants her to cross the bridge that his father help make! But she’s afraid of heights! She wants Al to start taking off some time from work! He can’t because his family spends a lot of money! Wow, her storyline has become boring. Is there really nothing else that she could be doing? I get that she’s trying to stay out of the drama, but she has been just sucking the air out of episodes lately. Kathy is slowly creeping up on Caroline’s residency as the Voice of Reason — and she’s better at it. Hopefully, Caroline’s kids come back into the mix at some point, Albie is always nice to stare at.


Jacqueline went a bit crazy last week, but it was hard not to feel bad for her this episode. She’s obviously going through something. It must be a struggle to be raising a young autistic son along with a dark lord of a daughter (where have you been Ashley/ Ashlee?), especially with cameras around. And the added Teresa drama must not help. Good call staying home from the retreat.


Congrats Kathy, your husband didn’t suck this week! Richie thankfully kept his mouth somewhat shut and only talked trash about Teresa. Oh Kathy, good luck trying to fix this family. She was stuck trying to mend the peace while the rest of the world was going haywire (more on that later). You could tell that she absolutely didn’t want to be there but understood the importance of attending the retreat since the Gorga-Giudice debacle has trickled down to include their parents.

And it was refreshing to see Rosie not turn into the Hulk. But as Joe Gorga deftly noted, at least Rosie can admit her faults.

Melissa vs. Teresa

At this point, I don’t think that anybody really cares about whether they become friends — they just need to be able to sit in the same room without screaming at each other. Now I’ve heard of people holding grudges, but I have never seen a case like this. Neither of them can let go for stuff said/ done a decade ago — give it a rest.

Melissa’s most recent Teresa Sh-t list consists of the whole Jan-debacle from the week before. Though Teresa never said anything, she was with the gossip-y group and didn’t try to stop the “lies.” I’m afraid that I have to agree with Melissa a tad bit on this one. The company you keep is a strong indicator of the kind of person you are. Teresa doesn’t have to be the one actually spreading rumors but the fact that she hangs out with people who constantly do (I’m looking at you Kim D.) shows her brother and his wife that she has no interest in actually fixing the situation.

On the bus/ limo/ abomination ride up there, Melissa mutters something about Joe Giudice cheating on Teresa under her breath. Look, I get it. I even believe it at some point. But Melissa needs to understand that while her sister-in-law is kind of crazy and maybe a bit of a sociopath, she is not helping ANYTHING by accusing Joe Giudice of cheating. Who cares if it’s true at this point? You’re just stirring the pot, homegirl.

Teresa and Juicy Joe decided to take a simple chaffered ride upstate and Joe once again came down with a case of idiocy when he said that autism isn’t that big of a deal and Jacqueline was using it as a defense. Yikes, Joe. I agree that Jacqueline isn’t exactly defending herself well, but to say that raising a toddler with autism isn’t that time consuming? Teresa sat there awkwardly before elaborating in her confessional. Apparently, Joe doesn’t realize the things that he says are crappy. Apparently, Joe loves Teresa so much that he’ll say whatever he thinks will make her feel better. Apparently, “He doesn’t have one mean bone in his body.”

Teresa and Joe Giudice arrived first and were relieved to see that there weren’t any visible ghosts around. When the other group arrived, it took Teresa a total of four seconds before bringing up Jacqueline. Echoing Melissa, at least let them take off their shoes first before jumping into your paranoid problems. The producers fed Joe Giudice a question asking Teresa how she felt. Both Melissa and Teresa referred to each other as a witch — see, you two have more in common then you think!

Everyone remarked about how beautiful the castle was. Everyone also remarked about how hot it was in there (oh, the symbolism!). The group met for lunch — the first extended interaction that family has had together in over a year. How was it?

Man oh man was that awkward for awhile. Everyone kind of stared at each other, Teresa kept on speaking in a squeaky voice Then Joe Giudice was about to get into it with Melissa or Teresa was about to get into it with Joe Gorga or Joe Gorga was about to fight Giudice — ugh, who knows? At this point, everyone hates everyone and you never know who’s going to start yelling. Thankfully, the team builders arrived to do some exercises. Melissa made a jab about the team builders looking like Opie and Little Miss Sunshine, but little did she know that Little Miss Sunshine had the best line of the night: “Do you remember all their names? When in doubt, Joe.” Boom.

The team builders probably didn’t know what they were walking into but they soon found out — not even years of working in the Middle East could help out ol’ Opie and Little Miss Sunshine. After a precious game of getting everyone to stand on pieces of paper and thumb wrestle with each other, the fireworks began. All of a sudden people were yelling, Melissa was on her knees begging Teresa to “Stop!” Teresa’s voice got to that point where she sounds like she’s on a respirator, Kathy was checking her watch and Joe Gorga was laughing. In the smartest move of the night, Rosie took Joe Giudice outside before he had the chance to punch anyone (give it five minutes). Joe Gorga ended up calling Teresa scum, Giudice didn’t like that and then the two collided. Cut to black! Aw shucks, guess we’ll have to wait until next week!

Honestly, this show is starting to exhaust me a bit. I almost feel as if I have a bit of loyalty to it both because A) it’s my home state and B) I’ve been there since the beginning so it would feel weird to drop out now. But the show is getting super difficult to watch and root for anyone (well, besides Kathy, duh). For me, it was all about Team Teresa until she got crazy and then it was Team Melissa until SHE got crazy and now it’s just Team Shut the F Up. No one really understands why they’re even fighting anymore, they just bring up something the other said five years or five minutes ago. Here’s a hint: sit down, gather your thoughts, and then engage. Oh what am I kidding? Gather your thoughts? That’d be the day.

So what did you think, PopWatchers? Are you done with the show? Do you still love it? Will Caroline and Jacqueline ever be onscreen for more than five minutes? Also, has anyone else noticed how the ladies have been killing it in the wardrobe department this season? Usually the confessionals are where some of the most horrific outfits come out to play (I’m looking at you peacock shoulders). Thankfully, the women have been looking mighty fine while spewing out nonsense.

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