Teresa and Jacqueline make amends while Dolores celebrates her leopard-themed birthday

By Evan Slead
July 24, 2016 at 11:36 PM EDT
  • TV Show

The clever beginning to this week’s episode of RHONJ let’s us all take a look into the morning rituals of all the Jersey ladies. What do we learn? They’re just like us! Little Gino Gorga tells his mom boutiques suck, Milania expresses her preference of a Teresa-cooked breakfast, and Dolores stays in bed while her son gets up early for gym training. During all of the hubbub, Teresa explains to her daughters that she can’t walk them to the curb due to her ankle bracelet tracking. Granted, their curb is about a mile from their front door. So when the family dog charges toward the school bus, it’s up to Juicy Joe to hobble to the front door in his boxers to get her back.

While the dog is racing back up to the house, Jacqueline is wrapping her brain around her phone call with Teresa on New Year’s Eve. As she contemplates the motives behind the Skinny Italian’s call, through yoga and talking to her husband in every room of the house, she comes to the realization that she should just stop by her old friend’s house. With two latté’s in hand, Jacqueline heads to the sprawling mansion of her frenemy, catching Teresa at a bad time. Due to her homebound status, Teresa has decided to go sans make-up and trade in her pumps for some leopard slippers. “I wrote her a note and called her on New Year’s Day, but I never expected she would come to my house,” exclaims the shocked Teresa. It seems that Jacqueline misunderstood Teresa’s reminders of existence as actual olive branches.

However, through tears and reminiscing on their long relationship, Jacqueline tries to find a way for the pair to reunite once again. Thankfully for her, Teresa has been reading books, like the Bible and probably Gone Girl, which have taught her to forgive others. As Lucy and Ethel embrace for a hug, it seems the friendship is back where it should be, and to commemorate, Teresa bends her legs over her head and asks Jacqueline to pull her feet to the wall. As any close friends do, Teresa also shares how to make a homemade dildo out of any common item, including a shower cap, Sharpie, and vanilla extract.

Yeah. So anyway, Melissa is busy with her retail business. After watching Kyle Richards build her caftan and wedges mecca “Kyle by Alene Too,” Melissa decides to go for a specific look in her boutique as well. She wants to fill her store with jumpers and tight-fitting skirts, but her business partner — who looks like Pink’s out-of-touch aunt from Tampa — tries to bring a focus back to women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. The two don’t agree for a time, but then the sight of Jackie’s tutu brings the importance of business relationships back into perspective and they make up. Feeling high on her “Envy” business, Melissa decides to stop by Teresa’s house to visit the screaming family.

Even though building her business is bringing her satisfaction outside of the home, Melissa just wishes that her hubby would provide a little more support with the kids and housework. Teresa — giving an unbiased and judgment free opinion as always (cough) — tells her sister-in-law to calm down and realize that Joe is a busy man, providing for his family in order to uphold his traditional Italian values. According to Tre, Melissa needs to realize that her work ethic won’t bring the family together; it will tear them apart. To accent the tension, Milania throws a dirty napkin into her mom’s face, which proves that the Giudices know how to go out with a bang.

NEXT: Dolores and her ex-husband/BFF

Not every family in Jersey is tearing apart though, and Dolores makes sure we all know it. Despite her exit from a marriage with her ex-husband Frank, she still has a strong and friendly relationship with the father of her children. He even lives right down the street so he can be near his kids and maintain his “best friend” status with Dolores. Apparently a “Dominican girl” threw a wrench into their original marriage, but it’s nice to see that they can let bygones be bygones and focus their attention on their grown children, one of which might have been conceived on the table where they’re eating dinner. Even Dolores’ parents agree that the BFF relationship between the exes is a powerful thing. We also meet some of Dolores’ extended family, including her Grandma who thinks there’s nothing good on TV anymore.

Dolores is already bringing the fun into this season, and her BFF with a new facelift, Siggy, isn’t holding back for us either. As the other newcomer is on her way to finally meet the elusive Teresa Giudice, we get to know a little more about her backstory. She informs us of the trauma of her childhood, being called nicknames such as Ziggy, Squiggy, and Siggy the Sea Monster (I think that one needs a little more explaining). She’s turned that all around though and has since become an author and relationship expert. Teresa needs a partner in planning Dolores’ upcoming birthday party, so she calls on Siggy. The pair meet for the first time at a restaurant that looks eerily like a hunting lodge to discuss details around their mutual friend’s shindig.

We finally make it to Dolores’ big party, complete with leopard print centerpieces, accented with flowers. The leopard doesn’t stop there though as every manner of the animal print appears. Vests, scarves, pumps, tops, bottoms, ties, and even a watchband feature the newest housewife’s favorite pattern. During the party, Teresa is forced to interact with her cousins (poor thing) and pretends to be happy that they’ve arrived. If that wasn’t awkward enough, one of the 12 party planners for this event decides that each guest will take turns telling a story about Dolores, while two other guests act out the scene.

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Melissa kicks things off, telling a beautiful story about a young Joe Gorga, full of poison and ready to bang any woman he sees, until he sets his sights on the “hot” Dolores. I’m not sure how that story changed since he ultimately marries Melissa, but oh well, all the yelling and cat calls in the room makes it seem like they thought it was funny. Teresa “Angsty” Guidice decides to tell a story that has nothing to do with Dolores, cause that makes sense, in which Teresa talks about a college dorm (prison?) room experience where girls touched her and she awoke to the fresh aroma of “fish.”

So that was a nice story to end a birthday party on. As Teresa drives a drunk Melissa home, the rest of the ladies of New Jersey all walk off to their cars, reveling in the joyous occasion that was the leopard infested birthday party. It will take a miracle to keep things hunky dory in this neighborhood, but perhaps the ladies can all work it out for themselves as the season continues. 

The Jersey housewives and extended clans keep the Garden State interesting.
  • TV Show
  • 8
  • 05/12/09
  • In Season
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