Jacqueline and Teresa reach an impasse on a potential reconciliation
We’re only a few episodes into this season of RHONJ, but the drama is already in full force! We begin this week, though, with a ritual of peace. Teresa and Milania attempt to practice yoga, but a late-night call from Melissa prevents them from getting their namaste on. Shockingly (or not), Melissa’s kiddos are walking in New York Fashion Week (again)! In the midst of all the bragging, we’re treated to a flashback of Joe and Melissa taking care of Teresa’s kids during her stint in jail. It’s moments like these that reveal what a tight-knit family the Guidices and the Gorgas could be — if they could get past their differences.
Dolores and her family’s dog, Boo, seem to be worse for wear. Sweet Boo is experiencing kidney failure, leaving the family considering what to do to alleviate the pet’s pain. Dolores feels she can’t let the puppy suffer anymore and the family needs to have a real discussion about putting him to sleep. In response, Dolores’ ex-husband, Frank, pointedly dubs her “The Grim Reaper”. In a strange twist, we then learn Frank was once called “Mr. New Jersey,” which seems to be from his days competing in a muscle-man competition. This is confirmed by a grainy photo showing a greased-up Frank in nothing but a speedo.
It seems all the New Jersey ladies are trying to keep things light in the midst of trials and tribulations. Melissa does so as she takes her clan for a lesson in runway walking. As the Gorga kids are getting fitted into their outfits, Melissa and Joe reflect on their tumultuous relationship with Teresa. Melissa feels that if she were able to really break through with her sister-in-law and form a stronger bond, life would be much better. Joe urges his wife to just tell Teresa to “shut up” when she’s being annoying. At least, that’s apparently what he does as her brother. In the midst of this heart-to-heart, little Gino struts down the backlit runway, showing off his best OshKosh B’gosh modeling moves.
It appears Siggy’s daughter, Sophie, is also on the modeling train. The pair head to Jacqueline’s house, where Siggy tries to get support in shutting down Sophie’s selfie obsession. The trouble has escalated for Siggy, who receives a call from Sophie’s school about her daughter earning detention due to her excessive phone use. Talking it over with Jacqueline, Siggy decides to enact punishment by taking Sophie’s phone away indefinitely. Sophie shows her indignation as her mom lays down the law, but then asks for Dunkin’ Donuts. Siggy immediately answers “no,” but does show some hesitation. Clearly, the idea of donuts can put Sophie’s rebellion at bay, if only for a moment.
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Of course, Jacqueline’s had her fair share of past troubles with her own daughter, Ashlee, so some selfie-taking doesn’t faze her. As if on cue, Ashlee enters the conversation, fresh from her new job. As the hugs and kisses pass through the room, Siggy asks Ashlee what she thinks of the new Teresa. “I thought it was a cool vibe,” she responds. Jacqueline and Teresa — also dubbed Lucy and Ethel — have a ways to go before their relationship is completely back on track, but it seems outside observers see it heading in the right direction. Jacqueline then visits her husband, Chris, at his office to talk about their upcoming get-together with Teresa and Joe. Both Lauritas seem optimistic to a point, but they also have doubts stemming from Teresa’s reactions in the past.
NEXT: A (temporary) lovefest at New York Fashion Week
Thankfully, Teresa is making a positive effort with her brother and sister-in-law by attending the Gorga kids’ runway event. Teresa and Milania enter the backstage entrance, dressed in white, which Melissa has decided is the color for the evening. This symbolic moment of unity sets a positive precedence for the night. Teresa does remark that Milania should have been involved in New York Fashion Week, too — as if Melissa had sole control over which of her children are asked — but thankfully, her remarks are off camera. The family later heads to dinner, where they discuss just how well everything seems to be going between them. As the salads are passed around and a glorious pot of mac and cheese is placed in front of the kids, little Joey decides to give a simple remark. “I love everyone at this table,” says the Godfather-in-training. His adorable face really sells the point, and it doesn’t hurt that he shares the screen with that golden pot of mac and cheese.
Speaking of good food, Siggy takes her son, Joshua, and the selfie-taking Sophie to a diner to talk about life. Her kids decide this is the opportune moment to air their frustrations with how Siggy approaches their lives. Their demands seem simple enough: They want a mother who will listen, trust them when they want to have a girl alone in their room, and give them money when they want. As Siggy explains that she’s tasked with being the true caretaker, Joshua proposes they start a five-minute timer during which their mother can’t speak. The two kids then explain how they know best and only desire a mother who truly listens to their needs. Pulling a Scarlett O’Hara — à la Gone With the Wind — Siggy whips out a fan to keep her tears at bay. She doesn’t hesitate to express her grief, though she stops short of ripping the curtains off the diner windows to use as tissues. Surprisingly, her sadness comes from a place of guilt, and she promises that moving forward she’ll listen to her children as best she can.
With a sense of peace now flowing through Siggy’s household, we move to Teresa’s house, where Joe’s chasing his daughters and forcing them to fight one another. As Teresa and Joe prepare to leave for the Laurita house, Teresa shares her nerves over the impending meeting. Milania — wearing a sumo wrestling suit in the driveway as she waves goodbye to her parents — reinforces Teresa’s apprehensive attitude. Is this a premonition for things to come? Teresa and Joe make it to Chris and Jacqueline’s home, where they talk with the adorable Nicholas about food. Love is in the air, when suddenly, a dark cloud forms over the Laurita home as Teresa and Jacqueline discuss “the past.” Strangely enough, it’s as if the show is being edited to flow into the drama!
Jacqueline and Teresa’s infamous 2011 conversation about the jail allegations rears its ugly head, pulling the two friends into a new battle. Teresa fires the first blast, exclaiming, “You all ganged up on me!” Jacqueline stands her ground, though, and tries to point out that Teresa was running away from her problems and blaming others. Of course, Teresa pulls in her brother, saying Joe had told her in the past to not be friends with Jacqueline. Jacqueline hears this and flies off the handle. She picks up her phone, calls Joe, and asks him what exactly he said to Teresa five years prior. A dumbfounded Joe tries to remedy the conflict he’s been forced into, but Jacqueline quickly hangs up on him, leaving the two ladies to battle toe-to-toe.
Between hurls of insults and accusations, Jacqueline continues to prepare the dinner no one will be eating. Teresa angrily sips from her Bellini glass and attempts to steer the conversation elsewhere. “I never asked you about your legal troubles,” responds Teresa. Jacqueline, with a look of defiance, claps back at Teresa. “We didn’t have a criminal case against us,” she says. This final straw sends Teresa in a tizzy, leading her to grab her fur coat and head for the door. She offers Joe the chance to stick around and take an Uber home, but he realizes this would not be the best course of action. As the two storm off, Jacqueline watches with a smirk on her face. It seems the episode’s earlier good vibes — and possibility of a stronger friendship to come — have already run their course.