RECAP: The Real Housewives of New Jersey – Season 7, Episode 11

There is a formula for The Real Housewives franchise: Have a group of women get together (some of them are friends before coming on the show), let them bicker over a perceived slight one said/did to another, send them away on a vacation to mend the fractured friendships, then have them go home to repeat the cycle. I don’t know about you, but I have different groups of friends – some from school days, some from places we’ve worked together, some from the neighborhood — and NONE of them, I repeat, none of them have had the screaming matches that we witness on The Real Housewives shows. So are these shows partially scripted, or has Bravo managed to find groups of wealthy but mentally unstable women in most major cities of the U.S. as well as internationally?

Granted, The Real Housewives of New Jersey is rather unique in that some of the women are actually related to each other. Issues with relatives can be problematic – especially with us Italians. But we don’t yell at each other; we just stop talking to each other without knowing why. Whatever sin(s) Teresa’s cousins Kathy and Rosie committed, the audience still isn’t sure about, but we now know that Tre has elected not to hang out with them anymore. However, both sides state that, because they’re family, each other’s door will always be open to the other. Unless, of course, one comes a’knockin’ with sprinkle cookies.

So Siggy, Dolores, and Jacqueline conspire to get Tre and her cousins together for a meeting, which, in their minds, is tantamount in importance to an Israeli-Palestinian peace talk. The threesome gather at Jacqueline’s house to debrief, but the outcome is confusing. They hear from Kathy and Rosie that there is hope that the cousins will reunite. However, Tre makes it clear that, as they say in Jersey, that ain’t gonna happen. The whole unconscious uncoupling of these cousins has taken longer than the American colonies declaring independence.

To de-stress Tre, Melissa plans a getaway to Stowe, VT. Before they go, Jacq and Siggy stop by Kim D’s store, Posche, which is now at a new location. After trying on several dresses that display their cleavage more prominently than Melania Trump posing on a Slovenian bearskin rug, they are informed by Kim D. that she knows who’s been leaking stories about Teresa to the media. She tattletales that Derek, now the manager of Melissa’s new boutique, Envy, has been the culprit, including taking a photo of Teresa selling her book for cash at a Posche fashion show a few years back. When this photo was published, Tre got in trouble, so, of course, the ladies confront Melissa later on in VT about her employee being a snitch. (Spoiler alert: She defends him.) This brings up right back to the whole issue of who spread the word that Melissa was once a stripper.

As Tre packs, her wise-acre daughter, Milania (different person, different spelling than cited above), cracks, “She goes on another trip.” You called it, kid. She just got back from a spa weekend not too long ago. Apparently Bravo is picking up another tab. Bravo gets away cheap with the Jersey clan though. The network sends the Beverly Hills and Melbourne Housewives to Dubai to stay in $30,000-a-night luxury hotel suites. But Bravo sends the Jersey girls to nearby states. Is it because convicted felons on probation can’t travel too far, or is Bravo afraid that the Jersey girls won’t exactly help diplomatic relations with the Arabs? Guess they can’t take a chance on Teresa flipping a camel.

Poor Joe Giudice is left behind to watch the kids. We catch him entertaining himself with brochures on vaginal rejuvenation. He better hang onto to those pamphlets because he’s not going to see a lot of that where he’s heading.

While he’s dealing with his daughter, Milania, burning pancakes and telling him, “Calm down, padre,” Joe Gorga and Chris Laurita accompany their wives to VT on a party bus. The gaggle of girls are still rehashing the Teresa, Kathy, and Rosie cold war when Joe Gorga announces, “I thought I was a woman producing milk, but it stopped on this bus.” I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I don’t want to think about anything that comes out of Joe Gorga’s body, especially milk.

Tre sums up her feelings about her cousins this way: “It’s like when you break up with a guy. You love them, but there’s no feeling there at all.” That’s a little contradictory in terms, but, it’s coming from Teresa, so it’s not supposed to make sense. Still, we kinda do get it.

We hear a juicy little nugget of information that comes out during the ride. Years ago, Chris and Teresa had actually gone on a date (yes, together!) as a result of being fixed up by Chris’s sister. But Tre kept talking about this guy Joe that she was into – and we all know what happened from there.

We are introduced to two friends of Teresa’s on the trip – Robyn and her wife, Christina. Robyn has her own issues with Rosie because she thinks Rosie won’t hang out with her. Jacq calls Tre’s friends her “soldiers,” which doesn’t seem to sit well with Robyn.  Robyn, who is growing impatient with the conversation on the bus, blurts out, “This is so dumb. Can we open a bottle of alcohol?”

Once at the resort, they settle in to different rooms while Siggy tries on a variety of fur hats (where are you, PETA?). Then they all go to dinner in their pajamas and robes, but apparently, Hugh Hefner didn’t get the invitation to join them. Afterwards, they sit around a fire pit and eat marshmallows, kind of like the Jersey bad-ass version of the Girl Scouts. Robyn confronts Jacqueline by telling her that she’s not direct. Of course, an argument ensues because trouble has been brewing since the bus ride. Robyn tells Jacq that she’s going to rage on her a–. Instead of backing down, Jacq backs up – and sits on Robyn’s lap so that, as she puts it, her a– is more accessible. This escalates matters. “Just because your tits are bigger than mine,” Robyn tells Jacq that she’s not intimated and she wants to punch her in the face. Chris and Joe happen to go outside and witness the drama. “I’m not worried because Paterson is out there,” Chris tells Joe when he sees that Dolores is sitting there amongst the women. The guys then wisely go back inside to let the women sort it out by themselves.

Jacqueline fans the fire even further though. As the group disburses, Jacq, referring to Teresa’s desire to get rid of the cancer in her life, yells to Tre, “I thought you said you cleaned house? You forgot to take the garbage out.” Wow, Jacqueline should never consider a career as a mediator. Jacq decides to not come out of her room the next day because, as Teresa says, “She’s playing the victim.” She misses out on going dog sledding and skiing with the group, then decides to go home early with her husband. Melissa tells Teresa that she doesn’t know Jacq as well as she thought; their relationship has changed. Teresa adds that Jacq is calculating and hits you where it hurts.

Dolores is upset by the nonsensical fighting and turning on each other. She warns that Teresa is on probation and can’t be involved in any scuffles. Siggy concurs and Melissa is enlisted to ask Robyn to leave. Can’t wait to see that little interaction unfold.

So what did we learn through all this? First and foremost, we learn that Joe Gorga is a terrible skier. He slips and falls more times than a drunken 80-year-old contestant on Wipeout. We also learn that Siggy has more fur than all the dogs that took them sledding. Lastly, we learn that even the husbands of Jersey girls are afraid of them.

The next episode: Jacqueline and Dolores go off. Not the show – their rockers.

Eileen Budd is a comedienne and writer who is currently working on an anthology of true stories of mid-life daters. If you have a dating story that happened to you (funny, inspiring, or downright weird), please send it to:

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