You guys. YOU GUYS. Jersey is BACK! Jersey has always been a personal favorite of mine and they did a major housecleaning cast-wise from the last season, so we don’t have to deal with creepy Jim Marchese or “the twins” anymore. AND Teresa and Melissa allegedly get along now, so no more pointing and screaming “NO, YOU’RE THE DEVIL!” (Actually, I might miss that, but ultimately I’m all for family getting along and I never really understood their feud in the first place. Something about sprinkle cookies, if I recall correctly). A few housekeeping things to get in order right now, so you can decide if you even want to continue with our blog’s full recaps for this season. (1) I love Joe and Melissa Gorga. I don’t care if they are fame whores or if Melissa doesn’t know the words to Amazing Grace. I think Joe is funny, and I find Melissa endearing. I like her in the same way that I like J.Lo in that I can’t really define it but I want to borrow her diamond skin cream and dance in her kitchen. (2) I like Jacqueline. I think her husband is sweet, I love how open she was about her son’s autism (vulnerability = cat nip for Liz), and while her daughter Ashley was a certifiable Garbage Person, I don’t really blame Jacqueline for that. Lastly, while I have never been a huge fan of Teresa, I’m pretty sure that her daughter Milania is going to stage a hostile takeover of the word someday, and I respect her ambitions.
I am PUMPED, so moving on from the long winded intro paragraph let’s jump right in with the taglines and my grades for them.
Oookay, except that’s not where we start. In fact, did I miss it or were there no taglines in this episode? Instead, we start with the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution, December 23, 2015 at 5:40am- the day of Teresa’s release from prison. I have goosebumps. We see Teresa’s car trying to avoid the paps (I had tea earlier, so I’m feeling British) before pulling up to her house. And then those pleasure-delaying bastards at Bravo jump to “two weeks earlier” and we get started with Melissa.
Like I said in the intro paragraph, I like Melissa. I like Melissa and I like Joe and to the best of my knowledge, neither of them have screamed “SLUT!” in a grown woman’s face on TV or faked an illness, so I’m on board. Plus, they gave us that epic christening start to season 3, so if Melissa’s storyline this season is going to be her boutique, I’m all for it. Also- when Melissa put out a jewelry line, her stuff was affordable and mostly wearable which I don’t often say about Housewives’ merch. Sidenote- Joe looks like Tony Danza in this scene
Moving on to Jacqueline, we catch back up with her son Nicholas and husband Chris. Jac tells us that Nicholas has made great strides since we last checked in with him and he is regularly saying I love you. My heart gets ripped open for a moment when we get the clip from a couple reunions ago where Jacqueline is weeping uncontrollably while listening to audio of Nicholas saying “I love you” because he hadn’t been able to say that in a long time. And Caroline is holding her and crying, saying that Jacqueline will hear that again someday. Jesus H. Christ, that’s rough.
So it turns out that Jacqueline is our introduction to the new housewives, Dolores and Siggy. My boyfriend knows a girl named Siggy and that bitch is crazy. Not like, mean crazy, but openly talks about her love of whips and chains crazy. You know, the good kind of crazy. Jacqueline has invited the new ladies over and Dolores arrives first. Dolores has been friends with Teresa, Jacqueline and Caroline for years and has apparently always been a supporter of Ashley. Oh I’m sorry, I mean Ashlee. Because yeah, I forgot that she changed the stupid spelling of her stupid name. I refuse to acknowledge that, however, so as far as these recaps go, we will be spelling it “Ashley”. Ashley and Jacqueline get along now which I’m a big supporter of because Ashley was a right cunt to Jac for a long time and it always was uncomfortable to watch. Don’t fuck it up, Ashley. I am one shitty look towards your mother away from turning on you hard.
Melissa is putting her boutique (“Envy”) together without any financial help from Joe. She went out and found a business partner, and sure- she’s hired Joe’s construction crew to demo her storefront, but she’s very insistent that she’s doing all of this without her husband’s financial assistance. But Joe is still Joe, so he sends Melissa back to the manse so that he will have a home cooked meal by the time he’s done with the day’s demo. I know some people take issue with the way Joe talks to Melissa, but she seems fine with it, like she’s in on the joke, so I don’t care. Like I said, I’m TeamGorga (at least so far this season) and I know that’s not a popular opinion with everyone.
Jacqueline and Dolores head to a speakeasy to meet up with other new housewife, Siggy. Siggy is dressed like Jackie O on a windy day because she is still in bandages from her face lift. It’s kinda baller. Siggy isn’t Italian. In fact she’s so Jewish, she was born in Israel in a bunker. Jacqueline and Dolores discuss the pros and cons of face lifts (you look great but are facially paralyzed for a month or so) and Jacqueline wants one. We find out more about Dolores and learn that when Jacqueline met her, Dolores was a divorcée raising two kids on her own until she met the man she thought she’d spend her life with, only for that to fall apart and now she’s back in her old home that is now in desperate need of a renovation; due to the bad joojoo and all.
Joe is at his kid’s football game where we see the elder Gorgas. I’m glad to see Teresa and Joe’s parents in such good health because I know that wasn’t always the case. Melissa is envious of Teresa’s relationship with her father since Melissa’s dad died when she was in high school. Joe just hopes that Teresa will want to come to their house for Christmas Eve dinner, especially since she will have to ask her probation officer for permission to go. Gino makes a touchdown! I love football. Sorry guys, everyone is being normal and nice so there’s not a whole lot to riff on here. It’s like recapping an episode of 7th Heaven (before we knew the dad was a pedophile).
We get a shot of our OG NJ housewives putting their trees up before we settle on Jacqueline who tells us that Ashley is back home to save money and although they still bicker, it’s nothing like it used to be. I have always considered Ashley to be a total prick but I was also a jerk to my mom in my teens and we get along great now, so even with this I’m reserving judgment. Again, apologies for the boring recap.
Jacqueline and Chris have been having financial difficulties for a long time, but we learn that this is the last Christmas that they will be in their big house. Chris feels lucky to be married to Jacqueline because she’s stuck by him through their financial hardships. Was I supposed to take from what Chris said that he’s still in that black water business? The Laurita’s are gonna end up in a 2 bed apartment if that’s the case…
Joe is feeling neglected now that Melissa is working hard to open up the boutique. Joe is old school and feels that the traditional gender roles are important for the kids. Again, if I thought for a second that Melissa felt oppressed or trapped, I’d have a huge issue with this, but ultimately it seems to be her choice, and she IS branching out and working. And even if Joe isn’t verbally supportive (which feels very for the cameras), he has his construction crew there every day fixing the place up. I think ultimately he wants his wife to be happy, so I’m fine with it. Also- Melissa was never put on Teresa’s visitation list, so she hasn’t seen her in a year. I think Teresa has always been competitive with Melissa and the embarrassment of being behind bars was too much for Teresa to bear. I get it. But I also get why Melissa would be hurt by it.
The Guidice crew are hanging up a welcome home sign for Teresa and JuicyJoe and Gia seem to be holding down the fort. We only catch a brief glimpse of Milania, but it appears that she unleashed the hounds on the welcome home sign, which is exactly the type of destructive behavior I’ve grown to love from her. ALL HAIL MILANIA.
So I guess the set up this year is Teresa verses Jacqueline, because over at Jacqueline’s house we see her read a note she got from Teresa in prison. Jacqueline reads the note aloud, but she does it in this super shitty mocking way. I know that Jacqueline and Teresa have bad blood right now, but it’s mostly just hurt feelings about a neglectful friendship, right? And Tre was pissed that Jac asked about her prison sentence or something? I really should have played catch-up before starting this season. This is the trouble with the long delay between seasons. I don’t completely remember why these ladies are pissy with one another. Even when Jacqueline recaps it for us, all I can see is wounded pride. No one really did anything to the other. Also, Jacqueline throws some shade there at the end by referencing Teresa’s ghostwriter which better not become a thing because so help me god, I am in no mood for another recycled housewives plotline.
Joe and Melissa get word that Teresa was granted permission to come to Christmas Eve dinner and she’s that looking forward to it. Joe is excited to have his sister back but also feels apprehensive. The one good thing that came out of Teresa’s exit was the close bond he’s been able to regain with his parents. Joe’s concerned that if any negative talk about himself and Melissa starts up again, his parents will be forced to choose sides, and he will lose them. Melissa is also nervous because she knows how bad things can get with Teresa and she just wants things to start of right.
KATHY AND ROSIE! Kathy and Rosie show up to Jacqueline’s Christmas party and I’m thrilled. I love Kathy and think she’s as sweet as the desserts she likes to bake, but I think we can all agree that Rosie is the dark horse star of this show. #MOREROSIE! Unfortunately, the camera leaves Rosie and moves over to Jacqueline who decides it’s appropriate to pull Melissa aside and shit talk Teresa.
I feel like Jacqueline is trying to play a game here without understanding the rules. I don’t know if she’s acting shitty just for show, or if she truly doesn’t understand how public opinion works, but Teresa is due for a very emotional and tearfilled reunion with her children. That will buy at least a couple of weeks of audience favor. Setting yourself up as the one who is against Teresa is unwise at this juncture. Melissa, to her credit, is sympathetic to how Jacqueline feels without also shit talking her sister-in-law.
The Guidice house is covered in welcome home signs. It’s precious. Jim, Teresa’s lawyer comes over to pick up an outfit for Teresa to change into and to explain the conditions of Teresa’s release. Basically, about two hours after she gets home, the parole officer will arrive to put on her ankle bracelet which she will have for 6 weeks. After that she will be able to leave the house without permission, but won’t be able to leave the state. JuicyJoe just wants Teresa home, conditions or otherwise. It’s been a long year for Joe with the girls. Let’s be honest, that man spent a year trying to wrangle Milania on his own. I bet he’s livin’ it up in prison, all safe and Milania-free. Also- why the fuck are the girls going to school on December 23rd? Does New Jersey not do Christmas break? And even if they have school, I feel like “my mom just got out of prison” is a perfectly acceptable reason to skip.
Back at the Laurita’s, Siggy and Dolores arrive and Dolores tells us she’s known Teresa since they were kids. Everyone is shocked that Teresa got in so much trouble since she was always such a good kid. Rosie and Siggy feel like the true measure of a person is how they handle their failures, not their successes and I agree. Jacqueline calls for everyone’s attention and she thanks everyone for being there for their family and she also acknowledges the Gorga’s and Wakile’s getting Teresa back tomorrow. Joe leads the group in a cheers. I think Melissa hit the nail on the head with Jacqueline and Teresa’s issues. Jacqueline is like an ex-girlfriend who still loves the guy who dumped her but wants to pretend like she’s over it when she’s clearly not. I hope she and Teresa patch things up even if that means the drama suffers. I like Jersey because the relationships are familial and real. Family makes for good drama, but you also always want to root for them to work it out. The other franchises don’t have stakes that high; unless you count the Richards’ sisters, which frankly I never do. Ya’ll hear about Kingsley? Ridiculous.
Joe and Gia are the first to wake up and wait for Teresa to come home. Teresa facetimes them from the car while she’s hiding from the paps. Audriana and Gabriella (aka the only one who even remotely looks like Joe; the rest are Teresa clones) also wake up to greet their mom, but Gia has to way up Milania, because terrorists need their beauty sleep, no matter who is coming home. Also- Gia calls Milania a fat ass and tells JuicyJoe that Milania needs professional help (true!) and now I’m deeply concerned for Gia’s safety. I KNOW IT WAS YOU, GIA! YOU BROKE MY HEART!
Aaaaaand I’m crying. I don’t even like Teresa all that much. But watching her face just collapse when she walked in her house was a tear jerker. Also, Teresa’s hair looks awesome straight. The Guidice girls race in from the other room and Gia’s face destroys me. I can’t imagine being away from my kid for that long.
The set up for the season definitely seems to be a Jacqueline v Teresa showdown which is fine, I guess. Sides always have to get drawn on these shows, but I like both of them so I wish there were a Danielle Staub, or a Leeanne Locken everyone could root against. Anyhow, the previews looked good and dramatic, so I’m looking forward to this season.
As always you can find us on twitter and don’t forget to let us know what your thoughts are on this episode, the season preview, and what you think Milania’s first executive order will be once she takes control over the world. Mass executions of any and all dissenters?
Recap written by Liz