Caroline Manzo opened up the episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey by counseling Teresa on what do after the brawl at Melissa and Joe's son's Christening. Her advice was good - talk to your brother and make things right. Teresa agreed, but then in the confessional, said she doesn't need Caroline's advice.
The screen then went to Melissa Gorga, who was complaining again about Teresa, saying how she danced with the baby for over an hour at the Christening. I don't believe it. Then the conversation took a turn when Joe Gorga chimed in, stating that Joe Giudice ruined the relationship when he got in the middle of things. The fact that Teresa used to idolize her brother was clearly an issue for her husband Joe, and that helped to tear apart the family. (It would also explain why he trashed Joe Gorga to his and Teresa's dad.)
At this point, both parties seemed to want to make things right in the Gorga / Giudice family. And I think they could have. However, this doesn't seem to happen according to current news reports.
Kim D., probably knowing the drama it could potentially cause, asked Melissa to walk in the Posche fashion show that would be held at The Brownstone. Then Kim G. stepped onto the scene and shared some negative conversation with Melissa about Teresa. This is the point where I have to sigh - hasn't Kim G. learned anything from last year's Jacqueline Laurita/Danielle Staub issue? Well, actually, she did learn something - doing inappropriate things earns you screen time, especially when there's no chance that you'll be cast as a full fledged NJ housewife.
Next up, we watched the families celebrate Halloween. This part of the show wasn't terribly exciting. Although Joe Gorga's costume was a bit scary, and Audriana looked like a tiny Sue Sylvester.
Because Kim D. asked Melissa to be in her fashion show, Melissa invited the Kims to join her at a Halloween party. Kathy seemed more hesitant about trusting the pair. Sure enough, the conversation turned to Teresa. Kathy said she didn't plan to approach Teresa first at the fashion show, but would accept an apology and a discussion.
At this point, I gained some respect for Kathy that I was missing during the first episode of this season of RHONJ. She thought rationally about how Teresa might feel and didn't just take Melissa's side.
After that, we caught a quick glimpse of Caroline and Albert Manzo setting up The Brownstone, then flipped over to a shot of Jacqueline and Teresa. Jacqueline said she was nervous about the fashion show, but Teresa seemed to be calmer, even though she knew Melissa was also walking. (At this point, my respect for Teresa is renewed because she plans to be normal and social with Melissa.) Although Jacqueline made an excellent point: every time Teresa even says hello to someone, things go nuts.
The shot flashes back to Melissa, who states that she wants an apology from Teresa. And while I still think that the Christening incident wasn't Teresa's fault, it probably would help for Teresa to apologize. The scene continued further, with more repetitive talk about the Christening. Then Kathy let Melissa know that she'd like to talk to Teresa about what's going on with her. Melissa said that the fashion show isn't a place for family stuff, possibly in an attempt to stop a reconciliation between Kathy and Teresa, or to avoid possible drama.
Next up we saw behind the scenes at the fashion show, where Teresa went so far out her way to make things look normal when they clearly weren't. I'm going to have to call foul on Teresa here - she tried so hard to act unfazed, whereas a sheepish grin and shy hello with a promise to talk later would have done wonders. It's hard for Teresa to give in to Melissa, since they clearly have competition going on, but she could have done at least something without showing much weakness.
Following that, Teresa and Caroline noticed that Kim G. was at the fashion show talking to Melissa Gorga and her sister Lysa, and the gossip began.
We saw some of the fashion show with a focus on Melissa, who seemed to be having a blast on the runway. Her walk wasn't a model walk by any means, but she did have a great time, which counts for a lot. As she walked, her table gave her tons of applause. Melissa had a genuine smile. Then Teresa walked, and while she also got applause, she didn't have a table of groupies, and her movement looked forced. I don't blame her, of course, but without trying to make things right with Melissa, of course she had a lot on her mind.
Kathy then approached Teresa asking what happened at the Christening, and Teresa immediately went on the defensive. She said that Kathy doesn't know her brother, and when she approaches him, he acts like an animal. When Kathy probed further, Teresa relinquished all responsibility, saying that her brother started the issue, which he did. However, this was the chance for Teresa to back down and say "Yeah, my brother started it, but we can make it right together." She didn't. When Kathy noted that Audriana was left alone and she took her out of the room during the Christening brawl, Teresa flipped out, saying that it was an untrue accusation and Kathy didn't have the kid. This is where I call shenanigans on Teresa again. I understand that she can't let her guard down, probably because she's been so hurt, but she needs to let it out and mend her family.
Caroline confronted Kathy and Melissa, saying that they need to fix their family drama, but not at The Brownstone - in their own homes. In a way, she was keeping drama out, but also seemed to be defending Teresa, saying that Melissa and Kathy have to fix the family issues with Teresa and her husband Joe.
Next week on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, we'll see Kathy and Caroline talk, Melissa talk to Joe about forgiving Teresa, and Teresa stay stuck in her ways and not try to make up with her family, even though she's far from innocent.
Takeaways: I have a bit less sympathy for Teresa and a bit more for Melissa and Kathy. However, I don't think it will stay that way - I think this will flip-flop as the season progresses.
Kim G. was probably disappointed to have not gained more screen time because she's always trying to create drama and get screen time. Insulting Teresa was not the way to gain time on RHONJ.
Teresa and Melissa need to make up. I'm sure that that's a long way away, if it will ever happen, but I hope it does for the sake of their families. However, Bravo probably never wants that to happen - the ratings would drop without the New Jersey family drama.
On Watch What Happens Live, 92% of voters were on Team Teresa (as opposed to Team Melissa). I have to agree, despite her inability to open up and work things out with her family.