The Real Housewives of New Jersey kicks off at Envy—where we see Melissa preparing for her boutique opening. Melissa is nervous, because Joe doubts her, and crap on the floor may be a bad sign. The place looks spiffy, but Manager Derek, who looks like an extra from “Clueless,” is less than enthused.
Meanwhile, back at the Gorga-cave, Melissa’s kids are running wild on a random pile of dirt outside their home. Joe pounds his chest and grunts out complaints, about unacceptably reversed roles involving bacon. No one listens to him. We jump over to Teresa’s, just in time to hear Lenny the lawyer and Teresa smooch hello behind closed car doors. Teresa is thrilled to be proudly upright, and seems to be adjusting to not panicking in the daylight. Teresa and Len banter about tabloids reporting that she will be dumping her prison-bound husband, amidst cheating rumors. Bravo flashes us back to that famous vineyard scene, where Joe is canoodling on the phone with some chippy, while making mic’ed nasty comments about his wife. Teresa wants the rumors put to rest, because surely the woman would have come forward, to claim her free for two months booby prize. Lenny announces the good news that the Feds have been paid off— and that Teresa now owes zero—except for the crapload of cash owed to the businesses she ripped off. Teresa is set to record her book, and Len encourages her to read like she wrote it.
We hop over to Siggy and Jacqueline, who are meeting to have an enthusiastically forced convo. They discuss their children’s mutual love for makeup, and their harrowing struggles with cell phones and video games. It’s like overhearing an exchange, standing in line at the grocery store. They agree that Teresa is a cell-load of fun, while Siggy wonders what printed Giudice stories she should believe. Jacqueline advises her to zip it, if she doesn’t want a screaming banshee on her hands.
Meanwhile, back at the Gorgas, the kiddies are demanding breakfast from their new mannish mommy—as Joe pounds his chest while blasting Melissa for reneging on their barefoot and pregnant agreement.
We then find ourselves in the city, where Teresa meets her producer, and prepares to read her book for an audio release. Lenny is glued to her side, like an overbearing traveling speech therapist. Teresa feels sad about the milestones with her girls that she missed, and chokes up as she tries to read. She requests drugs, but the producer isn’t holding. Len and Tre then sit through a meeting with her publishers in order pick the most adorable prison pics, while Teresa offers the group motivational words of wisdom. Teresa shares that she now believes that women in prison are just like her—swell chicks who land behind bars after making a whoopsie. Teresa rambles about the joy within her better-than-ever marriage. After all, Joe’s needs are satisfied at home, and he really appreciates that he can sleep it off without worrying about demanding children. Turning the Tables is a perfect title for the book, because Teresa thought that her world was perfect, until the tables with documents and a pen turned, exposing her as a thieving criminal. The publishers unveil the cover, and Teresa is thrilled to see her naked ankle.
We shift back to the Gorgas, where Joe is stressing about a job, ordering Melissa home to take care of their demanding cave-kids. Joe points out that hoochie jumpsuits are hardly as important as big money jobs, and that he isn’t a fan of being a phony Mr. Mom. The boys are grubby, Antonia never stops yelling, and Joe wants out of the bratty madness. The editors agree, so we join Dolores and her daughter Gabby, as the vet student washes a ratty creature. The pair banters about college, and Dolores is happy that Gabby is pursuing an education. Dolores notes that Gabby learned from her own mistakes, as Gabby shares her dreams of making bank for yanking baby cows out of their mothers.
We check in with the Lauritas, where Chris fills us in on a budding popcorn business. Chris hopes that the business takes off—because the family has been struggling financially, and Chris hasn’t got a Plan B. They haven’t been able to sell their home, but are hopeful that better days are ahead.
Melissa and Joe are bantering about Envy’s grand opening, and Melissa’s no-chance-in-hell boutique. Melissa asks for encouragement, and Joe throws her a maybe, but only after his belly is full. We hop over to Siggy’s house where she’s yelling at her daughter for looking like a teen hussy, and pointing out what a great mom that she is. She tortures her teen son for a few minutes, and as annoying as she is, it’s always fun to see teenagers tormented. We hop over to Chris, who is in popcorn negotiations with his creative team, carving out the look for the brand. Chris wants healthy and fun, and hopes to create a brand that can be a positive force for the autism community.
Teresa and Gabriella are going rock climbing, and it’s nice to see Teresa throwing the nice daughter some attention. Siggy and Sophie join the duo, and both girls tackle the rock wall, while Siggy and Teresa chat. Siggy confronts her with the tabloid cheating rumors, and Teresa is cool with it, because Joe can’t keep his grubby paws off of her, and Jacqueline knows it. Gabby and Dolores arrive, and Teresa shares that she plans to wear pants to Melissa’s opening, to not broadcast that she is a monitored felon.
It’s the night of the big opening, and Melissa’s sisters are there to celebrate with her. Over at Jacqueline’s, Siggy phones in to spill the tea about Teresa’s chill reaction to her nosy questions. Joe and Melissa arrive at the store, and Melissa has her fingers crossed that everyone will like her oversized closet. Melissa is worried about failure, but the feedback is encouraging. Gia is dragging to the opening with her mom, but would rather be eating dinner with her great grandmother.
Ashlee saves the episode by throwing shade at Teresa 2.0, remarking that her mask will fall, and the same screeching table-flipper will be revealed. Bless you Ashlee, for taking us out of a 45-minute grocery store line. Teresa and Gia arrive, and everyone gasps at Gia’s mature look. Kathy and Rosie are there, but Teresa has still not accepted their kind welcome homes. Melissa thanks everyone for coming, especially sisters—both criminal and law-abiding. Chris expresses a desire to hang out with Joe before his surrender, and Joe Gorga finally offers some words of support to his wife. Melissa announces a mock fashion show, Rosie steals the catwalk, and Joe is in his glory—because if you can’t be stark naked—you might as well rock a hot Mr. Mom dress.
We conclude with a particularly disgusting scene where we watch Teresa clip Joe’s hooves. The couple gushes with pride over how Milania bravely stood in on all the revolting hygiene duties, while her mom was at Camp Danbury. Teresa wants Joe to get into yoga, so he can namaste in the clink, but Joe decides that practicing his rear humping makes more sense. Teresa confronts him with cheating rumors, and assures him that there will be no forgiveness if he strays. Joe grunts out a “whatever.” Chris calls and invites the couple over to dinner—and according to the scenes for next week—things are finally getting good. Until then!