We begin The Real Housewives of New Jersey by checking in with Siggy, who is helping Sophie pack for a trip. Sophie is set to embark on a Jewish Federation excursion, but she isn’t really sure why. Siggy explains that their family glue isn’t sticky, so Sophie really needs to appreciate her heritage, or else. Siggy reminds Sophie that her grandparent is a Holocaust survivor, and that she should appreciate her freedom to live as a proud Jew. JOSHUA’S arrival interrupts the meaningful convo, and Siggy shrieks out a greeting. JOSHUA scored a driver’s license, and Siggy is loudly ecstatic, until he snarks that he expects a vehicle, stat. Siggy is afraid that he may drive away from her high-volume affection, but agrees to discuss the smirky brat’s demand with his father.
We check in with Dolores, who is whining to her ex about her son being MIA. The teen shows up, and explains that due to their current lack of a kitchen, there’s no point in hanging around anymore. Over at the Giudices, Lenny the lawyer comes over for a pre-slammer counseling session. He reminds Joe that there are lots of bad guys in prison, and they will probably elevate him into a better crowd than he’s hanging with now.
Over at the Gorga’s, Mr. Mom is at it again, slapping together sandwiches like a barefoot and pregnant woman. Melissa arrives home, and Joe drags her in another room for a come-to-baby-Jesus meeting. Joe isn’t happy because he’s always stuck with the kids — and claims that he missed out on some “deal” while his wife folded sweaters at Boutique Bravo. Joe wasn’t brought up for this, aka caring for his offspring, while his wife brings home pennies. Joe “develops” for a living, but Melissa rolls her eyes, and reminds him that it’s the 21st century, where reality stars playing businesswoman can really rake it in. Melissa tosses her hair in disgust, while Joe pleads his case, insisting that old school Italians don’t lower themselves to school bus drudgery.
Melissa objects to the term “put into” in regards to their quasi-wealth, and wants to be appreciated for being a go-getter, aka reality singer/author/retail goddess. Joe doesn’t bite, and disses his wife’s romper-obsessed livelihood. They agree that Joe is probably just suffering from childhood brain trauma. Melissa wants to feel successful, and believes that they should hire help, so she can fold sweaters like a focused career woman.
A playdate is next, as Teresa arrives at Jacqueline’s home with three daughters in tow. We watch a sweet scene between Nicholas and Milania, and it’s nice to see her relating to someone, minus her fists. Jacqueline and Teresa chat about Nick, and the conversation is supportive and authentic. The duo hugs it out, and the friendship appears to be on the mend.
Meanwhile, over at Melissa’s, Siggy bellows out her arrival. Siggy launches into her counselor routine, as Melissa whines about her caveman husband. Siggy bleats out quips about cars, gas and aprons, and the women finally end the convo — toasting to a stupid scene well done.
We next get our first glimpse of Kathy Wakile’s giant new house, as Dolores shows up to set the stage for some family drama. Dolores chats with Kathy, Rich and Rosie about Teresa’s book party, so the viewers can be reminded that Tre froze out her kin out of her big night. Rosie explains that Teresa is kind of a raging bitch, as Kathy reveals that her daughter, Victoria, is having fainting spells. We know that Victoria has endured two brain tumor surgeries, so the news is unsettling. Kathy is all about peace, and Rosie just wants some family glue of her own. Dolores remarks that Italians fight like stubborn ninnies, and Kathy and Rosie agree — but decide that crashing Tre’s book signing is worth a shot.
Next, we sit through Teresa and Joe enjoying a Thai couple’s massage, a must for any stressed out
drunk man, heading to the slammer. They discuss the kids, and Teresa is clued in that her children are not complete imbeciles and knew that she was in prison. Joe reminds her of that new fangled machine called a computer, as Teresa reveals that she told her girls that she was abandoning them to write an on-location prison tale. Teresa is worried that they might think she’s a bad person, not a world-renowned author, commingling with icky riffraff, for the sake of her craft.
Over at Dolores’ gym, her partner, Maz, is complaining that she isn’t committed to the job. Dolores uses the DeadBoo excuse, along with the fact that earning her own money isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. She knows that she needs to prove that she isn’t a complete deadbeat, and promises to step it up. Dolores comes up with a promotional idea, and the couple embraces like a new day has dawned.
Over at Melissa’s, her family is gathering for dinner, to keep her the resident caveman happy and fed. Melissa’s mom pep-talks her daughter, as Joe enters, overjoyed for a home-cooked meal. We hear about Melissa’s harrowing struggle for a career for the tenth time this episode, while they all enjoy the family time.
Teresa and Joe are on their way to the book signing, the last Teresa love-fest before Joe heads up the river. Meanwhile in NYC, Siggy is having a birthday dinner with her ex, Mark, and JOSHUA, and she brags that she is completely responsible for her ex’s remarried relationship joy. Siggy and Mark’s relationship is “extremely healthy,” but her and JOSHUA — not so much. JOSHUA complains about his mom mauling him, and never leaving him in sweet merciful peace. Siggy begins sniffling, because her son just isn’t that into her. Meanwhile, Dolores fills Jac and Chris in on Kathy’s hurt over Teresa’s cold prison-shoulder. Dolores drops that Kathy and Rosie are going to crash the book signing — and Jacqueline is nervous.
We join Teresa and her fans in the bookstore, the book buyers posing for pics, and gushing over their favorite felon. There’s quite a few Trehuggers (Teresa Giudice fans) in the house, and Teresa is happy. Melissa and Teresa embrace over their sisterhood, and a full-priced book. Joe speaks to Joe Gorga about prison — which will now be referred to as “the military.” Back in the city, Mark and Siggy gift JOSHUA with a fancy new ride, as Siggy clasps her hands and preaches the importance of family — backed by lots and lots of cash.
Back at the signing, Teresa’s pals all surround her with good wishes, as Rosie and Kathy make their entrance. They warmly congratulate Teresa, and Rosie asks about an unreturned text. Teresa blames the snub on a new phone, and Rosie brushes it off, and invites her to lunch. Teresa passes, because her time is more precious than the next gal’s, and her cousins are unsupportive and bitchy. We remember Mama Pierri’s post-sentencing words of wisdom, which Teresa interprets as “mean.” Rosie apologizes to Joe for lashing out, and shares some rather intense feelings which Joe blows off, as unnecessary drama.
Next week a proposal goes down, and family drama heats up.