On tonight's episode of "What Basic Thing Does Teresa Not Know," we learn that our Jersey genius has no clue what a vineyard is -- despite the fact that she's currently driving to one, and headed to many on her upcoming Napa vacay. She informs us that because she enjoys a good bellini or 12 before having to be in her husband's presence, she's going to formulate her own: the 'Fabellini.' Ooh, a 'Housewife' hoping to break into the alcohol industry with a cutesy product. What an inventive concept! But don't worry, she has no desire for it to taste "diet-y" like Bethenny's Skinnygirl cocktails. You'll actually be able to feel your ass expand with every sip of Teresa's bev!
As she and Joe drive to whatever the heck a vineyard is, she brainstorms more completely unrelated ideas to add to her fictitious brand. "I also want to do like, Teresa aprons, and hopefully do a pasta." She explains in an interview that while it's technically her empire, she wants Joe to be a part of it: "Because if my husband felt left out, he would be going, See ya later.'" But their next discussion kinda leads us to believe that he's already got another Fabellini on the side. "Did you find your wallet?" Teresa asks. "It was still in the car," Joe explains. "Whose car?" Teresa wonders, with an edge of panic in her voice. "A friend's car. My friend's car." Perfect answer, Joe. We women historically respond incredibly well to vague falsehoods.
Over at Melissa's house, they've skipped the winery and gone straight to the bottle. Melissa's songwriter/coach/guy-who-encourages-her-deluded-attempt-to-get-famous, Corte, pops over for some dranks and cheese. "I made this," Joe says gleefully as he serves up a bright yellow wedge. "GORGAnzola!" God, I love a good unskimmed cow or goat's milk-based joke. So rich! (See what I did there? Let's talk about me.)
But Corte doesn't have time for jokes or veined Italian blue cheese. He's there to talk business. "Being that you're the official backing behind the project, do you see shopping for a record deal" or a label, he asks Joe. "We don't need a label," Joe exclaims. "We can do it!" Though he's a construction worker with absolutely no background in music, his theory is pretty simple: "If you have a set of balls and you're an entrepreneur, you can make anything happen." Joe definitely has one of the above ... well, technically two.
Corte's not into the idea of starting independently, and Melissa's pretty worried that her little Chihuahua of a career will get chomped up in the dog-eat-dog industry. Luckily, Corte has reached out to one of his "good friends" who works at a "major label." (I put quotes around those words because you know they really mean "this dude I met one time in a parking lot who has a lot of blank CDs in his trunk.")
Speaking of trunks, let's talk about someone who has a lot of junk in hers: Lauren Manzo. OK, OK, OK. you've all been asking me to lay off the fat jokes so I'm going to quit now/until there's another good opportunity to make fun of her tonight. She and Caroline are heading to grab some coffee, but they get distracted by a "For Rent" sign in a neighboring store. (You'll recall they are trying to open a business called "Caface" which is part cafe, part makeup counter.) It's the same space where Lauren's first business started -- and failed. Still, she's being very non-fat mocha glass half full about the whole thing. "Now it IS the place for me to be," she professes. Caroline's not really feeling it, but she's loving how happy the idea makes Lauren. "It's important to me to get this store up and running because it's going to do a lot for her morale." Caroline reminds us that Lauren's a "fighter," as if Lauren's battling some incurable disease rather than mid-20s career confusion. "The fat lady didn't sing, don't get excited," Caroline warns. With that, Lauren spreads out her arms and warbles, "Ahhhhhh!" I'm not going to add anything snarky here because there is NOTHING FUNNY about fat jokes except every single bloated thing.
Over at Brotherhood ("America's Oldest Winery"), Teresa and Joe are ready to bellini themselves into oblivion. They head to the tasting room to meet the man who will be mixing up their drinks: the "neurologist," according to Joe. As soon as he starts to explain Teresa's concept ("a formula that doesn't have as much fat as the peach nectar"), she has a demonic flare up and butts in. "Excuse me, honey, I'M THE ONE that's been consuming bellinis. I'm the expert." She's obviously still a little miffed about Walletgate. "I've been researching ingredientses ..." she explains. "Uh, it's ingredients," a chick who works at Brotherhood explains. It's an English lesson that seems to blow what's left of "America's Oldest Idiot's" mind.
Now, it's time for the "expert" to sit back while someone else actually does the work. As they debate color and taste, Teresa's sure to shoot down any and all of Joe's ideas. "I'm very good, too!" he says helplessly. Since nobody's taking his refined palate seriously, he decides to really hammer home just how often he gets hammered. "I got a little buzz from this s---," he says very professionally. Teresa's not amused. "I got a new thing. I don't drink all week, I start drinking on Thursday. It's a good thing it's Thursday," Joe laughs. Since his awkward and annoying banter is having a negative impact on HER life, Teresa finally seems aware of how vexing her husband is. You know who really isn't into the Giudices? The aforementioned chick. "We hired a car to bring you home," she deadpans. Teresa will not be sending this woman a complimentary Fabellini, that's for sure. No need to waste all those great "ingredientses" on a hater.
At Melissa's house, her makeup artist is using a spatula and paint roller to get her all dolled up for a photo shoot. Clad in a long, pink dress with metallic discs glued everywhere, she lies on a table covered in pink rose petals. "You're a dessert right now," the makeup artist says for encouragement as Melissa flops around on the table like a dying salmon. "A record label doesn't have to own Melissa, I own her," Joe explains in an interview. "I told her to put the porn star attitude on, 'cause I love that men want my wife and they can't have her!" Aw. Love means never having to say, "I'm sorry, but I consider you my property."
Outside, Melissa slips into her next look: A gold cropped jacket, skinny jeans, a white tank and high heels. "Give us sex," the makeup artist screams as Melissa's young, impressionable daughter watches mommy prove that beauty is, in fact, skin deep. "I don't want to be a porn star, I want to be a rock star," Melissa shouts when she sees the frames. But Melissa ... one of those goals just seems so much more attainable than the other.
While Melissa's trying to make whoopie to the camera, Teresa's focused on her cookies. (I hate myself for that one.) There's a massive line outside the local bakery where she's doing a book signing. "My fan base has gotten so big that my signings have become classy affairs. That says a lot about what I've accomplished as an author." (Just in case readers missed it, I'd like to briefly remind you again that this is going down in a bakery. That's all.) As Teresa mingles, Joe stands off to the back with a glass of wine. If a picture's worth a thousand words, this message is simple: Joe knows his place -- and it's behind his wife, handing out cupcakes.
In an interview, Caroline offers an interesting point of view. "I think Joe's struggling. Teresa wants it all, and I think the demands that she put on him led him to make decisions that weren't the best. I think he resents her for it, and I think he's going to pay the ultimate price for it."
Her prediction is that "something may happen where someone has to go somewhere." (Ahem: Jail.) Caroline thinks that when Joe inevitably goes to the clink, Teresa will say she has no choice but to divorce him. She'll make herself out to be the victim, scraping by as a single mom of Satan's spawn. "There's a book there somewhere," Caroline smirks.
While Teresa eats books and signs cupcakes, Jacqueline and Lauren are heading out to look at some mineral makeup that could be good for Lauren's store. Caroline explains that since she personally "puts makeup on in 30 seconds," it's good that Lauren has a drag queen-like Jacqueline to act as a mentor and to help find products. They meet with some extremely Jersey-looking business people to discuss talc and oxychloride and screaming orgasms. Oh no, I'm sorry, that last thing didn't have anything to do with makeup, it's just what Jacqueline freaking orders when asked if she'd like a drink.
The male Jersey-looking business person has to search the floor for his jaw, and if looks could kill ... well, then Lauren would have just committed screaming murder. Lauren tries to steer things in a less saucy direction and discuss the concept of her store, but Jacqueline's really focused on sexy sex sex. "Do you know about vajazzling?" she asks with feigned innocence. "You can have a really pretty vagina, but you might not want to know about that." Perhaps Jacqueline's muscle relaxers or crazy pills have kicked in, because she's gone from zero to psychotic in about two minutes flat. She ends up sloshing her drink all over Lauren. Luckily, there's no crying over spilled orgasms.
Back at the bakery, Kathy and Richie have popped over to wish Teresa well. They are family, after all, and it's important to support each other. But as soon as Kathy gets to the table, she uses that precious time to invite Teresa to HER upcoming dessert tasting. Holy cupcake competition! Feeling threatened, Teresa flips through her cookbook and shows Kathy how many sweet treats she's included. "Oh, my mother's pizzelis," Kathy exclaims. Teresa looks dumbfounded. "They're my mom's recipes," she says in her interview. She then informs Kathy that nobody is going to buy a straight-up dessert cookbook. Kathy pops out her crazy eyes and snaps in her confused eyes like Mrs. 'Housewife' Potato Head before saying goodbye and walking out in a daze.
Despite Teresa's nasty words, Kathy decides to leave the gun and take the cannoli. It's finally sampling day, and she's busy putting the finishing touches on her treats. There's the "Chocolate Hazelnutty Joseph," the "Limoncello Victoria Secret" and the "Richie." (That one's named, basically, for his cannoli if you know what I'm saying.) She invited all her pals -- plus Teresa. Everything looks absolutely delectable, and the spoons are really teeny tiny. That's neither here nor there, but seriously is there anything cuter than bite-sized silverware? Kathy hands out voting cards because she really wants feedback, but it's hard to imagine her closest friends and family saying anything nasty. (Leave that to me.)
Soon, Teresa pulls up with some ninny of a friend. "Are you going to say anything about her stealing your recipes?" ninny friend goads her. The other gals call this woman "Linda" and give us her back story. According to Jacqueline, Teresa likes her because she "speaks on her behalf. She's more a soldier than a friend." Linda tells Kathy that she doesn't eat dessert, and then presses her about where her ideas came from. It would be great -- and so appropriate! -- if someone could smash her in the face with a nice pie. Eat that recipe, skinny bitch.
But Linda's not the only white chocolate elephant in the room: The cold war between Jacqueline and Teresa is palpable. Jacqueline tells Linda that she's sad about everything, but claims Teresa hasn't expressed much interest in reconciling. Finally, Teresa confronts Jacqueline and thanks her for the invite to Napa. As they talk, Jacqueline gets that hopeful "this relationship can be salvaged" glint in her eye. Caroline, ever the realist, says that she's nervous for Jacqueline. "She's not done. She still wants to be friends with Teresa, because Jacqueline really, really loves Teresa." Jacqueline confirms that by crying a lot in her interview, which is a nice change from all the other times she's cried in her interviews. They hug as the entire crowd watches with a mix of shock, disgust and sadness. Someone show them a tiny spoon, quick!
Since Jacqueline, Melissa and Kathy's husbands know that their wives are chemically unstable bitches, they decide to have a pre-Napa "how-do-we-avoid-a-west-coast-bloodbath" meeting. It might have been prudent to invite Teresa's juicy hubby to a separate one-on-one summit, but apparently nobody is worried about that sweet couple going bonkers with Beaujolais. It's not like Teresa's ever showed psychotic tendencies before.
Since it's an important trip for Chris and his business, he's the ringleader of the gathering. "I wasn't planning on all the bullshit that's going on with Jacqueline and Teresa" he explains, "But I just wanted us guys to get together because you know we're not going to argue with each other." Joe adds, "You put a bunch of men in a room together." "... And they always have a good time," Rich finishes. Uhmm, before you silk screen "Non-Violence 4 Ever" t-shirts for your calm club, guys, I'd just like to remind you that Rich gave Joe Giudice a black eye and a bloody nose at a get-together a few weeks ago. Yes, that was a successful moment for Gandhi's more well-fed brothers.
Before they can continue the discussion, Chris has to address a pressing question from Joe: "What do you do" in Napa he asks, like they're going to an exotic foreign country or a unexplored land. "You drink wine, we're staying in a nice estate, we'll rent RVs in San Francisco ... " Joe can definitely get behind that. Maybe this very strange and far away place will be a lot of fun! Maybe it will feel just like being in Jersey except with a more Mediterranean climate! Oh, but there's one last thing, Joe: "You'll be with your family, Teresa and Joe," Chris continues. Joe's smile disappears and his face crumples. "That sucks," he mumbles. "I'm going to be in the bathroom with the therapist," Joe jokes.
Chris explains that he has the same issues with Joe Giudice -- but it's not his feelings he's worried about. He knows his wife, Jacqueline, has had a particularly hard time with the great schism. Actually, she pretty much thinks she's the Jersey Jesus, sacrificing their friendship to make Teresa's family better.
Finally, Joe Giudice pulls up. Actually, let me rephrase that: Joe's driver, Eugene, pulls up 'cause Joe still can't get behind a wheel legally. He comes bearing two bottles of wine and immediately begins to lap them up. Now that all the Jerseyites of the round table have assembled, Chris can really get down to peace makin' business. Joe Giudice may be dumb, but he's not oblivious: He knows his wife is one of the biggest problems. "My wife really doesn't get along with any other wife ... but I know that Jacqueline is talking all crazy things, too." Richie wisely tries to speak in generalities, taking the blame off any one woman and asking everyone to just go home and talk to their ladies. Buuut Joe's not quite done with Jacqueline yet. "I don't give a s--- who gets upset," he burps. "I know Jacqueline's been bringing out a lot of bullshit she doesn't have to bring out. But if you read magazines and you believe magazines, you're a fool like the magazine."
Chris stays remarkably calm while Joe bashes his betrothed. "You're going to defend your wife and I'm going to defend mine," he says matter-of-factly. It's disappointing that nobody tried to physically hurt Joe, especially when he began to completely ignore everyone and focus on sending texts (probably to see if his "friend" wants to help him lose another wallet).
Joe Gorga appeals to his brother-in-law, reminding him that he's trying desperately to work things out with Teresa. Yet again, Joe Giudice won't hear nothin' about his wife. Their conversation turns into a heated back and forth that's pretty hard to follow, but things hit a boiling point when Joe Giudice brings up Joe Gorga's parents. Then, accusations of stealing hammers and saws and trawls (oh my!) fly, and things dissolve into a childish he-said/he-said.
Note to self: Never borrow a tool from a tool.
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" airs at 10 p.m. ET on Sundays on Bravo.
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