I know, I know: All you want to see is what historians and scholars will forever dub "the call." In case you've, like, been having a real life outside of the computer and TV (loser), I'm referring to the horrific moment when Teresa's husband Joe is outed as a juicy cheater/verbally abusive husband. Get your popcorn and medicinal cocktail, folks ... your significant other is about to look a whole lot better.
But before we can get to that horror show, let's see what's up in Russian River Valley. Oh, how cute, Teresa and Joe are taking a photo! "Joe, you don't smile good," she screeches. In an attempt to get him to flash those pearly whites she utters that ol' photographer go-to: "Wanna bang me in the a--?" It's like, "Say cheese!," if you want the subject to throw up in his/her mouth and then file for a restraining order. She goes on to say something more disgusting that I won't repeat here, but I'll give you a clue: You could pay a gastroenterologist for the same experience.
It's time to get back on the road to Sonoma, and this time, Richie gets behind the wheel. His maniacal driving and insane swerving is all anyone's talking about ... except for Jacqueline, who must see it as some metaphor for her relationship with Teresa 'cause suddenly, that's what she's jabbering on about. As she gives a blow-by-blow of their friendship rekindling conversation, the camera pans back and forth between her RV and Teresa's.
When Teresa shares her side of things, she mentions the magazine covers that had Jacqueline in a tizzy. "It's between me and my husband," Teresa says of all the frightening rumors splashed in the tabloids. Because Melissa must want some camera time, she picks a fight with Teresa. Between wild hand gestures and hair flipping, she says, "It's no longer between you and your husband; it's between you and the rest of the world." Then, she makes a sudden left into "Don't Bash Me in the Tabloids" town before steering back onto "I Really Enjoyed Spending Time With You This Weekend/ I Liked You Again/ We've Got a Fresh Slate Here" highway. It's the quickest dip in and out of an issue ever, and I seriously have emotional whiplash. Still, it's impressive that the in-laws can finally have a discussion that doesn't end in furniture flipping. Then again, the tables in this RV appear to be bolted down.
Back in Jacqueline's RV, she's not getting very much support, even though she plays everything down and says she's just having a "casual" relationship with Teresa. The Manzo women basically tell her that she's back in an abusive relationship that's doomed to turn sour again. "If there's someone around me that's constantly screwing people, why would I want to be associated with them?" Lauren asks. ('Cause they might have good snacks in their pockets, Laur!) "Don't lose sight of what's really deep in her heart. She's just a bitter, jealous person," Lauren adds.
At this moment, however, Teresa's actually just a horny person. "I wanna do you in one of these vineyards!" she shouts to Joe as the gorgeous fields roll by and, in a moment of sheer terror, pop their people control pills.
Finally, they arrive at Lancaster Estate. Their new digs are about as incredible as the RV campsites were horrible, and everyone's jaws fall open in delight. Finally, Joe smiles. He's surrounded by those he loves most: Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir ...
While this has turned into a vacation, it is first and foremost an important business trip for Chris Laurita. He's working on a deal with Levindi Winery, and they're all being put up in this gorgeous place as a favor. Chris insists that everyone be on their best behavior, and Richie obliges by breaking a glass within four minutes of entering the mansion.
"Keep it calm," hChris almost begs as they all board the bus to the winery and begin to take red Solo cups of liquid to the face. Teresa has strapped a flower to her head for the occasion, and it should be noted that this is actually part of her outfit, and not a result of a nasty run-in with a shrub.
They're greeted by a winemaker who shows them the impressive grounds and factory, and Chris Manzo gives us a quick scoop: Levindi is a very small winery that has been "in the family for years," and this is a chance to bring the product to the East Coast. In short: This is their one shot to impress.
As the winemaker doles out the first glasses of wine, Joe Giudice sips his with a grimace. "You want mine, Rich?" he asks loudly enough for everyone -- including the nice winemaker -- to hear. "I'm hungry." It's downright mortifying, and everyone's horrified. "This tastes like my wife. Like a fine smooth wine," Joe Gorga grunts. He doesn't seem to realize the single rule of a wine tasting: Spit, don't swallow. (Yep, I said that.)
When they go out into the rows of grapes, Joe Gorga and Giudice throw fruit into each other's mouths like apes in a zoo. Even though the wine lady seems genuinely amused (or perhaps she's just really into primates), Chris Laurita is about to explode.
Finally, it's back on the bus, and a fight about whether or not a KFC or a car wash is on the corner of a street in New Jersey breaks out between Joe Giudice and Caroline's typically quiet husband. You can't make this stuff up, folks. It escalates into a shouting match, with Chris saying what everyone else is thinking: "You're a loser!"
We're about to find out that there's more than one set of legs and breasts in the chicken bucket of Joe's life ... but unfortunately, not a single serving of brains.
They head back to Lancaster to check out another winery, and Chris explains that if all goes well, they could become a client. The gang enters a "cave" of wine that's beyond amazing. It's a lavish tasting room with exquisite lighting, furniture, and barrels and barrels of wine ... but of course, all Teresa can see is a wooden scultpure that looks vaguely like one part of the male body. "Hey look, it's a peepee!" she says, using the anatomical name. Her husband and Joe Gorga begin to mount it, violently.
The owners seem ready to black out, but Chris Laurita jumps in to smooth things out. Oh, you silly scoundrels. How funny and cute to dry-hump art, just like Picasso used to before the ear fetish took over! Still, it's tough to miss the vein that's about to pop out of Chris' head and ask for its own glass of vino.
Before Caroline can go into her Olympic eye roll routine, her daughter blindfolds her and proclaims that a surprise awaits. They drive her to a fantastic table that's perched at the top of the vineyard overlooking the breathtaking land.
Albie, Chris and Lauren give touchingly co-dependent toasts that turn everyone's face sprinklers on. "It's like a funeral," Chris Manzo jokes.
Amid all the glass clanking and laughter, Joe Giudice's phone beeps. It's very important that he doesn't miss any texts, 'cause they could be from his attorneys or his children or maybe the nice lady he's having an affair with. "Hold on one second," he says. "I gotta call my work." Oh silly unemployed and unable-to-drive Joe. We know the only work you do is scheduling when to cheat on your wife! He's still mic'd as he walks off camera, so we can hear every word of his covert convo.
"Hey! Whaddaya doing?" he says in his usual Fred Flintstone bellow. He really could be talking to anyone ... until he switches to weird sexy voice, the kind reserved solely for someone you're flirting with. "Ohhh, don't even tell me that, ha ha ha," he almost purrs. In a whisper, he informs mystery person that he's nowhere near home.
A visibly annoyed and suspicious Teresa finally goes looking for him, and what ensues is not pretty.
Joe -- still off-camera -- realizes that Teresa's hot on his juicy tail and says, "Hold on. Here comes my bitch wife. She's such a c***. I gotta hang up." When Teresa inquires about the conversation, he says he was just "talking to a worker. What the f*** do you want? What am I gonna do, talk to him over there?" The way she sadly stares at him is proof that she's no fool -- and that this isn't the first "work" call he's taken in her presence.
Then, he calls her a "retard" and a "pain in the a**" before directing his attention back to the phone still wedged against his ear. He informs Teresa that the person on the other end doesn't speak English, and launches into a list of commands in Italian. Suddenly, the guy who is personally offended that the Golden Gate Bridge isn't gold is bilingual? I'm sure I knew that at one point, but it's still a shock. Either way, it's obvious that his meatballs aren't being handled by just one person.
According to an insider -- coughprobablyjustTeresahcough (Sorry, just had a little spell there) -- Teresa was aware this horrible exchange would air and didn't fight tooth and fake nail for it to end up on the cutting room floor. It actually seems like a cunning move, especially if she and Joe really are headed for splits-ville. I'm no lawyer, but I've dated enough of them to know that this could definitely work in her favor. Nothing says "I'm about to get all the assets, you cheating wino!" like a tape of your infidelity.
The group wants to take photos, but Teresa drags Joe away from the festivities, deep into the vineyard. It seems she wants to roll around in the grapes, but Joe's having none of it. It's a pretty disgustingly pathetic attempt to get his attention ... or everyone's. "Get it over with," Joe says as he hoists her up around his waist. That's how the rest of the gang feels, too. The sun sets on smiles and whoops of glee -- but when the moon rose, it illuminates frown lines and disappointment.
The next evening, Jacqueline does Teresa's hair and they gossip about pretty much everyone as the room fills with curling iron heat and the sweet poison of hair spray. They both agree Teresa has unfinished business with Kathy. Then, as Jacqueline's hands dance across Teresa's mane and they share secret looks, they throw everything to the floor and embrace passionately. Or like, at least that's kind of what I thought would happen after this tumultuous week of lady breakups and makeups. Instead, Jax just gives Tre some ringlets.
Meanwhile, Caroline enters Kathy's room and asks for a snazzy 'do, even though she's never seemed to care about her locks before. What interesting and completely random parallel lives they are all leading without any producer suggestions! Then, Jacqueline walks into Kousin Kathy's Kuts and the topic is, of course, Teresa. Teresa, Teresa, Teresa! It's like "The Brady Bunch," if Teresa were wholesome and blonde and not two scoops of crazy with nuts on top.
They all meet in the main room for the last dinner, and everyone looks as lovely as they are insane. Host Chris Laurita offers a simple toast of thanks, and Teresa jumps in with a rather erratic addendum. "We had a wonderful time, and I just want to say Joe and I loved spending time with my brother and Melissa and we love you guys very much. And happy 50th to Caroline, and um. That's it. It was a great week. So, cheers!"
Everyone knows that the first rule of making a toast with a group of people is to never leave out a majority of them. Just look around the table and throw in their names for the love of being drunk! Kathy seems particularly hurt. "I guess I wasn't worthy. It doesn't make sense to me. One minute we're family, one minute we're not. Quite honestly, I felt embarrassed." Husband Richie puts it a little more succinctly: "What a f****** loser."
A hush falls over the table, followed by murmurs of shock and horror. Then, Joe Giudice announces that after he has eaten his cheese, he will be furiously exploding in the bathroom.
Looks like we've got tonight's moral, kiddies. Whether Joe's out in the open or behind closed doors ... he's a pretty crappy person.
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