09/24/2012 10:04 am ET Updated Nov 24, 2012

'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Season Finale Recap: The Rumor That Ruined a Family

Writer's Note: It has been a real pleasure judging these ladies and their complex hairlines with you all season. Now that we've witnessed the finale part II, let's clear our very tan chakras and exhale the hate out. We are cleansed ... until the reunion shows, at least. Thank you so much for reading.

After a montage of all the misery and pain these pathetic women have inflicted upon each other's petty, tiny lives, we're back at the Posche show -- and Angelo has returned too. "He kinda looks like a sleazy guy that's trying to pick Melissa up," Kathy notes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: You can't trust a bald man. Seriously, would you leave your kids alone in a dirty room with Mr. Clean? I should say not. Boyfriend hasn't changed that white shirt in like, 50 years. But I digress. After he's thoroughly creeped everyone out, Melissa reminds us that she "knows him, but doesn't know him." It's so much easier to recognize someone from the top of the pole, am I right?

But that drama's gotta step to the side and make way for the fashion show. It seems Kim D.'s only model requirements were "breathing" and "comfortable showing their lady parts." The "Housewives" don't seem too impressed by the display, and the second it's over, Melissa makes a run for the bathroom. Teresa goes too, because they are women and everyone knows we cannot go alone.

In the bathroom, Melissa carefully re-applies gloss and molests herself in silence while Teresa cries in Italian. "Who was that guy who came up to our table? You know, the bald guy?" Teresa says with fake confusion. "He looks familiar," Melissa says very calmly. "I can't place where I know him."

With that, flashbacks of Angelo dropping "the bombshell" on Teresa roll. "Feel my heart," Teresa says to Melissa. She's having a complete meltdown while Melissa -- the one who actually has something to lose -- is busy thinking about the placement of her boobs and slickness of her lips.

"Before I came here, I just went to a salon. This guy works there," Teresa blurts out. "Did you used to work for him?" she probes. Melissa looks away, racking her brain. (Doesn't take too long, for obvious reasons.) "He said something about you -- that you used to work for him at a gentleman's club, and you used to dance for him." Melissa immediately smiles -- and I'm immediately confused. On one hand, if this were truly an insane, totally inconceivable story from a stranger, wouldn't her first reaction be shock, not amusement? On the other hand, is a smile and hair flip a very normal response to something if it does truly seem laughable?

"I bartended, do you understand? For a week, because my cousin owns the place. I told your bother," Melissa clarifies. In her interview, she informs us that "technically it's not a strip club, it's a bikini club. You know men with money. You hand them a drink and it's like 'Here's a $100 bill.' It's like stupid not to work there."

Back in the bathroom, Teresa's in a total tizzy, and Melissa's shocked that she'd even entertain the outlandish rumor. "First of all, I was a schoolteacher. It's very different from being a dancer." Wait ... a naughty schoolteacher? No, a boring ol' regular one; she was going to college and teaching second grade. Teresa adds " ... During the day," which not-so-subtly means that Melissa's nights (and boobs) were free to help pay her tuition. "Why is he spreading these rumors?" Teresa asks. The answer is pretty simple: He's a douche lord.

Out in the fashion show, Angelo is basically telling the story to anyone standing upright -- but now he's got a fun new twist. "Johnny calls me up and says that Kim and Teresa wanna blow the whistle on [Melissa] 'cause she plays the 'Holier than thou.' They had me do this thing like 'Wow, I almost didn't recognize you.'" Now this is getting interesting!

Meanwhile, Jacqueline's getting a flurry of texts from an unnamed friend. She's told that she's not the target, but something is about to happen -- and she definitely shouldn't leave. "This is the calm before the storm," she says at the table.

Now let's venture back to the bathroom. "Do you honestly think your brother would marry a dancer?" Melissa says. "I don't think so. Never the way we grew up," Teresa agrees. Melissa swears on her kids, but Teresa tells us she's no longer sold on the story. "It just seems sorta kawink-adinky," she explains. Lord, I am going to miss this woman and how she water boards the English language.

Melissa's shocked and hurt that Teresa didn't shut Angelo down when she had the chance. "It's almost like she's trying to prove his point," she says sadly in her interview. Now Melissa's worked up too, and hell hath no fury like a Jersey gal with loose morals scorned. She decides to call someone who will jump blindly into action: her husband. Teresa tries to stop her, realizing that this is about to turn about as ugly as Kim D. (That's real ugly.) "He's going to come here, beat the shit out of the guy, and OK, jail!" she says, exasperated.

"There's some guy here ... and he's telling people that I used to be a dancer," Melissa says to her husband. "You won't even dance for me, you'd dance at a club!?" Joe replies, not totally freaking out immediately like I thought he would. He says he's going to make his way over. The club is in New York, so that journey may take a while -- which translates to like, one commercial break in TV time.

Jacqueline's still getting these mystery texts from her anonymous source. Since we've literally never seen her with a non-"Housewives" friend, I'm going to bet you a lap dance and a handful of crumpled bills that this pal is actually a Bravo producer.

Teresa's casing the room, and Kim D. explains that "the bald guy" has left because he felt like "nobody liked him." That's odd, 'cause people normally get a warm welcoming when they attempt to ruin lives and relationships in Jersey. Teresa walks away from Kim D. and sits back down to her untouched salad. She explains the situation to Kathy, informing the whole table by proxy. "Every time Teresa hits, it's like with an audience and a whole group of women, right?" Caroline says, happy to crucify Teresa (totally ruining her manicure) as quickly as possible.
All of a sudden, Melissa pops back to the table. She looks a bit bummed that Angelo left. It would have been so fun to watch a blood bath, and the splatter might have actually enhanced those runway dresses.

"It's a bunch of clowns," Melissa mutters -- and right on cue, Kim D. plops down like a sack of cellulite in a sparkly casing. "I just came to apologize," she says, refusing to drop it. "Shut up and take a walk," Melissa slurs. "If Kim D.'s setting me up, does Teresa mean to tell me that she had noo idea this was going on? I'm sorry, it's not adding up."

"Smells like a set-up to me," Jacqueline says while Teresa's whisked away to have a shot with her husband's brother and Kim D. Now doesn't seem like the time to fraternize with the enemy, but when has Teresa ever thought before she drank? "Why was Teresa at a salon she's never been to before, and why was her brother-in-law at a women's fashion show?" Jacqueline queries.

Outside, Melissa relays the story to Kathy. By now, its been regurgitated about 100 times and I am seriously getting bored of it. I wish someone would screw it up a bit or add some pizzazz like in a game of telephone. That way, by the end of the night, the tale would be, "Did you hear Melissa has a fetish for female midget strippers who shaved the clients' heads?" Melissa explains that "all the negative things have come from Teresa. Why pull me aside and act like you're so concerned? Why wouldn't you just say of course that's not true?"

Now all the gals (minus Teresa, who has decided to stay inside for one more drink) are out front -- and they realize that Kathy and Melissa's husbands have arrived. Richie's in his beat down polo and Joe's rocking his "Let's kick some ass and also look like a bank robber" beanie. He looks kinda like The Edge in U2, if The Edge didn't play guitar and was a short Italian sexaholic. Caroline keeps him from going inside, saying Angelo's "not a man, he's a coward. You've come so far. Don't let an idiot ruin it."

The talk turns from Angelo to Teresa -- the woman they've all decided has set her up. "Does she want me to take the divorce papers out? Is that what the wants?" Melissa says with vehemence. Inside, Teresa is so freaked out that she's nearly been rendered mute ... and if she truly did set Melissa up, which I honestly don't believe, then she doesn't seem to be enjoying her success.

Joe sees his sister inside, and they find out that Angelo just worked at the salon for the day. Now THAT seems fishy. Teresa does everything she can to convince her brother of her innocence, but Melissa can't stand the sight of her. "I overheard that you set me up purposely," she barks at her horrified sister-in-law. In her interview, she says that while Teresa may not have been behind it, she was basically a Kim D. accomplice -- and thus, was just as responsible.

"My conscious is clear," Teresa tells us through clenched teeth. "I have nothing to do with this setup. If Melissa wants to blame it on me and ruin my family, let her do it."

Now Kim D. comes outside, curious about the problem. "Get this woman outta here. Go sniff a line," Joe spits. Kim D. tries to focus her drunk eyes and screams some boring stuff back. THAT was the blow out we've been waiting for all season? I've seen more wild altercations waiting in line at Starbucks. That' a decaf beat down right there.

Jacqueline informs us that Teresa allegedly knew what was going to go down two weeks prior, and Caroline says she's a calculating witch. Still, for two people who think Teresa is of such inferior intelligence, aren't they kind of giving her a lot of credit? This is an awfully intricate plan for someone who thinks there's a book called "Dr. Hekyll and Mr. Jyde." Jacqueline tells Joe about Teresa's role in things, and he's devastated. "I've got closure. I just gotta move on with my life."

Teresa comes dashing outside like a woman possessed. She will not rest until she has eviscerated Jacqueline. "Did you tell her that I sold her out?" Teresa says, stuttering because she's so mad. "I had a friend texting me the whole conversation. That guy said he was going to embarrass her and purposely set her up," Jacqueline replies with a quivering voice. "I've never met that guy in my life!" Teresa squawks. She's looks like a human bursting aneurism.
But wait. I'd swear on her per-cancerous tan that Teresa met that darling bald gentleman a few hours earlier in the salon, no? And if memory serves me, he was discussing Melissa's very naked past. When Jacqueline calls her out, Teresa clarifies: "Yea, that's the first time I ever saw the guy!"

Before we all tear Teresa apart, let's step back a second. Yes, it is by definition a lie -- but there's a big difference between seeking someone out for a meeting and literally being pounced on in a second-rate salon attic.

Then, Teresa decides to turn the tables instead of throwing them. "Swear to God on my kids he never said he was going to embarrass her ever, ever, ever. So obviously there's someone trying to set ME up and maybe YOU'RE involved." For a person of sub-standard intelligence, flipping the blame takes an awful lot of thinkin' things. It's normally a desperate move, but in this case I sort of almost agree. If Teresa had actually baited this guy or had a second covert meeting with him, don't you think the cameras would have been all over that like white on rice with a really insane hairline? Still, she should have had the foresight to realize that news this juicy doesn't just go away.

At this point though, what Teresa knew or did not know no longer matters. The road she walks is paved with her past crimes, and she's been labeled as eternally guilty.

Caroline, hanging in the shadows behind Jacqueline, is smiling like a wolf watching her pack take down dinner. She loves witnessing Jacqueline's "a-ha" moment, and can barely contain her joy now that Teresa's final ally has switched sides. While Caroline has always expressed her brutally honest feelings, she also doesn't try to actively turn people against Teresa. With Jacqueline, she really just sat back and waited for Teresa to dig her own grave. "Would I setup your sister-in-law, who I happen to like? Who has the motives here? You! Now I know we're not friends. You're disgusting, you're scum. I am completely done," Jacqueline spits in her interview. Looks like Teresa's officially hit six feet under. That relationship is as dead as the brain cells in her head.

As Melissa and Joe's car pulls away, Melissa instructs him to yell "shame on you" at Teresa. He does what he's asked and more, so that three grown adults are shouting at each other through a window. They dredge up drama from years ago and it's impossible to follow their conversation. (The gist is that everyone hates each other.)

Melissa wonders what end Teresa was trying to achieve, and a light bulb goes off. "She was looking for that reason as to why she's been tormenting me for the last 8 years. She needs to give everyone a reason ... but she still doesn't have one."

Teresa may have gone down without a fight at the party, but she's hurling some final insults off camera. "Chris told my husband that he met Jacqueline as a stripper, so maybe she got involved because she has some guilty conscious with her stripper past!"

Then, "12 hours later" flashes on the screen in the same font they use on "Intervention." I can only hope that Kim D. has been found dead in a pile of her own vodka vom, but alas, dreams don't always come true.

We're transported back in time to the Season 3 reunion, and as you'll recall Jacqueline wasn't there. Caroline explained that the "incident last night" kept her from attending, and now, a year later, we finally know what that was.

Then, the requisite "What's everyone up to" text rolls. It's easy to forget that this all went down well over a year ago, isn't it?

Jacqueline: Still crying for at least 22 hours of the day, 23 on weekends.

Caroline: Recently decided her anger toward Teresa was actually repressed desire, and they have begun to express their passion in words and actions. JUST KIDDING, she hasn't spoken to Teresa since that reunion was taped.

Lauren: Has lost 35 Lbs. after LAP-BAND surgery and her beauty bar is thriving. Super excited to see her feet again.

Albie and Lindsay: RIP (The relationship, not the people.)

Kathy: Her homemade cannoli kits hit shelves this year. She has been speaking to Teresa over texts lately. Daughter Victoria decided to stay at home for college so that she'd never have to see the world or have any interesting experiences.

Melissa: "How Many Times" (her single) made it to #4 on iTunes charts. She and Joe put their house on the market for $3.8M to get away from Teresa. No word on whether they installed a stripper pole in their new pad.

Teresa: Her brother texted, "You're dead to me" and she's so over it that she refuses to cry. She wrote another best seller with "Fabulicious" in the title. Husband Joe is still waiting on a trial update and could go to jail if he's guilty. She apologized to her castmates in a magazine. Scientists have yet to explain her face.

Think Teresa set Melissa up? Let's have a spirited but kind debate in the comments!