‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey’: The long goodbye

The Real Housewives of New Jersey
“Reunion, Part 2”
October 13, 2013

Andy Cohen begins this, the second and last part of the reunion, by asking everyone if there was anything they regretted saying this season. Rosie feels terrible for getting drunk that one time and yelling at an imaginary Teresa to take it up the culo; Meatball is sorry for calling Rosie a “butchie boy;” Melissa wishes she hadn’t said anything nasty about Meatball or Teresa’s products — but leaves it at that; and Teresa regrets calling Jacqueline “evil.”

And now that everyone has sorta apologized, Andy Cohen plays a montage of the many insulti they called one another to remind everyone why they hate each other so very much. Instead, everyone laughs it off: names don’t mean anything, insists Folletto (unless we’re talking about “scum” or “figa-whipped” in which case all bets are off). Teresa is asked if she finally knows what a sociopath is and she exasperatedly groans that she doesn’t have the definition memorized, no, but it has something to do with not being able to keep amici? Oh, Tre, no.

Someone asks Melissa about Fagioli being so sassy this season, but she insists that it’s nothing new — he’s always been sassy, but he’d never been caught on camera before.

Caroline is asked about laughing when her sons called fat girls “pompino queens,” that maybe that kind of attitude is the real reason why they’re not married. OH SNAP, RANDOM VIEWER. YOU GO.

Caroline declares this whole line of thought “stupid” and mumbles something illogical about how she must have heard her sons say that fat girls were pompino queens 10,000 times when they were in school, so there. But that’s not OK? That doesn’t make it better? What does make it a teensy bit better is when Rosie barks from the other couch that “this fat girl has never given a pompino.” High five, Rosie.

Andy Cohen goes back to the name-calling and asks the group if there were any specific names that hurt them contrary to Folletto’s assertion five minutes ago that the name-calling meant nothing. Teresa mentions the time Folletto called her “scum” and “garbage” and then rubbed his black smeary head all over everything. Folletto, to his credit, apologizes to his sorella for doing that and tells her that he loves her. THIS IS NOT REUNION BEHAVIOR, YOUS GUYS. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO SCREAM AT EACH OTHER AND MAYBE SHOVE ANDY COHEN FOR GOOD MEASURE, YOUS GUYS.

Melissa brings up being called “Horsey Face” by Meatball, who immediately points out that Jeff Goldblum Jr. called her that, too, so. And Teresa jumps in to point out that Melissa accused Meatball of cheating on Teresa, which has nothing at all to do with the relative horsieness of Melissa’s face. Melissa replies that Teresa accused Melissa of being a gold digger, so, you know, there’s plenty of blame to go around here.

But Teresa will not be denied her victimhood and keeps her focus on Melissa’s charges that Meatball has cheated, demanding to know if Melissa has proof. Melissa quietly admits that she does not and maybe even mumbles an apology and we move on. Just like that, we move on. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH THE ACTUAL CAST?

Andy Cohen asks Meatball if it upset him that Folletto brought up the business of Meatball calling Teresa a fica and Meatball has the shameless audacity to claim he never used that word. Andy Cohen is as aghast as anyone, reminding Meatball that THEY HAVE HIM CALLING HER THAT ON TAPE. So Meatball changes strategy and insists it was just that one time, never again, which sure. Totally believable. You have all the credibility in the mondo, Meatball.

Next up: The Arizona Trip Montage. Andy Cohen notes that the trip really seemed to be life-changing for them. Rosie tells him that it helped her quit smoking, but, more importantly, it helped her realize that she was good enough. Rosie adds that Meatball helped her start working out after the trip and tells Meatball that she’s kept up her exercise regimen, which makes Meatball jump up and give her hugs and kisses because these two have become uncomfortably like one of those mixed species best friends Buzzfeed posts about three times a week.

Someone asks Folletto why he seemed to have an easier time forgiving Meatball than Teresa and Folletto explains that he never thought Meatball was behind any of the rumors — he just went along with whatever Teresa was doing. As for Teresa, she’s the competitive one, and he can’t shake the gnawing feeling that she is ultimately behind all the troublemaking. Meatball jumps to Teresa’s defense, insisting that Teresa doesn’t have the time to go around smearing Melissa and that to continue thinking so makes both Follettos look like jackculos. Meatball insists that this Penny Lady and that Greek guy, they came up with all the rumors completely on their own for some misterioso reason, WHY CAN’T IL FOLLETTOS SEE HOW LOGICAL THAT IS?

Folletto takes offense at being called a jackculo when all they’ve been doing is defending themselves, before going off on a divergent train of thought about how he went to schools that had metal detectors.


THE POINT IS, Folletto knows something shady went down and he knows it was yous, Fredo Teresa. Melissa points out that even if she didn’t participate in tweeting the rumors, she allowed herself to be filmed hearing about them, thereby passively spreading the rumors all over national television. HOW CAN SHE NOT SEE THIS?

Teresa actually says that they “can’t fault” her for being there and listening, it’s just human nature! She was hurt when Melissa and Kathy joined the show because she was certain it was to “take [her] down” and make her look like a villain and sure enough, four hours into filming, The Christening happened.

Folletto finally, FINALLY offers to explain what, exactly, happened at The Christening and why he acted like a pazzo person: According to Folletto, by the time il Follettos signed onto the show, he had not head from his sorella in 2 years. But then they join the cast and suddenly, Teresa shows up to The Christening because she was contractually obligated to do so. And once the cameras were on, after 2 years of not speaking to him, Teresa acted like it was no big deal. “HIIIIII!” she said, all fake-like.

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Folletto doesn’t need this show! He doesn’t care about the fame thing! (~cough~) Maybe, maybe Andy Cohen, maybe he came on the show to get closer to his sorella, she ever think of that? But now his parents won’t talk to him unless Teresa is present and they think il Follettos have done something wrong … Teresa tries to stop him from dragging “Mommy and Daddy” into this, before refusing to discuss their parents altogether, ANDY COHEN.

Someone asks Meatball if he thinks Teresa has ever done anything wrong ever and Meatball is like, Uh, NO? Rosie, exasperated, just demands that everyone admit when they’ve done something wrong and stop it with the back and forth. Oh, Rosie! You sweet, sweet naive dummy!

Andy Cohen turns his attentions to Caroline and her padre-in-law. Was Caroline surprised that Albert discussed his emotional abuse in Arizona with that horse guy? Caroline employs her Reasonable Voice to explain that Albert’s padre was the kind of padre that made his kids shovel snow with a tablespoon — which, yikes! — but that it doesn’t mean he didn’t love his children, he just thought assigning them borderline abusive activities was an important teaching tool, or something.

A viewer asks Caroline about her padre-in-law’s mysterious, unsolved murder and the suggestions that he was mobbed up and Caroline is OFFENDED. How dare anyone link her hard-working husband to his padre whose body — true story — was found naked, bound and gagged and wrapped in plastic, in the trunk of his parked Lincoln-Continental outside a supermarket in Hillside, N.J. with four bullet wounds in his torso. Why would anyone think that this man, a 350-lb guy nicknamed “Tiny,” who was found shot to death and in the trunk of his own car, might have mob connections, or that his sons who took over his business might continue to be connected? HOW DARE YOU, SIR.

Caroline goes into an emotional rant about how Tiny’s body was found on her birthday and she was the one who had to wake Albert up to go talk to the cops and then he went out and bought her a birthday present and then apologized to her for ruining her day AND THAT’S WHY SHE DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, ANDY COHEN. Which, fair enough, I guess, but you can certainly see why other people would very much want to talk about it, right? Right, Caroline?

Instead, Andy Cohen backs down and shows clips of Meatball getting all emotional about possibly going to jail. Caroline commends Meatball for showing emotion and vulnerability because of course she does. Andy Cohen asks Folletto if he regrets saying that he hopes Meatball goes to meatball jail and Folletto is all, “Absolutely!” before Meatball corrects everyone that it was Melissa who said it. Melissa would also like to apologize for saying that, but tries to defend herself by arguing it was before they knew about the more serious charges. Because it’s fine for him to go to meatball jail for lying to the DMV, but it’s not OK for him to go to meatball jail for tax fraud. Got it.

Jacqueline also adds that she said something to the effect that she hoped he went to meatball jail in last year’s reunion, but now she’s changed her mind.

Andy Cohen asks Meatball some boring questions about his DMV case, which, are we even supposed to care about that anymore?

Andy Cohen asks Teresa about her use of the word “karma” while in Arizona and she insists that she doesn’t believe in karma, she’s a good Catholic girl who was momentarily influenced by a bunch of New Age Nonsense, whaddya gonna do. As for the whole legal situation itself, she feels like it is in God’s hands. God, however, would like to respond that he has more pressing issues to tend to at the moment, thanks.

Andy Cohen asks Caroline about that one time when she said that Meatball would be happy living in a cardboard box and that it’s Teresa’s taste for the finer things, like onyx bathrooms and unused homes, that is the cause of il Meatballs’ financial issues. Caroline immediately begins backing away from her comments, insisting that all she knows is that there are 39 counts against them, she doesn’t know anything more than that. But Caroline adds that she misses the old Meatball who used to come over with cigars and sausage to play cards in the basement and that you know, Teresa likes nice things. Meatball’s not an evil man, he was just doing whatever he could to make his wife happy. Teresa gets huffy that she works, too, SHE WORKS, TOO, CAROLINE. But instead of engaging in a pointless argument, Caroline waves the whole topic off as being too awful to talk about.

Andy Cohen turns his attention to Folletto and asks what his reaction to the news of the indictment was. Folletto answers simply that it was depressing and he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore, Andy Cohen. But Andy Cohen ignores him and asks how Folletto found out. Folletto explains that he had spoken to Teresa about it a little before the news broke, and Jacqueline adds that she talked to her about it, too, when they returned from Arizona — which puts the whole “Meatball Cries in a Hot Tub” scene in a completely different perspective.

Folletto tells a story about how he and Melissa took the Meatballini out to dinner one night and how The Elusive Sfogliatelle just clung to him the entire time, which made Melissa cry for some reason. Andy Cohen then asks if il Folletto’s would take the Meatballini if, you know, and Folletto’s like, “Uh, sure, but that’s not our decision?” Folletto then admits that he tried to call Meatball, but couldn’t bring himself to do it and still hasn’t talked to him about the whole indictment thing.

Teresa explains that being Italian, it’s hard to express their emotions — unless it’s anger. They’ve fully got control of that emotion. But she assures Andy Cohen that she tells the Meatballini that she loves them all the time. Teresa then explains, as she did in her more private interview with Andy Cohen, that she’s not in denial or unemotional, she’s just trying to be strong for her famiglia. And Meatball is all, “Me, too, yous guys.”

Andy Cohen asks Jacqueline her thoughts on the whole indictment, and she says nothing of import, blah blah sad situation, blah kids, blah Teresa has support from her paisans blah.

Andy Cohen reminds us that Caroline and Albert are buddies with former New York City Police Commissioner and All-Around Great Guy Bernie Kerik, who himself has recently been released from federal prison for tax fraud charges. Does he have any advice for il Meatballs? Caroline says that in fact, what she learned from Bernie’s experience is that Teresa needs to talk to her kids about what is going on and that this whole thing will show Tre who her real amici are.

There’s an actually entertaining interlude where Andy Cohen pretends to bring out Ol’ Square Boobs, Kim G. and Dina to Caroline’s growing irritation. IF ONLY. IF ONLY YOU HAD, ANDY COHEN.

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Andy Cohen then begins bringing the reunion to a close by asking the ladies if there was one thing they would have done differently over any of the seasons, what would it have be? Jacqueline begins by saying that she would have been quieter during the last reunion. Caroline would have sat out the fourth season altogether. Melissa just can’t think of a single thing she would do differently because she is perfect and never does anything wrong, obviously. Kathy would have reached out more to Teresa. And Teresa would have been more open with Jacqueline. OH WAIT, MELISSA HAS COME UP WITH SOMETHING! Melissa would have filmed more with Teresa and the Meatballini, because she really liked the time spent with her famiglia “those scenes.”

Because this is to be Caroline’s (and maybe Jacqueline’s? Maybe!) last reunion, Andy Cohen wraps up the reunion by asking the ladies if they have any final words for each other and it’s as though they all suddenly woke up and realized, “OH, HEY, WE’RE ON A REUNION SPECIAL, AND NO ONE HAS BEEN SHOVED YET!” To remedy that, Teresa begins by saying that she’s learned a lot by being there today and feels like she and Jacqueline have a chance to move forward, because Jacqueline was the only one who didn’t attack her. EXCUSE ME, Caroline interrupts. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, PAZZO? Teresa insists that Caroline hurt her feelings when she called her superficial for not participating in the horse hoof exercise and everyone — Caroline, Andy Cohen, the stage grips, the entire audience — everyone is like, MARONE, THE HORSE HOOF EXERCISE? WE’RE BACK TO THAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Caroline is incredulous: Because Caroline spoke “her truth” and made a simple observation, Teresa then attacks her and her marriage all over the internets with malicious lies and then has the AUDACITY TO REMAIN ANGRY AT CAROLINE AND THROW ALL THE PROGRESS THEY MADE THIS SEASON INTO THE GARBAGE? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Melissa points out that what Teresa is actually saying is that as long as people act like Jacqueline and never tell Teresa how her bad behavior makes them feel, everything will be honky-dory. “See, Andy Cohen? This is their game: one starts and then the others jump on,” Teresa whines. “This is between me and Caroline,” Teresa insists. So Caroline steps back up to the plate and points out that just because Teresa’s wittle feewings were hurt, she turned and shot Caroline between the eyes. “Yous know I got a good heart, Caroline!” Teresa insists. “Do I? Do I though?” Caroline replies. And with that Andy Cohen shuts down the reunion JUST AS IT IS GETTING GOOD. WHAT ARE YOU DOING, COHEN? KEEP ROLLING. KEEP ROLLING! CAROLINE WAS JUST GETTING TO THE PART WHERE SHE QUOTES GOTYE LYRICS!

Wish granted. (realitytvgifs.tumblr.com)

And with that, we are outta here, Caroline. I’ll see the rest of you next season when this whole thing might very well turn into Real Housewives of the Federal Courthouse. (In the meantime, you can amuse yourselves over in my Real Housewives of Miami blog and/or in my Real Housewives of Beverly Hills blog when that nonsense starts up again soon enough.) Arrivederci, paisans!

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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