Fall TV

‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Reunion, Part III: 8 things to know

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Riiiichieeeeee Baaaaalboooooaaaaa

Chances are you saw the promos for the third installment of the "RHoNJ" reunion dozens of times — the Joes bellowing at each other, the Wakiles looking disgusted, and of course Teresa Giudice almost toppling onto Andy Cohen while screaming at her brother and sister-in-law.

But boy, did the Bravo promo department bury the lede on that hour, because the real headline isn't that Melissa Gorga really is a stripper (she isn't), but that Joe Gorga supported himself in college as a Chippendale (and had a G-string "elephant") (don't think on it too deeply, seriously).

Seven other revelations from the reunion show, in case you decided to skip it:

Hard time

Joe and Teresa still won't (or more likely can't, on the advice of counsel) discuss the status of Joe's legal problems with the duplicate license and the DUIs. Joe seems not to think this is all that big a deal, as his response to Andy Cohen noting with concern that the contretemps could lead to 10 years in the clink is "enh, whatever." Andy also noted that Joe rejected a plea deal from the DA. Joe's version: he told the DA to store the plea where the sun doesn't shine. Shocker.

According to Joe Giudice, Chris Laurita met Jackie in Vegas, when he was engaged — and she was a stripper. According to Chris, he met Jackie in Chicago, at a trade show. Or in the library with Colonel Mustard and a lead pipe, who knows. Chris does mutter at one point that "we're talking about strippers like we're talking about serial killers," and: seriously!

How did Joe Giudice get that black eye off-camera? Rich Wakile shrugs that Joe grabbed his crotch (I guess that's why Rich knocked him into the furniture). Joe claims that Rich grabbed his crotch first.

Teresa's hoarse-voiced screaming meltdown is prompted, in the end, by Joe Gorga saying that Teresa is trying to turn their parents against him. It looks like she's mostly lurching at Jackie — who has to be told to stay out of it by both Chris and Andy Cohen — but as usual, the accusations that hit closest at the truth seem to set Teresa off the worst, as Joe notes at another point that their parents told him that Teresa had been saying that Melissa is a stripper. …You know, when it's all written out like that, it's even more insane somehow.

Rich Wakile doesn't see what's wrong with his children knowing about his morning "wood" and insists that "it's a natural thing." That revelation and the crotch-grabbing arms-race information from earlier is practically the only screentime either Wakile gets, except occasional reaction shots of them rolling their eyes.

Please welcome Ambassador Laurita

Chris Laurita's willingness to involve himself in the show continues to be a complete mystery, because in spite of his puzzling vintage-Billy-Joel hairstyle, he's obviously awesome and a grownup. He offers several insights about Joe Gorga and Teresa's sibling relationship, without insulting Teresa or picking any fights, based on his own fraught relationship with Dina, whom he also doesn't talk trash about. When he's asked about Dina and Caroline's relationship, he offers that, from what he's seen, Teresa "played a role" in the rift, but manages to sound calm and reasonable about it; even Teresa doesn't react badly. And near the end, he notes that his and Jackie's struggles with their son's spectrum disorder have made them realize what's really important, and these arguments don't qualify. So, who knows why he doesn't run away and take Jackie with him, but the show is more fun with him on it (especially when he's giving Jacqueline's daughter Ashlee the business).

And last but not least, Kim D. of Posche (oy with that spelling) comes out to "settle" the "question" of what "really happened" at the fashion show. The conventional wisdom on that — a producer slipped that Angelo guy a hundo and a bottle of Ciroc to drop a turd in the Housewifely punchbowl by claiming Melissa used to dance for him, and pretty much everyone knew it was coming even if they didn't know the particulars — doesn't exactly track with what Kim says, which is that she wanted to get even with Melissa for promoting a competing business, instead of promoting hers. Um, maybe? Kim D. is kind of hard to understand sometimes, but it sounds like Kim D. knew what was about to go down; Teresa knew something was going to go down, and she knew Kim D. was mad at Melissa, but she didn't know exactly what was going on. Melissa thinks everyone knew what was coming but herself and Kathy. The regulars act more exhausted by it than angry at this point.

Melissa is done with Teresa. "Look in my eyes, I'm done."

And so's the "RHoNJ" season!

Watch Andy Cohen liven up the reunion set by holding a shoe-off, right here:

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