In a suspenseful season finale, the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" concluded Sunday night with a blockbuster fight between Teresa Giudice and nearly all the other castmates.
Last week, Angelo, a public relations manager at a hair salon, told Giudice that her sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga, was a stripper at a gentleman's club he owned in Elizabeth many years prior. Giudice said she did not want to hear about it and left the room, while friend and Posche clothing boutique owner Kim DePaola (Kim D.) pumped Angelo for more information. In this week's episode, Angelo appeared at Kim D.’s fashion show and approached Gorga.
“I know I know him but I don’t know where he’s from,” Gorga said.
Giudice looked uncomfortable and when Gorga got up to go to the bathroom, Giudice followed to ask Gorga, of Montville, if she knew who the man was. She then revealed to her sister-in-law what Angelo had said to her earlier that day. Gorga said she was a bartender there for a week and that she hated it.
“I did nothing wrong; I’m not ashamed of it. Technically it’s not a strip club, it’s a bikini bar,” Gorga said. “I mean, of course, the old men, you’d give them a drink and they’d say ‘here’s a $100 bill.’ It was stupid not to work there.”
As the conversation continued, Gorga said she did not want to confront the man, but began to get irritated that Giudice, a Towaco resident, had even entertained the idea.
“So you just believe him? You get your heart like that over something some stranger says?” she said.
Meanwhile, back at the table, Jacqueline Laurita began to receive text messages from an unnamed mutual friend.
“[They said] that something is going to happen tonight, that I’m not the target, and not to leave,” Laurita said.
Later, she revealed that the friend was apparently standing by Angelo as he talked about embarrassing Gorga that night. She continued to text her friend and also Caroline Manzo and Lauren Manzo, who were sitting next to her.
“It’s pretty obvious to me that something went down, everybody’s in on it but me,” Giudice's cousin, Kathy Wakile said, said.“And you know what? I’ll keep it that way.”
Giudice exited the bathroom looking for Angelo, but was told by Kim D. that he had left. Giudice sat back down with Kathy Wakile at the table and said she was looking for someone who was talking about Gorga. After talking to husband, Joe Gorga, and telling him he did not have to come talk to Angelo for her, Melissa Gorga also returned to the table. Kim D. joined them to apologize for Angelo, but Gorga told her to “take a walk.”
“I can’t help but think that Kim D. was a huge part of this,” she said. “And…does Teresa meant to tell me that she had no idea that this was going on?”
Manzo showed Gorga the texts Laurita had been getting, despite her daughter telling her not to.
“Nothing’s adding up,” Laurita said. "All I can think of is Teresa knew something was going on and she’s involved in this.”
All of the housewives except Giudice went outside to discuss. Gorga finally filled Wakile in on exactly what had been said and indicated that her sister-in-law was involved.
“All of the negative things that come my way are coming from Teresa,” she said.
Just when it seemed they might get away with just embarrassment and resentment, Joe Gorga and Rich Wakile showed up. Laurita talked to the Gorgas and said she believed Giudice set them up.
“Why, when we’re in such a good spot and everything is where we always wanted it to be?” Gorga said. “Why? Because it’s that important to take me down."
While Gorga confronted Giudice again, Joe Gorga got into a shouting match with Kim D., telling her to “go snort another line” and indicating that he would hit her if she was not a woman. Eventually, the Gorgas got into a car. Joe Gorga asked Laurita if Giudice set it up, and she said she would send him the text messages she had gotten indicating that was the case.
“It’s just another notch on the belt,” Joe Gorga said. “I’m fed up; I just can’t anymore. A person who can try to hurt you so bad doesn’t love you. They don’t; it’s impossible. I’ve got closure. I just have to move on with my life.”
Giudice, confronted Jacqueline about her accusation that she set the whole thing up.
“Obviously, there’s someone trying to set me up and maybe you’re involved,” Giudice shouted at Laurita.
Manzo seemed pleased.
“Jacqueline finally has her ‘aha’ moment,” she said. “She’s looking Teresa square in the eye and Teresa is saying maybe it was you Jacqueline; it wasn’t me, with her audience around pointing her finger in the most evil of ways. There’s no denying who this person is now, is there?”
As they drove away, Joe Gorga shouted out the window at Giudice that he could not believe she hung out with Kim D. Giudice approached the car and said she wanted to confront Angelo with Gorga, because she was not going to fight with some guy alone. They drove off, and still the drama and mudslinging continued.
“Chris [Laurita] has told my husband he met Jacqueline as a stripper,” Giudice said. “Maybe she got involved because she has some guilty conscience…”
It was then revealed that the Season 3 reunion was filmed just twelve hours after all of this happened, explaining why Laurita could not attend.
“She just felt she couldn’t come here today and look at Teresa,” Manzo said in the show that aired a year ago.
More clips from the reunion show are played while each cast member reflected on where they currently stood in relation to Giudice
“She’s invisible to me. I hope I never see her again,” Manzo said.
The other castmates said similar things.
“Right after the fashion show, my brother sent a text to me [that said] ‘you’re dead to me,’” Giudice said. “Really? Because of what Jacqueline said?"
Perhaps some questions will be answered during the three-part reunion that begins next week. All of the housewives have indicated it is incredibly emotional and explosive. On Sunday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live,” Bravo producer Andy Cohen said he barely got out alive.
The show airs Sunday at 10 p.m. on Bravo.