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The Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: Fashion Emergency

It’s Halloween time, and the show opens at Jacqueline’s house, where all the non-Gorgas have gathered for the annual carving of the pumpkins. Baby Audriana has another fascinator on, this one with black netting, making her look like the world’s littlest widow. Gia haphazardly stabs at her pumpkin, and it’s really too bad her parents aren’t getting along with the other side of the family because her knife-savvy cousin Joseph could do some terrific mentoring here.

Out on the terrace, Teresa’s recounting the Christening debacle for the ladies, while Joe, in the kitchen, rants about his brother-in-law, the “fidget.” This seems to be Joe referring to the other Joe’s stature, and if that’s the case: those who live in glass pizza parlors, Giudice, those who live in glass pizza parlors ... And then suddenly it’s as if a studio executive dropped a note about how he needs a ticking clock in this thing — "Remember turn-of-the-century film and the wonderful tension of a woman on the railroad tracks," he scribbles — because out of nowhere, Caroline is suddenly enunciating that there is a Posche fashion show “coming up in two days!” and what are they going to do, because Teresa and Melissa are both walking the runway? It doesn’t seem to occur to any of the women that Teresa could just sit this one out. I mean, this is Posche, the local strip-mall boutique with dresses that make vajazzling redundant, it's not Karl Lagerfeld’s final resort collection.

Meanwhile, across town at Kathy’s house, Melissa has received a note from the same studio executive that says, “Dress like a cross between a Bratz doll and the bitchy girl at school whose dad always travels to France,” and so Melissa’s been to wardrobe for a rhinestone beret. Joe Gorga’s in a knit skullcap because this is a couple that clearly likes to match, just not matchy-match (more on their Halloween costumes in a minute). Over dinner, he starts pounding Kathy’s table with both fists while arguing that the meltdown at the Christening was definitely not his fault, and the diamond cross resting in Lebanese Jon Lovitz’s cleavage quivers. Why wasn’t it Joe’s fault? Well, he gave Teresa a look. Kathy seconds this — he did. He did give her a look. This guy’s just like Medusa, right down to the similarity in their last names.

So you know what else Posche has, besides Emotionally Stunted Moms–brand blinged-out jeans? Posche has Kim D. and Kim G., the bleached vultures who circle over the Housewives events looking for carcasses to hang out with. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not incredibly happy to see Kim G., who looks like Bizarro-World Debbie Reynolds. She has done everything in her power to become a cast member on the show, and Bravo’s doing the right thing by refusing to feature her because the snub just keeps her reaching greater heights of excellence. It’s like someone told her, “You will never be the biggest shit stirrer in this town, honey,” and then Kim G. felt her blood boil and surge with that challenge and she raised her fists to the heavens and shouted, “Driver! Bring my town car around and take me to Posche!”

At the shop, she immediately begins digging for more information about the Christening, her eyes shining brighter than her diamond studs. Life courses through her! She is a Siberian husky pulling a sled in the Iditarod, full of purpose and direction and doing what she was born to do. She’s barking to the world that Teresa has a “fat, crooked ass,” and she’s only just getting started with the easy stuff. The hiatus was torture for this woman. Even Melissa looks somewhat taken aback by the old girl’s zest for attacking her sister-in-law, but Melissa’s in too good of a mood to hop in because she can’t get over how hot she looks in her red dress. It’s yet another one-shouldered toga number, and all of ancient Greece and Rome roll over in their graves, causing a rumbling in the Earth that fills Harold Camping with the cruelest kind of hope.

We make a quick stop at Lauren’s new beauty bar, which is called the Makeup Shack. Jussssssssst kidding. It’s the Chateau. If Lauren’s own cosmetic application is any indication, then you’re going to want to swing by there if people have always had a hard time locating where your eyes are on your head and you need someone to circle them with a black Sharpie. Caroline warns Lauren that she “won’t have the safety net of mommy and daddy much longer,” and I take that as a profound statement on Lauren’s mortality and how, when she finally dies, it will become difficult for her to access her parents’ bank account.

Halloween Eve is here, and Melissa’s not doing the typical thing by going as a sexy cat. She’s blazing her own path by going as a sexy cat that’s been dried into leather. Joe’s matching, but not matchy-matching, in a shiny leopard halter dress, because he’s going as Snooki. Everyone keeps telling him he looks just like Teresa, but it’s honestly just the hairline. The state of New Jersey explodes, but not before Kim G. meets up with the Gorgas at Club 466, dressed as a sexily haggard cat, and she’s right back in there before Joe can even have his fifteenth drink. Holidays ain’t nothin' to Kim G.! That G stands for gangster. She’ll come down your chimney on Christmas morning to tell you bad things about your own mom.

Over at the Giudices', it looks like Gia’s getting dolled up for a night going door-to-door as a bald hooker, but she just hasn’t put her wig over her flesh cap yet. Once the blue hair’s in place, then it’s more obvious that she’s going as a hooker going as Katy Perry. She seems to be making a precocious cultural statement about pop stars and the commodification of sex, the loss of innocence, and artifice as seduction, and she’s gotten her little sisters in on the protest too. Milania’s going as Ke$ha and Gabriella is Lady Gaga, but Gabriella wimps out and goes for 2010 Grammy’s Lady Gaga instead of electrical-tape-over-her-nipples or prosthetic-shoulders Lady Gaga. Littlest Giudice Audriana holds up the rear in a tracksuit as Sue Sylvester, hoping to open a discussion about butch identity, gender politics, and women in athletics.

The day of the Posche fashion show has finally arrived and not a moment too soonhe. Everybody’s at the Brownstone getting their hair and makeup done courtesy of Lauren Manzo, whose mom says she’s “excited to watch [her] under this kind of pressure.” Pressure is right, because that Lauren applies eye shadow like she’s trying to shade right through to the eyeball. Out in the ballroom it's a sea of women in raggedy fur; I bet the Yeti knows to stay far away from the area because if one of these ladies spots him, BOOM, he’s a formalwear vest.

Kim G. enters the room stuffed into strapless satin and draped in diamonds like the cracked-out Marilyn Monroe that Marilyn Monroe would have eventually become if she’d lived to see her fifties. Teresa can’t keep her eyes off the Gorgas’ table. Melissa’s in a purple, one-shouldered toga dress (go figure), and she walks the runway with that pregnant glow that people always talk about because she’s thirty-something-years pregnant with admiration for herself. When she gets to the end of her walk, she decides that the show attendees are clamoring for her to go again, and what we’re now looking at is Gia Giudice in a couple of decades. Teresa also walks, but Caroline notes that she isn’t really present on the runway. It seems that one Malibu Bay Breeze wasn’t enough to lift her from her troubles, so after the show, her friends start calling to the catering staff to bring another, quickly. For the love of God, somebody get Teresa her Malibu Bay Breeze! Somebody get Teresa her Malibu Bay Breeze before Kathy comes over and —

Ohhhhhhh, too late. Before Teresa can feel the wind from Barbra Streisand’s windmill rippling through her hair, Kathy’s got her ear and she’s not only telling Teresa that she needs to make amends for the Christening, but also that Teresa was a bad mom for not getting her kids out of the reach of Uncle Joe’s own violent, drunken windmilling. That accusation brings out Teresa’s table-flipping eyes. “Do not go there!” she moan-screams and storms out into the makeup area, where she picks up a folding chair.

There was so much Teresa could have done with that chair. So much. But unfortunately she chooses to sit in it. That pause in the action gives Caroline the opportunity to take the floor and yell at all parties involved for their bad behavior, telling them they can go “kill each other in your own homes” because the Brownstone doesn’t have anyone to clean the carpet now that Chris Manzo’s on a sabbatical. Caroline’s the only one who’s making sense, so I wish Bravo producers had tried harder to keep her out of the room. Kim G. is still hovering around, right over Caroline’s shoulder, wishing she could snort the past ten minutes from a straw.

If you read this whole recap waiting to find out what’s going on with Jacqueline, her story line this week was that she has a sad belly button. It used to look like one of the Sing-a-ma-jigs!™ but now it looks like a Sing-a-ma-jig after someone’s lonely, affection-starved older brother got a hold of it, if you know what I mean. This is a textbook beaut of cliffhanger. See you next time.

Photo: Bravo