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Real Housewives of New Jersey Recap: It’s for Trash and I’m Done With It

It's the final episode of the season, and I think I've finally figured out Teresa Giudice's problem. She's the woman who stays at the party after all her friends have gone home, sloppy-drunk, making fast new friends by shit-talking and telling the secrets of her old ones, but doesn't realize that these shitfaced alliances won't survive the cold, hungover light of the next morning. Finally, all of the Boy Who Cried Wolf–style lying and half-lying and denial has caught up to Tre, and everyone turns on her for something she actually, for once, didn't do. And honestly, it's kind of depressing.

“Do you have a bad feeling? I have a really bad feeling right now, like an 'I-almost-want-to-leave' bad feeling.” Lauren asks plaintively at a point during the season finale. Yes, Lauren, we do. And that's our exit sentiment for season four of The Real Housewives of Azkaban, on a signoff that actually contained a surprising amount of one-two-punch smack-talk and scandal when compared with the rest of the lackluster, tabloid-based season.

We pick up immediately where we left off last week at the Posche fashion show, with Mr. Strip Club Manager poking Melissa and Melissa making a clueless face. Teresa keeps going on about how fast her heart is beating and makes everyone feel it under her dress, which she seems to have procured by flaying Grimace and rolling his pelt in sequins, Even though this is really Melissa's Story, a tale of sordid pasts and long-kept secrets and clawing at Russian co-workers for the one Wet & Wild glitter shadow backstage, Teresa manages to steal the show with her heart palpitations. This ain't your Lifetime movie, Giudice.

Tre pulls her into the bathroom and passive-aggressively asks-but-doesn't-ask-because-that-would-be-insulting whether Melissa was in fact a Private Dancer, a Dancer for Money.

“I know it's not true,” Teresa begins. In Tre-speak, this means I know it's true but I'm willing to hold it in as future blackmail information instead of jumping on a table, yelling it out in front of everyone, and then yelling it out again in Pig Latin.

Melissa acts dumb, then surprised, then clarifies, “Technically it's not a strip club, it's a bikini bar.” All she did was show off her cameltoe in Pac Sun and make $100 a pop, guys.

“And when your brother met me, I was a schoolteacher,” she adds. “Do you honestly think your brother would marry a dancer?”

This is hilarious because Joe Gorga would marry a halved cantaloupe. He would marry a used Amazon copy of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie if it had a hole in it.

Back in the main room of the show, Kim D., the terrifyingly coked-up, wizened Betty to the Housewives' scheming, mob-connected Veronicas, screams.

“We're gonna have fucking fun. FUCKING fun. Fucking FUN.”

Then she dances. More accurately, she moves like an alien velociraptor robot who is attempting to dance. Nearby, Mr. Strip Club Manager, who has clearly learned nothing from Bond movies, is expositioning the hell out of his scheme to some random woman. Dude, don't you know that villain exposition almost always leads to an in-the-nick-of-time foiling?

Melissa's still in the bathroom on the phone with Joe Gorga, not-so-subtly intimating that he should come to New York to kick Mr. Strip Club Manager's bald ass. “He's not worth [confronting],” she says, “but if you were here, it'd be a different story.”

“Where are you? I'll come right now,” Joe Gorga says unconvincingly. His reticence to fight is totally obvious. During this exchange, thanks to texts from some pals, Jacqueline learns of the subterfuge (bro, I warned you about the villain exposition!) and shows Lauren and Caroline and everyone poops themselves re: general scandal except Kathy, who gives zero fucks and happily eats her salad.

Teresa is clearly behind this, assume the Housewives, which is a well-educated assumption as well as being partly true. She did meet the guy earlier and was aware of what he had to say about Melissa — but, as we saw in the last episode, she didn't plan for any of this to go down in public. Last year this would have been her dream scenario, but now her relationship with Melissa's different, and it is, in fact, all Kim D.'s fucking fault.

Melissa leaves the bathroom and sits back at the Housewives' table, at which point Kim D. wafts over on a cloud of pills and Pinot and proceeds to actually lie out of her asshole: “I don't know that guy. I don't know what he's doing here. I apologize.” Christ, but of a show cast entirely with fake bitches, Kim D. might be the fakest-ass bitch.

Turns out Joe Giudice has a brother named Pete who looks like a combination of Joe Giudice and Joe Pesci's sweaty taint after doing three takes of the “Funny, how?? Like a fucking clown funny???” scene in Goodfellas.

Outside getting some air, Melissa is still trying to convince everyone she wasn't a dancer, like, semantically. I love how they all assume that “dancer” means “stripper” without any context.

“It's not a strip club,” pathetically insists Melissa, but nonjudgmental Kathy's already on her side.

“She and her husband love each other,” shrugs Kathy. “What kind of devil would want to change that?” Kathy recalls that Tre uses to go around saying Melissa was a stripper back when they hated each other, which adds fuel to the general anti-Tre fire.

Speaking of loving couples, Joe Gorga and Richie arrive and find the women. The latter is in an ostentatious white polo that displays just how much his nipples have hardened to the elements. Sorry. I saw, therefore you must see, and a huge albatross is lifted from my soul. Because Mr. Strip Club Manager has smartly fled the premises, only the brains of the operation, Kim D., is left for Joe Gorga to yell at.

“Go sniff a line,” shouts Joe Gorga. “You're the scum of the earth.” At least someone's acknowledging Kim D.'s pretty obvious offscreen drug problem. “You're lucky you're not a man,” he adds, clearly prepared to act the tough dude now that the option of fighting an actual man has fallen by the wayside.

Everyone begins to disperse, and Teresa catches Jacqueline spreading the rumor that she was behind Melissa's public outing as a dirty, filthy stripper. They fight like ex-best friends who now want to rip each other's hair extensions out.

“The Posche fashion show is for trash, and I'm done with it,” says Melissa as she and Joe Gorga drive away in their massive black SUV. In the next breath, she whispers to Joe Gorga, “Yell out the window to your sister, 'Shame on you.' Say 'shame.'”

Instead, he tells Teresa that she is bullshit, and later texts her to tell her she's dead to him.

“Okay, say I was a stripper,” Melissa adds, hilariously, in the show's final moments. “Say she could prove it. Okay, now what? Now everyone's gonna hate me? Everyone's gonna think I'm a terrible person? Everyone's gonna go, 'Oh, she just didn't want her brother to marry a stripper!'”

I think that's a good place to leave off. Good night, kids.

Miscellaneous News Gleaned From the Housewives Reunion Teaser:

  • Lauren got Lap-Band surgery and lost 35 pounds and Cafface is doing great!
  • Albie and Professional Cheerleader are finito.
  • Victoria is staying in New Jersey for college. You can buy Kathy's homemade cannoli kit in stores. If you want. Kathy and Teresa text sometimes. You can also feel free to buy Kathy's cannoli kit for me.
  • Incredibly, Melissa's single “How Many Times” (previously titled "How Many Times, Dear Joe") made it to No. 4 on the iTunes charts, possibly because Joe Gorga bought it a thousand times and Joe Gorga's penis bought it one gazillion times.
  • Joe Giudice still might go to jail for his 2011 arrest, and Teresa apologized to all of her castmates. Except Kathy. LO-fucking-L.
Photo: Bravo