By Karen Malmquist
“LET’S GO TO THE POSCHE fashion show,” they said. “It’ll be fun”, they said. When will we learn our lesson never to step foot inside a “Kim” produced event?
Sunday’s season finale of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” had the ladies hugging and kissing and feeding each other cannolis all night. Not. Rather, it was more like watching a cannolis factory explode: the tragic destruction of delicious but nutritionally empty junk food.
This week, it’s all about Melissa’s alleged past as a stripper, and Kim and Angelo are determined to let the “truth” come out because it’s been four seasons and this woman still hasn’t been asked to join the regular cast.
So this Angelo guy, who claims to have worked with Melissa at the Lookers Gentlemen’s Club years ago, approaches her at the fashion show, and asks if she remembers her. We saw last week that this allegation makes Teresa highly uncomfortable. She says her heart is racing, and Kathy asks if it’s because she drank a lot of coffee that day. Awww, Kathy…
The fashion show begins, and this whole thing is a little too upscale for Posche, considering the store itself looks like an unorganized, oversized walk-in closet belonging to either a 14-year-old girl or a middle-aged woman who let herself go a bit too much.
Melissa rushes to the bathroom to fix her face, and Teresa follows her. Teresa asks who that guy was that came up to her. She tells Melissa that the guy came up to her at the salon that day, and asks if she used to work for him. “He looks familiar,” Melissa says coolly. “I can’t place where I know him.” Teresa fills her in. Melissa says she bartended at that place, and it was more of a bikini bar than a strip club. She says that she basically got huge tips for handing people drinks, and that “it was stupid not to work there.”
While the rumor got Teresa’s heart racing, Melissa seems nonplussed by it all. “First of all, I was a schoolteacher,” she says. “It’s very different from being a dancer.”
Meanwhile, Angelo is talking to another woman about Melissa. Jacqueline and Caroline get a text from a mutual friend of her and Teresa, saying that something is about to happen, and that even though Jacqueline isn’t the target, she can’t leave.
Melissa thinks Teresa set her up, and so she calls Joey. Panicking, Teresa tells Melissa not to call her husband. Teresa walks out of the bathroom, and Melissa calls Joey: “There’s some guy here … and he’s telling people that I used to be a dancer,” she says. Joe’s reaction has a mixed message: “You won’t even dance for me, you’d dance at a club!”
Teresa gets back to the table because she says she doesn’t want to get involved in whatever she thinks Kim D. has planned. Caroline and Jacqueline start texting each other, knowing that something is going wrong here. Kim D. comes to the table and tries to make nice and act like she didn’t know who the guy was. Melissa clearly wants nothing to do with the horribly-aged blonde and tells her to “Shut up and take a walk.” Then Caroline shows Melissa the mysterious text message.
Suddenly Rich and Joey are at the fashion show, even though Melissa specifically told her husband not to come. Melissa just wants to know why this whole ordeal is happening, and starts to think that Teresa is setting her up. “If Kim D.’s setting me up, does Teresa mean to tell me that she had noo idea this was going on? I’m sorry, it’s not adding up.” Teresa’s worried that Joey’s gonna do something, and this is probably her backpeddling now, because she doesn’t want her brother going near Angelo, who blabs out on the dance floor, “Johnny calls me up and says that Kim and Teresa wanna blow the whistle on [Melissa] ’cause she plays the ‘Holier than thou.’ They had me do this thing like ‘Wow, I almost didn’t recognize you.'”
Teresa tells Melissa and Joey that this is all Kim D.’s fault, and then walks away. After Teresa leaves, Jacqueline says that she got texts saying that Teresa was indeed involved in this set-up. Kim comes outside to try and get more screen time and plead her case. “Get this woman outta here. Go sniff a line,” Joey barks. She begins spewing and barking that she “plays with the big boys” and blah, blah, blah. Okay, Kim. Okay.
Kathy tries to calm Joey and Rich down. In her interview, when talking about Teresa, says, “When you associate with scum, you become scum.” Caroline and Lauren are visibly upset about what is happening to Melissa, and Jacqueline just looks downright mad. Jacqueline then says that the text she got said this whole “exposing Melissa” thing had been planned for weeks.
Joey is still mad, and Caroline comes over and gives him a hug. Joey and Melissa head to their car to go home, and Jacqueline tells them that Teresa definitely knew what was going to happen, based on the texts she was getting, and then says she’ll send them everything she got.
Now Teresa approaches Jacqueline, and asks what’s going on. Jacqueline tells her everything she just told the Gorgas, and now Teresa starts to attack. Teresa points the finger at Jacqueline, saying that maybe Jacqueline is really setting this all up. Sure. Because Jacqueline has so many motives to do something like that. Oh, wait, that’s Teresa.
Joey and Melissa drive up to Teresa, who’s basically standing in the middle of the road, yelling and holding up traffic. Melissa says she thinks Teresa set this whole thing up to try and think of a valid reason to hate Melissa.
Caroline quickly takes Jacqueline and Lauren and drives them out of the party.
Teresa walks back into the party and tells Kim about what happened, and Kim’s friend tells Teresa that she also knew that Melissa was a stripper. Oh my god. At this point, who cares?
We learn in the epilogue Melissa and Joey sold their house for $3.8 million so they could get away from Teresa. Since we still know maybe 75% of what went down these last few episodes, it’s a darn good thing there’s a not one, not two, but THREE-part reunion special, beginning next week. Think three hours is enough to get to the bottom of this?
Karen Malmquist is a junior at La Salle University, and the head writer and star of In Other News, a comedy series airing in Philadelphia.