The eighth week of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" premiered Sunday with the housewives continuing to prepare for Christmas, especially Melissa and Joe Gorga’s extravagant holiday party.
Teresa and Joe Giudice are decorating their Christmas tree at the start of the episode with their four daughters, Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana.
“Since the bankruptcy, we cut back,” Teresa says. “I want to teach my daughters that everything they ask for they can’t get.”
Gia asks if they will see Joe and Melissa for Christmas. Teresa says of course, but privately does not seem so sure.
“My brother always spent Christmas Eve with us, but who knows what will happen this year?” she says. “Melissa brings bad energy when she’s around. All’s I know is every time she leaves, I get a headache."
Meanwhile, Melissa and Joe Gorga are getting ready for their holiday extravaganza with their three kids, Antonia, Gino, and Joey as well as Donna Gasser, their Christmas tree decorator and Louis, Joe’s friend.
“It’s for Christmas; it’s for Jesus’ birthday, and I need everything perfect,” Melissa says of their upcoming party.
She is nervous, however, because she has invited Teresa and Joe Giudice to the party. Despite having a lovely cocktail party at co-star Jacqueline Laurita’s house last episode, there is still tension between the families, and between the Giudices and Melissa’s family. Her brothers-in-law held the two Joes apart at Joey Gorga’s christening and Melissa’s sister Lysa claims that Filomena Giudice, Teresa’s mother-in-law, punched her in the face.
“Joe Giudice better come correct to my home,” Melissa says.
Teresa sits down with Joe and asks him when all of the gossip about them will stop in the newspapers and magazines.
“Now I know how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie feel,” she says.
Joe tells her to focus on those who were there for her when times got tough. He claims the Gorgas and Teresa’s cousins, the Wakiles, were not those people. She gets teary-eyed as he tells her they are not the sort of people she should keep around.
At Jacqueline Laurita’s house, she comes to see Ashley Holmes for her 20h birthday. She presents her with a few small gifts in addition to the car Holmes received earlier in the season. Laurita tells Holmes that her biological father wanted to fly out from Texas to surprise her, but that he had gotten the flu. Holmes becomes upset and says she almost wishes she didn’t know.
“It’s like it’s a lose-lose. It’s like I’m missing family wherever I go,” Holmes says.
Later, however, the Lauritas and Manzos show up for her birthday dinner, as well as her grandparents from Las Vegas and several of her friends.
“I appreciate each and every one of you, even though I may not always show it. I love you all, and I’m happy that you’re all here for me. Thank you,” she says.
Back at the Gorgas, “Fabulous Fred,” their party planner, shows up to give them the run-down of the party. He informs them that they will be spending about $50,000 on the event. Joe is very nervous about that, but rationalizes that the party is a fundraiser for St. Joe’s Hospital in Paterson.
“I would never throw a party this lavish and spend this much money without doing something for children at this time of year,” Melissa says.
Kathy and Rich Wakile have hired a decorating service for the outside of their house. While Kathy and her kids, Victoria and Joseph, decorate inside, Rich attempts to help the professionals.
“My wife is the complete package,” Wakile says. “You know, I see the things that my wife does around the house, so once in awhile I have to get out there and be a man. You know, I have to prove to her that I’m not just pretty, I can do other things, you know what I mean? Like hire people.”
He asks the worker if he gets a discount for helping.
“We actually charge extra when the homeowner helps,” the decorator deadpans.
Meanwhile, Caroline Manzo takes her husband Albert to their jeweler to show him the presents she has picked out for their children. Lauren Manzo has had a difficult time with her brothers moving out together and Caroline has decided to show them how much they mean to each other by designing a special bracelet with three links and two anchors to represent the family. Despite the bracelets costing $4,500 each, Albert insists on having one for himself and for Caroline as well.
The night of the Gorga Christmas party finally arrives.
“Tonight’s my night. I’m going to drink, I’m going to party, no children,” Gorga says. “I don’t care who’s here, I don’t care who doesn’t like each other, you got a problem, handle it outside, I want to drink, and I want everyone to leave me alone.”
The Wakiles anticipate drama, however, as Rich asks Kathy what she’ll do if Teresa shows up. She says she will act civil as always.
“Just remember, it’s Christmas. No arguing,” Rich says.
“Do I really want to go to my brother’s Christmas party? Not really,” Teresa says.
Her husband Joe agrees, and nearly refuses to get up from the couch to get ready. He tells her if anyone talks to her wrong he will kick them, and demonstrates on their punching bag.
Predictably, when the Giudices show up, drama begins to occur.
First, Kathy goes up to her cousin to say hello. She repeatedly says it’s nice to see her.
“Oh, now it’s nice to see me, right? So, it’s nice to see you, too,” Teresa says.
Kathy is very upset by Teresa’s reaction and goes to her sister Rosie to complain about it. She pulls Rich into a closet where she tells him she’s “Done, just done.”
Rich tells her “...if you want, I’ll burn this whole (expletive) place down. But we’re not going to do that.”
Melissa finally calms Kathy down.
“Don’t get upset, because your tears are not worth it,” she says.
Melissa’s brother-in-law Joey then confronts Joe Giudice about $1,000 that he allegedly owes him for fixing an air conditioner. Joey claims that Joe told him to “sue me for it.”
The Giudices and Gorgas are both horrified that Joey would bring that up at the party and Melissa confronts him about it.
“Are you crazy? This is my home; it will turn into an (expletive) mosh pit,” she says.
Things only get crazier when Kim “G” shows up with Monica Chacon, the lawyer who is suing Teresa. Kim is known for having a vendetta against Teresa and Chacon and Giudice got into an altercation at court the previous week. When the Giudices discover that Chacon is there, they ask the Gorgas to ask her to leave. They agree.
“Regardless of any issues I have with Teresa, her financial issues are really none of their business, and that’s where I draw the line,” Melissa says.
She pulls Kim aside to tell her that Monica has to leave. Kim protests, saying that Chacon will cause no issues and that Teresa should tolerate people she does not like.
Joe Gorga tells Kim “Monica’s got to go.”
Jacqueline also gets involved, and it takes the three of them to explain it to both Kim and Monica repeatedly before she finally leaves.
“I will be devastated if anyone ruins this party,” Melissa says.
The party—and drama—continues next week when the drama will continue with Caroline and her sons confront Kim “G.”
The show airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.