Teresa and Joe head upstate to work on her new drink the Fabulantastic. It’s a fun peachy champagney drink, perfect for those moments when you want to escape from your miserable life. She’s looking to add it to her growing brand, which currently includes scrunchies, braided belts, and aerobics flip-flops. She brings along her normally inebriated husband so he can help her formulate the perfect concoction, something deliciously non-diety like the (cough cough) Skinnygirl drinks. But the problem is that the winery she decides to work with basically just takes food coloring and extract and adds it to sparkling wine. The other lingering issue is they obviously think she and her husband are morons. Joe tries to take over the meeting by claiming she’s looking for a drink with low-fat nectar (as opposed to the normally fatty peach pulp) and Teresa claims she’s been researching “ingredientses.” After the couple engages in a heated eye fight the winery’s director points out they have gone ahead and made sure they have a ride home.
Melissa is still trying to make this dream happen. Her buddy Cortex thinks she should start pursuing a record label. It’s a given with her spectacular auto tune hits and lip-syncing abilities. Joe Gorga believes at this juncture it would be more helpful for him to manage and produce Melissa’s hits. He does, after all, own her (in a nod to the women’s movement). He’s had so much success as a slumlord that it seems just natural to peddle his wife’s singing career. First item on the checklist? The album cover. Melissa understands that this business is about the way you look. Is it about real talent? The ability to sing? The gift of performing your song? Not always. It’s about your spray tan, your flat-ironed hair, and the amount of glitter you can wear on an evening gown. But she wants this dream. So there she was in full drag makeup taunting the cameras with her moan face and porn poses all in the name of music and while her small daughter watched and began her own dream for stardom.
Caroline and Lauren are thinking they should just rent out the now defunct Chateau Salon in town. It is the perfect place for their makeup saloon/snack shack. It will also boost Lauren’s morale, which she needs with all the constant comments about her looking like a sausage. So after pops buys her a lap band she’s going to get a makeup shop. Since Jacqueline knows a thing or two about makeup she has brought her into the fold to find a makeup line for the joint. She scheduled a meeting with a company and was happy to review their products but Jacqueline spent so much time talking about cocktails and bedazzling her vagina that no one had much chance to chat about lip-gloss and eyeliner.
Teresa is such a big thing now that her book signings line the block of neighborhood pastry shops. “My fan base has gotten so big that my book signings have turned into classy affairs,” Teresa says. “That says a lot about what I’ve accomplished as an author.” Except we are not sure if she is the author or as Kathy suggests it is her mom since Teresa seems to have hijacked all her dessert recipes. Teresa thinks Kathy’s remark is a passive aggressive jab, but then she goes on to say that most people don’t buy dessert cookbooks these days. More people want to watch their weight. So maybe they don’t want a peach Bellini? Maybe they’d rather have a sugar free red bull and vodka? This is Kathy’s dream now. All she ever wanted was to have her own cookbook showcasing her mini limoncello pudding pocket blasters or her frozen cannoli blankets. Sure, she has to display her treats in the parking lot of a gelato shop with poster board signs that her 5-year-old neighbors mocked up for her. But you have to start somewhere and you don’t necessarily have to do it while stepping on other people’s faces.
What’s really going on with Teresa and Meatball Joe? Caroline puts it in perspective. Teresa put pressure on Joe for a certain lifestyle. This led him to make disastrous decisions, like racking up $11 million in debt. Yeah, did he know they couldn’t really afford a black marble home, a set of Escalades, breast and penal implants, and a closet full of fringe skirts and sequin halters? Well, yeah. But his wife wanted a shore house and an at home tanning bed. What are you supposed to do? So now he resents her for it because he’s the one who will probably go to jail for it. Meanwhile she will divorce him and then have a ghostwriter put out a pamphlet about her struggles and ability to survive for the sake of her daughters. And then it will be made into a made for Internet movie on the Lifestyles Channel starring Jenna Von Oy from Blossom.
Jacqueline runs into Teresa at Kathy’s dessert tasting festival and she uses her friend Linda as a shield. Linda suggests Jacqueline talk to Teresa because she’s obviously going through a lot right now. “Really? Because I’m pretty sure she said things are fine.”
In the run up to the winery Chris decides to get all of the husbands together so they can get their shizz straight before leaving. Sort of a get-your-wife’s-act-together type of affair where you serve saffron rice and chicken wings out of take out buckets. The plan is the Gorgas will ride in an RV with the Giudices, which makes sense with how much the two Joes despise one another. So the goal is to get Joe Giudice to go into this trip with the goal of keeping Teresa’s yapper shut and his roid rage under control. But he doesn’t really care if they upset anybody and especially if people are still worked up about the feature stories they keep selling to the rags. “If you read magazines and then you believe in magazines, then you’re a fool like the magazine.”
But then things got real serious when we finally learn just why Joe Giudice really hates his brother-in-law. Fifteen years ago after teaching him the ropes of slum lording Joe Gorga used and never returned his set of tools. Just took his power drill and travel vice and that was it. He was always helping people. Look at Richie. Years ago he showed him how to pump gas. Now Richie owns gas stations and his own house. Who should he have thanked? Giudice. But, as Richie points out so eloquently, six months ago Giudice was flipping pizzas. So who really is the expert? “The bottom line is, whenever I borrowed something from someone, I give it back,” Joe Giudice says. Really? What about the $11 million you owe the banks? Did you give that back, Meatball?
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