Previously on Masterpiece Presents: The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Caroline posited that Al sacrificed his whole life for work, which was obviously his master plan to have the benefits of a wife and kids without all of the practical annoyance. Well played, sir. Kathy was sick of Richie making decisions without her, particularly when they pertained to her business. Teresa and Jacqueline agreed to be civil to one another, though Jacqueline quite wisely remained suspicious of her former friend. The whole gang decided to go to Arizona on a spa trip, and we had to deal with Penny, who looked like Kim G. but more and less haggard all at once. And finally, Teresa tried really hard to make everyone believe she was innocent of involvement in StripperGate2012 and InfedelityGate2013, and in fact achieved the opposite.
We enter at a store called Chef Central, where Teresa is giving a cooking demo and making bruschetta for a group of old ladies and one pervy gentleman. Kathy shows up and apologizes for missing Teresa's hair care event, so Teresa gives her the lowdown about the appearance of Jan. Whoever thought that we'd spend so much time this season on two heretofore unknowns named Jan and Penny? In my opinion, this show gets exponentially more tedious when they start focusing on the randos.
This episode is a nice refocusing to the core. Kathy hopes that Melissa ripped Jan a new one, and also asks the million dollar question: "Who's Penny?" She notes that Penny is lucky not to have gotten knocked out for spreading rumors about a married woman with kids. Teresa isn't sure if there was really resolution with Melissa/Jan/Penny, but does seem convinced that the whole thing proved that she had nothing to do with the various anti-Melissa shenanigans. She is all for focusing on the present and forgetting the past, for obvious reasons. Kathy hopes for good things as they go to Arizona. Like the entire cast getting lost Amelia Earhart style in a dust storm?
As Melissa and Joe pack for Arizona, Melissa whines that she wishes Joe had gotten them a private villa for her birthday, and not another uncomfortable vacation with the family. But she is hoping that the trip will heal old wounds and help her to trust Teresa again, or so she says. Joe says that he feels okay hanging out with Juicy, but is more wary about being with Teresa. Something in the Penny incident feels fishy to him, and if there's one thing he knows about it's fishy-feeling things.