Joe says the main problem is that Teresa and Melissa are too similar for their own good. That similarity bred competition, even though Teresa won't admit to it. He says that, since the problem lies between the two women, they should step up and squash it. Especially as relates to the division it's brought on between the Gorga parents and Joe's kids. Instead of realizing she should stop being a brat (because that wouldn't be any fun!), Teresa circles back around to her original point that she won't act civilized unless Melissa does. You like how she did this? She's only acting like a child because Melissa is. If Melissa would stop (or eat shit), then things would be dandy. Never mind that Melissa's only acting the way she is because of Teresa's behavior. It's an echo chamber, and Teresa is totally and completely outside of the realm of responsibility in her own mind. You can't argue with crazy, people. She'll flip a table on your ass. Speaking of which, why is all the furniture still upright? This meet-up is a bust.
By the time Teresa asks how they can move forward, Joe says he's done talking. Teresa tries to convince him to reconcile for their sick father. Joe tells her to call Melissa and work things out with her and their mom. With that, they part ways.
The next night, Kathy and rich head over to some friends' house for (gasp) a non-Italian dinner. Joe and Melissa also show up because the hosts are the Gorga family's accountants and Joe built their house. As everyone sits down for dinner, Melissa brings up Joe and Teresa's meeting, so he gives the recap. Melissa claims she doesn't want to have a blame-filled shouting match with Teresa and would be happy to say what's done is done and move on. Then she tags on "...until you kick me in the head the next time."
Since that conversation is clearly going to go swimmingly, Melissa thinks she'll be able to bring up Kathy, too. Kathy explains that Teresa has insulted her family members several times, then argued that Kathy is too sensitive. She thinks Teresa lacks accountability but nevertheless tells Melissa that she can handle her conflict with Teresa herself.
Piqued by the shit-talking, the hostess brings up an incident in which Teresa was rude. Joe defends his sister, saying she's going through hard times lately. Kathy smugly interviews that Teresa's spending has caught up with her. As you'll recall, the purported start of the conflict between these two was Rich's insistence on chastising Teresa for her overspending. Still, Rich and Joe both insist they would have helped out Teresa if she'd asked. Melissa, too, claims she'd like to reach out to Teresa. When Joe suggests as much, though, Melissa says dubiously, "We'll see how it goes..." I'm not saying Teresa's all right in this situation, but she's definitely not all wrong. Melissa wouldn't know a truce if she had a white flag shoved up her ass. That girl is never going to let this fight die.
The next day, Caroline prepares for her radio debut. She is understandably nervous that no one will call or that she'll flub reading the commercials and introducing the traffic. Lauren and Albert, however, think she's going to do a great job.
Meanwhile, Teresa visits Jacqueline's house. Teresa gives her the rehash of her sit down with Joe and fills in some of the back-story on Teresa's distrust of Melissa. As she tells it, Melissa once said that she wasn't "stupid like her sisters," meaning that she found someone with money. Coupled with Joe and Melissa's short courtship, Teresa sees Melissa as a gold digger. As Melissa sees it, Teresa's far more materialistic and incapable of self-sufficiency than she is.
The phone rings. It's Juicy talking to Teresa about the widely reported auction of their things. Teresa insists it's not happening. Jacqueline joins the band wagon in saying that Teresa won't acknowledge her problems even though she's "in the middle of a shitstorm."
Teresa returns to their earlier conversation, telling Jacqueline that she's planning to meet with Melissa. She acknowledges that their feud has basically been a bunch of petty jabs at one another. Speaking of jabs, apparently Jacqueline once threw a punch at Caroline! Ha! Jacqueline admits this is a means of saying that family members can move past conflict and, in fact, flourish in their relationship. Jacqueline advises Teresa to invite Melissa somewhere neutral, so Teresa makes the call, and they set up a date.
That night, Jacqueline, Kathy, and Teresa tune in as Caroline begins her radio show on the topic of family feuds. After a brief stumble and some dead air, Caroline finally gets a caller. The calls soon start pouring in on everything from sibling rivalry to holiday diet tips. To this last question, Caroline tells a girl to "Rock those boobies!" The shot cuts between Teresa and Caroline as a woman calls in with a nearly identical problem to hers and Melissa's. Caroline emphasizes maintaining a civil relationship so that personal disagreements don't affect the entire family. She tells the caller (who truly does sound just like Melissa) to do what she has to do to resolve her problems. Teresa chimes in, "Easy for you to say, Caroline!" Glad to see both of the ladies are so genuinely enthusiastic about patching up things. This meeting is clearly going to be a booming success!
The next day, Kathy arrives at the Gorga home. Melissa gives some more background on her short-ship with Joe. She was 24 when she moved into Joe's bachelor pad. She knew immediately that the family wasn't super-keen on her, but she pawns it off to the fact that no girl would have been good enough for Joey Gorga's family. Melissa tells Kathy and a friend about her plan to go to Jacqueline's for her meeting with Teresa. Despite some initial misgivings, Kathy ultimately decides this is a good idea and that Jacqueline will be able to serve as a peacemaker and voice of reason. The friend tells Melissa to be strong and not to take any of Teresa's crap. Melissa assures her that she could "eat Teresa alive" if it came down to it.
Over at Jacqueline's, Caroline has arrived for a little pre-game chat and sip. She thinks Jacqueline is doing a good deed by offering her house for the powwow, since "public places don't work well" for the Gorga-Giudices. Caroline promises to make herself scarce before Teresa and Melissa actually have their conversation. As they talk, Teresa arrives. Caroline congratulates her on taking this step. Teresa interviews that Jacqueline and Caroline aren't meant to be substitutes for her family "...just sometimes friends are better than family." As such, Teresa excitedly invites the Manzos and Lauritas (minus the rug rats) for a getaway weekend in the Catskills. She insists she would have loved to have invited Joe and Melissa but doesn't think the timing's good since they're still working out their differences.
Caroline asks Teresa what her plan is for the conversation and, what's more, for the holidays. She counsels Teresa to "put [her] big girl panties on" and be the bigger person -- not for herself, but for her parents and children. She promises she'll find a sense of peace when her family is reunited.
Caroline leaves, and Jacqueline gets increasingly nervous. Teresa, on the other hand, is "calm and cool as a whistle." Whatever that means. Jacqueline says she's going to stay out of the room while Teresa and Melissa are talking and only come in if things get out of hand. Then, Jacqueline jokes, she'll bring in cookies. As long as they're not the dreaded sprinkle cookies!
Melissa pulls up. Jacqueline welcomes her into the house, then makes herself scarce. After a few tense moments, Teresa starts the negotiation. She says she wants to make things better for their children and her parents. Teresa insists family is the most important thing. Melissa calls bullshit, saying it's never been about family for Teresa and that she wonders if they'll ever be able to put their problems aside. Teresa looks at her like she has no idea what she's talking about. Which kind of proves her point, no?
Next week: The confrontati