So, another week of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey," another week of awkward New Age bonding. This week, we get tightrope walking and Zennis, which appears to be a desperate attempt to spin whacking a ball at another person a way into a path to spiritual connection. Unfortunately, when Melissa and Teresa play Zennis, it's more like an attempt to connect ball with skull, or, when a brain injury is outside of their skill set, to win at any cost. Teresa, it turns out, is a sore loser, but we knew that. 

As we might have guessed, all this huggy-kissing crap has started to make our poor New Jersey crew a little weird. Teresa gives Melissa a pair of panties with a peace sign on them, which is just as awkward as you might expect. It's one step removed from, hey, here's this condom and a package of Preparation H! But I wrote "You're cool" on the outside in Sharpie! They were in my luggage! Don't hate! The good news is that this weird gift inspires Melissa to do a most excellent imitation of Teresa in the interview room, and for that I am grateful. 

Then, the oversharing continues as Rosie whines to Kathy that she wants a woman just like Rich, and that she has to tell herself she's great every single day because no one else will, after which she throws some bottled water. Kathy, who is really ready to go home, turns to her  sister and asks, "Want to do a shot of tequila?"

"Before tennis?" Rosie asks. Yes, before tennis, and possibly every hour until she gets on a flight back home. Kathy may bottle up her emotions, but all of this ridiculous bonding crap is not suddenly going to inspire her to vomit up every thought she's had over the last thirty years. 

Then, Al tries to justify being abused by his father by telling Caroline he took the "best of it" and applied it to parenting his own kids, whom he barely knows because he's always working. Maybe he just sprinkled a little bit of abuse into their morning cereal or something. Caroline nods, because of course this makes all kinds of sense, and Caroline is all-knowing. 

While the women smack tennis balls at one another during Zennis, the guys bond, swim, and price out strippers. No wonder men have bromances and women have, I don't know, "Sex and the City" reruns.

After Zennis, everyone gets to bond by putting on harnesses, climbing up really tall poles, and balancing against one another. I'm sure the producers thought this would be really interesting, but it isn't. 

Finally, at Melissa's birthday dinner (to which she wears a Christmas tinsel romper, which can probably be recycled to decorate packages), there's lots of drinking and sharing and stuff. Joe Giudice is having so much fun he tells stories about his dad's crooked penis! And then, Melissa toasts Kathy, Rich, the two Joes, Rosie… and no one else. Jacqueline, Caroline and Teresa can suck it, apparently. 

Then, Caroline, who figures she traveled awfully far for stupid New Age crap, insists everyone stop bonding and start yelling. She ain't leaving until everyone gets it all out! And what is it? Well, that stupid rumor Penny circulated about Melissa having an affair, and whether or not Teresa was involved. Teresa denies, denies, denise and Joe threatens to forgive if only she'd just confess, and then there's glass breaking and screaming and it's just like the old "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" before all the New Age garbage made it not fun anymore! 

I'm not sure how we get to this, as there's so much screaming and bleeping, but at some point the two Joes are shaking paws and Kathy is yelling for Joe and Teresa to confront Penny and finally, Teresa is saying she is open to taking down the rumor mongers with Joe as a united front, as if they're crime fighters and will be wearing matching capes (which I would LOVE to see). Teresa makes her brother promise that there will not be physical violence, which I suspect is her way of telling him not to beat the snot out of her once she's outed as a lying liar who lies. 

I'm not sure if Joe Gorga is going to get the catharsis he's hoping for when he and Teresa confront Penny, as I'm pretty sure Teresa will have one hell of a time sticking to her "I'm just an innocent bystander! Who nods and asks questions and… oops, is that not so innocent?" story. Melissa says she's moved on and doesn't care anymore, but I think she's just waiting for the right moment to punch Teresa when no one's looking, and I'm not sure if there's even a show if Joe,  Melissa and Teresa stop fighting anyway. But next week should be explosive, if nothing else -- and there won't be any Zennis courts for purging the hate, either. 

 

Do you think Penny will tattle on Teresa? Do you think Melissa has forgiven? Do you think this trip to Arizona was helpful or just a chance to clean horse hooves?