‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Season Finale Recap: Did Teresa Giudice Unleash Stripper-Gate?

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Friendships end and sibling rivalries reignite on Sunday’s season finale of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey

Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t watched Sunday’s episode, “Strip Down Memory Lane.”

It isn’t truly a RHONJ send off without a blowup at the annual Posche fashion show. Teresa Giudice was put on the defensive over claims she and Kim D. used shady Angelo to set up Melissa Gorga.

On the previous episode, Kim D. took Tre to a salon where she met Angelo. Teresa appeared shocked when Angelo told her that her sister-in-law once worked for him as a stripper. But was Teresa really all that surprised?

After Angelo approached their table, Tre pulled Melissa aside and informed her of what Angelo was saying about her. Melissa denied having stripped for him, claiming she had been a bartender at his bikini bar for about a week.

When Tre kept reiterating what Angelo said, Melissa grew annoyed. Tre started to spin out of control when Melissa threatened to call her husband and Tre’s little brother, Joe Gorga. Tre said she didn’t want her brother to come there and get into trouble, but was that really the reason she was starting to panic?

While the sister-in-laws were conversing, Angelo mentioned to a partygoer that Housewife wannabe Kim D and Teresa had staged a set up. They wanted to embarrass Melissa at the show!

Back at the table, Teresa’s former bestie Jacqueline Laurita was receiving play-by-play texts, alleging that Tre and Kim D. were trying to take Melissa down. Of course Jac shared these scandalous tidbits with Caroline and Lauren Manzo, while a clueless Kathy Wakile munched on her salad!

Realizing her brother was likely on his way, Tre went to find Angelo. Was she going to confront him for “talking about my family,” or to warn her accomplice that the jig was up?

Teresa didn’t get the chance to warn/confront Angelo, because the sleazebag had already bolted. Meanwhile, Caroline clued Melissa in on the texts Jac had been receiving.

Kim D grinned like the Chesire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, while the havoc she created unfolded. When she stopped by the table to feign concern for Melissa, none of the ladies were buying this particular brand of merchandise the tacky boutique owner was trying to hawk.

Tensions elevated when Joe and Richie Wakile arrived to confront Angelo. The women tried to convince Joe to let it go, but the hot-tempered hottie was spoiling for a fight. He found one when Kim D. showed up. Joe ripped into her, snapping for her to “Go sniff another line!” Kim D. shot back that she “played with the big boys”. OK…

Later, Jacqueline revealed to Joe and Melissa that her friend had texted her saying Tre was behind it all. Tre saw Jac talking to her relatives and wanted to know what she said to them.

After Teresa accused Jac of trying to set her up, Mrs. Laurita finally realized her friendship with the table flipper was truly over. Attempting to do damage control, Teresa went over to Joe and Melissa’s SUV, where her baby brother told her exactly what he thought of her. So much for family togetherness!

Buzz Moments

OMG!: Jacqueline finally realized her friendship with Teresa wasn’t what it used to be.

Thank you, TV gods.: Nobody threw a drink, hair wasn’t pulled and a fist fight didn’t break out.

Awk-ward: Joe trashing Teresa in the middle of the streets. I get he’s angry, but that was beyond uncomfortable with everyone outside watching on.

Hotness: Joe and Richie riding to Melissa’s defense. Nothing hotter than a man defending his lady’s honor.

Fab-u-lous: Even with the craziness going on, the housewives still looked glam.

Can. Not. Wait.: The first part of the reunion special. The entire thing looks juicy!

Celebuzz Meter (1-10): 9

Did Teresa set out to ambush Melissa? Was Jacqueline causing drama?  Tell us in the comments.

– Jillian Bowe