Tuesday’s jaw-dropping finale of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was among the most memorable — and bleepable — of any Housewives season yet. Brimming with highlights — from Teresa‘s table flip (now a certifiable viral sensation) to Caroline‘s shocking admission of guilt in exposing the infamous book, Cop Without a Badge, the episode brought the drama and surprises in spades. On Thursday, Bravo re-aired the episode — this time with additional footage, commentary from the castmates (and their children), background and split-screens. After watching the extended scene, five things resonated:
Caroline’s Texting: When Danielle coolly placed the book on the table (pointed, like a weapon, at Dina and Caroline), the elder Manzo sister was busy tapping away on her phone. With whom was she conversing? We learned, on Thursday, that Caroline was chatting with her absent husband, Albert, assuring him that the dinner was going smoothly. Only, it wasn’t. Had Caroline’s husband been there, her son Albie assured viewers, none of the drama would have gone down.
The Drinking: Even before Danielle and her daughters filed in, Caroline admitted the spirits were flowing. “I have such a buzz on now, it ain’t even funny,” she said as she drank what appeared to be champagne, adding, “Whatever this is does the trick.” Even Dina, who says she usually nurses a glass of wine all evening long, told PEOPLE after the fact that she drank a several bellinis. After the heated dinner, the families filed out of the dining room and continued tippling, drinking champagne (paid for by Teresa’s husband Joe) in the lobby. Teresa, meanwhile, stewed that Danielle was still there, drinking on her hubby’s dime.
The Table Flip Redux: Certainly the buzziest moment of the episode, Teresa’s tirade plus her memorable insult “prostitution-whore,” was replayed multiple times — and from multiple perspectives — on the reconfigured episode. What didn’t change: Teresa’s righteous anger and unpredictable mouth. (Did you detect her railing about Danielle doing something unsavory at her “shore house?”) But at least we got an explanation. “I just got mad and I guess it’s an Italian thing,” the usually fun-loving Teresa said. “My father has flipped tables. My brother did it. I never did it. This was my first time doing it.” And apparently it was a turn-on for her husband. “When we were at home, we really got it on,” she admitted. Equally entertained, Caroline couldn’t help but laugh at the table-turnover. “I have a nervous laugh,” she explained.
Jacqueline vs. Dina — Again: The true rivalry seemed to be familial, as Jacqueline flat-out called her sister-in-law a liar at the table, claiming that Dina, not Caroline, was responsible for exposing Danielle’s past. “In the end I feel I good that I told the truth as I saw it,” Jacqueline said, unrepentant. “I just hope they can love and accept and respect me for the decisions I made.” (According to Dina, the family has since made up.) Even Teresa admitted that her pal, Dina, may not have been entirely blameless. “I think Dina could have been better but she didn’t want to go there,” Teresa said about Dina’s lack of self-defense. “I guess she didn’t want to deal with Danielle because she kept getting up and wanting to leave.”
Danielle Has the Final Word: In an eerie closing scene, Danielle and her daughters emerge from the restaurant and into the daylight. Lighting a cigarette and trembling, Danielle continued to rail against the ladies — especially Teresa, criticizing her old house and its “linoleum floors.” “Dina threatened me and look where it got her,” Danielle told her daughters, ending the rebooted episode with a threat after her daughter suggested she pick up some brass knuckles. Said Danielle: “I don’t need knuckle rings, sweetheart.”
We’ll see what happens at the reunion! The ladies reunite on Bravo on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET). — Brian Orloff
Tells us: What did you think of the repeated dinner scene? And which side are you on: Dina and Caroline’s? Or Danielle’s?Bravo