October 18, 2015 09:35 PM

With Teresa Giudice serving a federal prison sentence for most of the year, her brother, Joe Gorga, and his wife, Melissa, are stepping up in ways that she can’t.

Sunday’s episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In, the second in a three-part special, showed the Gorgas being there for the Giudices, despite the family’s sometimes turbulent history.

At one point in the episode, Melissa took her daughters out with Teresa’s girls for a spa day, where she checked in with each of them to see how they have handled their mom’s absence (while Milania snuck out spa supplies).

Noting how close Milania is with her daughter Antonia, Melissa said she would do everything she could to make sure they could continue to spend time together.

“That’s what’s really important right now,” she said, “Let’s make the memories.”

Meanwhile, Joe took Teresa’s husband Joe out for a guy’s day out – at the gym.

The two talked about how Joe Giudice is surviving sexually in his wife’s absence, how Joe Giudice needs to bulk up in preparation for his own prison sentence and how Joe Gorga can’t resist teasing his brother-in-law.

As Joe Gorga told the camera, “He loves me, I love him. He hates me, I hate him.”

(Joe Giudice had his own perspective, telling the camera of his brother-in-law, “He’s alright. He likes to talk a little smack on TV.”)

Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice (seated, left to right) Joe Gorga and Joe Giudice (standing)
Getty

What mattered most was Teresa and the girls. All together for what would be one last Fourth of July at the family house on the Jersey Shore, Joe Gorga told Gia, his niece and goddaughter, to call him if she ever needed advice or help with her boyfriends.

Joe Gorga also revealed in the episode that he had finally been approved to visit his sister, after a six-month application process that he said he started as soon as she went behind bars.

Melissa, however, had not been approved.

But she said she’s been sending Teresa letters, though she’s received no response, and she had hoped to be added to Teresa’s email chain but it “was full.”

(Teresa is allowed 300 phone minutes a month and unlimited email, but no Internet.)

“It’s fine,” Melissa said to the camera, of her messages to Teresa. “I let her know that I’m praying for her.”

The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In airs Sundays at 8 p.m. (ET) on Bravo.

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