The episode begins with Teresa and Melissa going at it at Danielle's mozzarella party. They are fighting about the seating arrangements at the engagement party. When Melissa tells Teresa that she is fine not being in Teresa’s wedding, Teresa does a 180 and says, “I would love for you to be a bridesmaid at my wedding.” But Melissa knows this is a trap. If she says no, Teresa can say, “Well, I asked her and she said ‘no.’” If she said yes, she would have to do whatever bridezilla wants until the wedding so she doesn’t get booted, which is really what Teresa wants. Then Teresa can kick her out and say, “I asked her, but then she was being totally unreasonable”, or worse. Melissa says she's good not being in the wedding, and they hug it out.
But regardless, this pretty much sets the tone for the entire episode, if not God forbid, the entire season. The Gorga siblings have a serious case of the "shouldas." Teresa: “You should have welcomed and defended Louie more. Joe: “You should have had us sit next to each other at your engagement party.” Teresa: “You should have kept quiet about me on your podcast and on social media.” Joe: “You should have invited Melissa’s family to your wedding.” Teresa: “You should have never gone onto my show behind my back." Joe: “You should have welcomed your only brutha so we could ALL share the wealth.”
Frank wants to invite Deloris' new BF Paulie to “guys’ night”, but he doesn't have his number, so he asks Dolores to invite Paulie for him. When all three of them end up together at Dolores' house, Paul says, “You shouldn’t ask a woman to do a man’s job.” Whoa, in Jersey them is some fightin' words. Would it have been better if Frank asked Paul himself? Yes, but this thruple is going through an adjustment period, and let's be honest; Dolores needs a story line. Frank tells Dolores that he wants to get close with Paulie so that Paulie will see he’s not a threat. He wants to explain that things are different now; he has a girlfriend, and she has a boyfriend.
As Teresa and Gia rag on the Gorgas, Louie and second oldest dorter Gabriella enter the room and join in on the conversation. By the way, it's hard to believe it was only last year when we met Louie, Teresa's then boyfriend who was allegedly apprehensive about filming. But what a difference a year makes, because this year's Louie is out, loud, and proud. Then we have Gabriella, finally dispeling the rumors that she's a deaf mute. They all think that Melissa and Joe are lying about something, although exactly what that is, we're not sure. The mystery is solved when Gia and Gabriella claim that the only time they saw their dear auntie and uncle (when Tre was away at camp) was when cameras were rolling. The revelation brings Teresa to tears as this season's campaign to destroy the Gorgas continues.
Not to be upstaged by two stepdorters, Louis says that he thinks Melissa and Joe are working together to try to hurt Teresa. See, this is the problem right here: Teresa’s man and her dorters are always telling her that she’s right. In fact, for the better part of a decade, everyone on the show has been kissing Teresa's ass because they they have to stay on her good side to stay employed. Teresa has tried to cut out everyone who has ever challenged her, and at least at this point, it's looking like Teresa might have finally won the battle against Melissa and Joe.
Blonde Danielle wants to start a childrens clothing line (why else join the show?) tentatively called Boujie Kidz, and looks to Melissa for some tips. Seems to me that Margaret would have been the more logical choice, but whatever. They meet at some designer warehouse in NYC, but instead of picking Melissa's brain for her acute business acumen, (did I really just write that?), Danielle dumps on Melissa her own fambly squabbles. Danielle and her mother are not talking to her brother because he was making fun of her Instagram account. So she blocked him, and then out of retaliation, he disinvited her from his wedding. Mind you this was two years ago, and they’re not over it.
Just like Melissa, I call bullshit on this. The reason can’t be because she blocked him on Instagram. Danielle then opens up and tells some story about how she wanted to help her sister-in-law with her wedding and she somehow made it all about herself. Like Teresa, Danielle blames the sister-in-law. I hope that Danielle’s SIL is attractive, lives in New Jersey, has the trappings of wealth, and is between the ages of 35 and 50, because we need her on next season, along with her husband so that we can witness some Italian trauma in a different family for a while.
In a scene that seems oddly misplaced, we're suddenly at the Gorgas Jersey Shore home. They're having Melissa’s mom, Donna, and her sister, Lysa over for dinner. Right on cue, Melissa asks them if they got an invite to Teresa’s wedding, which they have not. As the shit begins to hit the fan, Melissa asks the kids to leave the table so they can talk. Becoming visibly enraged, Joe remembers that Melissa’s mom was there for his parents, but aside from that, I think most viewers would agree that Joe's inlaws should have been invited. Getting himself even more worked up, Joe then begins to focus on Louie, who he believes is getting into his sister's ear, of course Joe wouldn't be wrong.
The main event of the episode happens at boys’ night, a classic RHONJ Italian sausage-fest where they all sit around, drink too much, and bust each utha's bawls. All the big lugs are present and accounted for including the newbies, Rachel’s husband John, Blonde Danielle's hubby Nate, and recently demoted, hot Evan. Paulie is the only one who couldn't make it because he "had to work", which the guys call bullshit on. John shows up with adult diapers and Pepto for all. Now that's a dude's dude. Louie is the last person to arrive, just as Joe is calling him a “piece of shit.”
For Louie’s part, he handles himself admirably. No matter how much lil' Tarzan Joe threatens him, calls him names, or bangs on the table, Louie defends Teresa without raising his voice. When Joe talks about how hurt he is, Louie says that Teresa is hurting too. In the words of the late Karen Carpenter, can't they stop hurting each other? Louie tells Joe what both he and Teresa need to hear: They need to sit down and figure it out. Gee, maybe that weird anger mgmt. retreat did Louis some good after all. Joe says he doesn’t want to because he doesn’t want to get hurt again. I bet Teresa feels the same way. But Joe is also right in that Teresa can’t move on from anything. She can’t get over the way her relationship with Joe changed when Melissa came around. She can’t get over the sprinkle cookies. She can’t get over the christening brawl. She can’t get over them even being on this show and Melissa lying about how she got there.