RHONJ Premiere Recap: Teresa Brings Up Rumors About John Leading to Confrontation as Rachel Throws a Surprise Party for Jen Fessler, Plus Melissa and Teresa Prep to Send Daughters to College as Margaret Opens Up About Her Grief

by Julia Comments
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RHONJ Premiere Recap: Teresa Brings Up Rumors About John Leading to Confrontation as Rachel Throws a Surprise Party for Jen Fessler, Plus Melissa and Teresa Prep to Send Daughters to College as Margaret Opens Up About Her Grief

You know it’s gonna be a SEASON of the Real Housewives of New Jersey when the opening scene is at a restaurant with broken glass on the floor and ominous music playing.

It’s almost a flashback to the golden days of table flipping! Fractured friendships. Threats. One-liners (I see you, Rachel, calling Teresa “hot dog lip mouth”). This episode starts three months before the sit-down mentioned in the opening when the drama is simply simmering, and the group is forced to get together for Jen Fessler’s surprise party.

Rachel is busy momming and running that household. Her parents are now an hour and a half away, so she hosts her family a few times a month to be sure to keep the bond strong. Rachel explains that her daughter has a tongue tie and some speech issues, so she has been doing her best to get her back on track, all while trying to plan Jen Fessler’s upcoming surprise party. She has invited Teresa and Jennifer (despite their history) because the party is for Jen, but she has yet to hear an RSVP from either of them. 

Melissa is thrilled to be in her new home, but now she has a new project: helping her daughter pack up for college. (Love that Antonia is attending my alma mater the University of Delaware.) This is actually Joe’s second time moving someone into college… a few years back, he helped move Gia into her dorm, but this seems like a foreign concept now that he has cut Teresa out of his life.

Regarding Jen’s birthday party, Melissa really wants to attend, but she wonders how it’ll be having Teresa in her presence. Joe talks a good tough guy game about how he essentially can’t wait to ignore her, while Melissa refuses to answer any questions about Teresa in her confessionals this year. 

Much like her estranged SIL, Teresa is also preparing to send her *dorter* to college. Gabriella is off to the University of Michigan, and unlike Antonia, she is packed and ready to GTFO of this Brady Bunch house Teresa and Luis have created, or so it seems. Over a family dinner, Teresa whips out her wedding album, and we get treated to that hairdo one last time. Teresa feels like Luis is her soulmate and believes that she went through everything just so she could meet him. As they approach their one-year anniversary, it seems like time truly flew for them.

So, Jen Fessler is the new Taylor Swift…?? Watching her “play” her guitar is truly something special. Luckily, Margaret comes over to interrupt the strumming and she brings Jen a present for turning 55 — a heart-shaped vibrator. Perfect. Margaret explains that lately she isn’t herself, and she really hasn’t had a chance to sit in her feelings. Margaret laments that since life has continued after Jan passed away, she truly hasn’t worried about herself, and so the grieving process has just kicked in for her.

We also learn that Margaret is responsible for getting Jen to her surprise under the guise of a dinner date. As the topic of Luis and Teresa gets discussed, Margaret reminds Jen that they are dead to her after threatening her child. When Jen suggests she talk to Teresa about it, Margaret refuses, as she doesn’t even want them uttering her name. Margaret shuts down any more Teresa talk and refuses to allow their negativity to infiltrate their lives.

Dolores and Paulie are double-dating with Teresa and Luis… We learn that Paul gets “violently sick” from eating Italian food, which is a hard thing for Dolores to wrap her mind around. Luis jokingly asks when he will propose to Dolores, but Paul lets us all know that he needs to get divorced first. Teresa reminds us that she met Luis when she was not divorced, and it’s okay for Paul and Dolores to “beat at their own drum.”

Teresa shares that they will attend Jen Fessler’s party and that Luis even tried to make things right with John Fuda before the event. However, John preferred to discuss their issues at the party, which makes Paul raise his eyebrows. After all, in his mind, this private convo should be had without an audience.

Teresa rattles off the guest list, and it seems like she is p*ssed off at more people than she likes. She goes on to tell Dolores and Paul that, apparently, “they all” met at Margaret’s house before the reunion in New York to make a plan about Luis. After New York, Frank spilled and told Luis there was a plan in place to take him down. Further, it has been rumored that Jen Fessler said, “You guys didn’t execute the plan correctly,” confirming what Frank said. Dolores suggests that Teresa ask what went down, but she also admits that with this group, it’s tit for tat.

It’s the day of Jen’s surprise party, and everything is set in place. Jennifer Aydin and Teresa carpool sans husbands. Bill’s in Florida and…. Luis is in Florida for “business.” So much for the meet-up to clear the air with John Fuda. Speaking of John Fuda, there are rumors circulating (and brought up on TV thanks to Teresa) about him being a past drug dealer, and that he likes a “two-sided purple di*do.”  Apparently, John’s baby mama is the one creating these rumors, but Jennifer and Teresa are practically salivating knowing that they have this on him.

We learn that despite the differences they went through last year, Danielle and Rachel have formed a friendship. Another life update is that Frank just bought a house around the corner from Melissa. It’s likely Frank and his girlfriend will be married soon, as opposed to Dolores and Paul — the guy who has been separated from his wife for 10 years. Just pull the trigger and divorce already. Sheesh.

When Teresa enters the party, Joe’s whole vibe changes (no more macho guy), and Margaret practically runs the other direction back into Melissa’s arms. Jen makes it to her party, and she is legit surprised by the amount of people. She cannot wait to get #messyfessy (ya’ll saw that part of the décor, right?!), and the men gather ’round in only the way the men from RHONJ do.

As they start to tease Paul about his buddy Luis’s absence from the party, things begin to turn. The joking about Luis, the “billionaire,” being very busy, escalates. Paul lets John know that, in his opinion, a party is not the place to have a conversation to clear the air. John ponders why he should give Luis the respect he wants when Luis is giving him zero. He points out that it seems like Paul is on Luis’s side, and Joe jumps in, wondering if Paul would back Luis up, despite all the sh*t he has done, including hiring a private investigator.

The guys start raising their voices, and Paul and John go head to head — until Dolores steps in to separate them before they go too far. John is p*ssed off that Paul told him to STFU, but TBH, John really did need to zip it.

On her way out, Teresa lets Rachel know that her husband went after her husband, questioning why John refused to privately meet with Luis before the party. Teresa refers to Luis as a “gentleman,” to which Rachel scoffs, causing Teresa to delve into her arsenal. She throws John (allegedly) being the biggest drug dealer in Bergen County into Rachel’s face, but Rachel remains cool and calm. 

Teresa, on the other hand, passes John and refers to him as a double-sided di*do. Rachel pulls Teresa back so that she can tell everything she was just saying about John to his face. Teresa double-downs and starts going at it with John, so much so that he can’t get a word in edgewise. He calls Teresa a has-been before getting separated from her. This is all going down as Jen Fessler is making her birthday speech, btw. And I think she summarizes how we all felt this episode: “I’m having the best time regardless of the bloodshed.” Let the toxic season ensue.

Tell us your thoughts on the premiere of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.