It was around 7:45 PM, nine hours into the nearly 13-hour Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion shoot, that a peculiar sense of tension and unease settled into the room at the Borgata Hotel and Casino. Since the shoot began around 11 AM, screaming and all-out verbal war had been taking place. But now for some reason, there was a creepy buzz in the room ... one that you could feel in your gut and on your armhairs.
Yelling. There was so much of it. Tears flowed. Finger-pointing. Insults. Physical appearances, dress choices, literacy levels, parenting style, children's employment history and family members were mocked.
If you read any of the Tweets from the 'Wives or Andy Cohen this weekend (Sayeth Andy: "OMFG THIS REUNION IS EPIC!!!"), you got the sense that this particular taping was different. It's that way because all of the women had not been in the same room together since the major drama that will unfold in the season's final two episodes. Jacqueline Laurita opted out of last season's reunion -- which shot the day after the big incident -- and since then, none have had any contact with Teresa Giudice. That includes her brother Joe and his wife Melissa Gorga.
Without giving anything away, it's safe to say that this reunion is one for the ages. Jacqueline took to Twitter to tell her fans that she had to pop a Xanax in between takes because she was getting so riled up.
It's not as though there weren't poignant or funny moments. Montages of the Manzo boys doing there thing or other RHONJ kids will melt your heart. There was a pretty frank discussion about Joe Giudice's phone call, and he sat by Teresa's side hand-in-hand openly fielding questions about it. And yes, Andy even did his trademark shoe contest, which we'll reveal closer to the actual reunion.
As for the aforementioned 7:45 turning point of the night -- that's when the husbands took the stage. (Kathy Wakile sent us the pic to the right of Rich Wakile, Chris Laurita and Joe Gorga in the moments before coming on set) Anyone who watches the show could predict that Joe Gorga and Joe Giudice would likely butt heads. It's just kind of what they do. Well, they did. It wasn't pretty, but as you've seen in the past on Jersey, even when there's massive blowouts that cause major rifts, the old adage of "family is the most important thing" tends to sway things back to a better place. Here's hoping that can happen.
To quote Melissa's Twitter once again, because it perfectly sums up this impending reunion: "It's like nothing you've ever seen before."
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, podcast, and, oh, so much more. Join our Facebook group and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses.