And that’s all she wrote, folks. Last night, we sent the ladies (and I use that term loosely) of Real Housewives of New Jersey off into the New Jersey Turnpike sunset, mewling and sneering and gnashing their teeth the entire way. Well, until that end that is. At the end there were hugs, and then a little extra gnashing for good measure.

Word is that the next season of this trainwreck of a show is set to start filming soon (yes, already), but before we see them come around again, it’s time to figure out what, if anything, we were able to learn from our Garden State girls during this debacle of a season. Since it’s more or less impossible to “recap” five four people yelling at each other with no narrative arc or plot, we’ll be breaking things down a little differently this time.

“Nephew” is apparently a euphemism for “bastard child of your husband and his mistress.” Word on the street that Danielle’s reference to Teresa not acknowledging her “nephew” during the first part of the reunion was actually her way of calling out the open secret of Juicy Joe’s affair and child with some other Jerseyite. It’s really too bad, because apparently the child is the boy that Joe always wanted, but his illegitimacy means that he will never be able to inherent the throne of King Juicy or take up residency in the conference center that Joe and Teresa call a house.

Danielle finally got her weave game locked up. Also, she has a new Chanel bag. Finally. That black one we saw all season was getting a little ratty.

Teresa is strong like ox. This reunion was probably humiliating for Andy Cohen in a lot of ways, but getting thrown into a chair by a stiletto-wearing mom of four approximately nine minutes in to the two-parter had to be at the top of the list of reasons.

Danielle doesn’t live in objective reality. It was offensive when Teresa’s husband said “gaylord,” but it wasn’t offensive when Danny The Ex-Con said “f****t.” Teresa has to take responsibility for a third party’s words, but Danielle can’t be held responsible for what her friend said on camera. Danielle didn’t respond to a tweeted wish that Jacqueline’s daughter killed herself, despite the fact that Jacqueline had verifiable proof with her (there’s an app for that). Her sex tape? Of course it wasn’t filmed by a third party or ever intended to be released. In Danielle’s world, the grass is blue and cows say oink.

Jacqueline has no sense of relevancy. Throughout the entire reunion, if the other housewives were talking about something amongst themselves and she hadn’t gotten to say anything in a while, Jacqueline would come completely out of left field with some comment about text messages or Danielle’s kids crying at school or her thoughts on deficit spending and the credit crisis and all of her cast mates would fall silent for a second while their brain gears creaked and shivered into their next position in order to figure out how Jacqueline’s comments related to what they had been talking about and whether or not they should respond. She also forces me to write run-on sentences that would make my 12th grade AP English teacher cry.

Andy Cohen runs like a girl. Self-explanatory. If any of you are graphically inclined, I’d like to have a GIF of his cross-stage scamper. Please and thank you.

Danielle travels with extra weave. Andy Cohen was fascinated by the weave-attachment mechanism, and then he was nearly unable to wrench the extensions from the fake head. Yes, she also travels with a fake head. In a bag. I wonder if Andy Cohen ever thought his career would go this way when he was in broadcasting school.

Kim G. had some work done in anticipation of her return to reality television. She looked good! It was good work! She should refer Danielle to her surgeon. To return the favor, maybe Danielle can refer Kim G. to her weavologist.

Caroline does a pretty good Atticus Finch impression. She was a lawyer in another life, possibly. She shut down Kim G. when Kim complained about how she had been seated at the Brownstone, and in perhaps the first such admission in Housewives history, Kim admitted she was right and that Caroline didn’t actually do anything wrong. I may have shouted “PREACH!” at the television while Caroline was doing this.

Danielle might have a soul after all. It’s just two sizes too small. Jacqueline has one too, now that I mention it. Toward the end, Jacqueline seemed to have a Come To Jesus moment and copped to saying inappropriate things about Danielle and participating in the drama when she shouldn’t have, and Danielle tearfully admitted that she spread false information and lied about Jacqueline because she was angry and hurt. She even apologized. Repeated viewings of Criminal Minds tell me that sociopaths can often skillfully mimic emotions, but I want to believe that Danielle was being genuine. Maybe I just want to believe that any of these people are indeed capable of a full range of emotions, including ones that aren’t some sort of subcategory of “rage.” And no, Teresa, “compulsive shopping” doesn’t qualify as an emotion.

Caroline, however, didn’t buy it. Danielle hugged Jacqueline and Teresa and shook Caroline’s hand and apologized to all three, but Caroline called shenanigans on the entire thing and did some more yelling, just for good measure. She’s probably wise to be dubious, but I was willing to suspend disbelief until at least the end of the episode in order to have a happy ending. Even a fake one. At this point in the Real Housewives oeuvre, I’m willing to settle for fake.

Andy Cohen LIED to us. What I’m not willing to settle for, however, is an unfulfilled promise that someone will quit the show. Worry not, though, because I was on my computer at 1:18 in the morning (blogging is hard) when Andy decided to let us all know via Twitter – it’s Danielle. Her appearance on the reunion will be her last appearance as a housewife, confirming the rumors we’d been hearing for quite a while. So maybe when she whispered sweet nothings in Jacqueline’s ear about how the drama was over, she meant it. Or maybe she got fired. You decide which one is more likely.

I don’t know if Danielle’s dismissal was left out of the show because of an accident of editing or if they had always intended to release the information in the middle of the night so that only the people who watched the show on a DVR delay after the end of the Boise State/Virginia Tech football game (guilty as charged) would see it, but we have our answer, and now it’s time for us to all pretend like none of this ever happened. And if it did, we certainly didn’t spend hours watching it and discussing it.

Thanks for joining me this season, and make sure to check back next Tuesday for the beginning of our Gossip Girl recaps for the season and, of course, Fridays for Real Housewives of DC.

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