'Real Housewives of New Jersey' Reunion, Part 1: What Did You Think?

The gloves are off! The Jersey girls gang up on Teresa Giudice in the explosive first half of the season 3 reunion

At one point during part 1 of the scathingly hostile season 3 reunion show for The Real Housewives of New Jersey (which aired Sunday night on Bravo), Caroline Manzo sighed and said, "You know what? I feel like I'm getting dumber as the minutes go on. I am in a whirlwind of stupid." The comment was typical for the evening as a whole, as the feuding Housewives -- Kathy Wakile, Melissa Gorga, Teresa Giudice and Manzo -- repeatedly called one another variations on the word "stupid," while occasionally switching to variations on the word "liar."

The absence of Jacqueline Laurita -- due to an incident while filming season 4 the night before the taping -- was explained early in the episode. Based on Laurita's tweets, we know that she quit the show over someone getting set up for an on-camera embarrassment, and that it was done in an unscrupulous fashion. Presumably we'll learn the details of the trouble during season 4, though word is that it involves Bravo outing Gorga as having worked as a bartender at a strip club -- and Giudice's involvement in the revelation.

Needless to say, this created some ill will towards Giudice as the women began the reunion show. This crew tends to gang up on one mean-spirited member at a time, and without Danielle Staub, the target was definitely Giudice. To be fair, Giudice seemed to relish the limelight that the villainous role brought.

The bickering ranged from small stuff (Giudice accusing Gorga of stealing her hairdresser) to larger issues of integrity and character (Manzo accusing Giudice of refusing to forgive her brother). 

Even moderator Andy Cohen seemed to participate in piling on Giudice, peppering her with questions about her husband's bankruptcy. He asked how she could give such lavish Christmas gifts to her children while undergoing such financial stress. ("Hon, a Mercedes truck is $200," she replied. "Gia was asking me for an iPhone. I'm like, 'You're not getting that.' She got an iPod touch." Everything's relative, right?)

When Cohen pointed out that the latest measures Joe Giudice took to fend off bankruptcy also kept the couple out of jail, Giudice denied it. "We're not afraid of work, and it will get paid," Giudice said. But Cohen soldiered on with the tough questions, touching on more of Giudice's husband's legal troubles. With each vague response, Giudice seemed to grow more agitated.

"Relax," Caroline told her.

"I am relaxed," Giudice replied. "I'm calm and cool like a whistle." (For future reference, Teresa, the expression you were reaching for was "cool as a cucumber" and not "clean as a whistle.")

Based on the previews, part 2 of the reunion show should be no less contentious. For one thing, we'll learn about the alleged rift between Manzo and her sister Dina. Ten bucks says Giudice had something to do with it.

Patt 2 of The Real Housewives of New Jersey season 3 reunion airs Sunday, Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on Bravo.

WATCH: How Well Do The Real Housewives of New Jersey Ladies Know Their Show?

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