Because Andy Cohen owes a favor to the guy who runs this resort, the gang is in Arizona for another episode of cleansing and healing in the Arizona sun. Poor birthday girl Melissa didn’t sign up for this; she begs Joe for poolside cocktails when he tells her they’re going on a special horseback riding exercise. Love and light, girl.

Turns out, they’re not riding the horses. You can see Melissa dying inside. It’s a horse therapy exercise with a gruff cowboy named Wyatt, who isn’t taking nonsense from anyone. He explains that horses can pick up on your energy and authenticity (your genuine nature as a person). The goal of the exercise is to get the horse to trust you enough to let you clean out its hoof.

Hope you’re interested by this concept because it’s virtually the only thing that happens in this episode. Chris goes first with no hitches, confirming what we all knew – he’s a really good guy. Rosie volunteers to go next, and Wyatt right off the bat asks her what she thinks is the worst think that could happen.

Rosie says that she has anxiety problems, and that if the horse doesn’t lift his hoof, it’s another validation that she’s not “good enough.” She says that she’s been very alone lately, while everyone else has their spouses and families and has been feeling that maybe she actually isn’t worthy of happiness.

Melissa can’t pull anything with Wyatt. She doesn’t want to be there and doesn’t believe in the exercise. Therefore, the horse doesn’t work with her. He calls her out on it, and tells her to pick someone to help her. Joe can’t get the horse to lift the hoof either, and calls on Teresa for help.

Teresa tries for about five seconds and squeals that she’s scared. All three fail. Yikes. What does that say about authenticity here?

When Richie, who has been cracking jokes the whole time, can’t get the horse to comply, he thinks the logical step here is to scream at the horse. Poor thing. Kathy chimes in that usually she’s the one getting yelled at in the horse’s place, which pisses Wyatt off – he really likes Kathy. I would definitely watch a spinoff about Kathy and Wyatt running off together.

Kathy is instantly able to get the horse to trust her after taking over for her husband, but has such low self-esteem that she can’t even celebrate that little victory. This makes Wyatt sad.

But the two biggest revelations of the exercise come from the men least expected: Joe Giudice and Al. Wyatt asks Joe what scares him, and he truthfully answers about his legal troubles. Though he doesn’t get into all of the details, it’s the most he’s ever discussed it onscreen, and from the looks of it, in front of his friends and family. His honesty instantly gets the horse to trust him.

When it comes to Al, Wyatt looks him deep in the eyes and tells him he feels a “kinship.” Then he asks him something personal: was he ever emotionally abused as a child? Al says yes and breaks down crying. It’s something he has come to terms with, but he doesn’t talk about often. Of course that horse trusts him.

After that emotional day, they bid Wyatt goodbye and go get their drink on. There’s a beautiful Native American drumming ceremony, where afterward Kathy announces that she’s going to stand up for herself more but nobody pays attention to her.

Jacqueline and Teresa continue the spirit of renewal by sitting on their patio and having a little sage ceremony of their own. Jac asks her about the karma comments from the day before – as in “I’m careful about what I do because I don’t want the karma to come back to my kids.” Teresa assures her that she was not talking about Nicolas, just about herself.

Though she’s still wary about the friendship, it looks like Jac and Teresa are moving forward. She even lets Teresa jokingly “clean” the bottom of her sandal.

As Chris said “it’s easier to have friends than enemies.”


Grade: C

Stray Observations:

- I see what you’re doing there, Bravo editors. Joe Giudice sneaks away to take a phone call during the horse exercise that’s clearly set up to look like he’s talking to another woman, but it’s really just Milania.

- Best Quotes:

“I’m Teresa. I don’t try to impress people, I’m just me.”

 Wyatt, on seeing Melissa strutting over to the horse: “That’s a whore on a stroll walk.”