Jake Perlman
September 08, 2014 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Teresa and Joe Giudice aren’t afraid to admit that they have made a lot of mistakes. Some may argue that the biggest one of all was joining the cast of this reality show. Although there is no direct link, it’s easy to make the connection between the Giudices sudden rise to fame and the legal trouble that followed them. Of course paparazzi would not be waiting outside the courthouse for an ordinary New Jersey housewife’s plea deal, but this is Teresa’s life now. And it’s actually pretty devastating to watch.

Tonight’s episode jumps back to the time of the season premiere on February 28, 2014, four days before the Giudices’ scheduled appearance in court. And almost immediately, there are tears. Well, some were only due to chopped onions, but it made the overall situation a little more heightened. At their home, Melissa and Joe watch their family’s legal problems make the news once again; separately Amber reads a story on Radar Online that says the Giudices are preparing to take a plea deal that would give Teresa probation and Joe jail time. Just the thought of this hypothetical situation causes Amber to burst out in uncontrollable tears. So naturally she decides to call Teresa immediately in her vulnerable state to sympathize, and by sympathize I mean try to pry into every detail. “Is this all true?”

For the wife of a lawyer, Amber should know better than to ask so many questions during an ongoing case. Even Gia overhearing the conversation on her mother’s speakerphone questions the tears. But the new and improved Teresa takes the “thought that counts” high road. Besides telling Amber that the article isn’t true, on the advice of her counsel Teresa doesn’t say anything else. But she does imply that “things are coming” soon that will explain a little more.

But for a little more explanation right now—thank God for Jim! (That will be the first and last time that phrase is every written in a recap.) Since he was so boastful about his possible involvement in the mortgage case, it’s not that surprising that Jim really does have a good understanding of this whole situation. He explains to Amber that both Teresa and Joe have to accept the terms of their plea deal separately before appearing to the judge, who can then decide to accept or reject the deals himself. All that to say: Even if the Giudices have their side of it figured out, it will always end up in someone else’s hand. (Isn’t that what democracy and American law is all about?)

Melissa also calls Teresa to ask about the same article and she gives the same response, but this time it causes Gia to speak up, too. “I obviously know what’s going on. I’m old enough to comprehend and understand what’s going on,” she says to her mother’s heartbroken eyes. Neither of them say anything for a moment as they just stare at each other briefly while the emotional moment results in eventual tears and a loving embrace.

NEXT: Problems with perspective

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