Real Housewives of New Jersey Episode 4 Recap: Nicole Napolitano Rips Out Amber Marchese’s Hair in Ugly Brawl

Nicole Napolitano and Amber Marchese

And now, another curiously themed Housewives bash! Weeks after Amber Marchese's odd "harvest" party, Nicole Napolitano's boyfriend Bobby, a firefighter, throws a "first responders" party. As Bobby explains, "It's not about raising money, it's about raising awareness." It's also about getting the Housewives to drink and wear skimpy costumes.

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To that end, Nicole, twin sister Teresa Aprea, Melissa Gorga and Teresa Giudice go shopping. While Melissa tries on a sexy sailor outfit — Teresa observes, "a sailor is not a first responder. . . first responser?" — the girls discuss their feelings about Amber and Jim Marchese's various offenses. (Quick recap: Amber told Melissa that Nicole once broke up a marriage; Jim refused to hang with Teresa's husband Joe during a guys' night out because of his various indictments.) Bottom line: No one likes the Marcheses. And yet, they're still invited to the first responders shindig. Concludes Nicole, "Bobby's party should be very interesting." For those who don't speak Housewife, that's code for: I will beat her down.

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Dina Manzo, who did not go shopping, frets about what to wear as she digs through her massive, Lisa Vanderpump-sized closet.. "I feel like when women hear 'costume party,' they're like, 'ooh, let me dress like a slut and get away with it," she says. "I'm not good at ho-ing it up."

Clearly. She arrives to Bobby's house in sensible head-to-toe blue scrubs, which has more material than the other women's outfits combined: Sexy nurse (Teresa), sexy firefighters (Nicole and New Teresa), sexy cop (Amber) and sexy SWAT team officer (Melissa). Dina, however, regrets her sensible wardrobe when Nicole surprises her with a blind date, hunky (real) firefighter Matt. "What the f—k," says Dina, clearly annoyed by the ambush.

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It's Nicole, however, who's truly peeved. "You owe me an apology," Nicole tells Amber as soon as she sees her. Amber tries to shut down the conversation and motions for them to move to another part of the room. The drama quickly unfolds from there: Nicole starts snapping her fingers in Amber's face. Amber pushes Nicole's hands away. Nicole grabs Amber's hair. Lots of shouting ensues. Someone throws a drink. (Seriously, this brawl makes Teresa's season 1 table flip seem downright demure in comparison.)

Hottie fireman Matt (getting nowhere with Dina), and Jim physically restrain the women and pull them apart. Then, in the episode's finest moment, Jim hands Amber the clump of matted hair that Nicole ripped out of her head. Modern day chivalry, folks.

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Fired up, Amber declares, "I have never said in a million years that [Nicole] broke up a family. Melissa just completely twisted my words!" (And with that, Amber makes the biggest rookie Housewife mistake: Lying about something that was caught on camera.) Cut to a flashback of the previous week's episode, when Amber tells Melissa that she heard Nicole broke up a marriage.

As Amber and Jim storm upstairs and leave the party (did we mention it was in Bobby's basement?), Amber tells Joe Gorga, Joe Giudice and Bobby, who are all hanging out in the kitchen, what just transpired. Joe Gorga, fed up with the Marchese drama, tells Jim, "don't let your wife talk about my wife." New Teresa's husband Rino jumps in the fray, calls Jim a "jerk-off," and asks why he wouldn't come to guys' night out.

For some reason, he addresses Joe Gorga instead. "I work for the same attorney that's prosecuting your brother-in-law, you dumb f—k," he seethes to Melissa's husband, who gets up and follows Jim and Amber out the front door. . .

Tell Us: Who do you think overreacted?

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