John Updike once wrote, “Inhabiting a male body is like having a bank account; as long as it’s healthy, you don’t think much about it.” Clearly, when he wrote those words in 1993, Updike was using his Great-American-Novelist powers of precognition to pre-recap (precap?) last night’s episode of Jersey Shore. This is, coincidentally, why Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises doubles as a precap of Jersey Shore season 2, and why William Faulkner’s novella The Bear — the story of a haunted, monstrous, viciously aggressive bear who seems almost human sometimes — is basically the essential unauthorized biography of Ronnie.
The episode began on an unusually somber note. Poor old Sitch was suddenly facing his own mortality. His neck, which was once so beautiful and so young, was shrouded behind the scientific misery of an Italian medical cast. “I got a neckbrace on for ten days,” moaned Mike. He looked to his housemates for sympathy. But they were all so much younger than him — remember, The Situation is almost old enough to be their handsy Uncle. “Who cares about you, old man!” they screamed. When Sitch wasn’t looking, Pauly D and Vin-Vin snuck into his room and played with his neckbrace. “Looka me,” they giggled, “I’m The Situation! I’m-a gonna die soon!” Then they high-fived and backslapped and drank and whored and watched the sun rise and knew they would be young forever.
Poor Mr. Sitch. He was falling asleep sitting up, because it hurt too much to lie down. Just like the Elephant Man, except you didn’t have to feel bad about laughing. “I can’t do anything without, like, being helped,” Sitch cried. To cheer himself up, he decided to wear green sex-pants. But there were no ladies around for to have sex with thereupon. “Whither the twins of yesteryear?” he shrieked. “Whither the grenades of yore? BURP.”
It was left to Ronnie — perhaps Sitch’s greatest enemy in the house, not counting everyone else — to cheer him up. Our Ronnie has anointed himself the crisis counselor of this Italian season. Maybe because he has so much experience with crises. Maybe because J-Woww is proving a good influence on him, kind of like how Wonder Woman taught Aquaman to not be such a toolbox all the time. Maybe because he’s discovered religion, and it burns! For whatever reason, Ronnie told Sitch: “I’m here for you.”
A friend! Imagine, discovering your first true friend, so late in your life! Uncle Sitch thanked Ronnie profusely. He was out of his funk. He removed the neck-brace. The Situation would rise again. “From now on,” Sitch said proudly, “I know not to bang my head into a wall anymore.” And to think, we were so worried this show wasn’t teaching our kids any helpful life lessons!
You might have thought that, after his brush with mortality, we would have met a kinder Situation. A gentler Situation. A Situation looking to mend fences, build bridges, institute new policies to fix the country’s crumbling infrastructure, just generally act like less of a douche rocket. That must have been what Snooki was thinking, at least, when she strolled into the Pigeon Room and asked for an apology.
NEXT: Question: Oh, Magic 8-Ball, Will The Situation apologize? Answer: Reply hazy, and also, I’m a f—ing 8-Ball.