Snooki lashes out at The Situation, and the gang goes on a miserable camping trip
Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
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I've always felt a little bit sorry for the Jersey Shore cast. Yes, they have a whole lot of money. Yes, they've become famous by monetizing their basest instincts. Yes, when they're not filming, they can treat themselves to a lavish lifestyle beyond my wildest dreams. Right now, Uncle Situation is in his money bin swimming through an ocean of souvenir pressed pennies, and Snooki has hired her favorite Eurotrash DJs to provide a bumping house soundtrack for her lamaze classes, and Pauly D is having cocktails with Richard Branson and James Cameron on his private island while they prepare to embark on an old-fashioned hobo-hunt, and Vinny is finally making some headway on his quantum gravity generator with his colleagues at the Santa Fe Institute, and Ronnie is trying to cut down a sequoia tree using only his forehead, and Sammi is terrible, and J-Woww has finally secured the funding to direct and star in her passion-project feature film debut: A Total Recall musical spin-off about the three-breasted mutant prostitute. (Working title: Chestward Ho!)

But I truly don't think I could survive the Jersey Shore lifestyle. At this point in the fifth season, the castmates have been together for months — they arrived in Seaside Heights immediately after their Florentine misadventure. Even if we assume that there are a couple days in a week when the housemates don't have twenty soul-sucking cameras pointed at them all day, that's still essentially three straight months of unbroken partying. Maybe I'm lame, but I can barely party for three days in a row without feeling the nasty effects. Jersey Shore gets a lot of attention for all the party pageantry — fist-pump dance montages, trips to Club Karma — but half the time, the show is really about the cast's neverending hangover.

Louis C.K. brilliantly portrayed the experience of a hangover on his show. Watch this clip:

Now understand something: This is probably how the Jersey Shore cast feels every day, except Pauly D, whose alien-robot metabolism converts the alcohol into sustainable bio-fuel. In that sense, it's understandable that the cast members can barely seem to stand each other anymore. At one point in last night's episode, Ronnie noticed that everyone was frankly getting sick of each other. Deena is angry at Snooki for abandoning her; The Situation is angry at everyone for not noticing how awesome he is; everyone is angry at The Situation because he's a supervillain.

Last night, Uncle Sitch finally followed through on his years-in-the-making plan for vengeance. He told Jionni that he hooked up with Snooki. "My Boy Unit was hookin' up with Ryder," he said. "Nicole walked in, saw them hookin' up, dot dot dot, it was really quick." Now, there is nothing I have ever wanted to picture less than everything The Situation just said. Jionni, for his part, reacted passively. He went back to bed with his future bride-to-be and told her, "I'm laughing about something. I gotta tell you something."

(Brief shout-out to Ronnie, who kept up his recent winning streak of zingers with this imitation of The Situation's revelation: "How you doin, Jionni, this morning? Bacon, egg, and cheese? Your girlfriend f—ed me. Okay!")

Snooki was understandably upset. Mike told her, "I'm sure in a couple weeks we'll make up and be friends." Snooki responded diplomatically: "I want you to go die and rot in a hole." Jionni stood by, apparently disinterested. I have to admit that it's utterly impossible to get a read on anyone involved in this curious romantic triangle, but Pauly D summed up Jionni's response like this: "He knows that she's hooking up, because he's doing the same damn thing." So start getting excited for that Disney wedding, everybody!

NEXT: Foodfight!A foodfight broke out at the dinner table. It started out all in good fun, and then quickly became a war of attrition between Mike and Snooki. Like, remember that classic Disney cartoon where Donald gets into a snowball fight with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and things somehow escalate to the point where Donald is firing a snow-cannon from an ice-frigate while the nephews shoot burning arrows from the parapet of their ice-castle? It was exactly like that, except replace "Donald Duck" with "The Situation" and "Huey, Dewy, and Louie" with "Snooki, Snooki, and Snooki." Snooki sprayed milk at The Situation. Sitch threw mashed potatoes in Snooki's hair. Snooki covered herself in ketchup and rolled all over The Situation's bed. The Situation ordered a large Domino's Pizza and forced Snooki to eat it. Domino's is gross! It was an emotional episode all around.

Downstairs, the rest of the house was pondering the whole Sitch-Snooki scenario. "What do you guys think really happened?" said Sammi, reading off of a series of cue cards on which words are spelled out phonetically. Vinny said he believed Uncle Sitch. J-Woww admitted that she just didn't know. And, well, that was that. Two straight seasons of Jersey Shore have focused on the question of whether or not they hooked up, and the answer is chaos.

From there, the episode mostly became about Vinny and Pauly. In some respects, the Smash Brothers have become the least interesting people in the house purely by virtue of being the most sane. With the noteworthy exception of Vinny's early-season anxiety attack, they don't really seem all that bothered by anything. They also, it must be said, seem to have a 100% winning streak when it comes to finding girls with low enough self-esteem to hook up in front of a night-vision camera. At this point, Vinny's tastes are becoming somewhat abstract. "Hot girls are boring a lot of the time," he said, "I want some variety in my diet."

Vinny and Pauly wisely stayed home while everyone went on a camping trip. The Situation started a fire the same way we used to at Boy Scout Camp: He sprayed a bunch of lighter fluid on a log, set it on fire, and then sprayed more lighter fluid on the fire. Deena said that The Situation is "one of those people. A hermaphrodite or whatever." Yeesh, enough with the references to Greek mythology, Deena! (Poor Deena. The newest house member is beginning to seem a little bit lost on the show. She's the only single person left. Snooki has forgotten all about her. Heck, her closest friend now is probably Sammi.)

The Situation suffered an apparent anxiety attack in the woods, scared that a masked serial killer would emerge at any moment to take his life. Fortunately for America, that didn't happen. Instead, everyone had a simply miserable time, and quickly sped back to civilization…where they discovered that everything had changed!!!

You see, unbeknownst to the gang, Vinny and Pauly had a mission: To pull "the ultimate prank ever." Further proving last week's theory that Jersey Shore has become an entire sub-network of reality shows, Team VP even christened their new series: "Welcome to PrankWarz!" said Pauly. (He clearly pronounced it with a "z.") Basically, this was the moment that Jersey Shore finally stopped being a "reality" show and became a mid-'90s Nickelodeon game show. Boss Danny brought his gang of hooligans, and they turned the house inside out. They astroturfed the living room. They set up a hammock indoors. As fate would have it, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia happened to be passing by — in Seaside Heights, they refer to him as "Tauntaun" because he famously roars like a dying tauntaun after he takes body shots at Karma. Justice Scalia stuck his head inside the window inside and exclaimed, "An indoor hammock! This is highly irregular!" Then Vinny said, "Yo, Tauntaun, your dissenting opinion in Jaffee v. Raymond was the bomb, yo!" And then Vinny, Pauly D, and Justice Antonin Scalia made themselves some zesty mojitos and rubbed sunscreen on each other's noses and sat around in a little inflatable pool, laughing as men do. The end.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Episode Recaps

Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
Jersey Shore

Follow Snooki, the Situation, Pauly, Ronnie, Sammi, Jwoww, Vinny, and Deena as they party, smush, and GTL

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