Sammi returns to the house, and Vinny won't quit playing games with Snooki's heart
Jersey Shore Ronnie
Credit: MTV
Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
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When Sammi returned to the Shore house last night, Ronnie instantly ran outside to the smoking porch. He was scared, anxious, perhaps even suffering from a mild panic attack. These next few minutes would be critical. As we all know, the first time you see your ex after a break-up, there’s always an undertone of competition. Who’s less awkward? Who looks better? Who’s going to cry first? Well, Ron knew he wouldn’t cry. No, sir! Sure, some tears were shed last week, and the week before, and the week before. But Ronnie had transformed. No longer was he Crybaby-Hulk, the Sad Gorilla Clown. He was Single-Ronnie. And so, Ron regained his composure. He got a pep talk from the boys. He took a deep breath. He gobbled up a handful of Xenadrine to gin up some courage, probably. And he walked back into the house.

Inside, the ladies were having a gab session. Snooki was so happy she could cry. Deena was ecstatic, which means “Super happy and really happy.” Ron leisurely sashayed up next to Sammi. He was in a great mood. He had muscles the size of a human head, and a human head the size of a bowling ball. “Hey Sam,” he said, sounding like Joe Cool, “You look good.” Sammi looked at him as if she were great hunter, and he were a stuffed tiger that she re-gifted to her least favorite nephew. “You look pale,” said Sam. Keep it together now, Ron-Ron. Don’t let her get to you. Say something funny. “I just saw a ghost, that’s why!” said Ronnie. No one laughed. It wasn’t funny. “Ha!” he said. “Ha! Hahaha! Ha!” Sammi 1, Ronnie 0.

The gang decided to go out to Karma to celebrate Sammi’s return. Sammi just wanted to have a night with her ladies. “Cheers,” she yelled, “to being single!” Ronnie was lurking on the other side of the bar. Then he was lurking right up next to her. Ronnie was like a kid in a candy store, except the candy was Sammi and the weird old man who hangs out by the lollipops was The Situation. Ronnie tried to be nice to Sammi. “I don’t want to smother you,” he said smotheringly. Sammi asked him casually, “Are you leaving?” Ron: “No! Do you want me to?” And then he left. Sammi 2, Ronnie 0.

But let’s leave the sad tale of Sam and Ron for a moment and focus on the other great Jersey Shore romance. I’m talking about Vinny and Snooki, the show’s resident will-they-or-won’t-they-or-did-they-why-God-why couple. Shnookums had a fever, and the only prescription was more Vin-Vin. “I actually named his penis Moby Dick,” she explained. This was actually a rather adroit literary reference. In Herman Melville’s classic novel — which is kind of like The Dirty Dozen, except on a boat, and instead of killing Nazis they kill whales — the Great White Whale represents everything you desire that is nevertheless just a little bit unattainable. It simultaneously motivates you and destroys you.

In a funny way, that’s kind of what Vinny and Snooki’s relationship is like. Roll with me on this for a second. They are clearly very good friends, with a curious flirty-sibling-coworker relationship that looks a little bit like unrequited love. I think it’s fair to say that they keep each other sane…but it’s also fair to say that they both ruin each other’s chances of having a good relationship with someone else. No man Snooki smushes will ever be quite as adorable as noble Vin-Vin. No girl Vinny smashes will ever be quite as funny as kooky Snook-Snook. Vinny and Snooki are like a pair of Great White Whales who are great friends, but are also mortal enemies. Somewhere in America, my high school English teacher is screaming. Guys, let’s all read Moby Dick this weekend.

NEXT: J-Woww’s overactive bladderAt the club, Vinny met a pretty lady. “I’m Vinny,” said he. “I’m Dominican,” said she. Vinny instantly rattled off every conceivable stereotype about Dominicans: “They can dance, they can move, they got tans, they got big butts, they got flava, and they’re all really good at physics.” The pretty lady said to Vinny: “I want to have 10 babies with you. Tonight.” Vinny laughed, probably because he’s never seen Species. Pauly swooped in and befriended one of Mrs. Dominican’s friends, and the boys went home, where they opted to both hook up in the same room. Since their beds form an L-shape, it was kind of like watching two pairs of digital microbes smush on a Tetris block.

At this point, an inebriated Snooki tried to burst in and ruin the Smash Brothers’ party. But Ronnie pulled her away. He yelled some Spanish in Snooki’s face, clearly inspired by a spirit of Dominican patriotism. He tried telling her all the reasons why she shouldn’t go into Vinny’s room: “He likes you, it’s just not the right time.” Over in the kitchen, Sammi offered Snooki some advice. “Nicole, we’re better off without any guys!”

She was clearly talking to herself, and Ronnie was clearly talking to himself. They were using Snooki as a mirror. A tiny, drunk mirror that burps and writes bestselling novels. Snooki went upstairs. Sammi told Ronnie, “I’m not gonna just fall back into your arms.” She said this while sitting next to him on a couch, her bare legs mere centimeters away from his grasping ape-man hands. So let’s say she was sending “mixed signals,” kind of like when a traffic light flashes red, green, and yellow, and then explodes.

Meanwhile, J-Woww and Deena were walking back from Karma. “I have to pee!” pronounced J-Woww. “I have a napkin in my purse!” said Deena. J-Woww disappeared behind a car. Deena: “Ew, you peed on my foot!” Good thing you’ve got that napkin! For those keeping score, this is the second time J-Woww has relieved herself in public on-camera. We’re breaking down gender norms right and left! (Somewhere in heaven, Susan B. Anthony is applauding. Either that or she’s begging, “Why, God, why?” And God responds, “Because I don’t care anymore!” That’s right: God and Susan B. Anthony watch Jersey Shore together. Heaven is awesome, guys.)

NEXT: When the going gets tough, the tough get plumbingI have a theory that Super Mario Brothers is actually a metaphor for the life of the American plumber. We look at a plumber and we think, “That poor fellow. He spends his day wading through fecal matter. He’s suffering for all our sins. He’s like Jesus, except without the awesome hippie facial hair or the mutant superpowers.” But we are small-minded people. Plumbers bravely go where lesser people wouldn’t dare. Plumbers are heroes. They navigate the underworld of pipes and sewage, dodging horrible creatures we can’t even imagine, in order to set everything back to right. Example A: the Jersey Shore house.

The time was Sunday, 2010 AD. Everyone was lying around, lazy. “This is, like, the perfect Sunday,” said Pauly D. But suddenly, a problem: The toilet was clogged. (Viewers will recall that the clogged toilet has appeared constantly this season. It’s kind of like the Others on Lost: mysterious, evil, covered in grime, possibly immortal.) Brave Ronnie put on a caveman-Outbreak suit and bravely went into the bathroom. Then he bravely opened the toilet, and bravely screamed. “It’s green, bro, the water’s green!” screamed Pauly D. “It’s like algae!” screamed Vinny. “We have a situation!” screamed Uncle Situation. Vinny: “If there’s a plumber in this universe that can face the s— in my toilet, he deserves a medal. Help!”

Cut To: Mario Mario and Luigi Mario, Heroic Plumbers, arriving the next day to beat back the terrible forces lurking in the bathroom. (Sure, sure, the plumbers were named “Rick” and “Mike.” Well, let’s see some ID, fellows. Oh, you lost your ID, you say? Did you lose it in…BIG SMALL WORLD?) The second they strolled in, Princess Snooki was overcome with emotion. “The fat one is actually kind of cute,” she said. “I would definitely hang out with that.” (Naturally, she didn’t notice Luigi. No one ever notices Luigi.)

The Mario Brothers quickly solved the Case of the Clogged Toilet. Seems that one of the boys had flushed his wife-beater, although the show kept on bleeping what they actually said: “G—– tee,” which is a slang term for wife-beaters. In case you’re wondering, “g—–” rhymes with the third word of “Papua New Guinea,” because it is actually the same word. I didn’t realize that was bleep-worthy, but congratulations to MTV for maintaining some measure of social responsibility in a television show about tequila-swilling tandroids who smush everything that moves and apparently never got potty-trained.

The ladies had a good laugh. They knew one of the guys had flushed their shirt, for some bizarre reason. They called a family meeting. J-Woww explained: “Someone flushed a f—ing G—- tee.” “Not I,” said Ronnie, “I don’t shower in there!” “Not I,” said Vinny, “I actually never take off my shirt.” Sitch remained curiously silent, and Pauly became curiously talkative: “You know what I bet happened? An alien planet shot a laser beam through the walls, and one of you girls got nervous, and hid behind the G—– tee, and then you fell into the toilet, and then step three: Profit!” My bet is on Pauly D flushing the shirt, because he seems like the kind of guy who likes to introduce a little chaos into the house. (Also, the story he told fits comfortably into my ongoing theory that Pauly D is an alien sent to Earth to test humanity.)

NEXT: Cheese and Crackers!Elsewhere in the Mushroom Kingdom

–Deena drives like a character in Super Mario Kart, which is a nice way of saying she cannot drive. Pauly: “I just spilled my coffee, and I don’t even drink coffee!” Deena: “Check in my wallet, I might have a napkin.” Message to Deena: NOT EVERY PROBLEM CAN BE SOLVED WITH NAPKINS. Actually, no problems can ever be solved with napkins. Napkins are so useless. They’re like the appendix of the Disposable Absorbent Paper Product world.

Best flirtation of the night:

Worst flirtation of the night:

–Snooki, Ron, and Sam joined Team Sober, and in the process, finally had enough brain cells to counterattack Prankmaster Sitch. They decided to clean out the house’s cheese selection and schmear it inside of Sitch’s bed. “We made a nice smorgasbord of cheeses and red pepper,” explained Ronnie. As fate would have it, they pulled the cheese prank the same evening that Uncle Sitch was bringing home his 21-year-old sweetheart. Sitch followed his usual smush ritual. He poured himself an iced tea. He gave the lady something comfortable to wear. He put on his favorite George Gershwin records and asked for her opinion on the League of Nations. (Flirting is a little bit different for people who were born in the Great Depression, gang.)

–The next morning, everyone was interested in finding out how Mike made out with Little Miss Barely-Born-in-the-’80s. Actually, they weren’t, but he told them anyway: “She smelled like grated cheese! I had to send her home.” Everyone had a good laugh, perhaps imagining Mike’s future: Every night, a new girl in his bed, and every night, the realization that the girl smelled like grated cheese. Haha, Mike’s sex life is ruined forever! Sobriety is a hell of a drug.

–Suddenly, Jersey Shore became the funniest sex-ed video your fifth grade teacher wasn’t brave enough to show you. Sitch, you see, had some funny ideas about exactly how you can and can’t receive STDs. J-Woww decided to call a Quack Doctor on the duck phone to get some medical advice.

Mike was scared. And he was uneducated, so as far as he knew, little evil yeast soldiers were attacking the little Sitch soldiers who keep his body safe. The moral of the story, children, is don’t make out with people who are 60 years younger than you.

Shore fans, it was a pretty silly episode, but there’s no denying that the house felt a little bit more alive with Sammi back. Or do you think she should have stayed away? More importantly, do you think Vinny and Snooki are meant to be together, or are they doomed to a lifetime of near-misses and close-calls? Did anyone stick around to watch Jersey Shore After Hours? (I wasn’t allowed to, alas. My Quack Doctor recommended that I try to avoid Julissa-Bots for the next couple of months.) Also, aren’t plumbers the greatest heroes of all? They deserve a medal. So long, King Bowser!

For regular updates on Jersey Shore and Moby Dick, follow me 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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