The gang solves some mysteries, and Sammi and Ronnie get back together just in time to break up again

By Darren Franich
Updated March 11, 2011 at 07:00 AM EST

Last night’s episode of Jersey Shore actually told three distinct stories, and all of them centered on a mystery. I’m talking real hardcore potboilers, noir thrillers, the sort of mystery you’d read about in an Encyclopedia Brown book, if anyone still reads anything in this miserable modern era. Let’s run down the night’s three brainteasers. Remember: only two of them were actually solved during the episode.

The Case of the Puppy Prison Break

Listen, kids, we’ve all had a good time here making fun of the fact that Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is actually a 45-year-old man. Uncle Situation is cranky. He moves slowly. He tries fitting in with the kids by wearing ridiculous clothes. He’s disturbed by anything that is unclean. He thinks Mark Harmon is the most badass person on television. You might argue, “But his birth certificate says he was born in 1982!” Well, fine, but birth certificates can be faked. Just look at Barack Obama, who was actually born in Kenya, or George W. Bush, who was actually the crown prince of Monaco before the revolution forced him to flee. (You didn’t hear about the Monegasque Revolution? Well, maybe you should try reading the international news every now and then, hippie.)

But my friends, I have some remarkable information to share with you. This news comes straight from our crack team of German biochemists in the Entertainment Weekly Science Lab for Scientific Research and Science. (They’re the same underpaid nerds who recently proved definitively that Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly are actually alien clones from space, completely identical except for their hairstyles and also only one of them can act.) Apparently, the Situation isn’t 45 years old…he’s 11 years old. Sitch suffers from a rare disorder that forces his body to age roughly four times faster than normal. He’s exactly like Robin Williams in Jack, except there are times when you don’t want to punch Sitch in the face.

Don’t believe me? Consider the opening sequence of last night’s episode. Pauly D and Vinny were taking off for a day trip to Staten Island. For the occasion, Pauly had composed a new song, the lyrics of which are:

I’m going to Staten Island!

I’m going to Staten Island!

I’m going to Staten Island!

It’s an island!

He’s a DJ! Meanwhile, Ronnie was went with the girls on an extra-special GTL+Nails adventure. That meant Mike woke up to an empty house. Uh oh, Li’l Sitch is home alone. What sort of mischief will he get up to? No no, Li’l Sitch, don’t break J-Woww’s horrible dogs out of their tiny prison! No no, Li’l Sitch, don’t feed those dogs pizza! Oh I see, this is all part a prank, isn’t it? You little devil!

The horrible dog Sitch nicknamed “Lean Cuisine” left a present on the floor. “The master plan is going down!” exclaimed Li’l Sitch. The other dog, “Juicebox,” opted to make a bathroom out of Vinny and Pauly’s L-block bachelor pad. Sitch explained his plan: He would pretend that he was sleeping upstairs, so that no one would suspect him. What a prank! If this were Calvin & Hobbes, Sitch would be Calvin, the dogs would be Hobbes, Snooki would be Susie Derkins, and no one would ever read Calvin & Hobbes.

NEXT: Roger does the dip, which is not prison lingo for anythingEveryone came home and was surprised to discover that their house smelled like a bathroom. (I found this funny — based on last week’s plumber-centric episode, I figured the Shore house usually smelled kind of like an outhouse at a music festival. Everyone instantly suspected that someone had let the dogs out. But who could it be? Snooki smelled Mean Cuisine: “Tell me this doesn’t smell like Mike’s cologne.” Deena concurred: “Evidence!” I hope they do a spin-off of Jersey Shore where Snooki and Deena solve crimes, and the only thing Deena says on the show is “Evidence!” At just that moment, Li’l Sitch casually walked downstairs. “Yaawwwn. Boy, I’m tired, gang!” he said. “All I’ve been doing is sleeping and sleeping! Whoa, hey, where’d all this doggie-doo come from? I’m so surprised and not guilty!” No one was convinced. Like all fifth-graders, Mike is a terrible liar. Case closed!

The Case of the Dipping Driver

Later that day, the gang was driving back from the spray-tanning salon. Suddenly, J-Woww exclaimed: “Why, that’s Roger’s car! Roger, my tattooed beau! Roger, the dude with the sketchy facial hair who magically isn’t sketchy!” She beep-beeped her horn. She drove up alongside him. She waved. But Roger did not beep-beep in return. Instead, he did the dip and zipped away. Everyone agreed that he clearly had a girl in the car. Pauly D specifically told J-Woww not to believe any of Roger’s lies. The plot is thickening! Detective Jenni decided to investigate.

And by “investigate,” I mean “Believe her roommates completely and break up with Roger.” She called left a message on Roger’s phone indicating that she didn’t want to see him anymore. (Poor J-Woww: She takes/wakes/aches just like a woman, but she breaks just like a little girl. A little girl who could bite your head off.) Everyone in the house instantly changed their tune after this phone call was made: “What? No! He probably didn’t have a girl in the car.” Pauly D just shook his head.

Jenni was confused, clearly not realizing that it was all a set-up. She’d been played for a sucker, a patsy, a [insert old-timey mafiaism here]. The duck phone rang. It was Roger McQuack, and he was honking mad. His feathers had been ruffled. He couldn’t understand J-Woww quackery. “I was rushing from the gym to the barber shop!” he explained. “What’s your deal, girl? Quack!” J-Woww felt bad. She believed everything he said. The interrogation was over. Jenni was just being too stressed out, clearly still getting over her break-up with that guy who stole her PayPal. In the end, J-Woww’s greatest enemy…was J-Woww. Case closed!

NEXT: Sammi and Ronnie, sittin’ in a tree, A-R-G-U-I-N-G

The Case of the Sexting Sweetheart

Those first two mysteries were just warm-ups. This final enigma, though, was straight out of a Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Super-Mystery, except the Hardy Boys were gym-freak tandroids and Nancy Drew had no self-esteem nor clothes. It all began with a terrible conversation between Sam and Ron, who confessed to each other that they still loved each other, that they wanted to work on things, and that they would give being in a relationship a second shot.

Now, this was an awful decision. Ronnie and Sammi simply do not work together as a couple. They should know this by now. By comparison, imagine if Li’l Sitch had a favorite hobby: trying to break through a brick wall with his head. After many weeks of bashing his head against the brick wall, Li’l Sitch is carted away in an ambulance with multiple concussions. Months pass as he recovers in the hospital — he doesn’t have to pay medical bills, because in this alternate universe everyone has universal health care and also we’ve terraformed Mars. Finally, Li’l Sitch gets out of the hospital… and the first thing he does is return to the brick wall, thinking, “This time I’ll only use the back part of my head. That way my brains won’t get hurt!” (Jenni summed up the Ron/Sam thing more succinctly: “It’s the same s—, different toilet with Ron and Sam.”)

That night, the gang decided to go out to their favorite ironically-named nightclub. At Karma, Sitch ran into his friend Arvin, “A jacked-up Guido MacGuyver.” Arvin asked, “Where’s Sammi?” Seems that Sammi had called him up and asked Ol’ Arvin to meet her at Karma. Mike was intrigued. Detective Situation, on the case! He examined the texts, which were apparently very decisive: Sammi had been speaking to Arvin. “When Ron is crying on my shoulder, Sam is calling another dude,” said Detective Sitch. “Pure evidence of treachery I have just seen.” He was disgusted. Forget it, Sitch, it’s Gorillatown.

Sitch showed the evidence to his fellow detectives. The girls couldn’t believe it. Inspector Shnookums begged to tell Sammi before Sitch told Ronnie. Sammi’s response was simple: Deny, deny, deny. “Arvin’s just my friend from home!” she proclaimed. At this point, someone decided it would be brilliant to tell Ronnie, which is kind of like throwing fuel on a fire, and then throwing a couple grenades, too. Here’s how it played out:

Sammi: “I swear, I didn’t do anything!”

Ronnie: “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Sammi: “I know Arvin from home! That’s how I knew Mike! F—you, Mike!”

Ronnie: “I have to go to the bathroom.”

Sammi: “Aliens, Ronnie! Aliens stole my cell phone and sent sexy texts to Arvin! I swear it – I even have fuzzy photographs to prove it!”


NEXT: Good god, just let the man go to the bathroom!Ronnie went to the bathroom to pop some Xenadrine and cry. Everyone else left the club. Back at home, the stage was slowly set for a showdown. Pauly and Vinny were prepared: “I’m gonna sit on the couch, put on some popcorn, and watch this f—ing movie!” Pauly exclaimed.

Sammi walked in, changed clothes, sat on a couch, looked angry. Ronnie walked in, changed clothes, laid down on a couch, looked sad. Mike walked in, went to the kitchen, made himself some food, looked douchey. It was just like at the end of a Sherlock Holmes mystery story, with the whole family gathered in the drawing room to find out Who Did It. Except… nothing happened. All quiet on the western front. “It’s like when you pay for a pay-per-view fight, and the fight is over in a second,” said Lieutenant Vin-Vin.

And then: Breakthrough! Sammi screamed that Mike was the shadiest person in the house. Detective Sitch: “Ah, ah, ah, my sweetheart, I disagree. It is thou who art the shadiest! J’accuse!” Ron was in the corner, crying, curled in the fetal position. “You’re a shady person,” squealed poor Ron-Ron, “You hand was in the f—ing cookie jar!” Sammi, desperate, clawed for any companionship, and J-Woww was unfortunately sitting right next to her. “Jenni, you were there!” screamed Sammi. “You tell them! Tell ’em I didn’t do it.” J-Woww looked embarrassed. Her cleavage appeared to be wincing. See?


So Ronnie and Sammi fled into the downstairs room. Ronnie: “I sat in this house and I cried!” Sammi: “I didn’t do anything!” (In the next room, Pauly exclaimed, “If this relationship continues, I will kill myself.”) J-Woww’s horrible dogs went, “Bark! Bark! Bark!” Ron: “Go back home and call Arvin!” Sammi: “How do you think I knew Mike?” Horrible dogs: “Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!” Chaos! Case Not Closed.

Less Mysterious Happenings in the Land of Wonder

–Vinny’s family seem like very nice people. I always enjoy whenever they stop by. Unfortunately, they seem to think that the Jersey Shore cast is composed of “all good kids.” Which leads me to believe that Vinny is from a family of Satanists.

–Vinny opted for a spray-tan so he wouldn’t look like “Caspar the Ghost.” In a hilarious twist, he came out looking like Hot Stuff the Little Devil, whom I believe is Caspar’s twin brother who went to hell. (The mythology is purposefully murky.)

–The Great Water Balloon War of Summer 2010 began ignobly when the ladies pulled the sneak attack on the boys. The boys were angry. They just wanted to fly Vinny’s kite and Pauly’s toy helicopter (which, by the way, what?) But the boys quickly got into the game, filling up water balloons, screaming “Red Team Go! Red Team Go! Red Team Go!” They clearly outmatched the ladies. I scrawled in my notes, “O’Doyle rules!” And literally one second later, Pauly D screamed, “O’Doyle rules!” Guys, what if Pauly D is able to read these recaps…before they’re actually written? It’d be just like Early Edition, except totally stupid.

–The newly reunited Ron and Sam went to the aquarium at Jenkinson’s boardwalk. Tour guide: “What kind of animal is a penguin?” Ronnie: “Um, a mammal?” Sammi: “Um, what’s an animal?” The answer, of course, was “bird.” We really have to do something about our education system, and by “something” I mean “let’s just tase the crap out of kids until they learn how to read.” Oh, go cry me a river, libertarians. If George Washington were alive today, he’d be tasing kids right and left.

–Sitch loaned Shnookums some facial cleansers, which made her look like a mime. Question: Would you pay to see Snooki do a mime act on Broadway? Follow-up question: What if the only other thing playing on Broadway was Spider-Man vs. Transformers: Turn Off the Dark of the Moon?

-Best line of the night (although I admit it was all in the delivery, so it won’t read well) was Sammi’s farewell to The Situation: “Byeeeee! F— youuuuuuuu! Have a great life!” Um, you do remember that you live with him, right?

Viewers, no one hates Ron/Sam drama more than me, but at least it didn’t take very long for them to implode from the inside. At this rate, maybe we’ll actually have one episode in season 4 that doesn’t explicitly revolve around their relationship. What did you think of last night’s episode? Would you hire any of the Shore cast as a private investigator? Are you disturbed by the fact that, given our findings about The Situation’s age, literally dozens of women on Jersey Shore have performed on-camera sexual activities with a minor? (How could you, girls, he’s only 11 years old!) Also, you all know that I’m just kidding about J-Woww’s dogs, right? They aren’t horrible….or should I say, they aren’t any more horrible than every other dog, because they’re all horrible. (Except for Lassie. And Bolt. And that dog Charlie Sheen played in All Dogs Go To Heaven 2.)