Jersey Shore recap: Requiem for a Sweetheart
Everyone I know hates Sammi. When women look at her, they see a popular girl, a priss, a spoiled-rotten Queen Bee. She’s the kind of girl other girls hope will get married to a benchwarming NFL player who will divorce her for a Victoria’s Secret model, leaving her to a dwindling existence in some lesser corner of the Real Housewives universe. Men, on the other hand, look at Sammi and see every soul-sucking high-maintenance girlfriend they’ve ever had. But, in a weird twist, they also see every girl who ever spurned them: She’s the girl who only dated dudes on the football team, or who never returned any of your calls after the first date, or who wasn’t suitably impressed when you said you were a “consultant.” (Metaphorically speaking, if you’re a guy, Sammi is both the Enemy at the Gates and the Enemy Within. Men are complicated.) It doesn’t help that Sammi’s main hobbies are “staring into the mirror” and “staring into the mirror really hard.” In a funny way, she’s the most unifying person on the show: Whether you love or hate Jersey Shore, you almost certainly hate Sammi.
But the lady gets a bad rap. There are many sides to our Sam, people. Visualize, if you will, a line-up of collectible Sammi Sweetheart action figures. There’s “Suspicious-Girlfriend Sammi” — if you pull the string, it screeches “What did you do?! What did you do!?” until you tell your dog to bury it in the backyard. There’s “Hates-Everybody Sammi,” who doesn’t play well with other dolls. But there’s also “Single-Sammi,” who has a big smile on her face and dances until her batteries run out, and “Unexpectedly-Lovable Sammi,” who wears librarian glasses and comes in a two-pack with “Vomiting Ronnie.” Finally, there’s my personal favorite, a hard-to-find collector’s item: “Sammi, The Bitch for Justice.”
It was this last Sammi who triumphantly emerged during last night’s episode of Jersey Shore. The episode began the same way most episodes this season have begun: Ronnie and Sam were fighting, and fighting, and fighting. Just to break up the monotony of being angry at Sam, Ronnie decided to get angry at The Situation, because Sitch committed the cardinal sin of Bringing Up Miami. “I’m fed up,” said Ronnie. “The guy plays both corners. You talk all about the bro code, but you’re all about the girl code, you f—ing bitch.” Ronnie was on a crusade to put the Situation in his place, because the Situation was fake, and Ronnie is real. “Keepin it real is what it’s all about,” Ronnie mumbled to himself, “That’s why I use Xenadrine!”
Pauly D could sense that trouble was afoot. He tried distracting Ronnie with roller coasters. While they strolled through a roller coaster montage, they happened to pass by a boardwalk bar where Sammi and Deena were eating a tequila lunch. Sammi apparently thought that Pauly was some tall-haired bimbo, because she decided to go on the prowl for man-candy. She flirted with some barflies, including one fellow who appeared to have the complete map of Ghosts n’ Goblins tattooed on his shoulder.
Next: A fight is averted, and then the real fight startsThe boys got home. Had the rollercoasters distracted Ronnie’s need for vengeance? Nope. He accused Mike of being an instigator: “He instigated my mistakes.” None of those words made any sense as a sentence, but Ronnie’s rage is above sentences. When Sitch walked in the door, Ronnie screamed, “You played me out, boy! I saw what you did, and it was f—ing wrong!” Technically of course, Ronnie didn’t see anything — he just heard Sitch talking to Sam from the bathroom. (I would say that we should chip in to buy Ronnie a dictionary, but I’m worried he’ll just tear the dictionary in half and then cry about it. Xenadrine is a hell of a drug.)
Sitch made peace with Ronnie, though not before he got in one good line: “What you did in Miami was f—ing wrong.” (The Situation as a force for good? Is it opposite day? Is the world ending? Oh my god, guys, is this what the groundhog was trying to tell us?) Sitch could tell that Ronnie just wanted to fight someone, and decided that it was better to retreat from the battlefield. But Ron’s bloodlust was not sated. He had become Death, Destroyer of Worlds, Mangler of Words. Upstairs, he and Sam engaged in a verbal scuffle. Sam was still sort of upset about, you know, the cheating and the lying in Miami. Sam said, “How could you sit there and watch me cry and lie to my face?” “Which time? Which time?” Ronnie asked, which is actually a pretty funny response.
“Be a woman and man up your s— for once!” Ronnie cried nonsensically. Full credit to the Shore editors, who mostly cut away from the fight to show us Vinny and Pauly’s hilarious reactions. “They’re gonna bang, like, soon,” theorized Vin-Vin. “They’re talking about f—ing relationships, and my sneakers are dirty!” complained Pauly. (He’s a DJ!)
It was about at this point that Ronnie started hurling Sam’s clothes out of her closet. He threw her things onto the balcony. “You’re not welcome in this room! Nobody likes you in this room!” he exclaimed. He picked up the bed, and Sam jumped on it. It was sort of like watching Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf as performed by Veruca Salt and a shaved man-ape. The boys ran upstairs trying to break up the scuffle. They held Sammi back, and Ronnie retreated across the second floor, but Sammi kept on pushing. They started on one side of the house and ended on the other side. The whole time, Sammi was screaming “I hate you! I hate you! Leave me alone!” Ronnie screamed back at her, “This is why I cheated on you in Miami!” Sitch, Vinny, and Pauly were caught in the middle, variously laughing and looking horrified. The scene bore a remarkable resemblance to the famous fight sequence from Oldboy, except I’m pretty sure if Sammi had a hammer there would’ve been no one left alive.
Viewers, I try to never judge anyone on this show too harshly. “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” as Captain America always says. Still, was anyone else bothered a little bit when Ronnie screamed his final retort: “How many times have you cooked for me! None, you f—ing useless spoiled bitch.” Now now, Ronnie, let’s not criticize Sam too harshly just because she’s not a go-getter like you. We can’t all be high-flying dietary pitchmen.
Next: Sammi plays games with Ronnie’s heartTeam MVP decided it was time to get Ronnie to Aztec, because Angry Ronnie always does so well in nightclubs. Back at the house, Snooki and Deena floated down from their space shuttle to show Sam a good time. “The meatballs got you!” exclaimed Deena. While Sam put on her best Screw-You outfit, Snooki and Bizarro-Snooki tried and failed to move her bed downstairs. It was so cute. They were like the two mice in Cinderella, and Sam was like the poor downtrodden girl who finally got to spend a night dancing with the prince. In this metaphor, “Dancing with the prince” means “Getting up onstage and screaming ‘I need a f—ing hot guy, right now!'”
From across the club, Ronnie saw Sam dance with some random dude. Sitch, again playing the role of House Diplomat, told him, “No no, bro! Don’t even worry about what the f— is going on in there!” But Ronnie worried. Oh, how he worried. Let’s take a peek into Ronnie’s mind, using our patented telepathy machine, and try to understand the man’s paradoxical motivations:
“There’s that ex-girlfriend I hate and never want to speak to again. She ruined my life, so I’m going to totally ruin her life by smushing some broad in the smush room tonight. That will show her! Wait, now the ex-girlfriend I hate is dancing with some guy. How could she do that to poor little me? She owes me so much more! Me, her terrible ex-boyfriend who lied to her consistently. Why would she do something so thoughtless to me? How could she foil my plan to hook up with someone by hooking up with someone? No fair! I am undone! She’s figured out my only weakness: Anything!”
Ronnie went home, and here is where things stopped being funny. Except that everything Ronnie does is kind of funny, since minotaurs are really just hilarious creatures. Ronnie decided to go on a rampage. He smashed some of Sam’s things, and what he didn’t smash, he threw out onto the porch. He unloaded her drawers. He punched her purses. He screamed, “I refuse to cede the moral high ground!” (No, he didn’t.) Remember this day, my friends, for this shall be a story you shall tell your grandchildren: the day that Mighty Ronald I, he of the Square Shoulders, did engage in battle with Sammi’s Stuff. It was a great victory.
Sam came home and was understandably surprised to discover that everything she owned was wrecked. She walked upstairs, holding her broken librarian glasses in her hands. God bless Ronnie, who somehow — somhow! — managed to convince himself that he was still the victim. “You f—ing disrespected me in front of my face,” he said. Sam looked at him with a stony glare that seemed to say, “Um, you wrecked everything I own.” “You embarrassed me tonight,” Ronnie argued. Sammi held up her broken glasses, as if to say, “You are a five-year-old.” Ronnie said, “You disgust me in so many ways. Don’t ever talk to me again.” Then, viewers, he went into the bathroom and cried. Now, no judgements here, and believe me when I say that I mean this in the best way: This man is a doofus.
Next: Exeunt, chased by a bearViewers, I won’t argue that Sammi is a good person, or a smart person. I won’t even argue that she’s a real person: EW.com’s Jersey Shore team (myself, my cranky old chainsmoking mentor, my by-the-book partner with a thirst for justice, and a coterie of attractive typists) is currently investigating the possibility that the Shore cast is actually a renegade gang of Method actors engaged in a years-long piece of performance art. But surely, even you Sammi-haters out there had to feel a little bad for the girl as she packed up what was left of her life and left the house in a cab. Vinny told her to stay: “I think if you leave, you ain’t coming back.” The girls gave her big hugs. Good lord, people, J-Woww told her “I love you.” J-Woww, her eternal enemy! (Women are complicated.)
She had one last conversation with Ron-Ron. “Sit,” he said. “No, I’m good,” she responded. “What’d I do?” he asked impotently, clearly suffering short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss, and/or complete amnesia. (You guys, no joke, I’m really worried about Ron’s Xenadrine intake.) Ronnie called her “Samantha” and gave her a big hug, but she left him upstairs. She gave the rest of the house a group hug. She got in the cab. And she was gone. She may return, but for now, “The Ballad of Ron and Sam” has come to an end. Am I the only one who’ll miss her? Especially since we still have to deal with her ex-boyfriend, Beppo the Super-Monkey?
Other Very Special Moments from a Very Special Episode:
–J-Woww reserved the smush room for a night of fun with Jolly Roger, who is apparently the most popular man in Seaside. Since Roger was taking off for a week-long trip, J-Woww decided to give him the full deployment-to-Europe send-off: Bondage attire and handcuffs. Does anyone else think that J-Woww is the human incarnation of a Rob Liefeld superheroine?
–Snooki, with the Quote of the Week, Non-Ronnie Division: “The staircase is really, really small, and the bed is really wide. It’s kind of like an analogy of Vinny’s penis not fitting in my pinhole.” Ow, my brain!
–I’m not really interested in any Jersey Shore spin-offs, but if MTV wanted to launch a new Tom Green-style show, they could do worse than giving Pauly D and Vinny a late-night talk show. It could be called Community Smush, with Pauly and Vinny. I’d watch that for at least two minutes.
Viewers, did your cold hearts warm up to Sammi last night? When Ronnie cries, can you hear the world’s tiniest violin playing for him? And let’s settle this once and for all: Do you prefer Good Situation or Evil Situation?
Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich