The Situation makes moves on Snooki, Pauly plays games with Deena's heart, and Sammi and Ronnie reopen old wounds
Jersey Shore
Credit: MTV
Jersey Shore Family Vacation CR: MTV
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Okay, but I have a serious question: What’s with all the intra-house fraternizing all of the sudden? Did everyone just miss each other in the off-season? Are their flirtation methods genuinely suffering from the language barrier? At the club, Deena was begging for a smush sesh with Pauly. “Let’s hook up and cuddle,” said Deena. “Yeah, I know!” responded Pauly. Nicole told Pauly he should go for it. Her advice: “Just have sex with her. You’ll be friends with benefits. No strings attached. Cowboys and aliens.” Pauly nodded, but he had no intention of closing the deal. He was just playing games with Deena’s heart. Later that night, she strolled into his room for a nightvision cuddle. Pauly pretended to be asleep. Deena clearly hasn’t read Twilight, or she would know that vampires don’t sleep.

Meanwhile, The Situation is continuing his transformation from Creepy Uncle Sitch to Lovesick Mikey. He walks through the long halls of the Jersey Villa, mooning over his darling Shnookums. He happened to walk into the living room right as Nicole was having a serious conversation with her boyfriend Jionni, who continues the age-old Shore tradition of the Offscreen Significant Other who comes off terribly on the phone. “Where the f— you been,” he sputtered, “I haven’t heard from you for an entire day!” Snooki was confused. The poor girl is stressed.

So in strolled Mikey, the man with the plan. “The Situation is very good with relationship advice,” he reminded us. “Don’t let this bother you,” he told Snooki, who was still on the phone with Jionni and looked like a girl who was feeling extremely bothered by every man talking to her. But Mike wouldn’t relent. “Hey, come here,” he said, “Follow me. It’s so beautiful out here. I care for you a lot. I just want you to be happy. What I don’t want for you is for you to not be yourself. Listen,” he concluded, “I’m glad you came to me. I’m glad you came to me.” It was just like that time that my middle-aged coworker walked into my office, asked me to talk about my personal problems, made an awkward pass at me, and then thanked me profusely for walking into their office.

Now, you might think that this particular flirtation is flowing in one direction: That the flames of passion are oozing like lava from Mount St. Situation down onto poor unsuspecting Snookerino Village. But you’d be wrong! At the club, Nicole got positively apoplectic when Mike started flirting with an All-American girl named Brittany or Britney or Brittanie or perhaps Britt-knee. “She’s really ugly!” exclaimed Snooki. Later, after Sitch had had a — surprisingly graphic! — nightvision encounter with Bertneigh, Snooki tried to convince him, “You can do better.” So there you have it: Snooki and Sitch are like two volcanoes spewing hot lava of passion all over each other. I just vomited!

NEXT: Single Ronnie goes on a Rampage: World Tour.You all know my long-held theory that Ronnie is a shaved ape-man raised in captivity to be a real boy. (Funnily enough, Ronnie’s story was actually the subject of two recent feature documentaries: Project Nim and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.) But it’s important to note that the man we see before us now is not, properly speaking, “Ronnie.” No, this is Single Ronnie.

It might not seem like much of a difference to the untrained observer. So, by way of comparison, consider the Green Hulk and the Grey Hulk, two different versions of one extremely troubled character. Now, the Green Hulk is a rampaging brute — thoughtlessly violent, but ultimately rather naive, a creature suffering from classic misunderstood Frankenstein syndrome. The Grey Hulk is a whole different animal: Cunning, smart enough to be morally ambiguous, with a werewolf-like emotional cycle that tracks the path of the moon, and an impeccably snazzy fashion sense. Seriously, look at this picture, and tell me you don’t see Single-Ronnie.

Single Ronnie spent the evening taking triple shots of Euro-liquor. He was oversharing with a smile on his face. “I got a girl coming,” he told Jenni, “Her name is Hannahahahahahahahahaha!” He slipped on the floor. He spilled a drink on the Prime Minister. “I’m in rare form right now!” he exclaimed. “I am the pimp mac daddy of this whole place!” He screamed something about having four girls in three days, or three girls in four days, or Six Days Seven Nights, which in hindsight is really when we should have started worrying about Harrison Ford’s career arc. He yelled this in Sam’s direction, but in fairness, Ronnie was so soused that he might have thought he was yelling towards a big cartoon penguin with a lovely tan but no breast implants.

In short, everyone except for J-Woww and Vinny is falling into some sort of weird intra-house romantic spiral. The emotional diagram of the cast right now resembles the maelstrom at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds’ End. In this metaphor, Sitch is Jack Sparrow, Snooki is Davy Jones, Ronnie is Orlando Bloom, and, I dunno, Pauly is the monkey. Sammi decided to toss a nuclear bomb into said maelstrom at the end of the episode. “I have feelings for Ron,” she explained to us in voiceover. “I miss him. And if I have feelings, shouldn’t I act on it?” No, Sam, no! But nope, she approached him straightaway: “I miss you. I love you. I miss you. I just want to go in bed and cuddle with you.”

Now, viewers, we’re not stupid. We know that this is the fourth season of an MTV reality series, which is classically the season that the “reality” starts to become fuzzy. (On The Hills, this was right around the point when every single girl in LA started falling in love with Justin Bobby. Justin Bobby is to the world of reality TV what Peter Ustinov was to the world of philosophy.) I can understand anyone who thinks that this whole Sammi/Ronnie thing is being dragged up again without any real authenticity. But no matter what Sammi’s intentions are — and I truly think Sammi is the most unreadable person on Jersey Shore next to Uncle Sitch and the Pauly-Bot — I can believe that Ronnie’s terror was real. “I kind of have feelings for her, too. But I just go back to Jersey, and I think, ‘F— me in the a– with a spiked bat, I’d rather not do that.'”

“I love you,” said Sammi.

“I’m mad hungry,” responded Ronnie.

NEXT: Merry MelodiesOther Exciting Trends in the world of Global Fashion:

–There is a popular hallucination sprouting among the Shore cast that they have seen the Vatican in Florence. This is simply untrue. (I think the building they’re looking at is actually the world-famous Duomo.) This led to my favorite interaction of the night:

Ronnie: “Vatican. I that’s the one Leonardo da Vinci painted.”

Vinny: “I’m pretty sure it was Michelangelo.”

Yeesh, who knew Vinny was such an art-world snob?

–Later, Vinny and Ronnie made up by sharing a hot jacuzzi. It was weird. But I enjoyed the frequent cutaways to the statue of a little boy, staring down at the two tan boy-men in the expensive hot tub.

–The gang has a new job this summer: Making pizza! They’re working at a place called Vesuvio, which was also the name of a restaurant on Sopranos. Question: Which houseguest do you think is most like Tony Soprano? The Situation? Ronnie? J-Woww? (Actually, I think J-Woww has more in common with Breaking Bad‘s Walter White, but that’s the subject of a dissertation I will never write.)

–Jenni, with the line of the night: “When I’m 80 years old, and I’m making pizza in my kitchen and I’m teaching my kids how to make pizza, and they ask me, ‘Where’d you learn to make pizza?’ I’ll be like “Bitch, I made it in Florence, that’s where I made pizza, so shut your mouth and enjoy my pizza.” There are so many beautiful things about that sentence. It’s like a prose poem. Why is an 80-year-old woman teaching her children to make pizza? Did she adopt very late in life? Is she bonding with middle-aged children by teaching them pizza? Why does she hate her children? Also, that sentence is long enough to have its own drinking game: Every time she says “Pizza,” take a shot.

–A great bit of camerawork. Sammi is carrying Deena home drunk from the bar. Deena says: “I want to hook up with that guy. Is that him?” Sammi looks left, see something we don’t see, and says, “Act normal. Keep walking.” The camera pans over…and it’s a cop!

–Deena really needs to work on her balance.

–“If she has coloring books, she’s too young for you, man!” “If she still has parental controls on the TV, she’s too young for you, man!” “If she only owns Snow White on DVD, she’s too young for you!”

–Oh, I almost forgot! Sitch was creeping on Deena. Deena pointed out that Sitch was creeping on her. Thanks to the game of Telephone that Pauly D plays with the rest of the world, he translated this as “Deena wanted to cuddle with Sitch.” Sitch had no memory of any of this. Everyone felt very strange about it. Alcohol is a terrible drug.

Viewers, what did you think about episode 2 in Florence? Is the plot thickening? What is Evil Doctor Situation’s real plan here? Are we looking at Ronnie & Sammi? There are so many editions of Ronnie and Sammi, we should start labeling them with jungle cats, like Apple. So I guess this would be Ronnie & Sammi: Snow Leopard?

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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