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Jersey Shore Recap: If It’s Thursday, Someone Must Be Getting Punched

What do you get when you combine a vuvuzela, a punch in the face, and analingus? No, not Charlie Sheen's eHarmony profile — they're the ingredients for an instantly classic episode of Jersey Shore! Last night's installment was crammed with so many awesomely itchy-burny moments it will be hard to whittle them down to just twelve, but we'll try ...

1. Ryder on the Storm
Snooki's BFF Ryder had all the makings of a great Jersey Shore guest star: Had between-seasons sex with Vinny? Check. Plays with her hair constantly? Check. Drunk before 11 a.m.? Check. But while Ryder had promise, all she did was kind of sit there, being all pouty and stupid. Hello, we have Sammi for that! The most notable part of her arc came when she was at the bar with Deena, and we suddenly saw an eerie, blurred-out ghost kid hovering behind them, like in Three Men and a Baby. Anyway, I think we (the audience, and Ryder) expected more. After all, it was her 32nd 22nd birthday.

2. JWOWW + Snooki = Jack and Chrissy
Seeing JWOWW and Snooki trying to change the locks in JWOWW's house was a comic high point. What started as a simple mission to prevent Tom from further petty theft quickly devolved into one of those hilarious off-camera Three's Company double entendre misunderstandings (the ones where Jack and a roommate would be in the kitchen making coq au vin, but to the Ropers in the other room, their cooking banter would sound like clumsy assplay), what with all the references to "knobs" and "holes" and "shaving." Anyway, with her house even less secure than when she arrived, JWOWW packed up her dogs and went back to Seaside where she belongs.

3. Sammi Ruins Everything, Again
Once Snooki and JWOWW returned, it was Karma time! JWOWW was wearing some sort of dead-seagull bandana as a top, prompting Vinny to introduce her as "my friend Bjork." Is Vinny being faxed jokes by Bruce Vilanch this season? Vinny was in rare form, meeting a lovely young woman named Gina, who, naturally, was spending her Saturday night going clubbing with her uncle. Meanwhile, on another floor at Karma (the one JWOWW peed on), Sammi got jealous because Ron was talking to some girl, a friend of his who is apparently married and has a kid. An increasingly frustrated Ron threatened to "bring her over; she'll show you her C-section," which was either his attempt to prove his innocence or a really, really peculiar and depressing way to initiate a three-way. Have you ever gone out with a group of friends and expected to have a really good time, but then one person loses her wallet/keys/phone or something and then the fun evening you had planned turns into a dreary search for her stuff? That's the feeling Sammi produces every time she's onscreen.

4. SamRon Disrupts the Space-Time Continuum
It was a raucous return to the house. There were lots of people (Ryder, that dude's niece, and a grenade who really wants to borrow a pair of pants) and lots of snacks (pizza, Reddi-wip, cigarettes), but at some point over the next few minutes of the show, it was difficult to tell what was taking place indoors or outdoors, and whether it was daytime or nighttime or all a vision inside the mind of Sammi's stuffed banana. Here's what we think happened: Sam and Ron continued their fight over ... Miami? C-section scars? Ronnie trashed the room, and for some reason, thought he was owed an apology, in the form of a protein shake. Ron giggles maniacally, which is a bad sign (wait, didn't we learn last week that he only has two laughs — the "dolphin on steroids" and the "little girl squeal"?) and Sammi starts to cry. Then they both cry. Then there's a grenade whistle, and Gina's uncle shows up. What the hell is happening??

5. JWOWW and Ronnie's Couch Confessional
JWOWW used the latest SamRon fight to have a tender moment with a tearful, increasingly unstable Ronnie. This conversation really set the rest of the evening's events in motion, and it even looked as if JWOWW might have wanted to give Ronnie an apologetic hand job just to get back at Sammi. Anyway, these two seemed to have a breakthrough, and we also caught a weird glimpse of JWOWW's red, rashy side tattoo.

6. Holy Crapballs, She Punched Him in the Face!
Okay, so it wasn't the cheating that pushed Sammi over the edge, or the destruction of her property — no, it was Ronnie talking to JWOWW. Mike (deliberately?) mentioned this to Sammi while he was looking in her nightstand for a rogue condom. That sent Sammi into an awesome rage that led her right downstairs to clock him in the face. Yes, we've all seen a lot of face-punching in reality TV since Irene got slapped in Real World: Seattle, but there's something about this one that seemed really awesome. Maybe because it was juxtaposed with Ryder getting a pan of frosting for her birthday. Happy birthday, Ryder! Hope you like testifying!

7. "You Need Sucky Things in Life to Make You Stronger"
This was Vin's sound advice while trying to convince Sammi to stay (?!). Thinking about it, everyone in the house should heed these words. "Sucky" things like cockblocking uncles, the T-shirt store, being made to go on roller coasters while you're legally drunk, Sammi's voice, getting punched in the face by your girlfriend, the duck-phone ring, repeatedly falling down vagina-first, grenades, ridiculous sunglasses, and sleeping in toddler beds — maybe they DO make you stronger.

8. Perhaps the Dogs Would Have Been Better Off in JWOWW's House
To JWOWW, Roger is "everything I want in a guy" — really sweaty and unconscious. But before they can have sex, JWOWW needs to make sure that her dogs are together, because when they're apart, they bark — and barking ruins the mood in a way that boom mike operators and lighting guys standing over your bed do not. So, JWOWW's dogs, together but quiet, watch while they bang. Does the disclaimer "no animals were harmed during this production" apply to psychological harm as well?

9. Sammi's Extreme Apology
That's really the only kind of apology that'll do after an incident of domestic abuse. Sammi tells Ron that she's sorry for punching him in the face, but he's unresponsive. If only she'd been privy to his earlier testimonial and just brought him a protein shake — then everything would be okay! Instead, we're subjected to a prolonged and agonizing will-she-or-won't-she leave sequence, with packed bags and final hugs. Ron, not realizing that he and Sammi should never be allowed within 150 feet of each other ever again, accepts the extreme apology! We had no idea that Mike was in the room the whole time, and when he said, off-camera, "If you guys want me to go downstairs for some makeup sex, let me know" — that was the perfect capper to this violent, sexy night that will live forever in Jersey Lore.

10. Date Night: Keeping It Classy
After a Sunday-night dinner, featuring the whole gang at peace, JWOWW and Deena went out on a double date with Roger and Fake Ronnie. It was tough not to feel bad for solo Snooki, so Vinny, being the mensch that he is, took it upon himself to keep her spirits up. And what better way to do that than a visit to the Love Shack, which is basically Danny's T-shirt store with buttplugs. They buy a stripper pole because, as Vin says, "This house needs a stripper pole." No, what this house needs is a set of encyclopedias, some Neosporin, and sheets with a thread count. But the stripper pole makes Snooki happy. She says, "It's like Christmas," which is true, if Santa Claus were Bret Michaels and gingerbread cookies smelled like Tara Reid's underpants.

11. Whose Anus Is It Anyway?
The best moment of the show, and maybe our lives, happened at the Jagged Edge — the only barbershop in the world named after a Glenn Close movie. While the guys were getting haircuts, somehow the conversation turned to FRonnie and Deena. From what we could tell from lip-reading beneath the bleeps, FRonnie told the barbers that Deena tried to (and we're sorry, if there's a more artful way to say this, please let us know, but we're stumped ... seriously, maybe you want to skip to the next entry. No? fine, here goes … ) eat FRonnie's asshole. Thankfully, we may never know what really happened, but Deena was adamant that she would never suck a butt, even if said butt was cleaned out in the Jacuzzi: "My teeth and my mouth is too precious to me to go down that way." After Deena found out about FRonnie's loose lips (couldn't resist), she threatened to "rip him a new A-hole," not realizing how this phrase does not strengthen her case.

12. Happy Ending/Awesome Tease
The episode culminates nicely at Karma. Deena tells FRonnie off, and JWOWW and Sammi finally put their differences aside and reconcile. This really could have been the season finale, it was so satisfying. Just when we thought we'd seen it all, however, we got a sneak peek at next week's show. SPOILER ALERT: Ronnie has blood in his stool!

Honorable Mentions
• Was it implied that Vin, Snooki, and Ryder had a three-way? If so, it wasn't given nearly enough attention.
• Enough with the amusement park already. Cash in your tickets, it's time to go.
• "Your tears don't mean shit to me."
• "The Capulets and the Whatevers."

Photo: MTV