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Jersey Shore Recap: The Cheese Hides Alone

While not a classic, this was a solid, lighthearted episode that featured all the elements we've come to expect this season: smushing, peeing near or on someone, pranks, unintentional racism, poop, tears, and grated cheese. To the filthy dozen!

1. The Return of Sam
After crying to her mom and visiting LensCrafters, Sam decides she's a new person and makes a triumphant return to the house. Pauly's nonchalant reaction ("Oh hey, Sam") was perfect, but the girls were ecstatic! Or in Deena's case, "Ha-Static" which means you're both "super happy AND really happy." Man, is she Ha-stupid. Then, the guys and girls separate into their packs to giggle and gossip, and you half expect them to break out into "Summer Lovin'" at this point. When Ron and Sam finally come face to face, she gives him quite possibly the worst insult you could give a guy in Seaside: "You look pale"! Oh crap! That's like saying "you seem sober and reasonable" or "I really enjoy your plain, modest T-shirt that has no ridiculous slogans on it all."

2. Pauly D Should Host the 2012 Oscars
Few people on TV are as consistently amusing. As the guys were sitting around waiting to go to Karma and weighing the impact of Sam's return, Pauly exclaimed, "I feel no different!" before they all launched into a round robin of the annoying, paranoid girl questions Sam used to pepper them with: "Did Ron talk to the waitress?" "Did he punch anyone?" "Did he bleed out of his anus?" etc. A disturbing aerosol montage followed, and soon everyone was ready and waiting for cabs. Deena and JWOWW were looking particularly ladylike on the parlor chair, what with JWOWW trying to open a bag of something with her teeth and Deena finally covering up her mysterious knee scab with a Band-Aid. Although was it us, or was the scab on her other knee last week?

3. It's the "Name Snooki's Vagina After a Literary Animal" Sweepstakes!
The Snooki/Vinny saga is underwhelming. The problem with it is this: The show's treating it like a "won't these kids ever realize they're perfect for each other?" love story, but really, it's just that Snooki wants to bang Vinny, and he just wants to keep her from crying. Vinny has zero romantic feelings for Snooki at all, right? Anyway, Snooki says she's named Vin's weiner "Moby Dick" (hmmm — keeping in line with her theories on oceanography, maybe he's the reason the water's salty?), which means her vagina should be named ... so many to pick from ... but we're going with Old Yeller. Suggestions welcome! The best one will get a custom-made T-shirt paid for by you.

4. If There's Anything Worse than Mopey SamRon …
It's that awful trying to flirt/trying to win you back horribleness we saw at Karma. Ron thought Sam looked fantastic in her blue dress (dude, it's purple, so we can now add "colorblindness" to the Xenedrine side effects) and followed her around Karma like a sad, sweaty, thick-necked puppy. Ron told Sam he doesn't want to smother her, even as he sort of did. To be fair, he doesn't want to smother her; he wants to throw poorly assembled furniture at her, just like back in the old days, about twenty hours ago.

5. Vinny the Sociologist
Unaware that Snooki is pining for him somewhere in the bar, Vinny proceeds to pick up a Dominican girl, while giving her the most racist compliment ever: "Dominican girls are hot because they can dance, they can move, they got tans, big butts, and that flavor that an Italian guy needs." So, sounds like Vinny's got his presenter banter for the Latin Grammys all written and ready to go. Vin gets a girl for Pauly, so the four of them retire home for an evening of having sex a foot and a half away from each other. Meanwhile, Snooki wails "I want to touch Vinny," which would be sweet if she weren't about to vomit on Sam's dress.

6. Big Brother, Drunk Sister
Sam and Snooki come home to find Ron waiting creepily on the parlor chair. A question about Sam's dress: Was it more The Fifth Element or from the Whitney Houston's "I Want to Dance with Somebody" collection? Ron lets the girls march right upstairs into Vinny's room as Vin and Pauly are smushing the Dominican girls. Then, realizing what he's done, Ron physically removes them from the room, which made us a bit uncomfortable and was probably Sam's cue to get the fuck out of Seaside immediately. Curiously, Ron counted in Spanish as he lifted them out. Was that a nod to Vin and Pauly's girls? Ron tries to calm Snooki down, gently reminding her that she banged Jianni earlier that week (while calling him "Bernard").

7. What's Grosser?
(a) JWOWW peeing on Deena's feet on the way back from Karma? Or (b) Ron almost biting/licking/kissing Sam's finger when she holds it up to his mouth as if to say, "Lover, shh"? After watching both of those over and over again … we've got to go with "B." There was something so disturbing and pathetic about that moment. You could almost see the thoughts being processed in Ron's head: "Sam would love it if I did my awesome finger-lick move right now!" or "Man, wouldn't it be sweet to eat Sam's finger right now, call her the C-word, and then break her glasses?" But the moment passes, and Sam gets up to say she's "done." But not before flashing America her blue underpants and hey, points for wearing underpants. She really has changed! Messy, sloppy, pee-soaked Deena and JWOWW come home just as Vin and Pauly are romantically pushing their girls into a cab, to which Deena asks, "Who is these girls?"

8. Driving Miss Deena
Since the weather was bad, the producers made the cast go bowling instead of their usual Segment 4 trip to the boardwalk. This setting had promise: balls, gutters, holes ... but it never really panned out (although we hope the cast swiped a few of the cans of stuff they spray shoes with, to use on their genitals). The most exciting part was the ride over, when Deena almost killed everyone. Her poor driving even made JWOWW spill her Red Bull! After half a frame, the bowling trip is over. Back at home, Snooki confesses her true feelings for Vinny to JWOWW, who thought she was just being "drunk and stupid." That makes 8.4 millon of us! For what seems like the fifth time this episode, Vinny goes to console a curled up Snooki who tells him to go away.

9. Seriously, How Is the FCC Okay With This?
Yes, JWOWW, it's a perfect Sunday ... sure, there are a few dented hearts in the house, but everyone's getting along and — OH FUCK THAT FILTHY CLOGGED TOILET IS BACK! WHAT DO YOU MEAN THEY HAVEN'T FIXED THAT YET?! Three weeks in a row! This means that if you turn on MTV, you are more likely to see a shot of a disgusting shit-filled toilet than you are an actual music video. The gang decides to call Danny, who says he's busy like most plumbers are on Sunday nights. This raises two questions: Why are Sunday evenings particularly busy for plumbers, and is Danny himself a plumber? He owns the Shore Store and his own plumbing company? What a renaissance man! The plumbers come the following day and even they are horrified by the sights and smells. After wading through a horrific mix of the housemates' collective waste, while being flirted with by Snooki, the plumbers at last found the source of the clog ... a bleeped-out g----- tee!

10. The Zapooder Film
What followed the de-clogging was like a taut, courtroom thriller. Accusations were hurled. Theories were debunked. Just who, exactly, was responsible for the g----- tee in the toilet? (Also, why is it okay to say "wife beater" when describing a tank top, but g------ tee is bleeped?) All signs pointed to Vinny, who must have thrown the T-shirt out while in the shower, landing in the toilet instead. Fair enough, but if you look at the angle from the shower to the toilet, how could he have arced the T-shirt around the shower curtain, have it hover — in midair, mind you — turn around, and drop safely into the toilet?? That is one magic T-shirt. Unless — unless, there was a second flusher? Someone waiting on the other side of the ceramic knoll … okay, we've beaten this into the ground. Back to the house: Snoooki tries to clean the toilet with Cascade, which is product mis-placement.

11. The Sitch Gets Cheesed!
SAT analogy time! SamRon: The clogged toilet is as E.T. the extraterrestrial : his flower. The unclogging of the toilet also seemed to unclog the hate and tension piling up in SamRon, as they now appear to be friends. SamRon and Snooki forsake alcohol for the evening (!!!) and "Team Sober" decides to pull a prank on Mike. They hide a bunch of cheese in his bed: "You got cheesed, you old cheesy bastard!" Initially, we weren't sure if this would be effective, just as nailing a dead fish under Deena's bed would probably go unnoticed and unsmelled for weeks. MVP are at Aztec while this is going on; Vinny's chatting with the New Jersey cast of The L Word while Pauly and Mike bring home girls with grim efficiency. Pauly again kills it when he gets home: "This is Blair, Blair, Blair," and Mike just seems to be phoning it in with his girl, giving her iced tea and sweatpants with as much enthusiasm and verve as a flight attendant pointing out the safety exits. Will Mike notice he's been cheesed??

12. Are You There God, It's Me, Velveeta
He noticed! Mike thought it was his girl who smelled like grated cheese ... so he put her on the first cab out of Seaside ... right after she gave him a blow job. Mom! Guess what? I'm on TV! Parents, as spring break approaches, do not let your daughters go to the Jersey Shore for spring break; send them somewhere safer like Daytona or Tripoli. Anyway, Mike covers up the cheese smell with something worse — Axe body spray — before JWOWW tells him that he could have gotten an STD. The duckphone rightfully has the health clinic on speed dial, and the nonplussed doctor tells them that yes, Mike could have gotten herpes, and a Havarti-Vagina could mean a yeast infection. Snooki and Vin forgive each other and we realize we'd rather have the foul toilet back than see those two together.

Honorable Mentions
- "To blowouts, boobs, and Times Square!"
- The second time this year that JWOWW has peed somewhere other than a toilet. And on-camera.
- We went the whole recap without a Charlie Sheen joke. Winning! Dammit.

Photo: MTV