The season finale of Jersey Shore saw almost everyone go out with a sweaty, foul-smelling bang. Friendships were tested. Relationships were ended. Buttocks were ground. For the last time (unless we start recapping The Paul Reiser Show), your disgusting dozen.
1. Mike Is Still a Meddling Douche
The episode picks up where things left off last week. Ron's on the phone with Arvin, where he finds out the awful truth: Sammi may have kissed Arvin two or three years before she and Ron met. Ron makes/shoves Sam onto the duckphone to confront Arvin. She employs a simple yet brilliant tactic: She denies the whole thing ever happened, while on the phone. And it almost works, too. Ron would have believed her had the Situation not been hovering around his head, gleefully whispering things in his ear like "she's lying, bro." This sequence played out like Fight Club, with Ron as the conflicted Edward Norton and Mike as his alter ego Tyler Durden goading him on to blow shit up. Sammi gives up the charade and admits to Ron that she and Arvin indeed had a past, and a surprisingly restrained Ron tells her that she needs to "right your wrongs, or walk away," although we don't know how she can do the former, since it's impossible to un-blow someone, right?
2. The Last Supper
Meanwhile, the gang is in the kitchen preparing their final Sunday dinner, and Deena is mixing pasta with her bare hands, which is about as unsanitary as ... Deena mixing pasta with her bare hands. As the gang settles in for their pasta prima-scabies, it's announced that Danny will be throwing them all a farewell barbecue the following night! F yeah! Every awesome movie about summers at the beach end with some sort of blowout bonfire party! Although why Danny is rewarding them for ruining the plumbing in his house and showing up to work late and drunk is somewhat mysterious.
3. Analogy Time! The Rush T-Shirt Store: The Shore Store As Cheers: Gary's Old Town Tavern
Ron decides to show his gratitude to Danny by showing up for his last day at work in a T-shirt for another crappy iron-on store, "Rush," which prompts Danny to rip the shirt of Ron's back and graze his balls (by the way, these two have infinitely more chemistry than SamRon do). The big question is, why did they wait until the season finale to introduce the "rival T-shirt store" plotline? How awesome would it have been if our Shore Store group engaged in a battle of wits and pranks with those jerks from Rush?!? What would have made it even more awesome is if the Rush crew were snobby preppies, and all of the T-shirts they made had collars on them or something! Ted McGinley would play the Rush manager, who has a long-standing beef with Danny going back to their days in high school, and then Vinny and McGinley's daughter (Joyce Hyser) fall into forbidden love ... Dammit, this would have been way more entertaining than going bowling, poisoning dogs, water fights, and Ron's bleeding anus.
4. Remember When We Said How Awesome Danny's Farewell Party Was Going to Be? We Were Wrong
As everyone's getting ready for the beachfront blowout, Pauly informs us that he bases all his outfits on his kicks (sneakers). Snooki suggests that J-WOWW wear a choker, and J-WOWW cryptically responds, "That's later," the implication being that later on that evening, Roger will strangle her whilst making love. Pauly announces that some of his party guests will include D.J. Biggy and Big Jerry. Seinfeld?? Sweet! We can't wait until he asks "what's the deal with all these tans?" Nope. The guests start to arrive, and Big Jerry's just an enormous bald man who doesn't even bother to comment once on all the annoying things about everyday life. But he can do the worm; hopefully his cuca won't come out. Some quasi-familiar faces show up: Snooki's friend Danielle and Deena's friend Lisa, though we were expecting some other guest stars from previous episodes to arrive, like Pauly's stalker or the horrifically clogged toilet.
5. J-WOWW's Dad Was Not What We Expected
First of all, Pauly D specifically said the previous evening that no family was allowed at Danny's party ... yet Vinny brings his Uncle Nino (more on him next), and J-WOWW invites her father, EdBegleyJr-WOWW. We would have also accepted "TomPetty-WOWW" and "CynthiaNixon-WOWW." J-WOWW introduces her Dad to Roger (who is piling cold cuts into a sub roll) while neglecting to mention their plans for erotic asphyxiation later that night.
6. Uncle Nino's No-No
When we last saw Uncle Nino, at Vinny's house on Staten Island, he was a lovable, kindly uncle. Tonight, he transformed into the drunk, sexual predator-y uncle. Wielding his cane as a sinister accessory, Uncle Nino began grinding away on a more-than-willing Deena. And if you think about it, that may be the most disturbing non-SamRon event we've witnessed all season. While that sex crime is happening, Vinny (who, in his red shirt and cap, is dressed like a Quizno's employee) decides to put the moves on Deena's friend Lisa. Deena pulls herself away from Uncle Nino's weiner and strenuously objects to a potential Vinny/Lisa coupling, out of concern for Snooki's feelings. That was kind of sweet, I guess, but she really doesn't have the moral authority to "cock-block" Vinny, considering he didn't "beaver dam" her with Uncle Nino. Anyway, Snooki said she didn't mind who Vinny hooks up with, but the damage was already done. The party ends with J-WOWW destroying a Valtrex-filled piñata using Uncle Nino's cane.
7. The A-Word!
The party, which was not nearly as fun and whimsical as it should have been, ends with a pizza-filled party bus back to the house. Vinny's all bitter with Deena for the cock-block, and he proceeds to act like the same surly putz he's been since he got his ears pierced. Although one has to wonder about Deena's true motivations. Was she really out to protect Snooki's feelings, or does she feel something for Vinny, too? Or, is she merely jealous of her less-skanky friend, Lisa? Vinny vents his frustration with Deena by calling her she-who-shall-not-be-named: Yup, he called her "Angelina." And in a house where the C-word (not "contraception") gets thrown around with alarming frequency, it is the dreaded A-word that wounds the most. Meanwhile, Sam shreds whatever remaining sympathy the audience had for her by trying to destroy MikeRon's friendship.
8. Crumbcake, Cartwheels, and Cuca
The next day, Mike unnecessarily and insincerely apologizes to Sam. He chalks up his actions to the "pressure" they all feel in the house. To be fair, getting paid to sleep until 5 p.m., eat turkey burgers, and take huge dumps is more pressure than anyone should be subjected to. There's still tension between Vinny and Deena as the gang heads off for one last disgusting meal at Rivoli's, apparently known for its crumbcake. Everyone is protective of his or her food. Pauly says, "No one touches my clams, I'll cut your fingers off," which is paraphrasing what Deena said to Vinny the night before. (Ba-boom!) Deena sort of makes things right with a whiny toast, and on the way home, Ron claims dibs on the bathroom, and there isn't enough Liquid Plum-r Foaming Pipe Snakes in Seaside to combat that atrocity. Back at home, they only have a few minutes to get ready for Karma ... and Snooki treats America to one last blurry, snatch-side-up cartwheel, which will have to sate us all summer.
9. Last Night at Karma
If you didn't get even a little choked up by Pauly's final, emphatic "cabs are heeyah!" then you have no soul. Snooki sets the "anything goes" stakes for the evening: "Have sex with an old man, steal a plant, and get arrested." Would you rather be the old man or the plant in this scenario? Pauly exclaims, "We're wearing plaid tonight, you know what that means!" That you're in every 1994 college film class ever taken? That you're on the cover of our eighth-grade math textbook? What does plaid mean, Pauly??? At Karma, Roger wastes little time in asking J-WOWW to go steady. Do people in their mid-thirties still do that? Regardless, J-WOWW was all greasy with adrenaline and moved by Roger's romantic gesture. After all, Roger "looks like her cup of tea," which means that her cup of tea must have ridiculous jeans, a goatee, and a criminal record.
10. One More Scary, Abusive Fight for the Road
Everyone leaves Karma in typical fashion. Deena falls down and gets a scab. J-WOWW wants to spoon while Roger wants to "fork," Snooki's DTF with Pauly look-alike Nick. (And Nick was in a "Rush" shirt! Again, how great would this subplot have played out if the Shore Store/Rush rivalry were intensified.) Snooki makes him a grilled cheese sandwich before retiring upstairs to the smush room. Question: Why does everyone always eat something gross before having sex? Wouldn't pizza and fluff sandwiches be more enjoyable post-coitus, or is this a Jersey thing? Anyway, Nick apparently can't get it up for five hours because, according to Snooki, his "penis is drunk" (on grilled cheese?). All is well until SamRon have yet another fight about ... we're not sure ... but it was probably about Sam being drunk mean, and Ron being a paranoid, Xena'd up near-murderer. The same things that have been yelled all season are yelled once again ("I hate you," "you're a stupid bitch," etc.), and it seemed like they were kind of going through the motions on this one. The housemates were all smiling as they bore earwitness to this latest round of abuse, and the sounds were as comforting to them as soothing whale song on a noise machine.
11. Dawn Breaks on Seaside
There was something beautiful about the montage of the housemates awakening on their final morning. The light was cascading on J-WOWW and Roger's six-packs ... Nick quietly slinked out of the smush room ... the only thing missing was Debussy's "Clair De Lune" playing over the soundtrack. And one last SamRon breakup on the patio. Ron was left in tears (and a Cosby T-shirt) the night before, Sam tells him that they're best friends ... but Ron is heartbroken and needs his space. So the answer to "are we together or are we single" is ... single. And that's it. No punches or broken eyewear. And we can't believe that the plot anchor for this entire season has been a dysfunctional relationship between the two least likable people in the house.
12. Good-bye, Farewell, and Amen
How awesome would this have been for an ending: Vinny thinks Pauly left without saying good-bye, and as Vinny's being helicoptered away from the house, he sees that Pauly D has spelled "Good-bye" on the roof out of used condoms and dog poop? Instead, they all have an uneventful breakfast and some halfhearted hugs. Only J-WOWW and Snooki's farewell embrace is tinged with any real emotion. Of J-WOWW's "Free Snooki" T-shirt, Snooki tells her to "keep that, always" and it's clear that these two care about each other, at least enough to shoot a season of their spin-off series. The season ends with Snooki apparently throwing her hat into the 2012 presidential race, with Deena as her running mate. Her pledge? "The economy would rise, everyone would be tan, and all radios would play house music." YES WE TAN! YES WE TAN! YES WE TAN!
Everyone who read, liked, and commented on the recaps all season —thank you so much. We wish we could get you all monogrammed underpants from the Shore Store. However, we shouldn't say good-bye too soon; we'll be back one last time next week for the Reunion Special.