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Jersey Shore Recap: Inside Out

All right, all right, I admit it. I'm starting to really like Nicole this season. It's like wifing up and settling down has had the inverse effect it does on say, your high school friends from the midwest on Facebook. Maybe it's humanized her in that way! Because, I have to say, aside from being a pretty horrible employee, she's spent the season being nice — to her dad and boyfriend and housemates.

Forgive me for what I'm about to say, but it's been a long week of sweaty pundits and ethically murky mini-documentaries: we have real villains these days — ones who want to take away our birth control and our unions and invalidate the marriages of our Neil Patrick Harrises. If Snook's biggest crime is being kind of a sloppy drunk with Ultimate Warrior hair, then I'm sure we can direct our vitriolic SomeECards and weak-ass Mayan apocalypse jokes at some other cultural pinata. Love you, Snooks — don't forget your folic acid.

Onward.

Mike has finally "confronted" Jionni about hooking up with Nicole. The entire time he's telling him, Jionni looks like a cat somebody's woken up too early for a cross country road trip. Mike's going on about how he's just a solid guy* who doesn't want to hurt anybody* or be a dick* (asterisk indicates lie) while Jionni sleepily shakes his hand and sips from his water like he doesn't quite understand. Are we going to the vet? Jionni hates the vet.

Mike thinks that the fact that Jionni doesn't immediately fly into a creatine rage and beat the crap out of him means he doesn't really care about Nicole. Or maybe it's because Jionni trusts his girlfriend more than a histrionic sociopath with a star-shaped fade.

The next morning, Snooki confronts Sitch while Jionni sits on the couch begging her to be quiet like a beleaguered housewife. Mike says he hopes they can be friends again and Snooki says she hopes Mike dies in a pit. Compelling points, both.

That night, Snooki suggests that they all go camping, which you can tell was really the suggestion of some lazy producer who was hoping to squeeze a "things get intense" promo out of it. (Later, Snooki and Deena make a shopping list for the trip, and it's kind of amazing: bronzer, toilet paper, and some kind of musical instrument that Nicole can't quite pronounce "A bonjo? A bango?" Pack ME, you guys.) Hetero life-mates Vinny and Paul opt not to go along, as they are pretty much only in this episode to defuse the tension like a bumbling tradesmen in a Shakespearean tragedy.

Dinner ends in a food fight and probably overtime for whatever underpaid crime scene cleanup crew MTV is paying to spray down this cotton swab of of a house. The fight culminates in a one-on-one battle between Mike and Nicole who spray each other with condiments like highlanders on Double Dare. Mike shouts something about his penis, Snooki shouts something about Jionni's penis, and they both shout something about Vinny's penis (Vinny to his penis: "What the fuck did we do?" Ha. Thanks for that, Guildenstern.)

Poor Deena is feeling the strain of being the only single girl in the house. She plans a date with Joey, but everybody kind of convinces her he's a scumbag, so she has Pauly pretend that she's sick when he arrives at the house. Jenni tells him off in no uncertain terms. Uh, okay, Joey may be a terrible dude, but like, don't invite him over then?

Out at the club that night, Mike meets a girl who wants to sleep with him to get revenge on a cheating boyfriend. Sweetheart, I think it was Buddha who said that revenge is like holding on to a hot coal and waiting to throw it at somebody: Don't! The coal will give you herpes. Pauly brings home two girls in case Vinny decides not to have sex with the "thicker chick" he's chosen. I hope he gets a fungus from dry humping his sneakers.

Everybody leaves for the camping trip, except Pauly and Vinny, who want to stay home and work on some elaborate prank. Everybody has a little trouble pitching their tents, and Ronnie jokes that the closest thing they have to camping in New York City are homeless people. So weird, because I could swear I saw him in Zuccotti protesting municipal funding cuts in arts education.

Team MVP's "prank" is to whip off their shirts and bring all the inside furniture outside and all the outside furniture inside? Great prank, you guys, you're now a Birmingham meth lab. Danny even came over to help, despite having so much else going on in his life. Man, is it going to suck for the rest of the crew to be marginally inconvenienced for ten minutes. Hope they get footage of their faces as they're eating sandwiches in a restaurant miles away while the MTV crew re-rearranges the house.

Photo: MTV