Jersey Shore Family Vacation
The Nicole versus Vinny fight turned Nicole versus Jenni fight rages on, until Pauly pays cry-packing Nicole a visit in her room. He brings a glass of wine as a peace offering and sweetly, maturely checks in with her. “If you ever just got to take a minute and get away from everybody, just do that,” Pauly says. “Whatever helps you cope.” Cooled off, she explains that she loves Vinny, but she wants to respect her husband, given their history. Pauly finds Jenni downstairs: “How would you feel about going to talk to Nicole?” he asks, gently. Honestly, I have been to far worse therapists than Pauly D.
Nicole takes responsibility for being “annoying and dramatic” first to Jenni and then to Vinny, as he sulks in the hot tub. She reassures him that she values their friendship, just as Jenni reassures Nicole that she is a good wife, because she gives blowjobs. All is forgiven.
The next morning, finally, we get a good old-fashioned GTL day. The gang lifts weights and punches things, then does a group round of urine-inducing (at least on Nicole’s part) high knees. Mike strolls placidly on a treadmill, munching on a protein bar as he walks. “Who fucking works out while they’re on vacation and does laundry and shit?” asks Deena, who has instead chosen, relatably, to spend the afternoon lounging by the pool.
That night, Ronnie whips up a batch of superpotent Ron Ron Juice, the sacred, sacramental drink of the Jersey Shore house. “Look at this watermelon. This succulent, succulent, voluptuous, smooth watermelon,” Ron says, sensually stroking the vodka-soaked fruit in the first but certainly not the last time that I wonder if he’s about to commit an act of infidelity. Before long, Ronnie picks back up his fight with Deena — really, his fight with Sam, with Deena as proxy. Ron refuses to believe Sammi hasn’t talked trash about him to her good pal Deena. But Deena — who does reveal that Sammi mentioned Ron’s habit of calling her on blocked numbers and being “really weird” — says his ex-girlfriend doesn’t say anything about Ron, “narcissistic piece of shit” that he is. She doesn’t think about him at all. If Deena is offended by the Sammequin, Ronnie insists more than once, then she should call Sam and tell her all about it. To me, it seems like Ron just wants Deena to do anything that will even infinitesimally increase the odds of Sammi showing up at the house.
Out at a packed club, Jenni volunteers as wingwoman tribute for single Pauly, sweet-talking two gorgeous blonde women on his behalf, but very-much-in-a-relationship Ronnie manages to intercept one of them. This beautiful French woman is wearing a sheer top without bra, a fashion choice I only mention because literally no one on this television program can shut up about it. Ron busts out his finest eighth-grade dance game, asking her, “Do you guys like to French kiss?” Pauly grabs the mic: “Shout out to Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, right now spiraling, ladies! Make some noise!” The next stage of spiraling is, apparently, grinding on his new friend. (Out of curiosity, I looked up how to say “grind” in French, and I am pretty sure the best translation is frotti-frotta. It is also possible that this phrase means something more like “dry-humping,” so use at your own risk.) “If Ronnie gets any closer to this girl, he’s about to have a second baby mama,” Vinny warns.
Ronnie, unsurprisingly, invites Mademoiselle Frotti-Frotta back home, along with a coterie of beautiful strangers. His housemates repeatedly warn him that this is not a great look, to put it mildly, but bad decisions are like catnip to Miami Ron. Ronnie jams girl after girl into the cab like it’s a clown car, if this particular circus exclusively hired international Instagram models. From there, it’s straight into the hot tub. “I’m not gonna fuck them,” Ron promises Jenni. “Relax, I’m not that dumb.” Famous last words, and also not a terrible idea for the inscription on Ron’s future gravestone.
Jenni — who’s already written one note too many about Ron’s cheating, in Miami no less, to disastrous results — resigns herself to watching this train wreck in real time, with popcorn and tea. But Nicole is struck with inspiration: She pours a round of screwdrivers that are 80 percent vodka, 20 percent orange juice, in a ploy to get the girls so drunk they pass out, thereby sabotaging Ron’s opportunity to cheat. Like much of the behavior showcased throughout the years on Jersey Shore, this is misguided, disturbing, and dangerous, yet oddly affectionate. By now, of course, Vinny and Pauly have also found their way into the hot tub, and one of the women volunteers her natural boobs for Dr. Pauly to examine out of medical curiosity. Suddenly, Pauly is making out with one of the women — I think it is the boob inspectee, but honestly, there are a lot of blonde people in this hot tub, and I wouldn’t feel prepared to testify on this in court. Ron, meanwhile, has placed his hand on Amélie’s ass.
The group’s sole brunette is by now so drunk that she can hardly stand, thanks to her guerrilla bartender, who by now is feeling awfully guilty, the correct reaction. “Listen, I’ve been there, bitch,” Nicole tells her. “Bitch, I’m Snooki.” Her victim proceeds to puke, still soaking wet, in a thong, behind a couch. Surely this woman is owed some kind of punitive damages, or at least a nice gift basket with an apology note. “I have class in the morning,” she worries aloud. Nicole, amid wondering if she might end up going to jail for murder, paper towels the puke out of her houseguest’s hair, like she’s transcended the laws of time and space to mother a younger version of herself.
Mademoiselle Frotti-Frotta asks Ronnie to, ahem, take her on a tour of the house. “Ronnie is one step above playing with fire right now,” Vinny says. Indeed, Ronnie is juggling a sparkler while taking a long, therapeutic soak in a bathtub full of gasoline. He leads her upstairs to, of all places, the bathroom (the site of Ronnie’s gravest sins), and shuts the door behind them. The sounds that ensue indicate that, at an extreme sexual benefit-of-the-doubt minimum, an aggressive make-out is happening.
Pauly knocks on the closed door, but “no, thank you” is the only response. I’m sure there’s an innocent explanation, you guys. Like, um, maybe this woman is the plumber they’ve been waiting for?