Oh, man, Jersey Shore. What to say? You know when you’re in a live-in relationship and you’ve both individually reckoned with the fact that the love is gone, and now it’s just a matter of blurting it out over dinner and breaking your lease? I feel like we’re all experiencing a little bit of that with the guid-os and -ettes. It has probably been easier for me than it is for you, because recapping affords a certain sense of journalistic emotional detachment, and also because JS and I have the same initials, so when we break up I don’t have to throw out all the stuff we monogrammed.
When we last left them, all of the housemates — save Vinny and Pauly who were doing their Team Hetero-Lifemate thing — had seized this opportunity to move all of the indoor furniture outside and vice versa, thus pulling off “the greatest prank of all time.” This prompted us all to wonder, When is George Clooney going to pop out, and how exactly will this ruin the career of Brad Pitt? Alas, other housemates took the prank pretty well. So congratulations, YouTube-Trashcan-Halloween-Punch, you can still call yourself “the best prank ever.”
At first they think it’s a tiki party (“Mike looks even dumber than he normally looks,” notes Pauly) or maybe that they’ve been robbed (because Pauly and Vinny are sitting in the living room drinking mai tais with zinc on their noses, which is what you do when your home is violated). Everybody’s like, “Ha-ha, good one, guys.” But it’s about to rain, so everybody very logically starts bringing in stuff except for Mike, who sees an opportunity to pout and pounces on it. He actually goes upstairs to just sit with his stuff in the rain, like the captain of a ship peopled by disgusting sneakers.
Snooki says his name should be changed from “The Situation” to “The Bitchuation.” Ha-ha, good one, Snook. No, really, her delivery is nice here.
Then there’s a call from Deena’s sister, Joanie, who sounds like a Toddlers and Tiaras competitor who chose “late-career Lorraine Bracco impression” for her talent portion. She’s coming up for a visit, which prompts Mike to share some intel with Snooki from his brother Frank: Joanie is a squirter. Which makes sense; I think a lot of us pictured her as a mollusk. Mike wonders if he should “use” this information. God, what is with him and “using” information on people? Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Kill Yourself.
At the club that night, Vinny finds more lesbians. Again with the lesbians, Vin? “We share a common interest,” he says. What’s that, Vin? Pit bull rescue? Michigan Womyn’s Music Fest?
Deena finds out that Mike is calling her sister “goddess of water” and stuff, and because she’s a nice person, she’s more pissed off than grossed out. Vinny brings the lesbians home and begs Ronnie for the Smush Room so he can sleep with the lesbians. Ronnie almost double-cockblocks him, and says something mean about how the lesbians look like Matthew McConaughey because he’s an asshole flesh–stegosaurus who I will not miss one bit. Ronnie ultimately capitulates.
Deena slurs some stuff at Mike about his trash talking and he lies through his teeth about telling Snooki. God, he’s such a sociopath. How do you even go back into the real world after this? Does James Frey still have that YA imprint, and do you think he needs someone illiterate?
Then, there’s a huge storm. Oh, hey there, wrath of God, nice of you to show up. There’s a lot of screeching and the lights flicker, but somehow everybody comes out of things unscathed enough to go to Karma that night. Deena’s sister shows up with Mike’s brother, who sort of looks like Matthew Lillard’s face was Photoshopped onto the Bitchuation’s head. It turns out they may like each other and one day create some kind of Brundlemeatball.
Finally, it’s their last night at the house, and the housemates pass a pleasant meal of penne together. Sammi declares it the best summer ever, probably startling most of the cast with her presence. Like a house cat, that Sammi. They toast to “next summer,” but it feels eerily close to clinking Jäger shots with a high-school friend during the holidays in your hometown, vowing to keep in touch even though you no longer have anything in common. Yeah, sure, friends forever. See you next Thanksgiving.
The meatballs have planned a mini-revenge involving a water balloon slingshot, and they attack the boys. Alas, Ronnie is a tactical genius, realizes they have no means of egress, and locks them on the porch. Send this guy to Afghanistan! No, really, send this guy to Afghanistan.
The men launch a full aquatic assault complete with Super Soakers and everybody misses the obvious Joanie joke. Deena hides below a tarp, Snooki whines, it’s just like the Apache ambush scene in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, only more lyrical.
On the last morning, Pauly wakes everybody up with his patented Kool-Aid-Man-full-of-arrabiata: “Oh, yeah.” Everybody packs up their tacky effects and heads back to their cave dwellings and shanties. Pauly and Vinny hump goodbye, Deena says something unexpectedly poignant about how the housemates are a soap opera that she is addicted to. Snooki drinks alone and bids farewell to the pee stain before ominously declaring, “What am I going to do now? I can do this every summer, I can do this 50 years from now.” Collective James Earl Jones laugh.
Actually, you know what? This was actually a pretty good episode! Lesbians, squirters, water balloon fights, minimal promos for I Just Want My Pants Back, which is nice: I know it hasn’t been the easiest season, for you, sweet readers. One, because the show has been terrible, and two, because a lot of you missed the old recappers (they were great!). Hopefully, you had an okay time with me, much like a teenage boy on the brink of manhood might reluctantly enjoy a fishing trip with his alpha-male stepdad.
For my part, I greatly enjoyed all of youse. Thank you for letting me be your cheerful ferryman across what Virgil might have referred to as “this dreary coast.” Or, as fellow poet Jenni said so poignantly, a season that was a lot like being in jail, but also like being part of a family. “It’s not ‘goodbye,’ it’s ‘I’ll see you later.’”