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Jersey Shore Family Vacation Recap: Nuclear Fusion

Jersey Shore Family Vacation

Staten Island Smackdown
Season 2 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating *****

Jersey Shore Family Vacation

Staten Island Smackdown
Season 2 Episode 13
Editor’s Rating *****
Photo: MTV

The Situation is now the Hitchuation! Last week — no, not on the show, but in space and time as we know it — Mike and the lovely Laurens finally tied the knot. Our warmest congratulations to the happy couple, and to whomever had the brilliant idea of outfitting MVP in matching post-ceremony tracksuits.

Back on our Family Vacation, the gang manages to extract broccoli-throwing Dren from the restaurant and relocate her to the safe environs of Headliners, a back-in-the-day favorite club where her burp-dancing and bongo drumming on Angelina’s boobs only make her blend in more. But a dark horse contender for tonight’s Spiral Squad champion is about to emerge.

Angelina begins by resting an arm on a very uninterested Vinny’s shoulder, then dances onto his lap. This surreal charm offensive crescendos with her — roll that tape back? — momentarily resting a hand on his crotch. Oh, god. At home, Jenni and especially Nicole try their hardest to set the mood for one more Staten Island “hate fuck,” for old time’s sake. This tale of misbegotten romance is basically A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wherein Nicole is both Oberon and Puck, and there is no one who isn’t Bottom.

“Go in her bed,” Nicole demands. Vinny leaves; Angelina hides under her blanket. “Go in his room,” Nicole demands.

Eventually, Angelina relents, stomping over to yell at Vinny about — honestly, I don’t have the slightest idea. Nothing has transpired, that we’ve seen, that she could possibly be mad at Vinny for. “I’m going to fuck that kid up,” she says, a sentence that seems like it’s exactly one word, two letters, too long. “Do not let her in my room,” Vinny groans, seemingly addressing producers off camera. They ignore his plea. Angelina jumps right onto him, hurting his arm; he kick-deflects her onto the adjacent bed.

In one of the weirder exchanges I’ve seen between two human beings in recent memory — this is really saying something, because I watch an inordinate amount of reality television — Vinny removes his pants and tries to force the issue to its logical conclusion. “You wanna fuck right now? Get in my bed right now. Let’s go,” he says.

Angelina does not take him up on the sex, although she does attempt to initiate an uninvited wrestling match, during the course of which — according to Vinny — she grabs his penis. (As a general rule, in order to understand her behavior, I find that it’s helpful to imagine Angelina as an 8-year-old with a crush who’s still working on using words, not hands.)
Throughout all of this, Jenni and Nicole are sitting cross-legged on the floor of Vinny’s room, clapping and cackling wildly like a wasted Statler and Waldorf. “Are we going to watch sexuals?” Jenni asks Nicole. “Yeah,” answers Nicole, giving the question serious thought. “Yes!”

But there will be no sexuals to watch. After somewhat inscrutably accusing Vinny of not wanting to bang anyone when Pauly isn’t around, Angelina finally extricates herself from the very uncomfortable situation that she (with an assist credited to Jenni and Nicole, to be fair) has created.

As Angelina gets into (her own) bed, she complains of Vinny, “You don’t like Chris, because you would bang me in two seconds.” “I don’t think you like Chris, bro,” observes Jenni. I do believe Angelina loves her fiancé, but I also believe that she is clinically incapable of displaying affection in any form besides aggression.

The next morning, Mike takes Jenni along to a rehab speaking engagement. But shit, she’s still drunk when she wakes up — is that okay? “Umm, I wouldn’t advertise it,” Mike says. Here’s hoping she gargled! They have a very touching meeting with a man (from Seaside!) who’s been granted a scholarship to seek treatment in the same facility that Mike did, and then they stop for some brazen #sponcon at Burger King.

The other roomies, eventually, rise and shine. Downstairs, taping a confessional, Angelina reports, “Vinny loves me. I think everybody sees it. I see it.” Upstairs, Vinny expresses his unequivocal hatred for Angelina. After last night, he’s done. He can take no more.

After Nicole repeatedly insists she apologize to Vinny (you can’t just go around grabbing people’s genitals!), Angeliners comes as close as she physically can to saying sorry, which, okay, is not very close at all: “Vinny, are you mad at me?! What did I do to you? I was drunk. Explain, please.” In a voice so quiet that it is barely perceptible to human ears, Vinny answers, “All good.” So no, not good.

The roomies adjourn to Jenks, where Vinny — who, not one for subtlety, has chosen to wear a “GO AWAY” T-shirt today — tells Jenni that he has no interest in saying another word to that “psychopath.” In fact, he even suggests, though not in so many words, that he could pull behind-the-scenes rank and cut Angelina’s vacation short. So what if she only just got called back up to the majors.

Jenni (who, I’d so quickly forgotten, was Angelina’s Public Enemy No. 1 earlier this season) suggests they develop a safe word for when he’s about to lose it. Something “smart,” so it stands out. They settle on “nuclear fusion,” which should work great, provided nobody in the house brings up the closing of Ocean County’s own Oyster Creek power station. (Come to my Jersey Shore recaps for the original-series nostalgia; stay for the unnecessarily specific, and not particularly funny or interesting, New Jersey references.)

Over a Sunday family dinner of eggplant lasagna, chicken cutlets, and garlic breads, Angelina continually needles “Vincent.” Ron offers this wisdom: ”Do unto others what you want done to yourself, right?”

Pauly, back from his tour, finally makes his glorious arrival in Manalapan; Vinny literally leaps into his arms. But even the master tension diffuser cannot derail the massive screaming match that’s about to unfold before him.

Angelina, who cannot read a room, explains to Vinny, “You’re obsessed with me. You literally love me.” Then she likens herself to his sainted, beloved mother, a comparison that Vinny does not appreciate.

“STOP TALKING ABOUT ME,” he screams from across the room. She does not. Instead, Angelina complains that Vinny is “on her dick,” although, as Vinny notes, she was “literally” on his dick last night.

“Stop talking to me,” he says over, and over, and over again. Still, she does not.

A shore house divided against itself cannot vacation.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation Recap: Nuclear Fusion