Sometimes Jersey Shore is better in 3-hour long chunks. It's easier to see trends and storylines come to fruition. For instance, episodes 10-12 taught me how two Meatballs can reconnect, spawn a Baby Meatball, and introduce thousands of new Meatballs into an unsuspecting society. It's like Gremlins.
Part 1: The Meatballs Reunite.
"Shore Shower" begins with Snooki bemoaning Jionni's love of men's softball. It keeps him from her, and she's lonely. Resident Male Meatball Ronnie sneaks into the girls' room in a giant gorilla suit. It is how Meatballs do inceptions on other Meatballs, and the idea they're planting is "Hey, maybe hang out with Deena for once."
And so Snooki FINALLY acknowledges Deena as a friend and fellow Meatball. After months of alternating snobbery and jealousy, Snooki and Deena get down to business discussing why Deena can't sleep naked: a bunch of spiders will most likely crawl up her vagina and lay eggs or something up there. Yikes, Deena. "I'm kinda full," Snooki says. "I think I have to poop." "So go poop," suggests her best friend.
The only glitch is Snooki's insistence on going to the Baby Store. She has no idea Jwoww has been planning a surprise baby shower, and now it just looks like none of the roommates want to spend time with her. Sammi intercepts Jionni at the door to keep him from going shopping with her, then worries that he'll be killed in his sleep. Maybe if anyone could come up with a decent lie it could help, but no one does. No "I want to go with you, but can we go tomorrow instead?" or "I'm waiting on a thing I ordered for you and I want you to see it before you buy more stuff." Only "I can't...want to go...with you. ...Sorry?"
Mike keeps running into Paula at the club and he can't handle it. He accuses her of cockblocking him for saying goodbye as she leaves with a meth head. "Busted! Yessssss, called it!" says Ronnie. A few nights later they try out a new club called Merge, but no one warns them that it's FULL OF TRASH BAGS! That's right, Angelina is there. And it is hitting Jenni HARD.
"I know I ain't chillin' by the dumpster, but I smell trash!" says Ronnie, whom I'm eating up right now. Rewatching season one made me warm up to the kid again, even though he's still severely affected by steroidal rage and emotional stupidity. Trash Bags goes around hugging everyone and apologizing to them and trying desperately to stay on screen for longer than she should. Freaking Trash Bags.
Jwoww and Roger go home early to avoid Angelina, and by the time they're asleep in the Smush Room, a gorilla walks in and tickles Roger. Hahahaha, Ronnie, stop!!!! He's incorrigible. Vinny comes home with 2 girls only to find that the Smush Room is occupied. "GET A HOTEL ROOM????" asks my boyfriend. They do have a LOT of money. Eventually one girl leaves and Vinny has regular, 2-person sex with the other one.
The next day is Snooki's baby shower. Jwoww stares out of the thatched window at Rivoli's to watch for Snooki's arrival. She knows she's going overboard, but it's all worth it. Snooki cries when she finally gets the surprise. Everyone is happy, hungry, and slightly more mature than when this whole thing started. So Vinny gets up from the table to make things right with Jionni.
BUM BUM BUMMMM!
Part 2: The Meatballs Conceive
Pauly's new favorite thing is to yell "Awk-warddd!" in falsetto, and he does it a lot. In fact he does it so much, it's the name of the episode. "Baby shower PROBLEMS!" Pauly explains further. He's talking about Vinny and Jionni hashing things out in the parking lot, where men do business.
Jionni sounds like James Gandolfini on helium. But he respects what Vinny did, coming to him and apologizing like that, and it makes Snooki happy. She's so happy, she initiates a baby bottle drinking contest, and Ronnie wins because he's the only one who realizes you can bite the tip of the bottle. Everyone is ecstatic. Then Jwoww opens her mouth and starts raining down "you're going to be a bad father" all over Jionni. Softball's IMPORTANT, Jwoww. WHAT DON'T YOU GET!!!!
Mike decides to follow Vinny's lead and apologize to Snooki for all the things he's done to her. It's a surprisingly reasonable apology, and she "kinda accepts, kinda." Mike is through the roof. When he gets back home, Vinny is still tenderly buzzing Pauly D's hair. No mention at all that this is even the least bit homosocial. Vinny's touching Pauly's face so softly to keep the hair clipper pressure even. We've finally reached homo-stasis!
To celebrate everyone's Pax Guidano, Sammi locks the boys out on the patio as a prank. I can't wait to see how this gets heightened and returned. Unfortunately it doesn't happen in this episode. The coming Prank War is on hold for a little GTX (Gym, Tan, See Your Ex bc She Works There). Pauly screams "Ex-girlfriend PROBLEMS!" and "Awk-ward! Awk-ward!" over and over because I guess he doesn't know what else to do.
Paula hands Mike a letter, which Mike has Vinny read aloud when they get home. It's all about how devoted she still is and how she's willing to be patient and it's yet another surprisingly kind thing that's happened in Seaside Heights in the past few days. But Vinny's pretty upset about the 2 or 3 words she dropped, so she must be some kind of idiot.
Vinny and Snooki ride their Rascals out on the boardwalk and call themselves "Karen & Vincenzo." They scoot right into the club where everyone else is - and where Mike is berating Paula for asking him to hold her drink. As Mike thinks "she's known how to treat me for 3-4 summers now! How does she not know now?!," Snooki and Vinny cruise back out and pass by some fans calling Snooki a "fat fuck" on the boardwalk. Vinny throws that Rascal into reverse and scares the shit out of them.
The next day Snooki invites a psychic named Zen Jen to come over and trick Deena into thinking the house is haunted. Miraculously, Zen Jen is willing to make a mockery of the very real spirits she makes her living off of. She tells Deena her bed is definitely a poltergeist. Deena is chilled to her soul.
Snooki invites all the girls to her sonogram appointment, and they immediately notice how large Baby Lorenzo's penis is. Then he flips them the bird with his little fetus fingers. I guess he heard them call him a Meatball.
Pauly invites Jionni out to smoke cigars with the fellas. They discuss his business (he owns a few ATMs in a few clubs) and his intentions (to marry Snooki). Despite his nervousness, Jionni passes their test with flying colors. Manly, NJ-appropriate colors.
Part 3: The Meatballs Reproduce
"It's Raining Men and Meatballs" and Boobs, apparently. Everyone's out at the club and Mike's on a cautious date with Paula after reading her heartfelt note. But every time she gets up to get a new drink, he finds a new girl to grind with. This most recent girl has a tube top that's staying up via nothing but witchcraft and sweat. Her boobs are spilling so sincerely out. Jenni calls Mike a Sneaky Dickens. I should say so. Paula's upset.
Mike walks home with Boobs McGoo only to trip her on a curb and "help stabilize her" by pulling her top the rest of the way down. If this were written down you could publish it in a middle school pornographic literature contest. It would definitely place, but in the end it would lose out to "Mrs. O'Malley Erases the Chalkboard without Realizing her Skirt is Tucked into her Hose," the steamy tale of a detention-bound student and his recently divorced mentor. Mike sends her home, by the way, for being too sloppy.
Pauly D finally has sex for possibly the first time all summer. Everyone is proud of him. They're proud of him for sealing the deal, for doing it quickly, and for sending the girl packing within 15 minutes of walking into the house. Our little 32 year old is growing up so fast!
Deena and Snooki throw Meatball Auditions, which is one of their stupider ideas. Folks, I've been watching these girls make dumb choices for years now, and I can tell from the start that this won't work out. First, you don't hold auditions to find a Meatball - Meatballs find each other naturally. They roll toward each other on the floor of the food court. They slip in each other's vomit at the Karma ladies room. The real Meatballs don't respond to a megaphone on a boardwalk. Only tourists do.
Second, the only Meatball the girls actually do find is quickly eliminated, I'm assuming because she's over 5'1". They're left with a couple of dumb losers and a dumb loser from Scotland. Guess who hates the new Meatballs: every single roommate!
Somehow they shake the Feetballs (fake, foot-scented Meatballs) and go back to Merge, their new home away from home. Deena's a mess, naturally, and she lies on the floor of the club shimmying her vagina back and forth. Jenni takes her home and Mike puts her to bed. "Thank you, J," murmurs Deena. Mike's like "whatever." ONLY SHE JUST CALLED YOU A GIRL THO MIKE! BURN!
Meanwhile Ronnie and Sammi decide to move in together when the show ends. They go mini golfing to seal the deal. "Yesss!" Ronnie screams as Sammi misses a putt. Back at home the gals try to open a bottle of wine with a regular butterfly wine opener, the kind you figure out how to use when you're 14 and interested in simple machines/drinking alcohol. I'm sorry, have these girls never opened a wine bottle before? Because that's by far the most flabbergasting thing I've seen on this entire series.
Sammi cooks their last Sunday dinner in Seaside, and Mike provides dessert. The dessert is a strip tease that no one asked for. He handcuffs Jenni to a chair in the middle of their living room and pulls 6 bubble guns out of thin air. Then he humps Jenni for a while and pretends to almost take off his pants. Snooki suggests that she'd fart in his face if he ever tried to give her a lap dance. It is one solid evening.
And so we leave our Seaside brethren until next week, when we will watch the last episode of Jersey Shore of all time. In the past 3 weeks, we went from 2 Meatballs to 2 1/2 Meatballs to several dozens of Meatballs. I can only assume that next week will destroy a lot of Meatball reserves, and that's why they needed to bolster their forces like that. Meatballs, this is your Independence Day.
photos courtesy mtv.com and Peony Lim