“Deena’s looking pretty good,” Mike interviews. He tells Deena that she’s tinier than the last time he saw her and she replies that she keeps trying. “Mike was giving me all these compliments,” Deena interviews, “and I’m like, ‘Oh, thank you, thank you!’” I’m happy for Deena because I know she’s been the ugly duckling in the house this whole time, but she should know by now to be suspicious of any compliment from Mike. If those two hook up this season, I plan on vomiting. Copiously. She trips, and Mike puts both hands out to a) steady her, and b) check her waist measurements to determine whether or not she truly meets his skinniness criteria before he puts any real effort into seducing her. “Usually he says that I look fat,” Deena tells us. And then laughs. That girl’s self esteem could fit into a thimble, with room left over.
Deena tells Mike that she brought a scooter and a beer pong table. Then she remembers that he’s sober now and adds, “But we could do, like, cranberry juice with the beer pong table.” He ruefully chuckles that he’s got to do a lot of crazy stuff this time around. “I quit smoking cigarettes, too,” he tells her, and I have to admit, I’m impressed. Deena tells us that Mike looks really healthy and seems like he’s doing great. “Hopefully he stays like this, cos I like Mike like Mike.” They decide to go to the top deck, which last summer was the Rooftop Patio of So Very Many Bad and Sad Things, but I’m not going to label it yet this year because it may have a new attitude just like Mike and Deena.
Mike says that he will definitely be using some of that “Jacuzzi madness” this year. “I’d better go in it now before I gain weight by the end of summer!” Deena jokes, and then asks Mike if it’s okay for her to smoke in front of him. Which is really so considerate of her, because for a lot of recently retired smokers being around someone else smoking is all it takes for them to return to a two packs per day habit. “You can drink around me, smoke around me,” Mike tells her. Not a great idea. I understand his main issue was with pills, but he also drank heavily, and when sobriety means not using anything that alters your state of mind, being around people who are drinking is not the greatest plan. It’s like putting a 13 year old boy in a room full of pictures of naked supermodels and telling him not to get a boner — whatever his intentions may be, sooner or later those primal urges are going to take over.
Pauly arrives and find the house empty even though there is evidence that other roommates are already there so he goes to find them. “Pauly!” Deena exclaims when he comes outside. They hug their hellos, and Pauly tells Mike he looks great. “The first time I met Mike he was my boy, we clicked,” Pauly exposits, “and I feel like seeing Mike healthy and happy, he’s that person again.” Am I the only one who thought Season One Mike was pretty much as reprehensible a human being as Season Five Mike?
Pauly brings his things in and is surprised that they haven’t picked rooms yet. Mike says that they were just hanging out and cooking dinner. Deena says they’ll wait and figure rooms out when everyone is there. “Damn, can you believe Snooks is preggers?” Pauly asks. “Isn’t she engaged, too?” Mike says. Right, Mike, like you don’t read the tabloid covers while you’re in line at the supermarket just like the rest of us. Pauly expects Snooki to come in with a big baby bump, and Mike confirms that she is due in September. “I remember when she was like, ‘The party’s here!’” Pauly says. “Now the baby’s here!” He says it in his “Cabs are heah!” voice and it’s pretty cute.
Ronnie and Sammi enter the house and Ronnie wants to know why it smells like shit. “It smells like we left it!” Deena replies. Febreze, folks. That stuff is magical. “We walk into the house and Mike’s cooking,” Ronnie interviews. “God only knows what he’s up to right now. This is why I like Ronnie; he may be a total asshole to Sammi much of the time, but I think he has a very realistic view of who his roommates really are as people.
In the kitchen, Deena is explaining to Sammi that when she got there the food was already cooking and Mike looks like he’s doing well. “Mike will always be Mike,” Sammi tells us. “He’ll always be that troublemaker to me, he messed with my relationship, which I don’t like… we’re gonna keep our distance.” Good call.
Vinny walks in and is greeted with, “Look at that pale skin!” It’s true, compared to the rest of them, he is disturbingly pale. He’s also wearing a tank top which reads “Sun’s Out, Guns Out,” that Ronnie could get away with but on Vinny is just plain douchey. Pauly hugs his BFF and Secret Lovah tightly. “Bromance is back on in full effect. I mean, me and Vinny been apart for too long now.” Dude, all you had to do was get on Amtrak (which runs from Providence to Penn Station several times a day) and then take a cab to Mama Vinny’s house. Ronnie dry-humps Vinny’s leg. The living room is getting crowded from all of the luggage. “The craziest thing in the world is, nobody’s claimed a room,” Pauly tells us. “Where am I sleeping?!”
Mike says that they had a lot of fun in Miami when MVP roomed together, and he’d like to do that again this year. Vinny interviews that he, Mike, and Pauly are the only single people in the house so it makes sense for them to room together. Ronnie and Sam confirm that they are together again, and Vinny says that they’ll probably want the two-person bedroom downstairs. That leaves Snooki, Deena, and JMomm in the room they had last year, which will make them happy. “It took me six fucking summers,” Ronnie exults, “but I finally got my own room with Sam!” Last year they mostly slept in the Smush room unless another roommate needed it. Sammi asks Ron which bed he wants, and then says she’s sleeping with him, so it probably doesn’t really matter which bed they pick. Sammi interviews that it is “so exciting” to have a room with only her boyfriend. “Now we can fight in peace, Sam,” Ronnie teases as he starts moving their luggage into the bedroom.
Sammi is clearly thrilled at the prospect.
In the upstairs bedroom, Mike tells his roommates that he is really glad that the three of them are going to be rooming together. “I’m a different dude, and I got your back, all y’all,” he says. Vinny replies that he accepts Mike for who he is, “your good and your bad. Just don’t snore too loud.” Mike protests that he doesn’t snore, smoke, and Pauly adds, “Or take hard drugs.” Mike and Vinny laugh.
Snooki and Jenni finally pull into the driveway and Snooki complains about how difficult it is to get out of the truck. “Well, Lorenzo,” she says to her belly, “this is the shore house.” This talking to her belly on camera has excellent potential for some serious passive aggression. “Well, Lorenzo, some people think a pregnant woman should stand on the bus instead of offering her a seat.” “Well, Lorenzo, I know you really want some pickles and ice cream, but your daddy is too lazy to go to the store.” “Well, Lorenzo, real friends stay home and listen to you gripe about how you wish you could still drink instead of going to the club and having fun.”
“Honey I’m home,” JMomm says as she walks in, followed by Snooki, who announced, “Pregnant bitch is here!” I’m glad she reminded us that she’s pregnant, we might have forgotten in the past two seconds. “Oh my god, what is that smell?” Snooki asks as she closes the door behind her.
“Well, Lorenzo, considerate roommates do not cook stinky-ass food without checking with the pregnant lady first to see if it will gross out her super sensitive pregnant nose first.”
The girls great each other effusively and Sammi and Deena want to see Snooki’s bump. “You still look fabulous,” Deena assures Snooki. I don’t think she looks fabulous, but that is solely because her fashion sense makes no sense to me at all. But she does still look 100% like herself, if that’s what Deena means. JMomm stalks into the kitchen asking, “Is someone cooking? I smell something funky.” Mike says he’s making steamed broccoli, which Jenni identifies as the source of the unpleasant odour. “It smells like butthole,” she states. It’s true, cruciferous veggies tend to smell like old, stale farts if cooked in certain ways, especially if they’re over done.
“Mike is preparing dinner. So maybe he put some laxative in our food or something.” So far, it looks like Vinny, Pauly, and Deena are the only ones in the house willing to let Mike start with a clean slate. I wonder how long that will last. “I don’t know. It’s just very weird to see Mike being so nice right now,” Jenni says.
In the girls’ room, Deena, Sammi, and Snooki are still talking about the
upcoming presidential election Snooki’s pregnancy. “You were afraid you were going to blow up like a balloon, but you didn’t,” Deena says. Deena is the one who will blow up like a balloon when she gets pregnant. And stay inflated, I’m afraid. It’s not that she’s fat, and even when she was the “chubby” one in the house she was still pretty tiny. But she doesn’t have the body structure or the genes to let her stay mean and lean for the rest of her life, no matter how hard she tries. Which is perfectly okay, but I don’t think she’ll ever be okay with it. Poor Deena.
Sammi and Deena start prodding Snooki’s belly, and Deena says that it freaks her out. Snooki is offended by this, but Deena clarifies that she just can’t believe there’s “a little guy in there.” Sammi asks if it feels weird.
“I’m really excited to see my roommates,” Snooki interviews.
Really, really excited.
“I haven’t seen them, you know, since I told them I was pregnant and engaged. But I’m definitely not excited to see Mike, cos I don’t want to be his friend. I’m happy that he’s, you know, taking care of himself and stuff like that, but other than that I don’t want to be around him.” Fair enough.
Snooki walks into the living room wondering again what that smell is. “I have no idea,” says Mike coming down the stairs. “How are you?” In an interview, Snooki blows a raspberry and says “Go away.” “You all right?” Mike asks. “Yeah. I’m going upstairs,” Snooki responds, and walks away. It’s more civil than throwing a jug of milk at him or getting ketchup and mustard all over his bed. Snooki is really growing as a person.
The roommates settle into the house. Deena hangs up a collage of pictures from her first Valentine’s Day with Chris, Snooki almost does a face plant on the driveway thanks to her ludicrous shoes, Mike sets the table. Jenni and Sammi talk about how weird it is that Mike cooked for everybody and wonder what his ulterior motive is. Deena asks Snooki if she has mood swing. “Yeah. Watch out, D!” Snooki replies. “I coulda answered that one for you,” Jenni supplies.
Mike is still puttering about in the kitchen. “Right now I’m cooking a feast. And I really wanted to show the roommates that, you know, I tried. It’s like, how can you hate on that? That’s hard ass work.” Hard ass work that you decided to do all on your own as a gesture of friendship, Michael. He looks around at the mess he’s made and sighs, “Definitely not cleaning this motherfucker up, for sure.” There’s the Mike we know and detest. And he won’t understand why his roommates are pissed that he didn’t clean up after himself because he made them this great meal, so cleaning up afterwards is the least they can do to show their appreciation. Mike continues to be all about Mike. “It would be nice if somebody came out and said, ‘Yo, Mike, can I flip a sausage for you, dog?’” Nobody asked you to do this! “I knew it wouldn’t be easy though.” Yeah, but you were still hoping that it would.
On the rooftop patio Snooki and Deena agree that it doesn’t feel real, being back at the shore house. Snooki interview that this summer is going to be totally different — no Ron-Ron juice, no going out back for a smoke — “So what can I do?” Either sack up and find a way to have a good time within your new restrictions or sit around and mope and complain about all of the things you can’t do and all of the fun you aren’t having. I wonder which option she’ll pick? Deena tells Snooki that it’s going to be different for her too. “You were my other half in this house.” Deena won’t have someone to go drinking with at 10am anymore. “If I drink by myself can you at least just play with me?” Deena asks. Snooki nods her agreement, but I have a feeling that Snooki isn’t going to have a lot of patience for Drunk Deena when she has to be Sober Snooki.
Mike comes up to tell the girls that dinner is ready. “Reality has hit,” Deena interviews. “I do not have my partner in crime anymore. But, she’s still there, she just can’t be… crimeful.”
“I made a new word. Yay, me!”
“Time to eat!” Mike calls from the kitchen. As Snooki walks in, Pauly exclaims, “Holy boobs!” Vinny, who is by far the skeeviest I have ever seen him yet, asks “Can I see? Is there milk in them? Can I try them out?” Snooki answers “No!” and “I think so,” regarding the milk, not the trying out. “Jionni said he tasted milk.” T. M. I.
The roommates gather around the table and Mike explains that he made chicken with tomatoes, plain chicken, and steak. “Did you bring the food with you?” Jenni asks. Mike says that he did, he went shopping for it and everything. He then launches into his apology for his previously behaviour, which is worded thusly: “I just wanna say, that um, this year’s definitely had some ups and downs, and…” Vinny interrupts with, “We just got here!” Mike explains that he meant last year, and the other roommates all start talking over each other. Deena protests that they should let Mike talk, so Mike quickly summarizes, “I love you all, let’s eat, okay?” I would like to point out that he has not yet said, “I’m sorry, I acted like an asshole, and what I did to you was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” And yes, if the others hadn’t interrupted he may have gotten there eventually, but in actuality he hasn’t apologized yet, but he probably feels like he has. And now he is going to get all bent out of shape when people are still untrusting and everything toward him, and he’s going to walk around feeling sorry for himself because he apologized and therefore everything should be sunshine and puppy dogs.
Pauly interviews, “Mike put together this big feast for everybody. This is a classic Situation dinner that I remember having the first summer.” It was very nice of him to cook dinner for everyone, but it isn’t a real gesture of apology because he has certain expectations regarding how life will be after this meal, and if/when those expectations aren’t met, Mike is going to be a total bitch. Making amends is about humbly and honestly going to the people who were negatively affected by your addiction and saying, “I fucked up, and I can’t take it back or fix it, but I am truly sorry, and I would like to show you that I’m a different person now.” And the person you are making amends to has every right to tell you to go to hell, and you’re not allowed to get pissy about it because you created this situation. Just because you say you’re sorry doesn’t mean that they have to forgive you, and if they do forgive you they are under no obligation to “forgive and forget,” because if they forget how are they going to call you on your shit when you start slipping?
This is what I hate about recovery, because so many addicts look at the twelve steps as a bunch of boxes to be checked. “Admitted I was powerless? Check! Higher power? Check! Moral inventory? Check! Made amends? Um…” and they get hung up on this part because sometimes the person or people they need to make amends to says to go fuck off and die. And instead of accepting that and moving on through the process, they use this person’s unwillingness to forgive as an excuse, and the next thing you know they’re crying into their 14th beer of the night and blaming it on someone else. Because that’s how addicts think, and that’s why I’m so very skeptical about Mike’s continued sobriety. Not only is he returning to an extremely dangerous (sobriety-wise) environment practically straight out of rehab, this is also his first rodeo, and based on his personality and the attitudes that we’ve seen so far in this episode, he still doesn’t get it. Until and unless his expectations change and he stops being so “I did this, now you have to do this,” in his relationships with other people, his sobriety will suffer because he is already fantastic at making excuses for himself. The basis of the “12 Steps” (which is the recovery school of thought that most rehabs belong to) is being humble; that’s why the first step is admitting that you have a problem. But I don’t think Mike would recognize humility if it kicked him in the nadgers and then danced all over his face. So there.
Pauly tells us that it’s good to see everybody, and it’s good to see Mike changed. “I quit the hard shit,” Mike tells his roommates, “I run four miles a day, I’m like, you know, the most healthiest I’ve ever been.” He does look good, as many of you commented in the minicap. Jenni asks what made him stop using. “MTV told me they wouldn’t let me be in this season unless I went to rehab,” he doesn’t say. Instead he answers that “Ummm… no, I was just exhausted. I was so tired, and just needed… just wanted to go to sleep, you know? I was like, ‘Wow, if I can’t do this now — you know, what’s….’ I put my hand ups, I was like, ‘Man, I can’t do this no more.’ So that was it. I had to fix the problem. I went away for 34 days.” They all raise a glass to Mike’s new found health and sobriety, which isn’t ironic at all because I’m sure they’re all drinking mineral water. “Want a drink?” Ron deadpans, and the table erupts in laughter.
Sammi interviews that this is the perfect way to start the summer and it feels good to be back. “Let’s all go in the hot tub tonight. Whoo!” Vinny suggests. Surprisingly, Snooki does not bring up the fact that she can’t go in the hot tub because she’s pregnant. “Remember the first night?” Sammi asks. “Ron was motorboatin’ Nicole, slapping her ass.” “She jumped on me breasts first,” Ron reminisces. Pauly and Vinny remember triple kissing some Connecticut chicks. “We had some ugly ass chicks in here!” Pauly laughs. Mike says that before they go out for the night or whatever, he has something to say to everybody. “I don’t know, in the last couple summers….” Once again Vinny interrupts with a fit of the giggles. Mike tells him to shut up, and Vinny says that he thought Mike was joking. “I’m serious, no, I’m serious,” Mike insists. “I just want to say one fucking thing! In different ways, I feel like I let almost everybody down. Pauly, you know, I let our friendship down. Vinny, you know, maybe I was a little to wild and crazy and stressed you out and stuff. And I totally let our friendship down, Snooki. I’m, like, very upset about that.”
No worries, brah, I’m totally going to kill you later this summer and use my crazy pregnancy hormones as a defense. This, Lorenzo, is why being a girl is awesome.
Mike continues his litany of semi-apologies. “Ronnie, like, you know, I was a little combative and meddlesome in your relationship. And I really do apologize, you guys really do mean a lot to me.” Still not a real amends, but it’s a big step for Mike. Ron steps forward to engulf Mike in a handshake/hug saying, “That’s what I was waiting for, bro!”
“It’s nice for him to just say, ‘I fucked up, I’m sorry,’” says Snooki, “but I really don’t think we can ever have that bond, not ever again.” That might have something to do with the fact that he didn’t say “I fucked up, I’m sorry,” he said things like “maybe” and “a little” and “I apologize.” He didn’t really own up to anything, he just touched on a few of the ways in which he terrorized the household. “I could forgive Mike, but I could never forget it,” Snooki tells us. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Forgive and forget is one of the stupidest concepts ever, because forgetting is both impossible and dangerous.
Ronnie tells Mike, “You manned up instead of everything just figuring itself out. You actually too the initiative.” Mike says that he just wanted to apologize real quick, “and if you want to wait and see that’s cool…” “I’ll take the wait and see,” Jenni chimes in. Mike tells her that’s fine, but it isn’t going to be fine. Jenni tells him to prove her doubts wrong. “At least let me say it, at least let me say I apologize. I’m sorry.” Mike says. He’s getting there. JMomm interviews that she isn’t going to trust Mike for a long time. “I mean, he acts like he’s great, and then he goes off and, like, lies and schemes. And therefore, it’s very hard to trust him.” Just wait until he’s lying and scheming and making you feel guilty and responsible for his lies and schemes because he’s just a poor little recovering addict and you aren’t supporting him in his recovery by forgiving him adequately. “I’ll play ball. Until proven wrong,” she finishes.
Mike says that he forgot to congratulate Snooki on her pregnancy and engagement. “Wait, we’re supposed to congratulate her for getting knocked up?” Ron laughs. “I thought we were supposed to congratulate Vinny for that,” Pauly wisecracks, and nobody kicks him in the kneecap, although Ron does laughingly call him an asshole.
It’s dark now, and the roommates are leaving the house to go get ice cream and go see Danny.
Danny looks so happy to see them! It’s very sweet.
They greet him, and he says it’s good to have them back. “Snooki’s pregnant,” Pauly says, like Danny doesn’t know that already. He probably received a 15 page document listing in very specific detail exactly what Snooki will and will not be doing at the Shore Store that summer that he then had to sign in triplicate, and if he violates it in any way he owes Snooki and MTV a bajillion dollars. “Do you have maternity clothes here?” Vinny asks. Danny says that he has big shirts. Deena interviews that they missed Danny. “He’s kinda part of our family too, even though he doesn’t live in our house,” she says. True, but he does own your house. They tell Danny that they just dropped in to say hi and they’ll see him on Monday. He says that it was good to see them, and tells Snooki that they’ll take it easy on her this summer.
The roommates return to the house, and I think this was their briefest night time excursion ever. I think this is also the first time that everybody has entered the house without at least a fourth of them staggeringly drunk and/or bringing home an anonymous smush-buddy.
Upstairs in MVP’s room, Mike asks if tomorrow is the first night they’re going to go out. “You all right with the temptation?” Pauly asks. “No, um, I actually was tonight when I started to hear music, and I wasn’t even like — I was on an iced tea, dog, and I started dancing,” Mike answers. I really wish he would start answering yes or no questions with either “yes” or “no” because half of what he says still doesn’t make any sense. Mike interviews, “It’s definitely going to be an extreme test for me to, you know, stay clean and sober this entire summer. I’ve never done it before.” I am so curious how MTV is handling this behind the scenes — do they have people there to keep Mike in check and make sure that he doesn’t do anything to compromise his sobriety, or are they letting him make his own decisions like the grown ass man he supposedly is?
Duck phone alert!
Deena is on the phone with Chris. Well, it sound more like she’s on the phone with Chris’s voice mail given that the conversation is entirely one-sided, extremely brief, and doesn’t end with, “You hang up!” “No, you hang up!” “Okay, we’ll hang up together. On three. One… two… three…. Did you hang up? No, I didn’t hang up either!” Deena interviews that she’s a little sad right now because she misses her boyfriend. They’ve been together for nine months, and the longest they’ve ever been apart was two days or so. “This is definitely going to be different for us,” she says. “I think if we make it through it, it’s just going to make us ten times stronger.”
First sleeptage of the season!
It’s 9:04am and everybody is getting out of bed and getting dressed. “You excited for a little GTL today?” Mike asks. Not sure how much L they actually have since they just got there; maybe they’ve been saving up their dirty clothes for the past few days so they would have something to drop off. “It’s time to get this party started,” Mike tells us. “Sober Situation 2012, let’s do it, let’s go.”
Miracles do happen.
Everyone is up except Snooki. “Get Nicole up,” JMomm says, “we’re leaving in ten.” Snooki interviews that this is a fucking nightmare. “I want everyone to be hungover so I can at least sleep in a little bit.” Ronnie and Mike say good morning to Snooki as she marches petulantly through the kitchen. “Maybe pregnant women are not happy in the morning?” Mike suggests as Snooki ignores them completely. “I did say good morning,” he continues. “Maybe she didn’t hear me?”
Everyone leaves for their GTL day in the black SUVs. “All eight of us are up and power housing to the gym,” JMomm tells us. “That shit doesn’t happen.” We see the housemates working out, and Snooki is having a more difficult time than the other girls. “Guys, I think I’m going into labor,” she moans while doing squats. Maybe you should stop doing squats, then…? She interviews, “This is what I’ve been dreading, this feeling of wanting to work out but I can’t, cos I’m restricted.” That is not something that I would complain about. More like, “Yeah, I’m going to go put my feet up over here and read this awesome magazine while you guys get all sweaty and stuff.” Different strokes. Snooki is frustrated because she can’t keep up with the girls, and she wants to work out and lose weight and she can’t. “Like, I’m the old lady and I can’t do anything.” She shouldn’t sell herself short like that. She may not be able to work out the way she wants to, but she is an excellent complainer.
Mike walks by the girls and asks Snooki how she’s feeling. She says she’s fine. Mike says she has a glow. “It’s probably that pregnant stuff, yo.” Snooki is clearly uncomfortable with the conversation. “Like, I understand you’re trying to be friends with me, but you’re going a little too far and it’s awkward,” she explains in an interview. The girls make fun of Mike’s comments as they walk out to the car.
Next stop is the tanning salon, Simply Sun, where Mike’s “friend” Paula works. Last season she was at least identified as his “friend with benefits,” so has she been downgraded or upgraded? Mike greets Paula with a hug, and Ronnie interviews that “Mike actually might be getting wifed up right now.” They teased us with that whole thing last year, but all of the guys seem to think that it’s a huge deal for Mike to be kissing Paula in public, so maybe this will end up going somewhere. Meanwhile, Snooki continues her downward spiral of self-pity due to the fact that she can’t tan.
“Nicole not being able to tan in a tanning salon,” Vinny tells us, “is like a fucking fish just, like, looking at the ocean on the sand.” The fish in this scenario is going to be dead in a matter of minutes, whereas I’m fairly certain Snooki will survive her ordeal, especially because one of the women behind the desk just gave Snooki a BlowPop®. Vinny approaches Snooki who tells him that he’s sweating. “I know it’s from basketball,” he says, putting a hand out to touch her belly, but landing it partially on her boob. “Wrong bump!” he says as she walks away, annoyed. Meanwhile, Pauly is happy because now that Snooki can’t tan, he definitely wins the “Tannest Guido” belt for the summer.
After tanning, the girls hit the Muscle Maker Grill for some lunch. Jenni asks if they want to go to the club that night, and Deena shrugs apathetically. “I feel like I have to do something,” she says glumly. “You in deep thought?” Jenni asks her, and Deena promptly bursts into tears.
She’s not as ugly of a crier as I remember.
“We’re all having a great time with the girls, and then out of nowhere Deena breaks. Down.” Sammi tells us. Deena explains that she really misses Chris and it’s only the second day. “Okay, but you really like him, and it’s all you’re thinking about. It’s understandable,” Sammi tells her. Snooki reminds Deena that she feels the same way. “In the past,” Snooki tells us, “Jenni and me were always like, ‘Oh, I miss my boyfriend,’ and Deena always makes fun of us.” But now Deena know how it feels. The girls comfort Deena and remind her that she can call him whenever she wants to, and he can come visit, and she can always come to them and cry it out if she needs to. “You’ll get used to it before you know it,” Sammi says. They encourage Deena to keep busy and tell her she’ll be fine. “I just miss him!” Deena sniffles. Sammi quickly alters the tone of the conversation by saying, “I thought you just got your period or something and couldn’t get up,” making Deena laugh. “This is going to be a loooong summer,” Sammi tells us.
Back at the house, Pauly asks the assembled roommates if they’re going to Karma tonight. They agree that they’ll leave the house at 11 for their first night at Karma. In the downstairs bedroom, Snooki wonders what time it is. She finds an analog clock, and has to work out what time it is by counting by fives. “7:40?” she proudly asks Jenni. “Yeah,” Jenni sighs. “I tell time,” Snooki whispers. We never said you didn’t, Snooki. Though some of us may have thought it.
Snooki tells us that she doesn’t want to be at home in bed while everyone else is at Karma partying, so Jionni is coming to take her on a date. Snooki calls Jionni to find out how soon he’ll be there and to remind him to get flowers. “What if I did that already?” he asks. “Then… you’re a good fiance,” Snooki answers.
Out on the rooftop patio, Mike and Vinny are sitting in the jacuzzi. “I can’t go in the jacuzzi unless there are naked chicks,” Pauly says. Sammi suggests that he bring a girl home and go in the jacuzzi after Karma. There’s some banter about whether she was talking to Ron or Pauly, and while everyone else is distracted, an unsupervised (and presumably sober) Deena falls off the hammock. “Summer has officially started,” Deena interviews.
Snooki mopes about her roommates going to Karma without her. “I’m jealous,” she tells them. “First time too, in the summer,” Pauly reminds her. “We all go hard the first time, know what I mean?” Tact is not Pauly’s strong suit, is it? I remember last season Snooki was… well every metaphor I can come up with (peeing herself, tripping over her own feet) is something that she does regularly anyway, so supply your own metaphor for how excited Snooki was last year about the first night at Karma. It was a BFD. “Cool, keep telling me!” Snooki snarks. She does tell everyone to do shots for her, which I’m not sure how that works exactly. Psychic alcohol transference, maybe?
Jionni knocks on the front door and Snooki squeals with excitement.
And he remembered the flowers.
“I’m really excited to see Jionni for date night,” Snooki tells us, “and I’m hoping maybe I’ll have a little sex drive tonight, but I don’t know because I’m feeling very gassy.” Okay, then. Vinny walks through the living room wearing a fluffy white robe (score one for Mama Vinny.) “Who does that?” Jenni asks. “Is that a hotel robe?” Vinny says he thinks his mom stole it from a hotel. She probably had to do like 10 Hail Marys and 15 Our Fathers when she confessed that particular sin, cos it is a pretty sweet robe. Vinny walks up the stairs without acknowledging Jionni’s presence in the room. Snooki declares this to be “so awkward” and she’s proud of Jionni for not jumping up and punching Vinny in the throat, or whatever the appropriate alpha male response generally is in this situation. “I know he wants to kill Vinny,” Snooki tells us. They leave for their date.
In the upstairs bedroom, Vinny tells Pauly, “That kid Jionni hates me, bro.” Pauly asks, “Did he dap out with you?” Vinny replies that he walked by Jionni and Jionni wouldn’t even look at him. “You should have said, ‘What’s up, my G?’” Pauly says. Vinny wants no part of that. “‘Fuck, what’s up? I banged your girl.’ Like, it’s weird.” Pauly guesses that would be somewhat awkward. “Only Mike does shit like that,” Vinny laughs.
Snooki and Jionni are walking to the restaurant and Jionni says hello to someone he knows. And then another someone he knows. They enter the restaurant, and Jionni starts walking around greeting half of the diners — it’s very Godfather-esque. “Why do you know everyone?” Snooki asks. “I made ‘em an offer they can’t refuse,” Jionni does not say. Snooki complains in an interview, “Jionni knows everyone down the shore, so when we do go out, you know, he’s talking to everyone, like ‘Hey, how you doing?’ But dude, I’m pregnant! I just wanna eat.” Jionni continues to shake hands and introduce Snooki around like the world’s tiniest, stockiest, tannest goodwill ambassador. As they walk past a table without stopping to say hello, Snooki gestures toward it and asks, “Do you know these people?” Hee. Well played, Snooki. Jionni tells her to shut up.
Back at the house the other roommates are getting ready for Karma. Mike is wearing a white pair of Calvin Klein boxer briefs that is strategically pixellated in the groinal region. “Mike, you gotta change those fucking underwear, dude,” Vinny tells him. I take comfort in the fact that, while my imagination could fill in what was blurred out if I let it, Vinny actually had to see it.
Deena walks into the living room in a short, very tight blue dress, and the other roommates let out cat calls and whistles. “If all else fails, I’ll dig in that ass,” Mike says, klassy as always. Deena tells him to stop being disrespectful. Not to her, mind you, but when he says things like that it disrespects her boyfriend.
“Just because this dress look, as Pauly said, like it was drawn on with a blue marker does not mean that you can disrespect my boyfriend like that. Objectify me quietly, please.”
In the confessional room Mike says that tonight is going to be a big test. “This is probably the first club that I’m going to, I guess, sober. So we’re gonna check it out and I’ma have some fun.”
The taxi van arrives to collect the roommates, who are all very excited about going out, although they agree that it feels weird without Snooki. Meanwhile, at the restaurant, Snooki can hear dance music from the club nearby (filming suggests that they are eating at a place near Karma) and starts dancing in her seat. “Oh god,” Jionni groans. “What can we do right now?” Snooki asks him. “I want to do something fun!” “You wanna go dance so bad,” Jionni states, and Snooki smiles ruefully. She interviews that she’s trying to enjoy her date with Jionni but she’s missing a really big night at Karma. Jionni asks if she wants to stop in at Karma and say hello to everyone or if she wants to stay at the restaurant until her friends come find her. Snooki wants to sit in the booth and sulk because she wants to go to Karma but she knows that if she does the temptation to drink will be unbearable.
Being pregnant is totally sucking right now.
At Karma, Mike is showing off his abs, Deena is dancing, and the others are getting their drink on. Vinny yells in Pauly’s ear, “You know you’ve been doing this a long time when… every girl, and I’m like, oh, I smashed her, I smashed her.” God help the Seaside Heights health department when they have to send out STI notification letters. Also, does Vinny really get that much play? He certainly didn’t last season.
Jionni asks Snooki what she wants to do and she shrugs petulantly. What she wants to do and what she can do are two completely different things. Jionni suggests that they stop in at Karma to say hello to a few people. Snooki doesn’t think that’s a good idea. “Don’t you think it’s trashy to see a pregnant lady at a club?” she asks him. “It’s like, fucking go home and go to sleep. Take care of yourself.” So go home and go to sleep, Snooki! Take care of yourself! She interviews that Jionni is really trying to get her to go to Karma so he can say hi to his friends. “But I don’t want to be that pregnant girl in the club.” She says it like in every club you’ll find some pathetic woman in her third trimester, nursing a Shirley Temple and wishing horrific stretch marks on all the tight, unpregnant bodies around her. Jionni tells her that he wants to do what she wants to do, so what does she want to do? MisterBint does this to me all the time. It is incredibly stressful.
JMomm checks in with Mike. “You doing okay here?” she asks him. Mike tells her that he’s fine. “I’m happy,” he says. “This is the first true test for me,” he interviews. “It’s the first time I ever tried to go to a club clean of prescription pain killers and alcohol.” A tall, woman invites Mike to get a drink with her. “I’m… I’m… I’m not drinking tonight,” Mike stammers. Not “I don’t drink,” not, “I’m in recovery,” but, “I’m not drinking tonight.” Word choices are very telling, Michael. The girl tells him, “I legit respect that.”
That’s all Carrie Nation was trying to do back in the day; make us all cool as shit, whether we want to be or not.
Sammi tells Jenni that it’s weird without Nicole there. Jenni agrees. Meanwhile, Snooki is asking Jionni if he wishes he were going to Karma. He shakes his head no. “I enjoy doing this,” Snooki says. Jionni tells her that it’s his night off, and then remembers that he forgot to tell her that he won’t be there next weekend. He’s going to Florida “for the fight.” I didn’t realize Jionni was on the midget wrestling circuit. Snooki is dismayed to learn that she won’t see her fiance for a week. “What the fuck am I gonna do when Jionni’s gone?” she asks us. “Everyone wants to drink and party and go crazy. No one’s gonna stay home and hang out with me!” Poor Snooki. The world does not revolve around her pregnant loneliness.
Mike is lifting his shirt again at Karma, and his stomach is considerably more chiseled than it was last year. Almost terrifyingly chiseled. It looks dangerous, like it could cure the common cold, cancer, and defeat terrorism if it so chose. I don’t like Mike, we all know that, but his abs are amazing.
Jionni has wandered away from Snooki and is talking to some more people he knows while she remains in the booth with nothing but her non-alcoholic beverage and her self-pity to keep her company, and we fade out with an overhead shot of Karma.
In part two of the series premiere: Vinny announces his decision to be celibate over the summer; Snooki considers looking for her own place to live; we learn that Deena thinks that “integrity” is synonymous with “shame” which explains oh so very many things; and the girl Pauly brings home to bang is having her period but wants to smush anyway, leaving Pauly in a great quagmire of indecision.
Thanks for reading!