****We’ve just assigned a brand spankin’ new recapper to Jersey Shore! Episode two’s recap is below, with episode three to follow this afternoon. Please welcome the lovely, talented, and extremely mouthy SUBURBINT!
Greetings and salutations, Gasmii! I am so excited to be here with you as we observe (and judge) the eating, sleeping, and mating habits of the primates of Seaside Heights, New Jersey! I swear, I feel like Jane Goodall.
The resemblance is uncanny, no?
Previously on Jersey Shore: The housemates return from the cultural wasteland of Italy; a surprise welcome home party makes Snooki cry for pretend and Vinny cry for realsies. My two-year-old hears the opening credits song begin to play and yells from the other room, “I don’t like that show, Mom!”
An aerial shot takes us back to the rooftop deck, where Ronnie and Pauly D are still talking to Vinny about his current mental and emotional turmoil. He can’t function, he can’t sleep, he wants to go home. As we saw in the last episode, Ronnie encourages him to hold out for the weekend, because going out, listening to music, and being around girls is obviously the solution to every problem known to man. Vinny says that he really wants to leave. “I’m pushing through, but the car can only get so far on fumes, ya know?” he interviews. Last week he was a washing machine; it’s good to see that, despite his depression, he’s moving up in the world.
Mike’s still at Aztec and encounters a girl named Paula, which:
This is how she will be remembered by posterity.
In an interview, Mike explains that he met Paula waaaaay back in his first summer in New Jersey, so that would have been like 1923, given that Mike is at least as old as my grandfather. He took her to the talkies, then they stopped in at the ice cream parlor for a chocolate malted before necking in his Model T. At the club, Paula is dancing while Mike ogles her over his sunglasses. “Not to be disrespectful, she’s a sweet girl, but let’s be honest – it’s a sure thing,” he interviews. He suggests that they get out of there, they leave to go back to the house, “and we’ll see what happens from there,” Mike voice-overs. Sadly, we most likely will see what happens from there, thanks to MTV’s undying dedication to the brutal honesty demanded by the documentary format.
The housemates leave Aztec in the middle of a thunderstorm. “Everybody’s running for their lives right now,” interviews Mike.
I’m mellllting! MELLLLTING!!!
They get back to the house, and Snooki tells us that everyone is soaking wet and “Jionni has, like, literally nothing to wear.” She knocks on Mike’s door and asks him if Jionni can borrow a shirt. “I’m like sure, yeah, I mean, we share girls, why can’t we share underwear?” Mike interviews. Perhaps they can one day share a Valtrex prescription.
Mike gives Snooki a T-shirt for Jionni and does indeed offer some underwear, which Snooki declines. “Mike has cooties,” Snooki tells us, “so the fact that my man is wearing Mike’s clothes, it’s just like, ugh, I hope they’re clean.” Intent on making sure that his and Jionni’s dangly bits have as many of the same life experiences as possible, Mike tosses Jionni a pair of (packaged and presumably not yet worn) underwear. Jionni’s face lights up like a six-year-old’s on Christmas morning.
This is the happiest I have ever been in Snooki’s bedroom.
When Jionni and Snooki come downstairs, Mike is in the kitchen trying to figure out what there is to eat in the house. Jionni offers to cook since Mike gave him clothes, and Snooki pouts on the sofa, chewing her gum like a petulant dairy cow. “It’s very ironic,” Mike interviews, proving that he still hasn’t learned what irony is, “that, uh, Jionni is wearing my clothes and, uh, cooking in the kitchen right now for me. And Nicole’s just sitting there waiting. Now THAT’s a situation.” So is waiting at the DMV. Or going to the chiropractor. The English language needs to take out a restraining order against Mike, given the way he constantly abuses it.
Snooki is bitch-facing around the kitchen, and interviews that she didn’t know the evening was going to turn into a “cook festival,” and that she is paranoid that Mike is going to do something stupid around Jionni. If you hadn’t already done something stupid with Mike, this wouldn’t even be an issue, Nicole. She finally stomps off upstairs, and Jionni follows her, telling Mike that he’s not going to eat. In an interview, Mike exposits that Snooki threw a tantrum just to get Jionni away from him, but that he knows Jionni really wants a sandwich. So Mike makes a sandwich for Jionni, and brings it and a drink up to Snooki’s room. “REALLY?!” says Snooki as she opens the door, but she takes the plate to Jionni as Mike voice-overs, “I am the master of deception, and I can act like anybody’s best friend.” Jionni is almost as happy about his sandwich as he was about his underwear.
Seriously, this is the best thing that has happened to me in this room.
Next day. Mike and Snooki bid their respective bed-warmers goodbye, and we cut to Ronnie crawling into bed beside Pauly. Pauly wakes up somewhat startled, and Ronnie interviews that he thought a quick cuddle would pay Pauly back for all the times when Pauly has snuck into his room and tickled his feet. “I probably shouldn’t have did that in front of Vin, I think Vinny got a little mad, cos that’s his bitch.” Poor Vinny, like he needs more stuff to worry about right now.
Pauly D comes into the living room while Ronnie is doing his stretches, and says in a very serious tone of voice, “You can’t walk in my bed, have your way with me, and leave me when I’m not done.” Ronnie admits that he should have at least called Pauly a cab and offers to buy him breakfast. Good to know that these guys have a morning-after protocol.
Sammi and JWoww head down to the Shore Store for their first shift of the summer, and Danny meets them outside, asking where Vinny is. Sammi explains that he’s been going through a rough patch, and Danny tells them that since Vinny bailed on showing up to work with them, they have to raise the metal doors with their frail little girly arms. A truly riveting scene.
Back at the house, Snooki is dressed like Minnie Mouse’s slutty twin sister, what with the hair-bow and the ginormous sneakers. She sits down at the duck phone and calls Jionni. She tells him that they’re going out to Karma that night, and he asks, “Are you pre-gaming at your house?” When she answers in the affirmative, he sighs, “Oh boy. Could you not drink, please?” Snooki interviews, “Jionni’s like, ‘Don’t drink so much, don’t black out,”‘ and it’s clear from her body language that these are ridiculously harsh things to ask of her.
In their telephone conversation, Jionni tells Snooki that he doesn’t want her drinking so much that she falls over, and she snits, “Okay, I get it.” In a voice-over, she says, “He just needs to respect who I am,” failing to add, “which is a total lush.” After hanging up the phone, she shrugs and picks up her red Solo cup which may or may not contain the remnants of a Long Island Iced Tea, left-over Ron Ron Juice, and/or straight bourbon.
Vinny finally meanders on down to the Shore Store, joking about how his shift was supposed to start at 12:30, right? He knows he’s late, but at least he’s not making lame excuses about it. Okay, I have to ask. How weird would it be to work in a place that sells merchandise based around your existence as a cultural icon? It’s meta, but like, in a bad way. It makes my brain hurt. Anyway….
Vinny interviews that he’s hoping that work will help him get past his issues, because he’s looking forward to actually doing something productive instead of sitting around moping. “If I can get through this,” Sammi tells him, “You can get through this.” Not having watched the show until this season, I don’t know what she got through, and I understand that she’s trying to be supportive and helpful towards her friend. But depression is like the line in Anna Karenina, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Misery is an intensely personal experience, and no matter how much the roommates think they know what he’s going through or try to understand it, only Vinny really knows what’s going on with Vinny. He starts to tell Sammi, “People think that when it’s not physical,” and I think what he was going to say was something along the lines of, “People think that when it’s not physical you can just decide to suck it up and get over it,” but Supportive Sweetheart Sammi interrupts him to say, “It’s mental,” and he sort of lamely says, “Yeah, but mental is just as bad as physical. For me it’s worse.”
Thanks for listening. And by listening, I mean interrupting me.
Danny pulls Vinny out of the store on the pretext of grabbing some lunch, but they both know it’s so that Vinny can fill Danny in on what’s going on with him mentally and emotionally. “I am maturing, and I am not afraid to talk about my anxiety,” Vinny interviews. Danny and Vinny sit down at a picnic table, and Vinny explains that he has clinical anxiety that was diagnosed when he was sixteen, and that it usually manifests as panic attacks, which he can handle, but sometimes it culminates into depression, and that’s when it becomes really hard to deal with. He used shorter words to explain it though, and that’s as snarky as I care to be about this particular part of the show. Anxiety disorders suck. Vinny tells Danny that his goal is to develop some forward momentum this summer, start having some fun, and hopefully everything will sort itself out. “It is a necessary thing to do,” he interviews, “if you’re having these problems, it is important to talk to the people around you and let them know what’s going on.” And yes, it’s all very saccharine and PSA-y, but also, there is still a surprising amount of stigma regarding mental and emotional disorders, so yay for Vinny for being so open about it all.
The girls and Vinny finish their shift at the Shore Shack and when they get back home, Vinny curls up in a hoodie and tries to take a nap. “Oh, there’s my boyfriend,” Pauly D says as he comes into the room carrying shopping bags. He gives one to Vinny, and rubs burn gel on his face while he tells Vinny that he wants to go get pedicures. “We’re gonna have a guy’s day today,” Pauly interviews. They’re going out for mani/pedis to help boost Vinny’s spirits. Where I come from, straight men bond by going out into the wilderness to shoot things. It’s not a judgment, I’m just saying.
After an invigorating salon experience, the boys head back to the house to get ready for Karma. Pauly D puts more burn gel on his face and whimpers as he rubs it in. In an interview, he explains that he might have gone a wee bit overboard with tanning once they came back from Italy. “I went tanning in Jersey. Went tanning, went tanning, went tanning.” The girls all come into the living room to find Pauly sitting on the sofa shouting for them to help him because he burned his face off. The whole sad story comes out. “So, it peeled, and then I exfoliated, and then burnt the part that I peeled,” he explains, “Pauly D problems.” The girls are appropriately sympathetic to this epic tale of human tragedy and despair.
This is the exact facial expression he will have in 20 years when he gets his stage 4 melanoma diagnosis.
“I never thought in my wildest dreams,” Snooki interviews, “that I would tell anybody in this house to stop tanning. That’s when you know the world is coming to an end.” She’s not wrong. Why do you think Death rides on a pale horse? Pauly D tries to relieve his pain by holding Otter Pops against his face, while Mike empathizes with him about needing to build up his GTL endurance.
Preparatory to their night out, Ronnie is whipping up a blender full of Ron Ron Juice, while Deena freaks out both in the house and in an interview about how excited she is to be going to Karma. She and her mustache give Pauly a pep-talk about how even though he’s not on his A-game, he’s almost certainly going to get lucky tonight. Snooki and JWoww are getting all skankified, and we establish that Snooki looks so good that JWoww would bang her “bent over and sideways.” That’s a good friend, right there. Snooki interviews that “It’s important to look your hottest the first night at Karma. Just because, if you don’t look hot the first night at Karma, Karma will get you.” She adds that it’s even more important than usual to look hot, because Jionni is going to be there, and then she lets loose a belch that makes my china cabinet rattle. Pure class, that girl.
Snooki calls JWoww to come look at something, and when JWoww walks in the room, Snooki lifts her skirt and shows off her black booty shorts with “JIONNI’S” printed on the back in hot pink. “Don’t show your ass to everybody,” JWoww cautions, “isn’t that how it happened?” We’re shown a clip from last season (? maybe?) in which Snooki rolls around on a bench bare-assed, and Jionni gets annoyed and storms off. I wonder if that whole situation has anything to do with why he doesn’t want her to get shit-faced when they go out? Snooki and JWoww must have seen the same clip as we did, because Snooki decides to reduce the temptation to show everybody her ass and take off the shorts. I’m expecting this to play out where she gets so drunk that she forgets that she took the shorts off, lifts her skirt to show them off to Jionni, ends up flashing the entire club, and Jionni storms off again. Fingers crossed!
Deena is applying her makeup and says, “I don’t know who I’m going to make out with, but it’s going to be someone GOOD.” Then she adds, “I can’t do sex.” Do sex? Who says that? Is it a regional thing? I do the laundry, I do the dishes, I do my taxes. “Doing sex” makes it sound like a chore, and if sex is a chore, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Anyway, Snooki casually suggests that Deena could always have “ass sex,” but Deena doesn’t want to try that until she has a boyfriend. Snooki tells Deena that she’s going to go have a shot, and invites Deena to join her. “I’m actually thinking about not drinking tonight,” Deena replies. Snooki is fully supportive of this decision.
You are dead to me.
Deena: “JUST KIDDING!!!”
The roomies toast to their first night back at Karma, and JWoww interviews that she doesn’t think Karma is ready for them. “We’ve been deprived of this for so long, that we’re going to go extra hard tonight.” The group descends on Karma like a swarm of very tan locusts, and commences to party. “I’m really fucking home,” Snooki interviews. “Like, this is my home. It’s like an overwhelming feeling that I can’t explain. It’s like love.” She is scary intense about this, and it carries way more honesty than anything she’s ever said about her relationship with Jionni.
Deena bends over to do her first Jersey Turnpike back in Jersey. She interviews that she feels back in her element. She runs into a guy named Damian that she used to hook up with “back in the day,” and drags him over to a semi-secluded area of the club to make out. “Damian is in the right place at the right time,” she tells us. “Maybe he’ll get the golden ticket.” Deena’s vagina = Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. That is the most terrifying analogy of all time.
Snooki is getting increasingly drunk, and pulls Jionni’s head down to holler in his ear, “Oh my God, I was gonna like, cook you, like, chicken cutlets and stuff like that.” Jionni is completely baffled, as am I. Sammi interviews that Snooki is completely wasted and Jionni is freaking out, and we see Snooki fall down, which was the one thing that Jionni specifically asked her not to do. He tries to talk her into going back to the house, and she tells him that he’s a fucking idiot. I can see why he wants her to curb her drinking a bit. As she lurches drunkenly towards the door, JWoww and Sammi tell Jionni to go after her. Ronnie interviews that Jionni is pissed because his role for the night has changed from that of boyfriend to that of babysitter. After much whining on Snooki’s part, Jionni successfully navigates her out of the club.
I want to go home and rethink my life.
While Pauly D chats up a girl named Shantel, Ronnie is looking for Vinny. “I just know Vinny,” Ronnie interviews. “When he’s in a good mood, he stays with the crowd. When he’s in a shit mood, he kinda just does his own thing.” And Vinny is wandering around the club, doing his own thing, so I guess we know what kind of mood he is in. Vinny tells JWoww that he’s going to leave soon, and interviews that “going to a loud, crazy club is not the best thing to do when you’re having anxiety.” Shantel offers to find him a girl, but Vinny tells her not to worry about it.
Mike, meanwhile, is extremely worried about the fact that he hasn’t found a girl to take home yet. He interviews that it was like “Joe Montana, twenty seconds left, in the fourth quarter. I throw the pass, and Paula catches it.” You all remember Paula, right?
I sincerely hope those benefits include comprehensive medical coverage.
The housemates stagger home in different groupings, and Vinny and JWoww are the only ones who don’t have someone to smush with tonight. Pauly D shows off his shoe collection to Shantel. He leads her upstairs as she sing-songs, “I’m going to lay you on the bed and do you!” In an interview, Pauly explains that he doesn’t usually use the smush room, but Vinny asked him to please use it tonight so that he can get some sleep. “I’m gonna cater to Vinny, cos I’m doing whatever it takes to get Vinny out of this funk.” How… thoughtful? To not have sex in the bed next to your roommate while he’s trying to sleep? We cut to a smushtage as all of the couples in the house do sex.
Pauly interviews, “The smushin’ was good, but it’s time for Shantel to leave.” He’s going to call her a cab, as she gets dressed. “Hey, here’s my underwear,” she says. “Wait, I think….” My momma always told me not to put on underwear that I found on the floor of a room used for random sexual encounters unless I was positive that it was mine. “This girl has to leave,” says Pauly.
The dispatcher at the taxi company sounds like Pauly woke him up, or maybe he’s just drunk. The dispatcher says that it’s going to be about an hour before they can get a cab out to the house.
Note to self: Next time, call the cab before smushing.
While Pauly quietly freaks about having to spend non-naked time with Shantel, she is still upstairs getting dressed. She spots Pauly’s long-ass diamond chain on the floor, and casually drops it into the front of her shorts while looking over her shoulder to watch the door. This is not, by the way, the shoulder that the camera is currently positioned behind. Do people really forget that quickly that their every move is being filmed? Because if I was going to commit larceny, I would probably choose to do it in a house that wasn’t covered from every angle by multiple cameras. But I tend to over-think things.
Shantel saunters downstairs while the soundtrack plays Happy Strings of Wacky HiJinks in D Major. She sprawls on a beanbag and Pauly interviews that he wants her to leave. “You have to go,” he tells her, but apparently Shantel has lost her shoes. Pauly runs upstairs to look for the shoes, while Shantel slurs that she has plenty of shoes. Pauly wants to get some sleep. “I want to get it in, get her out, call the cab, they know the deal.” And they say chivalry is dead! The cab finally arrives, and Pauly practically pushes Shantel out the door.
It’s the next day and Pauly can’t find his chain. “My chain means the world to me,” he voice-overs, and as he is looking for it on the kitchen counters, Snooki tells him, “She stole it. She’s gonna sell it on Ebay.” Pauly goes outside to get advice from his boyfriend and future life-partner. Vinny’s input? “You better fucking find that shit, bro.” Truer words, Vin. Pauly interviews that he is trying to retrace his steps from the night before to figure out what happened to the chain. Snooki comes into the smush room as Pauly is checking under the mattress and reiterates her belief that Shantel took the chain. “Obvi!” she interviews. Pauly argues that as far as he could tell she didn’t leave with anything except her clothes, and Snooki replies, “She probably stuffed it in her asshole.” Pauly lifts the boxspring and Snooki laughs, “It’s not under the bed!” That is not a bed. It is a biohazard.
Pauly interviews that he doesn’t know if Shantel stole his chain, or if he maybe gave it to her, but it is his favorite gold chain and he wants it back.
Give us the preciousssssss!
Suddenly, Shantel sashays up to the house and knocks on the door. And guess what she’s wearing? (If you said “trousers,” you are incorrect.) Pauly is overjoyed to see his chain again. He tells Shantel that he was ripping the house apart trying to find it, and she plays it off as if he had given it to her the night before, but when she woke up that morning she knew that she had to give it back. She also wants her shoes. “Let’s find them,” says Pauly, and they go on a shoe hunt. Pauly blames the entire situation on the smush room, and vows to never use it again.
While Pauly and Shantel look for her shoes, Vinny updates Snooki on the chain’s return. Snooki interviews, “I feel like the girl just took Pauly’s chain so the next day she could come back and see Pauly again, and probably try and smash. I would do that.” Pauly shows Shantel a pair of black high heels in the smush room, but they aren’t her shoes. “They are nowhere to be found,” Pauly interviews. “She lost her dignity, her self-respect, so what the hell do you need shoes for?” Valid point. Pauly promises to call if he finds the shoes, and interviews, “So I’m now coming up with a new plan; whenever a girl leaves the house, I’m going to hug her, and then pat her down at the same exact time.” Two words, Pauly: concealment crevices. Shantel leaves again, and Pauly tells his roommates, “I’m not drinking again, for the rest of my life. Until tonight.”
Vinny is wandering around the house in his glasses and interviews that his anxiety has pretty much taken over at this point. He finds Sammi and Ronnie, and he and Ronnie decide to go down to the boardwalk and play some games. Ronnie interviews that it is hard for him to see Vinny feeling so down, “and I feel like he could snap out of it.” “I really appreciate Ronnie trying to cheer me up,” Vinny interviews, “but I’m a little bit beyond that point right now.” They sit down on a bench, and Vinny tries to explain to Ronnie that he doesn’t want to go out clubbing, that he is spending too much time dwelling on his problems. “I need rest, you know what I’m saying? Not like sleep rest, I need rest.” Vinny interviews that the craziness and noise of their lifestyle is triggering a lot of his anxiety issues, and that right now he has to make a choice between not allowing himself to be affected by all the craziness and removing himself from the house.
Vinny is sitting outside at the house and Snooki comes outside to keep him company. “You’re gonna stay always, right?” she asks, and Vinny answers, “I don’t know.” Snooki interviews that even though she wants Vinny to stay, “if he’s not comfortable, he needs to go.”
In an interview, Vinny says, “I know that my roommates are going to make it hard on me to leave, but ultimately this is my decision, and I need to take care of myself.” Ronnie tells Vinny he’s worried that Vinny will think leaving is the best decision right now, but that when he gets back home, the regret of leaving will end up being just as stressful as staying was. Vinny wants to make the decision while he feels like he’s still able to think rationally, and Ronnie says, “At the end of the day, you have to be happy.” “That’s the best advice anyone’s gave me since I’ve been here,” Vinny chuckles. The best advice that anyone gave him before coming on the show was “Don’t be on that show!”
In the living room, Snooki tells Deena, Pauly, and JWoww that Vinny is thinking of leaving, “AND he doesn’t want to drink anymore!” Deena interjects that Vinny doesn’t want to drink because a lot of people use alcohol to self-medicate instead of actually facing their problems. Snooki nods and pouts sagely upon hearing this.
It’s true. Not that it applies to my life in any way.
The housemates get ready for another night out at Karma. Snooki says that she’s not going to drink at the club, and Deena thinks this is hilarious. We learn that Pauly D’s face is all better, and then watch Deena spritz herself all over with body spray. Thankfully, unlike Mike’s douchey friend from the last episode, she doesn’t find it necessary to apply body spray to her nethers. Or at least, not in front of the camera.
Vinny is lying on his bed, and Snooki asks Ronnie, “Should we still go out?” The roomies try to decide if they should all leave and give Vinny some space, if they should stick around and try to get Vinny to go with them, or if they should take it in shifts to alternate clubbing with being there for Vinny. They finally decide that the best course of action is for Pauly to stay home and try to talk to Vinny while the rest of them go to the club. Deena interviews that she hopes Pauly can knock some sense into Vinny. It really does seem like they all genuinely care about Vinny and are invested in him staying.
After the rest of the housemates leave, Vinny calls his sister and asks her to come and get him. Pauly, overhearing, looks absolutely gutted. “I’ve been strong,” Vinny tells us, “I’m a fighter, but there’s no fight left in me.” His sister asks if he’s positive, and he says yes, breaking Pauly’s heart in the process. “It frustrates me,” Pauly interviews, “because I keep trying to think what it is that he needs.” Medication? I’m guessing that he needs medication. And possibly therapy.
Vinny decides that it will be quicker to take a cab, and hangs up the phone. Pauly tries to understand why Vinny’s leaving, and Vinny tries to explain, but they’re each too caught up in their own feelings to really be able to hear one another. “Stay for me, man,” Pauly says. Sniffle.
I wish I knew how to quit you.
In spite of all of his general tendencies towards douche-baggery, Pauly really is a good friend, and he goes to help Vinny pack before the cab arrives. Vinny interviews that the options for dealing with his problems are really limited at the Jersey Shore house, and that his best chances for recovery are to go home. “Will you write,” Pauly asks. “Can we sext?” Hee! “Should I go with you?” he continues,”so you know you have to come back?” “Trust me bro,” replies Vinny, “The hardest part is leaving you.” OMG, these two! I wish Pauly would go with him, and also a camera crew, and they could have “The Pauly D and Vinny Show.” I would watch the hell out of that.
Vinny interviews that he can barely even look at Pauly because he knows how hard this is for him. “But at the same time, I think Pauly truly does care about me, like, as a family member. And if a family member is in need of something, then you’ve got to completely understand.” Pauly interviews that helping Pauly pack is the weirdest thing he’s ever had to do. “It is messing with me. I’m like, damn, like it’s real. This is a reality right here.”
I should have taken the blue pill.
Vinny’s cab arrives, and he and Pauly start carting out all of his bags. “I’m gonna miss the fun times I had at the shore house,” Vinny interviews. “This is a fun place to be, if you’re feeling in a good mood.” Which is true about most places, excepting the dentist’s office and war zones. Vinny and Pauly hug goodbye, and Pauly tells us, “I just want to hold on to my dude and be like, don’t go, don’t go, don’t leave me!” Vinny gets into his cab and Pauly goes into their bedroom and sits down morosely on his bed. “Was there something else I could have done for him not to leave?” Pauly asks. Oh, Pauly, don’t be that person in the relationship! Let Ronnie take you out to the club, listen to some music, and be around some chicks. That will cheer you up in no time.
So, Gasmii, what do you think? Will Vinny come back? Will Pauly move on? And what songs is Pauly going to put on the “I Miss You” mix tape that he’s going to send to Vinny? This episode was kind of a bummer. The episode three recap is coming soon, so hold on to your knickers and don’t leave them on the smush room floor! Thanks for reading!
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