After an anticlimactic finale, it was hard to hold out hope that the Jersey Shore reunion show would give us a little juice, a little reveal to help take the edge off a grueling season. Unfortunately the get-together was, for the most part, a stilted, unsurprising rehash of the past six episodes — though it did offer a few satisfying moments.
The first such pleasure came when the group collectively agreed that The Snitchuation, also now known as The Instigation, was untrustworthy as a friend. Finally! While the acknowledgment was satisfying in a brief pathetic way, the Snitch tried to deny being a gossip, despite the fact that all of his actions are currently available for analysis on video. It wasn’t until he denied encouraging JWoww’s dogs to poop in the house that you realize that not even photographic evidence could convince him of anything other than his own narrative. “No, no, no, no,” the Instig chanted to every unflattering claim, despite hours upon hours of footage, an entire season, and reality. “He’s gonna rat you out,” Pauly D explained while the accused snorted and rolled his eyes. It isn’t a coincidence that The Situation isn’t one of the several cast mates to score a spin-off.
The second most satisfying part is Snooki’s simmering anger toward Vinny. Stronger and more focused than at any point during filming, Snooki called him a jerk-off and accused him of leading her on. When asked whether it was Seabiscuit, Snooki yelped, “It’s not his wiener,” before laying down the ultimate insult: “You changed, bro.” The fact that he has changed since become famous and gaining the ability to sleep with an even wider group of women is left unsaid.
Later we also get to see a montage of Deena’s most Deena-licious moments: falling face-down in the street, falling head-first out of a hammock, perfecting her signature dance move, "The Jersey Turnpike." Do you know how much we could have used those few seconds of Deena falling over the dog gate dressed as a naughty bunny? A price greater than pearls, this one. During her segment we also get to catch up with our old friend the Downstairs Toilet. D.T. seemed to be holding up well even under the force of Deena’s vomiting and yes, in case you were wondering, WE DO GET TO SEE BARF IN THE TOILET. Speaking of bodily functions and things that can never be erased from your brain, Deena also once again denied the claim from many moons ago that she enjoyed eating a tossed salad or two. “Poop comes out of a butt,” she exclaims. Truer words, they have never been spoken.
So ends the enjoyable part of the evening; please watch your step as the ride will be descending quickly into the cavern of human darkness that is Ronnie and Sam’s relationship. There are no big revelations to be had here, just more of the same. Ronnie apparently has the memory of a gold fish, not remembering that he called his ex in Miami after a fight, aka the exact same thing as Sammi did to him this season. The canned laughter that roared as Ronnie aped exasperation at Sammi’s questions was gag-inducing. However, the two incidents that were the most jarring (Sammi’s punch, Ronnie’s destruction of her belongings) were of course ignored in favor of more quibbling about Sammi texting Arvin. “Girls don’t have friends that are guys,” Vinny says of the situation. “Ronnie never did anything wrong on Jersey,” JWoww explained. Excuse us for a minute, we have to run to the drug store and get our prescription for CRAZY PILLS refilled.
We understand not wanting to hash out the particulars of what is clearly an unsafe, unstable relationship, but if that’s what you’re giving the public, then you can at least own it. Bring out the broken glasses, replay the hours of footage detailing every moment of toxicity, abuse and rank misogyny, and let the players in question analyze themselves along with us. So will the worst couple of all time be reuniting over a plate of penne all’arrabiata next season? “You never know what’s going to happen in the future, but you can cut the tension in this room with a butter knife,” Ronnie says. That is to say, almost certainly, and god help us all when they do.