Mike Sorrentino, you confound me.
Last season, you were the badass, the Mickey Rourke. So far this season, you're Dr. Phil.
I'm not sure how I feel about this.
People come to "Jersey Shore" expecting certain things. Snooki will be outlandish. Jenni will sport a clubbing wardrobe that would make her the perfect Maxim cover girl. Vinny will ... well, we're still not sure exactly what Vinny does. But we expect that.
And Mike will, in general, will lord over it all, the switch that turns on the hot tub, so to speak. What was it he said at the conclusion of the first season, arms outstretched as he surveyed the Seaside Heights Boardwalk, aka his kingdom?
"You know, I ran the house from start to finish," he said. "Whether people liked it or not, I had just a wild time this summer. I did whatever I wanted. I took whatever I wanted. And it was my world."
You'd think Miami would have brought out the best in The Situation. So far, though? Meh.
Whether playing peacemaker with Angelina or urging the other girls to give Ang another shot, Mike's been decidedly un-Creepy in South Beach, spending as much time commenting on Ronnie's extracurricular activities - "Ron, you're in rare form today, dawg" - as pursuing his own.
For cryin' out loud, the guy's even moved beyond cooking solely sausage and peppers to trying his hand at chicken. Something's not right.
Oh, there've been glimmers of old Mike. Bringing the girls back to the house at the end of another MVP night (that's Mike-Vinny-Pauly hittin' the town together). Impishly hinting to Sammi that Ronnie's been messin' around (resulting in the new nickname of "The Instigation"). Showing off his abs last week while hawking ice cream.
"I don't think Mike can go a day without taking his shirt off," Snooki said after that last one. "He looks like a freakin' dirty old man outside with his shirt off. At an ice cream shop."
Maybe Mike's just laying low, waiting for his time to shine. After all, there is the business of letting Tropical Storm Angelina run its course, plus the inevitable disintegration of Sam and Ron. Not to mention that there are 12 episodes this season, up from last year's nine.
So there's still plenty of time to see old Mike put in an appearance. Like waiting for Snooki to barrel through South Beach, a Situation on the loose makes for a juicier "Jersey Shore."
What do you think about Situation so far this season? Is he moving forward or creating a power vaccum. Sound off in the comments.