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Episode 13: "Back Into the Fold"

Should've been called ... well, let's take our pick:

1) "Last Call";

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2) "You Got Weird";

3) "You're Far From Mature"; or

4) "Well, This Was a Great Last Night"

Nancy Reagan would be so proud. Vinny's flirting with temptation. The offer is hard to pass up. Pauly's in his corner, egging him on, as if to say Everybody does it, dude. You gotta hit that. But his resolve is strong. He just says no.

Says no to hoes.

Two of them.

Enter Mike (naturally) for a little Situationsome. In the bathroom stall. With two ladies. ... It's like a very naughty version of Clue (the perverted edition).

So it goes with the last episode of "Jersey Shore's" second season, as the seven remaining housemates say so long to Miami. But not before a little romance, a few fireworks and a whole lot of yelling. (But it's all out of love for one another. Puh-leeze. This is love like Sox fans want the Yanks to rebound against the Rangers.)

Hey... did anyone notice we got an Angelina sighting as the gang toured the Everglades for all of five minutes? Yes, I'm talkin' 'bout the gator that got cozy with their boat. But everyone saved their revulsion for lunch, when the appearance of frogs legs sent Jenni to the bathroom, caused Ronnie's eyes to glaze over and Mike - despite his bravado in trying them - losing his lunch on the way back home. If I knew all it would take to neutralize the "Shore" mates was a butchered Kermit, I'd have been all over that weeks ago.

Instead, it's back to the house as the clock's ticking on the group's time in Miami. It's about now when things started to resemble an episode of "24," as a handful of storylines came to a close...

Pauly and Vinny say goodbye to their honeys.

Ramona is late for her farewell dinner with Vinny. Part of me was hoping she'd stand him up again, just to bring the relationship full circle. Alas, she showed, only 45 minutes late. Vinny was so proud. Pauly, on the other hand, had no such problems with the lovely Rocio, who seems to have it bad for the DJ everyone loves. Both guys profess their desire to keep things at least simmering with these women, but I wonder: As they watched this season unfold, did their feelings for their men change some? I'd wager yes, particularly for Rocio as she saw Pauly pursuing other women while in Miami. Vinny did too, but then I'm not sure Ramona was long-haul material. Guess we'll have to wait until next week - Reunion Special Alert!! - to find out. Or Season 3, which The Hollywood Reporter reports will begin Jan. 6 ... mark your calendars.

Sammi and Ronnie Fight. And Makeup. Again.

Welcome to the "Jersey Shore" version of a skipping record. What else is there to say? I hope, for everyone's sake - Sammi's, Ronnie's, their roommates, the viewers - that this relationship is played out by the time Season 3 ramps up. The only thing this delusional pairing has given us is juicy drama between Sammi, Jenni and Snooki. That should be worth a few blowups back in Seaside. If, that is, they're speaking to one another then.

One last fight.

Following an awkward family dinner during which Mike is up to his impish tricks, busting on Sammi and Ronnie, there comes the night's major drama: A game of Most Likely To... where everyone tries to figure out who's most likely to ... Most Likely Follower? Mike says Vinny, and starts badgering the V tentacle of the MVP triumvirate. Most Likely to Get Skin Cancer? Everyone pauses... as the reality of that scenario sinks in.

The drama? Not over a diagnosis. Not yet, anyway. Nope. It's the question of who's fake and who's not. And I've gotta be honest... they kind of lost me for a few minutes. Jenni says Mike's fake, but that's not her saying this. It's just what she's heard...

(A momentary interlude, if you don't mind. I like Jenni. She's sassy. She's brassy. And she's willing to mix it up if necessary. But the woman has some weird passive-aggressive tendencies. Like she did with Sammi earlier this season, effectively lighting the fuse that torched their apparently tenuous friendship, she'll bob and weave around certain conflicts like this. Who called Mike fake? Why, it was Pauly. Huh? Didn't quite catch that, unless it was a reference to something a while back or off camera. But see how quickly she hides behind the shield of "Don't Shoot the Messenger." Something to chew on in the next couple of months, I guess, if you're so inclined. I am not. Back to the recap...)

So we've got Jenni telling Mike he's Fake. Then Snooki telling Jenni that everyone agreed with Mike that Jenni's fake. So Snooki tells Jenni to Trust No One. (What is this, "The X-Files"?). Jenni goes to Mike, says Pauly thinks he's fake. Mike says this to Pauly. Who. Goes. Ballistic.

Fun to watch, all veins popping out of his head and all. Blowing up at Jenni and Snooki for causing trouble where trouble doesn't need to be caused. This sends Snooki into a tizzy. It's their last night, and she's ready to leave early. She's yelling at Jenni. She's packing to go home. She's slamming doors on her way to stewing alone out on the balcony. Until Mike - lovable ol' pain in the ass Mike - goes outside, rubs her tummy like she's a cat, tells her everyone loves her, and then picks her up and carries her inside, where the "Shore" mates make nice.

Cut to next morning. The last morning. Everyone shares a final meal, but not until after Mike tries to disable one of them by firing off the cork from a bottle of champagne. And then they're off. First Sammi and Ronnie. Together. For now. Sammi doesn't say goodbye to Jenni... laying the groundwork for next season drama for sure.

Then it's Vinny's turn to head for the airport. Finally, the road trippers - Snooki, Jenni, Mike and Pauly; if you think about it, the core of "Jersey Shore," and you get the feeling they kind of know it, too -- have a final hug, then pack into their vehicles and leave Miami. ...

... And Miami heaves a gigantic sigh of relief. As Mike says, "I'm healthy. I'm not hurt. I'm not in handcuffs. That's all that matters." If Miami had a voice, it would be saying "Amen to that. And please don't come back. We've got ‘Burn Notice.' And LeBron. We don't need anything else."

Quotes of the final night:

"I'm so excited because we are going to see the crocodillies." - Snooki

"The airboat is serious, like, the propeller's huge ... I mean, that'd work better than my hair dryer. Maybe instead of 25 minutes to do my hair, only take me 10." - Pauly, keepin' it practical while in the Everglades

"Bugs in the Everglades are huge. They're about the size of Snooki." - Mike

"I'm not going to smash it out with Rocio before I leave." - Pauly, displaying "Jersey Shore's" version of chivalry

"Un-un. I'm not going." - Snooki, urged to go outside where Sammie and Ronnie are fighting

"When you actually have a good girl out there, just say no to hoes." - Vinny, showing atypical restraint

"I'm too drunk to deal with this right now." - Jenni, in the aftermath of Snooki's meltdown. And really, haven't we all thought the same thing about watching "Jersey Shore" at one point or another. Or, at least, wished it?

That's as good a place to wrap up tonight's final episode of "Jersey Shore," the second season. But wait! There's one more episode a-comin', next week as the gang regroups for the reunion special to rehash all the drama of Miami one last time. This is the episode filmed in Atlantic City on Labor Day. Or, just as they were wrapping up filming on Season 3. It'll be interesting to see if we can gather any clues about next season while they're reliving Season 2.

So that means there's one more recap to come before we take a break. Who knows? Maybe we'll have a few other posts throughout the week to get you ready for reunion goodness.

What did you think about the end of the season? Did it go out with a fizzle? Or did you think it was more of a bang? Sound off in the comments to let us know, then keep coming back for more Jersey Shore thoughts as they are appropriate. Because one thing's certain: These people do not now how to get out of the spotlight. Couldn't do it if they tried.


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