Episode 12: "Déjà vu All Over Again"

Should've been called: "This is what you get when you try to get the Golden Goose to lay eggs 24/7"

Yawn.

Been a rough week for Situation. In the past seven days, we've seen Mike's boorish behavior prompt consternation from Jenni and Snooki, depriving Snooks of much needed partying on with pal Ryder; we've seen said episode attract an un-"Shore" like 5.3 million viewers; we've seen Situation bounced from "Dancing With the Stars"; and now this:

A great big giant waste of an hour summed up perfectly by Mike's Sunday dinner mishap: Whole lotta smoke, and yet not a spark in sight.

(And why, exactly, does it take a half-dozen firefighters to deem the group's Metropole digs safe? I've a long history of setting off smoke detectors while cooking. Never once have my burned hot dogs attracted southern New Jersey fire crews.)

The great thing about "Jersey Shore's" first season, when watching it in one large chunk earlier this year, is that at nine episodes, it moved pretty briskly. There was little filler (Other than whatever the various housemates may or may not have artificially pumped into their bodies). This season ... kind of draggy, and this episode played like a greatest hits episode; sure, its title had to do with Mike's inability to serve as a competent wingman for Pauly, but it might as well have been referring to all we saw during the course of the hour:

Snooki says goodbye to Ryder, and then breaks down, terribly homesick for her family.

Jenni is worried about Snooks' well-being, fretting her bud will jet from Miami a week sooner than planned.

Sammi and Ronnie get into an argument.

Ronnie blames it all on Sammi.

Pauly yells "It's T-Shirt time!" This was not funny the first time. And yet it is the catchphrase that Will. Not. Die.

Jenni dresses in little more than a cocktail napkin to hit the club, this time the ill-fated trip to Space.

Pauly and Mike are thwarted in their guaranteed not to fail sexscapades.

And Mike's bravado gets him into trouble. Hello, illegal parking space. Goodbye SUV.

(Speaking of which, Mike can't spare the $175 it'll cost to retrieve the vehicle? What, is his pay from "Jersey Shore" being held in trust until he's emotionally 18? And what's with using the pay phone? Forget the cell in the car?)

Have to say, it seems like "Jersey Shore" fatigue has set in. ... Even the argument at Space that got the gang kicked out of the club seemed a little off... No context at all. Just BOOM. Snooki's yelling at someone, Mike swoops in to yell some more. Enter Security. Exit "Shore" mates, stage left.

I realize we're not talking Shakespearian plotting here, but usually you know why something's happening, even on the "Shore." This one? Not so much. Maybe they're saving the inside story for the DVD...

And yet, there were a few fresh takes. Vinny-Ramona and Pauly-Rocio at the beach (Rocio loves "The Little Mermaid"! My daughter can relate.) is different, even if Pauly's clearly not getting any from her if he's so eager to get down with any woman with a pulse.

For a while, I thought the cameo from Sam and Ron at the beach with them would be all the SamRon we'd get this week. Silly me... with Angelina gone, there are limited avenues for conflict. Of course, Sammi and Ronnie's seen-but-not-heard presence in the house had to end.

Other things we learned:

Mike's showing his age (so sayeth the first woman definitely not DTF with him): "I never saide anything about checkers, old man!"

The house drinks the Kool-Aid. Things make SO much more sense now.

There's nothing in the world like a couple of chicks from "Canadia" (Thanks, Mike, for the geography lesson)

Quotes of the week:

"Can I be your pajamas? Wear me." - Vinny, to the lovely Ramona

"Space means, like, Guidos, juicehead gorillas. Sexy, tanned, sweaty boys. And house music." - Snooki

"She looks like the ultimate stripper." - Snooki, on Jenni's Space outfit. Barbarella would be proud.

"Mike could not play wingman for me. I need somebody that knows how to take one for the team. Or entertain a grenade. Or even, um, decipher the bomb if one comes, you know what I mean? It's a war out there." - Pauly

"You get girls in pajamas. Eventually they'll be coming off." - Mike, whose way with the ladies seems to be wilting under the hot South Beach sun.

At this point in the "Jersey Shore" season, you're starting to see the inevitable cracks in the housemates as they realize ‘Hey, I've been leaving with these people the last couple of months. I can NOT get out of here quick enough.' Problem is, I'm starting to feel the same way. But there's hope for season two's finale next Thursday. It's the return of Angry Pauly. No more "T-Shirt time"; apparently, Pauly's getting mad at Jenni, and Snooki's gonna be cryin'. Also, they go to the Everglades. Make a bet someone'll want to toss at least one of their roomies to the gators? Yeah... you're probably right. It's a fool's bet.

Sorry for the increasingly erratic postings. I'll try to fix that. But don't worry; even if it's not as frequent, trust me, the "Jersey Shore" dissection continues. So keep checking back, and we'll try to get a ratings report up as soon as we see how many people came back - or fled - from "Jersey Shore" tonight.