Here's a look at the fourth episode. Come back tomorrow for episodes five and six.

Episode 4: "Fade to Black"

What they should've called it: "The One With the Recurring Themes"

What we learned:

Quick take on Sammi-Ronnie - They fight, they make up. Everything's a-OK. Must be, because next thing you know they're between the sheets, consummating their relationship. With images of fireworks going off in the background. Subtlety, thy name is "Jersey Shore."

Quick take on J-Woww-Tommy - They're in limbo. And does anyone really care?

Two dueling stories going on this episode. First up is the continuing adventures of Mike, hook-up hunter. After picking up a girl named Alex while out, he enlists Pauly as his loyal wingman to take care of the girl's friend. Pauly's doing what he can, but this girl is toxic, opinionated and not at all down with hanging at the house. So, while Sitch and Alex try to get cozy in his room, Pauly has enough of this chick and leaves her alone. She proceeds to find Alex and gets her to leave. Once again, The Situation finds himself in a situation regarding his love life.

Seriously, you've got to feel a little bad for the guy at this point. Sure, he's making plays on the ladies. But so far, nothing to show for it. In short, he's Wil E Coyote to sex's Road Runner. He might as well have ACME tattooed to his abs.

Emotional heft comes from Snooki's visit from her mother on ma's birthday. They enjoy a day at the beach, and Snooks gets all teary after her mom leaves. I'd write more, but you only get a couple of minutes of this stuff, so there's not much left to say about it. Although it is the first time we see anyone actually down on the beach.

Naturally, the sun goes down so everyone heads out to party, where a few strange guys try to glom onto the group. Shots are being poured, these guys are starting to take them, which Mike seems to encourage just to get rid of them. But Snooki will have none of it, egging on the apparent ringleader of the hangers on until he hauls off and punches her. Fade to black, Snooki wailing as she's huddled on the floor.

"Jersey Shore" dictionary:

Grenade - A girl who will blow up any intimate gathering. See Alex's friend. Use in a sentence: "Pauly D was with the grenade."

Fun fact:

Only two weeks have passed since everyone arrived in Seaside.

Quote it:

"Any relationship, it's the same old thing. It's like goo-goo, ga-ga, like all over each other at the beginning and then you get comfortable and then (expletive) goes down where you just can't even deal with each other anymore." - Sammi, in the wake of relationship trouble with Ronnie

"I was ready to put you in the equation. Like, you. In the equation." - Ronnie, to Sammi. Not to be confused with The Situation.

"Girls love The Situation." - Sitch. You sure about that sport?

"They were actin' kind of stupid, but we just made the best out of the situation like we always do." - Pauly, on the latest hook up

"Mike would bang a Gatorade bottle if it had a pulse at this point. Like, seriously, he really would." - Ronnie

Cliffhanger:

How bad is Snooki hurt? And, does this guy realize what he's just done?