Jersey Shore, The One With The Ersatz Ronnie

Season 3, Ep. 4

You know that out of body experience you get when you’re really drunk, like you are totally aware of what’s happening to you, but it’s as if you’re viewing it through a hazy screen and you’re emotionally detached from it all? Am I the only one that had fraternity party experiences like that? I think this is what’s happening with Nicole “Snooki” Palazzi as she’s being cuffed and led away to jail for being an obnoxious drunk on the beach. Well, more obnoxious and more drunk than everyone else on the beach.

The cops do that shove your head and guide you to the back seat thing and her facial expression is just… She’s not there, nobody’s home, Mental Snooki is thinking these are strippers taking her to a hot party of juiced up meatheads that just got their backs waxed and think little meatball ladies are the shiznit.

No, honey, you’re on your way to dry out in the drunk tank and maybe learn how to make toilet wine out of ketchup, kool aid, sugar packs and rotten bread, lovingly called pruno in prison circles. (Read Scagnatti on Scagnatti for the full recipe.) But hey, this is Seaside, so I’m thinking the jails are just full of douchebros that got into fist fights the night before and other drunk “ladies.” She’ll be fine.

JWoww and Deena aren’t too sure that she’ll be fine, so JWoww keeps in touch with Snooki’s father to stay on top of things and figure out how to post her bail. The guys get back with their dry cleaning and after being told the situation, they all try and get the girls to understand that Snooki’s drinking is out of control, and something needs to be done. Let’s discuss this over some vodka, shall we? Don’t forget the pony keg, I do my best thinking over some Michelob Light.

Someone was telling me that it’s sad that no one brought up Snooki’s obvious alcoholism, but I have to say that I don’t think she’s an alcoholic, she’s a sad, lonely 20 something who has been rewarded for her drunken behavior and just needs to be retrained. I think she can do it.

The gang, with their freshly made “Free Snooki!” tees are finally able to pick her up from the clink, and I can’t help but notice my secret boyfriend is riding up front, a look of worry on his face. Vinny, Vinny, Vinny, you are so dreamy and nice. I don’t even care if you can’t spell sphygmomanometer or even know what one is, just hold my hand and smile for ever and be my dreamy boyfriend until the end of time, or you do something stupid, whichever comes first.

Snooki, of course, can’t remember anything. Except for something about being named master of pruno because she downed all the liquid in some plastic bag from a jail cell’s toilet, but that doesn’t sound right… Everyone tells her that she got stupid drunk, again. And she fell down, again. And she cussed out a cop, again. All she can do is just blink. She totally notices that Vinny came to get her, though, don’t think she’s not blowing that out of proportion in her mind. Because that is what I would do. WE HAVE TRUE LOVE. Where did that gypsy stalker of Pauly’s go, I have some questions to ask her about entrapment.

JWoww, because she and the Situation are the actual adults in the house, well, Jenni is, tells her to get her sorry ass on the phone to her father, because he’s been worried sick. Her dad hollers at her on the phone, she winces away from the handset the whole time, and says, “Please don’t be mad.”

“I’m not mad, Nicole, I’m disappointed.”

KISS OF DEATH. Oh, do parents know how to twist the knife. This actually penetrates the booze-soaked filter that is her brain because she makes the choice to quit drinking. Well, to excess. That’s something, at least.

“He kept yelling at me,” she tells Jenni.

“Well, that’s a father for you.” I love Jenni, have I mentioned?

Nicole is thinking of all the ways she’s going to show everyone that she’s changed, that she’s going to be a classy lady with manners and shit, and her pinkie is going to be out when she sips drinks all dainty like, and by god, she is going to make it a habit to put on underwear at least 60% of the time and maybe even write a book, authors are respectable, right? And Jenni points out the massive clump of sand that’s still mashed between her boobs from the hours before back at the beach.

After a shower and a few minutes of rare sobriety take affect, she comes to terms with that fact that she’s screwing up her life. Dr. JWoww is in, and tells her to quit selling herself out to losers that don’t love her, quit looking for love in all the wrong places, that she should try sleeping single in a double bed, and other country music lyrics, and that she “sets [herself] up for disaster.”

Editor cut to Vinny, who is calling some hot girl from the club and generally being adorable.

Snooki is really listening, though, and promises to make Jenni proud. She’ll only have a glass of pinot, because that’s what classy people do, and besides, even pregnant people (people? PEOPLE?) drink it, so how bad can it be? She and JWoww stay in for the night to practice being ladies and shit.

Deena, though, isn’t falling for that trap, she convinces the guys to let her go to the club with them, which is unprecedented. Guys night is guys night, but since she’s a two beer queer, they figure she won’t be cock blocking them. On the contrary, she seems to pick up more chicks than they do. She’s even sweet enough to bring them over to the other guys. That, my friends, is a wingman. Mighty wingman, taking one for the team so your friend can live the dream. Situation, you need to take a lesson from this plump ball of good time. Sitch, for those just joining us, is the worst wingman ever.

Deena deposits all the single ladies, all the single ladies, in front of the guys and leaves the rest to them because she has spotted the Perfect Man. He has everything going for him that she finds hot, he’s massively ‘roided out, he has slicked down hair, a white belt, and drinking some Ed Hardy water with actual gold flakes in it. They are all over each other like a barnacle on a tug boat. She brings him back to meet the guys, who promptly freak out.

This guy looks exactly like ‘Roid Rage Ronnie. Like, exactly. He says his name, but everyone just calls him Ronnie all night. Faux Ron comes back to the house with the gang, and the guys immediately march him upstairs to make him look in the camera and do Ronnie-ish things. Oh my god, he’s just like him! Maybe they can slip him into bed with Sammi and see if she notices. If he doesn’t immediately apologize for something, that would be the tip off.

They sneak him in the room where Ronnie and Sammi are sleeping, because she didn’t want to go out, which means Ronnie couldn’t go out and he would stay in there and hold cut lemons to her elbows, because that skin was getting a little rough. The gang tries to wake them up. Real Ron stirs and looks over at them.

“Is that Dean?”

THEY KNOW EACH OTHER. Of course they do, of course they do! Anyone that is so focused on their “build” is just narcissistic enough to seek out someone else that looks just like them. And even creepier, Dean (Faux Ron) has a girlfriendnamed Sam.

I’m sorry, sex with Deena, what? Oh, poor little hygienist, will you ever shake the Miss Lonely Hearts stigma? Deena asks him point blank if he has a girlfriend, and that wily shit says, “Not right now.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“OK, let’s go to my room and read the Bible.”

“…uh”

“I’m just kidding, you can play with my boobs.”

And they do, and a little more, besides. He leaves in the morning, and Sam, straightening her hair in the downstairs mirror because morning light makes her hair gleam and glisten like pure ebony and it makes her heart feel the only joy it knows anymore, sees Dean leave.

“He has a girlfriend, you know. I’ve seen her, like, five times. Men are pigs.”

Deena takes it all in stride, “Eh. I didn’t let him get it in, I made him blow me.”

Deena, you just earned fifty million points in my book, way to get your own.

They all get ready to go clubbing that night, and Snooki promises to only have one drink. Yeesh, Snooks, going to a bar to test your sobriety is like a pedophile going to work for Sesame Street. We’ll see how it goes.

The bro-step is banging, the bodies are flailing, and JWoww’s friend from the other night, Roger, shows up. Innnnnteresting. Again, they’re just friendly flirting, nothing salacious, but you can tell that Jenni is really wishing she was free to hook up with this guy. He’s being charming and sweet and making her laugh, and I’m always struck by how naturally pretty she can be when she’s not scowling with a chip on her shoulder. I think we can see where this is going.

Back at the house, Tom calls, wanting to check in on Jenni, who is being evasive. That is just the worst, when you want out of a relationship, but you can’t figure out how to articulate it, when to get it out there, or you’re just delaying it because you know there is going to be drama. And honey babies, there is going to be some drama, just you wait.

Because Jenni isn’t being lovely dovey on command, Tom freaks out on her and is a dick. JWoww has had enough and tells him to fuck off, that’s it. When she hangs up, she says to the house, “And that is why I’m leaving his ass.” It’s about damn time, life is too short to be saddled with someone you hate, people.

Ronnie, though, is not okay with any of this because JWoww is the one that called him to the carpet for cheating on Sammi. He says to the camera that she’s “a shady bitch” for doing the same thing as him, and tries to get sympathy from Pauly, “Come on, bro, come on, bro.” Hey dudebrodude? Actually sticking your penis into multiple girls isn’t the same as flirting with an old friend at a club. Really.

But I do agree that you should end one relationship before starting another, so Jenni, you need to make sure Tom knows that you meant that you two are done, for reals.

Roger, the new friend, and a buddy of his make plans to meet up with Deena and Jenni at the boardwalk the next day, and they’re all having fun. Day two with guys for Deena! I don’t think she’s into him, but hey, she’s out there. They get home and Tom calls, and I really think they have a producer calling him and saying, “maybe you should call the house and check in.” It’s just a little too perfect, am I right? Jenni is evasive again, and I’m just wishing she’d grab those famous balls of hers and dish it out to this ass weasel once and for all.

Later, Roger calls again (aww, new love is sweet) and while Jenni and Snooki are at work, Roger and a hot guy just for Snooks show up. Snooki immediately sees this beefy, tan dude and says “Aw, thank you!” She knows a gift when she sees one. They take the ladies to the soda shop for a malted and a quick listen to the latest hit by The Spinners and make plans to go to the Big Dance later that night.

Snooki, Noxema face cream on and her Pink Ladies jacket on a hanger by the door, has evidently stolen Sammi’s hair straightener (what, they’re friends now, friends share) and tells Jenni that she’s going to be good and just have fun and not drink, and maybe even pull her shit together enough to get back into beauty school. GOOD, that pink hair looks terrible on you. Vinny and Pauly come in and continue the “let’s cheer up Nicole” game by filming her pouf in a documentary and then having a conversation with Jenni’s amazing boobs. Good times.

Jenni quietly asks Pauly’s opinion on what to do about the Tom situation, and he tells her to just go with who makes her happy. And he notices that Roger seems to be making her happy. Aww. From the first night when they met and Jenni discovered Pauly’s… piercing, to swearing off any kind of romance between them, they’ve built a really cute and supportive friendship.

They get ready for their night out and fourteen cans of hairspray latter, they have their look for the night. Deena is going to stay in and floss, telling herself that her ship will come in one day, and he might even be a doctor. And she’ll have his babies and dress them in leopard onsies and have a margarita machine at their first birthday parties and real onyx floors in their McMansion and it will happen. A decoupaged dream board later, and she settles in for the night watching Vin Diesel movies on repeat.

Roger and his friend, who happens to be less than perfect because he’s an Irish gorilla (would that be a silver back?) but Snooki is going to try to expand her horizons, show up and take the girls for a night on the boardwalk. And I have to say, for a meaty guy, he’s really hot. He smiles a lot, and laughs a lot, and does sweet little chivalrous things you don’t see anymore, like holding chairs and doors for her. Snooks, I approve. Get you some.

And she does. Roger also stays the night, but Jenni swears up and down that nothing happened, they just stayed up talking. Aw, I remember those nights, when you meet someone and you just spend hours talking, telling all of your stories and it’s all so giddy and you just want to touch them, but not touching them is almost as exciting because there is nothing hotter than anticipa- wait for it – tion. But girlfriend. End it with Tom. Now.

Cue the blaring of the duck phone. Hey I wonder who it is? Everyone comes downstairs to listen in, and that’s when I realized that the phone has a speaker on it so everyone can hear. Either that or Tom is really shouting. Jenni gets on the horn and dilly dallies for a bit, then lays into him.

“I’m… taking a breather.”

From the peanut gallery, “I’ll Roger that!” Pauly is very proud of his joke because he repeats it about fourteen times. Dude, we got it.

“I’m finally having fun, something I never had with you. I’ve done nothing wrong but take your shit, and you treat me like shit for no reason.” We find out that he’s been dickish to her for months, and she’s just not known how to get him out of her house and her life until now. She hangs up on him in mid-screech and goes out for a smoke break to calm her nerves.

Her father calls, Tom is pissed beyond the telling and is moving out right then. And because he’s the kind of dick that he is, she immediately worries that he’s going to rob her. WHY would you be with someone like that, let alone allow them to live with you? Oh, sugar booger, we’ve all been there in some respect, it’s just always easier to boggle when it’s not me in the situation.

It seems that Jenni has two dogs in the house, and now who’s going to care for them? She panics, Nicole gets in the car with her, and they make the long drive to her house to rescue her dogs, because Tom would apparently let them starve to death. Nice fella. He’s locked her out, and she starts to cry, she can hear the dogs barking inside. She breaks in the back gate, finds the hidden spare key, and gets inside. Her dogs are alright; he didn’t put them to sleep or kick them, or something. Yeesh. Snooki goes upstairs and tells her stuff is missing.

Man, am I glad I’m not in a relationship that’s nasty. He’s taken her bed, of all things, which doesn’t phase her, but then she finds the things of value that he stole: her watch from graduation (girlfriend went to college, don’t you know) that she got before she even met him, then she discovers the big ones. He took her hard drives, her back ups, all of her business papers, and she can’t bring herself to look at the bank account and see if he cleaned her out. What a dumb ass jackhole. Her hard drives have all of her family pictures – her mother has been sick her whole life, and the drives contain all of her medical documentation, too – and all of her artwork and business information.

Nicole hugs her, trying in her own way to be supportive. Jenni can’t keep up the tough guy exterior and breaks down, sobbing. “I didn’t do anything to deserve this!”

I wish that wasn’t what so many women have cried out over the years, Jenni, I really do.

Numb, she stares at the empty space in the house. “This isn’t even my home anymore. My home is back in Jersey, with my little bed.”

I don’t know what gods the producers pray to, but that is unbelievably raw and honest real life happening on tv, right there. They must be breaking their arms from patting themselves on the back for discovering these kids. We’ll see what happens on the next episode.

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  • denelian

    i was just gonna say how much i love this new website of yours –

    but *wince* her HARD DRIVES! sigh. been there, done that, i hope to gods the cops actually DO SOMETHING here.

    but, in non-tv-drama – you rock, lady! i tried to watch an ep, and the whole time i was thinking “what would Stoney say here? how is Stoney gonna write this?” i’m pretty sure your recaps are better than the original shows :)

  • txvoodoo

    So I’m finally watching this trainwreck BECAUSE OF YOU, you know. Also there’s a marathon on.

    I am embarrassed. I am Sicilian, you know, and I spent several summers at the shore (like most people in Philly/NJ!) and we weren’t like these people! Well, we partied and danced and stuff but we didn’t have those accents and we were all college grads and/or law students. Seriously, no lie, my housemates were 50% law students – we’d spend the days on the beach with the bar exam review books, those of us who weren’t studying for it would quiz those who were. Oh, and we were only there on the weekends – we’d rent a house (which basically was the kind of house they had) and go down on the weekends, though each of us would schedule at least 1 full week of vacation if possible. Cause we had jobs during the week.

    And then we’d go drink and dance. But with better clothes (despite this having been the 80s) and better vocabularies! And better choices. Or at least we had enough discretion that we didn’t get arrested for our choices!

    I need to dig out some pics of us back then. WE WEREN’T GUIDOS/GUIDETTES. What has happened to people? I am disappointed. (OMG I SOUND LIKE SNOOKI’S DAD)

  • txvoodoo

    OK, when Jenni was crying about being locked out, WHAT THE HELL was dripping down her neck? Was that her makeup running?

  • Laura Stone

    WHAT? i have no idea! I’ll have to go back and watch, but my guess would be tanner?

    And hahahahaha, I HAVE TRAPPED ANOTHER ONE. Seriously, I freaking love this show. ;)

  • txvoodoo

    EVIL INCARNATE.